International Adoption: The Zaruba Family

So much has happened in a year. Last September my husband and I boarded a plan to Uganda, Africa. We had no idea how HUGE our lives were about to change…I had been dreaming of being a mom since I was about ten years old. I knew I was born to do this mom thing. So, as soon as my husband and I got married in 2011 we immediately began trying to get pregnant. Right before this I had donated eggs to a couple that were unable to conceive. This consisted of six months of hormone shots and ultrasounds and being poked and prodded. People would ask why I was doing that, I would always telling them that having kids and a family was the most important thing to me and I couldn’t imagine not being able to have kids so I wanted to do this for them. Much to my surprise when immediately after the egg retrieval was complete and we began trying, we would soon find out that we were now that couple that was unable to get pregnant. I was heartbroken, I remember so many nights sitting on the bathroom floor crying.

zarubaAfter about a year and half of trying to get pregnant, one night Tyler and I watched the documentary Invisible Children which tells a story of vulnerable kids in Africa. Soon after I felt my heart stirring, I felt very strongly God trying to articulate to me in a way he had never done. I felt him calling us to Africa, and not just Africa, but Uganda specifically. I told my husband I thought we should give trying to get pregnant a break and go to Uganda. Needless to say he thought I had LOST MY MIND! But he could see my heart needed this and I felt so guided and so for sure this was what we were suppose to do so. On July 31, 2013 we boarded our flight for Uganda. We spent 3 1/2 life changing, vulnerable, humbling, amazing weeks working in an orphanage.

We saw him early on, he was small and scrawny, he had a horrible fungus covering his head and had the filthiest clothes on, but he was ours. We NEVER imagine going there to meet a child. We had briefly spoke of adoption before we went and my husband quickly shut it down saying he absolutely wanted biological children and didn’t want to adopt. But our boy Kamoga changed us. He changed my husband. I think honestly my husband just never believed he could have so much love and protection over a child that wasn’t biologically ours. We had asked the “mama” of the orphanage about adopting him before we even left. That’s how sure we were, she blew us off and seemed very uninterested. When I say he is in an orphanage  I use that term lightly. He was taken in by a woman who just takes care of a bunch of kids, he has no paperwork, no birth certificate, no history, no file…he had nothing. I was a complicated situation to say the least.  I remember riding in the matatu on our hour drive to the orphanage the last day with my headphones on, looking out the window just bawling my eyes out the entire way there. zaruba2We spent the last day with our boy, when it was our time all the kids were eating and I just gave him a quick kiss, told him I loved him and that was it. I was heartbroken. My husband and I came home changed. We 100% wanted to adopt now. We were heartbroken over Kamoga so we knew we wouldn’t adopt from Africa because we wanted him. We considered all options but international seemed like the best fit for us. My husbands family is Czech and as it turned out a new Czech Republic program had just opened. So we applied and got started. We have just now had all of our dossier paperwork translated into Czech and sent to the city of Brno, Czech Republic which is where we will be matched with a child. Because it is a new program and we are VERY flexible on our child age, sex and minor disabilities we are expected to get matched quickly and possibly even travel this summer!  Still, we just couldn’t shake Kamoga, I spent SO many nights just crying to my husband about how hard it was, how I worried if he was safe and I wanted to be there with him. After talking a lot about it we decided to fight for him. We truly feel like we are his caretakers and nothing will keep us from him. So for the last 4 months we are been in constant contact with his orphanage and him and after MONTHS of building a relationship of trust with the “mama” she has finally agreed to let us move Kamoga to another orphanage so we can start an official adoption. Now this might not sound like a big deal, but it is a mountain moved, friends. The Mama sending a message saying “We are the best thing that has ever happened to Kamoga and she couldn’t stop us” was one of the best days for me ever. My heart melted and I felt like I could breath for the first time since we left him. So this is where we are now, we are just waiting on our call from the Czech Republic that we have a child and in the next couple of weeks we are hoping Kamoga will be moved to his new temporary home in hopes that’s where we will soon be getting him from to bring him to his forever home in Texas! Our story is not ordinary, we will be celebrating American holidays, Ugandan holidays and Czech holidays, there will be years of our children’s lives that we missed out on, but we get the rest of their lives and we can’t imagine life any other way now…



You can help the Zaruba family here.


  1. Bianca:
    on May 30, 2014 at 5:50 am said:

    This story is so beautiful! May God bless this amazing family. You have so much love to give.

  2. on May 30, 2014 at 11:04 am said:

    I love hearing how the Lord opened her husband’s heart to consider fatherhood in a new way… My husband has never really considered anything other than biological children, so I am hopeful that God will change his heart. 🙂

Leave A Comment

*required fields