Thursday, April 29, 2010

One Week Home

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!


  1. Sarah,

    Seriously if these are the most heart warming pictures ever.

    Loved the video, can't wait to share it with our 23 month old who now points to the computer and says "Pretty Baby" meaning that she wants to see Zoya's pictures. :) She tried to say her name the other day and had me cracking up with Oia for Zoya. Too funny!

    Definitely this little gal is enjoying life and all that it has to offer.

    It is awesome to hear of her transformation in just a week. Isn't it amazing what "love" can do?


  2. I love it Sarah!!! She is most definitely HAPPY!! I can't wait for the same when our little guy comes home. Soon enough we are just waiting on 171. Praying for it to come soon!

  3. Oh I loved all the pictures and video. With our 3rd daughter I put her outside to run with her sisters in her walker before she could walk. I then kept her in it way too long because i was so afraid she would get hurt haha. I think they are a great idea! This blog always makes me smile, no matter how crappy the day I come here and read your words and see her precious face and it gets a little brighter. Thank you for that.

    Be blessed

  4. Amazing! It's incredible that it's been a week already but at the same time, how can it not of been longer? :)

    What beautiful, happy pictures that capture pure joy! Miss Zoya looks like a little speed demon in her Jeep!


    (we hope you're feeling 100% again, Sarah!)

  5. Loving your posts from home. She is such a cutie pie and sooooo happy! What a wonderful life you all have!!!!

  6. Hi I just wanted to say we are adopting 2 little girls thru RR. We are hoping to travel sometime in Aug/Sept. You commented in one of your previous posts about Zoya's heart surgery and her chest afterward. My daughter had open heart surgery on Nov 25, 2009 to repair an ASD and possibly find her teeny tiny VSD. It was the day before Thanksgiving and she was 7 months old. They found and repaired everything at Children's Hosp in Denver Co. But I thought that was amazing that you said Zoya was recovering from surgery that exact same day. About a month later, in December, we noticed a spot on the surgery scar that was sticking out! It was just a bump where we thought it should be flat on the sternum. It was actually protruding and we had the same questions as you. What is causing this? But I did find out from our long term pediatrician who is also our daughter's cardiologist, that this is somewhat normal with surgery like that, and that it is just the way the bones grow back. He said hopefully it won't be noticeable when she wants to go to prom as a teenager! :) :0 and wears a low cut dress..... wow can't hardly imagine that, but.. just wanted to share! Congrats on having your daughter home! Can't wait to be in your shoes!!!!!!!!

  7. Thank you so much to let us know, how you are all doing at HOME!
    The lovely pictures speak for themselves! So wonderful!!
    We wish you much strength and wisdom for the tough moments in the process of growingtogehter.
    Christina and family

  8. I've prayed for Zoya for quite some time....and now I am sooo happy and thankful to God to see her home and thriving where she should be! What a beautiful family!

  9. She is adorable! Wanting to hit and beat Mya is a totally normal thing. Mya will learn soon enough. Love the picture where you are kissing her neck and Mya's trying to get some attention too.
    So glad to hear that the doctor's appt. went well.
    Zoya has made some much progress from the 3/17/10 meeting! Keep it up! You're obviously doing the right things.

  10. Dear Sarah, You are so right, she looks just like she has always been with you. Love the jeep...she even steers! Poor doggie, just when she thought you were back, you bring this little lady with you and now she has to share! So glad Zoya likes her and does not seem afraid. I am sure she did not experience dogs in the orphange! What a doll baby. Can't wait to see her. Love to all, Debbie N

  11. Love the pics!!!
    So happy things went well at the drs.
    how does it feel being home :)