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Apollo and Avi: Birthday Reflections

Yesterday this boy turned six years old.

I reposted his birth story on Facebook yesterday and didn’t even have it in me to re-read it.

It seems so hard to believe. The last six years have been hard. I have experienced more stress, more fear and less sleep than I ever have in my life.

Apollo has transformed from: healthy newborn to sick baby to seriously ill toddler to sick preschooler to a more or less healthy six-year-old.

That’s quite a rollercoaster, my friends.

Six years in and I am still afraid to let my breath out; afraid to let go of my hypervigilance.

He has had six surgeries, two of them heart surgeries.

He has completed kindergarten.

He is learning to read.

He is beginning to make his own friends and develop his own interests.

He still only sleeps in his bed all night perhaps 50% of the time and still insists we lay down with him to go to sleep.

We had a very low-key party for Apollo. I stuck to simple games…we made an obstacle course, had a scavenger hunt (designed and led by ten-year-old Tucker), we had a pinata and snacks.

And eleven years ago today a baby girl was born in an ambulance in Tacoma. She had a head full of curly black hair and needed a family. We wouldn’t learn about her for another three days…but when we did we would welcome her into our family, no questions asked. A baby needed and family and we had room for just one more. I was six months pregnant with Tucker at the time, but that didn’t stop us. We had raised “twins” before and we would do it again.

I bottle fed Avi until Tucker was born then I breastfed her for the next year.

Avi and Apollo have rocked our world. Their special needs have thrown our family off kilter numerous times.

These two are loved beyond words.




  1. withasmile

    My baby (who will be two in just over a month) is a cord prolapse survivor as well. ❤️ Happy birthday to Avi and Apollo!

  2. the Toddler Wrangler

    Is he seriously six already? I remember reading the birth story, the very first time, with heart in mouth and tears streaming down my face. And praying for all of you tons and tons, then and since.

    I feel you about not having it in you to reread it. We recently celebrated our first Gotcha Day, and everyone else was marveling over how far they’ve come, or mentioning what part of the journey we were on *exactly* a year ago from that moment, and rereading email updates I’d sent from in-country to our families back home…and my husband took the day off work and we went to a play place as a family and had special dessert, etc etc…and I was just numb. Still stressed, still afraid, still exhausted. A year ago when we crash-landed back here with our new kiddos, our toddler, and my 7-month-pregnant self, I thought, if we can just survive the first year, we just might make it. We did, but SO very much still in the trenches.

    Happy birthday to Apollo and Avi, and much chocolate and coffee to their brave, tough Mama!

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