Ethan’s Progress Report

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Last week I hinted at sharing good news about Ethan.  Then, life got busy with school, a special birthday party, planning for October, and a stomach bug that quickly made its way through our home.  So, the good news, while still at the forefront of my heart, had to take a seat on the back burner while I was able to get caught up a little.

What happened last week was so especially exciting because, honestly, I did not really ever foresee a day when this would happen.  Of course we have dreamed about Ethan talking and reading and going to college, but we know that the reality is that he might never do those things.  While we are perfectly happy with the super-incredible person who Ethan is right now, we do want amazing things for his future, just as we do for Summer and Gabriel.

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So, when Ethan’s teacher sent home a book for him to read, I fully expected to just read it to him each night, knowing that reading to a child is one of the best ways to develop fluency, comprehension, and a love of books, in general.  When I opened up the book, however, I thought, “Ethan knows these words.  He can read this.”  So, we gave it a shot.

What happened next had me jumping up and down, sending emails, and making telephone calls.  My Ethan read the entire book.  He said some words, approximated some words, and signed some words.  It was just a basic Kindergarten entry-level book, but, to me, it was a novel of epic proportions.  We read it every single night, and on Friday, Ethan read it to his teacher, too.  We are all so incredibly proud of his huge accomplishment!

As with everything in life, we enjoy the moment and then move on to the next big…or small…thing.  We celebrate, we dance, we send emails, we hug, we give high-fives, and we know that, in that particular moment, everything is good and perfect and just as it should be.  Just as there are good days, we understand that there will be bad ones, too.  But, honestly, knowing that simple truth is what makes the good days that much better. That is what makes reading a small book a reason to celebrate the huge step in Ethan’s much larger book of life.

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Happy 1st Birthday, Little Monkey!

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I cannot believe it has been a year since I answered the phone, “We are on our way!” when I saw who was calling.

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I simply cannot believe how quickly the time has flown.

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I have so enjoyed watching the man who has been in my life as a brother-in-law for over 12 years become a father.

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I have so enjoyed watching the woman who I met for the first time when my baby was just two weeks old become a mother.

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The parenthood journey is a wonderful, remarkable, awesome, beautiful one, and you, sweet boy, made all of that a reality for your parents.

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We had so much fun celebrating your birthday on Saturday. A little flood could not stop us from seeing our favorite nephew.

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Happy Birthday, sweet Baby Garrett!  We are looking so forward to watching you continue to grow into an amazing little man.

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3-2-1 Blast-off – Ethan’s 8th Birthday Party

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We celebrated Ethan’s birthday on Saturday.  His real birthday is Tuesday, but we wanted to celebrate with family.  And, celebrate we did.

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When we were deciding on a birthday theme, stars and rocket ships really stood out to me. Ethan is a star – not just on his birthday, but every single day.  And, rockets ships…well, I knew that anything that could blast off was a win in my sweet boy’s book.

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The decorations and food were very simple to me, but they were grand to Ethan.  When he woke up and saw the decorations, he smiled and said, “Wow!”

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Nonna and Gran were the first to arrive, and Ethan ran out to greet them.

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Grandma and Grandpa pulled up about 10 minutes later, and the littles all gladly gave out more hugs.

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Aunt Darla, Uncle Todd, Kate, and Emma did not have far to travel since they live next door, but, you would not have known that based on Ethan’s excitement.  He was as happy to see them as he had been when he saw his grandparents arrive.

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It was a special day for an incredibly special little boy.  The mood was festive, as we sat, visited, ate, watched football, and just enjoyed being together as a family.

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Ethan’s favorite part was the present-opening, of course.  He received rocket launchers, a few different nerf guns, books, money, an Angry Birds ball, a puzzle, and a solar system mobile.

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Immediately after singing “happy birthday”, Ethan, his siblings, and his cousins quickly put together all of the guns so that they could go outside and play.  I am not sure who was more excited to play with all of the toys, but I do know that Ethan never quit smiling as he looked around at all of the toys and all of the people who were there to celebrate him.

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And, I kept thinking, “What a difference you’ve made in my life!”  Truly.

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It was truly everything that I had hoped it would be for our star.  Ethan was full of smiles, which was exactly what I wanted the day to be for him – joy, peace, and total, complete happiness.

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