“Love & Friendship”, Chapter 20: Spending Saturday afternoon and Evening with Kaitlyn, 1/14/13 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #344)
British actor Richard Armitage and American actress Diane Lane and others.] [(1ab) Story Logo]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Love & Friendship” is a romantic love story set amidst contemporary times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes or other sauciness (R rated) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments. I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read those chapters. This is my disclaimer.
Author’s Recap: Lydia and Robert met and decided to foster shy five year old Kaitlyn, a little girl they met at a January 28th, 2011 Saturday morning pediatric aids and foster home kid craft event. After checking with everyone–including little Kaitlyn–Lydia and Robert are cleared to take her home that afternoon. But, they will bring her back for the evening’s gala fundraiser.
“Love & Friendship”, Chapter 20: Spending Saturday afternoon and Evening with Kaitlyn
First things first, Lydia and Robert and Kaitlyn and Marla and the Foster Home Director head back to the Foster Home after lunch so that Kaitlyn can pack up her things to take to Robert and Lydia’s home. They don’t have suitcases at the Foster Home, so Kaitlyn’s meager clothing and one dolly possessions all go into a plastic bag. Kaitlyn’s medications with explicit instructions go into a separate large plastic Ziploc bag. Kaitlyn is healthy because she is on these medications and everyone wants to keep her that way.
Then, Lydia and Robert and Kaitlyn and Marla all troop to a department store to buy Kaitlyn a few more clothes—especially a pretty dress and some hair ribbons for tonight’s hospital benefit that she’ll be singing at. Kaitlyn is a little hesitant at first, since she has never been allowed to pick out her clothes—let alone have new clothes. But, Kaitlyn sees a pretty mauve pink velvet party dress that she falls in love with. So Lydia and Robert buy her that dress and its matching hand bag, shoes, and hair ribbons and barrettes. They also buy Kaitlyn a few other clothes and coats and some kid friendly princess bedding to go on the bed in the guest bedroom—where Lydia had slept before she and Robert were married—as well as some other items for her room.
Then, about 4:00pm, they all ride over to Robert and Lydia’s home to get Kaitlyn settled in. Since Kaitlyn’s case worker was not able to join them, Marla tags along as the official case worker representative that goes along when a child has a placement. Robert drives his car into the garage and they all get out to take a tour of Robert and Lydia’s home.
Robert: “Okay Kaitlyn, this is the garage.”
Kaitlyn: Although some might think that this is obvious, little Kaitlyn hasn’t seen one before. “What’s a garage?”
Robert: “Well, it’s where you park your car at night so it doesn’t get rained or snowed on.”
Kaitlyn: “Oh.” She nods her head accepting that logical explanation.
They walk into the ground level area where the weight and exercise room is—and there is a large storage area as well.
Lydia: “Kaitlyn, this is where we exercise. I have a bad back, so I do stretching exercises to help that. My husband uses the weights.”
Marla: “Yes, but you’ll want to make sure that this room is locked so that Kaitlyn can’t get in here on her own and hurt herself.”
Kaitlyn looks stricken.
Robert: In a soothing voice, Robert says while kneeling down to Kaitlyn’s height. “Kaitlyn Sweetie, it’s just that the weights are heavy. See?” He takes a small five pound weight off of a rack and holds it for her while she feels its weight.
Lydia: “Ooh yes, even that small weight would hurt falling on our toesies. I don’t even touch them.” Lydia says with her arms around Kaitlyn’s shoulders as she also kneels down next to her.
Kaitlyn: “Okay.” She sighs nodding her head in relief.
Robert: “And,…” He says pointing it out to Marla. … we have a top edge door lock on the weight room door. So, there’s no chance of Kaitlyn getting in here without one of us being with her.”
Lydia: “Kaitlyn, let’s look through the window at the back yard. Hmmm?”
Kaitlyn: “What’s a backyard?” Again, Kaitlyn asks a question that shows how truly different her life has been from other kids.
Robert: “Well, a yard is a piece of land with grass on it. And this at the back of the house. So, it’s a back yard. It’s all snowy now. But we can pull you along in the snow on the sled tomorrow if you like.”
Kaitlyn: “I don’t know if I’m allowed to do that–sled.” She says uncertainly. “Will they be mad at me at the foster home?” She asks looking up at Marla.
Marla: “No Kaitlyn, they won’t be mad. It’s okay for you to sled here with the Lydia and Robert.”
Lydia: “So, shall we go upstairs?” Everyone nods and they walk upstairs. “Okay, on this main level, we have the open living area with the fireplace and tv on one side and the kitchen, dining room, and laundry on the other side. There are also safety things to be careful of here—the fireplace and oven are ouchee hot when they’re turned on, even if it doesn’t look like it. So, Kaitlyn, you’ll want to stay away from them.” Kaitlyn nods her head. “And then, of course, we have the fridge here with milk and juice inside.” She says opening the door and showing that to her. “So, if you want something to drink or eat, just ask us and we’ll get it for you. We don’t want something falling from a shelf onto your noggin.” Lydia says amusingly as she rubs Kaitlyn’s forehead.
Robert: “We’ll go up one more floor to the bedrooms.” And they all walk up stairs. “We have two bedrooms–each with their own baths–and a small open office or play area here.” He opens up the master bedroom door. “This is where Lydia and I sleep.” Then walking over to the guest room, he says. “Kaitlyn, this is where you will sleep.”
They bring in Kaitlyn’s bag of clothes from the foster home—as well as the clothes and such they bought her today—and hang them in the closet. They then put on the pink sleeping beauty princess character bedding on the bed that they bought for Kaitlyn. Finally, they show Kaitlyn the bathroom.
Lydia: “This will be your bathroom Kaitlyn. You’ll want to be careful and not use the tub unless you’re with me for safety reasons.”
Kaitlyn: “I don’t have to share this?” She asks in wonderment? Kaitlyn has never had her own bedroom, let alone her own bathroom before.
Lydia: “Not for now. But if we have a second foster girl, you two might share the room—we’d get you twin beds if that happens.”
Robert: “Yes, and if Mum and Dad come down, we might put them in here for a few days while you sleep in a roll out bed in our bedroom.”
Lydia: “Kind of like a slumber party.” Lydia says smiling while putting a positive spin on it and giving Kaitlyn a hug.
Kaitlyn: “Who are Mum and Dad?”
Robert: “Kaitlyn, they are my parents who live up North.” He says kneeling down. “But, I’m sure that they’ll want to come down and visit you soon. They’ll be your foster grandparents.”
Marla and Lydia and Robert can see that little Kaitlyn is looking a bit overwhelmed—especially when she asks Lydia and Robert.
Kaitlyn: “And what do I call you?”
MarlaW: Interjecting helpfully, she says. “Well, that’s up to you Kaitlyn, whatever you feel comfortable with. Robert and Lydia are on try out as your foster mummy and foster daddy. But that’s a bit of a mouthful to say.”
Lydia: “Well Kaitlyn, if you like,…” Lydia puts her arm around Kaitlyn again as she kneels down beside her. “… you can call me, Mummy Lydia, and you can call Robert, Daddy Robert. Would you like that?”
Kaitlyn: “Yes, I do.” She smiles up at Lydia and at Robert. “What am I?” Kaitlyn looks back and forth between Lydia and Robert.
Lydia: “Well, you’re our foster daughter Kaitlyn.” Lydia says giving Kaitlyn a hug and Robert hugs Kaitlyn also.
MarlaW: “Okay, I’ll leave you to it and call a taxi to take me back. I’ll call on you tomorrow afternoon to see if you need anything or if Kaitlyn forgot to bring anything with her that she wants. Then, Robert and Lydia, we’ll make an appointment for you and Kaitlyn to visit the foster home after school on Friday to see how things went.”
Kaitlyn: “Are you going to send me back to the foster home next weekend?” Kaitlyn asks dejectedly. Foster children are sometimes viewed—and sometimes feel themselves—as if they are a commodity on a store shelf, returned if not wanted.
Lydia: “No Kaitlyn, Sweetie. But the Foster home has to have a meeting so you can decide if you want to stay with us.”
Kaitlyn: “I can tell you now.” She says clinging to Lydia—who hugs her back. “I want to stay.”
MarlaW: “Yes, Kaitlyn. We will take your wishes into consideration. But since the Foster Home is in charge of your care, they want to make sure that you’re placed in the right home.”
Robert: “So, we’ll have to do things right this week, and hope that the Foster Home let’s you stay with us.”
It’s hard for a little girl like Kaitlyn to understand that the adults charged with her care—like the Foster Home—have to follow the rules. And rules were what Kaitlyn seemed to have to live by at the Foster Home. So, Kaitlyn, Lydia, and Robert are all a little on edge—hoping everything turns out alright and they get to keep Kaitlyn.
After Marla leaves around 4:30pm, it is time to get ready for the 6:30pm hospital benefit dinner Pediatric Aids and Foster Home fundraiser this evening. Everyone has to have a bath, in Kaitlyn’s case, or a shower, in Robert and Lydia’s cases. So, navigating the logistics of that is their first trial of being new foster parents.
Lydia: “Okay, Robert, I’ll bathe Kaitlyn and shampoo her hair while you’re showering and shaving in our room. Then, you come in here and dry her hair while I’m showering.”
Robert: “Check! When do I dry my hair?” He asks practically.
Kaitlyn: “We can dry our hair together, Daddy Robert.” She says helpfully.
Robert: “Right, check.” He smiles.
Lydia: “Then Robert, you bring Kaitlyn into our bathroom and she can sit and watch and talk to me while I dry my hair and put on makeup while you get dressed in the bedroom. I’ll also do her hair ribbons. Then, Kaitlyn and I will get dressed and we’ll all head out to the benefit in the hired limo we’ve ordered.”
Robert: “Works for me.” He kisses Lydia on her cheek.
Kaitlyn: “Works for me, Mummy Lydia.” And that is what they do.
The stately Victoria and Albert Museum serves as the back drop for the London Children’s Hospital and Foster Home Pediatric AIDS Charity Gala Fundraiser tonight. The V&A, as it is referred to, is a beautiful old building building in 1852 [(2) right]. And, Kaitlyn is wide eyed at its opulence—or fancyness as she calls it. Dinner is first and scrumptious—with a few kid friendly options since the organizers had planned for the kids to attend and eat dinner, along with the kids singing later tonight. Then, the Foster Home kids are scheduled to sing, after which a silent auction is held to also help with some fundraising.
Kaitlyn looks completely adorable in her new mauve pink velvet dress [(3) right], shoes, bag, and hair ribbons. The other kids look at Kaitlyn with astonishment since they’ve never her seen her in new clothes—let alone clothes that match so completely. Kaitlyn feels like a princess tonight–like Cinderella at the ball. Except Kaitlyn is not with a dashing prince–Kaitlyn is with her hoped for parents, Lydia and Robert.
As newly minted foster parents, Robert and Lydia make a stunningly attractive couple–made more so by their glow at starting to build their family with little Kaitlyn as their first foster child–and maybe their first adopted child. Robert [(4) left] looks very handsome and dashing in a black tux and Lydia [(5) right] looks lovely wearing a stunning ruched black silk organza off the shoulder sheath dress with her long silky hair styled up in a loose twist and an exquisite jeweled collar necklace on loan for the evening.
Kaitlyn is a bit nervous about singing in front of everyone—as all the kids are. But the kids are promised yummy desserts afterward. So, that seems to smooth over any remaining jitters. The kids sing “Puff the Magic Dragon” and “Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang”—favorites with the older crowd present who remember these songs from their childhood in the 60’s and 70’s. Then, the kids are taken back to their foster home minders for the gala for the rest of the evening. Or, in the case of Kaitlyn, she happily returns to her new foster parents, Mummy Lydia and Daddy Robert who walk forward to collect her after the kids sing.
Kaitlyn: Kaitlyn proudly introduces her foster Mummy and Daddy around to the other kids from the Foster Home. “Hi Kids, I’m visiting with my Mummy Lydia and my Daddy Robert this week.” She says holding on to each of their hands and smiling broadly.
Billy: “Will you be at school on Monday?”
Kaitlyn: “Will I?” She says looking up at Lydia and then Robert.
Robert: “Yes, Kaitlyn Sweetie. We’ll drive you there.”
Kaitlyn: “Okay.” She nods her head and smiles.
Susie: “Nice dress, Kaitlyn.” Susie says a bit longingly since she’s wearing a hand me down party dress.
Kaitlyn: “Thanks Susie. It’s the first new dress I’ve worn.” Kaitlyn doesn’t say ‘owned’. Because, Kaitlyn hasn’t grasped the concept of ownership since toys and clothes are often rotated around the kids at the Foster Home where she lives.
Lydia: Trying to smooth over the dress issue, Lydia says. “Well Susie, I have to say that you look very cute in your blue dress, too. It matches your pretty eyes.”
Susie: “Thank you.” Susie smiles brightly.
Robert: “Let’s get a picture of you ladies together.” Robert pulls out his cell phone. Lydia leans down between Kaitlyn and Susie. Robert snaps the picture just as Kaitlyn kisses Lydia’s cheek. Kids are precious.
Lydia: “We’ll print the picture out so you can remember tonight, Kaitlyn. And Susie, we’ll send Kaitlyn to school with an extra copy of the picture for you.” Both Kaitlyn and Susie smile and hug each other. Yes indeed, kids are precious.
Then Lydia, Robert, and Kaitlyn walk around the room looking at the items up for bid with the silent auction. The items also have a buy me now price that is much higher listed on them as well. Of course, Kaitlyn spies a beautiful dolly that she looks at longingly.
Robert: “Would you like us to bid on the dolly for you Kaitlyn?” Of course, Robert would just pay the buy me now price as his bid.
Kaitlyn: “No thank you.” Kaitlyn says politely and a bit forlornly.
Lydia: “But, I thought you liked the dolly, Kaitlyn.” She says rubbing Katilyn’s hand that she’s holding.
Kaitlyn: “I do. She’s very pretty. But they wouldn’t let me keep her at the Foster Home because someone would get her dirty or break her because they wanted her. It’s better the dolly goes to a little girl who can keep her safe.”
Of course, both Robert and Lydia are tearing up with hearing more about Kaitlyn’s life in the Foster Home and the way she’s had to live—without love, without something to call her own, and without hope, frankly—despite the best of intentions by the Foster Home Staff and Caretakers. So, Lydia and Kaitlyn walk on and look at other items up for auction. But Robert secretly doubles back and puts the buy me now bid in on the dolly that Kaitlyn likes and marks it as sold and takes the ticket for the cashier. Kaitlyn may keep the dolly at their house to play with. And hopefully, Kaitlyn can stay with Robert and Lydia along with her dolly. Lydia and Kaitlyn and Robert do put in a few bids on some other items—a private zoo tour voucher, a ten gallon fish aquarium and fish voucher, and a smaller baby dolly—all of which Robert also puts the buy me now bids on and writes sold and takes the tickets for the cashier. So, at the end of the evening, Robert pays his winning bids—collecting, the zoo and fish tank vouchers and the two dollies.
Kaitlyn’s eyes go wide and tear up when she sees not one, but two dollies for her.
Kaitlyn: “Are the dollies for me?” Kaitlyn asks in shock and disbelief.
Lydia: “Yes Kaitlyn. You can play with them at our house. They’ll be just your dollies.”
Robert: “And they’ll be safe,… He says using Kaitlyn’s word. “… because you’ll be a good Mummy for them.”
Kaitlyn: “Yes, I will.” Kaitlyn holds the smaller baby like dolly in her arms and says. “I love you dolly.” Then she kisses it sweetly and gently. Though Kaitlyn has not had much gentleness in her own young life, she knows what gentleness is.
It was a wonderful night–and a long night. On the ride home in the hired limo, Kaitlyn falls fast asleep in Lydia’s arms. Robert leans over and kisses Lydia tenderly. Then, they each kiss Kaitlyn’s sleeping forehead. When they reach home, Robert carries Kaitlyn up to her room and Lydia brings the dollies. Lydia wakes Kaitlyn up long enough to get her pottied and changed into her new princess pink pjs—Kaitlyn has a one track mind about the color pink today, not to mention the princess characters. Then Robert and Lydia leave the bathroom light on, turn on the baby monitor, and leave Kaitlyn’s bedroom door ajar and they head to their own bedroom to change and sleep for the night. It has been a wonderful day for Robert and Lydia as well and they lay lovingly in each other’s arms as they fall fast asleep after making love tenderly, adoringly, and lovingly–and quietly now that they have a child in their home.
To be continued with Chapter 21
1)The Love & Friendship” story logo is a composite of two images:
a) British Actor Richard Armitage in a December 2010 Promo portrait found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/2010Promo/album/20Dec2010-Perou-03.jpg; and
b) American Actress Diane Lane at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011 found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Diane_Lane_%28Berlin_Film_Festival_2011%29_2.jpg
3) Image of Kaitlyn is that of 1940’s child actress Margaret O’Brien and was found at (dress image was originally tan gold) http://allanellenberger.com/wp-content/uploads/obrien-color.jpg
4) Robert image is of Richard Armitage found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/EventsandAppearances/BAFTA09/BAFTA09-07.jpg
5) Lydia image (cropped) is of Diane Lane found at http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.79613.1330030116!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_635/gal-ageless-lane.jpg
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