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"Adam!" Charlie shouted with frantic laughter. "Oh, please stop!"

In all the excitement, Wally's head bobbed up from under the blankets and began to tug at Adam's pajama top to defend her master.

"Okay, okay," Adam laughed in defeat, "I'm stopping! Wally, you can let go of my sleeve!"

Wally gave him one last playful tug and then relinquished her hold, leaving a sloppy wet spot on Adam's pajama top.

"This had better go into the wash tomorrow," sighed Adam, taking off his top and returning his arms to Charlie.

Wally snuggled back to her spot on the other side of Charlie, and the three quieted down for sleep.

"Do you mind if it's not a girl?" Charlie yawned.

Adam kissed his wife. "I won't mind," he quietly whispered. "Goodnight, Honey."

Cuddling closer, Charlie mumbled something that sounded very much like "I love you," and then she fell fast asleep.

Mid-October was Mike's birthday, and Sandra invited friends and family to a small birthday party at the newly renovated house Adam had given them in Twin Yucca.

When Adam and Charlie arrived for the party, it felt odd to be somewhere that was so familiar as Adam's old house, and yet not easily recognize it.

"We added a master bedroom to the bottom floor," Mike showed his uncle around, "and Sandra had new carpets put in, and the hardwood floors refinished."

"You've done a lot with the place," Adam observed with admiration. "Enough to start a family, and still have some growing space left over."

At this, Mike became quiet. "Sandra's been wanting a baby really bad," he confided.

"The doctors said Charlie and I could never have a baby," encouraged Adam, "so maybe it might still happen for you and Sandra."

Taking a quick glance around to make sure no one else was within earshot, Mike smiled as though he had a secret to share. "Sandra and I have been thinking about adoption. There's a lot of paper work involved, but the lady we've been talking to says she thinks we could qualify to adopt a child."

"I've heard there's long waiting lines for babies," warned Adam. "That's going to be a hard wait."

"We want an older child," continued Mike, leading his uncle to the next room where Shirley was less likely to accidentally overhear them. "Sandra's thinking maybe about five to ten years old. She says there's lots of kids out there who need homes, and since we want a large family, then why not us?"

Adam was more than a little surprised, even though he had known for a long time that Mike wanted to be a father. "How large of a family do you want?"

"Enough to make this house noisy," smiled Mike. "Mom doesn't know about any of this yet."

"It sounds as though you and Sandra know what you want," Adam shook his head in amazement. "Are you ready to be a daddy?"
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