I hope on the day you are reading this the sun is shining on your face, and your heart is happy.
I wanted to take a minute to give you a few important lessons I've learned. Some words to try to live by if you can. I know you will figure things out yourself, and in your own time, but these nuggets of life might help.
1) Always be true to yourself. Always. You know yourself better than anyone else.
2) Take a minute before you pass judgment to think what it must be like to walk in that person's shoes.
3) When you love someone, tell them. But more importantly, show them. Never keep it inside. Let people you love know it!
4) Look for the good in others.
5) Try to be patient and kind. You never know what battle someone else is fighting.
6) Stand UP for what you feel strongly about! Shout it to the mountains! Keep her head up and hold your course.
7) Spend time reflecting on what is good in your life. Keep count of what you do have, not what you want.
8) If you're feeling down, sing, dance, laugh out loud! Or call your Pop. He's always good for a laugh!
9) Never forget about those who know you best. Even if you're mad at them. Never forget how much your Omma and Appa adore you.
10) When you thank God, don't just thank him for a particular prayer answered that day. Make sure you thank him for the days before and keeping you happy and healthy your whole life.
11) Respect people. Older, younger and your peers. Everyone appreciates respect.
12) Develop your passions in life! There's no wrong or right hobby. Do what you like, and do it well.
13) Learn how to cook one or two good meals. Your future wife and children will thank you.
14) Don't wage war in love. Two people in love will always have ups and downs. There will be days when you look at your girlfriend or wife and stare at her with amazement and gratitude. There will be other days when you want to run away for a few days, and scream and knock each other down with harsh comments. But try to remember the gratitude even then. True love is worth the effort and time.
15) Embrace your life story. It's ALL yours. Tell your adoption story with all the soul you can muster. It's such a unique and special story to tell. Remember how loved you were from the very beginning. Remember how many people in your life helped shape you, helped you grow! Your story is so awesome.
16) Be honest. Tell the truth. There is no greater freedom.
17) Listen to all types of music. You may not like them all, but give each a try.
18) Every now and then, go outside with a cup of coffee or any drink you prefer, and just sit. Feel the cool grass between your toes. Take a deep heavy breath. Close your eyes, and rest. Fill your body and mind with God's beauty.
19) Say "Thank You."
20) Say "I'm Sorry."
21) Ask for help. Ask if you can help.
22) Be silly sometimes. Laugh until your belly hurts. I'm sure this will come naturally, but I miss it from my younger days. It's a wonderful feeling!
23) Try new things. Be a little scared.
24) Drive a sports car with a stick shift. Even if you just test drive for fun. There's nothing like it! (Learn to drive a stick first.) :)
25) Learn to water ski, and handle a boat. Even if it's not with Pop or us, see if you can. Some of the grandest memories in my life (and uncle Adam's too) were growing up on a boat.
Well, that's my first 25 for you my son.
I hope to share many more.
Attached to this email is a picture of you at two years old really in your element. Really enjoying life. Refer to it often.
I love you so much,