Thursday, August 30, 2012

2,Two, Dos, Deux!

Almond Joy
Reece's Peanut Butter Cups
Pop Tarts
Ding Dongs

Q: What do these all have in common?

A: They come in 2's.

Guess what else comes in 2's, two days that is? Our departure flight "2" Eastern Europe! We couldn't be happier! We are "2" excited and can't wait "2" meet our baby girl!

"2" of the greatest commandments that we have been given is: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

I have witnessed so much love "2" our family this past 4 months. I am grateful and thankful "2" you all from the bottom of my cotton socks! By this time next week, we will have met our little princess and it would not have been made possible without your love and support. Love is a splendid thing! Love lifts us up where we belong! All you need is love! "By this shall men know ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Thanks for your example and kindness, you are all truly disciples of Christ!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Time Flies When You're......

......expecting a baby!

Whether it's a nine month pregnancy or a 4 month paper pregnancy time sure does fly by. By the time we reach Susan's country we will have been involved with this adoption process for less than 4 months. We committed to Susan on May 7th. I feel very blessed that it has happened at this speed and our hope to have her home before her first birthday will be fulfilled. Susan will never have to spend a birthday alone! I am so anxious to get more details about her and see her. I often wonder if we will recognize her. Babies change so much in that first year so I am sure she will look different than her profile picture. I wonder if she'll have hair? Will she be tiny or average for her age? Will she smile or shy away? Will she be a cuddly baby or push us away? As anyone would hope, I hope she is a happy little girl who will know from the moment we meet her that we are the ones who have come to rescue her! I hope she will instantly feel our love and fall in love! I can hardly stand it! I am still in shock that this is happening and so quickly! But I can't wait! She will be a very special delivery!

I am sad that I have to miss a few things like the first day of kindergarten and preschool for Beck and Kate. I am sad to miss both Cole's and Beck's soccer games as the fall season will start while we are away. I am sad to miss Beck's 6th birthday. I am sad to leave Liam just as he is beginning to chatter away! I am going to miss my kids so much and am sad to leave them. But I know that this moment in our lives will be but a second compared to our future! We will survive and look back and appreciate all of the sacrifices we are making now. These sacrifices will seem insignificant in the big scheme of things. It doesn't make it any easier to leave them but it does give comfort to know that families are forever and forever is a long time! Bring on the tears and heartache but bring on the joy of knowing that we are making a difference and that our forever family will be complete. Susan is going to change our lives, there is no doubt about it but it will be for the better!

What a blessing my mom is in my life. "All that I am I owe to my angel mother." My mother allows me to live the life that I want and the life that I live. She is always there when I need her. Whether it be for emergencies, vacations, hospital stays, etc. she is always willing to stay at our home and watch the kids. I am truly blessed to have a mother who supports me in all that I do. I hope to become like her one day. I can always count on my mom, and my dad too, but my mom is the one who stays home and does her best to keep the household running. My kids adore her. In fact anytime we have been away (2 weeks was the longest) our kids want nothing to do with us when we get home. I'm always a bit crushed but wouldn't have it any other way. They love her enough to not want her to leave. Thanks mom and dad! I know they will be in good hands and I know they will have a blast! I also have to thank everyone in advance who is going to help with car pools, soccer practices and games, scouts, and much needed play dates! You are all amazing! Through small and simple things great things will come to pass.

I'll leave you with a couple more cute things my children have said during this process. A few weeks ago Kate and I were in the car, probably headed to Target. (She loves to go shopping with me and I love Target.) Anyway it was almost as if she had a epiphany. All of the sudden her voice got loud and was filled with excitement as she said, "Mom! I know what I can do! I can give all of my toys to Susan. Because it's not fair that she doesn't have anything." My sweet little cupKate! She is going to be a great big sister! Then Cole is really cute! Since he is the oldest, he often acts like the parent, telling the kids what to do. Like, "Go on the naughty step!" or "Go to your room!" etc. I have to remind him often that he is not the parent and that is my job. But during this process I have enjoyed hearing him say, when the kids are wanting something or asking for something, "Do you want this lip gloss or a baby sister?" Or at the yard, Kate was extremely upset that we were selling a princess table and chairs that she really wanted but we didn't have room for and Cole asked again, "Do you want the table or a baby sister?" That one backfired a bit as her immediate response was the table but in the end once the table sold they both knew that it was getting us one step closer to Susan. They get it and understand that through small and simple sacrifices, we are closer to bringing Susan home. God speed!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Calgon Take Me Away!

August has proven to be a busy month, so if I haven't acted like myself then you will know it's only because I am feeling a bit weary and that was even before we found out we are traveling soon. Here is a recap of what our August has been like. 2 nephews and a niece visiting from England. 2 soccer tournaments and another at the end of the  month. Luau planning and hosting. Auction For A Princess, contacting, delivering, collecting, packing and shipping. 2 birthdays and 1 combined party. Reece's Rainbow Utah family gathering in our backyard. Back to school preparation, shopping and appointments. Medical appointments and such. List making, photo book selecting, prescriptions refilling, shopping and packing for our upcoming journey. Although I wouldn't change anything on this list because either we are having fun or it is getting us one step closer to our baby girl, I will say this "Calgon take me away!"

It has been 3 days since we learned of our travel date and every time I think about this journey we are on and our adventure we are about to embrace, I get a queasy feeling in my gut. Butterflies are having a par-tay in my tum-may. I am pretty sure that if I didn't feel this way then something would be wrong with me. And I am sure I will feel this way right up until our first meeting with Susan or maybe not. Whatever the case may be it's a good, queasy, butterfly feeling!

Before I go any further I have to let you all know that we have picked a winner of the Hawaii giveaway. We were planning on announcing a winner at the Luau on Saturday but at that time we decided that we would extend the giveaway until the end of the month to allow more people to donate. Our expectations of the 500 ticket sales was far from being met and we were just hoping to collect a little more. Well after we got the news on Monday regarding our travel plans, we decided that it was not worth it to keep it going so last night we created a spreadsheet and with the help of a winner was picked. Lucky number 62!

Congratulations to Lorie and J.D. Davis!
You have won a 7 night stay to Kona or Kauai!
Many thanks to those who purchased tickets, attended the Luau and entered the giveaway! We really do appreciate your support. We have no more giveaways to offer and our fundraising efforts are done, but if you have not had a chance to donate but would like to then we will kindly accept your donation. We still need your help, especially since we will be leaving in 9 days! If you have waited to make your donation then please wait no more. We need your help more than ever! If you or anybody you know are looking for a 501(c)3 non-profit organization to donate to then send them our way (reference Lutkin/Susan). It's getting closer to the end of the year when businesses are looking for tax deductions and Reece's Rainbow and Susan would appreciate the support. Please share, donate, pray! Make a difference! Make a change! (Use this Reece's Rainbow link to make your tax deductible donation, it's easy!)
I am still in shock and cannot believe that in less than 2 weeks I will meet the daughter I always knew (because I am sure we knew each other in Heaven) but never knew she would be 6000 miles away. The daughter who was born from another womb but born of my heart! The daughter who we were led to, to help us most to grow! My heart aches for her parents, her mother, her father, maybe even siblings who will never get to see her reach her fullest potential. I can't help but think that maybe they left her out of love, knowing that they couldn't give her everything she needs. Maybe they did want her but they knew she would never be accepted in their society. Maybe they knew that in the end she would be saved. Because maybe they were aware of the plan all along. God works in mysterious ways. He has many wonderful things in store for Susan and maybe they knew that this was the only way for these things to be revealed. Who knows? All I know is that she is loved and never again will she be left alone wondering? She will know soon enough that she is a princess born of a Heavenly King. We have been chosen to be her earthly parents and what a blessing and privilege it will be!
Throughout this journey our kids have said the sweetest things. I will share something that Beck said just the other night then I will say good night! I was telling Beck that we were going to miss his birthday since we were going to be away. I told him that we would have a little party though to celebrate before we left. He said to me, "Mom, all I want for my birthday is a new baby sister." Oh my word, doesn't get any sweeter than that. Pure sugar! Good night!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Aaahh! Freak Out!

Last night I had all intentions to write a blog post about our Luau. I got a little distracted though and started talking with my nephew and niece who are visiting from England. (Mark's whole family is still in England and we have had the privilege to have 2 nephews and a niece stay with us. They will have stayed the whole month of August by the time they leave.) Anyway, we stayed up until 2:45 am talking so no blog post last night. So here I am today but instead of sharing info. about our Luau, which I will,  I first have some exciting news to share. At 11:37 this morning, I received a call from our stateside helper with Reece's Rainbow. When I saw her name appear on my phone I thought there is only one reason why she would be calling. Sure enough she said, "Guess what I have for you?" I immediately said, "A travel date?" "YES!" Would you believe we have a travel date? We will be leaving in less than 2 weeks for Susan's country! In two Saturdays we will be boarding a plane heading to Eastern Europe. Our first appointment in her country is scheduled for Monday September 3rd. So more than likely we will be meeting our baby girl on September 5th or so. Can you say, Aaahh! Freak Out! I am freaking out but so excited! I really thought we had more time and would leave towards the end of September but we leave in less than 2 weeks! "My pulse is rushing, my head is reeling, my face is flushing! What is this feeling?" Pure excitement! Now more than ever we need your prayers! We're still in need of financial assistance so if you have considered donating to our cause, now is the time. Any amount will help us on our way. We're leaving on a jet plane, don't know when we'll be back again. One things for sure though, we'll have a baby in tow! Yippee! Yahoo! Hooray!

Aloha! I have to share pics and details about our Luau now. It was a fantastic, fun night! I have to thank everyone who did come and support us and those who donated but couldn't come. The food was great from Lanikai grill, the rolls and cake were delicious from Granite Bakery, and the Hawaiian dancers were amazing! A big thanks to my sister-in-law, brother, nieces and nephews, Cole and young friends who babysat so the adults could have a date night. To my friends who helped set up, prepare the fruit salad and serve the food, thank you. To my friend Barbara who arranged for the dancers to come, thank you! Thank you to the dancers and leaders for donating your time and talents. Not one of them even knew me or my family but were willing to give service to our family! Thank you Jori and family! A big shout out to Kenny for providing the sound system! And a big thanks to the donors of the 7 night stay in Hawaii. It was a night I'll never forget, especially knowing that there are many people who love our family and Susan! As I sat and watched the dancers I was filled with so much emotion and only wished that Susan could be there to feel the love! She'll know soon enough how many people had a hand in bringing her home! Incredible! Hang tight and we will be announcing the winner of the Hawaii giveaway shortly.

Well I'll love ya and leave ya with pics from the Luau! Thanks again one and all! You are inspiring and marvelous, simply marvelous!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Luau Fundraiser Reminder

Our upcoming fundraiser is so big that it's worthy of another post! You've seen it before but here it is again and now it's even new and improved. We're having a Luau!

August 18th will be a night to remember if we can get people there. I do not want to be a Debbie Downer, wah wah, but our ChipIn with it's $12, 500 goal (500 tickets) is still at 0, zero, zip, nil, none! Yes there have been a few who have donated to our Reece's Rainbow account (Thank you!) and yes we have had a couple of people drop off checks (Thank you!) but at this very moment we do not even have enough to cover the down payment for the catering. We only have a handful of people coming and that's just not enough to make it worth the time of those who are donating their time. At this rate folks, we're losing money! We can't afford to lose money, this is a fundraiser! We need to raise money so we can bring our little girl who is so deserving of a family, home! Let me be honest, in a non-Debbie Downer way if that's even possible, wah wah. If we do not get enough response for the Luau there just may not be a Luau. I would hate to cancel because we have put so much planning into it, but if we don't have enough people to attend we may just have to. Regardless we will move forward with the Hawaii 7 night stay giveaway but even then we cannot afford to give it away for the $300 donations we have received so far. It's not fair for the family who donated the week of their time share so depending on the response we get in the next week regarding the Luau, we may just focus on the Hawaii giveaway and extend that time frame. 

I hope you can all appreciate my humor. For those who don't know, this is Debbie Downer from Saturday Night Live. Look her up on YouTube and be prepared for a giggle! Funny stuff my friends, funny stuff!

We need your help now more than ever. I guess more than anything I am asking you to throw me a bone! I just need to know if you're interested and if you're coming to support our family at the Luau! Many have "liked" it on Facebook, many have shared it but I don't know who's coming? So if you could let me know by Tuesday August 14th if you're coming that would be fabulous! Here are the details and please note that the invitation is even sweeter, new and improved. Since this is an adult only event we have arranged to have childcare available. We will have some youth and adults from our neighborhood who will be available to watch your little ones. You can just drop them off at our church (address provided below) for the 2 hours that you will be at the Luau and enjoy yourselves. We will provide a movie or activity to keep your kiddos occupied. There will be no charge but we will accept donations. It's a win win for everyone! But again I need to know by Tuesday August 14th if you're coming and will be taking advantage of this childcare service so we can plan accordingly. If you make a donation through our ChipIn or Reece's Rainbow account please still contact me so I know that your donation is for the Luau. You can contact me by phone (leave a message if needed) or email me. Here are the details of the Luau:

It’s a
Saturday August 18th
7-9 pm

(Seating for a traditional Luau is on the ground so please bring blankets and chairs.)
Fundraiser to benefit the Lutkin Family
Who is adopting a baby girl with
Down syndrome from Eastern Europe.

$50 per couple or $25 per person (Adults Only, * Child Care  Available)
Each $25 ticket purchase includes a catered Hawaiian meal by Lanikai Grill and Granite Bakery, entertainment and an entry to win a week’s stay in Hawaii for calendar year 2013.
(Lodging only on the Big Island or Kauai, does not include airfare.)

To purchase tickets for this event please mail or drop off your payment
to: Our Address
Or you can use our ChipIn page :

Or for a tax deductible donation use this link to Reece's Rainbow:

You may  purchase additional entries to win the Hawaii giveaway. $10=one entry.
Include extra cost for additional entries with your payment or donation. We will be accepting donations for additional entries that night too. 

We appreciate your donation even if you are not able to attend. You will still be entered to win the giveaway (you do not need to be present to win). Your generosity is helping an orphan become a princess and allowing her to enjoy the blessings of a family. Thank You!

 * Childcare will be provided at our church. Available from 6:45-9:15 pm.  No charge but donations welcome.

Please contact me to let me know if you will be attending the Luau and taking advantage of the childcare services. We need to know by Tues. Aug. 14th so we can plan accordingly. We appreciate your support and hope you will join us! 

So there you have it. Please come, please share, please help us on our way to becoming fully funded for our upcoming journey. We will be travelling in 5-7 weeks now! 5-7 WEEKS! We're so close yet so far away! Please make this dream of this Luau a reality. Please make Susan's dream of having a family come true! You can and you will make a difference! See you soon!


Friday, August 3, 2012

What's In A Name Part Two

Now then, where was I? Oh yes I was saying that even though I had this experience about Susan I wasn't going to share it with Mark because the timing wasn't right. If it was meant to be then it would be. Well Liam's adoption day came, 20 days after my Easter Sunday experience and even though I was still constantly thinking about Susan I wanted to enjoy Liam's special time becoming an official member of our forever family. As much as I wanted to discuss the matter with Mark and take her name to the temple to give me/us more clarity, I knew that I just needed to enjoy being in the temple with Liam and my family. That day, April 27th was so wonderful! Busy too! We had the court ceremony in the morning, the temple ceremony in the afternoon and a party that night at our home. Once the festivities were over and we were getting ready for bed, Mark said that he had something for me. He handed me a box and it was a Willow Tree figurine "Child of My Heart". I had hinted that I wanted this figurine to represent Liam's adoption. I have many others that are significant to other events in my life and that represent my other children. So I was touched by that gesture alone, that he listened and got it for me. I was really tired and even said, "I'm not going to take her out of the box because I know what she looks like. I'll just wait until tomorrow." But Mark said to me, "You're going to want to open it." I opened the box and inside was a note with the Reece's Rainbow header that read, "OK Let's do it!" Once again I was in shock. Was he serious? "Are you serious?" We just adopted our 4th child and now he's on board for a 5th? I seriously froze and had no idea what to say or what to do. I had only prayed that this moment would happen. My prayers were heard and answered. The Lord had prepared Mark's heart for this moment just as he had prepared mine. God's love and timing amazes me!

All I could do was hug him and say thank you! At that time he said, "I don't know who, I haven't had a chance to really look but I am ready to do it." I said, "I know who" and then I was able to tell him of my "Consider the Lilies" experience. Another week and a half went by as Mark and I prayed and pondered about our decision. Luckily Susan was still available and after 1 month of her being listed with Reece's Rainbow we committed to her on May 7, 2012. It was meant to be. Many prayers were answered that night of April 27th. What a special day in many ways! I adopted the "Child of My Heart" and knew that another "Child of My Heart" was waiting and would soon become mine. Susan is the one who we were meant to consider and soon our "Lily" will have a chance to blossom and bloom! (This is the personal touch to the Bloom necklaces, the fact that Susan means the flower Lily and that she will soon bloom.) There is no doubt about it, we have been led by His love and it was all in her name!

I have always loved the song Consider the Lilies and it will forever remind me of my Grandpa John. And now it has even more significance. The scripture alone is about God's love and how He will take care of us if we trust Him. "O ye of little faith?" "for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:28-33

Lyrics to Consider the Lilies

Consider the lilies of the field,
How they grow, how they grow.
Consider the birds in the sky,
How they fly, how they fly.
He clothes the lilies of the field.
He feeds the birds in the sky.
And He will feed those who trust Him,
And guide them with His eye.

Consider the sheep of His fold,
How they follow where He leads.
Though the path may wind across the mountains,
He knows the meadows where they feed.
He clothes the lilies of the field.
He feeds the birds in the sky,
And He will feed those who trust Him,
And guide them with His eye.

Consider the sweet, tender children
Who must suffer on this earth.
The pains of all of them He carried
From the day of His birth.
He clothes the lilies of the field,
He feeds the lambs in His fold,
And He will heal those who trust Him,
And make their hearts as gold.

He clothes the lilies of the field,
He feeds the lambs in His fold,
And He will heal those who trust Him,
And make their hearts as gold.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What's In A Name Part One

Q: How did we know that Susan was the one?
A: It was in her name.

On April 6, 2012 a beautiful, bald baby girl was listed on Reece's Rainbow. It was Good Friday. The Friday before Easter Sunday. I knew she was a newly listed child. Because of my obsession with Reece's Rainbow I knew every little face on that website. From the moment I saw her there was something about this bald beauty that seemed familiar. She was adorable and I began to wonder, is she the one? But how could she be the one if my husband wasn't even on board? On Saturday evening I sat up late and kept going back to her picture and profile wondering why she looked so familiar. Then just before I went upstairs to go to bed I googled her name "Susan" to see what it meant. To my surprise Susan means "Lily". How sweet and how I love the name Lily. I wondered again, could she be the one? I had prayed about other kids before asking if they were the ones and I never received an answer. Maybe it was because my husband wasn't on board. I had prayed that I might know who was the one when the time was right but thought that it would be a while if ever before I would know. And even knowing this I still couldn't help but wonder if Susan was the one. Could Lily be the one who we were meant to consider?

The next morning was Easter and it was a glorious day. After the morning egg hunt and a candy filled breakfast we headed off to church. During our sacrament meeting the choir stood up to sing as they usually do on Easter Sunday and the first song they sing is Consider the Lilies. I was totally blown away, shocked and filled with emotion at the same time. Just before I went to bed on Saturday night I had a thought, "Wouldn't it be neat if we sang the song Consider the Lilies at church tomorrow and then I would know that she was the one?" But then I soon realized that it is not one of the hymns in our hymnal and we wouldn't sing it as a congregation. I didn't even think that the choir might sing it so can you imagine my surprise when they did! I was always hoping for an answer or a "sign" and I believed that this was my answer. We needed to consider Lily or Susan.

I didn't share my experience with Mark because again I knew that he wasn't interested in adopting yet. We still hadn't adopted Liam. Another one of my prayers had been that if we were meant to do it then it would have to be Mark who says "Let's do it." I knew we both had to be on the same page. Heavenly Father knew the desire of my heart but he had to soften Mark's if it was a righteous desire. Since we weren't on the same page at that time I felt like it wouldn't make a difference to tell Mark that I think we should consider Susan and why. So I carried on, still praying about Susan and felt like if it was meant to be then it would be. To be continued........

Consider the Lilies by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.