Sunday, June 20, 2010

First Father's Day

I am so proud of my wonderful husband and the father he has become.  I don't know many dads who can say they've traveled half way around the world for their child. Literally and figuratively, Shawn has done just that for Zoya. He would do anything for his sweet angel. I love seeing the way her face lights up when he comes home from work, or when he sneaks around the corner and surprises her! She knows, without a doubt, who her Daddy is and that she is loved by him more than she could have ever imagined possible!

Zoya picked out a tree for her Daddy to plant this father's day.  She picked out the perfect tree!  Here is the letter she wrote to go with it:


I picked out this very special tree for you. You know how much I love trees, so I knew this would remind you of me. It is called an Eastern Redbud and every time you look at it I want you to know how lucky I am to have you for my Daddy. I thought this tree would be perfect because it blooms in the spring. Every spring around April, you can watch the beautiful purplish-pink flowers blossom and remember April 22, 2010 when you brought me home from Ukraine. As each year passes and the flowers bloom, Spring of 2010 will seem so long ago but when the flowers start to blossom I want you to remember bringing me, a tiny frail angel aching for a daddy to call my own, home. I want you to take pride in how your love has helped me to blossom through the years. Each year as the tree grows taller I hope you remember how much your love has changed me. Your love has given me a reason to live and grow. God promised me that He would not leave me as an orphan (John 14:18 “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you). You followed your heart and God’s plan, even though I know you were scared. You were the hands and feet of Christ and because you listened to Him, His promise to me was kept.

This tree is a fairly small tree and won’t grow to be as big as many other trees. Each year this tree will only grow about one foot. This tree, like me, takes a little longer to grow. That just means you have all the more time to take in every second of its growth and savor its slow growing beauty. This tree, like me, flowers best in full sun. You have provided me with a life of everlasting sunshine and that is exactly what I need to grow. In late summer, you will notice heart-shaped leaves on this tree. Thank you for opening your heart to me. When you look at these heart-shaped leaves, I hope you remember how much I love you and how thankful I am that you chose to love me. In the fall, the leaves will turn yellow and from a distance they are said to look like tiny yellow flags. They kind of remind me of the flag of my home country, Ukraine. When you see these tiny yellow flags in the fall I want you to remember where I came from and know that the only reason I am where I am now is because you wanted me and you did not stop until I was safe at home with you. I am so lucky to have you for my Daddy. You are so patient with me and make me laugh every day. I know you would do anything for me. The best part of all is that now I know I am valued and loved for the rest of my days. I love you Daddy!

                                                                                 Love, Zoya

Here is Zoya with Daddy at the tree nursery standing in front of the Zoya Tree

At home finding the best spot to plant it!

Zoya also made Daddy this beautiful mosaic stepping stone with her hand print in the middle! It will go right under the tree :)

Zoya helped Daddy plant the tree!

Love it!

Daddy's Beautiful Angel...


  1. Happy First Father's Day Shawn!

    The light in your eyes I think has tripled in brightness since Zoya has entered your lives.

    I see by the first pic that Zoya has already twisted your fingers in handing over the car keys to her. She's a smart girl.....

    Enjoy this day with your precious angel.

    Thanks to you and Sarah for sharing her just a little bit with the rest of us. It is so incredible to watch from a distance this endless love that you all have for one another.


  2. Happy Fathers Day Shawn!!!! Good Luck getting thru the letter from your daughter - I know I didn't do so well!

  3. Is it amazing how well Zoya has acclimated to having a family! It was heartbreaking to read that nobody had come to see her; to see her flourish the way she is is so beautiful. I love reading your posts. :)

  4. Happy FIRST Fathersday to you, Shawn!
    What a beautiful and meaningful idea about the TREE, Sarah!! A true sign of LIFE, a wonderful symbol of Gods creation, of Gods LOVE. The letter Zoya wrote for Daddy....again, there are no words...just tears of JOY!!!
    Enjoy this special day and be blessed! Christina

  5. Happy 1st Fathers Day!!!

    Love the pics. Glad you had a great day. Be blessed!!

  6. Happy Father's Day, Shawn. What a reflection of our Father's love you are. I consider the privilege of praying for Zoya and seeing God answer in so many ways on of the best parts of my year.

  7. A beautiful story, a beautiful letter, a beautiful family...I feel blessed to call you my neighbors and friends. Happy First Father's Day! Love, Liz

  8. Happy First Father's Day!
    How I must go get a tissue!

  9. What a beautiful letter you wrote Zoya and you picked the most beautiful tree!!! Love the idea, Sarah. Happy 1st Father's Day Shawn and so many more to come!!
    Kim & Tom B.