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black roses

By:samantha christy

ure the title of MVP.

After eleven years as starting quarterback for the Giants, it was the last game he played before announcing his retirement two seasons ago. Everyone knew he had a good five years left in him, but he didn’t want to miss any more birthday parties. He didn’t want to hear about Hailey’s teenage accomplishments or Griff’s first tee-ball game from me. He wanted to live those moments with them.

Hailey wanted to be here, but her sophomore class trip to D.C. was this week and we weren’t about to let her miss out on that experience. Not even for this. She has always wanted a sister, and now, God willing, she might be able to have two. The fact that they don’t share blood has never concerned her. Just as my not being her biological mother has never been an issue. Since she was two years old, I’ve been Mom and Cassidy has been Mama. And she is as much my child as Griff and the baby growing inside me.

Mason reaches over to squeeze my hand. “It’s going to be okay, sweetheart. We can get through anything, right?”

I nod. “Right, babe.”

He smiles and picks up my hand, kissing the back of it when the door to the conference room swings open, causing my heart to smash into the wall of my chest.

She walks through the door and I freeze. Time stands still. Mason leans into me and whispers, “God, Piper, she’s you.”

He’s right. It’s like looking into a mirror at my eighteen-year-old self, right down to her green eyes. But no way was I this beautiful. Nothing and no one has ever been as beautiful as the creature I see standing before me.

And just like the day I gave birth to her, she instantly works her way into every corner of my being.

With Mason’s help, I stand. I remind myself to breathe before I force my legs to walk me across the room.

Amber and I quietly stare at each other with millions of unanswered questions swimming in our identical eyes. As I come around the table and get closer to her, her eyes fall to my stomach. Then they dart over to where Griff has parked himself, staring out the picture window at the tiny cars thirty floors below.

A slow smile creeps up her face, brightening her eyes as they glisten with tears, matching my own. Her smile lights up the room. It lights up my soul. And for the first time in eighteen years, I feel complete.

“I’ve always wanted siblings,” she says through her smile.

Tears of joy roll down my cheeks as the first words I’ve ever heard her speak wind silken threads around my heart.

She holds her hand out to me. “Hi. I’m Amber,” she says, a sweet crest of emotion filling her voice. “Amber Rose Black.”