Baby Kicks

I think one of my favorite parts about being pregnant is feeling my baby move inside me. With Isaiah I first felt little flutters around 16 weeks, with my first undeniable kick around 17-18 weeks and it was closer to 20 weeks before Drew was finally able to feel him. This baby I started to feel move before 13 weeks with the first unmistakable big kick on the day I turned 15 weeks. And Drew was finally able to feel little baby kicks from the outside just this past week at barely 17 weeks!

There just aren’t words to describe what it feels like to feel a {life} growing and moving inside you. I know most guys are pretty glad they don’t have to worry about going through the pain of giving birth but they really are missing out on the miracle of having a life grow inside you! It’s amazing. (Although, I’ll admit, I could do without the giving birth part too!) 😉  

Maybe I’ve just forgotten, but I swear that this baby moves way more than Isaiah ever did. Baby #3 also has consistently had a super high heart rate (usually between 155-170) which is a lot higher than Isaiah’s ever was so I’m thinking that is proof that baby bean is an active little thing in there.  =)

I’m so thankful that God has given me the ability to carry babies both in my belly and in my heart through adoption. Each baby is truly a miracle from the Lord and I am blessed!

17 weeks!

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A Lesson Learned at Meijer

A few weeks ago, on the day of Isaiah’s birthday party, he and I went into Meijer to pick up his birthday cake and some balloons. We were on our way home from church and we hadn’t eaten lunch yet nor had Isaiah had his afternoon nap. The plan was to get the stuff and get out so we could get home quickly, get the kids fed, and get them to bed in time for a good nap before the party!

{Well}, it took forever to find someone to blow up balloons, the cake took a while to get, and when we finally went to check out there were only {three!} checkout lanes open! Each lane already had about 6-7 people in line so we had no choice but to take our place in line and wait it out.

As you can imagine, it was a long wait for a barely three year old boy who was hungry and {very} ready for a nap. He was also over stimulated and excited because it was his birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese that night and it’s all he could think about. Also, because I thought this was just going to be a quick trip, I failed to grab a cart. So, not only did I have my hands full with a cake, balloons, and candles, but I also didn’t have a cart for Isaiah to sit and wait in.

Needless to say he was a bit restless in line. He wasn’t naughty, he was just antsy, waving his balloons all around, trying to add every candy within reach to the conveyor belt, and, (completely unintentionally) occasionally running into the old lady standing in line in front of us.

The old lady wasn’t amused and kept giving Isaiah dirty looks. I tried to keep him away from her as much as possible but we were so cramped in line because there were so few lanes open. Everyone was getting annoyed at the wait. Eventually the lady turned around and said something to me that was so faint I couldn’t quite hear it so I smiled and said, “what?” Then she said loud enough for everyone in line to hear, “He’s VERY annoying” and gave me an evil look. I was speechless! I’m not very good about thinking up rude comebacks on the spot (probably a good quality??) so I said nothing. I just picked up Zai and backed up as far as I could in line. I did say, when Isaiah asked me, “what that lady say, Mama?” that she was just a very mean old lady and we needed to stay away from her.  I know, probably not the best thing to say to my son.

Thankfully, the lady was next in line and she was soon checking out and soon after that we were able to check out too and make it to the car where Isaiah passed out even before we even left the parking lot. But I kept replaying the incident in my mind and the more I thought about it the angrier I got. I kept thinking of comebacks that I should have said. My favorite one being, “Did you happen to go to church this morning? Because you are exactly the type of person who needs Jesus.” Haha. Oh my, am I glad that one did not come out of my mouth. Thank you, Lord, for sparing me! =)

On the way home, I thought about how that old lady had no idea what Isaiah was going through. She didn’t know that he was a tired and hungry boy who was overly excited about his birthday. She had no knowledge of the circumstances surrounding his behavior. She just saw his balloon waving and loud excited chatter about cake and parties and occasional bump into her as super annoying. And for a while I was angry that she had said something so rude when she didn’t even know the whole story.

But now that a few weeks have gone by and I’ve had time to think about the incident a little more, I have actually developed a compassion for that old woman. Not only did she not know the circumstances surrounding Isaiah’s behavior but I didn’t/don’t know the circumstances surrounding her behavior. I have no idea what she was going through that day, or that month, or that year that caused her to be low on patience and quick to say an unkind word. True, {maybe} she’s just a grumpy old woman who hates kids. But I’d rather give her the benefit of the doubt.

The whole experience reminded me how important it is to try and put yourself in someone else’s shoes before judging their actions. We don’t always know what is going on in their lives that is causing them to appear rude, mean, distant, aloof, sad or confrontational. Not that circumstances are an excuse to behave however we want, but sometimes the worst of circumstances can get to even the best of people and cause them to act in ways they usually never would.

Let’s aim to be people who have compassion and understanding as our first reaction when people say or do things that hurt or offend us. Let’s remember that we don’t always know the whole story and that if we did we may have a different view of the situation!

“Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?”

James 4: 11-12

Happy Gotcha Day!

October 16th, 2012 was one of the best days of our lives. It’s the day we brought home our precious baby girl, Eloise Ann!! Today she has been home one year and we are rejoicing and celebrating her life!

October 16th is what we call Eloise’s {Gotcha Day}. It’s the day we “got her”, the day she became a part of our family. So, every year on this day we will do something special to celebrate HER! It won’t be a celebration as big as a birthday but it will still be a celebration. Most likely it will be a day when she gets to choose her favorite meal for dinner and open one or two presents. Since this will be her first gotcha day we’re still trying to decide what the tradition will look like. =)

It’s amazing how much Eloise has changed in her year home! She has grown from an unresponsive, cautious, tiny 6 month old to an outgoing, {very opinionated!}, sweet, and extremely loving 18 month old. It’s been so amazing to see the transformation.

She is such a {joy} to our family and we can hardly remember life without her! She is already talking up a storm and says words like all done, more please, apple, Yaya (Isaiah), dog, cat, airplane, movie, backpack, baby, water, milk, bathtub and so many more! I have the feeling I’m going to be getting earfuls once the full sentences start!!

Eloise loves to take her vitamins each day, is already showing an interest in potty training, and is still very much in love with her “papi” (pacifier). She is starting to enjoy watching movies and loves Praise Baby and Miss Pattycake the most! She loves chicken but fruits and veggies keep moving further down on the list of favorite foods (we’re working on it!). She loves to give kisses and will sometimes give you 20 or more in a row. She is a cuddler and a snuggler and I love that to bits about her!

Eloise, we are so glad the Lord blessed us with your life one year ago today. We can’t wait to celebrate the many more years that God gives us with you as our daughter!! Happy gotcha day, sweet baby! We love you!



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12 months old
18 months
 

A New Beginning, A New Baby, and A New Blog

You may be wondering, why all the changes around the Hutcheson household lately?
God has been doing some {BIG} things in our life lately! They haven’t all been easy but we’re trusting that God’s ways are better than ours and trying to trust Him with every new step we feel led to take.

Many of you may be wondering, what happened to Boston? When we returned from Uganda in May, we had everything lined up to move to Boston this fall where Drew would be attending Harvard extension school. Little by little, though, God closed slammed doors shut in our face. The last door that closed and finally caused us to see that God had different plans in store for us was our finances. We found out at the last minute that because of the specific program Drew was entering,  we would not be able to take out student loans until his second year at Harvard. With the high cost of schooling and living in the Boston area we were simply unable to make it work any which way we tried. And that’s when God finally pried out of our hands all the hopes and dreams and plans we thought we had for our family.

God’s ways are better right? An {easy} saying to say but a {hard} one to live.

Things are tough right now as we’re in the in-between stage. We’re trying to decide where God wants us next. Should Drew choose a different grad school? Should we stay in Michigan? What career opportunities should he pursue? We just came off a high from an {incredible} year in Uganda and now we’re experiencing a {low}. But God is in them both. We believe that He has great things in store for us. He has been faithful in our lives thus far and we trust His faithfulness through all generations.

And in the midst of hard times there is always hope to be found. We have many blessings: a wonderful house in Michigan, a brand new baby joining our family this Spring, the overwhelming love and support of awesome friends and family, and the way in which the Lord has drawn both me and Drew closer to Him and closer to each other though our trials.

I started this blog as a way to document our journey as we {trade our dreams} and lay down what we thought was God’s plan in order to pick up the new things He has in store for us. We don’t know what the future looks like right now but we do know the One who knows the future. And because of that, we give God {glory}!

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Eloise {is} My Own Daughter

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I have a pet peeve. It’s when people refer to Eloise as my {adopted} child. Or when they ask me if I want my next baby to be a girl so that I can have {my own daughter}. Or when a lady once asked me, “Now is Isaiah adopted too or is he your {real} son?”

I understand where people are coming from when they say things like this. Most people have not experienced the {miracle} of adoption and they don’t know what it’s like to unconditionally love a child who did not grow inside them. It can be a tough concept to understand. So, truly, I do not hold it against anyone who has said comments like these. I am guilty of saying things like this before we brought Eloise home, and I even grew up with two adopted little sisters! Most of the time people don’t say things like this with any evil intent but simply because of a lack of understanding of the situation. And I {totally} get that.

But the truth is…

Eloise {is} my {own} daughter. She is not {just} my {adopted} daughter. She is my {real} daughter. Her legal name is Eloise Ann Hutcheson. Her legal parents are me and Drew. Eloise’s birth mother could not care for her, but she loved her enough to get her to somebody who could, and because of that we have the blessing of loving sweet Eloise as {our very own}.

It’s true, Eloise doesn’t look like me, but she calls me {Mama}. Her skin is darker than Isaiah’s, but he has no idea she is any different. Eloise doesn’t have her daddy’s eyes, but she has him wrapped around her little finger.

Eloise is as much my child as any other child I bear will ever be. Drew and I love her as much as we love Isaiah and any other child we may have. Eloise didn’t grow in my belly, but she grew in our {hearts}. She is our baby girl. Our sweet, loving, full of life {daughter}. Eloise was chosen, wanted, hoped for, and worth the wait. And we will never treat her any different from our other children.

I have a son {and} I have a daughter. They are both {real}. They are both {mine}. They are both extremely, incredibly, and supremely {loved}.

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My Baby is Three?!?

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The day Isaiah was born.
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First birthday!
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Second birthday!
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Third birthday!

This post is a little late in coming as I’ve been working on getting my new blog up and running… but it’s finally here!

Last week, on September 25th, my baby boy turned three years old. How is it even possible that three years have gone by since I first held him in my arms? I feel like it was just a week ago.

Isaiah Mark Hutcheson is a {JOY} to our family. He is full of energy and almost always has a smile on his face. He loves all things BOY. You name it, he likes it. Dirt. Trucks. Bugs. He has just started getting into Thomas the Train and is now all about {choo choo trains} too. His favorite movie is Cars II. His favorite color is blue. His favorite food is pizza.

Coming into this world at only 6 lbs 11 oz and 18.5 inches long, he’s made up for lost time and is now 40 inches tall (90th percentile) and 33 pounds (60th percentile)! No surprise there…he’s tall like mommy and daddy!

Since the day we brought Eloise home, Drew has instilled in Isaiah how important it is to take care of his little sister. He has taken Daddy’s words to heart and takes his job very seriously! So far there’s been very little fighting between Ellie and Isaiah. He protects her, loves on her, and shares with her {for now at least} and we are thankful they get along so well.

Isaiah started “preschool” at home this year. We do his school books for just an hour a day but it’s one of his favorite things to do. Right now we’re just learning how to draw shapes, learn colors and animals, opposites, and do crafts, etc. I’m constantly amazed at how quickly he learns and how much he picks up!

Zai feels like a big grown up boy in so many ways and yet still my baby in others. He still loves his blankie {Boo} and heaven forbid, if we leave the house without it, Daddy, you better turn around real quick! He still {loves} to snuggle with mommy and he’s not ashamed to shower mommy, daddy, and sister with hugs and kisses. He’s definitely Mr. Independent now, though, and a common phrase we hear is, “No! I can do it by myself!”. =)  I tell him often that he had better stop growing because I am sad he’s growing up too fast. He replies with his eyes down and in a sad tone, “I’m sorry, Mama. I just can’t” as if he is truly disappointed that he can’t stop time for me. Oh bless his heart. I love this boy!

And now, without further ado, pictures from the big day!

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Birthday breakfast – French toast!
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Cutest birthday boy ever!
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First present of the day – a lion costume!
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Love this cute lion (and his sister behind him).
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And now we have a lion opening up the second present of the day!
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A car puzzle!
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A basketball!
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He looks like he’s crying but he’s actually laughing because he just hit himself in the nose with his basketball and he thought it was hilarious. =)
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This boy can dribble!
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Eloise’s face in this one cracks me up!!! She’s more excited about Isaiah’s present than he is!
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New jammies!
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The look on Isaiah’s face when he saw that a Thomas the Train tricycle came in the mail for him! =)
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Eloise loved the box!
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Chuck E. Cheese for Isaiah’s birthday party a few days after his birthday. Eloise thought that this {fast!} horsey ride was a little too much for her! =)
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Shooting with daddy.
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Eloise rode Noah’s Ark!
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This horsey was a little more her size! 😉
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Baby Nova loved the rides too!!
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Isaiah was lovin all the games!
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He even got Aunt Cindy to do one with him!
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The birthday boy’s cake that he picked out all on his own!
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The party!
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Sweet Novalee, my niece!
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Fun playdough!
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Eloise wasn’t getting any presents so she figured she might as well sit back and relax…
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A big dump truck that moves and makes noise!
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Somebody was excited to dig into his cake!

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Blowing out the candles {with a little help from Sister}.
I think it’s safe to say Isaiah had a wonderful birthday! Now somebody, PLEASE, slow down time. Before I know it, we’ll be celebrating his 13th birthday {yikes!}!