Anyways, we took her outside in a stroller for a bit. While we were outside we saw a couple mothers with their children…they must have walked from their house to the orphanage to play on the playgrounds. As we got within their view they started whispering and looking at Zoya with shocked looks on their faces. I couldn’t tell what they were saying until I heard, “syndrome down.” It hurt my heart…they were looking at our Zoya like she was a monster. I know it is different here and people aren’t exposed to others with Down Syndrome. But it just hurt to see people look right past her…not even see her, but see only “Down Syndrome.” I am not foolish enough to think that the same thing won’t happen from time to time at home, and maybe it will be less hurtful over time, but the expression on their faces will remain with me. Shawn carried her around and she fell asleep in his arms! We took her back inside and one of the workers seemed upset she was sleeping and SHOOK her pretty hard to wake her up and yelled loudly. Zoya still didn’t want to wake up…she was very tired it seemed. It takes A LOT to wake this girl up. She must take after her mama in that regard! They said she needs to eat first and then she can sleep. It seems that they are on a pretty strict schedule here. These pictures are right before she fell asleep...you can see she looks sleepy!
Our Little Turkey!
She loves touching her Daddy's face.
Definitely a daddy's girl today!
My heart is heavy today. So many things to take in and process and I think today it is hitting me hard. Since we’ve been here we’ve only seen a few of the kids in Zoya’s groupa. We hadn’t seen any of the other kids until today. There were a lot of other groupas outside today while we were there. These children all appeared not to have special needs. We were outside when the door opened and we could see tiny bundled kids coming out the door. They spotted us and all came running over. One little girl ran over to me and hugged my knees so hard I almost fell over. She kept saying, “moma, moma” and looking up at me. I didn’t know how to respond and so I just said, “Zoya’s moma.” You would have thought we were celebrities…I guess to them a moma and papa would be like meeting a celebrity. It was so sad to see these kids want parents so badly. This specific group was around 3-4 years old. The groupa started walking away and the kids all followed, except for one little boy who was so teeny. He stood and looked at us and just cried. It was the saddest sight. They kept calling his name and it seemed he stood there forever just frozen. I can’t imagine his pain. He finally turned around and followed the rest of the group. The orphan crisis is REAL and children are suffering….living lives with nobody to love them, nothing to call their own, nobody to tuck them in and kiss them goodnight, nobody to make their boo-boos better, nobody to foster their talents, no loving arms of parents to hold them when they’re scared, no place in this world. It is heart wrenching to see. I know God has called us here, not only to become Zoya’s parents, but to have our eyes opened ever so widely to this devastating and all-too-real crisis. To hear about it is one thing, to see it is a whole different level of understanding. The question is what do we do now with this new perspective?
Some pictures of the orphanage:
This is the front of the orphanage. This picture was taken right after we met Zoya for the first time!
The sun was streaming down and through the windows just like this picture!
I swear the sun was ONLY shining on this building. Amazing God!
Please keep praying for Shawn, Zoya and I and this process. We are praying that God would take any mountain that is in our way and cast it into the sea! We know he can! Specific prayers continue to be: to have a good judge assigned to our case, a quick court process without a need for any more documents or additional court dates, and continued positive bonding between ourselves and precious Zoya. We appreciate all of you so much...all of your comments, emails, messages....they keep us going and we look forward to hearing from all of you :)