November 07, 2021
Lily started volunteering at the local orphanage after her daughter, Celeste, died. There she saw an eight-year-old girl named Hope, who looked precisely like Celeste. She told her husband, Andrew, and they decided to adopt her. But then Andrew’s mom met Hope and told them the heartbreaking truth.
Andrew met Lily while attending college at UCLA, but he was originally from Scottsdale, Arizona. When they graduated, he proposed and asked Lily to move back to his hometown with him. She agreed, and they settled there.
Andrew’s mother, Alina Barkley, was delighted when they moved near her. She insisted on being called Mrs. Barkley, although she was never married and had raised Andrew as a single mother. But the older woman was even more excited when Lily announced her pregnancy.
Lily met an eight-year-old girl at the orphanage. | Source: Shutterstock
Lily gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and named her Celeste. Unfortunately, the baby was born with a congenital disability and passed away at the age of two. Lily could barely get out of bed for weeks afterward but was thankful for her mother-in-law’s support.
“Mom, I don’t know how to deal with this pain. I don’t know if Lily is going to recover. I read that couples that lose a child don’t make it,” Andrew cried to his mother when Lily was asleep.
“No, son. I’m here. I have an idea that will help Lily, hopefully. You two love each other. You’ll make it,” Mrs. Barkley promised. A few months after Celeste’s passing, Lily started volunteering at the local orphanage at Mrs. Barkley’s suggestion.
“Thank you, Mrs. Barkley. It’s kind of you to come to and spend time with the kids,” the social worker at the orphanage told her.
“Oh, please call me Lily. Mrs. Barkley is my mother-in-law. She told me to do this. I was a bit hesitant at first, but seeing the kids smiling has made me so happy today,” Lily told the woman. But just then, a little eight-year-old approached them.
Lily froze when a little girl approached her at the orphanage. | Source: Pexels
“Hello! Do you want to play with me?” the girl asked, looking up at Lily, who suddenly froze in place. This girl was the vivid image of Celeste. She couldn’t believe it. Then the girl pulled on her skirt, and Lily unfroze.
“Hey, there! Of course, I can play. What’s your name?” Lily asked.
“My name is Hope!” the little girl replied and started dragging her toward a spot in the orphanage’s playground. Lily followed happily. She’s older, but that’s exactly what Celeste would’ve looked like, the woman thought.
She played with Hope all afternoon and left. When Andrew got home, she told him everything about Hope.
“I’m glad you had a good time, honey,” Andrew said sadly, thinking about Celeste.
“Sweety, aren’t you listening to me? This girl looks exactly like Celeste. How is that possible?” Lily insisted. Andrew didn’t know what to say.
“You know how they say that everyone has a counterpart in the world? Maybe that’s it,” he suggested. “But anyway, you look thrilled.”
She begged Andrew to come and see Hope. | Source: Pexels
“Please come with me tomorrow. You’ll see her for yourself. It’s amazing,” she begged him, and Andrew couldn’t say no. The following day, he was astonished at the resemblance. Since then, one or both of them came to visit Hope every day.
When Lily asked the social worker what happened to Hope’s parents, the woman could only tell her that her mother died at childbirth, and no one knew anything about the father or the rest of the family. So Lily asked to foster her.
Soon, she and Andrew were filing the paperwork and later got the approval to take Hope home. A few days after getting the little girl settled in their home, they invited Andrew’s mom to visit. They expected her to be surprised by the resemblance, but Mrs. Barkley started crying.
“Mom, it’s ok. It’s ok. Please, don’t cry. You’re scaring Hope,” Andrew begged his mom while Lily took Hope to her room.
“Mrs. Barkley, are you angry? I swear I’m not trying to replace Celeste. She’ll never be forgotten. But this girl needs a good home,” Lily hesitated.
Mrs. Barkley revealed the truth that had plagued her all these years. | Source: Pexels
“No, dears. It’s not that. It’s just… I think I know why Hope looks so much like Celeste. Well, I mean, your child was exactly like Andrew,” Mrs. Barkley said through tears.
“What’s going on, Mom?” Andrew asked, bewildered. Lily was also curious.
“I never told you this, and I felt so guilty about it. But do you remember your old girlfriend, Ashley?” Mrs. Barkley began.
“Of course,” Andrew replied and looked at Lily. “We broke up when I left for college. But what about her?”
“A few months after you left, she came to my doorstep. She told me she was pregnant with your baby. I told her you didn’t want anything to do with her. I was so afraid of you dropping out of college. I wanted you to have an education,” Mrs. Barkley explained in shame.
“Mom…” Andrew breathed. Lily covered her mouth in shock and worry. But Mrs. Barkley was not done with her story.
“I heard that her parents kicked her out of the house. Months later, I saw her name on an obituary. She had died giving birth. I was so ashamed of myself. I went to ask her parents about the baby, but they told me the baby died too. I guess they lied,” the older woman cried.
Andrew couldn't believe what his mother had done. | Source: Pexels
“So this little girl is actually Celeste’s big sister?” Lily sniffled. “And she has lived in that orphanage all these years. It’s like she was waiting for us.”
“I can’t believe this,” Andrew sobbed too.
“Please, forgive me, son. I was such a fool,” Mrs. Barkley cried. Andrew forgave his mother quickly, although he wished he could’ve been there for Ashley.
“What’s done is done. What’s important is that Hope is with us now. I’m sure with a paternity test, we can adopt her quickly,” Lily suggested. They all dried their tears and took Hope for a fun outing at the park.
Mrs. Barkley hugged her fiercely. “Welcome to the family, my little girl,” the older woman told Hope.
The paternity test confirmed that Hope was indeed Andrew’s daughter, and the social worker expedited the adoption process. They waited several years before telling Hope everything that happened, but she knew all about Celeste from the beginning and grew to love her late sister, although they never met.
Hope learned everything when she was older and formed a great bond with her grandmother. | Source: Pexels
When Hope turned 16, Mrs. Barkley took her to visit Ashley’s grave, and they honored her together every year after. It was Mrs. Barkley’s way of atoning for what she did, and Hope was glad to know that she was never really abandoned.
Lily became the mother Hope never had and Hope also formed a close bond with her grandmother, making her family was the most important part of her life.
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