Friday, June 3, 2011

3 years old!

June 3, 2011

My Sweet Zoya,

I cannot even believe you are three years old! It seems not so long ago that you were 10 pounds less and 6 inches shorter and just a baby not knowing a thing about love or life. When we brought you home you were a frightened little girl with no opinions of your own. You always behaved yourself in fear of what would happen if you didn't. Your mischievous streak that I love so much was hidden away.  You were pretty lifeless then compared to now. You are a different child in so many ways on this birthday than you were on your last.  You amaze me with how much you've changed in a year.

On your third birthday here is what you're like:

1. You are a girly girl who loves bows and has to wear one every day...if I forget to put one in your remind me. You like to look in the mirror after you get dressed and after I do your look at yourself, stroke your face and smile while saying your best version of "pretty." Then you look at me and tell me I'm pretty too! You LOVE lip gloss and so delicately put it on your beautiful lips.
2. You're also a little bit of a tom boy too LOVE cars and motorcycles. You don't mind getting dirty and you really enjoy wearing baseball hats....or any sort of hats!
3. You have many opinions. You like to pick your color bow, your snack, how you want to wear your hair, what movie you want to watch, what you want to play with, where you want to sit at the dinner table. You make your opinion known by telling us "sad" if you don't like what you're told to do, or if you're not given a choice in the matter! You are fiercely independent.
4. You love bananas but now you will only eat one if you can hold it yourself. You're a messy eater, but you like to wipe your face too and try to stay clean.
5. You love playing hide-and-seek with Daddy and I upstairs before bedtime. You squeal with delight when we chase you. You love when we jump out of hiding and scare you!
6. You know all your colors, numbers 0-10 and your shapes! You use over 100 signs to communicate with us and about 15 words.  You are so smart and you get so excited when we work on colors and numbers and shapes. You like me to carry the flashcards in my purse so we can look at them when we are out and about!
7. You are wearing pull-ups and are starting to tell mama and daddy when you have to go potty....but you'd also rather keep playing than take a potty break :)
8. You've grown a lot in a year! You are 30 pounds and 36 inches, putting you at the 75th percentile for weight and 95th percentile for height (on the DS charts). Your daddy and I think if you keep growing at this rate you will be taller than us! In the past year you've gained six inches and six pounds!
9. Your most ticklish spot is on your back between your shoulder also giggle uncontrollably when I kiss the back of your neck.
10. You still have a love affair with Elmo....Sid the Science Kid gave Elmo a run for his money this year, but in the end you were loyal to your first love Elmo and he's still your favorite. You love Dora...not so much the show, but anything with Dora on it like an umbrella or hat or backpack. You call her "Dooooo."
11. You enjoy being outside when it's nice out and even when it's not. You don't mind thunderstorms, in fact you seem so relaxed and sleep in such a deep sleep when it rains and thunders, just like me.
12. You sweat A LOT just like your Daddy. I don't know how you did it wearing all those layers in the orphanage because you're warm all the time!
13. You still love music just as much as ever. Your favorite song on the radio is "Hey Baby" by PitBull. Your favorite (child-appropriate song haha) is ABC's. You like trying to sign each letter of the alphabet with the song. Itsy-bitsy-spider is also one of your favorites.
14. You like to grab Daddy's face with your chubby little fingers and lay a big wet kiss on him while he is holding you.
15. You love asking Daddy for piggy back rides and you like riding on his shoulders.
16. You still wake up happy as ever every single day. You smile at Daddy and I like you just won the lottery when we walk in to get you in the morning.
17. Your pink heart-shaped pillow is your comfort item and you have to have it to go to sleep at night or when you are feeling sad.
18. Your favorite foods are veggie straws, pretzels with peanut butter, green beans, and cheese sticks.
19. You enjoy playing ball with Mya and ask at least 3 times a day for ball, you say it so nice bbb-aaa-lllll...but sometimes you get mixed up and say blah blah blah and it makes me laugh.
20. You are a night owl and like to sleep in just like your mama. You like sleep just as much as I do!
Sweet girl, on your third birthday I hope you know just how amazing you are. You have a way of brightening even the cloudiest day with your sweet smile, hugs, and kisses. Every single day, you remind Daddy and I what is important in this short life. You've taught us a lot about resiliency, love, trust, and living with reckless abandon. I don't often think about your birth mom except around your birthday...then I think about her a lot. I am so grateful that she chose to give you life. I am sad for her that she is missing our on the beauty you are, but I am deeply thankful that I get to be the one to wake up to your beautiful sunny smile every single day for the rest of our lives together. 3 years ago today you were brought into this world. I have no idea what I was doing the moment your sweet face entered this world.  I have no idea what your birth story is.  I have no idea what your first moments, let alone first years, were like...but none of that matters.  3 years ago today you were given life and that is what matters.  Even though I wasn't there to celebrate with you on that day, I'm here now and will be for the rest of your birthdays.  I am so proud of you. You have changed me in ways you may never understand. You have burrowed into the deepest part of my heart, filling me with more love than I ever knew existed. Happy 3rd Birthday big girl. I can't wait to watch your grow and change even more this year.

Love always and the moon and back,



  1. Happy birthday precious girl. The tutu is too too cute!!!

  2. Happy, happy birthday, beautiful Zoya!! Wow, she has absolutely blossomed this year. She has a very, very bright future. :-)

  3. Happy Birthday, Zoya. A year ago, I read your entire story and now we have our own miracle, Sarah, from Ukraine. Have a wonderful day. Three is Fantastic:)

  4. Happy Birthday Zoya!!!! We all LOVE you so MUCH!!!!! You are an Amazing Joy!!!!!!

  5. Happy 3rd Birthday Zoya!!!

    Wow I thought she was 2 also. Lol. You are so blessed! Im jealous ;)

    Be blessed


    Love from Switzerland

  7. Happy Birthday Zoya!

    Love ya,
    Nana Teri!!!

    PS: Mommy this post brought tears to my eyes, so incredibly moving and special. Would you be surprised just how much our two girls are similar?

  8. FEliz CumpleaƱos Zoya!!! has been a joy watching you blossom!!! you are so blessed of having a beautiful family! :D


  9. Oh sweet Zoya - Happy Birthday Baby!

    You've helped to inspire so many amazing helped us know we wanted to adopt our little are SUCH a blessing!

    Brooke Annessa

  10. Zoya smiles at her parents every morning like she won the lottery.....because she DID win the lottery!!!!! You are wonderful people and she is precious! Happy Birthday, Zoya!

  11. Joy of Life=Zoya! I never saw a kid enjoy everything as much as Rock Star Zoya. Her smile is so bright, you can tell by looking at pictures how much she loves her parents.

    Sue M.

  12. Happy Birthday Zoya girl....we LOVE LOVE LOVE you!