Now remember, this is like my "in labor all night" photo bc this is right after we rode the train all night and couldn't even change our clothes before meeting here haha! Sweet hugs from a sweet girl!
She did not want to let go!!
First Family Photo (for you Bub!...had it just didn't post it before)After the 8 hour train ride and dropping our bags off at our new place (a whole other story for a whole other post! Really…it is umm interesting….all I will say is that God went to far worse places to save us, so we will suck it up!) We were taken to meet the inspector who asked a bunch of questions. She asked why we wanted a sick child and some other questions. She gave us a pass to visit the orphanage and accompanied us along with Marina. Once there we met with the director, who is also the orphanage doctor. She gave us a lot of health history on Zoya. She had heart surgery in October and they basically said it saved her life and she is a different child now than she was before the surgery. They said they were very worried about her and she was not gaining weight or eating or really doing much of anything. After her surgery she began gaining weight (as you can tell in the pictures with her chubby cheeks!). She will be 2 on June 3 and she weighs 20 pounds. They told us that her mother abandoned her at the hospital and never had any desire to see her. Zoya has never had any family visit her in her time at the orphanage. There was no father listed on any of the paperwork. After lots of questions from the director, she said to us, “I know why you have love for these children, we see how loving they are and the groupas fight over which one gets the new babies with Down Syndrome.” The director seems to have a huge heart and loves these kids. We are so happy to know this, as we know that is not the case in all orphanages. She was very kind. Then…the moment…they told us they were going to bring Zoya in…..
I can’t explain to you how I felt at that moment. So many thoughts racing through my head. So many hours of tears and joy to get to this place. So many worries, struggles, hopes to get to this day. The door opened and a caretaker came in carrying Zoya….our Zoya! I think Shawn and I were both holding our breath. The caretaker sat down with Zoya across from us. We marveled at her beauty and were almost speechless at first. What do you say when you meet your child for the first time? I worried that I would not feel a connection immediately with Zoya. We prayed and prayed that our hearts and her heart would be prepared….AND…….THEY…….WERE! I took Zoya into my arms and she immediately put her arm around my neck giving me a hug. She snuggled in close as if to say, “I’ve been waiting for you.” I know many people don’t feel an immediate connection, but I did and I am so thankful for that. She stared at my face, studying it, just staring into my eyes. I held back tears as I realized this was my child. The sun came pouring through the windows while I was holding her and I couldn’t help but feel God’s presence in that room with us. Shawn took pictures and then it was his turn. Seeing him hold Zoya was a moment that will be forever with me as vividly as it happened today. She put her arm around him with her chubby little fingers grasping his neck, the same as she did with me and hugged him. He smiled at her and she studied his face as well. She waved goodbye to the director and the caretaker and they laughed and said, “Paka” (bye). She was ready to leave with us right then and there! What trust and faith this child showed us in seconds….a trust and faith we have been fighting to find and maintain throughout this entire process! We passed Zoya back and forth and took pictures and videos of our first moments with her.
I am amazed at how smart she is. She waved hello to us and goodbye to the others in the room. She made kissy faces back to us when we made them at her, and she understands cause and effect with some of the toys we brought. We only managed to get a half smile out of her today one time, but I have no doubt those smiles will soon be coming. She was very serious during our time with her. She was snuggly, loving, and very curious. She was intrigued by Shawn’s hair and kept trying to touch it. She is a gift from God! Glory be to Him!
After meeting Zoya we ran all around with Marina getting things signed and notarized and grocery shopping, and more signing and notarizing and a trip to the hospital to get Zoya's doctors to sign something...lots of papers! We got to our place around 2:00 and updated the blog, changed clothes, ate for the first time since dinner yesterday, and out the door we go again! Whoever it was at Reece's Rainbow that said bring books....what kind of adoption were you on? Haha, kidding, but seriously we have been sooooo busy!
I will post more later, but now we get to go back and visit with her from 4 until 6! We only got to see her about 25 minutes this morning, so we are excited. We are exhausted as we have only slept about 3 hours in the past day, but this is too exciting to be tired for!
Thank you sooooo much for all of your prayers and support!
I tried to upload a video but with this modem connection we have it takes way too long...I will try to do some short videos so they dont' take so long to upload!