Reflecting back on last Thanksgiving...this is what I wrote last year....
As we sat down to eat all I could think about was Zoya and how this will be her LAST Thanksgiving alone in an orphanage and how next year will be her FIRST Thanksgiving with her family who loves her so much. We even talked about how next Thanksgiving Zoya will be sitting at the table with us. Next Thanksgiving we will sit down to eat and remember our days without Zoya and her days without us. We will be so thankful that we have each other because she needs us and we need her. This year as we were eating I imagined Zoya sitting to my right smiling and throwing mashed potatoes. I wanted her there so bad that it hurt my heart in a way I've never felt before. I wanted her there so bad that when I closed my eyes for a moment, I could see and feel her there with us. I imagined looking at Shawn and smiling at each other as we realized this amazing dream has come true. I imagine reminiscing about how we were so scared to step out on faith and take this journey, but also knowing it was the most amazing leap of faith we've ever taken. Imagining what life will be like from one year from each day, when we are together with our Zoya, makes the pain of not having her here sting a tiny bit less.
And this year...Zoya sat to my right, and though she didn't throw mashed potatoes she dug into her mashed potatoes with both hands! Shawn and I smiled at each other with unspoken words that said how blessed we are. We had such a great day together. We are so thankful to have Zoya home with us for her first Thanksgiving!
Our weekend started off with Uncle Bub coming to town last night. We ate lots of yummy appetizers for dinner and just hung out. Today we decorated the Christmas tree, which Zoya loved!! She really likes the lights and hasn't bothered the tree much at all! But just in case we put any breakable ornaments toward the top of the tree!
We have an artificial tree....Zoya felt it and made this face:
Then she signed "hurt"....I guess she thought it was prickly!
Here she is in awe just staring at the lights! (Notice Elmo? He looks pretty surprised, maybe this is the first time he has seen a Christmas tree??)
Zoya signing "tree"
Loving the lights.....(so is Elmo....and Mya)
This is what Zoya does now when I get the camera out and say "smile"...she makes such a cheezer face you can't even see her eyes!
She thinks she is soooo funny....and, she is!
Love this picture....Our cute little table plus Zoya's cute little dishes :)
Eat! Eat! Eat! GIVE ME FOOD!
I'm sooo hungry....but they're still not feeding me!
I'm just going to pretend I'm eating even though there is nothing on my plate!
OK PEOPLE, where is the turkey???!!!
Zoya's first bite of turkey...she enjoyed it :) (She is laughing here)
Digging into the mashed potatoes...
No clue what this face is all about haha...but check out the fist full of mashed potatoes!
If anyone thought this girl was sweet and innocent...here's proof she's got a little naughty side...(pulling the dog's tail while she eats her turkey dinner!)
Playing dress up with Uncle Bub's shirt...
Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for my sweet Zoya. I am thankful that I have a husband who loves me and takes care of me and is the best daddy ever! I am thankful for my friends and family and for my snugly dog Mya. I am thankful for my house and my job. I am thankful for my washing machine and my dryer (after hand washing all our clothes in Ukraine I realized how lucky we are). I am thankful that God chose us to travel half way around the world to find our sweet girl. I am thankful God gave me His eyes for the orphans in distress (because it changed me) even though some days it would be easier not to have seen those things. I am thankful I am an American. I am thankful for so many blessings on this Thanksgiving Day and every other day!