Saturday, April 24, 2010

What Could Have (not) Been

We are still alive so I guess that's a start right? We had another busy day.  Zoya requires our undivided attention.  She is wanting to be held a lot, which makes sense for many reasons.  We held her A LOT in the orphanage because there was not much else we could do.  She loves being held and feeling our touch.  She has been deprived of that for so long.  She likes playing on the floor, but has now learned to put her hands up and reach for us when she is wanting to be held.  Before she would just cry when she wanted to be held, now she is able to communicate this want to us, so that is good.  She is still sleeping well throughout the night. She woke up once last night because she was soaked.  She is peeing a lot and I'm wondering if it is just her body trying to get used to actually getting enough fluids.  At the orphanage she only got about 8 ounces a day.  I'm assuming so little because they probably didn't want to have to change the diapers too often.  Other than waking up once, she slept from 8pm until 7:30 am! She went down for a morning nap again for about an hour and a half.  We took her to Babies R Us to get a new carseat since the one we have is too small for her.  She did well until the way home (which is around her nap time) when she started a crying spell.  She has some crying spells where nothing seems to actually be wrong, but she just cries and cries and it is very difficult to console her. This is typical for kids who have been adopted. 

Zoya has been demonstrating some orphanage behaviors too.  She hits herself on the head, pulls her own hair, throws herself back and smacks her head off the floor, bites (ouch), grabs everything, and grinds her teeth.  Some of these behaviors are sensory and impulse related, but most of them seem to be attention seeking behaviors.  We are working with her to show her acceptable ways to gain our attention, but obviously at the orphanage, these other behaviors were the only way she got attention.  We saw this first hand.  She would pull the hair of the caregivers and they would laugh smile. 

Eating is going better than I though it would and she has already gained one pound! We are feeding her soup, ground turkey, mashed potatoes, bananas, some baby food, chicken, and cheerios, to name a few things.  She is learning to chew up small pieces of food pretty well.  At the orphanage she didn't chew anything.  Everything they gave her was the consistancy of baby food.  I am trying to keep her diet pretty bland to make the diet change easier.  She has had some pretty bad orphanage diapers that I later found our are pretty typical.  We haven't started giving her any milk or milk products yet as this was not part of her diet in any way the the orphanage.  I got some rice milk and heat that up and give it to her before bed.  The rest of the day she drinks watered down apple juice or pedialyte.  She doesn't like anything cold so we heat up all of her food and her drinks are either warm or room temperature.  When she eats she is signing "more" on her own with a little prompting from me.  She really learned that fast! She claps her hands together for more since she can't make her fingers work the right way to do the actual sign, but I know what she means!

Zoya is loving her Uncle Bub (my brother).  He has been staying with us since we got home! Tonight he even cooked us dinner and played with Zoya while we ate...a much appreciated time to sit down and enjoy a meal.  I said to Shawn tonight, "Do you think we will ever go out to eat again?" Haha.  Anyway, she loves playing with her Bub and even said his name today! I knew when we met her that she would love his bald head!  She slaps it and kisses it and it is so cute.  She was getting some good PT by pulling herself up with the TV stand and then plopping into Bub's lap and doing it all over again!

Zoya in her Bumbo seat!!

Daddy and Zoya watching Mya play in the backyard.

Playing with some measuring most kids her favorite toys aren't toys at all!

Mama and nakey Zoya before bed.

My absolute favorite time of the day is rocking her to sleep.  She is so snuggly and cuddly and hugs me with all her might.  I love listening to her breathe and feeling her chest rise and fall on mine.  Her sweet little cheeks rest against mine and all is well in the world.  I can't help but be sad to think that she has missed out on being loved on like this for almost 2 years.  Every child deserves moments like this and love of a mama.  Every child deserves to be hugged and snuggled and rocked to sleep every night.  There are so many who will never know this love.  But as for Zoya, she will never have to go to bed alone and without kisses and snuggles ever again.  I hope she forgets her lonely nights and replaces those memories with the new memories we are making.  I usually sit with Zoya long after she has fallen asleep and just enjoy the moment.  This is becoming my time to talk to God about Zoya too.  There are so many things I hope for her.  I hope she can adjust well to all the changes, I hope she can feel safe and secure, I hope she can forgive me in my mistakes I make being a new mama, I hope she can bond well with us, I hope she can learn to love others like we love her....but above all else, I hope she is happy, simply happy.  Nothing else matters as long as she is happy.  Tonight while I was rocking with Zoya, I prayed that I could love Zoya in the same way God loves me.  I know that is impossible, but it is a goal to strive for.  I was (and still am sometimes) dirty, lost, sad, angry, throwing temper tantrums, distancing myself, running away, and demanding and God never stopped loving me.  No matter what I do God will never change his feelings toward me.  He will love me just as much from one happy moment to the next ugly moment.  He doesn't get frustrated with me, he doesn't get mad at me, he is always just there, loving me.  A humanly impossible unconditional love. 

I also thought about how I would not be in that moment, rocking my sweet baby to sleep, if we had not taken this leap of faith and listened to God's call.  We had every excuse in the book not to adopt Zoya. We convinced ourselves this couldn't be for us.  Finances. Time. Travel. Work. Life. Comfort. You get the picture.  Thinking about how close we were to choosing not to adopt her makes me sad.  Rocking her to sleep, holding her in my arms, feeling her heart beat, overflowing with love and gratefulness....thinking this may not have been because we were afraid.  It makes me wonder what I have missed out on in life due to fear, lack of faith, and selfishness.  If you feel you are being called to do something, listen to the call, take the leap, jump out of the airplane, because you won't be left to crash to the ground....if you just believe. We are NOT great, wonderful, extraordinary people.  We are average, weak, mistake-filled, every day people who chose to listen to God, listen to our hearts, push fear to the side, and take a leap of faith.  The reward is great.


  1. Great post, Sarah! :) I am amazed, after reading about your days, to find that everything is so normal - this is your life, exactly the way it's supposed to be! After all the craziness and business and worry, you've settled right in to being Mom to your precious daughter! The normal, not too high or too low days are the ones when I feel most blessed!



  2. I love your last statement. I agree completely...we too are not amazing, wonderful people. We are so flawed and imperfect and acting on faith here too and answering God's call.

  3. Such wonderful advice to step out of the boat and go to Jesus when he calls you to walk on the water. I, too, wonder at lost opportunities but am grateful that as long as I have life there's another chance to make the choice faith requires. We are all ordinary people in the arms of an EXTRAORDINARY and INCOMPARABLE God. Thank you for taking the risk and pushing through to the blessings of today.

  4. Oh Sarah, you comments are so very touching. Your love for being a new mom, your adorable baby and life is so poinent in your messages. Thinking of you everyday and wishing you rest, relaxation and recovery from this most difficult ordeal you and your family have been through. Enjoy the many new FIRSTS you are experiencing. Love to all, Debbie N

  5. I am so very happy for you. I agree with what you were saying too about taking that leap. Even though our one adoption failed doesnt mean God isnt calling us. He is so good all the time. We went in one direction and God took us in another, a scary risky direction too but we are trying to be faithful in what He asks.

    You know I go back to your story of the rocking chair all the time now to make leaps. Thank you for that.

  6. And that right there is exactly what life is all about. Taking the leap of faith- following where God leads us and striving everyday to fulfill the purpose for which He created us!

  7. What a powerful message to read today of your faith and honesty, like you we are just average ordinary people. I can so relate to your comments.

    Zoya is very fortunate indeed! She will know the love that a mommy and daddy can give her.

    We go thru those crying times here too, sometimes for no reason at all, that is known to the adults that's for sure. I'm sure in her little world as a 23 month old there is a reason.

    Hugs and kisses to sweet Zoya.

  8. I forgot to ask, how does she like the dog and how does the dog like her?

  9. Hello Basile Family! Finally back from my retreat and so excited to see that you were home safely! Isn't the everyday life with dear Zoya just extraordinary? I can't wait to meet her! Love, Liz

  10. You guys are sure a sweet family. What a blessing that Zoya loves to snuggle. :)

  11. What a wonderful post! Thank you.