Family chapter 4 image

Trace sits down in the living room as he gets ready to call home to announce Blake’s adoption.  He slowly dials the number.  The phone rings a couple times, and as it does, his heart pounds just a little faster.

“Hi Trace, how are you, sweetie?”  His mom answers the phone.  Now he just needs to get through this phone call without sweating to death.

“I’m good and you?”

He usually loves small talk, but he would rather skip it today and just get to the matter at hand.

“I’m good, too.  So what’s your mind?” she asked, knowing by the sound of his voice that something must be up.

“Can you get everyone together? I have some news to share,” Trace says, as his knees start to shake.  This phone call is starting to feel like coming out all over again.


“Will do!”

Things are quiet for a minute while his mom gathers everyone.

“I assume you want me to put this on speakerphone, right?” she asks, ready with her finger on the button.

“Yeah, that might be a good idea.”

In a heartbeat, her finger clicks the speakerphone button.

“Okay Trace, you have our complete attention.”

“Okay, so I bet you’re all wondering what the news must be.  Well, Ian and I are in the process of adopting a 15 year old boy.”

There was silence on the other end.  Trace doesn’t know if the silence is good or bad.  He’s hoping for good though.

“What’s the boy’s name?” his dad asks.  “I hate the idea of just calling him boy.”

“His name is Blake.  Now I know you’re wondering why we’re adopting a kid so old.  Well, he’s a street kid who was kicked out of his home in Idaho and sent to live with his great aunt here in our wonderful city.  He’s been here for about four months.”

“Why did he get kicked out?” Michael, Trace’s 20 year old brother, asks.

“He was kicked out because he’s gay.”

Trace can hear the disgust for Blake’s parents over the phone.

“Is he violent?” Ashley, his 18 year old sister, asks, worrying about her big brother’s and her brother-in-law’s safety.

“No Ashley, he’s not violent.”

So far so good! Trace thinks to himself.  He’s amazed at how well things are going.  Then again, his family, and especially his parents, have always been very caring people.  They are constantly amazing him.

“So if you do adopt Blake, what is he going to need?”

Trace knows that Blake is starting all over again in this new city, so he’ll need a lot.

“Everything.  Blake has nothing except for a few clothes, a wallet, and a backpack.  He does have a coat, a hat and some gloves.  Keep in mind that he’s been on the streets for 3 to 4 months.  Ian and I are going to give him the guest room, so we won’t need a bed, but we’d like to get him as much of normal life with us as we can.  We’re going to get him a television, computer, bike, and a game system.  I know that sounds like a lot, but feel free to chip and get him whatever you might want to get him.  I’m sure he’ll love it.”

“Sounds like a plan!  There isn’t much time before Christmas.  I think we have 2 or 3 days.  Don’t worry son!  We’ll take care of our new grandson.”

“Thanks, Mom!  I need to go because Ian needs the phone.  Take care!”

With that, Trace hangs up the phone and kisses Ian.


Ian is also feeling very nervous as he dials the number for his parents’ house.  The phone rings three times before it’s picked up.

“Hello!” A female answers the phone and it sounds like his mother.

“Hi, Mom!”

“Ummm… no, this is Kelly.  We just got into town for Christmas,” Kelly says.

“Are the folks around?”

“Dad is, but Mom is out shopping with Adam and Erica.  Do you want to talk to Dad?”

Ian isn’t sure if he wants to talk with his dad or not.  His dad is the type of guy who hears about a problem and immediately wants to fix it, sometimes jumping in before he knows all the facts.  Still, the family has a right to know about Blake’s adoption.

“Yeah, let me talk to him.”

“Before I get him, are you and Trace okay?”

Kelly sounds really worried, so Ian answers her to put her mind at ease.

“We’re fine, there’s just something going on that I want them to be aware of.  Please just get Dad.”

Ian doesn’t want to get into the situation with Kelly before his dad has a chance to hear about it.

“Okay, okay!” Kelly says, as the phone is laid down on the nightstand.

Kelly is nice and everything, but she can spread stuff around like no other person can.  Gossiping aside, she has a heart of gold.  It doesn’t take long before the phone is picked up again.

“Hi, son, what’s new?”

“Hey Dad… ummm, you know how you and Mom wanted a grandchild from me so badly?”

Ian thought this might be a good way to start off this discussion.

“Uh… yeah, but please just tell me that there isn’t a lady out there carrying around your baby… or Trace’s.”

The imagery involved in that is not at all what Ian wanted this morning.  In fact, it left a nasty image in his mind.

“No Dad, we don’t have a baby in any oven.

He swears that he just heard a sigh of relief.  How relieved will his dad be when he finds out the reason for the phone call?

“Thank goodness!” his dad says.  Ian thinks the same thing.  A baby would change their lives forever.

“Dad, Trace and I are adopting a homeless kid.”

There, he said it.  Now he just has to wait for his dad’s reaction.

“Really?  Why?”

What do you mean ‘Why?’ Ian says to himself.  Isn’t this a good thing?

“We both saw the kid walking about the city a couple days ago.  We were able to give the kid a lunch and some money.”

“You gave him money?  Don’t you know what those kids do with money?”

He couldn’t believe his dad was talking like this.  Normally, his dad is very upbeat and nonjudgmental.

“Dad, he uses the money for bus fare to get from the shelter downtown to the alternative school on the other side of town.”

He hoped his dad was just trying to get Ian to think things through.

“So you’re taking a kid off the streets?”

Ian wasn’t getting the response that he was hoping for from his dad.  Dad was fine when he brought Trace over the first time, so what’s going on?

“Have Trace and you taken a step back and really thought this through?”

Hmm… maybe Dad was up to some trick after all.  Of course they have, Ian knows that he has thought this through every day and it always comes back to this: it’s the right thing to do.

“Yes Dad, Trace and I have discussed it on many occasions, and we always come to the same conclusion, that we need to bring Blake into our family.”

“Son, I’m worried.  This kid could be dangerous.  He could be on drugs.  You just don’t know.”

Why can’t he see that this is the right thing to do?

“Dad, Blake was kicked out of his home in Idaho because he’s gay.  His parents put him on a bus by himself and sent him to live with an aunt who just happens to be dead.  He’s been on the streets for quite some time now.”

It’s quiet and Ian doesn’t like it.  His dad is on the other side of the phone trying to take in how anyone could do that to their child.

“Son, you and Trace have my blessings.”

“Thanks, Dad!  I love you!  I need to… oh I almost forgot something.  We’re trying to piece together a room and a home suitable for a 15 year old boy.  We have a bed and, Trace and I are getting him a television, a bike, video system, and a computer.  Anything that you guys might want to get him would be great.”

“By the way, what is this kid’s name?”

“Oh… his name is Blake.  Dad, I need to let you go.  Thanks, Dad, I love you!”

“I love you too, son.”

Ian hangs up the phone and gives Trace a kiss on the cheek.


It feels good knowing that their families are willing to accept a kid, who they don’t even know, into their family.  Ian’s family has always been accepting of others, but they are also extremely cautious of strangers.  His parents almost became victims of a scam and would have been victims, had it not been for Trace appearing at their house.  He stopped by to drop something off for Ian while in uniform and scared off the scammer.  The scammer, by the way, was later arrested by one of Tylerville’s finest for scamming three elderly couples.  After all of this, Ian’s parents lost some of their trust in humanity.  The couple couldn’t be happier.  Trace expected a little bit of grief from his parents.  At one time, he heard them discussing gay adoption.  Neither one sounded like they were in favor of it.  He doesn’t know what changed, and he isn’t going to question it.  Doing that might just bring attention to it.  Now, that their families are on board, they need to figure out the next step.

It hits Trace that he forgot that he still needs to make one more call.  He places a call to Travis, his 24 year old brother.

“Hello Andrews residence, Karen speaking.”

Trace was hoping to catch Travis, but Karen will do.  She can be a bit odd at times.  She’s known for being very opinionated.

“Hi Karen, is Travis around?” he asks, hoping to talk with his brother.

“Yes, he is but he might be busy.”

And it starts; her attitude is showing through already.

“Well, can you check please?”

Trace doesn’t understand what his brother sees in that woman.  She has been rude to Trace and Ian from day one.  For Travis’s sake, Trace kind of ignores her.

“Hey Bro, what’s up?”

Travis is always energized and he never misses a beat.  He just hopes that Karen will stay out of this conversation.  It would be a miracle if she did though.  She just doesn’t have a clue.

“I’ve got some good, huge news!”

“Okay, let’s hear it,” Travis says, thinking that Trace and Ian are going on a cruise or something.

“Ian and I are going to adopt a kid.”

“No way!  Adopting?” Travis asked, hoping that he heard his brother correctly.  In the background, Trace could hear his sister-in-law mouthing off.

“Whatever they’re adopting had better have four legs.”

“Yeah, and you can tell Karen that we don’t want any more animals in the family,” Trace said, as his own attitude started to show through.

“Actually bro, I think that I’ll keep it between us.”

Trace is tired of his brother not standing up to his wife.  He thinks that Travis needs to tell her that she is out of line.

“So, anyway, you’re adopting?”

Travis wanted to get away from any discussion about Karen.

“Yeah, we’re a adopting a 15 year old.”

The future father has so much energy in his voice that it almost feels like he’s yelling into the phone.

“A boy, he’s a great kid.  You’ll really like him.  His name is Blake.”

Trace thinks that everyone except Karen will like him. He just has that type of a personality.

“When will Blake be joining the Andrews-Richards household?” Travis asked, thinking it would be cool to get Blake something for Christmas.

“I’m hoping to have him in the house by Christmas.”

Perfect, there’s still time to get this kid a Christmas present, Travis thinks.

“Cool beans, what should I get him for Christmas?”

“No… No, our money is going for our family, not their family.”  Again, Karen has to add her two cents into this conversation.

At this point, Trace has had it.  He can’t stand listening to her anymore.  At some point, she’ll use her venom to either talk about Blake or to say something directly to him and, he won’t allow that.

“Travis, put that phone to your wife’s ear, NOW!”

Trace’s anger is about to boil over.  His ability to control himself is quickly leaving him.  Travis has seen and heard his younger brother when he’s reached this point, and he knows that he wants nothing to do with it.

“I don’t think this is a good idea, Trace,” Travis said, knowing that he has to live with her.  Hmm… maybe, getting chewed out by Trace will teach Karen a lesson.  Trace was finally getting his chance to give Karen a piece of his mind.

He doesn’t want Blake to take anymore abuse, so she needs to know that her behavior isn’t welcome.  There has been quite a bit of silence on the phone.  He’s starting to wonder what was going on and then suddenly a woman’s voice comes back to the phone.

“Travis said you wanted to talk to me.”

The voice belonged to Karen.

“Yeah, I do want to talk to you, and you’re going to listen to me,” Trace told her and he meant it too.  If this doesn’t work, he isn’t sure what to do.  Now he needs to stay focused.

“I don’t know who you think you are, but this crap of bad mouthing me and my husband…”

“Husband?” Karen interrupts.

Trace quickly took the power from her though.

“No!  You will not interrupt me, now quiet!  You will start respecting me, my partner and our son-to-be or all that money that I offered for your business will disappear.  The money that we promised for your non-profit will vanish, as well as the money that our friends said they would donate will be gone.  And you know that cruise that you wanted to go on?  Well unless you cut your bitchy attitude, the cruise will turn into a campout in your backyard.”

There was a second of silence and then Karen’s attitude came back.

“You can’t go back on your promises.”

“Watch me! I can and will.”  He knows that he can’t back down from her.

It was quiet, maybe too quiet.  All he could was wait.

“You can keep your money.  Your brother, your nephew and I will not have anything to do with you, your partner and that piece of a trash that you’re adopting.  Goodbye!”

She has made an enemy out of family.  He wonders if Travis will stand up to her.  It may not be fair to bring Blake into a family where he has to deal with hate right from the start.  What Trace doesn’t realize is that there is more than enough love to fill in the gaps created by Karen.

Blake is loving every minute of this whole adoption saga.  Anyone who talks to Blake, hears about Trace and Ian, he just can’t help himself.  His excitement is very hard to miss.  It’s written all over his face.  The past few days have been a crazy ride.  Sometimes, he pinches himself to make sure he isn’t dreaming.  If this is a dream, he doesn’t want to wake up from it because if he does, it’s back to the streets.  He’s promised Mr. Hansen to never allow himself to be on the streets again.  Blake doesn’t know how to keep that promise, but he intends to.

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