Monday, June 3, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday Zoya!

I can't believe my baby girl is no longer 4! Somehow FOUR seemed like the last baby year to me. Zoya had a great day today. She got to celebrate her birthday at school. She must have really enjoyed her day because when we left she said "more school please!" Usually by the end of her morning she's ready to come home, but not today! She talked about how she liked passing out her special snack to the class! She got to eat chocolate chip pancakes for dinner and ice cream cake for dessert! She loved her gift and was pretty good at using it! 

I couldn't help but think about how different her life could have been had we not answered God's call to bring her home! Praise God for LOVING her and saving her! She could have been celebrating her 5th birthday by rocking on a cold hard cement floor of an adult mental institution. BUT instead she celebrated by rocking in her mama's arms before bed! She could have celebrated while she laid tied to a bed so she didn't bother anyone. Instead, she celebrated by snuggling in bed reading her special birthday book! She could have easily been spending her 5th birthday staring at a wall, bored to tears. Instead she celebrated by riding her new scooter in the fresh air. She could have been denied an education because she was born with Down Syndrome. Instead, she attended an AMAZING school with typical peers with teachers and friends who love her for her! She could have had food shoveled down her throat at break-neck speed. Instead she had her favorite special meal lovingly prepared and enjoyed each and every bite slowly. She could have spent her 5th birthday alone, feeling worthless and unwanted. Instead, she celebrated with family and friends who love her greatly.  Thankfully, all those "coulds" were never in the cards for Zoya because that was NEVER God's plan for this sweet girl! But today, as I thanked God for her life over and over, I thought of all those 5 year old orphans whose lives fall into the "could" category, except instead of a hypothetical, it's a reality. A cold, hard, reality for a tiny little person like our Zoya girl. 

I woke up with the "somewhere out there" song from Fivel in my head today, picturing my itty bitty newborn Zoya girl all alone in the hospital. Her records read, "birth mother did not wish to feed her or see her, abandoned the child." I thought a lot about this day 5 years ago and what it looked like, for Zoya, for her birth mother, and for us. I have no idea what I was doing on her birthday. Each year on her birthday I think of her birth mother and wonder if she's doing anything special to remember this anniversary. I wonder if she even knows if Zoya is alive. I pray that somehow her heart can feel the positive energy and feel that Zoya is okay. It will always be so strange to me that someone SO VITAL TO OUR LIFE will always be unknown. Someone so deeply connected to us in a way that is unfathomable...someone we'll never meet face to face (at least not this side of heaven). I am thankful for her birth mother. I'm thankful that even though I'm sure she was scared to death to find herself pregnant at 16 years old, that she chose to bring Zoya into this world. I will never know the effect that Zoya's birth had on her birth mother. I will never understand how the decision to leave her at the hospital shaped her life. I will never know what feelings her birth mother had surrounding her birth and subsequent diagnosis of Down Syndrome. I have to believe that she loved Zoya as much as she was able to. I will never be able to wrap my head around the fact that Zoya was not born of my own flesh. What I do know is that God is in the business of redemption. I am so thankful he chose to redeem our lives and Zoya's. We are so unworthy of His great love and sacrifice. We are so thankful that on this day 5 years ago someone (Jesus) was "thinking of her and loving her tonight" (even if it couldn't be us). I know on this day five years ago she heard Jesus whisper into her heart "hold on and rest in my arms while you wait." 

Waiting to open her birthday present! 

She asked to take it outside right away! 

Trying to catch up to Mila! 

She has always LOVED having happy birthday sung to her! Right before this she also made us have a surprise party for her! Zoya always has to have a surprise party LOL! 

Make a wish, baby! 

Sofia finally enjoyed ice cream! She can now tolerate cold foods! Yay because her birthday is in a few months :) 

Beneath the pale moonlight, Mama and Daddy are thinking of you, and loving you tonight!


  1. Happy Birtday Zoya, you are a precious, beautiful, loved little girl!

  2. Happy Birthday, sweet Zoya! That precious girl never fails to touch my heart--such a sweet and loving soul she is! Thanks for sharing. As always, Sarah, your writing is so eloquent. Looks like Zoya had an awesome birthday and really enjoyed the the trip alone with mama and daddy! Love the photos-- and the ones of her with the statues are a hoot, LOL!

  3. Happy Happy 5th Birthday dear little Zoya! OH how you are loved!!!! Both of these birthday posts (thank you SO much for all of the beautiful pics!!) just made my heart so happy!! Giving thanks to God for his mercy and grace!! ((((BIG BIG HUGS)))!!!!