Praises, The Kids

Happy 17th Birthday, Zack!

I can’t believe my baby, the youngest of my tribe, is turning 17 today. I’m in the home stretch now. I’d say that in one more year I’ll be done with my full-time parenting duties but considering the fact that Zack will still be in his first semester of his senior year of high school, that’s not true. Dang it. I’ve actually got 1-1/2 years to go.

I remember picking up that 9 month old little boy with the pale white skin, giant head and toothpick legs (who shared my maiden name by-the-way…such a miracle) from a Russian orphanage and having all the Russian ladies around Red Square yell at us for not having his body completely covered up despite the 70+ degree day.


I remember that boy with supposed “motor impairment” (a common phase in all Russian adoption paperwork at that time) who walked at 10 months, never sat still, never slept and could not be contained by two baby gates stacked on top of each other.


I remember the mounds of paperwork, hours of therapies and taking the “short bus” to try to get Zack caught up to where he needed to be.


I remember meeting our good friends the Jacobsens through the babysitting Coop and knowing that we were going to be great friends when Ron, the dad/babysitter, said “we had a great time. Zack can come back any time to play with Colin.” That was the start of a fun 13-year friendship in Minnesota for all of us.


I remember Zack’s love of sports and trying them all as a boy – t-ball, basketball, soccer, wrestling, tumbling and the favorite…football!


I remember pulling Zack out of public school halfway through second grade and spending the next 7 years trying my best to give him a decent education and not totally screw him up for life. I remember all of the fun opportunities that we had as homeschoolers, such as coop classes, field trips, ski days and mental health breaks (which occurred way too frequently I’ll admit).


I remember the teenage years and how Zack didn’t want to do anything anymore. Didn’t want to play sports. Didn’t want to go anywhere with us. Didn’t want to go on the boat. Didn’t want to go on vacation. His whole life became playing Xbox. In fact, that’s all still true!

Cali-7 (52)

I remember how grateful we were for Zack and his sweet nature and compliant attitude during the “rough years” when Anthony was headed down a path of destruction. Zack sure got good with making himself scarce and staying out of the way when another crisis was underway. Zack gave our family the calmness and peace that we needed during a very difficult time.


I remember how Zack has adjusted to a difficult move for him at a critical time in a teenager’s life, moving during the high school years.

Moving! 009

It was a little rough going at first but he’s on the right track now, doing well in school, armed with a driver’s license and on the hunt for a steady job!


We are very happy to have you as a part of our family Zackary! Our family is blessed and you complete us. We are excited to see what the future holds for you and look forward to watching you get millions of followers with your YouTube channel (which you haven’t started yet but are sure is going to make you into a star one day)…good luck with that! Remember, if that falls through, you can’t go wrong with a career in the Navy!

4 thoughts on “Happy 17th Birthday, Zack!”

  1. Happy 17th Birthday Zack!!! What a great walk down your path to where you are now. I remember the first time I saw you at the airport and cried with happiness. You still make me happy with your silliness, your affection and for just being you!! Love you Zack!!


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