Thanks to a generous gift from her friend Elwood Riedmayer, Rivka had a little extra money around. As soon as the check cleared the bank she was on the phone with the adoption service. Not long after she received an adoptive placement of four siblings--two sets of fraternal twins!
The older pair were named Gretchen and Jeannie. Gretchen had red hair and green eyes.
Jeannie had brown hair and green eyes. Rivka couldn't help but think Jeannie looked a little bit like herself as a child, except Rivka's eyes were brown.
The second pair were Gavin and Theresa. Gavin had red hair and green eyes like Gretchen.
Theresa shared red hair with two of her older siblings, but was unique in having brown eyes.
Rivka soon realized that, getting on in years as she was, she might not be around long enough to see her children safely to adulthood. So she invited over her good friend Melanie Tse and asked if she would like to move in. Shockingly, Melanie agreed. (Later, Rivka would learn that Melanie herself had been raised in the foster system and thus felt for children without families.) Melanie brought a little money with her and they were able to lay the foundations for a new house to replace the flimsy shelter Rivka had erected. Melanie got a job as a record store clerk to help pay the bills; Rivka quit her dead-end job to stay home with the children.
Rivka's predictions about her longevity proved sadly correct. She passed on while all of her children were still in elementary school--just collapsed in the yard one day while birdwatching. Melanie organized a simple funeral and did the best she could to console the children.
Melanie became the children's legal guardian but never actually adopted them herself. She also never encouraged them to call her "Mom," emphasizing that Rivka was their mother. So they called her "Auntie Melanie."
Despite this, Melanie essentially was a mother to the Dejackome children in the ensuing months and years. She helped them with homework...
...and she made them pancakes for breakfast sometimes.
Of course, the children did have to work through some trauma, considering they had barely left the orphanage when their kindly adoptive mother died. However, they were soon acting like happy, well-adjusted kids.
Melanie did occasionally let them get away with stuff she might not have otherwise, figuring that if they were happy it was okay to wear out the box springs a little bit.
Rivka had carried a fairly large insurance policy, so Melanie was able to pay for some improvements around the property. Of course, the first thing she did was put a protective fence around Rivka's grave and plant some flowers to pretty it up a bit.
Melanie was also able to improve the look of the interior of the house--three bedrooms, one bathroom, a well-appointed kitchen and dining room, and a living room with plenty of space for guests. (The Dejackome house is a rough model of a house in one of the novels I'm working on, so it's not necessarily well laid-out for Sim life. It works okay for the Dejackomes, though.)
Outside, Melanie planted some flowering shrubs to make the little gray house look more cheerful.
Altogether, it was a pretty good week for the Dejackomes. Much better than Week One. Though the pictures don't reflect it, Rivka was actually very close to all her children despite the short time she got to spend with them. The reason she died in platinum was that as each child was adopted she rolled a want to be friends with that child, so I made sure she became friends. Then she'd roll a want to be best friends and I'd try to fulfill that too. (In case you didn't figure it out, I made up the stuff about the kids all being siblings, just like I did with the Whitfill kids. They looked so much alike it was an easy imaginative leap.)
A nice side effect of this was that the kids got quite a lot of life insurance money when she died. Combined with Melanie's income, that money enabled them to live pretty comfortably.
Melanie will probably die a spinster. She's a knowledge Sim (with a lifetime want to reach the top of the Gaming career), so she probably won't mind.