I remember this day a year ago. It was Sunday, September 13, 2009. Shawn and I had been discussing adoption for quite some time it had turned into one of those things where we were caught up in a twister that kept spinning us around. One minute we knew we were going to commit to adopt a child with down syndrome from Eastern Europe, then we knew we weren't and back to feeling 100 percent sure, then having doubts and that twister just kept spinning us around. We came up with every reason we should not adopt (finances, long travel, long term care, who would take care of the child if something happened to us, what if the child's needs were more than we could handle? etc. etc.). We had emailed Reece's Rainbow and got lots of information regarding adoption of a child with special needs from EE. We had done lots of research. We had talked it to death. We just kept going round in circles. So on this day a year ago we hadn't spoken to one another about adoption in over two weeks. My heart was 99% at peace with committing to adopt a child with special needs internationally (the 1% were my fears about the unknown). But I didn't bring it up to Shawn for a couple of weeks because I didn't want to feel like I was pressuring him. I just kept praying about it. I started convincing myself that maybe this just wasn't where our life was headed right now and I started to put this dream on the back burner.
On this day a year ago, after not having spoken about adoption for a while, on our way out of church, Shawn said to me, "So what do we need to do to go about getting our homestudy done?" I stood there speechless. I asked him what had made him so sure that this was the path we should take. I told him, "first we need to choose a child from the listed profiles so we know what country we are going to." He said, "How about Zoya whose big green eyes have been staring back at me from the computer screen for the past couple of weeks?" (Side note: Her eyes looked green in our referral picture....now we know they are blue AND I had posted different pictures of different kids from the Reece's Rainbow website on our computer background and would leave the picture there for a few days or a few weeks, and then choose a new picture...secretly I wished I could bring them all home). I was so excited that I said to Shawn, "I feel like you just asked me to marry you!"
We had driven separately that day because I had an appointment to get my hair done after church. So I got in my car and had the excitement of a kid on Christmas times ten! My thoughts of excitement soon changed to, "how in the world does he know we should adopt Zoya out of all those kids?" I never felt a pull toward just one....instead I felt a pull toward all of them! A few stood out in my mind (one of whom was Zoya), but I never had that magnetic force to Zoya's picture like Shawn did. (Glad God had that one taken care of by leading Shawn to her). Anyways, I started to question how Shawn knew and thought, well at least this is a start, he is committed to adopting...and we can always decide on the child together after some discussion. I was still thinking about a little girl in Armenia who I was feeling led to. (Let me mention that I had emailed that agency a couple months before this day and kept hitting dead ends as far as adopting her). So (as some of you who have been following our journey from the beginning know) as I walked into the salon with these doubts in my head, there was a nail polish line on display right when you walked in the door. There was a big sign with the nail polish line's name...which just happened to be......ZOYA! Well that deal is done I said to myself! Thank God for the signs along the way :)
That night when I got home I emailed Andrea inquiring about Zoya. I asked if she had any further medical information or any other pictures. She emailed me the full size (uncropped) photo of the head shot that was listed on RR. She looked so tiny...so frail and weak that they were holding her head up to have the picture taken. She said there was no other info than the one sentence under her profile, which stated a heart condition. Why I was asking for more information I'm not sure because at that point in our hearts, both of us knew she was our daughter.
In that moment, I never could have fast forwarded a year to today....but if I could have had a glimpse my heart probably couldn't have even comprehended the love I'd be seeing.