The incident with Hannah's parents shook her up quite a bit. Even though she knew they were behind bars she was still terrified to sleep at night. "What if they find me again?" She would always ask at night before going to bed. She wouldn't fall asleep unless Freddie or I were at her side at night. The one silver lining of this whole trauma was seeing how close Hannah was becoming to Freddie. Freddie has always been more nurturing than I am. He had a way of comforting Hannah that I was incapable of. When she would wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare she would call out for Freddie. As soon as he heard her calling out his name he would hold her, rocking her and whispering comforting words to her until she fell asleep again. His ability to make her tears disappear was truly magical.
Watching Freddie with Hannah made me confident in his ability to be a father to Hannah but I sometimes questioned mine. Freddie was so eager and ready to talk to Hannah about the possibility of us adopting her but I was still a little nervous. Our lives would forever be changed adopting Hannah. But I knew they would be changed for the better Even though my ability to comfort Hannah wasn't up to par with Freddie's, I sensed that Hannah saw me as her protector. The police came several times to ask her questions and she would always insist that I stay with her. When she would have nightmares she would want Freddie to hold her but she wouldn't fall asleep until she was certain I was in the room. She was right I would never let anything happen to her, I would hate myself if any harm were to come to her. She had already been through so much pain in her life I didn't want her going through anymore.
Freddie and I had been living at the hospital for the past few weeks staying at Hannah's bedside. I had prolonged her discharge for a while in my attempt to keep her from going into state care. I knew I couldn't keep this going on forever though. Freddie and I had decided to head home for a few hours to freshen up while Eliot kept Hannah company. On the ride home in his usual bluntness Freddie asked me, "so when are we bringing her home?" All I could do was scoff at him. "Alan, we both know that we want to adopt her, for Christ's sake I over heard you talking with an adoption lawyer over the phone." He was right I had already started the process but I was still terrified. "Freddie, I'm scared what if we aren't good parents, what if she doesn't even want to live with us?" Freddie in his usual fashion calmed me staying, "darling, we've already been parents to her these past weeks. I'm confident she'll want to live with us, she always wants to be around us. It won't be easy but we can do this." "Alright then, it's settled. As soon as we go back to the hospital we're going to ask Hannah if she wants us to adopt her," I replied. Freddie simply had a cheeky grin on his face. We entered our home to our cats eagerly meowing to us and rubbing on Freddie. I hoped for Freddie's sake that Hannah did well with cats as he loved them so dearly. Our cat Samson was Freddie's favorite, he was the king of the house and I was nervous how he would react to our new princess.
After we freshened up a bit and got a change a cloths we headed out for the hospital. "Freddie we have so much to do!" I said to him on our ride back. "For Christ's sake we don't even have a bedroom ready for her," I told him. "Oh darling don't you worry about that, I've already ordered bedroom furniture." he told me. "Really Fred? We weren't even certain until today we were bringing her home," I told him. "Darling, our mind was made up. I just ordered the essentials and I figured we let her pick the rest. I just wish I knew what her favorite color is so I could pick out some paint," Freddie said. "It's purple" I told him. "Look at you, out fathering me already," Freddie told me. I couldn't help but smile at that.
We got back to the hospital and saw Hannah happily playing with Eliot and her elephant. Eliot told us he was leaving and I knew it was time to "pop the question" to Hannah. Before I approached Hannah, Freddie whispered in my ear, "you'll do great." "Hannah, sweetheart we need to talk about something important. Can you be a good listener for me?" I asked her to which she nodded her head. "Hannah, we need to talk about where your going to live," I told her. "But I live here, this is my new home," she replied innocently. "Hannah darling you can't live in the hospital forever pretty soon you will have to leave and live in a house," I told her. She looked a bit shaken up when she heard this and nervously replied, "but I want to stay here with you and Freddie!" "Shh shh darling it's okay, that's what Alan and I wanted to ask you about," Freddie said putting his arms around her. "Hannah, how would you like to live with Freddie and I?" I asked her. Her confused expression worried me until she replied, "but I thought you live here?" Freddie and I looked at each other and chuckled. "No darling, Alan and I live in a house, where you'll have your own room and a big backyard," Freddie told her. "I'll get to stay with both of you?" she replied. "Yes Hannah, if that's what you want," I told her. "Yes. That's what I want," she replied.