A week ago today we arrived in the good old USA! With each day that passes it feels more and more like Zoya has always been in our hearts. Each day that passes, we can't imagine what life without Zoya would be like. I think she has almost forgotten her orphanage days. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but if you saw how happy this girl is (most of the time) and how comfortable she seems here, you might think the same. She is blabbering more, she now says dada (her favorite word), mama, doggy, and more. She is starting to get up on her knees and rock back and forth. She is pulling herself up on all the furniture. She is laughing, mirroring, interacting, dancing, clapping, giving high fives, signing "more," helping get herself dressed (giving us her arm or leg), army crawling at lightening speed, socializing with friends and neighbors, and so much more! She knows this is her house, she knows we are her momma and daddy, she knows her routine, she knows and loves her new life. She has already transformed from the lost little soul we met on St. Patty's day.
Has it been an easy week? I'd be lying if I said it was. She is testing the waters and trying to see what she can get away with. I don't think she was ever told no in the orphanage and some of her attention-seeking behaviors are a sad reminder of how much she was neglected. She learns quickly and understands rules but sometimes chooses to be defiant (like any almost 2 year old right?). The crying has been the hardest part for us. We have definitely seen a lot of progress. The first couple of days home were pretty rough and she was crying quite a bit for no known reason to us. We chalked it up to having just had a 26 hour journey with very little sleep, being shuffled from one new environment to the next, and leaving the only comfort she has ever known. She wanted to be held constantly, but not just held....held with us standing up and bouncing her. You can imagine how difficult that was to do all day, especially after being on such long plane rides and already being tired and sore. We tried our best to just scoop her up and hug her tight and love her though the loud crying and sad tears. The past couple of days she has had 1-2 of these episodes but they are much shorter and she seems to recover much easier. The first few days though? Pretty ugly. At the end of each day though, when she'd fall asleep in my arms and I got to just be with her and reflect upon this entire journey and reflect upon all her little tiny soul has been through all the tough moments faded away. Considering everything she has been through she is doing remarkably well. She loves life. She is teaching us to be better people each and every day.
It was finally warm enough outside today to let Zoya play in the grass. I think she enjoyed herself!
We took her jeep walker outside to the cul-d-sac and she was racing around like a maniac! Here is a little video. We're in trouble when she starts walking! I'm afraid she might go from army crawl straight to running!
Here are some pictures from after we came inside. Here she is thinking about pulling Mya's hair. Poor doggy.
I love how she has one hand on top of the other here. That is her new thing!
She has her eyes on her high chair. Mind you she just ate. She thinks if she makes her way to the high chair that means she gets to eat more. Little Miss Piggy!
Here are some pictures from yesterday:
We've all felt like this when we ate a little too much turkey....
And of course this feeling always follows.....
Lovin on her Moma!