For Caleb: Games that might have been
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Caleb,

This list is for you. You may never see it but then again you might. I wanted to let you know what your daddy is thinking.

You came into our life at three days old. We were so excited for you to come. It was hard to believe we had gotten the call only a week before saying we were chosen to be your parents. Sarah was so excited to be a big sister. We had to hurry to get everything ready for you. At last we went to pick you up, you were so little. We loved you instantly.

We took you home and took care of you. I stayed up every night with you to give you a late bottle so mommy could sleep. We talked, you and I. I read to you and showed you how to play games. Sure I lost some sleep but I was so proud to have you as a son.

After about three weeks we got the call. Your birth dad was fighting your adoption. We were scared but we felt that there were a lot of things that would have to go wrong for the adoption to fall through. We did our best to isolate you from our fears. We knew that you were our little boy and we would do everything we could to keep you.

It's hard to believe that all the things that went wrong did. I was so mad at the courts for the way they treated you. As if you were property. We even took your case to the supreme court but they didn't take it. We tried our best to keep you but they took you away after you had been with us for 6 1/2 months. We were heartbroken.

Your sister talks about you very often. She likes to go in your room and get your toys. We explain as best we can what happened. She told me the other day that she wants to go with you to where you are. We all pray for you every day and hope that you will be okay. We hope that we provided a stable environment for the short time we had you. We hope to see you again someday but we aren't sure if we will be allowed to.

Please know that we will always love you. I hope that the games that we played and the books that we read will stick with you and you will find the same love for them as I have. Your mommy, sister and I miss you very much.

Love always,

Your Daddy
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1. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:698]
Dr. UDO
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This was one of the first games we ever played together. Mom and Sarah were asleep. Come to think of it, you probably were too but you sat on my lap as we took on the dark lord and his minions.

We won.

Remember that you can always overcome those obstacles in your life, even if it looks impossible.
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2. Board Game: Candy Land [Average Rating:3.17 Overall Rank:15335]
Dr. UDO
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This was the game that you would most regularly play with your sister. She always chose the pieces and you were usually Piglet. You certainly won your fair share of games.

It was fun to watch you play with your sister. She loved to take care of you, even if you didn't think you needed the care at the moment.
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3. Board Game: 3D Labyrinth [Average Rating:5.16 Overall Rank:14362]
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This game was another one that I played with you and your sister. You were pretty good at staring intently at the board looking for your next treasure. Sometimes we couldn't get to where we wanted right away. Other times Sarah would lift your piece over the walls to get to the treasure.

Sometimes in life we can't see the path to get where we want to go. Be patient, you'll get there. There will be people always willing to help you on your path.
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4. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14512]
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This was one game I was looking forward to playing with you. It would have been the begining of many conquest games. You would have loved it, you also would have eventually hated it, then you would come to understand that sometimes the dice just don't roll your way.

In life, things will sometimes look like you have them sealed up and ready to deliver. Then they fall apart through no fault of your own. The important thing is to keep going. The dice will bounce your way again eventually.
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5. Board Game: Good Humor Game [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Dr. UDO
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No that isn't you in the picture. Unfortunately I never took any pictures of you playing games with me. But we sat in a very similar way.

You were always one of the happiest babies any one had ever met. Your smile was contagious and you had a laugh that could get everyone to look around in the middle of church. Keep that happy disposition. IT will serve you well.
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6. Board Game: Christmas Tree [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Dr. UDO
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We looked forward to Christmas with you. I know it would have been a few years until you were really excited but we even had one of your presents for this year.

Holidays are a special time, remember them and spend time with family when you can.


(By the way, I'm the one reaching for the board in this picture. The others playing are your uncles Justin, Seth and Christian. Grandma is in the back.)
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7. Board Game: Mad Scientist University Course Packet: Physics [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Dr. UDO
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Your mom and I are both physicists. Your Aunt always said she was sorry for you and Sarah because you wouldn't know what a normal dinner conversation was like. (How fast is food going when it hits the floor? How much faster would food cook with a 25 degree change in temperature? Can we determine the uniformity of the microve dispersion in our oven based on cold spots in the food?) You were destined to be a geek in more than just games.

Physics or not, get all the education you can. Learning new things keeps your mind fresh and active and will always serve you well.
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8. Board Game: The Ungame [Average Rating:2.85 Overall Rank:15302]
Dr. UDO
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If you've ever played this, I'm sorry. Your mom owns the game not me. Grandpa from her side is a psychologist.

The one thing that this does remind you is to be sure to share your feelings with those you love. It will lead to better understanding and deeper relationships.
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9. Board Game: Book of Mormon Challenge [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
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Church is one of the most important things to us. Right below family. I hope that you will feel that in your life as well.
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10. Board Game: Camping, Hiking & Outdoor Trivia [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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I hope you can join the boyscouts. You can learn a lot of things from them. They can teach you about the outdoors but also about yourself. Being a boyscout was one of the most influential things in my life.

In any case, get outdoors and spend some time there. You'll be healthier, stronger and enjoy your life more.
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11. Board Game: Reunion [Average Rating:1.50 Unranked]
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I hope that someday we'll get to see you again. Even if we don't, I hope some part of you will know that you have another mom and another dad and a sister who love you very much.
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