Author's Note: In another story I've been reading, the parents wrote a letter to their child on her birthday. I like that idea and thought it wuld be fun to write a story that is only in the form of letters from Mark, Callie, and Arizona to Sofia on her birthday from her first birthday until she turns 18. The chapters aren't going to be very long, but I hope you enjoy. As always, reviews are appreciated.


My Dearest Sofia,

I can't believe that it's already your first birthday! Your mommy, daddy, and I decided that we wanted to write letters on your birthday every year to give you when you turn 18. We agreed that we won't read each other's letters, so I have no clue what they've written.

As you know by now, you were born really early and I was pretty sick when you came into the world. Looking at you today, a year after that horrible accident, I'd never guess that you were only 1 pound and 1 ounce when you were born! We both faced a long recovery and I wish I had been healthy enough to meet and hold you sooner than I did, but not being able to hold you until a few weeks after Mommy and Daddy did made it an even sweeter moment for me. Like most micro-preemies, you're expected to have some delays as you grow up, but so far, you've been mostly right on track. You surprised all of us last week when we were playing on the floor with you, you pulled yourself up and stood, holding onto the couch, for a few minutes before deciding it was time to sit down again. Since then, you've been standing more and more, I can tell you're trying to figure out how to walk and probably will very soon.

So much has changed for me since I found out I was going to be your Madre. Mommy was in Malawi, helping sick kids over there and I was living with Daddy because I had sublet our apartment since I was supposed to go to Africa with Mommy. The subject of having children had always been a source of disagreement between Mommy and I, so I was shocked when she declared that you were her baby and she didn't want anything happening to her baby. If you have ever doubted her love for you, rest assured that she loves you more than anything and is more protective of you than Daddy and I combined.

Enough about that or I'm going to start crying as I write this. The goal of these letters was to tell you something that each of us that we learned from you over the past year. I have learned that someone can overcome some of the worst possible situations and still be happy. You're such a happy baby, I guess I can't really call you a baby anymore, you're a toddler now. You have your moments of being completely unhappy, but that's usually when you want something. You're not very demanding, either, so it's rare that you're unhappy. I hope your demeanor doesn't change as you grow up and you continue to be my happy girl.

Anyway, this letter is almost two full pages now and Mommy is reminding that we need to leave soon, so I guess I'll end this. I can't wait to write you another letter next year and tell you about everything you taught me.

I love you so much and nothing will ever change that.

Love,

Madre