Can you believe that today marks the day that Bailynn was born, 20 years ago?!

20 years ago they didn’t hand us our baby to hold. They whisked her away. 20 years ago doctors walked into a room, with two young parents, and delivered news that would change our lives from that day forward. 20 years, man are we getting old!

Did you know that I have changed diapers for 20 years!? Bob too. Let’s not do the math.

Two Zero. Seems impossible.

So today, we watched movies, baked her a cake she can’t eat (she had some ice cream). We listened to her squawk at us and had a relatively normal day compared to every other. She played with her rattles and blew raspberries. Bailynn stuff.

Today however was different than most birthdays. Did you all know there is a pandemic going on?? Right!? Listen, we are home bodies, it truly hasn’t effected us much, but we are living in scary times. Scary when the last 20 years have been trying to keep someone you love alive. 20 years of ups and downs. 20 years of doctors and nurses.

So here is my pandemic journal for Bai’s 20th birthday. This is truly for her.


This past week I sat your sister’s down and talked to them about the plan we are working on as a “just in case” mom or dad get sick. See, you are a vulnerable person. You may not realize that, cause to us you are about as “normal” and healthy as any of us. Here is the kicker, you’re not. You take breathing treatments, have compromised lung capacity, already have kidney disease, and if this thing gets into our house, it’s game over.
I don’t know how many families are having to have this conversation. I know there are a lot of people out there just like us. They love someone just like you!
So, we talked about what would happen if it comes  home. Now, mommy & daddy are trying very hard not to let that happen. We are wearing face masks in public, washing our hands, daddy is leaving his shoes and lunch box in the garage and stripping down to take a shower the moment he gets in the house, mommy the same if she runs out for groceries (but thank you instacart, you are an amazing service for people like us). We are throwing all our stuff worn in public into the laundry and washing it to try to keep those evil germs from getting in here. We are wiping down products we buy and this makes me feel like I am a crazy paranoid person, but then I look at you and remember why I seem so nutty.
We are human though and this thing can spread. What if we do bring it home? What if we have to quarantine for 14 days? What if daddy gets really sick? What if mommy does? Let’s not even think about you girls getting it. Let’s be frank, if one of us gets it, the others will have it as well, and that is the thing of nightmares. What if neither of us can change your diaper safely, make your meals or give you baths? Because we could compromise you! (Mommy will fashion a bubble to wear so I still can, you watch, I will!)  These are scary thoughts. So, I sat your sisters down and we went over the plan. If daddy gets sick, just daddy, then you still have mommy! Yay! But, if we are both sick, don’t fret, you have a team of 4 sisters that know exactly what to do, that aren’t allowed to get sick. Man, this plan has some holes in it.
I can’t tell you how much not being able to care for you haunts my thoughts.
Lila makes your breakfast every morning. She knows all the meds you are suppose to take for every meal. Lila knows your language and when you want certain things. Lila has this down. Isobel makes you lunch almost every day. She cleans up after you and speaks for you when others don’t understand. She has been working hard at lifting weights with our family in an attempt to get strong enough to help with your care (they all have!). How amazing is that? You are so lucky.
Arwyn and Naomi (well, they’ll be there to help too haha, you know they love you, but Is and Lila are going to have to drag them along for the ride) are here to help. Hopefully, we never have to use the plan we have laid out, that is full of holes and hopes.
Hopefully, our family is one that comes out on the other end ok, but a-lot aren’t. People are losing loved ones. Mommy is making memorial bookmark after memorial bookmark for those who have lost someone they love to this. The youngest, 45. I. just. can’t.
So, we have plan, this is all we can do. I also feel like the best laid plans, that are over done (well, remember we have holes – ugh), over thought (we’ve tried), never are needed. At least I hope this holds true.
You turned 20 during historic times. You came here and taught us patience and understanding. You’ve taught us how to speak a different language. I believe this prepared us for these days. We already love being home and together. We homeschool and make the most of our free time playing games and watching movies. Thank you Bai for being here to turn 20. Thank you for your silly and every challenging day we have ever had. Thank you for every lesson you have given us for 20 years. We promise to do what we can to protect you. Here is to another year – and more to come!
Your Mommy

I hope she knows how important she has been to our family and that she has made us who we are as people. She may not define who I am or who are family is, but she defined why I am who I am. I wouldn’t wish for a different life, it would be so boring. Who’s slobber would we giggle at as we sop it up, toys would we scrape up off the floor for the 100th time in a hour, sheets would we change every day (remember slobber), diapers would we tear and fuss at, hair would we brush and be screamed at for doing so, who’s hand would we hold as she squeals at us, who’s pinwheel would we spin? Who would fill our lives with infectious giggles and side eye rolls? She has given us the best gift, US.


For Her! On her birthday 2020 (is it over yet, let’s skip to 2021 – I’m done with this year)




3 thoughts on “20 Years – A letter to Bai

  1. SO SO beautiful. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of what its like to be you, to be your family. I deeply admire you and Bob and your amazing girls. Happiest 20th birthday to Bai too. Cannot believe how fast the time goes. Love you!


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