Is This Really Happening?
We Can Make It ‘Til The End
Is This Really Happening?
There are visuals in the text of this chapter.
It had been on your mind a lot, recently. Nagging at late night thoughts and contemplations. Pestering you to discuss with Niall, yet worsening with each day you ceased to talk to him. It wasn’t that you didn’t want to tell Niall. He was your husband, the man you told absolutely everything to, and you trusted him wholeheartedly. It was that you didn’t know how to tell him what was wracking through your brain.
Starting to teach, in a classroom setting, had been a struggle from time to time, especially when you initially began the career. You couldn’t be there to rescue Elodie from her college, during a feminine emergency, or you wouldn’t be home to tend to Oliver’s needs, when his diabetes had been acting up. However, it filled your heart with joy to begin a path where you were able to positively impact the young and creative minds of children, specifically the youngest of children needing a foundation for their future years.
In the middle of your third year in your classroom, the headmistress informed you of a new student that would be joining your classroom. Deaglan Pane. He had recently aged to be five years old, a year less than Adie, and needed to be taught with care and nurture, as his young life had been filled with instability and a lack of love. One day before his fourth birthday, his mother and father dropped him at a foster care shelter, claiming that “he couldn’t be loved, anymore”. His family declined to care for him, love him, and accept him into their lives for forever. He had abandonment insecurities, with the constant fear that a person he loved would leave him or not love him in return. He was sweet, intelligent, and incredibly loving. He wished to learn and prosper. It made your heart ache each day, because, before he would leave the class during his dismissal, he would shuffle towards you timidly, hugging you tight, whispering a soft ‘I love you’, before leaving with the caretaker at his home.
Adoption had never crossed your mind prior to meeting him. You had always been extremely fortunate to have the ability to become pregnant and carry your own babies, that the idea of bringing another child into your home, and joining him or her into your family hadn’t been the slightest of thought. had completely altered your point of view. You wished that you would be able to bring him home with you, to your loving and caring children, to your husband, who would save every child, if he had been able to. You wanted to be a mother to him, to kiss every minor injury, soothe him after a nightmare, comfort him during bouts of colds and flus. You dreamed of being able to give him a home, give him a family, that would love him forever.
“What’s goin’ on in t’at mind of yours?” Niall mumbles, his index finger brushing a stray piece of hair from your cheek, his tired gaze settled upon your features. “There’s somet’ing wrong t’at you’re not telln’ me. Baby, you tell me everyt’ing. We can fix whatever the problem is. Y’know t’at, right?”
“I want to adopt Deaglan,” you mumble, your sentence jumbled as it rolls off of your tongue, your heart rate speeding, your fingers beginning to shake as you scan Niall’s confused expression. “I want to adopt that little boy in my class.”
“Where is t’is comin’ from? I didn’t even know you were t’inking about t’is. What has made you contemplate t’is?” he wonders, his eyebrows furrowing together in confusion, his fingertips running through his hair harshly. “Baby, it’s a lot of time and effort to adopt. Y’know t’at, right?”
“Of course, I know, that. I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot, lately. Cuddles, this little boy has absolutely no one that cares for him. He lives in a home with a couple twice our age. These people volunteered to care for him, only because money is given to foster families. He is so sweet and loving. Niall, I love him. I love him as if he is my own child. That has never happened to me, before. Deaglan deserves to have a nurturing home, with a mother, a father, and loving siblings,” you explain, your heart pouring into every word your spoke, your figure manoeuvring through his grip, resting your bum on the mattress, your gaze meeting his, his fingertips moving to trace circles on your thighs as he intently listens.
“I love you, so much, do you know t’at? I have never met a woman so caring, loving, nurturing, and intelligent as you. I feel so lucky to have you as my wife, for the rest of my life,” Niall begins, deeply inhaling, closing his eyes momentarily, before continuing. “If you truly want to try to adopt this boy, we can try. We cannot get our hopes up, okay? We need to talk about this with the little ones, first, yeah?”
“Oh my gosh,” you grin, your hazel orbs beginning to brim with tears, your hands cupping his cheeks, your thighs swinging over his hips, your chest pressed against his. “I love you more than anything, in this entire world, do you know that? I have never met a man as selfless as you. I cannot believe this. Thank you so much. I promise you, you’re going to fall in love with him, too.”
“Y’a don’t need to t’ank me, baby. I know t’at t’is means a lot to y’a. if it’s important to you, it’s important to me. We can find a way to do t’is,” Niall smiles, kissing your forehead sweetly, his knees bending upwards, your torso being moved forward, your lips touching his.
“Niall, you cheeky thing. You did that on purpose,” you mumble, refusing to remove your mouth from his, light kisses being shared between words. “I love you.”
“God, Mum! Will you shut the door next time?” Elodie screeches, loud giggles eliciting from Niall’s lips and yours, your palms pressing flat against his chest, your back leaning against his thighs as you sit upright.
“What’s wrong, Elle?” you grin, winking at Niall playfully, your figure moving off of his instinctively, your toes pressing into the ground as you pad across the carpeted floor.
“Lacey is havin’ a nightmare, again. She was asking for Dad. She wants him to sing her to sleep,” she sighs, exhaustion evident in her features, her sisterly instincts waking her from her sleep as she heard her younger sister crying in the bedroom beside her.
“Alright,” Niall grins, his heart warming, his mind shuffling through the multitude of songs that would help Lacey fall asleep. “I’ll be back.”
“Give her a kiss, for me, okay?” you whisper, pressing your lips to the corner of his lips, a squeak leaving your mouth, as his lips swiftly touch yours. “Alright, Cuddles. Go sing our daughter to sleep.”
“I will,” he grins, shuffling across the bedroom, before opening the oak door and passing through the door frame. “I’ll be back soon.”
“Why are we all together like this?” Oliver stresses, his knee bouncing as he settles on the settee, earning a smack on his head from Mikey, who lodged himself between the arm of the chair and his older brother. “Did someone die?”
“Is someone sick?” Elodie questions, her eyebrows furrowing together in confusion, her forearms wrapped around Adie’s torso, her lips pressed against her temple sweetly.
“Sunshine, no. No one is sick. Everyone is healthy. I promise,” you begin, lacing your fingers with Niall’s, wiggling your form secretively, making yourself comfortable on the short loveseat located in the corner of your lounge.
“We, um, we wanted to talk to you about somet’ing, before we do it,” Niall mutters, coughing slightly, his fingertips tapping against his thighs nervously. “We want to foster and possibly adopt a little boy t’at Mumma knows.”
“It’s a boy?” Michael wonders, a wide smile spreading across his features in excitement. “We have to do it, if it’s a boy?”
“It’ll be a little brother? Mumma can we? I want a little brother!” Lacey grins, skipping across the carpet, hugging Niall tightly, giggling as he tickles her sides, lifting her onto his thigh easily.
“What’s his name?” Elle questions, her tone excited yet nervous, the anticipation of a new sibling building in her belly.
“Deaglan Christopher Pane,” you sigh, your heart wrenching at the thought of the story that you would have to tell your children. “He’s five. He’s a very sweet and loving boy. He’s never had any sisters or brothers, before, which means, that if he does come, we need to be extra patient. Okay?”
“Whatever we need to do, Mum,” Oli nods, his lips curving upwards, his nerves beginning to fade away. “Should we start fixing the guest bedroom?”
“Dad and I need to speak his case worker, first, bubba. We have to learn about his past, his medical needs, his family history. We have to know everything we possibly can, before we bring him home, y’know?” you add, butterflies flowing through your tummy, your excitement building with your children’s. “Dad and I have sent in our paperwork, and one day this week, when you all are in school, a worker is going to come here to observe the house. She wants to make sure that we are safe and loving people. It will take a few months to fully adopt him, but hopefully he will be able to come home with us in the next few weeks.”
“Mumma and I have t’ought about this a lot,” Niall begins, his mind formulating his sentences as he speaks, his heart dropping to his stomach with anxiety. “We t’ink t’at it would be really amazing for us to adopt t’is little boy. He deserves a home. I t’ink we can give him one.”
“Let’s do it.”
“Niall! Niall, come in here! Oh my God,” you whisper, tears falling down your cheeks, a smile plastered onto your features, your fingertips glued to the trackpad of your laptop, your figure stuck to the chair located in front of Niall’s desk in his office.
“What’s wrong?” he rushes, his arms clothed in oven mitts, the old, hole-covered, white tee-shirt settled on his torso pulling upwards, the slight chub on his hips being seen from your peripheral vision. “What’s wrong? I had t’ put Oli in charge of the pasta sauce. We might be ordering in for dinner.”
“We’ve been approved. We’re getting him. We’re going to be able to adopt Deaglan,” you mumble, stumbling from the seat, wrapping your arms around Niall’s neck, excited tears falling onto his tanned skin, the comfort of his kisses on your temple causing your heart to flutter.
“Baby, this is amazing,” he mutters, squeezing your torso tightly, before leaning his head back, his mouth opening to speak. “Can I read the e-mail?”
“Of course,” you grin, stepping to the glass desk, rummaging around your inbox swiftly, opening the long-awaited message, your belly filling with butterflies as you reread the words on the screen.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Horan,
We are pleased to inform you that your foster and adoption application has been approved by the Adoption Panel of England. Deaglan Christopher Pane will be available for you to bring to your family and home in twenty-four hours. We expect for your family to open this child with open arms, with loving, supporting members of a family. He is a child to love as your own, despite the knowledge of his biological background. YOU are his parents. He is YOUR child. We trust that you will be careful and attentive during his time of adjustment, that you will take care of his needs, and understand that he may need additional medical attention during his time of understanding.
We thank you for your generous ability to care for a child. It is one of the greatest gifts you may give to another young person in need.
We look forward to his future with your family.
Stockport Adoption Agency
“Daddy?” Adelaide whispers, her fingertips gripping onto her stuffed teddy bear, her small figure tucked in by her comforter, her hair splayed over her pillow carelessly. “Why did Deaglan’s mummy and daddy give him away?”
“I’m not sure, sweet pea,” Niall sighs, soothingly rubbing his thumb across her forehead, his knees bent to his side, his toes barely touching the floor, his palm resting on her mattress for support. “Sometimes, t’ere are mummies and daddies t’at don’t want to be mummies and daddies, anymore. Sometimes, t’ere are mummies and daddies t’at don’t love t’eir babies, so t’ey give t’em to people t’at will.”
“But, you and Mumma love me, and Lace, and Elle, and Oli, and Mikey. So, are you going to love Deaglan, too?” she ponders, her eyes drifting shut as she begins to fall asleep, willing herself to hear the answer to her question.
“We are, precious. We’re goin’ to love him, exactly like we love you,” Niall grins, his heart filling with love for his youngest daughter, pressing a kiss to her cheek lovingly, before standing from his position, slowly walking towards the bedroom door, turning the nightlight on, before turning her main light off. “G’night, Adie. I love you.”
“I love you, Daddy.”
“Mrs. Horan, I am sad to hear that you are resigning from your position, however, I find it remarkably admirable how you and your husband are fostering Deaglan,” the headmistress, Catherine Rence, states, a smile curving her lips upwards, a nod of her head acknowledging your decision, slowly retrieving the paperwork from your hold. “There is always a position open for you, when you wish to return.”
“I appreciate that, so much, Miss Rence. Thank you for all of your support these past three years. It has been remarkable working, here,” you grin, your fingertips itching with excitement, your foot tapping subconsciously, the anticipation to meet Deaglan at the care centre, bring him home to your family, and love him as he should’ve been loved his entire life, beginning to flow through your veins.
“We will all miss you dearly,” she adds, her tone soft and understanding, her eyes travelling towards the open window, where she could see Niall in the driver’s seat of your vehicle, patiently waiting for you to join him. “I will let you go, now. I hope to see you soon.”
“Thank you, again, for everything. I will see you soon.”
“What do you think he looks like?” Oli whispers, his voice raspy and low, the change in octaves beginning to finish, his growth in slight facial hair becoming apparent to his girlfriend, as well as his family members. “Do you think he’ll look similar to us? I heard Mum and Dad talking to the case worker, and she was saying that he’s fully Irish. He’ll have to look somewhat like us, right?”
“I hope so,” Michael mumbles, his eyes directed upon his maths worksheet, the small period of time he had been given to complete his homework between lessons being taken advantage of fully, the lack of will to finish work at home proving to be detrimental to his marks. “He’s already had a rough life. It would be even worse if he was adopted into a family that he looking absolutely, nothing like.”
“Elle was saying that she saw a picture of him on Mum’s laptop, the other day. He has brown hair and blue eyes,” Oliver adds, secretively sliding his iPhone from his pocket, his fingertips tapping at his screen impatiently, struggling to find the photograph that had been taken of Deaglan at his third birthday. “He could be our little brother, for sure.”
“Look at him,” Mikey chimes, his index finger touching the screen, his fingertip focusing his brother’s attention on the candid. “He has the attitude of a Horan lad. He was meant for our family.”
“I really hope we meet him soon,” Oliver mumbles, shoving his mobile into his jeans, rummaging around in his bag for his notebook, a pencil lodged in between the pages that he had been instructed to work on.
“I do, too.”
“You seem quite excited about this,” Carter smiles, lacing his fingers through Elodie’s sweetly, his pressing a kiss to her cheek swiftly, his pace matching hers as they walk to their next class on campus.
“I am,” Elodie grins, her gaze directed to Carter’s, her heart swelling with love as she speaks to him. “He doesn’t have a family, y’know? It’s not fair that a five-year old doesn’t have a loving family. Mum and Dad have put in months of dedication and work into meeting him, making him feel comfortable, showing him that there are parents that will love him, specifically themselves. I think it’s going to be amazing.”
“I can’t wait to meet him,” he mumbles, wrapping his arms around her torso sneakily, hugging her tightly against his chest, swinging her in a circle around him. “You’re going to be an amazing mother.”
“I’d hope so. If we’re going to have three children, I’m going to have to be somewhat decent,” she giggles, cupping his cheeks in her hands, pressing her lips against his, a wide grin plastered on her features.
“Who said we were having three?” he smirks, quirking his eyebrow upwards in suspicion, his heart fluttering with the thought of building a future with the love of his life. “Considering you are the partner having the babies, I’m going to leave that decision up to you, after careful deliberation. All I need you to do, is tell me when you want to start.”
“Carter!” she squeaks, smacking his chest playfully, her cheeks burning red, her belly filled with butterflies at the comment. “I cannot believe you said that, out loud, in the middle of the University campus.”
“I am, simply, stating what needs to be said,” he chuckles, kissing the corner of her lips, once more, before interlocking their hands, continuing their path towards the remaining class of the day.
“This is my house?” Deaglan whispers, his fingers laced with yours, Niall’s face featuring a wide smile, his key ring held on his index finger, his eyelashes batting against his cheeks as he admires the boy’s expression. “We live here?”
“We do,” you grin, soothingly rubbing your thumb against the back of his hand, allowing Niall to unlock the front door, before shuffling inside, helping Deaglan untie his trainers, stepping out of the dirty pair carefully, before taking your sandals off, placing the pair beside his shoes, watching as Niall followed suit. “We made you a bedroom. Do you want to see?”
“For me?” he ponders, his eyebrows furrowing together in confusion.
“All for you, buddy,” Niall grins, scooping Deaglan into his arms, accepting the embrace that he was sharing, his heart warming with love for this boy that he could, now, call his son. “Let’s go see it.”
“Is she going to come with us?” he mumbles, smiling widely, his head nodding towards you, where you stood locking the wooden door, sorting your handbag on the glass table on the adjacent wall. “Can she come with us?”
“Mumma will come with us, yeah,” Niall announces, winking in your direction, a loving smile being shared between you, as you lead the path to the upper level, shuffling through the corridor to the final bedroom door, opening it slowly, giggling quietly at the sound of a gasp eliciting from Deaglan’s lips, witnessing the reaction as Niall sets him on his feet.
“Oh my gosh,” he smiles, his tiny feet running towards the bed frame, climbing onto the newly washed duvet, which has been specifically picked by his brothers. “Is this my bed?”
“Mhm,” you hum, leaning into Niall’s figure, your arms wrapping around his torso, your cheek leaning onto his shoulder. “This is your bedroom. It’s all yours.”
“I’ve never had my own bed, before,” he mutters, slowly grabbing the stuffed teddy bear, clutching his close to his chest. “This is mine, too? No one will take this from me?”
“No,” you smile sadly, padding across the carpet, settling yourself beside his small form, on the mattress, heart melting for Deaglan, a little boy that had needed a family, but has, now, found your own, “but if one of your brothers or sisters do, I want you to tell me, yeah? Daddy will kick their bums,” you giggle, kissing his forehead sweetly, praying that the small signs of affection would be accepted, sighing heavily when he begins to giggle, as well.
“When do my sisters and brothers come home?” he wonders, his bright, blue orbs gazing into your hazel eyes, your love for him growing with each moment that passed.
“Well, Elodie and her boyfriend, Carter, should be coming home from University in a few minutes. Oliver and Michael will go pick up Lacey and Adelaide from primary school, in about ten minutes. After that, all four will come back home. Everyone will be home fairly soon,” you grin, standing onto your feet, readjusting your jeans onto your hips, before turning on your heel, an unexpected tug on your fingertips drawing your attention. “What’s wrong?”
“Can I, um, can I come with you to make dinner?” he stutters nervously, his stare directed towards the floor as he awaits a response, mentally preparing himself for a denial.
“Of course,” you smile, leaning downwards, lifting him onto your hip, your forearm resting beneath his bum, your heart swelling as he presses his lips to your cheek. “Thank you for the kiss.”
“It’s your turn, D,” Elle smiles, her fingertips resting on Carter’s, his arms wrapped around her waist as she rests on his lap. “Mikey, help him.”
“Alright, bud. What we’re goin’ to do is yank this blue stick out the hole really, really quick, and try really hard not to let any marbles fall, okay?” Mikey explains, a grin plastered on his face as he helps his younger brother, who had been attached at his hip, as soon as he stepped inside the door. “Ready? One, two, three!”
“Boys are goin’ to beat us, again,” Lacey groans, her head falling onto the cushion of the settee, earning a loud laughter from her family around the lounge, Oliver’s face burning red as he chuckles. “You’re not very good at this game, Elle.”
“Hey!” Elodie giggles, wrapping her arms around her younger sister, squeezing her tightly in a hug, kissing her head playfully, smiling widely as she brushes her fingers through her hair. “I love you!”
“I love you, too,” she mumbles, slowly reaching for another rod, throwing her hands into the air as the remainder of the multi-coloured marbles roll into her space. “I quit!”
“T’ere’s no need to quit, Lace,” Niall chuckles, huffing out a breath as Adie pushes into his legs, her arms wrapped tight around his waist, hugging his form, her cheek pressed into his hip. “It’s time for bed.”
“Dad,” Mikey whines, turning his head towards his father, a frown covering his features, his arms pressing down against the carpeted floor, “you’ve got to be kidding me.”
“I’m sorry to say t’at I’m not kidding,” Niall smirks, nodding his head towards the wooden staircase behind him, watching through his peripheral vision as you turn the kitchen lights off, your house slowly becoming darker nearing the time for sleep. “We will come in and say goodnight, as soon as everyone is in their beds.”
“Mumma? Daddy?” Deaglan whispers, drawing your attention, as well as Niall’s, your eyes brimming with tears as you listen to his soft voice.
“Hmm? What did you say?” Niall coos, padding across the freshly decorated bedroom, kneeling beside his bed frame, his chin resting on his forearms, which had been crossed and laid on top of the mattress.
“Mumma and Daddy. That’s what my brothers and sisters call you. I thought that was what I should call you, too,” he mutters, leaning his chin against his chest with embarrassment.
“Deaglan,” Niall sighs, his heart breaking for the scared, young boy, in front of him, “you’re right. Those are our names. You’re a part of our family, now. You have sisters and brothers, Mumma, and me. We’re your family.”
“I don’t want to leave,” he mumbles, his bottom lip wobbling, tears beginning to fall down his cheeks. “I like it here.”
“You don’t have to leave, bud,” Niall softly smiles, opening his arms, graciously accepting an embrace, his lips cautiously pressing a kiss to the crown of his head, scared that the sign of affection would be rejected. “You never have to leave.”
“I love you,” he coughs, slowing his breathing, the tears beginning to dry on his skin, his arms still locked around Niall’s shoulders.
“We love you, too.”
Hello, my loves.
Surprise! Niall and the Missus have begun the process to adopt a little boy. I am excited to share the journey of Niall, the Missus, and all of the Horan children as another child is added to their family. It is a whirlwind of emotions, but I promise you, there is so much love to share between this family, that it will tug at your heartstrings and make you entirely happy with Niall.
If you have any feedback, commentary, suggestions, requests, or questions, you can message me, here.
All of my love, as always,