Forever Changed Chapter 5

Disclaimer: I own no rights to Annie characters.

Notes: Last chapter that I talk about Grace's dead parents… promise. Not intending to make this story depressing… this chapter is happy at the end though. Any suggestions on where the plot should go next would be super. I don't want to stop this fic here because I am on too much of a roll.

When we arrived home from Lake Placid Annie threw herself at us in joy.

"Mom, Daddy I missed you so much. How was your trip? Will you take me skiing sometime?"

I scooped her up. "We missed you too Sweetheart. Were you good for Mrs. Pugh?"

Annie nodded her head. "Yup. She taught me a lot about cooking and baking. We just finished making some chocolate chip cookies."

Oliver rubbed her back. "We can't wait to try them and we also can't wait to take your skiing with us next time. Your mom was a fast learner and I'm sure you will learn quickly too."

"That will be really swell." Annie said.

After dinner I was alone in our bedroom looking at an old photo album from when I was younger. I hated to keep thinking of how much I missed my parents but the fact that they're not here leaves such a huge hole in my heart. I was so lost in thought I didn't hear Annie enter the room.

She sat on the bed and snuggled next to me.

"What are those pictures of Mom?"

"Me when I was about your age."

Annie leaned over in awe… not believing I had ever been so young. "Who are those people in the pictures with you Aunt Jen and 'Aunt Melissa?"

I tried to hold back tears but the floodgates broke open. Annie was shocked by this.

"Mom please don't cry. I didn't mean to make you mad. I'm sorry."

I hadn't intended to give her the wrong idea so I pulled her into my lap and tried to regain my composure.

"Sweetheart, I'm not mad at you. Those two people in the photo with me are my mother and father. Your grandparents."

Annie looked at me, confused and concerned. "Why are you so sad then? Did you get in a fight with them or something? They weren't at the wedding. I really want to meet them."

I kissed the top of her head. "Your grandparents died before I came to work for your father. You'll never get to meet them I'm afraid."

Annie's arms reached up around my neck and I held her to me tight, rocking her. We sat that way for a few minutes then she spoke again.

"Do you miss them?"

"Every day my darling. They would have adored you."

Annie's embrace grew tighter around me. "I love you Mom."

I kissed her forehead softly. "I love you too my beautiful girl."

"So since your mother is dead do you think it would be okay if I consider Mrs. Pugh to be like my grandmother?"

I was finally able to smile through my tears. "I think Mrs. Pugh would like that very much. She has been like a mother to me since I started working here six years ago."

The look of curiosity did not seem to go away.

"Am I ever going to have a little brother or sister?"

I squeezed her shoulder. "We hope to have a baby in the next year or so.. in the meantime your father and I were thinking of adopting Molly. Would you like that?"

Annie smiled her classic thousand watt smile.

"Really? You're going to adopt Molly?"

"We discussed that this weekend while were in Lake Placid."

"Leapin Lizarads! That's a great idea. Molly is practically like a little sister to me anyway."

I returned her smile, my remorse immediately wiped away. "How would you like to come down to the orphanage with us on Tuesday when we talk to her?"

"I'd love that!"

"Then it's settled on Tuesday morning we'll go to the orphanage to tell Molly we're going to adopt her."