Freddie and I were over the moon when Hannah told us she wanted us to adopt her. Freddie wasted no time in having Hannah flip through catalogues to pick out things for her room. The adoption moved forward without any obstacles. It would take a few months for the adoption to be finalized but the courts agreed to place Hannah in our care while the adoption was being finalized. In fact they were quite eager to place Hannah with us as they knew given Hannah's circumstances she would be "difficult to place." Freddie and I couldn't be more happy. Ever since we officially became a family Hannah took to calling me Papa and Freddie, Daddy. Nothing brought me greater joy than hearing her call us Daddy and Papa. It was also lovely to see how giddy Freddie got when he heard Hannah call him Daddy. She truly had him wrapped around her finger; every time I heard her call out, "Daddy," Freddie always replied with, "Yes my darling princess?"
While my delay in Hannah's discharge kept her out of state care and made it easier to get her placed with Freddie and I, there was an unintended consequence: the psych department. After Leon had evaluated Hannah the entire psych department got wind of Hannah and her unique circumstances and they were eager to observe her in person. I know it wasn't Leon's fault as he's required to report his cases to his superiors. When his supervisor got word that's when the graduate students descended. To them Hannah was a rarity in the psych world and they wanted to soak up every bit of her. Hannah hated when they came; it makes her anxious and scared to be looked at by so many strangers. It's also dehumanizing to have them talk about her as if she's not in the room. One PhD student, Sandy, took a particular fascination to Hannah. Leon informed me that Sandy practically begged her supervisor to be assigned to work with Hannah and she got her wish. I really never understood the point of Sandy's work with Hannah; all she seemed to do was ask her lots of questions and run language drills with her. Hannah dreaded when Sandy came. It's rare that Hannah is left without Freddie or I at her side but Sandy always found that rare window when Hannah was without us and swooped in. Her excuse was she didn't want Hannah to be "distracted by us" and Hannah was more focused when she was one on one with Sandy. I called bullshit. Sandy overworked Hannah and wanted to exhausted her so she would have more material for her dissertation. Their were multiple times I found Hannah crying with Sandy telling her how tired she was: Sandy sometimes worked Hannah late into the night. The worst incident of all was when Sandy took away Hannah's elephant, Ellie, and refused to give it back until Hannah did the drills "properly"
The incident with Ellie happened to coincide when Freddie and I had legal custody of Hannah and for Freddie it was the last straw. We walked in and found Hannah balling her eyes out reaching for Ellie which Sandy put on a place too high for Hannah to reach. I witnessed the fury in Freddie's eyes when he saw what Sandy had done. He angrily grabbed Ellie from the shelf and picked Hannah up, giving her back Ellie. He first turned his attention to Hannah, comforting her saying, "there, there it's alright princess, Daddy's here now." Sandy had yet to hear Hannah call us Daddy and Papa and seemed a bit taken a back when she heard Freddie call himself Daddy. "That's it! This stops now, I don't want you stepping foot near Hannah again," Freddie barked at Sandy. "Excuse me, you have no authority to make that decision," "Actually we do. As of a few hours ago we have been named as Hannah's legal guardians," I replied to her. Sandy looked infuriated by this news as her dissertation specimen would now be unavailable; all she could utter was a bewildered, "what?!" "Hannah has gone through enough, its time she spent some time in a normal, loving family," I told Sandy.
"Do you hear yourself Alan, a normal family?!?" Sandy replied. I knew she was referring to my and Freddie's sexuality. "She will be in a home with two people who love and care for her dearly. She won't be seen and simply a specimen for a graduate dissertation," I bit back. Sandy's face turned beet red when I said that. "Now you heard my husband, please leave; your days with Hannah are over." I sharply told Sandy. All Sandy could do was angrily gather her things and storm out. Freddie and I turned out attention back to Hannah trying to calm her down. She was still in Freddie's arms as he bounced her and rubbed circles on her back. "Papa?" She managed to whimper out. "Yes love?" I replied. "Am I gonna have to see Ms. Sandy again?" She desperately asked. "No pumpkin, you don't have to see her anymore." When I told her that a relieved expression appeared on her face. "Daddy, Papa? Are we going to go home soon?" Freddie replied, "Yes darling, tomorrow we get to go home."
————————————————————————author's note: I can't believe we have over 200 reads! This means so much to me as when I decided to write this I was skeptical that this story would get even 5 reads! I love and appreciate you all so much!