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

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Friday, April 29, 2011


It must be nesting . . .   (if in doubt as to what on earth I'm talking about, you can read here: http://www.mamashealth.com/pregnancy/nesting.asp  )

Yeah, it sure feels like it . . . except I wouldn't say I have a surge of energy physically . . . but mentally . . . my brain is racing with a gazillion things I want done, NEED done . . . MUST GET DONE . . .

Sorted through Chad's clothing today and bagged up his too-small-items. I have two of the Gymboree drawstring bags full. Anyone local-ish interested in them for a donation to Kastya's adoption account? There are all kinds of things ranging from dress clothing to every day to socks and underwear. Mostly 5-6 in size.

Painting is going on too . . . The bathroom is changing from the blue it was to a warm peachy/yellow color. I can't wait till it's all finished! Charity helped me figure out how to change the two pictures on the wall to something in line with our new decor. I was commenting that the framed (thrift store) fish weren't going to fit in any more, but I didn't want to spend the money to get something new, NOR did I want to wait till who knows when I might find something suitable at the thrift store. Charity reminded me that we could tear the paper backing from the frames, pop out the fish pictures and put in a sheet of scrapbooking paper that would fit with the decor. I loved the idea, and it will be quite like we can find something suitable in our stash of scrapbooking papers. If not . . . I'll wait for a sale and snag one for pennies. The frames are a white wood so perfectly suitable for the new look without any to-do.

And . . . believe it or not . . .when I went to buy paint for the dining room and kitchen, in spite of attempting to slightly change the color, I ended up with something that was very nearly the same! It's so close it's hard to tell where it was painted and where it was not. At least it will be fresh and clean looking, and the bleed-throughs and the chips will be dealt with. And . . . the other good thing is that we are getting a good thorough cleaning with dragging every thing out and sweeping behind it and wiping down the corners and all that goes along with painting. So it's all good . . . and yes, it does feel like nesting. I think I am nesting. Why wouldn't I be??? In two weeks from tomorrow . . . we are heading for Katya!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

So Many Things . . . .

There are so many things keeping me busy lately . . . . in just slightly over TWO WEEKS we leave for Katya's country. Can you believe it?! The time is almost here! And I feel almost frantic at all that needs to be done before we leave!!! I haven't even started on the major things that need done just because the day to day life stuff seems to be keeping me so busy!!

On top of every thing else, dear friends of ours desperately need work, so we have been hiring them to do a few painting projects around the house. We are REALLY glad to be getting those things done, but it wasn't on the agenda to do *now* originally.

One  those projects is painting our main bathroom that had to have the ceiling replaced due to the sheet rock molding . . . NOT a good thing. We think that the house had some defective sheetrock, because not only did the bathroom ceiling mold all along the edges where the ceiling and wall met, we had several spots in the kitchen area develop "bleed through" spots that were yellow and appeared to some what blister the pain off  . . . No amount of scrubbing would clear it up, and it was ugly. It is now properly covered with Killz, and tomorrow the repainting of the dinning room and kitchen is to begin. Hopefully all the painting will be finished up next week and we can put the house back to rights.

Then there is some necessary shopping. Paul's wardrobe in particular is in sad need of some help before we go, and since he needs a pair of comfortable walking shoes and some pants . . . he needs to go shopping with me. He's been working LONG hours each day or else is out of town working, so shopping hasn't happened. It's got to happen SOON, or  . . . we will have a problem!

Then, there are the Hallmark Recordable Books . . .  http://www.hallmark.com/online/in-stores/storybooks/recordable-storybooks/  I purchased one for Kristina and one for Chad with coupons. But to try to find the time to record them when neither child is around . . . . OUCH!  I'm starting to feel the pressure mounting. And yes, I am bound and determined that each of my two littles will have Mommy record one of those books for them because I know having me gone for 3 weeks is going to be very hard on both of them short of a divine miracle. They never have been gone from me for more than one week, and both of them thought that was hard enough.

And there is present wrapping (just mainly small things picked up at the Dollar Tree or similar . . . ) so the children will have a couple of presents a week that they can choose to open if they are having a particularly stressful day while we are gone. Even though it's only a few presents per kid per week, it adds UP !!!

And a photo book for Miss Katya . . . . (yes, I feel more pressure--but maybe I can delegate this job to Charity and Kristina?).

And then there is making a book of maps, phone numbers, a schedule etc. for our baby-sitter. (Yup, this is one that Mom needs to do--not much delegating of this one.)

And lining up all the small details ahead of time for being out of the country for a solid stretch--paying bills ahead, making sure that the cupboards are stocked, clothing needs of all the kiddoes met so hopefully there is not frustration for the sitters etc.

Deep breath. Deep breath.

In the midst of all this, I want to keep my eyes on The One Who Has Called Us to Katya. And to focus on praying for her heart and our hearts to be ready to be connected. You can help us pray about that too. It's pretty important!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

1The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
2It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
3Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
4Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
7And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
8And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
9No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
10And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Someone asked me if we had any verses that we especially identified with Katya. I very quickly started to have Isaiah 35, verse 1 pop into my mind. I went and looked it up and thought that the rest would be worth sharing too.  There are verses in there that are meaningful as I think about the aodption process we are personally passing through. But here's the part that makes me think about Katya--"  . . the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blooms abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God." I know these verses are not referring specifically to an individual, but to me they feel applicable. I believe that Katya will unfold as a person, just as a rose does, when she gets the proper medical attention and the love and support of a family. Do I think that she's going to be able to become typical? I don't know--and does that really matter?? Maybe . . . a little bit . . . but in the long-term scheme of life . . .not, not really. What IS important is that she be given a chance to be as much as she can be with God's help . . . and that is what we are going to strive for!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Some Goodies FOR SALE

Here's some of the goodies left from the auction for sale! (Yes, we have more--once these sell!) ALL ITEMS WERE DONATED to us, and we make no claims about them other than what we can observe with our eyes. Selling these items also does not imply our endorsement of any item . . . Buy and use with your own good judgement!

All proceeds after shipping will go to Katya's fund to help bring her home!

Size 4 Carhartt girl's outfit. Top out of 95% cotton and 5% spandex. Jeans have cute color cordinating embroidery on the pockets that does not show in this photo along with a heart-shaped hook for the top of the pants, and elastic button tab waist. Brand new, with tags. Sale price on just the shirt is $13.99 and $18.99 sale price on the pants. Anyone think that asking $24.00 bucks is unfair?! If so, tell me why, and make an offer. (Remember that the $24.00 includes shipping!)

Leopard print bag made by a local seamstress of excellence in her non-smoking home. She donated many bags to the sale, and they went like hot-cakes! There are just a few left. I'm not totally sure of the fabric, but it feels like a cotton or cotton blend, with ribbon straps.  Completely lined in hot pink like the outside pocket.

Asking $12.00

Denim Bag also by the seamstress. $12.00

 Super cute hair band that came in the Saturday mail after the fundraiser was done.
 It looks like the felt shifted leaving a bit of glue showing, so I'm suggesting that you make an offer on this. Head band is still cute, and I imagine most little girl's would happily wear this for every day. Made to resemble a Matroishka doll, it's one of the cutest headband ideas I have ever seen! Please remember to include shipping with your offer! And no reasonable offer will be refused.

Cute hearts headband donated by the same person as the headband above. This one is in great condition, and would delight any little girl looking for some new spring accessories! Asking $8.00

Gorgeous hair clip! $5.00

We Interrupt This Broadcast . . .

 . . . to announce that we have a date!!!! A VERY IMPORTANT DATE !!!

YES! We have a date to meet with the officials responsible for adoptions in Katya's birth country! We will be there at 9:00 a.m. God willing on May 17th!!

That means we will be leaving the country on May 15th.

God did three wonderful things in 24 hours.

#1. He worked out baby sitting for us for the first trip. ;-) That was something we were praying very hard about the last few weeks.

#2. Last night we received a very sizeable donation--check out the therm on the right of the blog! It took a $3,000 leap!! There's a really neat story behind that too . . . about a young couple with many young children who began to pray and ask God to help us with our adoption process, and to ask Him how they could help. Struggling themselves with finances often, they didn't see any way humanely speaking, but they knew God and His power. And God, knowing their heart's desires, heard and graciously answered them. They were unexpectedly blessed financially, and passed the blessing on to us last night! People . . . we serve an AWESOME God who answers when His people begin to seek His face for orphans! (I know--you have never heard that from me before, right? WRONG! :-) )

#3. So, after I got the donation last night, I called a friend and we laughed together at God's provisions with the kind of laughter that comes deep from within when you realize that God has done something that you knew He was capable of . . . and it's just so neat to see HOW He actually did it, right?! Then I said, "We must be soon ready to go, because God never goes around dumping money in our laps until right about when we need it!"
So honestly, I really was NOT surprised this a.m. when the phone rang and it showed the name of someone who is assisting with our adoption process. I fully expected to be given our appointment date--and I was! ;-)
May 17th at 9:00 p.m. So now the real flurry begins . . . and yes, I'm all teary eyed at the thought of seeing Katya again . . . can't wait . . . can't wait . . .

Realistically, we still need in the neighborhood of around $6 or $7 thousand dollars yet but we still have some fundraiser items to sell on the blog (yes, yes . . . I haven't forgotten those of you who are just about drooling at the chance to see what is left! Pictures and prices will be coming!) AND I have no doubt in my mind that God is going to make sure that money is there when we need it.

Was all that news worth interrupting the fundraiser posts for ?? It was?? I thought so. (Smiles smugly and walks off . . . )

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Fundraiser Post Part 1

As announced previously, we had a fundraiser for Katya on Saturday. Many good people donated, and many good people turned up to help prepare!

There was a lot of bustle setting up, but in Maria and Ann's capable hands, it was all organized and decent.
Just a small peek at the many, many lovely items for auction. We had over 70 items--I lost track finally of how many there were because more kept coming in!

Miss Amy designed lovely cards for the tables, and added to the fun for children with colorful candies in spring colors.

Under Kim's capable hands, and with the great help from her friends, the food was delicious! Spaghetti, green beans, salad, rolls, and home-made desserts galore!

A shot of some of the people milling around. . .  . or eating.

And see the helium tank on the table there?? Well . . . that was one funny thing . . . for those of you who enjoy the humorous angle . . . When the teen boys were filling the balloons to take out for the signs . . . a handful got away and sailed to the 20 feet or so high ceiling!

Umm, they were SUPPOSED to be outside helping attact attention, boys! Not up on the ceiling! Fortunately, someone knew where to get a very tall ladder and they were all safely collected and delivered to the faithful sign holding teen boys! (I hope they know how VERY much we appreciate their efforts!)

Hand's Of Praise, a sign language choir from The Anchor Church, performed some of their songs at various times throughout the afternoon for the people who came out.

Since we know Katya realistically may need to learn sign language to communicate with us, we felt like this was an especially appropriate touch! I'm so thankful that they were willing to help in this way!

Also, Charity's violin teacher, and Charity played "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" together. (Thank you, Mr. S!)

And someone captured this photo of Charity! You can clearly see the joy that violin playing brings in this snap shot.

Kristina played a piano piece. Love the look of concentration on her face. ;-) I thought it was especially poignant to have her participating in the fundraiser for her sister-to-be, given that about 5 years ago people were praying and helping raise funds for her adoption! So thankful for God's provisions then, and trusting Him for NOW too.

Charity and Amy played "Be Thou My Vision" together. Sounded lovely! Hard to believe that just a few short years ago these lovely young ladies were little girls running around playing dolls together! Now, gracious and lovely young women, making a difference in the world--advocating for a child who needs a family!

Amy on her guitar--and Kristina on the drums (although Kristina doesn't show in this photo).

And a big shout-out to the Johnston sisters who each played a piano piece! We really appreciated their help too!

To be continued . . . .

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Katya In the News

There's a story behind this, about how GOD orchestrated it that a reporter from WHIZ would call US seeking an interview (!!!) but I'm way too weary to tell it tonight . . .   so for now, enjoy the link--and I will try to tell more another day.


In the interview, I'm showing them the photo book I made (FREE) about our trip in 2009 to Katya's orphanage. I thought that they did a pretty good job! I'm grateful to WHIZ for caring about Katya.

Friday, April 1, 2011


The long awaited day arrived . . . we are submitted! That means that the Documents--our paper baby--that was so carefully sent over to Katya's birth country-- was translated, and now officially turned in to the officials responsible for adoptions! That is a huge, huge, important step in this journey to our sweet daughter of the heart!

And no, that's no April Fool's joke! The only thing is?? It happened yesterday--we just didn't know FOR SURE until today. We knew last week already that it was supposed to happen yesterday, but we weren't saying anything till we received official confirmation.

Thank God for this important step, and praying for two major things:
 #1. A baby sitter for the children and  #2. Money, Money, Money.

"All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided, Great is They Faithfulness, Lord unto me!"