Influential Women: Heather Avis

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Friends, I promise I didn't lie when I said the Influential Women Series would be bi-weekly. I will get back to the schedule next week, but this was too big not to share today. Yesterday was World Down Syndrome Day, and it was also the day that Heather Avis released her brand new book, The Lucky Few. For the past couple of months I have had the pleasure of being part of the launch team for this book and let me tell you, it's amazing. I am so excited to be featuring Heather Avis on the blog today, although it looks a little different from the interviews that will typically be featured in this series.

If you've ever struggled with infertility, this post is for you. If you've ever considered adoption, this story is for you. If you know someone who has down syndrome or you don't know anyone with down syndrome, this post is for you. If you want to hear a story of God's faithfulness and how His plans are always better, this post is for you.

 

Heather's Story:

Heather Avis, outspoken mom, advocate of adoption, champion of children with special needs and founder of the wildly popular Instagram account, @macymakesmyday, challenges parents to take another look at the blessings in their lives, even if they were derived through unusual circumstances, in her debut book, The Lucky Few: Finding God’s Best in the Most Unlikely Places

In The Lucky Few, Avis, who inspires more than 68,000 followers through @macymakesmyday, uses biblical wisdom interwoven with raw honesty to depict her beautiful journey into motherhood and reminds readers the most splendid blessings in this life are often found in the differences. Ultimately, Avis shares the joy and hope that comes about when you let go of the dreams created for yourself, and let God re-shape your vision into something bigger than you can possibly imagine.

Avis’ story begins with a struggle with infertility and the loss of her dream of having a traditional family. “Like every woman I’ve met, I wanted healthy children, because healthy seems easier, healthy seems normal, healthy seems nice. What I did not know then is that ease and normalcy and niceness are not as important to Jesus as obedience, perseverance, and sacrifice,” Avis writes. “I didn’t know then that easy and normal and nice would do little to build my character or make me a better and more complete human being.” When it became clear she and her husband would not be able to have biological children, they decided to pursue adoption. However, after learning that children with special needs, such as Down syndrome, are often overlooked in adoption, a new challenge was brought before them. Avis and her husband decided to take a leap of faith and opened their hearts and their home to a little girl who had been born with Down syndrome.

In 2008, they brought home Macyn Hope, which was quickly followed by the adoption of Truly Star in 2011; and their third child in 2013, August, who was also born with Down syndrome. Since then, life has never been the same for the Avis family.

Avis admits that it has not been an easy path, with the complications that surround adoption and the added stresses of having two children with special needs; she and her husband have faced at times what seem to be insurmountable odds. Throughout The Lucky Few, Avis recounts the times she has seen grace in God’s provision for her family, and reminds readers that sometimes what the world sees as misfortune is actually God’s best.

“When I started my journey into parenthood I never thought it would look like this. I never planned on having three adopted children, and I certainly never imagined that two of them would have Down syndrome,” Avis writes. “But like most of the things God does, once we stepped into the craziness and confusion of the unknown and unplanned, we quickly realized that we were indeed among the lucky few.”

 

Friends, I don't know about you, but Heather's story inspires me. I'm also sharing a clip from a talk she did at a women's gathering. Her portion begins at 31:26 in the video below. Honestly, I can't get through her talk without crying. She talks about God's faithfulness and how His plan for her life was better than everything she had wanted for herself.  

 

 

Heather has had such an influence on the three little humans she is raising and in her community. If you're interested in learning more about Heather's journey through infertility, adoption, and having two children with down syndrome you can visit these websites:

heatheravis.com

theluckyfewbook.com

or follow their family on Instagram at instagram.com/macymakesmyday

photo credit: Karen Marie- karenmarieco.com