HFH: The Gooding Kids

I didn’t know what to expect–three kids waiting to be brought home from the orphanage?


When life changes, it really changes. First, Emelia joins us, then Alex, Aya, and Forrest move out, and now this!

Dr. Jasmine had been talking about adopting ever since the Gnome-Kickers stayed with her during the big Plum Day celebration. But I didn’t realize that she done anything about it. Mr. Two explained that she had begun the adoption process for three children.

Now, they were left without a home.

We all talked it over. We decided that Elder and I would adopt one, and Aya, Alex, and Forrest would adopt the other two. That way, each child would have at least one other child in their home and none of us would feel so overwhelmed that we couldn’t give the children the care and attention they deserved.

Elder and I welcomed Roxanna into our family.


Forrest, Alex, and Aya became parents of Liam.


And they also adopted Desiree. We all decided that we’d give the kids the last name of Gooding, so that we could always remember that they were Dr. Jasmine’s gift to us.


Most of us were overjoyed. But one of us was mad.


“Whadcha hafta go and adopt a girl for?” Free shouted at me. “You think you’re Super Mom, or something?”


“Free!” I said. “I think we’re Super Family! Any kid would be happy to have you for a brother and to be part of our family, right? Plus, you’re the king of adventures now, and being a big brother is one of the greatest adventures of all!”

“What can I say?” said Free.


But he still stayed grumpy.

“Leave it to me,” said Tani. So I headed in to make sure that Roxanna was feeling at home, while Tanisha stayed out to talk things over with Free.


“I know this is all kind of new to you,” I heard her telling him, “but just wait and see! Before long, you’ll see that having a sister gives you someone else to play with and practice your jokes on! Why, you, Emelia, and Roxanna can even form a club! You could call it the Freezer Bunny Explorer Club!”


I found Roxanna sitting alone out back.


“How’s it going, Roxie?” I asked.

“I found a bowl of chips out here,” she said. “So I ate them. Is that ok? I forgot to ask first, but I was hungry, and they were just sitting there.”

“Of course it’s ok!” I said. “This is your home! You can help yourself snacks and meals whenever you want! No need to ask! You’re home!”

“I like this!” Roxanna said. “Those chips were dee-licious!”


Roxie made friends with Emelia over homework.


“Want to watch TV?” Emelia asked when they finished.

“Sure!” said Roxie. “What shall we watch!”

“The cooking show!” said Emelia. “When I grow up, I’m going to be a foodie.”


Later that afternoon, Free and I joined Roxanna while an old movie was on.

“You seen this movie, Free-Jon?” she asked. “It’s got a happy ending. I’ve seen it about a hundred times, so I know that even when it gets scary, it all works out ok in the end.”


“Dad,” Free said, “don’t let the movie scare you. The music gets scary, but the other kid says that all’s well that ends well.”

“That’s good to know, son,” said Elder. “I always like to know that we can trust things to end up ok.”


While Free and Emelia were playing upstairs, Alex came over.

“How’s the new kid working out?” he asked. “We’re all doing ‘bonding time’ back at Oakenstead, so I figured I’d drop by here for a while, rather than be fifth wheel.”

“Am I the new kid?” asked Roxie. “If so, then you can report back that I’m working out just fine, right, Dad?”


“That’s right, kid,” said Elder, giving our new daughter the biggest hug.



This is going to be fun, with Gooding kids spreading love all through town!

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