We took Zoya to Presque Isle today. Her first trip to "the beach" with trees, sunshine, sand, and a beautiful lake. As we were strolling along I thought, every single child in this world deserves a day at the beach. Every single child in this world, regardless of ability, or "worldy" worth, deserves to feel the sand in between their toes. Every single child in this world, no matter their "baggage" deserves to hear the birds chirping and listen to the waves crashing. Every single child in this world deserves to hear and feel the words, "I love you." Every single child in this world, at least, deserves to have a home and a loving family to call their own. No child should have to yearn for/wish for/hope for love. Every child in this world deserves love. It breaks my heart to know that so many children, 147 MILLION, to be exact, are waiting, just waiting, to experience the love they deserve. And it breaks my heart even more to know that so very many of those children will NEVER get that chance. It is as simple as that. They will die never knowing love.
I know adoption is not for everybody. But if you are feeling the call toward adoption, stop with the excuses. Trust. Take a leap of faith. It is not all glorious and storybook-ish, no, I won't pretend it is. But at the end of the day if you can put aside your worries and excuses, you can change one child's "nevers" to his "firsts." I prayed that God would give me His eyes, and He has given me His eyes for the orphan crisis. I'm trying to give you my eyes. I'm sort of like the middle man, but if this blog pushes even one person to take the leap and bring home an orphan, then it is all worth it. But I won't stop at just one orphan. I won't put it all behind me. I won't forget the other children. I won't ever be the same.
For Zoya though, her "nevers" are finally becoming "firsts." Because of us? Because we are wonderful people for giving this child life? NO! Because God loves Zoya so much. Because He moved mountains in our path and cast them into the sea. Because He showed us what life for Zoya would be like without us. Because we took a risk and listened to the call, we stopped with all the excuses, we put our faith in God, we said Yes God. That's ALL we did. He did the rest. And you might just be surprised with how much of a gift this child will be to you. So not only are Zoya's nevers becoming firsts, but our nevers (had we not listened to the call) are becoming our firsts.
With that said, we are in awe of all of Zoya's firsts. It is amazing to see the world which we've lived in so long, in a new way, through her eyes. Zoya has shown us a little bit of heaven here on Earth. Her innocence, her joy, her happiness, with all she has been through, are teaching us so much. Watching her hear the birds and turn and point at them, listening to her laugh when she sees us dancing like fools, seeing her big eyes looking at the world in amazement and wonder, remind us we've really been missing a lot. We are laughing at ourselves more, taking unimportant parts of life a little less serious, taking time to express our love for others, prioritizing, and being thankful for all that we have in this life. We are so lucky to have Zoya. We are so blessed. We are so unworthy of this gift, but God loves us and He loves Zoya and he created our family, knowing what each of us could bring to one another, long before we could have ever imagined. We are so grateful.
Here are some pictures from our trip to Presque Isle today.
This picture was taken on the car ride down. Zoya is saying, "Feed the Poor" haha not really but she looks like it! She loves toys that are not really toys...such as a cool whip bowl!
I love this picture because she is always holding on to my hair like it's a rope! So sweet :)
And I thought the next two pictures were pretty cool. I love light and dark in pictures...and we have a ton from Ukraine that will have to be a post all their own. Light has followed us through this journey and it continues to do so. You might chalk it up to bad photography, but I think it's more than that!
Look at how the light radiates from the ground UPWARD in both of these pictures.
This one you can actually see the light surrounding Zoya's body. I think the clouds look like an angel wing too!