Friday, December 9, 2016

A Christmas Wish by Cerella Sechrist

This year, one very special wish for our family came true. For the past few years, my brother has been the only father figure to his wife's daughter, Emily. Caleb met Emily when she was only three years old, and next month, she turns ten. While we've always considered Emily part of the family (see my Dear Reader letter in Harper's Wish where I mention Emily!), it was still a special event when my brother was finally able to make his title official and became Emily's dad on paper.



This Christmas will be the first they'll share as official father and daughter. In honor of this wish come true, I wrote a scene with the characters from Harper's Wish because my heroine, Harper, is in a similar situation with my hero's daughter, Molly.

You can check out the scene below and make sure you read to the end of the post to enter for an awesome Christmas prize package!

This holiday season, I hope that you are surrounded by those who love you and that all your wishes come true.

 ***



The party was winding down. After hours of music, dancing, and speeches, Callahan’s contained only the final few of Connor and Harper’s closest of friends who had gathered to celebrate Harper’s official adoption of Molly, Connor’s daughter. The paperwork had been finalized at the courthouse that morning, and now Harper was truly Molly’s mom. Not just in the day-to-day but on paper. It left Harper a little breathless, both thrilled and overwhelmed, that this wish of hers had come true.

And just in time for Christmas. Harper couldn’t imagine any other present as precious as being entrusted with Molly’s care.

Harper sat at one of the tables in Callahan’s and twirled her fork through the remains of her dessert. Connor was exchanging goodbyes with the last of their guests as Molly leaned against his legs. She opened her mouth wide in a yawn and rubbed at her eyes. Harper smiled at the sight.

Her daughter.

As if her thoughts had called to the little girl, Molly turned and focused on Harper, her lips turning upward as their eyes met. Molly had been impatient for this day, ever since Harper and Connor had first sat her down and told her that Harper planned to adopt her. There had been a lot of negotiation and paperwork to get them to this point – locating Connor’s ex-wife who never stayed in one place for too long, broaching the subject of giving up her parental rights, and then arranging for the exchange of forms.

Though the other woman seemed stunned by Harper’s request, in the end, she conceded it was what was best for her daughter. She’d never really wanted to be a mother and only spoke to Molly once or twice a year. Harper had been in Molly’s life every day since she’d moved to Findlay Roads. And during her engagement to Connor, Harper had instituted weekly girl days and monthly sleepovers. Molly had felt like her child long before the papers had been signed. But to have the rest of the world recognize her as the little girl’s mom felt…right.

She watched as Molly moved away from Connor and came toward her. Harper pulled out a seat so the little girl could sit next to her at the table. The lights from the Christmas tree in the corner of the dining room bathed them in a soft glow.

“Did you have fun today?” Harper asked.

Molly nodded.

“Your dad did a great job on the menu.”

As a chef and the owner of Callahan’s, Connor had made up a special winter menu for their adoption celebration: potato chowder, fisherman’s pie, colcannon, and honeyed parsnips with bread and butter pudding for dessert. Harper had eaten way too much, as she always did when it came to Connor’s food, but that was something she and Molly shared. As a former restaurant critic, Harper enjoyed trying new dishes, and as Connor’s daughter, Molly had been raised on a healthy diet of both traditional and contemporary cuisine. The little girl was the least picky child she had ever met and would try just about anything placed before her.

“I liked the custard.”

Connor had made a special custard, in Molly’s honor, and was even adding it to the menu in the new year.

“It was delicious,” Harper agreed and then asked, “What was your favorite part about today?”

Molly’s lips twitched at all the memories they’d made that day. She tugged on one of her braids and ducked her head, almost shyly, though Harper had never known her to be very shy.

“When you gave your speech,” she answered, “about how happy you are to be my…mom.”

Harper couldn’t resist then. She pulled Molly into her arms and dropped a kiss onto the crown of her head. “I am happy. More than you can imagine.”

She lifted her gaze then and noticed flakes of white falling softly against the windowpanes.

“Molly, it’s snowing.”

Molly pulled away from her embrace and turned her head. She gasped with delight. “Let’s go outside!”

As they went to get their coats, Harper caught Connor’s eye. He looked at Molly who was tugging Harper along by the hand, and then at her. His eyes twinkled with happiness, and Harper warmed at the sight.

Was there anything better than a Christmas wish come true?

As she helped Molly finish buttoning her coat, she drew her close.

“You know what my favorite part of today was?” she asked the little girl.

“What?”

“Hearing you call me ‘Mom’ for the first time.”

Molly beamed, and together, they went hand-and-hand out into the snow.

***

Before you leave, don't forget to enter the Christmas giveaway below! Entries close on Sunday night! The prize includes an Irish Pub Cookbook containing recipes from the dishes mentioned in the story above along with a Starbucks Christmas stacking candy dishes cup, a set of Starbucks ornaments, a sweater sleeve to keep drinks warm, and an autographed copy of Harper's Wish, the first book in the Findlay Roads series.




And don't forget to pre-order A Song for Rory, book #2 in the Findlay Roads series, releasing in March 2017. Pre-order links can be found here.


Harper's Christmas Wish Giveaway
About Cerella:

 CERELLA SECHRIST lives in York, Pennsylvania with two precocious pugs, Darcy and Charlotte, named after Jane Austen literary characters. Inspired by her childhood love of stories, she was ten years old when she decided she wanted to become an author. These days, Cerella divides her time between working in the office of her family’s construction business and as a barista to support her reading habit and coffee addiction. She’s been known to post too many pug photos on both Instagram and Pinterest. You can see for yourself by finding her online at www.cerellasechrist.com. A Song for Rory, Book #2 in her Findlay Roads series, releases in March 2017.

33 comments:

  1. I'm so happy for your brother and his family, and for your family. I loved the scene.

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    1. Thanks, Liz! It was fun to write this scene when it ties in with our family situation this year. :)

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  2. What a sweet, real-life story. And a great scene too. Best to you and your family during this special holiday season.

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    1. Thank you so much, Leigh! And I hope your own holiday season is blessed!

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  3. How exciting for your family Cerella. And the scene is so true to life. How fantastic for your book scene to come true.

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    1. Thanks, Roz! I really appreciate what you said about the scene being true to life! Have a great weekend!

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  4. Thank you for sharing that touching scene from HARPER'S WISH, Cerella. I look forward to reading A SONG FOR RORY.

    Best of all, I am so happy for Caleb, Emily and your entire family for Caleb's wish coming true and for being able to celebrate it at such a joyous time of the year!

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    1. Thank you, Kate! And I appreciate your well wishes for Caleb and Emily!

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  5. Awesome post. So happy for Emily and Caleb. What a beautiful Christmas gift!

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    1. It really does make this Christmas extra special! Thanks, Tara!

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  6. I'd still love to read Harper's Wish! This year I'm getting my wish come true. I have wanted the Open Heart collection necklace for the last 8 yrs and I'm finally getting it this year! I can't wait to have it! Pam

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    1. Then I hope you entered the giveaway, Pam, so you can maybe win a copy of Harper's Wish! The Open Heart necklaces are very pretty - I'm glad you're finally getting one. Have a merry Christmas!

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  7. First off I'm very happy for your brother and niece!
    No I have to tell you a story about my husband and my daughter's Wayback and 99 I married my boyfriend would been my kids father since they were months old and one respectively . He was the only father they ever knew but they knew they had a biological father out there. The next year when they wrote out there's letters to Santa they asked Santa for daddy to adopt them . I was heartbroken and told them the Senate couldn't do that they needed to ask for a real thing and they told me oh no mommy said I can do anything .
    So I trotted my ass to the courthouse Crying to my ex sister in law who works for the family court judge .
    The judge called me in and said I remember your ex and he owes like 20,000 in back support ,he was abusive and you had a restraining orders and he went to jail for abuse.
    Yep that was the dirtbag.
    So the judge gave me two papers and told me to get him to sign them and if he did that you'd have it done for Christmas In 3 months.
    Luckily I have court the next week for child support hearing .
    And first thing he did was bitch about the fact that he shouldn't have to pay because they weren't his kids that my husband had always been daddy and he wasn't allowed to see them anyway because of the courts (he also had a felony gun conviction and threaten to kill people) and said I should just sign them away.
    I handed him the papers and he looks and goes into the courtroom and signs them away that day.
    December 20th the judge had us back in court to finalize the adoption so the kids could to to school the last day before vacation as Tidlund's and no longer Schotte's. The school was aware and had flowers for the girls when they went back to school that day !
    16 years later they are still daddy's girls and will destroy anyone who says his is not their daddy.
    This week oldest daughters boyfriend asked hubby for permission to marry his daughter !

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    1. Ignore the grammar mistakes please. I don't know how to go back and fix. It wrote senate instead of santa. Lmao

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    2. Hi Diana! Wow, what a story! But I love your happy ending. It sounds like your daughters love their dad. And congratulations on your daughter getting engaged! No worries on the grammar mistakes. The "senate" one had me laughing out loud, too. ;) Thanks so much for sharing your personal story! Have a merry Christmas!

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  8. Cerella - love the scene, and the real-life scene that played out in your family. Congratulations to all of you.

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    1. Thank you, Muriel! We appreciate the congratulations! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  9. Thank you for sharing that heartwarming scene, Cerella. As for your brother and Emily...the perfect gift to each other. Congratulations!

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    1. Well said, Jill! This is definitely a precious gift! Thank you!

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  10. What a beautiful blessing for your brother. This brought tears to my eyes. Congrats to all of you as you officially celebrate this most wonderful Christmas together.

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    1. Thank you, Cheryl! I appreciate this sweet comment! I hope your Christmas is equally wonderful!

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  11. Lovely, scene, Cerella, and a great example of how we can sometimes use "real life" in our stories.

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    1. And that's part of what I love about Heartwarming, Linda - how true-to-life the stories often are. Thank you so much for your comment and have a great weekend!

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  12. So sweet. Congratulations to your brother and his family. It's wonderful news.

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    1. Thank you so much, Beth! Your kind words are appreciated!

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  13. Such a sweet story! So happy for both of them. xoxo

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  14. Aw, that's wonderful about your brother! And I loved the scene.

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    1. Thank you so much, Patricia! I appreciate your kind words!

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  15. Loved what you shared about Emily. And what's even better is, besides being daddy on paper, he's daddy in the heart.

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    1. That is so true, Pam. He's been her dad for so long, it's just that now it's on paper, too. :)

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  16. Well, I had tears in my eyes just seeing Emily and Caleb. Love is truly the real meaning of Christmas and they have such joy in their faces.
    The story was touching and lovely. I can't wait to ready A Song For Rory.
    What a great Christmas your family will have!
    Merry Christmas, Cerella!

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    1. Catherine, your sentiments brought tears to my eyes, in turn! Thank you for such beautiful words. I hope your Christmas is equally blessed!

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