This post is going to be harder than most because I'm going to talk about ME instead of Zoya. In the last eight months, I have changed just as much as Zoya. Although you can't see my changes outwardly like you can see with Zoya, if you could see the inter-workings of my heart you'd wonder if I'd had a transplant. Zoya has breathed new life into my soul. Like most, I experienced hurt and pain from life circumstances. I've mentioned before I know a sliver of what it feels like to be abandoned....not left out on the street or in an orphanage as a baby, but abandoned none the less. I learned to protect myself from ever being hurt like that again. I was pretty good about putting up walls to protect myself from any further pain caused by others. Because, let's face it, it's not fun to be hurt. There were few people in my life that I let closer than an arm's length. I hesitated to let others in. I had lots of friends, but only a couple that I genuinely learned to care about. That sounds awful, but if I cared too much that could lead to opening myself up to be hurt and that just wasn't an option. My heart was ugly.
Stage left, Zoya enters my show. A child who'd been abandoned, left to live a life of confinement to a crib. A child nobody cared about. A child who, if left in that orphanage, would learn the sad untruth that she was worthless. A child who'd NEVER been shown love. A child who never had a reason to trust another soul because she'd only ever been let down and hurt by others. A child who, despite all this, has a heart that is still beautiful and pure, and not ugly like mine.
From the moment she met us, complete strangers to her, she came to us with open arms, trusting and opening her heart to us completely and fully, without hesitation or reservation. She was ready to leave right then and there, waving goodbye to the caretakers. After all she'd been through and her heart was unchanged by her terrible situation. Astounding. Miraculous. How could I be more like her? So forgiving and content and ready to love everyone regardless of how they treat me. It's so easy for me to hold a grudge against others, to write people off when I feel I've been wronged...so easy. But for Zoya, it is so natural to love and accept and forgive. I still have a long ways to go on this "learning to love and trust journey" but I've come so far in eight months. My heart has changed and learned unconditional love, starting with Zoya. She is helping me to become more Christ-like every day. She is the closest thing to heaven and perfection I've ever known. I'd love to spend a day in her heart because it's the most beautiful frekin' place that exists this side of heaven.
Happy Eight Months Home Zoya Angel!