Happy 10th Birthday, Kaden Brooks!!

That's how much it cost to deliver you (I still have the bills in your baby album). 
However, these last ten years have been priceless. 

From the moment you made your debut, four weeks early, your Dad and I knew that it would no longer be about us. Even though we were trying to figure out just who we were as individuals, it was clear that together we had to be parents.  Not perfect parents. Just the best parents we could be to you.

So far, it's working...with a few bumps in the road. Nothing that a little love can't handle, though.

You're an intelligent boy. You require little assistance with your homework. In fact, asking for help is always your last resort. Your math skills are impressive. Sometimes I can't even figure out the equations. Clearly you are Smarter Than a 5th Grader, but your parents are not. Don't ever let your passion for reading die. It's the one place where you can go on a journey for free. Never let anyone tell you that "smart" is a bad word.

Let's not forget about your love of music. Sure you like to groove to the latest jams on the radio, but you've made an art out of your love for music as well. Who knew that you would pick up a double bass, learn a few basic notes, and become a part of the orchestra? Well, you obviously did.

And the big shocker came when you told us that you joined the chorus. Your Dad and I were both thrilled. You were actually going to share your voice with the rest of the world. We already knew you could sing from early on.

Your athleticism blows us away. Your Dad was always involved in sports, while I was busy cheering on the sideline or leaping across the dance floor. It's was obvious you would love sports. You have an aggressive edge with a side of gentle. It's a weird combination, but it's going to take you far. We've never pushed you to play any sport that you don't love. It's always been your choice to make. In fact, if you wanted to learn how to joust, I'm sure we'd sign you up for that too. So far, soccer and basketball are your favorite. You gave t-ball a try, but it just wasn't for you. Thank goodness you figured it out early.

We adore you. There are pieces of your Dad and me that are clearly evident in you.
Your sense of humor and quick wit.
Your charm and smile.
Your quick thinking.
Your ability to make new friends.

Your risk-taking.
Your determination to get it right.
Your sensitivity.
Your creative genius.
Your love of family.
Your kind heart.

All of this in ten years. Wow! It's unbelievable to think that so much has happened in this short period of time.

There is only one Kaden. And there is only one reason why today, December 24, is so special– it's the day God decided our life needed completion. Despite our situation– mentally, financially, spiritually– we were blessed with a child.

Life has never, and will never, be the same.Thank God for you!!

Happy Birthday, Kaden. You are loved more than you know. 
Forever Yours,
Mom & Dad

P.S. We have failed again at making this a "low-key" birthday and Christmas. I guess some things will never change.
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