Monday, March 15, 2010

We Got Zoya's Referral!!

We had our SDA appointment this morning. I was a nervous wreck before hand. Even though we were “committed” to Zoya, up until this point it was possible for someone else to come and get her file to adopt her. It rarely happens, but it was a possibility. I was so worried about it and just wanted to see her file in our hands! Nicolay picked us up around 9:50. We got to the place around 10:15 and our appointment wasn’t until 11:00. We went into the meeting at about 10:20 (early) and were done by 10:35. In the meeting, we sat down with Serge (our facilitator) and the psychologist.

The psychologist showed us Zoya’s file and Serge gave us a little of her information. She was abandoned at birth by her parents and left at the hospital (most likely because she has Down Syndrome). It sounds like they don’t even have any information on her parents or if she has any siblings. Earlier we were told she had heart surgery for an Atrial Septal Defect (which would be a hole/holes between the top 2 chambers of her heart). At the meeting we were told she has an open oval window, so I will have to ask the Doctor at the orphanage which of the 2 it is.  We do know she had heart surgery in November. 

We were asked why we wanted to adopt a child with special needs. Serge told us we will be asked this a lot and people will say, “why young handsome beautiful people like you want child like this?” He said lots of people think Americans come here and adopt children with special needs to sell their body parts. I guess they think that because they can’t fathom why someone would want a child with special needs. In America, not so long ago, we treated people with disabilities the same way, so we are really only a little bit ahead of this country. We too locked people with disabilities away in institutions at one point. We told him, from our hearts, why we want to adopt Zoya. In her file they had the cutest little baby picture of her and I asked if I could trade them with the picture I had of her (the only picture we had up until now) and they said YES!! Having this baby picture is such a blessing, I cannot even tell you how special it is to us! We got the referral for Zoya and we are not allowed to officially accept the referral until we meet her. After that all the paperwork to begin adopting her will happen and we will wait for a court date.

Here is her baby picture! I took a picture of the picture so it's not the best quality but I had to share!!
So now we were told that we will be leaving tonight on the train to her region.
We are in Kyiv right now, which is the capital of Ukraine.  Zoya lives in Dnipropetrovs'k, which you can see is right along the Dniper River (to the East). So that is where we will be taking the train to.

We need to pack all of our things and Nicolay is picking us up at 3:30 to go back to the SDA building at 4:00 to get our paperwork. After that we will go to the train station (still not sure what time the train leaves) and start on our 8-9 hour ride to Zoya’s country. Once there we will get a new apartment and hopefully get to meet Zoya sometime tomorrow!!! I can’t even believe this is actually happening. I will not be able to sleep at all tonight! That’s it for now…off to pack! Thank you for all your support and prayers and messages….hearing from friends/family back home is priceless to us during this time.


  1. What a great Picture:-) Congratulations to you and shawn!!!! May Zoya be everything you hoped and more which with certainty know that she will be more of an amazing gift from God!!!! I am praying and thinking about you guys today and everyday! Bring Zoya Home!!!!!!!!

  2. Sarah, I love, love, love the picture. What a blessing! I'm praying for you all and can't even begin to imagine how you are feeling. It's like you've had a six month pregnancy followed by weeks of labor until you get to see her beautiful face and wrap her in your arms. God has so many good plans for all of you and they're unfolding in His perfect timing. Try to enjoy even the hard moments.

  3. What wonderful news! My Heart is full of Thank that everything went smooth this morning, for this we prayed.
    The picture of your little Zoya is so precious!
    Soon you will see her face to face, have her not only in your hearts but in your arms. And she will have parents, who love her, will care for her!How great!

    You said it right: even in western countries, not long ago, we treated poeple with disabilities the same way like you experience it now. I just read the book of John Unruh - Sucessful Parenting of Children with Down Syndrome - he gives a few examples, unbelievable.

    Have a safe train trip. I keep praying!

  4. so so happy for you guys!!!! Congrats!!
    Try to sleep a little bit tonight, just think of it like you are being rocked to sleep by a giant metal tube :) :)
    Will be thinking of you all tomorrow!! Call me after you see her! Sounds like a celebration is needed! We are hitting the irish pub for dinner wednesday if you want to get a cab and join us??

  5. Hi Sarah, I woke up this morning so excited to come see if you posted about your SDA appointment. I knew it would be fine but I wanted you to get that behind you. I know that feeling of being somewhat nervous that some other family will come and accept her referral. Ok girl she is yours now!! Enjoy your train ride. Don't bother asking for cream in your coffee in the morning like I did because they only serve it black. LOL
    Big Hug. Jenny Sousa-Brown

  6. You have made my day Sarah. I went to bed praying and could not wait until morning so I could read what you wrote. When I woke up I told myself now she may not have been able to write so dont get your hopes up, but it was too late, they were up. I came down to my computer after my devotion and didnt even change my daughters diaper yet, I had to see what you wrote.

    I love her baby picture. I am so glad you got it. I heard that they think we sell the babies body parts too but quite honestly didnt really believe it. I dont know what to say when they ask us why, am I allowed to say God told us to? Thats the truth but I know if that will get me into trouble? I am sure God will show us that day what to say.

    Thank you so much, so so much for your continued writing. You dont even know how much this means to me, to have eyes and ears near where we will be going. I pray for continued favor and blessings.

    On a last note I was wondering if you had ever been to Erie Zoo? It is our fav zoo to visit and thought maybe some time when our daughters are settled we could all meet and go to the zoo? Just a thought.

    Congratulations! I am so very happy for you. Praying.

    Be Blessed!!

  7. Thank you for sharing your happiness! Zoya's baby picture is so precious!



  8. Praying for a safe journey and most blessed meeting between you and Zoya! What a beautiful picture!

  9. This is the best news, what a way to start a day!
    What a blessing your little girl is waiting and does not even know her world is about to change forever, Zoya has a wonderful Mommy and Daddy that will never let her be alone again.

    Can't wait till tomorrow try and get some rest on the train.
    I am also so glad you they let you have her baby picture.
    I am just so happy for your family. We will continue to pray that everything will continue to fall into place, what a great blessing God has given you!

    Hugs : )


  10. I'm so happy for you guys! Oh, I can't wait till tomorrow when you meet her!
    Enjoy the train, it's so interesting. Really, I did like it, even though it's hard to sleep.
    You are SO lucky to get that baby picture. I wish we could have...
    Good Luck!