Monday, April 26, 2010

Hold Me!

That is all Zoya be held.  It is like she is trying to make up for lost time.  I know she was rarely, like next to never, held in the orphanage.  The only touch she received was likely to change her diaper, which was probably only done a few times a day. A lot of the babies were fed in their cribs and not held or picked up when they were being fed. I'm struggling with holding her so much, not because I mind, but because I don't want to create a baby who has separation anxiety, but I guess right now she NEEDS to just be held whenever she wants. And she doesn't even want to be in the baby carrier, she wants to just be held tightly and hugged.  She still loves her jeep walker, but only goes in it for 15 minutes at the most before she is reaching up to be held again. We tried the pack n' play today thinking it might bring her some comfort since she pretty much lived in a wooden crib with no mattress during her orphanage days, but she got very upset so we just held her. She also likes her bumbo seat but will only sit in it for 5 or 10 minutes before she wants to be held again. Her "crying spells" seem to stop when she is being held most of the time and are decreasing in frequency.  She is still sleeping well and eating well....diapers are still pretty messy. Shawn has not changed a poopy diaper yet, who votes he gets the next one? I do, I do!

Several people have asked how Mya (the dog) is adjusting to Zoya.  Poor Mya.  She is jealous, but still wants so badly to love Zoya, but Zoya on the other hand, thinks Mya is a toy that she can hit and pull the fur on! Mya is starting to get smart and not get so close, but sometimes she gets a good hair pulling.  Poor puppy.  Mya is learning not to jump on Zoya or jump up to get her legs when we pick her up.  Mya thinks we are playing and doesn't want to be left out.  Shawn has tried hard to make sure he takes her for extra walks, just the two of them.  We also take her on our walk if we take Zoya for a walk and it is pretty funny.  Mya is afraid of the stroller, but getting used to it.  Mya doesn't want to walk in front of the stroller because she thinks she will get run over.  She also doesn't want to walk behind it, who knows why. So she tries to squeeze herself next to it and almost gets run over.  Mya is a sweet doggy and follows us and Zoya everywhere. She knows Zoya is different than other kids that have been in our house.

Mya is always a few steps behind Zoya just checking her out.

Mya still loves her Mommy time too. I told her she will always be my first baby. She just doesn't understand why when the rest of us leave the house together she can't come. I think she wonders why we don't leave Zoya there with her! Hehe.

She was helping to change Zoya's diaper! What a good dog!

Tomorrow Zoya has a doctor appointment just to get everything checked out and get some referrals to specialists. We have several health concerns, her heart being the biggest. We are told that the surgery she had in Ukraine fixed her heart condition (Atrial Septal Defect) but we will feel better after her heart is looked at by a cardiologist here.  It also appears her sternum did not heal together properly after surgery. It is a hard pointy v-shape in the center of her chest. Nobody ever mentioned this as a problem when we were in Ukraine but it just doesn't look right.  Her teeth are another concern and we are hoping none of them are rotted. She has bad breath which can be a sign, but her breath has been better since we've been home so maybe that is a diet thing. We were also told she has "far vision" so we will need to check into that as well.  She may need to see an ENT specialist too. We also want to make sure her sleep patterns are normal and that she is not requiring more sleep than she should be.  On Thursday we have her intake meeting to begin the process for early intervention services such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy, all of which I'm sure she will qualify for.

We have been busy busy busy....tired and still trying to adjust to the time change, sore from the airplane ride and from lugging an extra 24 pounds around all day long, frustrated at times with Zoya's crying spells, but none the less, happy as can be to finally have our special little angel home and be living out this dream! As I got in the car to drive to the chiropractor while Zoya napped today, it was the first time I had driven since being home, and it suddenly hit me that we were back in "real life." Parts of our adoption journey seemed like they were all part of a dream (sometimes a nightmare hehe).  It seemed like for the past 6 weeks we were 100% focused on Zoya's adoption and consumed by it.  We had little idea what was going on in the outside world, were temporarily relieved of our career duties, had little contact with friends and family, and so all of those things made our time in Ukraine seem strange and, now looking back, somewhat like we were in a different world than the rest of you.  So today when I got in my car, for some reason, life finally felt like it resumed as it was prior to our time in Ukraine, except this time as a Moma to a sweet child. I'm not sure why it took being in my car driving to finally feel like we were back to life.  Maybe it is because it was the first time since we have been home that I was alone (other than my morning showers haha) and in control of where I was going.  It was nice to be back in the driver's seat knowing what each coming minute would hold. As much as I thought I had handed it all over to God, I remembered I still feel comforted by being in control, comforted by material things, and comforted by routine, mundane, every day happenings. I guess that's why we're human. We never quite learn the lesson 100%, but little by little, which each journey, we get a little better at trusting God and handing it over to Him one piece at a time.

Here are some fun pictures.  We've had some visitors from Zoya's fan club over the past few days!

Here is Seth and Abby. You can read about Seth HERE

Looking like a proud friend!

Look what daddy did to her hair!!

Zoya loves being outside. Today was rainy and chilly.

Still loving her Jeep Walker!

Beautiful Baby!

Zoya and her new "cousin" Alivia :)


  1. Oh Sarah, it's just so great to hear how things are going for you all! It's so reassuring, too, with our family still on "this" side of the journey to know that there is a wonderful end point!!! A point where the adoption journey ends and true life begins again... It's hard to believe, from looking at the pictures, that Zoya hasn't been with you since her very first day.

    We're so very happy for your family!


  2. Sarah,
    Is your back killing you? Is that why you went to the Chiropractor? Each time I had a baby or same w/ my adopted son, my back would hurt so bad because I only held them on one hip. I only learned later to switch hips to make it even....Oh well...
    Zoya looks absolutely adorable and so loved.
    Congratulations and thank you for sharing and keeping up with the blogging now that you are home.

  3. dont worry about her wanting to be held think of it like this she is learning all of this as a newborn baby would.and boy do we know newborn babies want to be held and have a fussy time. but its ok because they are newborn. well in a way so is she, she may be 25 lbs but all of this is so new to her she needs to learn it just as a newborn does. have fun take it all in because one day shes not ganna need you to hold her so much and yoou will miss it.
    I love the picture of what daddy did to her hair its like shes waving saying no no mom dont take a picture of me with my hair like this lol.

  4. I'm just so happy to see you all together and home and happy and adjusting. She is just blossoming!!!! What a doll baby! You three will always hold a special place in our hearts :)!

  5. Such a beatific baby! You are so blessed!! I know what it is like to lug around that weight my 17 month old is 27lbs! Haha! Glad you got to see your chiropractor, you may need him to reserve you a spot every week, lol.

    I love reading about your journey and of course I love all the pictures. I can't wait til I have something to write.

    I am sure after a few months Zoya will be little miss independent and you will miss your holding times. It can be frustrating though I am sure.

    I pray that the drs will all have good reports for you and that the appointments are easy on Zoya. Good Luck.

    Be blessed

  6. I will echo Katrina's comment about the newborn aspect. We had a preemie in the house and for the first four months all she did was cry and I mean CRY sometimes almost non stop, she wasn't happy sleeping and wasn't happy awake, after four months of it we were beginning to feel the strain and we would all cry on a daily basis. LOL :) The holding didn't stop there she still likes to be held at 23 months BUT there is a light at the end of the tunnel as she has been finding her "independence". I'm thinking this might just be the transition that you will see in Zoya as she finds her independence to be able to do things and learn to play solo happily. I couldn't even walk out of a room without her crying and just lately I actually can walk from room to room while she is playing without any comment from the peanut gallery. The first year was frantic, hectic but it was all worth it.

    I can see in your eyes and hers in the picture that you're together snuggling that you wouldn't have it any other way nor would she. Zoya is gorgeous. Our little Izzy likes to go to your blog to see Zoya baby as she calls her. I crack up that the fact that are basically same age June babies and she calls her pretty baby.

    Over and over again I just look at the connection that all three of you have made together, it is so heart warming.

    :) I was waiting to see the meeting of Seth w/Zoya. So super sweet! Awesome!

    PS: we put your blog on sometimes just to listen to your music. :) Thanks! Especially for those snuggle moments to look at the photos.


  7. Think of the joy that Zoya must feel to be in your loving arms...I don't think you have to worry about holding her if that is what gives her comfort right now...All that touch can only be good for the both of you. Love, Liz
    P. S. Of course , if you need a break I will be glad to come over and hold her:-)))))

  8. Hey Sarah,

    I agree, I don't think that a baby can never have enough love and attention thru touch. Zoya obviously loves that one on one time.

    Have you tried one of those swaddling baby wraps like the Moby or the like? I've seen rather "Large" toddlers even being carried in them, allowing the moms to still have a hand or two free.

    Just a thought to help you both for her longing to be held and your ability to be able to get around freely.