A/N: To be honest, I'm not quite sure where this came from (probably from a book, actually, but then, all great ideas come from books), but I had to get it out. I know I should be posting the companion piece to Take Your Heart and Walk Away, but I'm a little tired of angst…and this is unabashed fluff! I think we could all use some of that right now

Also, this is set several years down the road, in a potential future. Details are vague because they're not so important. Imagine what you'd like.

Title from song by The Beatles. Enjoy, and please don't favorite without reviewing!

We may not have it all together,

But together, we have it all.

It's an argument they have again and again. It's something they debate and deliberate and generally go a little crazy over. They consult books and websites and all the witches they can find. They fight and they cry and they try, but still, the question remains:

How do we have children?

It's something she has always wanted, and as usual, he is incapable of denying her anything, even something he's not entirely sure he can give her. He may be a centuries-old vampire, and she may be a years-old vampire (she kisses him hard and promises him it's exactly how she always dreamed, and he knows she isn't lying), but surely they can accomplish this together?

Surely they can make a family together. Surely. Just…surely.

Finally, after months of back-and-forth and fruitless phone calls, they come to a quasi-agreement (he's a little shocked, since disagreeing is an essential part of their marriage).

Adoption seems the easiest option. They cannot conceive a child naturally, although they still try, fervently, passionately, like it has been days since the first time, instead of years (he remembers the curve of her neck in that bar in Georgia, and his lips curve, too). He is still inexplicably hungry for her, lost in her beauty and how much he truly, truly loves her. It is not something he thinks he will ever get used to.

They're lying in bed one day, her body warm and smooth in his arms, lazy, delightful. They have reached that point in their marriage (it was a small ceremony, entirely for their own pleasure, and he can't believe how much he actually enjoyed it) where even the smallest of moments like this is cherished, saved for a rainy day. The memories they have together are often too precious, too beautiful, to waste, to let fade away.

Her hands trail the length of his body, and as usual, he feels desire awaken somewhere in his lower half. Also as usual, he chuckles wryly, with the kind of amusement only a husband can muster for his wife after countless mornings spent in this exact manner. She is the devil reincarnate, she really is.

She turns toward him, smiling that brilliant, blinding smile. "We should adopt," she suggests casually, her fingers dancing across his chest, that familiar light blossoming across her face. They could be talking about their plans to visit Bonnie, or how they should give Katherine a thank-you call (that picture frame from her and Stefan really was a wonderful anniversary gift); her lovely voice is that lilting, that carefree. He thinks he might have missed the weight of the words, if not for the strange fear, shadowed in those expressive eyes.

He almost frowns. He has not seen her scared in years.

And then, he wonders fleetingly if she's terrified of what such a quest might bring, of the potential heartache, or even the poignant, painful realization that they (they haven't been separate entities in a very long time) are simply not cut out for parenthood. He wonders if she's afraid he might say no.

But somewhere along the way, this became something he wants, too. He wants to raise a child with her, wants to stroke his (or her – he's not really partial either way) hair as they read together at bedtime, wants to teach the kid sports and flirtation and all the multitudes of things he's learned about over the centuries. Forget the logistics; forget that their child will no doubt have the strangest childhood anyone ever had. Just forget all of that.

What matters is that he and his wife (his dear, dear wife) will love this child more than anyone has ever been loved.

So he kisses the top of her head, his lips grazing her silky, straight locks, the hair he still adores so ardently. "I think that sounds like a lovely idea," he whispers.

He feels her smile.

Predictably enough, they dive right into it. (This is who they are: spontaneous and determined and passionate).

It's a long, intense, arduous process, and he doesn't really understand why. They are ideal candidates for this sort of thing: young, well-off, stable, and very, very clearly in love. He thinks if that last criteria were the only thing considered, agencies would be clamoring for their services.

But there's so much paperwork, and so much red tape, and every day that goes by, he becomes more desperate. He just wants a child with her. He doesn't care how old the child is, or what color his or her hair is, or how damaged he or she is, or even how much care he or she will need. He is willing to give this journey everything he has, and that is all there is to it.

He tells her as much, when he thinks she needs to hear it.

It's been a harrowing day, frankly, a chaotic mess of waiting rooms and interviews and harsh, searing disappointment, and she is sagging, just the slightest bit. The day has been longer than she's equipped to handle, especially with all the frantic sex they've been having. (He's not sure why, exactly, their bodies decided that now was the right time to rediscover their teenage lust for each other). She looks tired; there are dark, dark hollows beneath her beautiful brown eyes, and she carries herself with the air of a woman who's been through far too much lately.

Of course, she is still breathtaking to behold, and he loves her even more with every passing day.

"You know," he murmurs, draping one arm around her shoulders (she leans into him, and he breathes in that lovely smell) as they walk the crowded streets of downtown Chicago after yet another exhausting round of what the adoption agencies call "meet-go"s or whatever, "It doesn't matter to me what kind of kid we get."

She looks up at him, the barest, most perfect of smiles gracing her face, confusion lacing her features. She raises her eyebrows.

With a start, he realizes how potentially blasé he sounded, when that is exactly the opposite of what he intended. He squeezes her arm affectionately and hurries to correct himself. "I just mean," he reiterates carefully, reaching over and tucking a lock of her hair behind her ear, "That all I want is a kid with you. No matter the age, the gender, or anything else. I just want to have a baby with you."

Her eyes water, and for once in his life, he knows he's done something right.

They go shopping for baby clothes and baby toys and baby food and everything baby. It is exciting and happy and really, a moment that radiates joy.

At this point, they're almost positive they will have a baby – there aren't very many older children up for adoption these days, and frankly, it's just easier to find a young pregnant woman and offer to adopt her baby. It sounds cavalier and entirely wrong, but it's the only option that makes sense.

So they go shopping for a crib, and it's a trip she laughs at him for, because what kind of sane man would ever be caught in a store with this pink?

The kind of man who's desperately in love with his wife and his nonexistent child, that's who.

(To be fair, the store has a lot of blue in it, too).

He hasn't cried in maybe five years (the last time was when Klaus almost slit Elena's throat, and it's not a memory he likes to relive).

But when he signs the paperwork and the adoption agency representative smiles warmly at him, he thinks there might be tears blossoming in the eyes that have not compelled anyone in months.

He turns to his wife. There's this sort of chaotic elation shining on her face, and he reaches over and strokes her cheek. "This is really happening," he whispers, almost unable to comprehend that simple fact.

He had been shocked when Sharon, the woman who's been helping them arrange (or attempt to arrange, he supposes) their adoption, called him this morning and told him it was done. She found a young woman for them, a woman who was planning to give her precious baby away. And after reviewing their credentials (steady jobs; spacious apartment; lots of relatives and friends; lots of love for each other), her decision was easy, apparently.

They were the couple she wanted.

And right here, right now, in a tiny little office only a few streets from their home, he sends a silent prayer to the girl who is giving her child up. He sends her his thanks and his gratitude and all the love he has in his heart, because she deserves it.

Sharon smiles at the husband and wife. "You're going to have a baby."

The words echo, breathe in the stillness. It is all so surreal.

Elena curls her fingers around his. "We're going to have a baby," she repeats, and there's something like disbelief, incredulity in the bell tones of her voice.

Something like awe.

He smiles at her, weakly, tentatively, but it's real. He finds that all he can do is nod, his eyes warm with that unfamiliar moisture. "Yes," he confirms, pulling his wife towards him, into his arms. "We're going to have a baby."

The world suddenly shifts to accommodate the concrete idea of this new life, and he makes space. Because somehow, his capacity to love is so much bigger than he thought.

And it's all thanks to her.

A few months before their little darling is scheduled to arrive (he hates talking about their child like that, like it's a business transaction, but sometimes it's just more convenient), they have the conversation he's been dreading and anticipating in equal measures.

They are flipping through books of potential names – she just suggested Eugene of all 15,678 names in the book she's holding, and he almost threw up, pausing to snarl that no child of his will ever be called something so heinous – when anxiety furrows her brow and she abruptly asks him, "What happens when our child gets older?"

He bites down the urge to chuckle. He could ask her to clarify, since the question is somewhat ambiguous. But he knows exactly what she means, and he finds it comical that she hasn't thought of this earlier.

"Well," he begins, draping an arm over her shoulder and pulling her closer, making sure his voice never veers into patronizing territory (she hates that), "When he or she is about five, we'll have to leave Chicago. Then when he or she is maybe ten, we'll leave again and say he or she is your niece or nephew. Fifteen will be pushing it, so we'll leave again and say he or she –" She smiles without thinking; she loves that he really could care less whether they have a son or daughter – "Is your cousin. Then when he or she is around twenty, he or she will be your sister, or your brother, or whatever. And so on and so forth."

She raises an eyebrow incredulously, although she reluctantly acknowledges that he's obviously thought this through. "And what about when she's much older and we're basically sixty years younger than her?"

He smiles. (As if that's not something he's considered). "It won't matter," he promises, shrugging, then smiling wider as he realizes that she didn't use the unspecific pronoun for their child – obviously she wants a daughter. "We'll always love him or her. He or she will always be our child. He or she will be loved more than any other child in the world."

She can't help cracking a smile at that, but then she shakes her head, furiously trying to hold on to the upper hand, even though she lost it years ago.

"You do realize how ridiculous that sounds?" She pushes, grinning. "Ridiculous" is a word that is very much in his vocabulary.

Sometimes she's convinced it's the only word in his vocabulary.

He turns to face her, his eyes alight with that telltale mix of excitement and anticipation. "Of course," he snorts, pressing his forehead to hers with the lightning speed she still isn't quite accustomed to, "But she'll be ours. That's all that really matters."

Her heart feels full, so full that she can't speak.

"I love you," he breathes, capturing her lips with his, murmuring against her skin, "That's all that matters."

She can't remember the last time she was this happy.

The mother they're adopting from is only sixteen years old. She is scared, and much too young for this responsibility. Still, they both feel a strange pride over her, even…love. She is doing the best that she can with the lot she's been given, and for that, they could not be more grateful.

A month and half before her due date, they meet her for the first time.

And when they sit on her couch in her house, feeling more awkward than they thought possible (this is a required meeting, and of course it's strained and uncomfortable), she stares them down with the kind of steely determination that makes them smile unwittingly.

It reminds them of themselves, really, of the months they spent pushing each other and begging to just be let in. Hard months, of course. But precious memories all the same; those were the months that led them here.

Right here.

She only asks them one question, and they both know why.

"Why do you want a child?"

He smiles. He twists to face his wife, his lips pulling insistently up the corners. He knows the answer to this question; he has always known it. He just has to make sure she doesn't mind him sharing something so intensely personal.

But there it is again: that inherent trust nestled in every crevice of her face, that irrepressible wonder. As always, she puts all her faith in him.

He squeezes her hand, shifting so his gaze locks with the woman – or perhaps she is a girl still – who is poised to give him everything, everything. She waits dutifully.

He clears his throat. "Because we love each other very, very much," he murmurs, his voice soft and sure, "And sometimes it feels like too much, how much we need each other. We want to share it with someone else. We want to love someone else the way we love each other. Everyone deserves to be loved like that." He shrugs, his eyes watering unmistakably. "More than that, though…we're happy, and we want to make some little child happy. It's all we've ever wanted."

It's a pretty good speech, if he does say so himself. And he knows he's convinced the young mother when she nods quickly and ducks her head down, tears clearly sparkling in those sharp blue eyes of hers.

He notices rather suddenly that her blue is the exact same shade as his. There's a lump in his throat.

She raises her gaze to meet his, warmth slowly spreading into that familiar ice. "Okay," she concedes gently, folding and unfolding her hands in her lap. "I just needed to know that she's going to be happy."

He smiles broadly. "She's going to be happy."

And then his thoughts catch on the one particular word she said, the only word that really matters.

"She – she – we –" He breathes shakily, his hands clammy and uncertain in Elena's. Of course he'd never admit, even to himself, just how fervently he wishes that their child will be a girl, a little girl, a beautiful, darling little girl. But honestly, if he heard right, he is over the moon, ecstatic. "You're having a girl?"

And sure enough, April (for that is her name, and it fits her; she is like springtime: fresh and new and just barely getting over the barren cold of winter) grins, her tears finally spilling over, making perfect tracks down her pale skin. "You're going to have a daughter," she confirms, and there's such exquisite hope in her voice, such fierce longing, that he wants to cry.

He can almost see the words trembling on her lips, the words she can't give release to: "I'm going to have a daughter."

He wishes, for her, that those words could be true. But she has already made her decision. And he doesn't know what to say.

Elena jumps in, her voice like music to his ears (her timing has always been extraordinary, even in the midst of that horrible love triangle). "Thank you," she offers, the words burning with sincerity. She thinks she has never meant it so much.

The pretty blonde nods quickly, pain pulling at her features. She hides it well, bravely pushing past the blinding regret, the ache, the knowledge that she is giving up something infinitely precious, something worth holding onto. She manages a weak smile.

Damon and Elena look at each other, compassion reflected in each other's eyes.

This little girl – because she really is a little girl, no matter the journey she has taken to here, the journey that has already made her an adult – is sacrificing an inherent part of her, all so her child can have a better life than she can provide for her. It is such a pure, selfless goal. Such a beautiful decision.

The two vampires smile at the same time. They are also, of course, thinking the exact same thing:

I hope our daughter is just like her.

That night, Elena kisses him in the early twilight and whispers against his lips, her eyes bright with unshed tears, "I'm so sad for that poor girl."

His throat tightens. Even after all this time, her endless compassion still staggers him, sends him reeling. She has such an incandescent soul, so kind and generous. And she has taught him to be more like her, too, taught him to care about people and protect the ones he loves. He finds it so strange that it comes easily to him now.

He slinks an arm around her back, reveling in the feel of her smooth skin beneath his hands (she is always so, so soft). "I know, Elena," he murmurs, and he's shaking because he does know, and he is sad for April, too. "I know."

She closes her eyes. He reaches up and strokes her cheek, his eyes inexplicably gentle.

"She's giving her daughter the best life she can give her," he comforts her, his fingers caressing the pale purple of her eyelids. "The life that we can give her. She'll be happy with us. We'll make her happy."

Elena is tense, still for a long moment, drinking in the words. He worries he's said the wrong thing, but he learned long ago that as long as he's honest with her, she'll be okay.

And she nods, a few tears threatening to overwhelm her. But instead of giving in (he's not surprised; she's never backed down from a fight, even one against the Originals), she just kisses him fiercely, her lips melding with his in the sweeping dance they know so well.

He responds eagerly, doing his best to remind himself that if this what she needs, then he'll give it to her. So he kisses her harder, and he takes her away to that storied place of love. That place where they make love. Together.

That place he'd give anything to stay in forever.

Later that night, she buries her head in his neck and cries. He knows who she's crying for.

He's not sure he's ever loved her more.

She yells at him one day, maybe two weeks before April's due date. He doesn't really know why she starts screaming, only that one moment she is drying the dishes in the sink, and the next, there are tears streaming down her face, and she is gasping for air.

"Why can't you ever, ever just get this right?" She yelps, and he knows somehow that this isn't about the fork he accidentally put in the spoon compartment, or the dry cleaning he forgot to pick up. "Why is this so hard for you? It's just a fucking chore!"

His face contorts. She hardly ever swears.

And it would be easy to yell back at her, to argue that she never told him what exactly his responsibilities were today, and contrary to popular belief, he can't read her mind, so how was he supposed to know? It would be simple, really, as natural as the way they make love, loud and crazy and soul-crushing (in the best way possible). It would make sense.

But she's not crying angry tears. These are the tears she cried when they got the preemptive bill for all the hospital expenses in the mail (they offered to pay for April's stay; it seemed like the right thing to do). These are the tears she cried when she went to a pre-natal class with him and all the other prospective mothers told her that she should prepare herself for the pain (she didn't have the heart to confess that she wouldn't be having the actual labor herself). These are the tears she cries whenever the reality of what they're attempting sinks in and the gravity of it all assaults her. These are the tears he never knows how to handle.

But these are the tears he cries, too.

Because he is terrified. He is scared, all the time. He is scared that something will go wrong and their daughter won't be theirs to have. He is scared that having someone else to care for will ruin their relationship. He is scared that they'll be horrible parents, that they'll feed her unhealthy things and expose her to their undead life too soon and generally make a mess of things.

Most of all, he worries that he'll ruin their daughter like his father ruined him.

Essentially, he understands why she's crying. She's scared, just like him.

So he approaches her slowly, palms facing her in his usual stance of pacification. "Hey," he whispers, enveloping her warm body in his arms. Thankfully, she doesn't protest, instead folding herself into him like she does when she most misses Mystic Falls. "It's okay. We're going to be okay."

She raises her tear-streaked, angelic face to his after the briefest of pauses. "Do you really believe that?" Her voice is small.

He nods firmly. "Of course I do," he assures her, lips curving into that cocky smirk she once confessed she couldn't resist (he's never going to let her live that one down).

She hesitates, shaking her head just a little, her long hair bouncing about her shoulders. It's voluminous tonight, wavy, big barrel ringlets springing tightly at the ends of the hair he loves more than any other part of her, except maybe her eyes. He likes that she feels comfortable enough to wear her hair curly now. She and Katherine always joke that they should just pretend they're twins; they even went to a club once, managing to confuse the bartender so much that he gave them free drinks for the whole night. Crazy.

Don't worry. It's a friendship he doesn't understand, either.

She twines her arms around his neck, leaning into him. "How can you be so sure?" She asks self-consciously, breathing in his comforting smell. "I mean, for the longest time, we had such a difficult relationship. How do we know all those problems aren't going to resurface?"

His eyes narrow. He doesn't particularly enjoy talking about that dark time. He remembers it, of course, remembers the way her nose scrunched up whenever he told her he loved her, the arch of her back as she whispered that it was all too much, too soon. He was convinced she would break him. (Sometimes, he worries she did. But then he realizes that she didn't break him at all. She fixed him).

But as painful as that time was, he instinctively realizes that it only cemented the foundation of their relationship. They can't fall apart now.

It's not even possible.

"Well," he stutters, barely managing to keep his tone light and unassuming, "That's all behind us now. We're stronger." He rubs the back of his neck uneasily, a chuckle reverberating through him, through her. "We know each other now. We know how to make this work."

She nods slowly, but there's still fear in her eyes, the desperation of the wild animal she has never been, not even in the first months of her undead life. He sighs.

"I think the only thing we need to be concerned about is our parenting ability," he continues, smiling his most crooked smile. "We're not exactly good at concentrating on anything besides sex…"

She sneers, just the slightest bit; she's probably pissed off that he's bringing up their sex life in the middle of such a somber exchange. But then she laughs, the kind of full-bellied, whole-hearted laugh she never laughed until after Klaus. He loves that laugh.

"Well, when you put it that way…" She trails off, catching the hollow of his collarbone with her bottom lip and tugging, the gentlest of pressures. He shivers involuntarily, groaning under the breath. He doesn't know why she still gets to him like this.

(Of course, he's so glad she does).

She nips at his skin lightly, but he withdraws, his face suddenly serious, composed. This is a conversation they have to have, and he can't shy away from it anymore.

"Elena," he breathes. He feels vulnerable, suddenly, devastatingly.

Her eyes immediately soften, that lustful light dying as quickly as it had come. She is so irrevocably attuned to his every shift in emotion, and he muses idly that this is one of the best perks of being a vampire: impeccable control. But soon his thoughts are diverted, because she straightens, shifting so she's facing him, her forehead inches from his. "What is it?" She asks curiously, inherent concern flitting through her gaze.

He swallows. "I don't want to be like my father," he admits at last, fiddling nervously with the fabric of her shirt. "I don't want to be like him."

She is quiet for a moment, and he wonders what she's going to say. Usually he can pretty much read her mind, but he's drawing a blank. That's not good; silence is never good. He still finds it difficult to be even remotely exposed around her, and confessing his deepest fear is almost more revealing, more bare, than he can handle.

But it's Elena, he reminds himself. He can do anything, if only it's Elena.

And then her hands are on her face, and she's whispering, "You could never be like your father. You are more of a man than he ever was. You are a good man, Damon. You are my man, and I know we are going to do this right."

He stares at her in shock. She is so good. She is pure and she is wonderful and she is his. So he kisses her.

That's the end of that argument.

Thank God.

He's at work when it happens.

Truthfully, he doesn't know why he even keeps up the pretense of having a job. It's not really like they need the money; the Salvatore estate is much more involved than he ever suspected. But she has a job, and she loves it, and he was curious what all the fuss was about. So now he works at a law firm, and yes, despite his fervent claims otherwise, he loves it.

He is in the middle of a meeting when she calls him, and the color drains from his face like winter robs roses of their pallor.

"April's in labor," Elena sobs, panic and joy fighting for dominance in her voice.

He grins without hesitation.

"I'll be right there."

….

It takes 36 hours. He's convinced he's going to lose his mind.

Elena laces her fingers through his and promises him everything will be fine.

He closes his eyes and hopes to God she's right.

He thought he'd reached the limits of his joy when Elena told him she loved him for the very first time. Or when somehow they managed to escape Klaus' clutches, on the run but very much alive. Or maybe when she agreed to marry him.

Really, though, he thought he could never be happier when she slit her own wrist and told him to take her life, because she wanted to be his forever. He knew what a huge thing it was for her, all the things she was giving up, all the reasons her humanity was so important to her. And she was willing to die and come back to life again, all for him.

He thought he might cry that day.

But he didn't, and as the years passed by, he became certain that he would never really attain a peak of jubilation, because it only got better, and he couldn't see that ever changing. Every day with her was a treasure unto itself, and once upon a time, he decided to just enjoy her. To just love her. From then on, his happiness was never, not even once, in question.

And now here he stands, shifting his weight from foot to foot anxiously, barely resisting the urge to pace back and forth. Elena squeezes his hand gently, light fairly blazing out of her eyes, and he lets himself marvel for a moment at how far they've come.

And suddenly they're walking into the room whose location he's committed to memory, and April is sitting there in that tiny hospital bed, cradling the most fragile human being in her arms, and she is shining, shining, shining.

She raises her eyes, looks at them both, traces the pattern of their hands, clasped tightly (forever). "Would you like to hold her?" She asks at last, her voice simmering with too many emotions to identify: pain, joy, sorrow, relief. She smiles ruefully, wryly. "After all, she's yours now."

He cringes, waiting apprehensively for the bitter tinge of regret that is sure to flood the room. But there is only a distinct normality, a feeling that this could not have happened any other way. He realizes – belatedly, maybe – that April knows she is doing the right thing. She has come to terms with her decision, accepted that this life is not hers to nourish, to kindle. It does not make it any less sad, or any less difficult. But a certain peace has settled in her blue, blue eyes.

Elena takes a shuffling step forward, mouth open in an exclamation of the purest excitement. "Yes," she blurts out breathlessly, her eyes burning, wishing. She cannot look away from the tiny child.

He cannot look away either.

April sniffles, just a little bit. "Come here then." The words are almost unbearably gentle.

He approaches the bed warily, tears beginning to well in his eyes.

And then…little Olivia Grace Salvatore (he loves that his wife didn't even make a fuss over the last name; she told him quietly, with that lulling intensity he finds so sexy, that they are a family now, and families share everything) is in his arms, her perfect, perfect blue eyes blinking slowly up at him, and he's falling into a pit of love, a pit so deep and wonderful, he could stay here forever.

He feels the love of his life there beside him, her hand delicately on his arm, her other hand supporting Olivia's small, exquisite head. He realizes suddenly that they are both crying, hard and in earnest.

He catches April's gaze. She looks tired. Tired, but happy. He can only mouth the words that mean everything to them, these four people who have somehow managed to give each other the world.

"Thank you."

She nods.

And he knows, somehow, that they're all going to be okay.

He loves her more than he even knew he could.

(He's talking about them both).

They take her home from the hospital a few days later. She is a perfect specimen of a child: healthy weight, full head of hair, strong scream, cute giggle. She is perfect, actually.

Perfect.

A few months later, he smiles at his wife and whispers, "I love you." (As usual, they are the truest words he's ever spoken).

They are facing each other, curled into each other in their warm, happy bed. Little Olivia – their Olivia, his reason for breathing, the sun and the moon and everything else – is snuggled comfortably between them, her inexplicably small chest rising and falling rhythmically. He thinks fleetingly that now he has two sounds he worships: Elena's sighs as she sleeps, intertwined with him, and the constant exchange of breath into his daughter's lungs.

His daughter.

Elena smiles. "I love you," she returns, stroking his cheek. It's a routine they've just about perfected (lately, it feels like everything about their life is perfect): she rests one hand on the curve of Olivia's body, the other on his face. It is wonderful. He never feels more connected with his little family than he does in these stolen moments, the moon pouring in through the windows, bathing her in that soft, ethereal light.

His eyes trace the lines of his wife's body. She is beautiful, in every way. It is cliché and it is tired, but it is how he feels. He is long past cynicism, fatalism. This is his family. He loves his family.

Olivia rolls over, nestling closer to him. Elena closes her eyes and breathes that happy sigh. He smiles.

Always, he smiles.

The years pass in a blur of pink and blue, the new colors of his life. Olivia is wonderful, precious, everything he never knew he wanted. She has his eyes and her mother's hair (somehow), and she never, ever stops smiling.

Most days, he is so happy he can hardly see straight. Most days, he can't believe how lucky he is. Most days, he hugs his wife and tells her he loves her more than she will ever know. Most days, he thinks he has already known so much joy that if death itself struck him down now, it would not be so painful.

He has already loved more deeply than most people will ever get a chance to.

fin

Please tell me what you thought! I think adoption is such a beautiful thing, and I hope I did it justice.