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.