Saturday, January 22, 2011

9 Months Home!

Wow! It has been 3/4 of a year that Zoya has been home! We are really starting to see her little personality and it is so fun to watch! She has opinions and clear preferences, likes, and dislikes.  She is sassy as ever but such a good little girl.  She loves doing the right thing, although she does try to test us by doing the wrong thing. One of my favorite things about Zoya is that she wants so badly to make others happy and do the right thing.  She feels terrible when she does something wrong...lots of times, I don't even have to say anything to her, she tells herself "no, no, no" and then signs sorry if she does something she knows she isn't supposed to do! She listens so very well to directions (most of the time), of course the 1-2-3 "threat" is used at least a handful of times a day and she ALWAYS lets us count to 2 before she gets to doing what we asked (because she knows if we get to 3 that means time out!)...but she really has been so well behaved and such a sweet soul.  Her personality is bigger than life and when I think back to how mild and meek she was the day we met her it makes me sad to think that this personality was suppressed for so long....BUT....the way she lives life BIG is making up for lost time for sure!  We are so blessed and have been warned that any future children will likely give us a run for our money since she has been so good! :)

The biggest happening over this last month has been that Zoya has finally started to turn down food. This is GOOD! When Zoya was first home she would eat everything and anything, even if that meant pieces of garbage off the floor and non edible things.  She was obsessed with food and it took priority over everything else.  If she heard a food bag rustling she would drop what she was doing and literally run to the kitchen and beg for food.  She would eat and eat until we told her she was done and would sometimes whine when food was gone. We tried really hard to give her something to eat every single time she asked to show her that food would always be there when she was hungry or just when she wanted it. It was a delicate balancing act for a while not to overfeed her but also to make her feel secure that there would always be food and she would never go hungry. These behaviors were a result of life as an orphan, being one of many mouths to feed with few hands to help and being fed only once a day. We know she was fed a good lunch at least while we were there because we saw the sheer volume of it....but we aren't so naive to think that she was always fed that way. I mean from the time we met her until our embassy appointment she gained 4 pounds...and we saw what the other children were being fed-which was not comparable to what Zoya got while we were there. Anyways, Zoya still loves food and loves to eat, but the obsessiveness has finally mostly dwindled away. In fact, we took her to a restaurant in the mall and she was more worried about getting down and walking all around the mall (her new favorite thing to do) than sitting and eating. She will now tell us all done when she is full, or when she would rather play, even if there is still food left on her plate. It took a good eight months for her to finally feel secure and retrain her heart and brain to know she will never suffer from hunger again. Healing is a slow process, but each day we see tiny changes and look back to nine months ago and marvel at the differences in our angel. Amazing, redemptive grace of God!

As we've gotten to know Zoya over the past nine months, we realize more and more that God created this child, knowing all along, she would be ours. The similarities between her and us are too strong to be coincidental. In addition to looking like her momma and daddy, she reminds me of her daddy and of I so much in many different ways. She likes to stay up late and sleep in like her momma and values sleep just as much as her momma! (thank you God!! That was very kind of you since you know how much my body needs sleep). While snuggling on the couch with either one of us, Zoya has to rub her feet on us and wiggle her toes while laying there...just like her momma. She loves music and dancing and definitely got that from her daddy!  Shawn's rendition of "Beat It" (MJ) at wedding receptions might be in jeopardy of being moved to second place with Zoya's up and coming moves! She sweats in the heat just as bad as her daddy but has cold toes, nose and fingers in the winter like her momma.

"Not flesh of my flesh,
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn't grow under my heart - but in it"

I can't imagine this girl without her Grandparents to love her....

without a million reasons a day to laugh like crazy...

without hundreds of snuggles and kisses every single day

without a family to call her own...

without independence to explore and learn...

without girly sunglasses (that she puts on her head all by herself) and cute dresses and bows...

without a home of her own...

without opportunities to grow and develop like every other child...

without a Daddy teaching her how to ride a bike....

But more than that, I can't imagine US without HER!

Happy NINE months home angel are everything we never knew we couldn't live without!



  1. Loyal lurker here.
    I read your blog off of "room for more"'s blog list. I am always excited to see a new post because Zoya makes me smile -- she has such a zest for life! God has truly blessed your family with this precious little girl.

  2. She is beyond cute!! No words to really describe her!

  3. Nine months seems to have gone by in a blink of an eye.

    Holy cow - 9 months! Look at all the achievements you've accomplished Ms. Zoya.

    Can I just say that you are so pretty. The one picture makes you look so tall as you're showing off your awesome walking skills. Before long you will be giving Daddy a run for his money by running around, along with the dance competitions.

    What a super star you are! :)

    I shared the pictures with Izzy this morning to which she replied with every picture, "hey just like ME". Izzy has watched Zoya's pictures from the first time you posted videos. She thinks of Zoya as her very special friend that she gets to read about and always asks to play with her. Yep, these two are so similar. Their zest for life is contagious. Looking at the photos this morning Izzy told me, "Nana, Zoya so pretty." Love that Zoya still gives those great big hugs, that warms the heart just seeing the pictures of her so happy.


  4. Already 9 months HOME???
    Time is sure running....
    I can not stop looking at your BEAUTIFUL ANGEL GIRL!!! She has SOOO MUCH PERSONALITY, just AWESOME!!!

    BE ALL BLESSED!!!Christina

  5. In many ways it seems like Zoya has always been here, next door, being her cute little self! I think she has grown taller since I saw her last! I have got to come over to visit soon!!! Lucas still asks about her and always recognizes her in pictures(some on my fridge and some still in the camera). I am so happy for your precious little family...Love, Liz