Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2 Months Home Today!

2 Months ago today (tonight at 10:30ish) we landed in Erie International Airport and walked into a huge welcome home from family and friends waiting for us!  Today, we were reminiscing about the LONG journey home with Zoya.  We can almost laugh now at how extremely difficult it was and how the 7 hour layover in Germany seemed like days trying to entertain a baby who was exhuasted beyond all exhaustion but who refused to sleep (even with a little help from Mr. Benadryl). We look back at our longest flight of the three, which was 8 and a half hours, and I'm not laughing yet about that part!  That was the longest 8 and a half hours of my life and I honestly didn't think we would ever get off that plane!  We laugh about the time all three of us piled into the TINY bathroom in the plane to change an explosive "orphanage diaper" as we have fondly named them. I knew I couldn't do it alone as the changing table was the size of a cookie sheet and Zoya was rolling all around and pulling all the barf bags and dixie cups out of their holders the last time I tried....I knew this messy diaper was no match for just me and a little airplane bathroom.  So Shawn kindly offered (okay I forced him to) jam into the bathroom with Zoya and I while I barked orders at him about how to help me with this mess! When we were finally done, we opened the door to see a lady staring at us with wonder and Shawn said something like, "We're trying to see how many people can fit in there." LOL. Oh it will be fun to share that story with Zoya one day!

Sometimes I can't believe it has been two months already, but most of the time I can't believe it's only been two months.  I can hardly remember life before Zoya (except for the times she is sleeping and I start thinking of leaving to run an errand or go out to dinner...then I remember that I FORGOT I have a baby and I can't do that anymore! LOL). But really, it seems that Zoya has always been a part of our lives. Before Zoya something was missing. I've never had so much joy or been filled with so much love and happiness as I am now. She makes waking up early something to look forward to. She makes me forget my stresses. She makes anything bad that happened during the day melt away with her smiles, hugs, and kisses. She makes life so much better! I could have never imagined that at this point in time, Zoya would be doing as well as she is doing. Some days I almost forget she wasn't always here with us. Zoya is an inspiration to so many people, including her Momma. When I grow up, I want to be just like her!

It was just over two months ago that we last saw the sad little faces of all the orphans left behind in Zoya's orphanage. I remember thinking if we can just get out of there the sadness and the idea of the fate they are facing won't bother me so much. But I was wrong. It still hurts just as much today as it did over two months ago as we sat outside the groupa door and peered into their sad world. I still feel myself there sometimes watching those babies. I have dreams that I am there and the babies are crying but I can't get through the door to help them. I guess I feel like that in real life too. I can see their faces and their empty eyes. I can see LEEZA, who laid in her crib 99% of the time we saw her. She would shake her leg so hard to rock herself and stick her hands so far down her throat just for some stimulation. She wore a cap because she had bed sores all over her head. She was the picture of agony. She was the picture of a miserable existance...how awful it would be to be that little girl right now without anyone to love her, or even touch her or hold her. But I know somewhere inside of her there is hope. There is hope that a family will come for her and some day write a blog post about how well she is doing after being home only two months. There is hope for all of those children, but most of the time it is overshadowed by an awful feeling of despair. So two months later, if you're wondering, Zoya has likely forgotten much of her previous life, but I still can't shake it. I don't think I'm supposed to.

Two months feels like another lifetime ago, yet I can still feel all of the raw emotions that we experienced on this journey...the good and the bad and I'm still trying to process it all.

Here are some happy pictures of our sweet sunshine!

Took her to the playground for the first time. She loves climbing....not so much love for the swing!

This girl could be a supermodel with her long legs!

Take me out of this swing now or I'll tell the whole park how much I hate it!

We took a trip to the Cleveland Zoo with some friends. Zoya is showing off her cute outfit here!

I love seeing her look at me like this! It is a look she saves just for me! She was such a good girl. We were gone from 8:30am until 7pm and she was a happy girl all day long and even took a nap in her stroller for an hour and a half!! Good girl!

Zoya at the Erie Zoo with her friends :)

So...we were going to buy Zoya a swingset but when we realized how much she HATED the swing, we bought her a pool instead. It is so good for working on her therapy and strengthening her core muscles and legs! I think you'll be able to tell from the pictures that she LOVES the pool!

She likes to give puppy dog kisses lately...

Her "Momma" look!

Summer checklist of things to do: Learn to love ice cream....CHECK!!!

I guess it's not so bad!

Lovin on Momma!


  1. ah she's adorable!!!!!! and so pretty!!!

    love the pics with mama!

  2. Awwwwwww.... just so devine, you all!

  3. Aww I love it!! We love the Cleveland zoo and we just bought the same pool, haha, great minds think alike i guess. haha. I love seeing her here and happy and LOVED! Be blessed!!!

  4. she is so cute. I also noticed that the pink polka dot outfit was the outfit for sofia's "Gotcha Day" http://www.savingsofia.blogspot.com/ how cool :)
    ~ Abby and the other Sheldons <3

  5. I know you hear this all the time, but I really HAVE to say this. THAT KID IS SO DARN CUTE I COULD EAT HER RIGHT UP! she is all that AND a bag of chips! she has really blossomed. you are so lucky! cant wait to get our girls home. and vasa.

  6. Wow! no doubt God made her perfect. No doubt she was ment to be yours. She looks like her mommy!

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Love the pictures, I never saw a kid look so happy as she does with you and Shawn. Just so you know, that "mommy look" will change when zoya gets to middle school :-)

  8. I am sorry to admit but I think you all are the cutest family I have ever seen, Zoya is so darn adorable!!!

  9. We love these happy photos! :) You do look like you've all been together forever!

    Cute, CUTE Zoya! Seeing her smile definitely makes our day!


  10. Pool photos too darn cute for words. Love the puppy kisses, you can see Shawn cracking up as you're taking the pic.

    Ok, whoever captured those sweet photos of you two girls on the lawn did an amazing job. If it's Shawn kuddos to him.

    I love that look she gives you, it is a look that shows just how much she is bonded and loves you.

    Love love love this girls smile but I have to say that her "I'm threw with this look is so funny". How do you not crack up?