Turn it over.”
“What is this?”
“What is it?” Samantha asks. The girls are all straining their necks to see. “It’s Sophie’s fingerprint.”
Stacy’s hazel eyes meet mine as they fill with tears. “This is her fingerprint?” “Oh, what a lovely gift,” Luke’s mom sighs.
“Yeah, I thought you’d like to always have a piece of her with you, even if she’s not with you.” I shrug, feeling kind of silly, but she gives me that wide, special smile and I know that she loves it.
“It’s wonderful! Thank you.”
“Here, Stace,” Nat hands Stacy a box wrapped in silver with a blue bow. It’s the size of a small shirt box.
“We didn’t bring this from home either.”
“No, we didn’t.” She fidgets, not looking me in the eye, and looks suddenly very nervous.
“Do I get to open it?” I ask dryly.
She glances nervously around the room. Brynna gives her a discreet thumbs up and Natalie smiles brightly at her, and now I’m dying to know what’s in this damn box.
“Maybe we should wait until we’re home.”
“Oh hell no!” Caleb and Luke yell out together. There are moans and boos, and she winces and looks back up at me, biting her lower lip.
“Hey,” I cup her face in my hands and smile down at this amazing woman that I’m lucky enough to call mine. “It’s okay. Whatever it is, I’ll love it.”
She swallows hard and whispers so low I can barely hear it, “I hope so.”
She hands me the box and, because I’m a smart ass, I start to slowly unwrap it the way she always does and she giggles.
“Unless you want to die, speed it up, brother,” Caleb growls.I make quick work of the bow and paper and open the lid.
And my world stops.
It’s a black and white photo of Sophie. She’s sitting up on a hardwood floor
with Christmas lights all around her. She has a Santa hat on that’s just a little too
big. Her big eyes are laughing happily at the camera. But propped up next to her is a piece of paper, and on it are the words:
I’m going to be a big sister. Merry Christmas!
My eyes shoot to Stacy’s and she’s got tears flowing down her cheeks. “What?” I breathe.She just nods.
I shake my head and look at the 
photo again and feel my own eyes fill. We’re
having another baby? Now? But how?
“I know, it’s soon, but the doctor confirmed it the other day.”
“Is this…?” I don’t even have to finish my question before she’s nodding
frantically. “Yes.”
“Oh my God.” I look up at our family, all staring at us with a mixture of curiosity and wonder. Brynna is crying – of course she already knew – and Natalie is rubbing her own belly serenely. “We’re having another baby!”
“Holy shit, I’m getting the beer!” Will runs for the kitchen for the celebratory beer and everyone else rushes around us, pulling us into hugs, slapping me on the back. It’s a blur of smiles and tears and hands and hugs.
Finally my wife is back in my arms and I’m kissing her with all I have. Jules doesn’t even dare say anything about this public display of affection.
I pull back, and wipe her tears off her cheeks with my thumbs. My God, after all these years of praying and hoping and trying so fucking hard to add to our family, it’s finally happening.
“I love you,” she whispers in her sweet soft voice.
I bury my face in her neck, breathe in her sweet Stacy scent and murmur, “God, I love you too. Merry Christmas.” 


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