|Zoya on the day we first met her|
It all seems so long ago, but if I close my eyes and remember, it seems like just yesterday. We tried to catch some sleep as we rode an overnight train through Ukraine from Kiev to Dnepropetrovsk where our soon to be daughter was living in an orphanage. Just as the loud bumpy train would seem to settle into some sort of lullaby pattern, we'd wake from our semi-sleeping state being all but jerked off our seats as the train screeched to a halt at one of the many stops. There was no sense in even trying to sleep. Between the loud, bumpy train and the nervous/excited ball of emotions I was, there was really no way sleep was going to happen. So many thoughts ran through my mind on that train ride. For so long, it seemed we were months away from meeting our daughter and that this moment might never come....and then suddenly we were hours....then minutes away from meeting this child we would call "daughter." How would she react? Would she be calm and peaceful and accept us immediately as we had prayed? Would she be scared? Would her tiny little heart be prepared to meet her mommy and daddy? How big or little would she be? Would we feel excited or scared or peaceful or worried when we met her? The moments on that train, leading up to the moment we would meet our daughter, were so full of anticipation and excitement, unlike anything else I had ever experienced up until that point in my life.
We heard a knock on our cabin door and we knew we were close to our stop. We gathered up all of our things (we had way over packed by Ukrainian standards!). We hobbled off the train and met our facilitator and literally hit the ground running. We had two stops to make before the orphanage. We dropped off our luggage and then we had to get permission from the social worker to proceed with the adoption. After that we arrived at the orphanage. It was a cold dreary day (like many days in Ukraine). We were taken to the director's office. She had kind eyes and wanted to speak with us about our motive to adopt. She clearly wanted to ensure that we would take care of this child. We shared photos with her and spoke from our hearts. Each time the door opened my heart jumped into my throat and I couldn't focus. We accidentally got a really quick peek of Zoya and then the director shooed the caregiver away as it was apparently not time to meet her yet. We did not think the child we saw was Zoya, as she looked nothing like we pictured. We continued on, trying our best to focus on the background information that was given to us about Zoya. I scribbled down notes in writing that I could barely read later.
And then THE MOMENT, possibly the most anticipated moment in the adoption world, Zoya was carried in by a caregiver with a soft smile. I was a little shocked by her orphanage haircut (remember this was before the blog world was popular with adopting families through RR). The rest is history and you can read about it HERE if you want to take a walk down memory lane with me :) You can also read my first metcha day post HERE. Time is just flying by!
|Zoya two years after the first day we met her!|