Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ari's Christmas Angels

Ari's Christmas Angels by Bearable Bears

This is the story about a little Heaven sent boy named Arend "Ari" Jack Thomas Wagasky, his hurting without him family, the comfort that we recieved from Bearable Bears and the amazing holiday project that YOU can be involved in called "Ari's Christmas Angels".

Our Wagasky Family Christmas Card from 2012

Ari is our 6th child - but our 1st "ours".  We are a step family - we were once two separate families who happened to share the same house until one miracle of a little man came along to change all that for the better.

When we first told people our soon to be here "Ari news" we received mixed reactions.  Some people flat out said to us "What were you guys thinking???  How horrible to do that to your other 5 children!"

But Ari's siblings saw things differently and joyfully waited with great expectation for the day our "Ours" would arrive.

God sent our family our gift from above on October 28th of 2011.  This date marks more than just Ari's birthday, it is also the day that we became a real family.  We called Ari "our family glue" and he was and is - all our love for him brought us all together as well.

I could talk about Ari stories forever - his lovable, adventurous, hilarious, smart and one of a kind self provided us with many memories of him to cherish for many lifetimes over.

But of all these vast amount of Ari stories - the thing that most stood out about our little bear was his awesome capacity to love others and amazing ability to comfort.

Ari could sense a sad heart immediately - he could hear a silent tear from 10 feet away - if someone, anyone was in need of comfort - Ari would immediately drop or walk away from anything in order to go to whoever was in need of some magical, comforting, amazing Ari love.

We thought we'd have our Ari forever - he was the most full of life little man we had ever seen.  Each one of us loved to talk and dream about the great plans we were confident Ari would someday accomplish.  Ari is and was and always will be so loved - but even greater than was the amount of love Ari gave back.

On June 24th, 2013, Ari tragically and unexpectedly went to live with Jesus - on that day Ari was the one who truly started living, but for us here without our boy - part of us died.  Broken doesn't begin to describe our hearts now without Ari - even shattered can't come close to explain how having to live without him feels.

Our arms without our Ari feel so empty, all of the time now.  Our children without their blessing of a brother wander aimless with heavy hurting hearts.  It's so painful to helplessly watch your little ones hurt like that.  It's been said that children are the forgotten grievers and sadly we have found that to hold truth.

Until that day when hope arrived to our home - it came in a large brown box.  What an answer to prayers we saw happening as each child reached into that box to find for them a soft, huggable, Ari comforting Bearable Bears stuffed animal to love and hold.

They have dressed their bears in a shirt of Ari's and sleep with them each and every night.  And when their hearts are especially hurting from the missing their Bearable Bears are the first thing that they reach for during the daytime too.

How thankful we are to now have Ari's legacy of comfort and love for others live on now as well through Ari's Christmas Angels - it is such an honor for our family and such a perfect description of who our Ari is.

The most important thing about our Ari is his LOVE for Jesus - what a perfect time to actively celebrate our "Great Comforter" of a little man than on the birthday of his very best friend, of whom he now sits on the very lap of.

Ari Loves Jesus and Jesus LOVES Ari - please share the great love of Jesus today with another and actively SHOW this LOVE out loud by becoming involved in Ari's Christmas Angels.

Thank you for being a part of that awesome comfort for us that comes from being able to see how much our Ari mattered AND matters - what a gift!

When you get to Heaven I just know that this little strawberry blond haired boy with dimples and big brown eyes will be running over to you with his arm open wide to be lifted up and "bear hugged" ... that little man's name is Ari and he and we thank you for your willingness to reach out and comfort those in need.