Monday, October 25, 2010

October 25, 2010

Dearest Aaron,

A lot has been going on in your life lately and I knew it was time to catch you up on the events. I keep hearing the phrase, "Oh, you have to write that down!" over and over again, so in an attempt to remember all of the super fun things you do, or the heartbreaks we've had, I'm going to include them here.

The biggest heartbreak we've suffered was AriAnna. You, my sweet boy, had a little sister for eight fun filled, sleepless, messy, stressful days. She was four days old when she was placed in our home, and twelve days old when she left. You were amazing with her, picking up her pacifier when she dropped it, patting her hand when she would cry and helping me feed her a bottle. It was only eight days, but we all loved her. It has been six months since she left, and you only ask about her every now and again, but still it breaks my heart when you do.

You have started school at St. Mary's Montessori, and love it. You have so many wonderful stories for me every day when I pick you up. One of my favorite stories is about one of the mornings when I dropped you off. Monsignor Waldow was helping get you out of the car and I asked you to say good morning to him. You looked up at him with your big brown eyes, grinned really big, and said, "Good morning, Motorcycle Waldow." You took off inside and he and I laughed for a few minutes.

Another fun story that your wonderful teacher, Miss Jennifer, shared with me was when you were carrying your lunch down the hall. You held up the bag, looked at Monsignor and said, "Look, God. I've got lunch." And with another big grin you went to put your lunch away. Miss Jennifer was pretty impressed. She said she'd never had coffee with God before.

You've had some attitude problems at school, but it is part of the growing process. You, my dear, are no shy little boy. You are a big, assertive, loud kid. I love that about you, but I'm afraid it may cause you some problems in your school career. I hope I can teach you to temper your thoughts and actions with love and compassion. There are some days I see your heart shining so brightly in your eyes that it takes my breath away.

You and your dad are my world, kiddo. Always remember we love you more than anything.

You had the flu last week, and man, it made you a bear to live with. You missed three days of school and your schedule was so out of whack. You don't like it when your schedule is messed up. Your favorite word this last week has been no, and whining was the name of the game. Hopefully, things will get better now that you are back in school today.

I pray every night that I am doing the right things for you, and that you are able to forgive me for the things that I do wrong. I mess up so often that I'm terrified you will hate me when you grow up. Please just know that I've loved you forever, and I always will, no matter what. I'm always going to push you to do better and try harder. I want the best for you, and you've been gifted with so many advantages that other kids don't have. I hope that you will grab life with both hands and wring as much pleasure and excitement and success as possible out of it. You are so smart and courageous. Nothing scares you, and that scares me more than you can imagine.

I'm so sorry for the times when I finally lose my temper with you, sweetheart. Last night was one of those times. I'd had five days of your horrible temper and whining, and your dad was starting to get sick as well. The house was a mess and my head felt like it was going to fall off of my shoulders. You refused to eat dinner, yet again, and I lost it. I yelled. I cried. I slammed a door. Your amazing dad took one look at me and told me to go outside, calm down and take a break. He convinced you to calm down and eat, and for me to take a time out of the mommy variety. It did us both a world of good.

You got another cousin this month. Berkely arrived on the October 16th, and we were going to go and visit them this last weekend, but you and daddy weren't feeling well, so we are going to try to go another day.

Halloween is coming and you are so excited you can barely stand it. You are going to dress up as a pirate this year and you are so freaking cute in your costume.

You are my heart. I love you and hope you always love me, even when you don't like me.

All my love,

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5, 2010

My dear Aaron,

I just peeked my head into your room to check on you. You were sleeping like an angel and I couldn't help but think about all the things we did together this weekend.

It was our very first Easter together and it was amazing. We must have hidden the eggs ten times just to watch the pure joy on your face when you found one. You light up a room with that smile, and I can't wait to fill up the years seeing it.

Your third birthday has come and gone and you got more presents than any little boy should ever get. There is no more room in your toy box, but I'm sure you will still get more toys.

You were in your first car accident this weekend. You were with grandpa and had gone to the airport to pick up grammy. At a stoplight a young girl didn't stop and hit the car behind the one you were in. In seconds four cars had been slammed together. You were scared, but not hurt. We hurried to the accident as fast as we could and I wrapped you in my arms and wouldn't let you go. I think I was more scared than you were.

We all survived and you don't seem to have any lingering fear. You are still telling us about the scary car bang, but I am pretty sure you will even forget that as soon as something more exciting happens.

I just have to tell you I love you, my sweet boy.

Sweet dreams, love.

xoxo Mommy

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010 Letter

Dear Aaron,

I want to tell you a story about a precious little boy. Why yes, that would be you. I want to tell you a little bit about you.

When you first came to live with us, daddy was still off on summer vacation but not for too much longer, so we struggled with finding you a daycare. One that would take care of you, and love you and teach you. We thought we had found the perfect place. It was near our house, and we knew the person who managed it. You seemed to do okay for a while, but then the “teachers” there said you were having bad dreams at naptime. There was a mean kid there that bit you and left a scar. I cried a lot when that happened. You didn’t seem to be thriving with the two year olds, so we asked them to move you up and into the three year old class.

That seemed to work for a while, but then they told us you were having horrible tantrums, and more bad dreams. Your attitude at home got worse, too. You didn’t want to do anything, except watch TV, and that wasn’t how we wanted you to grow up. We tried everything to make it better for you. Different bed times, bribing you with “candy” (actually it was Flintstones Gummy Vitamins), begging, pleading and crying. Nothing seemed to work. Then a week before Christmas, they said we couldn’t bring you back. Fortunately, daddy and I were off for the holiday and were able to be with you.

I can honestly say, I’ve never even heard of a two year old getting kicked out of daycare. I was shocked and angry. Sadly, I was angry with you, as well as them. I wondered what I was doing wrong. I knew you could be a good boy, but you refused to be good at daycare.

Things settled down and we celebrated Christmas with Grammy and Grampa and Mimi and Pop. You made out like a bandit. I had to come home and clean out your toy box so that you would have room for all of your new toys. In the back of my mind, though, was the worry that you would act badly at your new “school” and we would be stuck in the same boat.

I look back at it now and shake my head. I’m so sorry I didn’t listen to you. All of your acting out was trying to tell me that you didn’t like it there. You’ve been at your new school for three weeks and you love every minute of it there. Some days, you don’t want to come home with me when it is time to go. Your potty training is going really well (for the most part), you laugh and smile and play all of the time, and best of all, when you come home, now you want to play with mommy and daddy and not just watch movies. And if you do want to watch a movie, you want us to watch it with you.

I love you, sweetheart, and I’m so glad you’re home now.

All my love,

Monday, January 18, 2010

January 18, 2010 Letter from Dad

To My Aaron Michael Phares
Watching SpongeBob, helping you count to five, teaching you “tators”, hearing you say your complete name…all of these things and more have happened over the last six months. If someone would have come to me just before you arrived on that wonderful Saturday and said you will have taught you these things and more, I would have not believed it. But six months ago today we were blessed with you being placed with us…and what a half year can do to you.


You are growing up so fast already. You have learned so many things, even if putting me in time out is one of them. And I can tell you with all my heart that I am proud of you. I LOVE YOU so much and I hope you understand that everything I do is for you and your mom and that I will always encourage you to do what you want to in life. The other night, when mom was holding you and you reached up to the stars, trying so very hard to touch them…DON’T EVER STOP!! Don’t ever stop reaching for the stars!! You can be anything you want to be and I will do everything I can to get you there.
Six months ago we welcomed our forever child into our hearts. You have taken up that space effectively and our family became that much stronger. Your mom and I will always love you and do our best to keep you safe. We will be there when you have straight “A’s” in school, the sports you will play, the knees you will skin, the bumps, the bruises, and all of life’s journeys you will take. I can tell you that we are scared to death at the same time because we want to do what is best for you and be the best parents we can be. But we will always be there for you. Your mom is one awesome lady and I hope you think that I am an awesome dad.
Well, I think I have rambled on long enough now. We have just one more hurdle to jump. On February 8, 2010 we go to court to make it all legal. I’m so happy and excited I can’t hardly sit still…just like you at the dinner table. Your mom is just as excited. And you are going to have one heck of a cheering section in that court room. Mimi, Pop, Grammy, Grandpa and many others will be there to welcome you to the family once again. You already are a major part of this family, the paperwork is just a formality. You just have to know one thing…no matter what, your mom and I will love you today and forever! Don’t you ever forget that for one second!

All My Love “Sweetboy”,


January 18, 2010 letter

My sweet boy,

You’ve been with us for almost six months now, and adoption day looms close. I swear you steal another piece of my heart every day.

From the second I first saw your beautiful face, my heart has been yours. The first two hours you were with us, you slept, and we watched you and cried and held each other. I couldn’t stop myself from touching you to see if you really were there. I held your little hand and wept tears of joy.

Since that day, there have been too many tears to count. I’ve held you close, and cherished every single second we have been together. You are the fulfillment of our dreams.

I’ve watched you sleep and play. I’ve kissed boo boos and doctored scrapes. I was there for your first haircut, and yes I cried when they cut off all your beautiful hair, and I was there to pick you up from your first day of daycare.

You break my heart with your tears, but mend it with “loll you’s” and grunt hugs and sugary wet kisses. And, even when I don’t think I’ll hang onto my sanity if I hear, “Mommy, I want,” one more time, my soul rejoices to be called mommy.

I always knew I would be ferocious protecting you and I’ve proven it more than once. You fill my days with laughter and my nights with contentment.

Not everything is perfect – not by any stretch of the imagination. We all get frustrated, and scared and sometimes even angry, but we are learning. Daddy and I learn something new everyday.

You are incredibly smart, and good grief, you remember EVERYTHING. I’ve learned that anytime a two year old says uh-oh and flushes the toilet, it’s already too late. I’ve learned that the “pee pee in the potty” song sticks in your head for hours and people look at you funny when you are dancing around at work with no music on. I’ve learned that our elderly cat doesn’t like Cheerios, and that my super-hyper black lab relaxes around you, and he loves you and will let you do anything you want to him, even when I know it has to hurt to have your tail pulled. I’ve learned that a jar of Vaseline and 30 seconds unsupervised is a huge mess, but a really good time for a little boy. I’ve learned that you have to disassemble a VCR to get out change, a hot wheels car and the Lion King DVD we looked for all week long.

I’ve learned that story time is one of my very favorite times. You sit in my lap and let me hold you until we make it through a whole book, and even if we have to read the book nine more times before you don’t want to sit still any more, it just gets better each time. I’ve learned that I can’t wait to get off work and go pick you up from school, just to see your face light up and hear you say mommy. I’ve learned that you are precious when you just wake up and come looking for me. You rub your sleepy eyes and always say, “I sleep good, mommy.”

I’ve learned that a toddler on a tricycle is dangerous to walls, shins and anything not quick enough to get out of the way. I’ve learned that when you are in a hurry, there is nothing slower than a two year old, and when you turn your back for a second they move like lightning. I’ve learned the true meaning of fear, watching you run, trying to catch daddy before he left and heading right for the street, knowing I couldn’t make it to you in time. I’ve learned the meaning of sorrow, every time I’m told another biological family member has called asking about you. I’ve learned that even at your most frustrating you are a blessing.

Daddy learned quicker than me to always watch what he says, even if you are in a different room, because even though I have to call your name fifty times to get you to come to the dinner table, one bad word whispered in the kitchen catches your attention and you will repeat it at the most awkward time.

These last few months have been such a learning experience for us. We have grown up and our love has deepened exponentially. All because of you.

I love you forever and ever.


Friday, July 17, 2009

July 17, 2009 Letter

My dear sweet forever child,

I get to finally meet you tomorrow. I broke down and cried yesterday when Miss Pat, our adoption worker called me to tell me that you were ours. You are finally coming home to me. No one can tell me much about you, no one knows your favorite food or color or toy, and that makes me sad. I can't wait to find out all of your favorites. Miss Kelli is bringing you home to us tomorrow, and I can't thank her enough for picking us for you.

You are going to be the greatest blessing in my life. I'm going to give you all the love and support and stability you ever need. And no one will ever hurt you again. I won't allow it. Everyone already loves you, and they are all buying you toys and clothes right now, even though we don't know much at all.

I can't wait to hold you in my arms tomorrow and tell you how much I already love you. I hope you aren't too scared. I know it is a long way home, baby, but know that we will be there waiting for you, full of wonder and love and thankfulness that you are finally coming home.

All my love, sweetheart. Travel safely to me tomorrow.

Friday, June 19, 2009

June 18, 2009 Letter

My Dearest Forever Child,

I'm sorry it has been so long between letters. To much time has been allowed to pass.

My birthday has come and gone. Parts were good, parts weren't so good. Work called your dad away, but your uncle Billy took me to see a movie. the movie was horrible, but we had a lot of fun. My dad cooked me one of my favorite meals and I got the things I asked for.

the highlight of the day had to be getting our license to adopt from the state. It was one more step on our journey to bring you home.

On my desk at work, there is an angel holding a boy and another figurine that is a mother holding her son. One is from your dad, given to me because I already love you so much and the other if from my mom - a gift for a soon-to-be mom. My heart swells with joy every time I look at them, and I make it a point to start everyday with a prayer for you, my love. I pray that where ever you are right now that you are getting all the love and care you need.

My greatest fear now is that you aren't getting everything you need. I have to trust that the people whose hearts were big enough to open their home to you are the best kind of people there are.

I have to tell you that I want you to come home to us so bad that sometimes I ache with it. Not a second goes by that I don't think about your sweet face and wonder what your laugh will sound like filling up our quiet home.

Your uncle Kelly and Aunt Brooke were blessed on June 1rs with beautiful baby Kaden, and everyone wants you to meet your new cousin. He was a sick little guy for a few days, but like everyone in your family he's a fighter and seems to be perfect now. Your dad and I got to spend a wonderful day with them and every time I held Kaden I hoped someone was there to hug you close and let you know how important you are to all of us.

A few short days after Kaden came into the world, your dad left for a week to go to Washington, D.C. I think he had fun, but I missed him horribly. The house was so empty and quiet. The poor dogs got more hugs and pets than I think they've ever gotten.

He's home safe and sound now, but I still feel lonely sometimes. I want to read to you and tuck you in at night. I want to take you shopping for toys and stuff to fill your room - it's so empty without you.

I want to hear you tell me how much fun you had at summer camp, and as much as it scares me, I can't wait until you tell me you want to play football. Maybe you will want to take karate, and then we'll call your uncle Matt and have him help us find a good dojo for you. He has a few black belts and is in the Combat Karate Hall of Fame, so he would know what to look for.

He's a great guy, your uncle Matt. I'm so very proud to call him brother. Sometimes he's stubborn, but we all are, and sometimes he says things I don't think he means, but he's still young, and I remember how it felt to think you know more than everyone else. Most everyone goes through that stage and almost everyone grows out of it. He has accomplished so much in his life. He was a shy little boy with glasses that had an infectious laugh. He and I had a hard time growing up, but we got through it and I think it made us both stronger.

Sometime in grade school or maybe junior high, Matt discovered his passion for karate. it made him a strong, confident young man. He made good grades throughout school and got into Texas Tech. Four years later, some good, some bad, he graduated and now he's a Cardiac Intensive Care nurse. My shy quiet little brother is now an adventurous, fun loving man. He rides a motorcycle, spars with other 'ninjas', rock climbs, goes to Irish pubs and is brave enough to wear a kilt in front of my dad. I remember when he was four or five I taught him every word to a popular song, including the bad words and had him go sing it to our mom. I was dumb enought to believe he'd get in trouble for saying bad words. I really didn't think it through, though, and I got in trouble for teaching him the words. he's gotten me back many times over the years tholugh. The first and most memorable time was when he hid in the laundry hamper in the bathroom. I don't know how long he stayed there waiting, but I was his victim. I went in to use the bathroom, and just as I undid my pants he jumped up in the hamper and yelled boo. I screamed and ran aroudn the house with my pants falling down around my ankles. My mom and dad still laugh about it.

As much as Matt and I sometimes disagree, I love him and I thinks he's well on his way to being an amazing young man.

Your uncle Billy on the other hand, is a booger. Always has been, always will be. i'm a lot older than he is - twelve years, actually. He's always been the most outgoing of the three of us. When he was little he always had on some sort of costume. Whether he was dancing around with a beaded bandana tied around his waist or in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit our mom made, he was always wearing something funky.

I had a best friend in high school named Cathy, and she and I were inseperable for years. Billy decided one day that Cathy was his wife, and to this day, when I say her name, he still asked me how his wife it. The year he started his very first first day of school, I started my last year of high school. I was a teacher's adie for his class, so I took him to school and got to help teach him some of the first things he learned.

When he was little, he used to wake up and get scared in the middle of the night, so he started crawling into my bed. Well, I was a teenager, and like most teenagers, my room was a disaster area. Clean and dirty laundry covered my floor. I used to say the clothes were protecting my floor from the vacuum cleaner. Well, one night, B crawled into my bed and evidently rolled out of the bed and into a pile of laundry. Neither he or I woke up, but he covered himself up with clothes and slept on peacefully.

I think things would have been fine, but our mom woke up and decided to check up on everyone. When she couldn't find Billy, she was understandibly upset. He wasn't in any bed or anywhere else she could find. She came to check my room one last time before I'm sure she would have called the police, and he must have made some noise. She zeroed in on that small sound and dug him out of the mountain of clothes. We both slept on, not realizing anything was wrong. Until morning anyway. I was grounded for a month and learned to always pick up my clothes.

there was also a time when he was probably three or four that he cracked up an entire church full of people. he'd fallen alseep during the sermon and while everyone was kneeling and the priest was praying he woke up. there was silence in the church for a moment until he jumped on my back, spurred like a pro rodeo bronc rider and yelled 'Giddyup horsey.' It took a while before the laughter died down and the priest could finish the service.

Now my baby brother is too grown up for my peace of mind. He towers over Matt and I at six feet tall. He is going to Texas Tech now, and is brilliant. After one sememster he was already a supplemental instruction leader for his physics class. Translated, that means he taught the class while his professor did other stuff. he spent a week at NASA one summer and writes incredibly well.

I'm so very proud of my two awesome brothers. They bring a lot of joy into our lives, and if I ever need anything, I call them first.

It has been hard for me at work lately. Things are tense and very busy, so that makes everyone grumpy. It's hard, but until we are rich and famous, your dad and I have to work.

I wish you were here with us. Our lives would be so much more full with you in it. I want you to know that we love you no matter what, and we will keep fighting to bring you home. For now, I pray that you get a big hug and feel our love. Please know that you'll come home to us soon and we can't wait. Your room sits empty, waiting for you to fill it with life and joy and toys. And our hearts are already full to bursting with love for you.

I wish you sweet dreams, my love. May angels watch over you and keep you safe until we can. Don't give up on us.

All my love, my forever child,