Sunday, July 4, 2010


I found this quote that beautifully describes our little Zoya girl:

"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you." Jean Paul Sartre

Zoya celebrated her first independence day today! This day means so many things to our precious girl. We are so thankful for all the men and women who fought and continue to fight for our right to be free and safe. Without them, bringing Zoya home to America would not even have been an option.  Their sacrifices are more than most of us will ever comprehend.  We have so much to be thankful for in America. Beyond this meaning, I've thought a lot about what freedom means for Zoya today. Freedom from spending almost 24 hours a day in a crib, freedom from neglect, freedom from lonely days, freedom from being at the mercy of those who abuse their role as caregiver, freedom from life as a castaway orphan, freedom from so many terrible things. So when I read this quote I think of Zoya, because ultimately, the thing that has amazed me most about Zoya has been her ability to put the past behind her, to hold no grudges, to love with all her heart despite all she has been through in her early years. Freedom to Zoya means choosing to love the world with open arms, completely and fully forgiving all the wrong that has been done to her.  She has every reason to love, but to do so with a guarded heart. Instead, Zoya has no guard up on her heart. She has ever reason to trust, but with apprehension. Instead, Zoya trusts fully and freely never thinking one might not be worthy of her trust.  I think most of us can take a lesson from Zoya. Freedom truly is letting our hearts be completely open and loving wholly despite the hurts we have suffered. Freedom is letting go of the things that could hold us back from experiencing all the good this world has to offer. I hope one day I can be as free as Zoya.

Today was a magical day. We had an early afternoon picnic at my favorite top secret spot! This place is filled with beauty and magic every time we go. I love seeing the sun peek through the trees and dance on the dirt beneath my feet! Today I loved seeing how the sunlight sparkled on Zoya's beautiful face and lit up her big blue eyes. We went to a little outside diner for dinner with some friends. It was the best fourth of July in my memory.

Freedom to love with an open heart

Freedom to have a picnic wherever we want

Freedom to eat until we can't eat any more

Freedom to ask for more while our mouths are still full

Freedom to be the cutest darn thing alive

Freedom to listen intently to my momma

Freedom to walk barefoot through the creek with my daddy

Freedom to splash in God's beautiful creations

Freedom to enjoy life to its fullest

(And here's proof that Zoya leaves a little fairy dust everywhere she goes!)

Freedom to rest my little head on daddy's shoulder and let someone else carry me when the going gets tough

Freedom to fall asleep anywhere I want and know I'm safe

Freedom to sit and watch the cars go by without a worry in the world

Who likes being American? I do!

What does freedom mean to you?


  1. That was almost as beautiful as your wonderful little girl!!!! She is a REAL beauty!!
    Thanks for sharing!!
    Sunnie in NC

  2. Okay, you made me cry again...beautifully said...and of course, it made me remember our own little picnics with our little girls (which may have been in the same beautiful setting) happy for you and Shawn and dear Zoya...

  3. Looks like Zoya had a wonderful time celebrating her first 4th of July. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Those sparkling stars, dancing in the water near ZOYA-ANGEL....this on the independence day...WOW!!! A beautiful sign from heaven!
    Your thoughts about FREEDOM are meaningfully and perfectly said!! THANKYOU!
    Looking at all those lovely pics just makes my day!
    Be blessed Christina

  5. What an amazing Independence Day for Zoya and your family.

  6. She is the cutest darn thing ever!! I still can't get over how much she looks like you. It was obviously in the stars long before you even found reecesrainbow. ;0)

    Love your last picture. I miss Sara's! It's my favorite!

  7. You asked, what freedom means to
    Tonight, as I was traveling home from work with the train, I looked out of the window and I saw this: Little calves were just left out of the stable from their farmer, after probably a long day inside there. Right now it is really hot here, so they can not stay outside during the day. I tell you, it was a joy to watch those animals, how they were jumping and running and even dancing around happily on their meadow, how they enjoyed to be FREE, to be OUT of this four walls, to be able to move, to walk in that juicy green grass, in the fresh air, while the eveningsunlight sparkled beautifully. It was symbolic for me. I immediately thought of FREEDOM. And I, of course, thought of all orphans, waiting, (not only one day), but many months, often years, in their cribbs for mommas and papas to set them FREE!!!
    Be blessed Christina