Chapter 34 - Love Will Be Our Home

One day, Fei returned home to their little Charlie Brown apartment in Baltimore and found his wife busy with some crafts involving photos and scrapbook papers.  He approached her from behind to surprise her with a kiss on her cheek.  Then he noticed she was inserting some interesting photos into an album.

“What is this?  I thought we were going digital with all our photos from now on?”

“Yes, we are!  But these are our old photos and I’m making this as a bedtime story book for our daughter.”  Quin turned the album to show her husband what the cover looked like.

“How I Met Your Father?”  Fei took the album and started flipping through the pages.   He gave her a smirk.  “Should I make one and name it How Your Mother Met Me?”

Quin paid him no attention but held up another album in front of his face.  The title was How I Met Your Mother.  He gave the one in his hand back to Quin and grabbed the other album.  When he flipped to the first page, his eyes grew shockingly wide.  “Hey!  Where did you get this picture?!”

Quin laughed.  “Of course I had to snap it when you were in the shower!”  Fei threatened to take away the photo and she quickly grabbed the album back from him.

“Hey! You can’t show our daughter that!  It has to be sensored!”  Fei tried his hardest to take the album from her but she wouldn’t relent.

Two weeks later, Quin received news that her application for her medical residency had been accepted at The Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore.  However, when she presented the news to Fei, she could tell he was not his usual self.  There was a cloud hanging over his head and he seemed unsure how to get above it.  His body was sitting in the armchair, but his mind was somewhere else.

Quin approached and stood next to his chair.  “Tell me, what’s bothering you?” 

Fei took her hands and looked up into her eyes.  “If I took you away from Baltimore, would you blame me for not being able to achieve your dream of becoming a doctor?”

Alright, Quin decided this was some serious talk here.  Being pregnant and all, there was no way she was going to stand through this conversation.  So she sat down on the couch next to him. 

“Where do you want to take us to?”

“Washington.”

“DC!?”  Quin thought that would not be a problem, just a semi-short drive to the hospital.

“No, Washington State!” Fei looked at the puzzled Quin, “Redmond, Washington to be exact.”

Quin tried to locate in her mind exactly where Redmond, Washington was on the map of The United States.  She envisioned a tiny dot somewhere near Seattle, on the West Coast.  “That’s like out in the boonies, isn’t it?” 

Fei gave a smile.  He wanted to present the positive side of the town first and so he said with a grin.  “It’s where Microsoft and Nintendo are!”

“You want to move us there so our daughter can grow up playing lots of computer games like you?”  Quin teased.
He laughed and wished he could come up with something more appealing.  “No, but it’s where the Institute of Technology is.  ICI wants to send me there to write some programming software for Intel.  They offered me a full-time job and I need to let them know by the end of this week.”

Quin’s eyes grew wide and round with excitement.  “You mean they want you to write some spying software?!  Like a program to break the codes that the terrorists are using?”

Fei tapped her head lightly and whispered quietly.  “You can’t tell anyone, or our lives will be in danger!  If the terrorists found out, they will come after us!”

Quin looked at him but wasn’t sure if he was joking or meant what he said.  “Are you serious?  This is no joke, you know!  I am having a baby and we can’t handle this kind of excitement.”

Fei chuckled and squeezed her cheeks.  “There are different levels of intelligence in the FBI Division.  I told them that if I were to take the assignment, you would need to know everything I was involved in.  I told them there would be no secrets between you and I.”  Fei assured her.  “They agreed and included that in the contract they offered me.”  He took hold of her hands and squeezed them tight.  “It is true I am going there to learn to write programs to break intelligence codes.  But you mustn’t let anyone know.”

Just then, Quin felt the baby kicked inside her.  She and Fei got all excited as they placed their hands on her bulging tummy to feel their little girl kicking with excitement as laughter grew.

(May 2001)

By the time Fei and Quin got settled in Redmond, Washington, Quin was in no mood to do anything except prepare for her daughter’s arrival.  However, she still had another month and a bit to go before their baby would be born.   She had deferred her residency until a later time, indefinitely was what she put on her notice of withdrawal.  Fei, being an expert in the world of Information Technology, made it possible for her to keep her job with Dr. Millard as a Distance Correspondent Research Assistant.  Thus their home in Redmond was set up with a series of advance servers and network.  It was no trouble because all the necessary equipment came with Fei’s job.  He and his colleagues were writing programs that were way in advance than what Microsoft or Apple had introduced to the world at that time.

One night after dinner, just before calling it a day, Fei thanked Quin for putting her own career on hold and for being willing to come along with him to this so-called middle of nowhere to live a small town life.

“You are the man of the house!  I believe you are given the ability for knowing which direction our family should take.  So I will always let you decide the where and the why for our family.”  Quin smiled at her husband.

Fei furrowed his brows with an amused expression.  “Then what is your role?”

“I guess I’ll take care of the how and what we need in order to get us there!”  She gave him a smirk.  “That’s why I get to spend the money you make!”

Two weeks later, Bui Yee and Mr. Mo flew in to Seattle from Hong Kong with the intention to help Quin before and after giving birth to their grand-daughter.  They stayed with Fei and Quin in their moderate size home which came furnished with three bedrooms.  The only thing it didn’t come with was a crib for the baby.  But Fei took care of purchasing that the first week they moved to Redmond.  However, he and Mr. Mo spent five long hours putting it together.

“Joseph had it easy when Mary’s baby was born in a manger!”  Fei commented when his wife and Bui Yee entered the baby room to see the assembled furniture.

While laughing to Fei’s comment, Quin’s felt her water broke.  It was a good thing there was an experienced nurse there.  Not that she was there to help Quin with the delivery, but Bui Yee was there to keep the ‘father’ and ‘grand-father’ as calm as possible while they got Quin to the hospital.

“Fei, the baby is coming!  Hurry!”  Quin gave her husband a look of panic when the contractions started while they were in the car.

“No, tell baby to wait!  We’re not there yet!”  Fei stepped harder on the accelerator.  “We can’t let her be born in the car!”
Then Quin started laughing hysterically.  Bui Yee thought the pain from her contractions was making her laugh while her dad thought she had lost her mind.  Only Fei knew why his wife was laughing, he turned to look at her.  “No, that would be a double whammy if she was born in a car!” After saying that, they both laughed uncontrollably until they got to the hospital. 

No matter how cool in appearance he looked; no matter how cold his actions may have been in the past; no matter how unprepared he was to the news of his fatherhood; and no matter how long it took for him to realize his deep love for his wife; right now as Fei held his newborn daughter in his hands for the first time, there was no doubt in Quin’s eye that he would not give up his own life for her and their child.   If anyone was to ask how he felt at this moment, he would not be able to come up with any words that would fit the description.  However, his teary eyes and smiling face at the same time communicated it all.  This was the moment when he realized that the new life in his hands was never created by his bundle of lust but by the Giver of Life.  He sat down next to his wife and said to her with deep emotions.

“Look how perfect she is!”
Quin took the baby from her husband and cradled her in her arms.  “Yes, she was knit together in my womb, fearfully and wonderfully made.”  She looked into Fei’s eyes and asked.  “His work is indeed wonderful, isn’t it?”

Fei couldn’t agree more.  “Though she came a few hours later, this is still my perfect Father’s Day gift!”  He kissed his wife and told her.  “Thank you!”

Quin grabbed hold of Fei’s watch.  “It’s still Father’s Day in Hawaii!  Did you want to fly us there?”

Early September, the ICI received information about a state of emergency for which Fei and his team were to attend a briefing at the FBI Headquarter in Washington DC.  This was also the very first time he was physically away from his daughter who was now close to being three months old.  Though Quin was reluctant for him to leave, she knew he was needed at his job.  He made a promise to call every night before going to sleep in Washington DC and that he would pick up her call whenever she called from Redmond.

He had been away for three days and had called home every night from the hotel after Quin had bathe and gotten the baby ready to say goodnight to Fei.  Tonight the phone rang while Quin was still eating dinner.

“You’re early today!”  Quin was munching her food as she picked up the phone.  “I haven’t set up the video camera yet.”

“Soon you won’t have to!”  Fei told her about a camera application he was involved with at the ICI.  “I’ll get you a phone that has a webcam feature to do that.  Anyways, I called early because I need to sleep now as we’ll be driving into New York tomorrow.  We’ll be there for three days, set to fly back home in the afternoon on the 12th.  I’ll email you the flight details.”

Quin put the handset on speaker phone.  Then with her daughter in one arm, she walked to the wall next to the fridge where the family calendar was hung.  “Let me mark it down.  So you’ll be in New York from….let’s see… tomorrow is … Monday.”  She counted three days on the calendar with her finger.  Then she cradled her daughter in her arm as she wrote ‘Home’ in the square box for the 12th.  They said their goodbyes and disconnected the call.  Quin rocked her daughter in both arms, cheerfully repeating and making the infant giggled with delight.  “Daddy is coming home! Yes!  Daddy is coming home!”

Then she back tracked the days on the calendar and wrote ‘NY’ in the two square boxes for September 10th and 11th.  That very night, both Fei and Quin dreamt of being at home with each other.

Love will be our Home – by Sandi Patti