By: Dawn DeBraal
Breanna Malcomb was expecting a delivery. She and Lee paid for a baby, and the child would be delivered to their doorstep. She knew this was the due date week of the birth mother. The nursery was ready. The agreement with the attorney was the delivery of a healthy child, nothing more. She would get the child, a clean bill of health, along with legal adoption papers.
When Breanna told her boss, she was adopting a baby, her work was very supportive. The nursery was ready, a very non-committal yellow and green, so any sex they got would fit the room. Everything was laid out, diapers, cotton balls, onesies, cans of formula, bottles, rocking chair, cradle, and a crib.
Breanna loved to go into the room and sit, looking at the night light shining stars onto the ceiling as it played soft lullabies. What baby wouldn't love this room?
The attorney had called her at work yesterday, saying labor had started that she shouldn't go too far from home. Breanna punched out for her last day of work for the next two months and came home to wait. Today or tomorrow, she supposed, pacing the floor.
The doorbell chimed. Breanna raced down the hall, flinging the front door open. A basket. She picked it up, looking to see if someone had waited around, there was no one.
Breanna set the basket on the couch and pulled back the covers. Pink, everything was pink. They had a girl. Oh, what would Lee think about a little girl?
Breanna took the basket down to the nursery, took the baby out, and put her on the dressing table. Counted fingers, undressed the baby seeing the umbilical cord fresh in a clip, counted ten toes, changed the baby's diaper. She was perfect. Putting the precious package in the cradle she hurried to the kitchen to sterilize the nipples for the bottles and to make formula. She was a mom! Breanna was waiting when her child woke up crying. She entered the nursery, whispering as she approached the crib, lifting the baby while telling her it would be alright. She placed her forefinger near the baby's mouth and brought the bottle to her face. The baby eagerly took the bottle. Breanna contentedly rocked while she fed her. Everything was perfect.
Lee came through the door. She had called him to come home, that they had a daughter.
"Oh, look at her. Don't worry, I washed up in the kitchen before coming in. Can I hold her?" Breanna nodded through her tears of joy.
All those hormone shots and invasive tests had produced nothing for them. Adoption was a long wait, but when she found a friend of a friend who specialized in secret adoptions, they jumped at it. The adoption had cost them a fortune. Providing prenatal care for the mother, paying for the delivery, and making the child legally theirs, but she was so worth the money. Lee sat down, accepting the baby in his arms.
"What do we name her?" he looked up at his wife. Breanna had been thinking since the baby’s arrival.
"How about a combination of our mother's names, Helen and Anna? How about Hannah?"
"Hannah. I love it." Lee cooed her name. "Hannah banana is such a little monkey!" She fell back to sleep, Lee put her in the cradle, turning on the baby monitor, he took the handheld unit with him.
"Oh, Breanna, we are parents!" Lee was all smiles as he handed the monitor to her.
"We are parents," she said back to him in disbelief. It was a long night. Every three hours, Hannah demanded to be fed and changed. Lee took the first shift. Breanna the next. Lee had taken off a few weeks himself so they could get this parenting thing down, and bond with their new daughter.
New daughter, Breanna, beamed when she said that to herself. How long they had waited for this day. At two-forty-five in the morning, Breanna walked into the baby's room, surprised that Hannah had rolled over. Her head was up like a baby bird! How could that be, she was a newborn? She flipped on the light. Hannah was on her back, crying like crazy. It must have been the night light playing tricks on her eyes. Breanna fed Hannah and changed her. It seemed as if Hannah had grown overnight. She felt good and solid.
Lee came in during the feeding. "Wow, she is growing fast. Is that normal?" Breanna was thinking the same thing. She didn't think this was normal, but she didn't tell this to her husband.
Breanna stroked Hannah’s face. Hannah bit Breanna’s finger, drawing blood.
"Ouch!" Breanna couldn't quite believe what happened. How could the baby have teeth? She'd heard of it, some babies born with teeth. She looked down at her finger and put it in her mouth. She finished feeding Hannah and put her in the cradle, Breanna walked to the bathroom, scrubbing her hands with soap and water. She took a bandage out of the cupboard. It was a deep cut, and it hurt.
The doorbell chimed. Breanna looked at the clock in the hall as she peeked out the door. It was after three a.m. Who would be out this late ringing her doorbell? She saw a basket on the stoop.
Breanna opened the door. Another baby? She looked out into the darkness. How could she tell them they delivered to the wrong house?
She put the basket on the couch, pulled back the covers in the basket, everything was blue. A boy? Something was wrong. They couldn't afford two children. What was going on? Lee came yawning out of the bedroom.
"Who was that? What is that?"
"Lee, it's another baby. There must be some mistake!" Lee pulled back the basket. Counting fingers. It's a boy, he said after pulling off the baby's clothes.
"We should call the attorney tomorrow. I can't believe they would screw up this bad." Breanna fed the child and put him in the crib. He looked so tiny. She left to get some sleep.
She called the attorney early the next morning. His assistant said he was on another call but would get right back to her. Breanna was so glad Lee had taken off. They were both busy changing, bathing, feeding the new babies. They were afraid, what if they had bonded with the wrong child. Were they supposed to get the boy or the girl?
"Hello, Brianna, did you get your little guy last night? We could finish the paperwork do you have a name?" Breanna told him they got a little boy last night. But the day before, they had gotten a little girl. "That's impossible." The mother of your child delivered yesterday afternoon.
"Well, there must be some mistake; we have two babies. Are you saying the boy child is ours?" Breanna wanted to cry, it had only been two nights, but she had fallen for Hannah.
"The boy baby is the baby you received from us. I have no idea who the other child is. I will get to the bottom of this. In the meantime, will you accept the boy?"
"Of course, we will. Please get this straightened out for us!" Breanna put the phone down. Lee was standing next to her, holding his son.
"This is our son?" He asked matter-of-factly. Breanna nodded, yes. How could she turn away from her daughter? She was here first. How could the agency make such a horrible screw up? She started to cry. Lee put his arm around her.
"Don't, maybe we can keep both. It's their mistake!" Hannah cried. Breanna went to get her.
"Lee!" she screamed. When he came into the nursery, he handed the boy to Breanna, and he tried to extricate Hannah who had outgrown the cradle. Her arms and legs went through the bars, and she was stuck in the bed.
"There is something not right!" Breanna hissed at him. Lee put Hannah on the changing table she was fine. The newborn size diapers didn't fit her. Luckily the sample pack had some larger diapers.
"She's into the twelve to fifteen-pound diapers," he said as he took the bottle from Breanna. Hannah nursed as Lee rocked her back and forth in the rocker.
"Ouch!" he shrieked.
"She bit me!" Breanna put her son in the cradle and took her daughter while Lee went to wash the bite. Breanna pulled down Hannah's lip. A row of razor-edged teeth filled her mouth. Breanna gasped. Hannah had grown a full set of teeth last night. Hannah was not a normal baby. Breanna shivered. She was afraid of her daughter.
Breanna was still holding Hannah when she answered the door.
"Oh, thank God, you have her!" The couple shouted as they stood on her front porch.
"Excuse me?" Breanna looked at the couple in her doorway. They didn't appear to be human, though they could pass for human from a distance. The size of them, both well over six feet. The woman smiled her teeth were rows of sharp razor-edged points, just like the ones in Hannah's mouth.
"I'm sorry, were the Mork's, and our daughter was delivered to the wrong house. As soon as we found out about the mistake, we came, the attorney called us this morning.
"What?" Breanna held Hannah to her tighter. "Lee!" she called out to her husband.
"Here's the card of our adoption attorney." Breanna saw the same business card that she possessed. "Thank you for taking such good care of her." Before Breanna could say a word, the large woman snatched the baby out of her hands. Hannah was now the size of an eighteen-month-old.
Lee came up behind his wife.
"What's going on here?" Lee could see how the baby stopped crying as it snuggled into its mother's arms. "You can't do that. This is our daughter, Hannah. He reached to grab the child from the woman's arms. The new mother screeched an unearthly sound. Hannah reared out of her mother's arms, biting Lee's hand ripping two fingers off. Lee screamed as the blood spurt. The couple ran with the baby to a spaceship parked on the front lawn. Lee and Breanna chased them, not far behind when the door closed, they stared in disbelief as they watched the ship hover and fly off.
"Hannah!" Breanna cried, but then she saw her husband bleeding profusely. Breanna ran into the house grabbed a dish towel wrapping it around Lee’s hand, trying to stem the flow of blood. "We need to go to the hospital."
"What happened to you?" The doctor asked.
"Meatgrinder, I was making sausage. Lee replied, "My hand got pulled in. Needless to say, there are no fingers to bring back to you. The doctor stitched Lee up in the emergency room and gave him a tetanus shot.
"Cute kid, what's his name?" The doctor asked.
"Lee." Breanna blurted.
"Bradley," Lee said. Both parents answered at the same time. They glared at one another. The doctor looked at them strangely.
"He is so new, how old?"
"Born yesterday, and we are still discussing the names," Breanna said covering her tracks. They hadn’t finalized the adoption yet.
"Wow, he is new. Alright, we're almost done here, I will get the nurse to come in and discharge you. I am putting you on an antibiotic and some painkillers."
"Thanks, doctor." Lee and Breanna turned to one another.
"Bradley? Where did that name come from?" Breanna asked.
"A combination of my name, Lee, and your name Breanna. It just came out. Sorry." They sat in silence, waiting for the nurse who came in a short time later. She went through instructions with Lee. There was a rap on the door. Several officers burst into the room as the nurse quickly left.
"Breanna and Lee Malcomb, you are under arrest for kidnapping."
"Wait? What? Call our lawyer. We paid for a legal adoption through Thomas Vanguor call his office. Please." Breanna handed the business card to the officer, who left to make the call.
"The number has been disconnected," said the officer when he came back.
"That's impossible. I just talked to the attorney this morning." The two were led out of the room while the woman who gave birth to "Bradley" came in.
"Oh my God, you found him. Thank you so much." She scooped the baby out of the carrier holding him to her.
"Why are we being arrested?" Breanna asked the officer.
"That baby was born here yesterday, taken from the nursery. He was kidnapped."
"But we're innocent!" Breanna shouted. "What about our daughter?"
"Daughter?" the officer asked.
"Yes, the abnormally tall couple took her away in a spaceship." The officer looked at his partner and put his finger up, circling it at his temple, the sign for being crazy. Breanna protested struggling all the way to the squad. She couldn't believe it. This morning she and Lee had two children, now they had none, and they were going to jail.