Summer Loey: The Youngest Little

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Summer Loey was born on April 13, 2007.  She weighed 7 pounds 2 ounces and was 20 inches long.  She was beautiful and perfect in every way, and she was adored from the moment she made her appearance.

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Our little girl completed our family in a wonderful way.  I knew that I wanted at least three babies, and we decided when I became pregnant with her that she would be our third and final baby.

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Summer is funny, sweet, passionate, energetic, creative, imaginative, and full of joy.  She has a zest for life like I have never witnessed, and she has a gift of spreading her enthusiasm with everyone around her.  She likes to dance, sing, dream, play games, imagine, create, watch movies, play with her brothers, draw, paint, and learn new things.

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We decided before I became pregnant that we would not find out what we were having.  Since she was our last, we wanted to do things differently.  It was so much fun talking about the future, imagining who was growing in my belly, and fantasizing about that special day when we would find out if my baby was a boy or a girl.  We knew that we would be totally and completely happy with whatever we were blessed with.  We just wanted a third baby to complete our family.

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However, given that my pregnancy was a bit different, we all suspected that this little one was a sweet little girl.  And, we were right.  We already had the perfect name for her, one in which our sweet Gabriel  had given us his help.  I had picked out the name “Summer” well before I became pregnant.  I just knew that it would be a perfect name for our little girl.  Loey was all Gabriel.  He told us that God sent him that name and said, “Isn’t that how you got my name?”

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Our little girl is filled with sunshine.  She has a radiance about her in all that she does.  And, she is also a little fairy, complete with sparkly dust in our unicorns and rainbow world.  Summer Loey has been an absolutely appropriate, fitting name for our sunshine fairy girl.

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Summer loves her brothers with all her heart.  There are days that she is all about Gabriel and days that she is all about Ethan.  She looks to Gabriel to nurture, teach, and protect her.

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And, she looks to Ethan to create, imagine, and learn with her.

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They all have their own special, unique relationships and bond, and it has been beautiful to watch it all unfold.

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My girl has been attached to me since the moment she was born.  If she cannot find me in the house, I will hear the panic in her voice escalate.  There have been days when I truly believe that she thinks that she is just an extension of me.  Because, she is.

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And, over the past almost five years, she has become her papa’s little princess, slowly wrapping him around her little finger.  She loves to cuddle in the big chair with him, knowing that no one can keep her safe and cozy quite like Papa can.

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My sweet Summer has been everything that I dreamed that she would be.  I often say that I did not realize that we were incomplete until the moment I held her and instantly knew that we were meant to be a family of five, with our little girl adding balance and some zest, too.

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There are days that I look at her and just shake my head, wondering where in the world she comes up with the things that she says and does.

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But, there are more days that I hug her, squeeze her, kiss her, and wonder what in the world we would do without her to complete all of us.  She is a blessing and a joy, and I am thankful every single day that she is our zesty, funny sunshine girl.

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Summer is special because, at such a young age, she already knows who she is and is so comfortable with that.  I can only hope and pray that she keeps that same self-confidence, knowing all of the things that make her special, that make her unique.  She sees things that others do not see, and she has the imagination of a true-life fairy princess.  She dreams, and she dreams big.  She dances when there is no music and laughs just because.

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I am thankful every single day that my dream of having her, a third little in our family, became an absolute, wonderful reality.  She completes us, and that, in and of itself, makes her very, very special.

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Ethan Nathaniel: The Middle Little

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Ethan Nathaniel was born on September 18, 2004, at 10:06 AM.  He weighed 6 pounds 1 ounce, and he was 19 1/2 inches inches long.  We were so happy to welcome another little boy, a brother for Gabriel, into the world.

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Ethan Nathaniel means Strong Gift of the Lord, and he has proven to be just that every day since he was born.  He loves to play with his cars, jump in the trampoline, cook, watch movies, play games on the iPad, give hugs, laugh, play with his Nerf guns, read books, and paint.

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He is 18 months younger than Gabriel, our oldest, and the two are as close as any brothers could possibly be.  They have been almost inseparable since the moment Ethan was born.  They are so close in age and size that they were often mistaken for twins when they were younger.  Ethan looks up to Gabriel in a true, sincere, deep way.  He knows that Gabriel is his little soul mate, of sorts, and it gives him great comfort to know that his big brother is always on his side.

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Ethan is 2 1/2 years older than Summer, our youngest, and they have a unique, special bond, their own language.  Watching their relationship unfold has been fascinating.  They are more than just siblings; they are playmates and friends.  They love to imagine, create, build, and play.

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Ethan loves with all of his heart and soul.  He gives amazing hugs and kisses, and his smile truly lights up a room.

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When he laughs, well, everyone laughs with him.  He has a personality that is simply infectious.

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He is funny,

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happy,

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beautiful both inside and out,

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fun-loving,

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and easy-going.

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PhotobucketHe amazes us every single day.  He has a truly spectacular, fascinating, inquisitive mind.  We are not yet sure where that amazing mind will take him, but we know that God has great, special plans for our middle little.

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Ethan is special because he truly spreads magic wherever he goes.  He knows how to spread joy in an easy, effortless way because that is just who is.  When someone is sad, he feels their sadness, in a truly empathetic, compassionate way.  And, when someone is happy, he joins in on the laughter.  His personality has molded him into an incredible little boy, one who makes us so proud each and every day.  As I have said many times, “Everyone needs an Ethan.” Because, he is truly good and perfect in every way.

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Gabriel Thomas: The Oldest Little

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Gabriel Thomas  was born on March 4, 2003, at 11:16 am.  He weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces and was 18 3/4 inches long.  He changed my world and played an instrumental role in molding me into the person who I am today.

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Gabriel means “God is my strength”.  He is our oldest, amazingly awesome boy.  He is smart, funny, compassionate, kind, sweet, and a truly remarkable child.  He loves to read, play soccer, do challenging math problems, play games, build Legos, watch movies, and hang out with his family.

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Gabriel is a huge Harry Potter and Star Wars fan, and there are few things that he likes better than staying up late watching movies with us.  When he was really young, as a special treat we would let him stay up after Summer and Ethan went to bed, climb into the middle of the big bed, and watch a movie with us.  I still remember how he would just look back and forth from each of us to the movie and back to us with a huge smile on his face.  He loves being a big brother, but he also cherishes the one-on-one time with us, as well.

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Gabriel is an amazing big brother.  At his first birthday, we announced to everyone that Ethan was in my belly by giving Gabriel a t-shirt that said, “I’m the Big Brother!”

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When Ethan was born, Gabriel was just 18-months old.  He was still my baby.  When people would tell him that he was a big boy now, the momma bear in me would come out because I knew that he was still a baby, too, just a bigger version.  Luckily, Gabriel accepted Ethan with open arms, literally. He has loved on him, kissed him, and simply adored him since the day he walked into the hospital room to meet him.

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They have an unbreakable bond.  It is special, unique, and magical.

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When Summer was born, Gabriel wore a t-shirt that said, “I Am The Biggest Brother”.

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He was four years old, and he had the whole big brother thing down.  He actually named Summer when she was still in my belly.  He said that her name should be Loey.  We did not know what we were having until she arrived, and we knew that if I delivered a girl, her middle name would be Loey.  Gabriel was the first one to meet her.

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He and Sean delivered the news to everyone else. Gabriel and Ethan made a Build-a-Bear puppy for Summer when she was in my belly.  Since we did not know what we were having, we bought two t-shirts – “It’s a Boy” and “It’s a Girl” for the puppy to wear.

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When Summer was born, we put the “It’s a Girl” t-shirt on the puppy.  Gabriel carried the little puppy behind his back and showed it to everyone as he said, “It’s a girl!”  Then, Sean announced the name.  When he said that her name was “Summer Loey”, Gabriel look at Sean in pure, innocent, sweet surprise and grinned from ear to ear.

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He immediately loved Summer, just the same way he has always loved Ethan. They, too, have a special bond, a unique relationship, and a sweet little friendship, as well. He knows that one of his jobs in this world is to protect Ethan and Summer, and he takes that very seriously. Best. Biggest. Brother. Ever.

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While being a big brother is certainly not the only thing that defines Gabriel, it is definitely a huge part of who he is.  He loves Summer and Ethan with all of his sweet, big heart.  As much as I have said that Ethan lights up a room with his smile, Gabriel does the same with his amazing capacity to care about people, to truly see into the depths of their souls.  The best way that I can describe his compassion is this.  Last year his letter to Santa said that he wanted him to take care of all of the homeless people.  This year his letter said that he wanted Ethan to talk.  Amazing.  Simply amazing.

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I know that so much of the focus of this blog is about Ethan, his special needs, and his progress.  But, as I have always maintained, all three of my littles are special.  Gabriel is special because he was my first-born.  He taught me how to be a mom.  He welcomed the additions to our family with open arms.  And, when he sees people, he sees their potential, what makes them unique, what makes them special.  He sees what we all should see.  He is my Gabriel, my angel boy, one of my special, perfect gifts from above.

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