"We are going to focus on LIFE for Katya. I believe, one day, she will amaze the world."

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thinking . . . .

 . . . that I'm so grateful for those who prayed for our health and well-being. The children all woke up amazingly improved this morning over what they were when they went to bed. And so far the rest of us are well still--please keep praying for health.

 . . . that it's encouraging to see the total climbing on the thermemter to the right of the blog. Have you noticed that it's climbing?? And soon I will be able to add to it the amount we raised in the Pampered Chef fundraiser--around $80 or so my friend tells me.

 . . . that even though I had thought I'd be sewing some clothing that I thought my children needed before Christmas (bigger PJ's for Chad and a few things for Kristina--like a much needed denim skirt), I'm willing to let them do without a little longer. Why?? So that I can devote my time to crafting for the FUNDRAISER FOR KATYA. Yes, I dearly love my current children and want to meet their needs. But at this point, her needs are greater than theirs, and she has been waiting OVER FIVE YEARS for someone to care about *her* needs and to DO SOMETHING. My children are used to having their needs met--they understand being patient and waiting.

 . . . that I'm very grateful for the help of Charity, Kristina and yes, even Chad, as we try to prepare for something that is new--something that pushes us out of our comfort zones--the craft fundraiser! Kristina has been stringing beads on wire for a project Charity is working on--Chad wanted SOOO much to help and was sad that he couldn't, so Kristina put him to work picking out the bead colors (beads are strung randomly). The finished product will be a spider ornament for trees. Katya's birth country has a nice story about spiders on trees, and so we have hung a spider on our "New Year's Tree" for the last two years as we prayed for her.  (We do a New Year's Tree to honor our Dd's Russian traditions, rather than a Christmas tree.)  Charity is hoping to make at least 6 of these ornaments to sell at the craft bazaar.

 . . . that we would still appreciate a lot of prayers going up for strength and speedy hands. We are running out of TIME . . . and it's easy for me to start feeling panicky and like we don't have enough stuff to even be worth trying to sell it . . . that people will not buy  . . . or will grumble about our prices . . . I KNOW Satan is trying to discourage us. I don't want to be discouraged! I want to be full of faith and courage!

The song below, "How Firm a Foundation" is one that has been a comfort to me during some hard times in life . . . tonight as I was searching through my mental bank for a song that would encourage me, this one came to me again. I tried to get it to display in this post, but it's determined tonight to do it's own thing. Enjoy it anyway!

How Firm a Foundation

Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting Ready for the Craft Bazaar

Charity and I have been digging out fabrics and other items from our stash, scratching our heads, running our tongues, and generally trying to figure things out for the items we want to make to take to the craft bazaar. I feel like God has been helping us--and Satan is surely doing his evil old best again to hinder!! Among other things like the scissors all going rapidly DULL and springs about wearing out cutting fleece, our local JoAnn's being shut over the weekend due to a death happening inside the store, not being able to get all the items I needed to purchase at a neighboring town's store and so forth, Charity came down ill with the flu, and Chad and Kristina followed in rapid pursuit. Now, I depend on Charity heavily for the projects we have planned, and I needed to be full of energy and rested to tackle it all. Instead I have been up nursing stuffy, miserable children and doling out repeated cups of warm tea.

We are way behind where we should be. We have only till Friday to work on these items, and we have other responsiblities and commitments taking up time this week too!

I know I'm always asking you to pray for us it seems; may I ask again?? Folks, we knew before we committed to working to bring Katya home that it would be a huge and fierce battle, more than likely. We have defintiely, definitely seen that. There is far more going on than what I can or should share publicly so much of the time . . . just believe me when I say that our family has been almost under constant attack since agreeing to become Katya's family.  We are NOT discouraged!!! Indeed, the more the enemy fights us, the more sure I am that we are doing exactly what God wants . . . otherwise, why would we be in the evil one's gun sights?! We are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but principalities and powers. And GOD will win. Amen!

We will press onward in God's strength . . .

My sweet daughter's hands knotting a fleece pillow cover.

The finished product . . . ready for sale on Friday!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


When we were at relatives over Thanksgiving, I made sure that our fundraiser quilt was taken along and photographed. I hope the following photos will bring us a buyer for this lovely 100% cotton fabric, hand-quilted quilt. We purchased the fabric, and kind friends helped to create and quilt this lovely set. It is brand new, and stored in our non-smoking home.

The set includes the Queen/King sized quilt, 2 matching pillow shams, and two pillowcases. In addition, I am throwing in the leftover fabrics--there is a good bit of the red left that could be used to make a bedside table cover or perhaps a valance for a window, or some additional pillows. There's a bit of white left that could be incorporated, and some of the "points" like you will see around the edges of the pillows (and also on all the edges of the quilt EXCEPT for the top edge that goes up around your face--we didn't want people feeling "tickled" every time they pulled the covers up. The back of the quilt is the solid red, and would work well as a "Christmas quilt, and the top looks festive for any time of year, but perhaps especially so for a 4th of July lover. ;-)

I personally love the color combo (after all, I chose it!) so I hope someone else out there likes it enough to purchase it for the worthy cause of helping to bring a little girl who so longs for another kiss HOME to her Mommy who will gladly kiss her many times a day! Long time readers of my personal blog will recogize the reference to the event I related after I was home from our missions trip--for those who don't know, I will quickly explain. We were allowed to come to Katya's gruppa the last day so the Drs. could work on her while she was laying down resting during nap time. She was wide awake, but laid quietly in her bed. I had stayed down in the downstairs praying for them while they worked, but after they were done, they came and got me and took me up saying that they wanted me to tell her "Good-bye" since she was awake. I pulled the covers up around her little shoulders, leaned down and kissed her cheek as I told her again in her language that I loved her and good-bye. She looked up at me with the MOST PLEADING LOOK in her blue, blue eyes and then made little kissing motions with her lips! I leaned over, kissed her several more times, and she looked happy and satisfied. That tears at your heart-strings?? Yeah, mine too. Enough so that I want this beauty to sell--and FAST . . . . There's a little girl waiting for her Mommy and Daddy!

So, the quilt set!

And now the pillowcases and pillow shams!

Turned down and just waiting for whoever is ready for a good night's sleep!
Doesn't it look nice against the lovely headboard that my brother-in-law made?!

Contact us if you are interested in buying this quilt set to help bring Katya home to her Mommy and Daddy, brothers and sisters! We are asking $1,000 and that includes shipping to any state in the "lower 48". If you are in Alaska or Hawaii, please expect additional shipping charges.
We realize this is a lot of money, however, as we said, we personally purchased all the fabric that went into this, the quilt set is hand quilted, and it IS for a fundraiser. We are trusting that God will bring this quilt to the attention of whoever He knows can afford to buy it. Feel free to help by spreading the word on your blogs, facebook and via emails. We will also be putting the set out for sale at our craft bazaar the weekend of December 3 and 4th so if you are local to us, look for it there if it hasn't already sold here!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Home Study

We officially received our rough draft of the homestudy to look over and make any notes or corrections on before it goes to be reviewed by the stateside helpers! This has been a fast homestudy for us. I think the 3rd time is the "charm", eh?? All that previous experience helped us to speed it up?!

But seriously, some of it was nothing short of a God-thing. Todd's fingerprints were done on the 10th of November--and the agency had them back by the 12 of November! Seriously folks . . no joke!! That doesn't normally happen . . . ("Thank you so very much, God!!")

We are currently working on pulling together every thing to send in to USCIS as soon as we have our homestudy to hitch a ride with it. We will be spending over $1,000 just in USCIS and FBI fingerprinting fees. All of that money will stay here in the US of A.

Don't forget--the Pampered Chef fundraiser (see the tab at the top of the blog labeled Pampered Chef fundraiser) is ending on MONDAY the 29th! Your help is so appreciated! We love Katya and can not wait to get her home . . .

Sunday, November 21, 2010

We Are Grateful

Moments after posting my last blog post, I was contacted by a reader of my blog, and told that they would happily pay us $100 for the afghan--one one condition--that we kept it!! As soon as we receive their check, the fundraising thermometer will be updated to reflect that amount.

I can not tell you HOW blessed and grateful we are for this. To be able to keep that afghan that my Great Aunt crocheted for Katya is very, very special to us! My Great Aunt knows and her daughter has told us how happy it made her to know that it raised money for Katya AND that Katya will get to keep some of her handwork.

Thank you to our kind reader . . . . there are good people in this world . . . we are blessed to be in touch with so many of you through the wonderful medium of the 'net!! God bless our reader who was so willing to be sacrificial for the sake of a child.

STAY TUNED--the next item coming up for sale is a QUILT, PILLOW SHAMS, and PILLOW CASES that all go together!! Again, these were items that were prepared for our adoption attempt of Kristina's friend, and when that fell through, we kept them since we were pretty sure God wasn't done adding to our family quite yet. I believe God saw and knew that we wouldn't have a lot of time to raise funds for this adoption, so He prepared a few items for us to have on hand and readily available.


And now, major, major prayer request:

It's been announced officially that the vote in Ukra*ne pertaining to adoption and the adoption process is slated for their offical meeting that is to take place December 14-17. Please, please be covering this vote in prayer . . . the lives of so many kids are in the balance here if the vote goes through as currently written!! Remember, it is slated to completely STOP all adoptions--even those in process--if it goes through as written while the country reformats it's adoption process to a Hague compliant only status. It is unknown how long this moratorium could last, but even a single month is too long (and having watched adoption for a handful of years now, I would guess that a month is a very, very minimal estimate--6 months or more could easily be more realistic, in my opinion.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

We Need Your Help

As those of you who have hung around people adopting, or been involved in adoption yourselves know, an adoption is NOT cheap. Katya's adoption is projected to cost around $25,000.00. Yes, Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars. Hopefully it will be less than that, but we need to be prepared for approximately that amount.

Sometimes people think that the money is all going to Katya's birth country, and feel shock and maybe some horror. Let me quickly put that idea to rest. MUCH of the money stays right here in our dear US of A in the form of homestudy fees, medical exams, fingerprinting, USCIS fees, authentication fees, apostilling fees, and Fed-Ex fees. Then of course there is the the whole thing of airfare . . . much of which stays right here in this country too! Just our bills for the STATE REQUIRED physicals for the six of us was over $500! And yes, every penny of that has come out of our pocket--that was *after* insurance. While so far we have been able to keep up with the expenses, things are about to get even MORE expensive quickly. We have more physicals required for Paul and myself (these are required by Katya's birth country and involve different forms and procedures than the state-mandated physicals). We also begin collecting more documents, which involves more money.

And  . . . ever ahead of us looms the cost of airfare, lodging and food while we are in-country for a number of weeks. Also the "program fees" that are paid to the people who will be assisting and representing us while we are in Katya's country. They work hard helping parents, and deserve to eat as much as any of us do when we work!

While I'm not stressing too much over the money, I know we DO need to keep working hard to try to collect the funds. I have been racking my brain trying to come up with fundraisers that are feasible for me as a busy homeschool Mama. I'm not a door-to-door sales woman, and my teens have flat out refused to attempt doing that again, as it doesn't seem to work well in this part of the world. (Trust me, we tried in the past multiple times when we were trying to adopt Kristina's best friend in Russia!) Trying to pick up a part-time job was something else I considered, and then finally rejected . . . my children still need me too much to attempt that and expect it to have any good ending. Our fundraisers are doing a little bit, but it's not enough. Not enough fast enough. Our state's economy is poor, and I definitely see how it affects our fundraisers.

Thanks to a homeschooling friend that is a jewel, a group that is doing a fundraiser got in touch with us this week to see if we would like to participate in THEIR fundraiser. For a $10.00 donation to THEIR cause, we can have a place to set up a table and sell baked goods and craft items on the 3 and the 4th of December--and we can keep the money from what we sell.

 am excited about this new possibilty God has opened up for us! I don't know how much we'll be able to come up with to sell for two days in the short amount of time we have, but I'm trusting that God will guide us to what would be most profitable to sell, and then provide customers.

Back when we were attmepting to adopt Kristina's best friend (which fell through when Kristina's friend was placed with a foster family in her own country), my Great Aunt donated an afghan she designed and crocheted herself to us, in hopes that it would help raise funds for that adoption.

She was all of 89 years old when she crocheted the afghan, and when she gave it to us, she was 93 and still living independently!

With her permission, we are now listing that afghan for sale here on our blog. When it sells, all proceeds after shipping will go to help with Katya's adoption expenses.

Isn't it lovely?!

Chad thought it was really warm and cozy!

This lovely afghan is approximately 50 inches wide, and around 73 inches long. It is machine wash and dry, made from acrylic yarn. The colors are bright and vivid just as shown in the top photo. (The one with Chad is not true to color!)

This afghan is very special because this year my Great Aunt had a stroke and is no longer able to crochet. So it would be easy to keep it . . . but I want Katya more. My Great Aunt is no longer able to easily communicate with us due to her stroke, but she knows we are in the process of trying to adopt again, and has sent her prayers and best wishes wending their way to us through her daughter who cares for her now. Aunt Eunice said that she thinks we should get at least $50.00 for the afghan. What do you think we should get?? I'm going to open it up to my readers and ask for a suggested price!

And yes, even if you give me your suggested price, I still need your help . . . for one more thing . . . will you help pray and spread the word about this blog so that others can find it?? Who knows who the buyer for this afghan will be . . . hopefully someone who will cherish this afghan that was so carefully made and donated for the love of a child who needs a family!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dreaming of Katya

This past Saturday morning I had a very vivid dream about Katya. I dreamed that Paul and I had gone officially to meet her. For some reason, the orphanage had the policy of putting the adoptive parents in the gruppa (group) with the children (yeah, right--in my dreams!). I know from being at Katya's orphanage with the medical missions team that the tiny toddler beds in Katya's gruppa would never accomodate an adult, but hey, it was a dream, and in the dream, the beds were twin sized. So Paul was given his own bed off in the corner of the room, and I was told to share Katya's bed with her. She went to sleep curled up in my arms, and we woke that way together when the orphanage director and the staff came in to talk with us briefly . . . After the staff talked with us, they went on their way and we were supposed to get dressed and then play with Katya. As we were playing with Katya, she began to run around the room and gathered up all the little purses she could find and brought them to me. I began to say, "Purse, Kayta" and would slowly enunciate the word over while encouraging her to watch my mouth. (Much as I have done for the last few years as we have helped our youngest bio learn to talk since it was not something that came easily for him.) After a few times of me modeling for her, Katya began to attempt to make the sounds of the word "purse". It was obvious that it took tremendous effort and concentration for her, but finally something that was close to it came jerkily and brokenly out. I began to praise her and a huge look of fear and distress came over her face and she curled into a fetal ball on the floor. I was already kneeling on the floor beside her, and so I began to use the sensory calming techniques with her that I know . . . and as I did that and talked lovingly and soothingly to her, she slowly began to uncurl and relax, and the fear left her face little by little. I was SOOO excited at the progress I'd seen with her that I woke myself up. . . . and could still feel her weight from the dream in my arms all the rest of the day . . . .

It was a really vivid dream and realistic in some ways (ignore us sleeping with the gruppa--that was so NOT!) and I have not forgotten it . . .

God willing, someday soon I will hold her again in my arms . . . .  Please keep praying for the adoption process, for the funds, for the doors to remain wide open for adoption in Katya's country. . . .  God knows how my heart years for Katya to join our family and to grow and blossom . . .

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Good News

In answer to the specific prayers we requested, ALL our fingerprint clearances are back--even Todd's which was just done on the 10th of this month--the day he turned 18! That is fabulously fast for this area. . . so I know God's hand was on that.

Our SW reports that he hopes to have the rough draft of our home study ready for me to puruse yet this week, and then hopes to sign off on it shortly thereafter. This is good news--very good news indeed!! That will mean we were able to get our homestudy done in less than 3 months--a personal record for us. Guess the third time was the ticket, eh?! All that practice . . . we must be getting faster?! (Some of it honestly was that we were able to get in to our family Doctor sooner for physicals than previously. It seems that the slower economy means he is no longer needing to book routine physicals as much as 6 weeks or more in advance! Also, alot of our documentation was on hand from previous times so not so much time needed for that . . . and we knew how to contact the fire inspector directly this time instead of fighting for weeks trying to get someone who would connect us with him! It all makes a big difference in terms of speed.

I'm working hard on trying to figure out what our next steps need to be in terms of obtaining the many documents Katya's' country requires. While they require less it seems overall than Russia required for Kristina's adoption, some of the requirements are going to require some interesting hoop jumping here in our country, since officials are not used to the requests for certain documents. Our family would earnestly entreat your prayers on that angle, as we feel burdened to be able to get this DONE in a timely manner due to the concern we feel about Katya's physical condition.

Our family also would like to ask if you would continue to pray with us about the finances. The amount of time left to raise the money we need for airfare, lodging while in Katya's country etc.  feels VERY slim--but we do not want to give in to fear. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of faith and love and a sound mind. We will do whatever we can personally--saving like misers, pinching our pennies, fundraising, selling items and so on. But even with all of our efforts, I know God will still need to intervene miraculously. We know He did it for Kristina's adoption, and we are trusting Him. He is worthy of our trust.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Sobering, Yet Encouraging, Read

What does the November 17 Woman's Day magazine have to do with our adoption of Katya?! Well, there is a very sobering, yet encouraging true story in it called "Saving Jordan" with a subheading that reads, "My son, the Internet, and a diagnosis that changed his sisters life" by Tammy Harrow. I encourage anyone who cares about Katya and her adoption process to get and read it.

Read it, bearing in mind that one of Katya's diagnosises IS craniosynostosis, just like little Jordan's in the account by her Mom. Jordan's situation was blown off and totally missed by her pediatrician. When she was almost 2 years old, her older brother "diagnosed" her condition by searching for clues on the internet. Eventually they ended up under the skilled hands of Dr. Ben Carson, the world famous surgeon. (Ever read "Gifted Hands"? If not, may I recommend it most strongly to you?!)

Incredible pressure had built up in Jordan's brain due to the deformity of her skull plates, and the day after her first CT scan, Dr. Carson called Jordan's family to give them the bad news and let them know that surgery was urgently needed.

3 days after the surgery, she began to spontaneously TALK. In days she was talking like a normal 2 year old. "All the words just came flooding out, as if they had been stuck in her head the whole time. Dr. Carson told us she was now able to to speak because the pressure had been released from the frontal lobe of her brain."

Chills run up and down my body and tears fill my eyes as I type those words. Friends, Katya has no speech the last we knew. The Doctor who examined Katya in Ukraine told me that one of the major depressions in her head is above the speech center of the brain, and she was theorizing that once that was fixed, Katya would be able to learn to speak. This Woman's Day article gives me hope, but also makes me realize the URGENCY of Katya's situation in a deeper and fuller way.

Please pray for the door to stay open for Katya's adoption. Pray that her life can be spared--that she can come HOME to Mommy and Daddy and her siblings and have the procedures she needs to fix her head so that she too can be free from the pressure on her little brain. . . . Please, will you pray with me? Spread the word about Katya and our blog. Ask people to check out our Pampered Chef fundraiser or consider donating through our FSP page on Reece's Rainbow.  http://reecesrainbow.org/sponsordueck  Katya too needs to be given a chance to have a way to communicate with others!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I Know I Said . . .

I know I said that we weren't going to be buying Katya a lot of clothing ahead of time. Far too much is uncertain in the world of international adoption--and esp. so right now with Katya's country.

But yesterday Charity and I stopped in at a store after her violin lesson to look for a skirt for Charity (big fat fail) and Charity spotted something on a sale rack that she thought HAD to come home with us for Katya.

I took a good hard look and got all teary-eyed, and we dug through several racks till we found the largest size they had--a 8. And it came home with us.

Isn't that the sweetest outfit ever for a little blue-eyed, blond haired miss?!  Charity says that she always thinks of pink as being Katya's favorite color, because by far the best picture we have ever seen of her is the one that is of her in the pink dress--the photo I took when I was at her orphanage on a medical missions trip in Sept. of '09.

In reality, maybe Katya doesn't like pink at all . . . Who really knows?? I guess that is one of the many MYSTERIES we will get to discover when KATYA GETS HOME!

We need help to GET KATYA HOME! Please don't forget to check out the tab at the top of the blog which will take you to our Pampered Chef fundraiser!

We don't have a lot of time any more. We are PRAYING AND HOPING to be able to submit our documents as fast as possible. If we can go by the "normal" time-frame, we could be traveling as soon as March. That's not a lot of time to finish raising the funds we need, esp. over the holidays. Your prayers about that are appreciated, as is your help in spreading the news about our blog. Time is of an essence for Katya. she needs to get HOME so we can start addressing whatever the issues are behind her head deformity, and her lack of speech. (I hope to devote a later blog post to that whole issue.)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lots of Small, But Eventful Things . . .

We have had several "small" but really eventful things happen in the last few days.

#1 isn't really so small, though it's probably small in the overall adoption process. But our initial batch of documents were submitted--and accepted IN SPITE OF A STRANGE SNAFU (which was out of our control) with an aspect of the paperwork that normally would have caused huge issues! ALOT of prayers were sent up regarding that particular problem by many people. God graciously answered, and the paperwork was accepted as it was. THANK YOU GOD!

#2. Word is being sent to the Director of Katya's orphanage about our intentions to adopt her. Since the medical team and I seemed to establish some good rapport with the orphanage staff last year when we were there, I felt it was very important that the Director know that we ARE working hard to get to Katya. I hope it put joy into her heart. She's a good woman, I believe, and truly cares for the children in her charge.

#3. Todd turned 18 this week and was duly fingerprinted as part of our home study process. That means we have now completed all that we can do for the home study process, as far as I know.

Now for some prayer requests:

#1. Pray for the clearances to come back QUICKLY so our home study can be wrapped up.

#2. Please continue to pray for our fundraisers, and spread the word about our fundraisers. We are hoping and praying to be able to submit come Feb. and the time to raise funds is VERY limited, esp. in light of all that we have going on. I am not alarmed--I know God knows where the cattle on a thousand hills are, and I know He knows FULL WELL exactly where the cash is too! Praise Him!

#3. There are some complications with getting some of the paperwork we need for our dossier. People that we can't control need to cooperate for us to accomplish what Katya's country requires. Pray that God will direct us and give us wisdom, and help us to find favor with the right officials.

#4. And this is a minor prayer request, but important nonetheless. Please pray that God will lead us to the right vehicle for our family, as we will need a larger one with the addition of Katya to our family.

Thank you!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Matter of Urgent Prayer

I've been debating the best way to share the urgent prayer request that our family has had for the last week or so as it concerns Katya's adoption. I couldn't come up with a good way--what good way is there when someone who you care so deeply about is at risk of losing their one chance for a family?

An online friend, Julia, who I very much respect and admire, has done it for me. I don't need now to sit here with tears streaming, fighting to hammer out a post that will convey the urgent need. You can go read Julia's post. We are one of those 70 families mentioned in the post. Pray for the kids. Pray for the families in progress, that the funds will come in quickly, that the paperwork will fall together fast . . . And is it selfish to ask you to pray specifically for Katya? No? I didn't think so. Thank you!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

All I Really Want for Christmas

Having started reading the book, "Choosing to SEE" by Mary Beth Chapman last night (thanks, Library, for having it!) I was interested to see one of my Facebook friends post a song I'd not heard of before by Steven Curtis Chapman on her FB tonight. Now, I don't try to keep up with all of his songs, so it's not totally surprising that I didn't recognize it, I suppose. However, I do tend to sort of keep an eye and ear on his adoption related songs, so it surprised me just a trifle that I hadn't even HEARD of it before.

I'm warning you, if you haven't heard it before either, like yours truly, get out your tissues. Because you will need them.

God willing, by next Christmas, Katya will be HOME with what she most wants--a family. We are not a financially rich family by many people's standards, (although we have enough!), but I think we are rich in what counts by God's standards--God's LOVE for her. Laughter. And full of passion for supporting our kids in their journey growing into the people God has planned for them to be.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

By Faith

There is a chapter in Heberews that reads like this:  "By faith . . . . "   "By faith . . .  " and it goes on to recite after each "By Faith" the name of a real live person and tells what they accomplished or did for God BY FAITH. In case you want to look it up in your Bible, it's Hebrews 11: and is sometimes called "The Faith Chapter". You can also go read it here: http://kingjbible.com/hebrews/11.htm 

Tonight as I pondered what to share with my blog readers, the topic of "faith" kept coming to me.

By faith in God and His calling, we have set out on the adoption journey to Katya.

By faith we have started fundraising, trusting God to do what seems impossible and raise the $25,000 or so that we are going to need to complete Katya's adoption.

By faith in God, we have started shelling out funds for our adoption process. The homestudy, fingerprinting, medical exams, authentications and apostilling and Fed-Ex fees to Katya's country. All told so far, ALOT OF MONEY.

By faith, we are choosing to trust God and His leading--even though we do not know for sure whether or not we will get to bring Katya home. We are only too painfully aware after having a previous adoption attempt fall through that we could be doing all of this with NO CHILD at the end. I will admit to you that at least some of us have struggled hard with this particular angle. It affects even how enthusiastic we feel about fundraising . . . . because it's easy to feel like we COULD be doing all of this for nothing. We have had to choose again and again to TRUST GOD and His purposes no matter what the outcome of this is.

And on a really personal level, by faith, we have made a decision to purchase a specific piece of clothing for Katya  . . .

See this sweet nightie? You can't tell it in this tiny photo, but the yoke is smocked and has embroidered gingerbread boys on it.

Gingerbread Cookie Pajama Gown

And this pair of PJ's?

Gingerbread Sweetie Two-Piece Gymmies<sup>™</sup>

By faith . . . . that nightie, and another one, and the coordinating PJ's are residing in a tucked away spot in our house. By faith, after much deliberating, we choose to purchase them (after we found a  great sale, of course!) By faith, we are trusting that next winter, Katya will be here with our family and wearing her gingerbread boy nightie and matching with Kristina in her gingerbread boy nightie,  and both of them coordinating with Chad in his PJ's.

I put several days of thought and conversation with Paul into the matter before we decided to go ahead and spring for it. We don't normally buy brand new nightgowns for the girl's as they are easy to sew. But we wanted to have coordinating for the potential 3 youngers  . . . we know Kristina will LOVE matching/coordinating, and hopefully Katya will too. Hopefully it will help to encourage a sense of identity with her new family  . . . . as I purchased this nightwear, it felt like I was holding it out as an offering of sorts to God . . . like a step of faith and obedience, yet knowing the hard, cold reality could be that Katya's nightie will never be worn by her. Pray God that isn't so, but I need to be realistic . . .

No, I don't plan to go shopping for a lot more clothing for her at this point . . . but I've got my symbol of faith and hope and courage . . . . that sweet little gingerbread boy nightie! "God, by faith, I am trusting You--that You can bring Katya home to live with us if You choose!"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blogging for Katya

This blog will be for all things Katya . . . keep checking back as I hope to blog regularly. ;-)

In the meantime, please be in prayers for the fund-raising and for Katya herself. I can not wait to see her again, God willing!