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

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Sunday, June 26, 2011


No longer an orphan, but a dearly loved and cherished daughter and sister! With great joy we welcome Katya Rose into our lives and soon to be, living with us in our home! For now, she's sleeping peacefully on a make-shift bed in an apartment in Uk*aine, after snuggling to sleep with Mommy. What an amazing thing to think about! In September of 2009, as I walked out of her life, I whispered into her ear, "Good-bye, Mommy loves Katya" in Russian, the language she understands. And for months . . . I could not tell her that again. . . I could only send her messages in my prayers and dreams . . . tonight .  . I could whisper it again and again and again into her little ears . . .  "Good-night, Katya, Mommy loves you!"
Thank You, Dear Father God, for saving one of the least of these . . . for rescuing her from the fate that awaited her without a Mommy and Daddy to love her, protect her, and fight for her best good. Thank you for giving her two sisters and two brothers who will love her and protect her and help her to bloom. . . and thank you for family and friends who have prayed for her and will continue to pray for her and love her no matter what. Thank you for the gift of Katya Rose to our family. Amen.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Praise Report!

We have had a lot of good things happen in the last few days! I can't share all of them here until I am home, but one very important one that I know a lot of people have been praying about with us I can share!

Photos from yesterday evening--check it out!

Quite a constrast from the miserable eyes she had on Friday  . . . and Mommy could press gently or firmly on her tummy every where and no flinching AT ALL!
That, friends is huge, as she was so protective of her tummy before we even when home for the 10 day wait, and would flinch at the lightest touch. And then came this past Friday with Katya writhing and crying when her tummy was accidentally pushed on in the course of trying to keep her safe in the car on our laps (no seat belts) and then how listless and still she got for the rest of the ride back to the orphanage, how she refused to drink her juice (which normally she greedily guzzled) and so on. I knew if she was still acting so "off" come Monday I would need to assert my rights as her Mother and check her out of the orphanage and obtain medical care for her. But it wasn't what I was wanting to have happen--for several reasons--one big one being that we could easily be here another week or more and this place is not set up for Katya and her special needs. It will be challenging enough to keep her happy and safe for just 3 or 4 days while we are completing the USA Embassy requirements and waiting to fly home!
So I'm so grateful to God for correcting whatever the problem was, even if it's a temporary correction! Would be nice if it was a permanent healing though! ;-) Thanks to all of you who have been interceding on Katya's behalf!
Also, Charity had a better night last night, in spite of us ending up needing to eat out twice yesterday.
At lunch time, the cleaning lady for the apartment showed up so we vacated the premises and walked to a nearby place to eat. The menu was entirely in cryllic with out any photos, so . . . um . . . how are we going to work this? Well, they sent us a waitress who knew some English, and she suggested a "meat soup" when I asked about soups. So meat soup and bread and water. . .  With someone practicing their vocals in an apartment above us as music for our meal.

The soup was very tasty, with plenty of tiny cubes of meat.

And we could actually download a book to our devices to read thanks to their free Wi-Fi.

The setting was extremely pleasant as it was one of the outdoor dining areas that are one of the things I so love about this city. Unlike the little tables thrown on a patio that pass for outdoor dining in my area at home, where the sun beats down on you, these dining areas are under big awnings, with window boxes full of flowers, and a nice wood floor and all the other things that make it feel elegant and comfortable.

The price was not terrible--Just over $17.00 USD for the two of us. However, when I tell you that I purchased close to a week's worth of groceries for the two of us, plus some juice boxes for Katya, for around $70 USD, and *that* included some chocolate to take home, a box of laundry soap, AND a magazine, you will quickly see why we are mostly fixing our own food and 'eating in'.

Supper was more expensive. I think honestly we were over charged. But I was tired enough by that point and distracted that I didn't catch it in time to have our friend challenge it. Umm, all I'm going to say about the price is: OUCH! Double OUCH! I'm sure what we had for lunch was a lot healthier for us and defintely WAYYY cheaper. But the uniforms on the Mc-employees here in town are neat  .  .  . way neater than in the USA! So I'm glad Charity got to see them . . .and since children were involved . . . McDonald's was where we needed to be last evening.

We are still waiting for paperwork to be processed before we can proceed with the USA Embassy requirements. We try to get to see Katya each day we can, and then fill in the rest of the time with reading books, Skyping friends, walking around the city, fixing food, cleaning up from fixing food, and doing laundry.

Specific Prayer Requests:
#1. For continued health and safety for all of us here, as well as our family back at home. We are currently split into three different locations which is hard on all of us, esp. as it means that right now for most of the week we are not able to Skype with Chad and Kristina. That is very difficult.

#2. For the paperwork to be processed in a timely manner, and for it to be done correctly.
#3. We may ask to change apartments due to the issues we are having still getting to the bus we need to get to Katya's town. Pray that if we are meant to do that the details would work out for us.
#4. Some specific unspoken requests.

And of course--PRAISE GOD that Katya was feeling so much better, and that Charity had a good night and is feeling fine this morning! ;-)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And Now Big Sister . . .

 . . . woke me up in the night at around 2:20 a.m with a hurting, upset tummy. Good thing we had charcoal and some Sonne #7 along. She spent time camped out in the bathroom just in case she vomited,  but when Charity last spoke to me she said she was starting to feel some better and would probably soon go back to bed.

However, that kind of nixed our plans to go see Katya this morning. It's almost 9:20 a.m. and Charity is still deeply asleep. I've been puting away dry laundry, hung up what was in the washer to dry, started a new load, did some tidying up, have opened various windows etc. and she's still OUT even though I've been stirring all around her. I'm thinking of going back to bed myself, as my night was rather interupted as Charity woke me a few times over the course of it.

I can't figure out what would have done it, as we cooked all our own food yesterday and I was/am fine. Who knows. . . just thankful we got her over it--and hopefully no more as she took our "emergency dose" of Sonne #7 and so that only leaves us charcoal in case of another event.
Yesterday our Sunday was different than we had thought. We weren't able to go to the church that we went to on our first trip as the pastor's wheels were unavailable to come pick us up. We hadn't found a working ATM yet to get more hrivna, so I didn't dare use a taxi to get to church and back. So we ended up walking to a park near by here. We sat on the bench and read our Bibles for awhile, had some discussion and then came "home" when the gnats drove us out. Thankfully in the course of our homeward walk, we ended up finding a wonderful, easy to use ATM at a slight angle across the street from our apartment! SCORE! Amazing how that took a weight of stress from my shoulders.

By that point it was late enough in the day here that we could catch part of a Sunday a.m. service from our local area via streaming internet while fixing our supper. ;-) So at least we got a little church! Thankful for that.
With the exception of a small Saturday evening supper eaten out, we have been cooking our own food. We are eating simply, using local produce that is in season, and fixing one pan meals pretty much. There are NO cooking utensils such as spatulas or stirring spoons in this apartment, so that makes our cooking a bit interesting. We have a nice set of pots, but no way to flip eggs or any thing like that. Means we are limited to hard boiled eggs or gently stirring scrambled eggs (in a teflon skillet!) with a fork! Our other meals have been fried meat with finely diced potatoes, and then whatever else we have on hand. Last night we added a diced carrot, a can of corn, some ketchup and seasonings (I was smart and brought salt and Italian seasoning from home this time!) and some fresh dill. It was pretty yummy!

We WANTED some pickles to go with it, but neither Charity nor I could get the lid off the jar in spite of many valiant attempts. I joked that we--the brave and fearless women who are taking on this vast city--were conquered by a jar of pickles . . .   Charity pointed out that if we had a piece of silicone, she's sure she'd win. I imagine, but alas, no sign of anything like that nor even a substitute for it. Anyone want our jar of unopened pickles?!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pray for Katya

We don't know for sure what is wrong, but we are becoming increasingly concerned for her physical well-being . . . seems she is having some stomach problems possibly that are causing her pain if her stomach is touched in the wrong spot with even the lightest and merest touch.

We are being told that her paperwork (passport) could take another 3 to 5 business days--starting counting on Monday. The USA Embassy closes the last Friday of each month to paperwork, so there is almost no way short of a miracle from God that we can get her home next week. And we aren't even sure about the following week due to hearing that they have some holidays that the USA Embassy is closed for duing that week. We know GOD KNOWS and has it all in His timing. Please pray for wisdom and patience for us, and for discernment about Katya's needs. Legally I am her Mommy, and responsible now for her care and well-being, so pray that God grants me wisdom.

Today Charity and I slept in as long as we could, then ate a leasurely brunch of sausage, grapefruit, and yogurt with bread and butter. After we did some laundry, dishes washing and such, we got a taxi, went to the market (yes, we purchased some more goodies from Alexi's shop, folks !!) and had a grand time. We walked all the way back to our apartment--not sure how long of a walk it was but it felt good to get some good exercise  . . . . we needed a day to de-stress after all that has been going on.

Continue to pray please . . . thank you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Announcing . . . .

Our third daughter, and 5th child, Katya Rose.

We have the official court decree in hand, declaring her Katya Rose Dueck, our daughter . . .  thank God from Whom all blessings flow!!
And for those who want to know . . . Katya's origional legal name was "Katerina". However, when we visited her day after day at the orphanage, and tried that name out on her, she didn't respond at all. She would not act like she had even heard us. Knowing she responded well to "Katya", we went with Katya for her legal name. Since it was the nickname we'd known her by for several years, it seemed only fitting. As to the "Rose" part of her name . . .there are several reasons that name came into the picture. One being that Paul and I like the name, have a dear friend we love by that name, and had Chad been a girl, his middle name would have been Rose. So when we were tossing around for name, choosing and discarding one after another, we finally went back to Rose and toyed with it. I kept thinking of the verse in Isaiah 35:1 and 2 a. : "The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the dessert shall rejoice and blossom like the rose and the autmn crocus. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing."
That is what we see for Katya . . .blossoms arising where formerly there was only dry land  . . . waste land . . . dessert land . . . "

Thank you to all who have prayed for us and supported us in one way or another as we have journeyed to bring Katya Home! She's so close now  . . . just a few more documents stand in the way . . . and those will be torn down soon . ..

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Get a Quilt--Help Katya Home!!!

Christie, a long-time aquaintaince of mine in the blogging/adoption world, has put up a silent auction for an antique quilt to help bring Katya home!!

Please check it out now! Do NOT WAIT, because the auction is ending on MONDAY.


And if you would kindly spread the word, we would appreciate it. While we will borrow money if we have to get Katya home, realistically, we do not want to do that for some very good reasons.

 #1. We do not want to be worrying about paying back debt when dealing with her many, many needs and the expenses involved.

#2. Realistically . . . we have FOUR adult sized people in our family, and will have THREE (count them) kids in booster seats. Guess what we drive?? A mini-van. See any problems there? Yeah, I thought so . . . that means a larger vehicle is on our fast nearing horizon. And needless to say . . . we haven't had a lot of extra money to squirrel away for a larger vehicle, because every extra penny has been going towards the adoption. We are choosing not to worry about this, because we know God has our back, but we want to be realistic.

So . . . yes, we appreciate you sharing the word with any of your antique loving friends about this lovely quilt . . .

Sweet Blessings--and Another Chance to Help!

I got a phone call today, and then an email. A friend of mine, N., called me to tell me that her 11 year old daughter, had made a fleece blanket. And what did she want to do with it?? She wanted to donate it to us to help raise the money for Katya to come HOME!

How amazing and awesome is that?? How can we resist this little girl sacrificing HER creation to help save another child's life?

Her Mom wanted me to warn that it's not a professionally made blanket, but from the photo it looks like it's done quite well enough for snuggling!

Have a look!

So . . . here's the drill  . .  Anyone who wants this blanket . . . needs to make a donation in the next 24 hours to Katya's adoption fund--that can either be through our PayPal button OR the Reece's Rainbow button on the right hand side of the blog  . . . ask God what size of donation HE wants you to make . . . ask Him to show you how to care for Katya the way this girl did . . .and follow His leading on the amount of the donation. Then drop a comment here and let me know you donated. When the 24 hours are up, we will have a drawing and one person who donated will get a thank you . . . the blanket will be shipped directly to you from the 11 year old girl, S, who crafted it with love for Katya!
Please share this post as well!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Few Last Things

How fun to have these matroishka magnets on your fridge! There are a total of FIVE available. Numbered ONE through FIVE, starting at the top and working down here.


PENDING SALE #2 and #3


Asking $4.00 apiece PLUS shipping to the lower 48 states. Please indicate which numbers you are interseted in.

Yes, I'll confess . . . I couldn't get them all posted yesterday! And these are the best ones . . .

I got them from my friend, Alexi, who has faithfully and honestly served me on both of my trips to Katya's birth country--both in Sept. '09 and again this summer. He takes pride in his booths at the market and all his items are kept polished and clean, and his prices, while competetive, are honest prices. I trust what he tells me. And he told me that these sets are painted by a leading artist in Katya's birth country, with high quality acrylic paints and much attention to detail. Because he is a friend of Alexi's, Alexi has "dibs" on the items. You will notice the difference in that they are also not "glazed". Due to the attention to detail, they are more expensive as well. I have to ask $16.00 a set plus shipping for each of these, but I believe you will be VERY pleased with them.
Numbered in order from top to bottom--please specify which set you wish to purchase! (Tallest figure is around 4 inches tall)





And the weest . . . tiniest . . . funniest . . . little matroishkas! (not from Alexi's shop--found them in another shop). These are "glazed" in the standard fashion.

And for comparison, so you can see HOW TINY they are . . a dime. (Charity used a sticky pad to keep them from falling as the last two figures are miniscule.)

Would prefer to seel these two as as set.   Because of how tiny they are, the price is higher due to the difficulty in carving and painting them. (Charity recommends a display case!)  $21.00 for the set. Or $11.00 a piece.)

And . . . ONE LAST FLEECE BLANKET . . . made by yours truly here in the USA with new materials. . .

Approx 47 inches by 51 inches.

PENDING SALE --Asking $38.00 plus shipping.

And that my readers, is all that I think we have . . .   We leave in just 5 days from today!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Third Batch of Items for Sale

Matroishka toothpick holder

$9.00 plus shipping

I would prefer to sell these three wooden painted eggs as a set. Asking $13.00 for the 3 plus shipping. If someone is set on only buying one at a time, asking $5.00 a piece plus shipping.
When these are gone, that is it--I don't have any more! So first come, first served for these lovelies! I feel that of the eggs we looked at, these were some of the finest in the market in terms of quality.

Birch bark barette.   Beautifully carved. Asking $8.00 plus shipping.

Hair fastener . . . carved intricately from birch wood.
Just check out this beauty!

$10.00 plus shipping to the lower 48 states.

Unique tea light candle holder!
This is the first time I have ever seen these black laquer painted tea light candle holders. What a fun idea!
Asking $13.00 with shipping

Rich vibrant colors on this candle holder with a dark blue candle
Asking $13.00 with shipping

Enjoy shopping!!! PayPal is currently misbehaving, so checks appreciated . . . .  contact me at: phdfam @ gmail.com (take out spaces) for further info.

More Items FOR SALE

Here is another batch of items for sale. Remember that the proceeds from this go to help pay the expenses of our second trip and BRING KATYA HOME!

I love the barette above! Beauitfully painted in the black laquer style, it is approx 4 inches long and 2.5 inches wide at the widest point.  It has a metal barette fastened to the back.  This is a gorgeous item that is signed by the artist on the back, indicating a high quality souvenir from Katya's birth country.
Asking $10.00 plus shipping.

This is also a lovely barette, and about the same size as the barette above. Done with the same attention to detail and quality. Also signed.
$10.00 plus shipping

Smaller barette--4 inches by 1.5 at the widest point. Asking $8.00 plus shipping for this lovely hair item.

Sweet blue flowers adorn this barette--same measurements as above. Also asking $8.00 plus shipping.

Brooch painted in traditional pattern.  $8.00 plus shipping

Traditonal brooch pin $8.00 plus shipping

Please share these blog posts widely and ask your friends to visit . . . . we want to raise what we can to bring Katya home!

First Batch of Items for Sale

Front View

Matroishka Key Chains
(Aprox 1 and 3/4 in tall plus chain)

$3.00 each plus shipping

Back View

Five Piece Traditional Matroishka

This adorable 5 piece set is one of my favorites! Juset check out the details on the cute faces . . . and again, the cat and the chicken! Tallest figure is approx. 4 plus inches tall.
Asking $11.00 plus shipping.

5 piece Matroishka Set

Approx 3 and 3/4's high at the tallest figure. This is cute, basic set with a Mama, a Papa, a boy, a cat and a chicken. The chicken is a bit "wobbly".

This set is evidently done by the same artist as the set above. They look adorable together . . . Again a generous 4
inches high with 5 figures.
Asking $11.00 plus shipping.

I am always happy to combine shipping on items.
I accept payment VIA PAYPAL or personal check with approval.. If you choose to PayPal, then please figure the extra for the PP fees since we are trying to keep our prices low, and yet still raise money.

Please contact me at: phdfam@gmail.com if you are interested in an item. First come, first serve.

An Approximate Price BreakDown

Here is an approximate Price Breakdown for 2cnd Trip to Complete Katya's Adoption Process

Airfare: Projected Cost: $4,000 (could be slightly more or less depending on airfare at time of return home, but this is based on what it is costing for tickets for me and Charity to get out there, and of course, when we return home, Katya will be accompanying us!)

Lodging and Meals for two weeks: $1,400 (figured at around $100 a day, which we found to be a fairly good average when in country the first time--this could be more or less depending on the cost of lodging, how long we must stay in country, and how the dollar value holds or does not hold)

Passport for Katya--$600.00

USA Embassy (VISA etc.) --$550

Transportation while in Country--unknown as of yet

Misc. expenses (they always come up!)--unknown

Food and drink while in airports--unknown, but it adds up quickly!

So approx known costs are around $6,550, so I think a safe estimate to say we need to raise would be in the $8,000 plus  range.

We are still working on trying to collect our info from our first trip but it looks like we will have several hundred dollars over and above what we had budgeted (since we were able to come home before the 3.5 to 4 weeks it could have taken, plus we tried hard to live frugally while there, walked or took cheap public transportation most of the time, cooked most of our food at home etc.) If there is really left-over funds (once we do all the math of what we charged to our credit card), then it will be applied to the second trip.

But roughly . . . we still have around $7,700 probably--maybe a bit more--to fund raise for! I will ask Amy to set up a new therm to reflect that.

Please share the link to this blog and ask others to pray and visit our blog as we post items for sale today . . .    With the help of so many people . . .  we believe we can knock this sum into the dust and be on our way to Katya again!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Just a LIttle Something . . .

Amy, the webmaster here, and a friend of ours, has been busy.



We have been busily unpacking and doing laundry, welcomed our 3 youngest back home, and are trying to cope with our jet-lag.

Hopefully fund raising items start showing up tomorrow! Be prepared to spread the word! We have very little time left to raise the funds we still need--Charity and I will be flying out to Katya's country on JUNE 13th!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


We arrived safely home this evening after a very long day . . . I've been up around 30 hours or so now and am very weary . . . although thankfully I did catch some naps on different flights.

I will be trying to get more info up about fundraising in the next 24 plus hours (AFTER I get some sleep!) as we have only about 6 days to raise the air fair and other fees and expenses we will have on the second trip.

Thank you for praying for us . . . we love you and appreciate ALL of them.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Do You Know What This Means?

Yes, that's right--COURT. We got word last evening that court would take place at 9:30 a.m. this morning. Unfortunately, it turned out that 9:30 a.m. translated to 11:15 a.m. so we had a long time to sit and wait . . . In the picture with us is the Deputy Director of the orphanage (a very sweet woman who I respect from every thing I know of her) and one of the "inspectors". In addition there was our facilitator, Nastya, who functioned as interpreter, the Judge, the court secretary and someone who was allegedly the Prosecutor.

After court, we were dropped off by Nastya at the Metro station and made our way back to our apartment. We are grabbing a bite to eat, and cleaning up and will go out to see Katya one last time before we head home early Sunday a.m. (Saturday visits don't seem to be allowed at her orphanage.) We will be home around 5 or 6 days, and then the current plan is for Hope Anne to return with Charity to complete paperwork and bring Katya home . . .

We will announce her new name when the 10 days where someone could challenge this case, are up and she is legally ours.

Pray for Katya. I know us suddenly disappearing is going to be hard on her, but we need to go home for our other kids sake. Also, Paul has been away from his work long enough during the busiest part of the year  . . . and someone needs to escort Charity over so she can assist with the home trip with Katya. Sometimes I thought we were maybe being too wimpy by thinking getting Katya home was a job for two people but I felt better after the facilitators were concerned that I not return alone. They were relieved when they found out Charity was coming to help; due to the severity of Katya's special needs, they felt it was a two-person job. I definitley agree!

Thanks for praying . . . please continue to pray . . .