Sania’s Classroom Award!

Y’all, today was the last day of school for my kiddos, and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. 

I know that moms around the world can totally relate.  :) I’m looking forward to the more laid back days of summer, but man, it gets a little crazy when we are all home together every day.  And then you add Sania Louise to the mix, well let’s just say that things could get pretty interesting this summer!

Adam and Eli will be going to some basketball camps, Jonathan will be working some, and Luke will be at the golf course a lot.  I am going to try and keep Sania Louise on a consistent schedule because she does better that way.  She also needs to continue doing school work each day to try and catch up some more.  

Speaking of school work, y’all, I am so proud of my sweet girl!  Today, her teacher gave out “classroom awards” to everyone.  She gave them awards that fit a particular personality trait or special memory for each child. 

And guess what my daughter got?!


Isn’t that the best?!  And it is SO true.  

She just has a joy about her that makes you smile.  And with all that our sweet little girl has been through in her life, it truly amazes me.  I know without a doubt that her boarding school teachers in Latvia would be shocked to see that she got this award!  haha!

(Hannah and Sania)

But that award is proof to me that God’s love can overcome all things.  It is also evidence of what a loving school environment can do for a child.  An environment where each child is loved and accepted as they are.

(Sania and Addyson)

Sania’s classmates have shown her that kind of love this year.  And her teacher, Ms. Jones, well…she is priceless!  She showered Sania with patience and love and gave her the confidence she needed to feel successful at school.

Sania also had three amazing teachers in the resource room that worked with her and loved on her each day.  She absolutely loved going to school every single day!   I am so very grateful for everything that her teachers have done for her the past few months!

And I have to say something about this little guy as well…


I haven’t said much about my sweet Eli and how this adoption has affected him, but to be honest, it has been the hardest on his little heart.  

He fiercely loves and adores his new sister, but at the same time, he has had to experience the most changes in his life this past year.  

He is no longer the “youngest” in the family.  (Although Sania is technically two days older than him, she is definitely younger than him emotionally and behaviorally.) She has commanded a lot of our time and attention, sometimes leaving Eli feeling a little lost.  

Even though her behavior has improved tremendously since she has been home, she can still be very difficult and defiant at home, and most of the time, she aims her anger at Eli.  Being only 10 years old now, he doesn’t always handle her behavior in the best way (like my older boys do.)  We talk with him all the time of how to handle Sania’s behavior, but truthfully, it’s a lot to ask. 

I’ve seen some changes in Eli’s behavior, mostly attention-seeking, but I am amazed at how he well he is handling things.  I know it has not been easy.  Cy and I try so hard every day to give all of our children the time and attention they need, but as most of you know, it’s not an easy job.  We pray every day that God would give us wisdom and show us how to love our children well. 

Adoption is a beautiful mess.  It brings so much joy, but there is usually quite a bit of heartache involved as well.  My boys have had to make a TON of sacrifices to bring Sania into our family, and to some, they may think we have done them a disservice. 

But I couldn’t disagree more.  

The main lesson that we have all learned this past year through our adoption of Sania is “life is not about us.”  Life is not about me.  It’s not about Cy.  It’s not about our boys.  Life is about OTHERS.  (and Jesus, of course!)

That is the greatest lesson we could ever learn.  Our world would be a whole heck of a lot better if we thought more of others and less of ourselves.  (Am I getting too preachy?) :)

I’ve seen my boys love on her and sacrifice for her like none other.  And I marvel at them every day.   They are going to be amazing husbands and fathers.   Nothing can take away the character that they have built and the lessons they have learned through the sacrifices they have made for their sister. 

In his 10 year old honesty, Eli told me the other day that he missed how our family was before Sania came along.  But he knew for it to be like it was, it would mean Sania would be back in Latvia.  He said, “Mom, when I think of Sania being in Latvia all alone and with no family, I just can’t take it.  And even though it is really hard sometimes with her here, I would never want her to be alone again.  I’d rather be sad sometimes, than her be alone.”

Well said, my little man.  And to you, Mommy is giving the “Most Likely to Change the World” award!  





If you have an extra minute, I would love for you to vote for my Design Dash room. :). You can do so here:



  1. Your son said it succinctly and well. Adoption can be profound in ways we’d never expected.

  2. What a sweetheart he is. Change is always trying even when it’s a good thing. Praying for you all.

  3. Wow Traci, I am sitting here crying feeling so sad for your boys but at the same time feeling so happy for them! I always have thought how much of a difference this must be on the everyday life of your boys! But I see they have such big hearts and have welcomed her in there family with loving arms thru all the great, and hard times! Especially Eli, he had mommy all to himself a lot I am sure as he was the baby and now he shares everything, your time, your love, well like I said EVERYTHING!! But Traci lets talk about you and Cy!! What a blessing you are teaching your boys!! That life is not all about each one of them its about making time and sacrificies for each other. Most kids never get to learn this powerful life lesson as they are given everything both material wise and attention wise. Boy!! You really just don’t know what GREAT PARENTS you really are!!! And as a person that grew up in the Foster care system always struggling to feel love and accepted, I want you to tell your boys that so many of us out here in blog land love them for the brothers they are and the people they are becoming!!! Wow, your the family we should all strive to be like!! And I know its SO, SO, SO hard!! But to GOD WE GIVE ALL THE GLORY!!! and may he give me alittle bit of that courage, strength and love towards the people in my life tomorrow and everyday!! LOVE YOU HUTCHERSONS!! Shawn friend in Maryland

  4. What amazing love and selflessness your boys have shown though this adoption process. Surely, that is a result of your values and love. As a former adoption caseworker, I know how this process can affect each family member. You have all handled it beautifully. Thank you for sharing the trials as well as the triumphs. You could probably help many other adoptive families. God bless all of you.

  5. Such a sweet story! Never visited your blog before…. but your design dash room was my fav!!! So I had to stop by and check it out. :)

  6. Hi Traci…..your Eli is a special kid!!! The heart is a child is so pure and amazing and your boys certainly show that. Have a wonderful summer with your beautiful family. Oh yea I LOVE your Design Dash room😍

  7. With tears in my eyes your precious Eli is wise beyond his years. Blessings to your family.

  8. There is an Amish Proverb that says – “The more a child is valued, the better their values will be.” The God centered values you are giving your children are apparent in all of your boys, none more than the wise young Eli! This must make you proud of him too. I salute your good parenting. May God continue to Bless each of you on your journey.

  9. Dear Tracie,
    Thank you so much for putting into words what I know in my heart with our 2 Russian adopted kiddos but sometimes find hard to express. Thanks to Eli for being honest and open, and then bringing it back to what matters most in the end. God can speak to my challenged mama heart through a 10 year old, and through his mom!
    We leave in 1 week to fly to Russia. We’ll be with a team from church, working at an orphanage. I’ve been back on 9 trips in the 10 years that our children have been home, but this is the first time they and my husband have returned. If you think of us, please pray that God will use this trip to touch my 12 and 14 year old (son and daughter) in big ways, for His glory and their healing!
    Joy, Kate

  10. Traci, You and Cy have taught all your children about self-sacrifice and putting others first. That is so commendable. To be giving, truly giving, means sacrifice and that sacrifice is not always easy. It can be truly painful. In his young years, Eli expressed his feelings so raw and honestly that reading them made me cry. It shows his age but more importantly, it shows how unselfish he is at the sacrifice of others (Sania in this case). We truly are wonderfully made by the Maker. You are teaching your children just the way we all need to be in this sometimes crazy, mean, and hurtful world. Mother Teresa said, “be the change.” You are the change. Much love to you and your wonderfully made family.

  11. What a precious boy Eli sounds to me. Good job in your raising of him for him to have a heart like that. (and an abundance of grace from God – I know how it is, I have 6 kids.) :)

  12. Bless is heart It’s only natural to miss the way things were but what a selfless spirit. What a sweet little boy.

  13. Oh, Traci, this brought tears to my eyes! I am so proud of all of you, and so grateful to God that you answered the (very hard) call to adopt. I bless you for not sugar-coating things here. I will specifically pray for Eli as he continues to be a wonderful brother to Sania. Most likely to change the world, for sure! Love you.

  14. Can we do one of those pre-arranged marriages? I have an energetic, sweet, funny 9 1/2 yr old girl that would (seem to) make a perfect mate for Eli. :-) My girls have learned and sacrificed a lot the last two years with my new work in special education. I think their little hearts would be perfect for each other!

    I had to throw in some humor because he brought me to tears…..

    Blessings to you, Cy, and the kids!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *