Wednesday, September 22, 2010

5 Months Home

We have been home with Zoya for 5 MONTHS today! I seriously cannot believe it's only been 5 months. Someone needs to convince me that she has not been a part of our family forever! What did I do before her? (other than sleep more hehe) So many people have commented to me after watching the adoption montage that she does not even resemble the child from our metcha day photos. She sure does not! When I watch the videos from our time in Ukraine I can see pieces of the girl I know today, but mostly I see an entirely different child. I've said it a million times, but it hurts to think that she'd probably look exactly like the child from the Ukraine photos had she not come to be our daughter. It always makes me think of all the children left behind and how they are trapped inside their own bodies like Zoya was....just waiting for some love to fill them up and bring out the child they were born to be. This thought comes to me at least once a day. I think had we NOT listened to God's call we'd never know that we left OUR daughter in Ukraine. We'd be going through our days not often thinking of her or even knowing she existed. It is such a good lesson in faith. I simply cannot imagine life without Zoya. In fact its hard to remember life without her.  When this thought pops into my head it usually happens when I see Zoya just being herself and being soooooo happy.  Her squinty eyed toothy grin just melts my heart every last time I see it. I don't know if that thought (of imagining what her life would be like for her had we not adopted her) will ever stop, in a way I hope it doesn't. Each time I have that thought, I am overcome with gratitude to God and thank Him over and over for giving us this blessing and for leading us down a road we'd never have gone down otherwise. 

I spent some time tonight looking back at old videos we took of Zoya in Ukraine.  I wouldn't even believe the transformation myself had I not seen it with my own eyes.  Even after living it, it is almost impossible to fathom what has happened here.  Redemption.  Amazing Grace. A lost broken forgotten child that nobody cared about.  She not only found her place in this world, but is setting it on fire!

I thought I'd share a video from Ukraine and take a walk down memory lane, and then share a few from recently so you can see with your own eyes the transformation that has occured. And all the glory be to God!

As you can see in this video Zoya had no idea what to do with toys. She used to just bang everything. With the baby einstein music toy we worked for weeks in Ukraine to get her to push the button to make it play music. She understood the concept after a while but had no strength to push the button. When I watch this video and then the others I uploaded, I just don't believe it.

Here is a video of Zoya doing some of her flashcards. When she is focused she can chose the right one every time. I made her some more flashcards after she did so well with these ones. You can see her doing some of the signs. For some reason she signs fish by flicking her thumb back and forth and she puts it by her head every time lol. At the end you can see her eyes get oh so big when I mention ELMO. She loves that fuzzy red guy. She gets soooooo excited when I tell her she can watch Elmo!

This video "Zoya wants help" makes me laugh. We tried really hard to teach her the ASL sign for help but she couldn't get it, so you can see how she signs help here (raising her hand and flapping it wildly). You can see her thining, "OK LADY JUST HELP ME!" I wonder what she's really saying :)

And here is Zoya playing peek a boo. Her new favorite game. She thinks when she covers up her eyes that we can't see or find her! You can see her sign "please eat" before she points to the pizza at the end.  You can also see the pink bowl that is EMPTY which was her "real" dinner before I caved in and gave her some pizza (after all this was the day she had her knee surgery...tee hee).


  1. I love her smile when you're asking her to give you the fish card! She's like poor momma, do you really think i was gonna give it to you? haha she's precious

  2. Hi, I love to read your blog and I just wanted to comment on this post LOL. 1. Zoya is incredibly adorable and 2. She is incredibly smart! Its so funny how she knows and understands a lot more concepts than she lets on. She seems very sassy. :) I love the video of her signing "please" and "eat" and the various update posts you have about her. reading about your family and zoya makes me day, I love every new post you make and its so fun to follow your guys' journey.

    -from a reader in WA

  3. Oh cracking up so bad here that I thought I would wake the household and hear 4 dogs barking to boot.

    I don't know which had me in stitches more, Zoya's expressions with flash cards and then playing peek a boo or your sounds and telling her "I hope not" for the fire truck. Too precious for words....

    Elmo rocks!

    Zoya you're just as sweet as they come.

  4. WOW WOW WOW! She is INCREDIBLY smart! I LOVE it!!!!

  5. I love the last video. Her little smile is so funny. I can't believe how much she has changed in just 5 months, it is like she aged a year in that time.

  6. she is so smart I love watching her grow thank you for blogging I have learned so much from both you and Zoya.

  7. Zoya is adorable and you guys are doing such a great job with her!

    It is hard to fathom how she's grown and developed in 5 short months. Her comprehension is think, 5 months ago she was hearing English for the first time. She's doing so many things (like identifing objects, making choices, signing/saying words, responding appropriately) that give a clear picture of how she's understanding and processing things. She is a sharp cookie!

    It's fun to see how well she's doing and how much you and Shawn are enjoying her :)!

  8. Zoya sure has come a long way in just 5 months...growing and changing with all that love. I still check every morning to see what's new in Zoya's world:-)

  9. She is so adoarable...makes my heart melt!!!
    What a treasure!!
    Sunnie in NC

  10. I think what strikes me most is how very baby-like she is in the first video. She seemed more like a 9-10 month old baby. It is astounding that she has grown and changed so much in 5 short months! She is so beautiful and I just adore her huge smile and how it takes over her entire face! What a joy it is to watch her blossom!

  11. Talk about a baby who ages light years in five months! She is doing so well that I agree, it's hard to believe the before and afters are the same little girl. She is so cute, and so smart that soon she will be even or ahead of her peer group. Just wait until she screams "No" at you the first time!

    Sue M.

  12. Such precious videos. Zoya is one smart little girl...and so cute too! Just love her expressions and her smile that lights up her whole face. :)


  13. She is just beautiful! She's the same age as Darya, who turned 2 on June 9. I can't wait to see Darya blossom at home just like Zoya.

  14. Oh my gooness Sarah!! She is so stinkin' cute!!! These videos are so precious and I have a permanent grin on my face now :) She continues to amaze me with all she has learned in such a short time. She is so smart!! Where'd you get the flashcards? I want to get Mina some and try to start teaching her some!