Saturday, November 28, 2009


Today we got the long awaited notice from USCIS in the mail! Our fingerprint appointment....well it didn't really specify a day...just said come any time next Buffalo! We were hoping for Buffalo instead of Pittsburgh since its closer. This is a huge step as it will be the last piece of paperwork we need for our dossier! It can take 1-9 weeks to get the approval after the fingerprints, and by that time we should have everything else notarized, apostilled (after a trip to Harrisburg and a $15 per document charge) and ready to send to Zoya's country. After that we just WAIT for an appointment to go see our baby! We are hoping to travel after her country re-opens toward the end of February or beginning of March. We can't wait to get there!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Surgery Update

We got an update today about Zoya! She has already had her heart surgery and it was successful! We are so thankful that she has had this opportunity to have the surgery, as it may have been life saving. I can't help but be sad at the same time, thinking our baby is recovering alone without a mama or daddy to snuggle her and kiss her and spoil her! Soon enough we will no longer have those worries. Maybe Zoya will completely forget the pain and suffering she has endured once she feels the love of her family!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2 months waiting

Two months ago today we committed to adopt Zoya. Shawn and I have changed a lot in those last 2 months. God has made us people who are more aware of the world around us. He has helped us to become less self-centered and self-focused. When we first committed we were somewhat hesitant to tell everyone, not knowing what the reactions might be. Today, we don't care what the reactions are because we are not doing this for anybody else! We are doing this because God has led us to do so and because we WANT this child with all of our heart! Once we committed, any fears we had about making this decision slowly melted away. I can honestly say we have no fears about bringing Zoya home. We have no fears about raising her, being her momma and daddy, loving her, or teaching her. I think about how it has been 2 months....they have seemed so long...I can't believe we've only known about this child for 3 feels like she has been in our hearts since the beginning of time. So when other people ask, "do they know what they're getting into?" Yes we do, and we can't wait! We could be traveling in as soon as 3 short months! Hopefully they go by faster than these last 2. Waiting for something this special is so difficult and heart wrenching. We are coming for you Zoya baby!

Monday, November 23, 2009


I logged on with full intentions of completely venting all of my stress that has been going on lately! I could blog about my broken computer and how its been in the shop 3 times for almost 2 weeks and how we are going to have to pay even more to get it fixed because the warranty doesn't cover it, or I could write all about how we wait for one piece of adoption paperwork in the mail every day and are dissapointed every day when it hasn't come, or about how we are totally stressed out about financing this adoption....the list goes on....

Instead, I remember the sermon at church yesterday. We have so many things to be thankful for in our lives! Its easy to focus on all the stress and things that don't go right, way too easy! Today, I'm thankful that God has chosen us to be Zoya's family. I'm thankful that he thinks we are worthy enough for this gift...the gift of Zoya's life! I am thankful that he knows what all the tomorrows hold and I can, when I choose, rest easy knowing he has it all taken care of....the finances, travel arrangements, bonding, all the details that stress us out if we let them! And believe me, we have times (like today) that we let them! We let that little voice overtake all the positive things happening and start to feel sorry for ourselves, when we should really be focusing on everything we have to be thankful for. We throw ourselves a pity party and let the worries weigh us down like an anchor and allow ourselves to be pulled to the bottom of the ocean, instead of fighting to stay afloat, sometimes we just give in and sink. Thats what I did today. I felt complete and total defeat.

But, we will rise up, and focus instead on how lucky we are to have even been led to take this journey in the first place. We are lucky that things have gone well overall, with only a few set backs. We will focus on all the people who have been so encouraging and kind and helpful along the journey this far. We will focus on our goal of BRINGING ZOYA HOME no matter the cost, no matter the struggle, no matter the set backs, no matter the days we feel like we're sinking. We will bring Zoya home to hundreds of people who already know about her and love her without even having met her. We will remember Zoya's suffering and remind ourselves there is no mountain we won't climb to free her of her lonely existance. We will remember that God WILL ransom her and move the mountains that we can't climb.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A million and one thoughts....

Many people want to know when we are traveling...

We hope to travel for the first trip (yes there are 2 trips) toward the end of February. Zoya's country actually closes to accepting paperwork for December and January, so we have to wait until Feb. 1st to have our paperwork submitted. We will probably have 2-3 weeks notice of when we will have to travel. We will be in the country for 2-3 weeks and then return home without Zoya for about 10-20 days (depending on holidays) to wait. We will take a 2nd trip back to her country after that time for about 10-15 days to finalize things. At the end of that time, we will, God willing, return HOME with Zoya! We are hoping to have her home around March/April if all goes well. The travel part seems so far away and somewhat surreal at this point.

It will be an adventure for sure! I, for one, am nervous about the squatty potties...but the show must go on! Each day Zoya waits in her lonliness without us breaks my heart. So when I think about her, squatty potties hardly matter! This process is definitely way out of the range of our comfort zone. At times its completely mentally exhausting to have these million and one thoughts running through our heads about all the unknowns....about Zoya....about her being all alone....about her health....about all the paperwork....about the travel....about the finances....about whether or not this will all work out. It's scary, uneasy, uncomfortable, unnerving, and difficult! But it is not supposed to be easy! Thinking about Zoya and all the joy she will bring to us makes all those terrible feelings go away, even if just for a moment or two. Sometimes...a lot of times...I have to remind myself to turn all the thoughts off, put my trust in God, and just breathe. After all, my worries don't even begin to compare to what Zoya must go through day after day, being alone, sick, and needing the love and comfort of a family so badly.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

We saw what we saw and couldn't forget it....

As we've been letting friends and family know of our decision to adopt, we've gotten all types of responses and reactions...excited, suprised, funny, teary, and speechless reactions. People are suprised at first, because we had never metioned that we were even thinking about adopting--let alone adopting a child with special needs. We didn't discuss the adoption with many people prior to making a decision because we didn't want our decision to be clouded by other peoples opinions and/or fears. The first question most people ask is, "well how did this decision come about?" I will save the long detailed version for another time. This song depicts exactly what we felt like prior to making this decision. Once our eyes were open to the orphan crisis, and the down syndrome orphan crisis in particular, we "saw what we saw and heard what we heard" and we couldn't forget it.

So the question I'd like to ask back to those who ask us, "Why?" is "Why not?"

You will have to scroll to the music player at the bottom of the page and turn off the music before you press play.

Friday, November 6, 2009

One More Step....

Today we mailed off our USCIS application and completed homestudy along with a big check!  We will wait and wait and gather more documents now:)  One step closer to our beautiful Zoya!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What's in a name....and some other facts about Zoya

Many people have asked us if we are going to keep Zoya's name.  At first we weren't sure.  A lot of people actually change their adopted children's given names to a more American name, or change the name to give the kids a fresh start and leave the orphanage memories behind. 

We have decided to keep Zoya's name.  It has two pronunciations. The first pronunciation is Z-oh-ya and the second is Z-oi-ya...we are going to pronounce it the second way.

The meaning of her name is LIFE!  

It will be a daily reminder that she truly is a gift from God.  Another reason we decided we would like to keep it is because it is part of her heritage.  She will have a pretty cool story to tell people one day and we want her to remember and learn about her heritage. 

Zoya is 17 months old today, but more the size of a 6 month old.  She cannot sit up on her own yet, but can roll over.  She likes to play with toys and interact with others.  She needs heart surgery that she will likely have soon in her country.  That's everything we know.  People have asked us if she will talk, or walk, or what her abilities will be.  We don't know.  It doesn't matter.  We know that God has led us here and He knows all of those answers.  Whatever the answers may be, it doesn't make a difference.  Our goal for her is to do the best she can, to be happy, feel loved and accepted, use her God-given talents whatever they may be, and know she is needed and wanted so badly in this world. 

Although we've only had a picture and a few sentences about her, it feels that she has been in our hearts long before we ever knew of her.  It is so hard to be so far away from a child who has grown in our hearts. Wondering. Every day. Worrying. Every day. Praying.  Every day. That God will protect her little body and mind and keep her safe and let her feel loved until we can get to her.