Family: Chapter 8: Christmas Day image

Ian and Trace are sleeping soundly as Blake begins to stir. He wakes up and scans his new room. It’s amazing to him how much his life has changed in just a few weeks. His new dads are amazing. They’ve made him feel good about himself. Ian and Trace have done their best to help him feel comfortable in his new surroundings. Last night was great! He got to meet half of his new family. Today, he’ll meet the other half; Ian’s family. The magic of Christmas is all wound up inside of him, like a spring ready to snap. He has so much energy right now that it’s not even funny.

He quietly moves around the house, trying not to wake his dads. Making it to the living room, he plugged in the Christmas tree’s lights. The lights on the tree basked the room in a magical glow. He sat there just staring at the tree and the presents. The allure of the presents was too much for Blake to ignore. Scanning the pile, he found the section for him. His arms lifted each and every present and he gave each one a gentle shake. He couldn’t wait for the guys to wake up so he could open presents. But being a teenager, his mind quickly drifted to food.

Hunger moved Blake to the kitchen. Opening the fridge, he looked around for something to fix. He found bacon, eggs, and then he got an idea. He decided to make French toast. It didn’t take him long to get everything gathered up. In one pan, he cooked the bacon and in another pan he started cooking the French toast. The smell of the bacon wafted its way up the stairs to Trace’s nostrils. “Blake!” he said as he tried to ignore the smell of food moving through the house. Nudging Ian, Trace knew he couldn’t resist the smell of breakfast.

“What’s going on; is the house on fire?”

“Ian, the house isn’t on fire. Blake is working his magic in the kitchen again.”

Trace got up and put on his robe. He left the bedroom and went to take his shower. Ian followed his husband into the shower.

After their showers, the guys went downstairs to eat. They entered the dining room and found Blake already eating.

“Sorry, I was hungry.”

“No probs!” Ian understood that sometimes when you’re hungry, you just don’t want to wait on others to eat.

“You guys hungry?”

The two men just nodded their heads “Yes!” They sat down and started eating. Blake felt pretty good about himself. His dads didn’t seem to mind his cooking. In fact, they seemed to really enjoy the French toast and bacon. Once they had their fill, Blake headed into the living room. Ian and Trace quickly followed their son. Blake was sitting in the glow of the tree.

Looking at their son basked in the multi-colored lights put tears in Trace’s and Ian’s eyes. Blake was stuck in thought. His mind was busily trying to reach home. This place is great, but today he craves his mom’s and dad’s house. To put it simply, he still has ties to Idaho. Ties that at the moment were making him home sick again. Trace sneezed, which caught Blake’s attention.

Seeing his dads helped take the edge off his homesickness. Trace sat down to the left of his son. Ian sat next to Blake on the right.

“Are you ready to open some presents?”

“Yeah, I’m ready to see what you guys got for me.”

Blake looked at the presents and smiled. In Ian’s hand is a note telling Blake to look outside. He hands the note to his son. The young man looks outside, but sees nothing. Ian then taps him on the shoulder and he turns around. There in the living room is a mountain bike. Blake’s eyes become as large as saucers and he exclaims, “No way! I- I love it!”

Next, Trace hands Ian a present. Carefully Ian opens it, revealing a small box. Lifting the lid, Ian saw a small, round rock. To the untrained eye, it would appear to simply be a rock, but Ian knows that the rock is a fossil. He examines the fossil a bit longer and then smiles at Trace.

“Thanks, honey!”

“Umm… Dad, it’s just a rock.”

“It isn’t just a rock, Blake, it’s a fossilized sea urchin.”

‘Ian is such a geek!’ Blake thought to himself.

There were still a few presents underneath the tree. Trace looks at Blake and says, “Let’s get these presents opened.”

The remaining eight presents were piled up in front of him. Being the kid that he is, Blake went for the biggest present first. He tore off the paper revealing a basketball.

‘I hope they don’t honestly expect me to actually play basketball,’ he thinks. “Wow! Thank you!” he said. Trace bought the ball for him not knowing if he would like it or not.
Blake picked up another present and opened it up. Pencils, erasers, colored pencils, and a sketch pad; his eyes got wide. He was in love. His dads were trying to cover all his basic interests. Blake hugged is dads in turn. “You knew!” he exclaimed.

Ian is hoping that Blake will like his next present. He removed the paper from the gift and smiled big again. This present contained a cookbook. No one had ever given him his own cookbook. He couldn’t believe it. His biological dad wanted him to go into law or computing, not cooking. He loved cooking. Trace handed him an envelope. He opened it and found a card and within it was a small 3×5 card that read “Free Cooking Lessons For A Month”. Blake wanted to cry.

“Thanks guys!” was all he could say without tears.

One last present, he tore the gift wrap off the present and he saw the box. His mind was racing now. The box read “Canon SX40 HS 12.1 MP”. Now the tears really started to come. These guys gave him a new life and a chance to really get into his hobbies. He was sobbing full-fledged tears.

Ian and Trace hadn’t planned on Blake’s tears. They guessed at best that he would be happy. They saw the tears, but failed to see they were happy tears.

“Blake!” Trace said.

“What’s wrong?” Ian asked.

“Ian, Trace, I’m fine!”

Blake wiped away his tears. He watched as his dads opened their presents. Trace bought two for Ian and Ian bought two for Trace. In their simple act of giving, the love they had for each other really showed through. Love like this; he’s seen it once or twice in his life. His parents, people at church, and his grandparents were his example of love up to this point. Now love lives in the hearts of his new parents. Today, he’ll meet Ian’s parents, and celebrate the day with them. More importantly, the day will be spent with his dads. Ian forgot to wrap one of Blake’s presents. He disappeared upstairs and came back down. In his hands he had a cellphone.

“We forgot something, son.” Ian said, and he handed the phone to his son.

“Too cool, thanks!”

“It’s already preloaded with everyone’s numbers so there no excuses to not keep in contact.”

“Dads, a month ago I was despondent because I thought I’d be spending Christmas on the streets. I can’t begin to tell you two how much I love you both. You love me for who I am, not what I am.”

“Son,” Trace began, “Ian and I had always intended to adopt a son. When we saw you on the streets, we knew you were the one.”

“And we couldn’t have made a better choice,” Ian concluded.

Blake was happy with everything he got, but the poinsettia in the living room was crying out to be sketched.

Blake has always loved to draw. His arm rested for just a second as he put the phone away. When his hand returned to the pencil, the plant came to life on the sketch pad. His birth parents were supportive, but they never quite made him feel good about his interests. With Trace and Ian, his talents will be allowed to flourish. More importantly, Ian and Trace are willing to let him flourish. They want him to grow by allowing him to explore and expand on his interests.

It was time, once again, for the family to travel to the grandparents’ house. After experiencing Trace’s family, Blake wasn’t worried about what Ian’s family might say or do. For that matter, Ian and Trace weren’t worried either.

“Are we going to sing on our way to your parents’ house?”

“Only if you want to, Blake.”

Ian turned on the radio and he and Blake sang songs as Trace drove down the highway. For over an hour, the trio traveled towards the town where Ian’s family now lived.

When they pulled up to the house, Blake got out, ready to jump into the Richards family. Ian and Trace had to run to catch up with their son. Trace was glad to see Blake eager to get inside and interact with the Ian’s family. Ian was just happy that there was no one like Karen in his family. His mom and dad are among the nicest people in the world. Some of that has even rubbed off on his older brother Tony. Blake knocked on the front door and a young kid answered the door. The kid was going to ask who the teenager was until he saw his uncles with him.

“Got anything for me?”

“No way, Adam!” Ian said jokingly.

“I guess you can come inside!”

Adam stepped away from the entrance.

They walked into the house and saw a banner strung across the foyer that read “WELCOME HOME BLAKE!” Blake was in awe over the banner. His dads thought it was a bit much. Adam ran to get everyone. Soon the foyer was filled with the entire Richards clan.

“Introduce us!” an older woman said to Ian.

“Everyone, this is Blake. Blake this is my family, like them or not.”

Trace chuckled silently. He loves Ian’s family, but they tend to go overboard at times. He’s almost certain that they’ll make a huge thing out of this Christmas being Blake’s first one with the family. Once the introductions were done, everyone separated and went back to doing their own thing.

Ian’s mom called everyone to the feast. Within a couple minutes everyone was gathered around the table. The food was pretty typical holiday fare, minus the ham. As usual Blake ate his fill. The adults talked amongst themselves and the kids were sort of ignored. Blake wasn’t use to this at all. One thing different about today, compared with dinner at Trace’s parents’ house, was that here he had a 10 year old shadow. Apparently, Grandma Richards doesn’t mess around because after dinner, she told Grandpa Richards, Ian, Trace, and another guy to clear the tables.

Everyone gathered into the living room. Adam, Blake’s ten year old shadow, sat right next to him. He sat quietly at first and then his mouth started moving.

“Finally, I got a cool cousin.”

“I’m not all that cool!”

“Maybe not, but you’re my oldest cousin.”

All of Adam’s cousins are on his mom’s side of the family, and they’re all under the age of 8. He’s just glad to have someone who might let him hang out on occasion.

“So you play any cool games?”

“Sims 3, World of Warcraft, and a few Xbox 360 games are all I play.”

Adam reminded Blake of his own brothers.

It didn’t take long for the guys to clear the table and soon the family was gathered around together. Presents were passed out by Ian’s mom. Once again, Blake’s were held to last. Ian’s parents got him some clothes. His aunt and uncle got him a photo editing software package. His great grandparents got him a skateboard. While he loved all the presents, the photo editing software was his favorite. He’s hoping to get a lot of use out of it. Ian looked at his son and thought to himself, ‘Is he happy being with us?’ If Ian had ever slept in a house where the windows had been knocked out, he wouldn’t be asking himself that question. Of course Blake is happy being with Trace and Ian. He loves the fact that his parents are gay. For now, Blake is thankful for the love and support from his dads.

Ian and Trace were talking to Ian’s parents and Blake wasn’t doing much of anything. He pulled out a pencil and unfolded a piece of paper from his pocket. The wreath hanging over the front door offered him a great subject to sketch.

‘I need to ask them about a painting class for my birthday.’

Blake was so into his drawing that he failed to notice Adam and Erica, Adam’s 8 year sister, looking over his shoulder. He had enough time to rough sketch it.

“Wow! That is pretty cool!” Adam said, as he looked from the paper to the wreath.

A softer voice asked “Can I keep it?” Blake would have liked to have kept the drawing but Erica wanted it.

“Here you go!”

As Blake handed her the drawing it was time to head home.

Blake felt tired, so he closed his eyes the minute he had his seat belt on. Ian looked at Trace.

“We have one week before school starts again, so we need to get him registered.”

“Do you want me to go with you?”


“Okay then!”

Blake is now fast asleep. Ian is glad that Blake seemed happy at his parents’ house and that he is happy in general. Sure, there are some minor issues with Karen, but they can handle her. They are the ones who have to care for Blake now.

When they got home Trace woke Blake up and they went into the house. Trace looked at Ian and started to speak.

“Want to do our tradition or not?”

“You know that I do.”

Blake was still a little groggy, but he was glad that he belonged to a family that honored traditions. Six minutes later, Trace came into the living room with a tray loaded with hot chocolate, and then he went to the entertainment center and pulled two DVDs. He stuck one into the player and sat down on the couch. Ian joined him on the couch and they snuggled together. Blake sat down on the floor and, for the first time, shared in their tradition. The rest of the evening was spent watching It’s A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol.


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Let me know what you think of the story by emailing me at
I want to thank everyone who has emailed. I also want to thank those who have read the story. It means a lot hearing from you. Please continue reading! There is a lot more to come. I own all rights to this story.
Chuck B.

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