The first weeks that the Gallaghers lived in their home went by super fast, and before we knew it, I was taking the girls to play while Lucy, Jordan, Asa, and my parents got the apartment ready for the girls’ small party.
When we entered the apartment, the lights were off and there was no sign of life.
“Where is everybody?” Ellie asked.
“SURPRISE!” Lucy, Jordan, Asa, and my parents popped up from various places in the living room, shouting. Ellie and Lizzie clapped their hands.
“Is this for us?” Lizzie asked. Looking at me. I nodded and led them to the kitchen, where there was a cake and a few wrapped presents sitting on the table.
“Eeeeee!” They squealed when they saw the presents and the cake.
“Can we open them now?” Ellie asked, pointing to the presents. I nodded and directed Ellie to the pile of her presents, while Lizzie went to the pile designated for her. They started ripping into the presents and wrapping was flung everywhere. There were scattered ’thank you’s every time a present was opened, and soon the presents were all gone.
“Is there any more?” Lizzie asked when they had opened all of the presents.
Asa nodded. “Actually, there is. I’ll be right back.” He left the room and came back with a manila envelope in his hands. Excitement bloomed in my chest when I saw what it was, and I became almost giddy with excitement because of this surprise. Nobody knew about it except me, and I hoped it would be as beautiful as I’d imagined.
“What is it?” Ellie asked. Asa pulled out a slip of paper and showed it to the girls.
“This is an adoption form,” he said simply.
“Are you adopting us?” Lizzie asked quietly. Asa nodded.
“So, we’re going to have a daddy?” Ellie said. Asa nodded again. The two girls flung themselves at Asa, wrapping their little arms around his neck. They stayed in that position for a few minutes before Asa stood up, wiping under his eyes. I looked around and saw that everyone was mirroring this action, including me.
“Who wants cake?” Asa asked and the girls raised their hands.
“Me!” They yelled. Asa cut pieces for everyone, and we ate the cake, talking and laughing around the table as if there wasn’t a worry in the world.
That night I stayed at the Gallagher’s apartment again, as a request from the girls. I happily complied and as we were laying on the floor in the girls’ bedroom, I heard one of them say,
“Asa, if you’re our daddy, does that mean that Morgan’s gonna be our mommy someday?”
“Someday, Liz,” was his answer, “someday.”