Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Announcement!

This blog began at Jude's birth, solely for his faraway extended family. We wanted to make as much effort as we could to keep our family involved in his everyday life, when in reality they're only able to visit him a few times a year. However, many more people have become followers of this blog. Therefore, I feel the need to clarify that we've never shared such personal information as you will read in the post today. 


Jude is going to be a big brother. 
This is the beginning our adoption story. 
We weren't those people who ever considered adoption to be in our future. We just didn't see ourselves doing adoption. We always knew we would somehow be involved in taking care of the fatherless, just never could have conceived that it would be through adoption.  As some of you know, we were foster parents before getting pregnant with Jude in Massachusetts for teenagers in the system. After Jude came along, we put that on hold and figured that once our kids were a little older and the crib was empty, we'd begin foster care again, with little babies next time. It has been in the back of our minds since receiving Jude that fostering babies would one day just become our nitch. 
However, all that has changed. It has changed in the same way God always changes our hearts---unexpectedly, with tears, laughter, confusion, and finally delight. For whatever reason, we began to see our hearts change somewhere around October 2011. It's hard to say how, or exactly when, but adoption began to settle into our hearts. It feels incredibly good to be on this journey and to be so certain this is where God intends us to be. 
So as to share our overwhelming joy at our present pursuit of adoption, and so as to possibly rub off on some other unexpected parents, we've outlined below our reasons for making this decision. 

1. There are 147 million orphans worldwide. Let that soak in.  147 million little children without a family. There are simply more children than infertile parents. Therefore, adoption for us is not our "Plan B." This child waiting for us, is our Plan A, and we will exhaust all our energy, time, money, and prayers for our little one. 
2. This is the most "pro-life" thing we can do in our lifetime. We find it difficult to express our pro-life views because it is obviously heavy laden with complicated issues. Mostly being that we have had dear, dear, friends who have abortion in their past, and Auburn particularly has watched dear counseling clients choose abortion time and again. If we are to believe with every conviction, that abortion should not be an option, if we are to plead with mothers, "I know this is a bleak time in your life, I know this pregnancy has interrupted everything about your life, I know this baby has the potential to end what your preconceived dreams were for your life, but please, please endure 9 months, and please, please give your baby up for adoption." If we are to make that case, then we have to be among the first to stand in the gap for these mothers and adopt their babies.  For us, and for this season in our life, we cannot be pro life, and not adopt. 
3. God has adopted us. Everyday of Jude's life we attempt to present the Gospel to him. Whether that's deliberately through stories and scripture, or whether it's how we live our everyday lives minute by minute. It seems to us that by choosing adoption, we are able to tell Jude and our future children (adopted and biological), in a very tangible way how God has adopted us first.  We will explain that adoption was God's idea from the beginning of time.  We will be able to explain that all of us were "unwanted," but we were pursued by God, and we were grafted into His family. We will be able to explain that we were once on the outside of God's promises, but now we are called Jesus's brothers and sisters and now we are heirs. We will explain that Moses, Ruth, and Jesus all have adoption stories. 
4. We simply want more children! We simply want our family to expand and we have come to believe that it does not matter either way whether the means are through biological children or adopted children. Over the past few months it has become very clear that we have a child somewhere else in the world that was always intended to be ours, from the beginning of time. It's our job to find her, fight for her, and bring her home. 
5. Scripture explains that, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." ~James 1:27

Simply put, we are overjoyed with our decision and what the next year holds for us. Once we made the decision to adopt it felt like we were 5 weeks pregnant again. (Not showing any signs of a baby bump, but constantly thinking of our precious new life growing.) We have marveled at how this adoption process had mimicked pregnancy with Jude. We have the same feelings, worries, prayers, and lack of control as we had during the pregnancy.   
As we began telling family and friends, we were told time and again the joys that come with adoption, but also of the terrible wait, the paper chase, and the bureaucracy involved in the whole process. We are just a few months into finding our little girl (yes, we're adopting a DAUGHTER!), and already we've been blindsinded by unexpectancies, disappointments, and closing doors. From day one of realizing we had a little Hutson girl somewhere else in the world, and we need to bring her home, we've been fighting what seems like an uphill battle. We read in a really great book (Adopted for Life by Russell Moore), that adoption isn't war, but it is spiritual warfare. And after just a few months, this is a real reality for us, and one that leaves us with no option but to beg you for your prayers. 

We're excited about bringing everyone up to date on our very present joy and our anticipation of bringing home Jude's sister. Like I said earlier this blog was intended to solely post pics of Jude, but now it's going to evolve into adoption updates and ramblings as well. I've taken great encouragement and soaked up every word of blogs from other adopting families and hope some of our ramblings can do the same for someone else. 

We have started work with America World Adoption Agency, and are working in their pilot program with India. During this whole process, it has been a very clear leading from the Lord that we were to adopt, and over the last 6 months it has been even clearer that we are to adopt from India. 

ABC's 20/20 did a report just a few months ago on the horrific infanticide that's been occurring among female babies in India, and you can read their report and watch numerous videos of the episode here.  

Join us in welcoming our next little Hutson into the world, and pray with us that God would bring her home quickly and smoothly.

My Cute Helper

Just because I think he's ridiculously CUTE in his little white undershirt...


He's helping me make my tea. He likes to go "up and down, up and down," with the tea bag to help me out.  In this instance he dropped the tea bag in the tea...


And then I said, "Will you say cheeeese for me?" And this is the willing, but fake, smile I got...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We're feeling much better over here, so I thought I'd post some random pictures of the last week or so.


Can you spot Jude's best friend in this pic? Hint: He's perched up on the sink.



Trader Joe's always gives Jude mounds of stickers as we're checking out, and I'm very grateful.


Only how do we get them off without so much pain?


Jude is loving drinking out of big boy glasses and saying goodbye to the Sippie Cup.

Just look at that tummy. It gets me excited for warmer temps and a shirtless boy all summer!

Milk mustache!

This was taken on the first day of our fever last week. Our fevers broke after nap time and it was a glorious 80 degrees outside. We had fun playing, but it was after this excursion that we returned home with super high temps and went down hill from there. This is a pic of our last time outside before getting sick. So sad.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Strep

It took me 29 years of life before I contracted Strep throat. But because of me, it took my little one a mere 2 years of life before succumbing to this awfulness.
We're a horrible mess over here. Antibiotics are helping us a bit, but we're bad company, trying to enjoy the snuggles, and praying Daddy's immune system stays rock solid.

This is no fun.

Monday, March 19, 2012

This is a typical post to appease the grandparents, but more so a post to write down some Jude events so that I won't forget. It'll be choppy, but I just gotta get some of these things written down.

I'll start first with a picture because I know that's what you care most about.
Just still loves to get inside anyone's shoes and walk around the house. His rain boots are a hit too.

For whatever reason, Jude has preferred to be shirtless and pant-less the last few days. And frankly, it's been difficult convincing him to at least wear a diaper. Not sure why, but maybe he's sensing summer around the corner. Watching his itty-bitty bare bum run around the house is an adorable site I must say.

Jude loves chapstick. Yes you knew that, but he also loves to pick the skin off his lips. Before nap time today I found him with a small bit of blood streaked across his cheak. He's constantly picking at his poor little lips.

Brett and I thought we had escaped the typical nightmarish "poop" story every parent seems to have. However, yesterday...Well first let me re-cap. Jude has been sick the last week, battling a 104 temp one night, and battling serious sinus drainage the rest of the time. For 2 days he didn't eat anything, and barely drank one sippie cup each day. But on Friday night he turned a corner and downed 2 bowls of beans and rice. Then, Saturday morning he requested more beans. We obliged, because really beans are healthier than cheerios. Long story short, Jude had beans 5 out of 6 meals this weekend. So as Jude started going bathroom in his diaper (without clothes on of course), he was standing on the couch. Again, to make a long story short, Jude's diaper exploded all over our couch. We had poop everywhere people! After lots of gagging, screaming, flailing limbs, panicking, a bath, and about 90 minutes later, we had regained order in our home. And in the end we're miraculously keeping our couch. It's been disinfected, scrubbed, scrubbed, and scrubbed again.

Onto other non-gross topics now...

As we all know Jude loves airplanes, choo-choos, and taxis. And I love the fact that we live in this huge city and he gets to see all 3 of those machines many times throughout the day. He loves riding in the back of the car pointing out all the yellow taxis, and he knows exactly which roads and which turns lead to subway tracks overhead. It's simple, and it makes me very happy.

He thinks the bathtub is a swimming pool. He loves to belly flop, duck his head underwater, and splash like a fool.

Throwing nerf balls at the wall or ceiling elicits never-ending belly laughs.

He is very economical when it comes to his diapers. Or rather, he is very stubborn when it comes to changing his diapers. He prefers them to way 6 pounds, and drop to his ankles from the weight, before allowing anyone to change him.

He doesn't allow us to feed him anymore. I would like to feed him yogurt because it gets so messy, but he's Mr. Man, and would prefer to do it all by himself.

Speaking of using his spoon with no help, he hates to have anything drip on his face, lips, chin, fingers, or table. So while he's eating with the spoon he's constantly saying, "uh-oh" as he wipes the table or his face.

He also likes to drink out of a dixie cup like a big person. He thinks he's really cool drinking out of a cup with no lid.

I know I said he hates to have anything get on his face...However, strangely enough, he loves to put lotion on his face. If I need to talk on the phone with peace and quiet, I just hand him a tube of lotion and he covers his whole face.


...The sun is shining and it's crazy warm outside, so we're putting on our t-shirts and getting dirty and swetty at the playground till they kick us out!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Roommate Reunion

A few days after returning from the UAE, Jude and I hopped a flight to Texas to visit my college roommates. I just so happened to live with 4 of the most wonderful girls in college and we make it a point to reunite at least one weekend a year. My roommate since freshman year, Kahki, has been living in Argentina for 3 years, and hasn't been able to visit. But her family came back to the states for a month to visit with family, so all the roommates converged on her dad's house, kids and all.
There are no words to explain what these girls mean to me...


Jude and his new friend Mariana...

We took the kids to a story time at a Texas sized children's library. At one point the crazy loud Texas story-teller scared Jude and we had to regroup outside for a bit...

They even had computers for preschoolers. I'm not sure what we would do if this library was in our neighborhood...


Mariana loved to have her picture taken, and loved to dictate the facial expressions...


It was unexpectedly cold and rainy the entire time. It turned out to be convenient for building a roaring fire all day long, talking, cooking, eating, and just letting the kids destroy the house.



Have I mentioned Jude loves to hide?...






Cuddling by the fire with his two favorites...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

We're back!

We were gone an agonizing long 6 days away from Jude. However, because he was back home (in heaven) being spoiled rotten by Pops and Grammy we were able to enjoy the Middle East.
I know this is a blog about Jude, but indulge me with some random pics of our trip.

The Business Class tickets we won from Etihad were much of our highlight of the trip.
I watched the entire first season of Downton Abbey and then slept 6 hours in a comfy bed the rest of the flight.

My husband is happy in this next picture, he's just being pulled away for a few seconds from his precious flight map to allow a quick picture.


So if anyone's wondering, Dubai is the cleanest city I've ever been to. I'm telling you, with no exaggeration, it was almost creepy how clean the streets, buildings, and sidewalks were. Not only was it impeccably clean, everywhere, there were also no street vendors to be found anywhere. Our first day in Dubai we spent nearly 2 hours in search of a place to eat! The next pic is where we ended up, and have no idea what we consumed, but filled our bellies to finish our afternoon on the streets.



124 floors in the sky. This is what it looks like when you create a massive city in the middle of the desert. Spectacular images from up there...







Since we practically ate our way through the UAE, and since I take pictures of all our food, here's a few pics of our eats...

Snacks on our drive...


Tons and tons of baklava...



Rambutan fruit. Delish!

Falafel wrap...

Lamb...

Arabs love to dip and we loved it too...

We rented a car in Dubai and drove out to the middle of the desert...



View from our hotel in Abu-Dhabi...




To our surprise there seemed to be more Indians than Emirates in Dubai. So I gave into some beautiful Henna markings...

Our last dinner out was spent at The Emirates Palace Hotel's restaurant on the beach. (Rooms are around $1,000 a night.) It was an amazing experience and delicious dinner...

We're just so happy to be back with Jude Harv. He's been smothered in kisses ever since I got back, and there's no stopping' me.