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Our “middle” Ethan turned 4 yesterday. I’ve said it before and I will always believe that he is adventure personified. He has the sweetest way about him, and watching him sneak a kiss on top of his baby brother’s head always makes me smile. When we catch him doing things like that, the look in his face always says, “Just be cool guys!” He is an incredible kid.

This year his progress has left us in awe. His communicative and social skills are developing at such a pace that we are watching him flourish. It is an unfolding heart that as we begin to see inside we have even deeper understanding of who our son is. That feeling leaves me breathless. That feeling leaves me awash with new hope.

We celebrated Ethan with some of the people who love him and our family most in the world. We had the best time, and he was so excited- about his birthday cake! This year that’s just what he wanted, and as soon as he saw it, he got in his seat, with a plate, ready to go!

Part of this delay is that it makes it harder to connect abstract language so directions like, “Blow out the candles,” are not easy to understand. Yesterday, Ethan loved getting to have us sing happy birthday to him, and he, without help at all, blew out his candles! That connection happened. He understood, and then he did it. Something so “simple” may not seem like a big deal in your house, but my heart just about burst wide open when this moment happened. It was incredible. It was another testament to how far we’ve come and where we’re headed. I could not be more proud.

Ethan, you will always be my guy and my pal. I hope you always love to sing and dance with Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars. I hope that each year we add another candle to your cake, we know more and more about your beautiful heart, and that you know how deeply thankful we are for you and your life. You are a gift and a blessing and a joy, and momma loves you all the time- always, no matter what!