Zoya's Story

Zoya's Adoption Video:

Adoption had always been in the back our our minds as a "some day" thing. My husband, Shawn, and I have always had a passion for people with special needs, specifically people with Down Syndrome. Teaching special education, I was able to meet some amazing kids with Down Syndrome. So at some point our talks of "some day adopting" became "maybe now." We initially began our search domestically and learned that there was already a list of over 250 families who would be willing to adopt a child with Down Syndrome, so we didn't feel called to adopt domestically since there wasn't a huge need for adopting children with DS in the US. In June of 2009, I stumbled across REECE'S RAINBOW and it changed our life!  We searched many profiles and on September 24, 2009, we committed to adopt Zoya. God spoke loud and clear telling us to GO and bring this child home to be our daughter. We abandoned all fears, clung to God and followed this path to our amazing angel. This is the sole picture that grabbed our hearts and wouldn't let go!

Zoya was born on June 3, 2008 in Ukraine.  When we learned of her, she was a 16 month old orphan living in an orphanage in Ukraine. Her young birth mother left her at the hospital after her diagnosis of Down Syndrome. She didn't want to see her, meet her, hug her, or say goodbye. In Eastern Europe, people with disabilities have no place in society so Zoya's story isn't unusual. No father was ever listed on Zoya's birth certificate.  She was unwanted by her biological parents as well as by Eastern European society.  She was left to live a short, unloved life laying in a crib just existing.  Zoya was born with two serious heart defects which made her first 17 months of life very difficult. We were told she was very sick and the doctors did not think she had a good chance of living.  In October of 2009, she was blessed to have her heart repaired in Ukraine while we chased papers trying to get to our baby.

We completed tons of paperwork from June until March and were finally invited to meet Zoya.  We traveled to Ukraine for 3 weeks for the first trip, meeting her on March 17th, 2010.

Zoya's Orphanage
First Family of 3 Photo on the first day we met Zoya (March 17, 2010)

When we met Zoya she was just learning to sit and could not crawl at 21 months old.  She seemed very curious and alert.  She was a sweet spirit from the first meeting.  We got to visit her twice a day for 2 hours at a time while we waited for our court date, which turned into two court dates since we were the pioneer family in that region.  When we felt all hope might be lost, God came through with his promise and the courts named us as the parents to Zoya Faith Basile on Good Friday (April 2, 2010). 

We came home for about a week to wait until court was finalized, then returned to Ukraine and sprung her from the orphanage on April 19, 2010.
Gotcha Day April 19, 2010
She arrived home in the United States on April 22, 2010 in Erie, PA and has been thriving ever since!

Here is our timeline of events for Zoya's adoption: 
June 15, 2009-Contacted Reece's Rainbow/began searching profiles
September 13, 2009-Inquired about Zoya
September 24, 2009-Committed to Adopt Zoya
September 25, 2009-PA state police criminal record check sent
September 28, 2009-Sent for PA child abuse clearance
September 29, 2009-Started the paperwork chase
October 1, 2009-got FBI fingerprints
October 1, 2009-scheduled Home Study visit for Oct. 17th
October 10, 2009-Zoya's family page is on Reece's Rainbow!
October 17, 2009-Homestudy Visit
October 24, 2009--1 month waiting for Zoya to come home
November 5, 2009-Received Completed Homestudy in the Mail
November 6, 2009-Mailed out USCIS Application
November 24, 2009-2 months waiting for Zoya to come home
November 25, 2009-Zoya is recovering from surgery!
November 27, 2009-Received USCIS Fingerprint Appointment!
December 3, 2009-Got USCIS fingerprints done
December 24, 2009-3 months waiting for Zoya to come home
December 24, 2009-Received I-171 H in the mail!
December 30, 2009-got 27 of 28 documents apostilled in Harrisburg
January 7, 2010-Received LAST document in the mail
January 8, 2010-MAILED DOSSIER!
January 11, 2010-Dossier arrived in Zoya's country
January 15-18, 2010-Chasing a few more papers that were added on :(
January 24, 2010-4 months waiting for Zoya to come home
January 27, 2010-Received a Submittal Date of February 4th!
January 29, 2010-Mailed out the last (hopefully) forms to Zoya's country!
February 5, 2010--2nd addendum documents arrived (late)
February 5, 2010--Send a 3rd set of docs over (usually doesn't happen this way)...wait wait wait
February 11, 2010-Dossier Submitted!
February 23, 2010-Received our Travel Date!
February 24, 2010-5 months waiting for Zoya to come home
March 12, 2010-Leaving to Meet Zoya
March 15, 2010-SDA appointment in Ukraine
March 17, 2010-Met Zoya!
March 30, 2010-First Court Appointment--didn't finish court :(
April 2, 2010-Second court appointment...Zoya Faith Basile is officially ours! 10 day wait starts

April 19, 2010-Gotcha Day...Zoya is with us FOREVER!
April 22, 2010-Zoya Lands In America!

I have compiled a list of links to blog posts from this blog in order from beginning of our adoption process to end of our adoption process for people new to the blog and those that would like to read our journey in chronological order.
Pre-Travel Posts:
Little Miss Zoya (My First Blog Post)
Mission Accomplished!
Signs Along the Way
What's in a Name
We Saw What We Saw
A Million and One Thoughts
2 Months Waiting
Surgery Update
USCIS Fingerprint Appointment!!
Lasts and Firsts
Our First Choice
Which Would You Choose?
Merry Christmas Zoya!
My Redeemer Lives
Happy New Year Zoya!
The Rocking Chair Test
Progress Update
Our Last Document
Dossier Mailed!
Dossier Has Arrived!
147 Million
Waiting for the Egg to Hatch
Waiting, Updates, and Zoya's Room
Today Stinks!
While I'm Waiting
A Letter to My Sweet Zoya
Eyes of an Angel
Submittal Date!
Handing it Over to God
What Will it Be Like?
Peaks and Valleys
Frenzy, Friends, and Family
Once Lost but Now Found
Are You Kidding Me???
Paperwork and Strange Dreams
Dossier Submission Tomorrow!
No News But One Day Closer
Orphans in Distress
Questions from 2nd Graders
5 Months
Frequently Asked Questions About Our Trip
We're Private
5 Days to Go!
4 Days?!?!
Less Than 3 Days!!!
2 Days to Go and a Wild Morning!
Leaving Tomorrow!!
Leaving in 13 Hours!!!
First Trip to Ukraine Posts:

We are Off!
First Flight Delayed
We Made it to......Ukraine!
Jet Lag
What We Learned So Far
The Ukrainian Circus....Starring Shawn
We Got Zoya's Referral!
Nevermind :(
Getting Closer
The Big Day!!
More Pictures of Our Angel (2nd Visit Today)
Some Videos
Another Video from Yesterday
A Long and Scattered Post
Morning Visit with Zoya
Evening Visit with Zoya
A Week Into Our Journey
An Emotional Day
Day 9 in Ukraine
Day 10 in Ukraine
No News is Good News Today
A Great Visit with Zoya
Had to Post These Videos
The Longest Day of My Life
We Think She Looks Like Her Daddy Too!
Day 13 in Ukraine
Our Humble Abode
Two Weeks In Ukraine!
Day 16....One Day Closer!
Visit #24
All Systems are A Go....Hopefully!
T-Minus 18 and a half hours....
Prayer Requests
Court Continues....:(
Day 19 in Ukraine
A Heavy Heart, the Binky, and a Frozen Pizza
Zoya Made a New Friend Today
Day 20, the night before court #2
Pictures from Yesterday
Introducing......Zoya Faith Basile!

Back Home Trips Posts
There's No Place Like Home....A New Perspective
Pink Shoes and Sunshine
Doctors and More Shoes
Torrential Downpour
A Simple Post
Leaving Tomorrow
Paka America

2nd Trip to Ukraine Posts:
In Kiev
On the Train with a Man Wearing Argyle
2 am Arrival in Dnep
We Have Power!
Some Pictures From Yesterday
Getting Closer!
No Passport Tomorrow :(
The Passport, The Volcano, and The Zoya Girl
Travel Update and The Darn Volcano!
Boogies and Barney
Are We There Yet?
Zoya's Beads
We Have Zoya's Passport!