Heather Avis’ journey to publishing “The Lucky Few” could be described as anything but expected. The same can be said of her path to motherhood, but she’s more than OK with that.
Before becoming a mom and author, Avis was a teacher in southern California. She enjoyed participating in church activities and traveling to Europe every summer with her husband, Josh. She was devastated in her early 20s when she realized pregnancy would not be an option for her, but her perspective has changed radically since adopting three children—two of whom have Down syndrome. Macy became a part of the Avis family in 2008; Truly in 2011; and August in 2013. Avis now says she’s a part of “The Lucky Few,” which is what she named her book, released in March.
“The lucky few are those of us who are willing to step into the places not many people will, because those places are unknown and unplanned,” she says. “For us, those places were adoption and Down syndrome.” Avis further defines the lucky few as people who recognize God’s plans are best, even when they seem radically different than their own.
Becoming an author and speaker at events for organizations such as Q and MOPS International was not in her plan either. Early into motherhood, Avis was encouraged by her friend Courtney Dasher, whose Instagram account (@TunaMeltsMyHeart) had a massive following, to launch her own Instagram account for Down syndrome awareness.
As her followers on @macymakesmyday grew, Avis says she was overwhelmed by positive feedback from people both inside and outside the Downs community. Followers messaged her saying they were now considering adoption because of her encouraging posts, and parents whose children had been newly diagnosed wrote to thank her for sharing her experiences so openly. Eventually Avis was offered a publishing deal to write her story in the form of a book.
“There’s a lot of power in telling a story, and I’ve learned a lot from sharing my own and hearing others’,” says Avis, who dedicated the book to her children.
“I hope my readers walk away with a sense of boldness and renewed faith, understanding there’s a whole huge world they can venture into,” she says. “But it’s important for people who hear our story to not put us on a pedestal. We are average people; [we are] not extravagant. Adoption and Down syndrome can—and maybe should be—for most [people].”