Happy First Week of 2016, friends!!!
I will have to say that I am very happy to say hello to 2017! I always love the feeling of a fresh start, and I am looking forward to seeing all that 2017 holds for my family and me. :)
But let me just say this…2016 is going down in the record books as the craziest year of our lives! Cy and I often just look at each other and say, “What a year!” We seriously cannot even believe all that has happened to us…the good, the bad, and the ugly! ha!
To be honest, the craziness started in the summer of 2015 when we hosted this sweet little girl from Latvia named Sanija.
She rocked our world in every way possible! It was love the moment we laid eyes on her at the airport. #destinyinmotion
Here is a short video of when we first met her. I wasn’t able to show her face on my blog during the adoption process, so I have never showed this actual clip. But y’all, when I saw this little face for the first time, I knew she was my daughter.
Little did we know how much this little girl would change our lives! It was a fun and crazy summer with her. (Doesn’t she look like a little Punky Brewster?) :)
She was sweet and funny and loving, and yet difficult and unpredictable and exhausting. None the less, we were smitten! :)
We hosted her for five weeks that summer through Project 143, and also during that time (the last week of July,) Jonathan was invited to a private, invite-only audition for NBC’s The Voice in Nashville!!! Sanija went with us on this trip, and we had a blast. We drove down on Saturday morning, Jonathan had his audition that afternoon, we stayed at a hotel, and then we drove back home the next day.
Good news was that Jonathan made it to callbacks in Los Angeles!!! And the amazing journey of him being on The Voice had begun. :)
Sanija was with us until the first few days of August when she and the many other orphans that were hosted by other families through P143 had to return home to Latvia. That was such a difficult day for us, but we were filled with hope that we would see her again soon.
Days later, Jonathan and I were hopping on an airplane to Los Angeles for “Executive Callbacks” for The Voice. We spent a week out in LA with about 300 other contestants who were auditioning as well. All of the contestants had to learn three songs, practice their songs, fill out all kinds of paperwork, take a psych test, etc. At the end of the week, Jonathan performed his 3 songs in front of the producers of the show and was selected in the top 100 to come back for a month in October for the blind auditions!!! We were shocked and thrilled!
When we got back home, we couldn’t tell anyone. We had this huge secret we were hiding, and it was killing us. :) For a month and a half, we went about business as usual, and we were continuing to finish our adoption paperwork and getting all of the details finalized.
We found out that we would be going to Latvia in December to bring our girl home. Every Sunday, we would Skype with her, and we loved seeing her little face on the screen. The anticipation was building to bring her home.
In October 2015, Jonathan and I flew back to LA for 4 weeks. This was a very exciting and special time for Jonathan and I, and one that I will never forget as his mother. We shared a hotel room for four weeks, and I soaked up every moment knowing in just a couple of years he would be out on his own. This boy of mine is a treasure.
The first three weeks were made up of dress rehearsals, voice lessons, staging, interview prepping, and lots of waiting. Finally, the fourth week was auditions and Jonathan sang on the last day. Cy and the boys flew in for this special moment. He was the “last chair” turn for Pharrell Williams, and it was such a thrilling experience! One our family will never forget!
You can see his full audition HERE, or check out this clip with Carson Daily…
Even though this all took place in October of 2015, it didn’t air until March of 2016!
We got home the first week of November, Jonathan went back to school and things went back to normal. We began focusing on finalizing our paperwork for our trip to Latvia to get our little girl. We would be staying in Latvia for 3 weeks in December before bringing her home the week before Christmas.
Preparing to leave our four boys at home while Cy and I traveled to Latvia for three weeks was very difficult. We were very emotional about leaving our boys, but over the moon about seeing our girl.
As many of you know that have followed me for a long time, our adoption did not go as planned. We were in Latvia for two weeks, and then came home early without our girl. There were so many factors that went into what happened that it is hard to explain in a blog post. It’s one of those “let’s go have a cup of coffee and talk a few hours” kind of conversations.
Praise God, however, in the first weeks of 2016, we received glimmers of HOPE that we would be able to continue the adoption of Sanija.
There were many tears, many hard conversations, more paperwork, more money, and more prayers, but God began to slowly work out the process for us to be reunited with our girl.
In the depths of our heartache over our adoption, we were in the middle of the most exciting time of Jonathan’s life. And trying to continue life as normal for Luke, Adam, and Eli. Those precious three little troopers. :)
In February of 2016, Jonathan and I flew back to LA for his battle round, even though his blind audition hadn’t even aired on tv yet. We were there for almost three weeks, and again, it was the most amazing experience.
Cy and the boys were flown in for his battle round.
Jonathan sang with Moushimi in the battle round, but unfortunately was not chosen to move on to the knock out rounds. His battle didn’t air, but I synced it to a video I had taken during practices, and you can see it HERE.
We flew back home in March and waited for it all to air out on tv. It was so much fun to finally share our experiences with you and our family and friends. The love and support we received was amazing, and Jonathan has had some incredible experiences come from his time on The Voice.
Now it is almost the end of March 2016, and we are preparing for our next trip to Latvia in June to spend time with our girl and bring her home for good.
We left for Latvia on June 8th and spent four of the most precious weeks of our lives with our girl. We took Adam and Eli with us this time to make it easier on them and easier on us as well. :) Jonathan and Luke stayed with family in the states.
After a month in beautiful Latvia, we returned home with our girl the first week of July!!!!
Since July, our sweet girl has been “settling in.” She has come so far in 6 months, and we can only imagine the work that God will continue to do in her life in the years to come.
In November, Luke and I traveled again to Latvia for a few days to finalize the adoption in the courts. We have one more trip to Latvia with Sania Louise in two weeks. I will be sure to share all the details of that trip with you too.
Her name is now Sania Louise Hutcherson. She is a little spit fire and full of hugs and kisses. She loves to play basketball with her brothers, watch Doc McStuffins on Disney Jr., eat chocolate, and learn all the English she can. She is soaking everything up like a sponge. And yes, this mama is having fun dressing a little girl! The best part of dressing her up is how excited she gets to show her brothers. She will say, “Boys, you won’t believe this…” as she walks into the room in front of them. And then they “ooh” and “aah” and tell her how pretty she is. They absolutely LOVE having a sister! And let me tell you that they will take care of this little lady her whole life!
Sania Louise has some obstacles to overcome. She has developmental delays and sensory issues. She will probably start going to public school a couple hours a day to get used to being around other kids. She needs help with her social skills. I’m excited to see how she will grow and develop over the year. We have an amazing support system that love her and will help her succeed.
Our Christmas this year was a stark contrast to last year. Last year, we felt hopeless, and this year, we had HOPE standing right in front of us! She made Christmas so extra special for every single one of us!
Cy and I are just now feeling like we can start to “breathe again.” The past year and a half has definitely tested us. We have been stretched in all different directions, but things are starting to pull back together again, and we are enjoying our life as a family of seven.
More than anything, we can see God’s handiwork through it all. He never left us. He was always working out His good. And let me be sure to say that even if our adoption failed and did not work out as we had hoped, we would still praise HIM. Our love for Jesus is not only when times are good or when things work out the way we want. He is sovereign over every part of our lives, even the difficult times.
But we are very grateful that God has given us the opportunity to be called Sania Louise’s parents. Every time she calls me “mom” my heart skips a beat. What I did to deserve this honor, I will never know. But I will treasure my sweet daughter all of my life.
Thank you, again, for all of the love and support you have shown our family over the past year and a half. I have truly felt your prayers.
I have no idea what 2017 holds for our family, but I know that God has us in His hands.
“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know, He holds the future. And life is worth the living just because HE LIVES.”