Saturday, August 27, 2011


Today is a day that we have been looking forward to for a long time.  Hannah would celebrate her third birthday, but since she'd never celebrated a birthday before, it would be her first.  When we asked her what she wanted for her birthday she said, "Grandma and Olea (Olivia)".  Well, good, because we've already got some of those.  The plan was to take her down to grandma's house and let her swim since swimming is her favorite thing to do.  Then open presents and let her blow out some candles (another favorite) and eat cake and ice cream.

Enter Life. Unexpected.  Now Hannah will forever share her day with her Pappap.  She began mortal life on this day and he ended mortal life on this day.  I got a phone call from John around 2pm telling me that his father had just passed away.  John, his mother and his sister were all with him holding his hands as he went.

He was such a kind, wonderful man.  I was so lucky to have him as a father-in-law.  I will miss being around him.  He loved people and especially his family.  He adored his grandchildren and he and Alexander were bosom buddies.  He was so excited to have Hannah join our family and to have a connection back to the country where his father was born.  His third grandchild was born 6 months ago, and he was able to spend time with each of them.

There is so much that I admire about my father-in-law and I'm so glad I got to know him in this life.  Who knows, maybe he's already met my father and is telling him all about Xander and Hannah.  Of course, this conversation would be taking place on a golf course.

As for today, Hannah's birthday party has been postponed.  We wished her happy birthday and sang to her and she loved telling people she was "free" (three).  We'll throw her a party when we get back from New York.  In the meantime, we'll celebrate the life of John Zorich and the gifts he gave to us.

Life begins.  Life ends.  And in the middle of it all is a whole lot of unexpected.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Yesterday at breakfast Xander pulled his hair back from his face and said, "This is how I make myself look like Uncle Scott." "But don't tell him I said that."

Ha! Ha!  Love you Scott!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


John grew up in a home where his mother was devoutly Catholic (still is) and his father is Serbian Orthodox.  He went to private Catholic school from kindergarten to graduation.  When I met him 16 years ago he was an atheist.  It has been an interesting journey for a Catholic-raised atheist and a returned missionary Mormon girl.  When John joined the church, he was nervous to tell his parents.  He didn't want to hurt them and he wanted them to understand that he was happy.

Over the years we have seen miracle after miracle in the opportunities we have had to explain certain things about our doctrine or culture and help them gain a better understanding of what members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are and what they believe.  We have talked about our callings, talks in General Conference, our belief in a living prophet, social activities, missionaries, etc.  They even went to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant and invited some friends to go with them.  We truly feel that as we've increased their understanding that any fear or apprehension they may have had about the church is gone, and they see value in our religion and respect it.  This is such a blessing to us.

On a previous trip to see his parents, I asked John if he might ask his father if he could give him a blessing (he was having some other health issues) and John was hesitant about it for legitimate reasons.  On this trip to Buffalo, John asked his mother if he might be able to give his father a blessing and she agreed.  He found some extra virgin olive oil and consecrated it.  He put it into a small container to take to the hospital and as they were getting ready to go, his mom kept asking if he had the oil with him.  She was not only allowing it, she was encouraging it and supporting it. John's sister and husband arrived at the hospital as well, and John was able to give his father a blessing using the Priesthood authority that he holds in front of his mother, his sister and her husband.  John told me that when he was finished he looked at his sister and she had tears in her eyes.  I asked him if he remembered what he was able to say in the blessing and that he needed to write the whole experience down before he forgets anything.
The next miracle we hope for is John being able to give his mother a blessing of comfort and peace.

As for John's father, he is doing better.  He is off the ventilator and breathing on his own.  The antibiotic seems to be working and his lungs seem to be getting stronger.  He is still in intensive care, but he was moved out of isolation.  He has a long way to go, but he is going in the right direction.

Unexpected Experiences.  Unexpected Miracles.  Unforgettable Life.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Expected:  Today was the first day of 2nd grade for Xander.  He was so excited to ride the bus with all his friends, but he didn't want to get up, he didn't like the clothes he had to wear (we won't let him wear play clothes to school) and he said he hated school because it was so boring.  Oh boy, here we go again.

Unexpected:  John's father has been battling cancer for the past 5 months.  Radiation was working to reduce the tumor and surgery seemed likely at the beginning of September.  They did a cat scan to see if the cancer had spread and unfortunately, it had spread to his liver and lymph nodes.  He was going to start chemo treatments last week, but he had pneumonia so they put him on antibiotics.  He was rushed to the hospital Friday night due to a high fever and then on Saturday his blood pressure dropped dangerously low.  He is on a ventilator and heavily sedated.  John's sister and husband drove all night long to be with John's mother and I finally was able to speak to John last night (he's in Europe for work) and he cut his trip short and is on a plane to New York right now.  Please pray for John and his family.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blog Links

These are the links to my other open blogs if you want to check them out.

I will be making one or two more posts in helping hannah home to finish up the story of our trip to Serbia, then everything will be on this blog.

Also, the extensive list of Xanderisms will be posted here as well.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A New Beginning

A little over a year ago I started a blog chronicling our journey to adopt our daughter, Hannah.  I also had a blog for my poetry, one for funny things our son, Xander would say, one for posting music lyrics and videos that fit my mood, etc.  I realized I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with having to try and keep so many blogs updated.  I didn't do a good job of updating in the first place, but it all just felt disconnected, so I decided to connect it all into one new and improved blog.  I will try and figure out how to link my old blogs to this one, but from now on, anything about my life I feel like posting will be found here on:
Life. Unexpected.  
Just don't expect much, and you might be unexpectedly surprised.