I'm working on compiling a list of frequently asked questions for this tab. If you have something you'd like to know, please ask! You can leave a comment or email me at: spbasile@hotmail.com.

If we are not called to adopt, what can we do to help?


I wanted to know about Zoya's name, its so lovely, was that her birth name or did you decided on this for her?
Zoya was her birth name. It is a Ukrainian name and it’s meaning is “life” (derived from the Greek name “Zoe”). We briefly thought about changing it, as many adoptive families do, to signify a new start, but quickly decided to keep it. One reason we kept it was because it is part of her heritage and some day, if she chooses to share her story with others, she will have a piece of her past always with her. Even though her past is sad and scary, it will always be a part of her. Another reason we decided to keep it was because of it’s meaning…life. We thought that was pretty symbolic seeing that Zoya’s only chance at life would be if she were adopted. There is a pretty cool story about how we chose Zoya and a sign that pointed us toward her by name. Click HERE to read it.

How did Zoya learn so many signs so fast?
Other than being a rock star you mean? I have to brag about her a little you know. We started teaching her the sign “more” in Ukraine and she picked up on it pretty quickly. Once home we started with some other important words like eat and drink and all done. She seemed to pick up on them very quickly so we bought the Signing Times Set of DVDs and flash cards. She watches the Baby Signing Times videos the most. She LOVES them and watches one every night before bed. I took a graduate sign language course and taught special education so I knew a lot of signs from those two things. I also have an ASL dictionary and when I see a teachable moment, if I don’t know the sign, I just look it up. We use signs when we talk to her (for example, I will say let’s go take a bath, and sign “bath”). It usually only takes about a week or two for her to pick up on the sign and start using it herself. We have had to modify some of them to meet her fine motor developmental stage, but we know exactly what she means for each of her signs. It has been awesome and having her sign has really cut down on the whining and has opened up our communication! I highly recommend the Signing Times Series.