"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, July 26, 2011

Charity Needs Help--and Katya Helps Her

Since this blog is mostly about Katya and the process our family has gone through to get her home, and her progress now that she is home, I wondered if this was the appropriate venue to share about Charity and her project, but I finally decided it was. It involves the star of this blog--Katya--in every which direction, so yes, certainly so!

Back in the late fall or early winter, Charity's violin teacher told her that she needed an upgraded violin. Hers was an inexpensive one as violins go, and her playing had surpassed what music she could coax out of it. He said that she needed to be thinking about a violin in the $1,500 price range.

Charity knew what he said was true, and was very excited at the thought of upgrading, but sweet and caring girl that she is, she told us she would wait to upgrade until after we got Katya home and paid off her adoption expenses. That way, she was able to focus on helping sew and craft for Katya's adoption expenses.  Now that we have the adoption out of the way, Charity  is ful swing in trying to finish raising the funds that she needs. She needs only around $400 more to upgrade her violin, since she can turn in the violin she has currently for credit towards the new one AND she had some money saved already towards an upgrade.

She has been busily sewing in almost every spare moment she has, as well as raiding her stash of vintage-like dresses that she has collected, with plans to sell them. Because her violin is very important to her. And she so badly  wants to be able to get a better one soon that she's willing to sacrifice--just like Katya, facing a horrible future and possible death was so important to her that she was willing to sacrifice for Katya!

Now, Katya is trying to help Charity get her violin! Yes, she really is! I present the following photographic evidence of this for your pleasure! These photos were taken JUST TODAY so are "hot off the camera" so to speak!

What? You say you don't see how Katya is trying to help?! Well, Miss Katya has a real aversion to getting her photo taken! And yet look at her--here she is in this photo and all the rest, modeling the apron and bucket bag that Charity made to sell to help add to her violin fund! Just look at Katya!

Nicely trimmed Cobbler Apron with cordinating green polka dot fabric making the pockets.

Check out the hand stitching around some of the owls on the bucket bag! Charity is always looking for ways to ramp up her projects and take them from "ordinary" to "special"!

Katya, smart girl that she is, hung the bucket bag on the door knob all on her own!

Asking $15.00 for the apron, and $6.00 for the bucket bag if purchased separately. If purchased together, $20.00

These are made from quality 100% cotton that is brand new and from our non-smoking home. Made with care and precision by Charity, to help raise funds for her violin. Intended to fit a child in the 4 to 6 year age range, depending on size. Ties at the sides with ties. Pops off and on over the head. First come, first served, so please email at: phdfam@gmail.com if you are interested. We accept PayPal or personal check (item will not ship till it's cleared.)
Stay tuned for more items coming soon!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Super Wonderful News!!!

YES! I have finally finished crunching the numbers and checking the credit card statement for the airfare and other things that were charged during our trip and comparing it to our adoption account funds--and we are FULLY FUNDED!!!!!

I hinted that there were good things going on but never fully explained . . . and I want to take the time to do so now.

Shortly before we left for Ukraine on the second trip, someone that I have been online friends with for a long time, but never met in person, got in touch with me to ask if a interest-free loan that we could repay as we were able would help with the last financial crunch at that point to get Katya home. Paul and I gratefully accepted the generous offer, and thanks to that and some fund raising we had done, we were able to have the cash flow we needed for the trip. That was a huge weight from our minds, and we again thank God for this person who was sensitive to His voice in this way!!!

 However, the burden and desire of our heart was still to be able to complete the adoption DEBT-FREE. Realistically, we knew we NEEDED to complete it debt-free.
It was hard to leave for Ukraine knowing we were thousands short of what we needed  . . . but while we were stepping into the Jordan River so to speak, God began to part the waters . . . . Several large donations came in from individuals--and a church blessed us with $3,500 !!!!! We were able to be frugal on both trips, and so between the donations, fund-raising and what we were able to contribute ourselves financially (which we have done as much as we can this entire journey) we are able to pay back the loan in full, and find ourselves FULLY FUNDED. Well--except for the post-placement fees that our adoption agency charges for the post-placement reports that our State and their Agency require. However, that is somewhere around $900 and can be spread out over the next three years so we are calling this fund-raising journey DONE--FINISHED--COMPLETE--FINAL--ALL-WRAPPED UP and any other words you can come up with to sum it all up!!! What a journey it is has been!!!! And we thank you ALL of you who have helped for your very generous support in SOOOOO many ways!!! We coudln't have done it without you!!!!!! You have all literally taken part in SAVING A LIFE--Katya's Life!!!!!!!! We will forever be grateful to you for sacrificing in many ways to help give Katya the family she needs!!! May you all be blessed by God . . . and may He restore full-fold to you . . . and much more for your kindnesses to Katya and our family!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some News

Katya was helping Papa rinse the dishes on Sunday. She's wants to be QUITE independent about it which doesn't make it easy to help teach her how to really do it . . . but at least she wants to help. Gotta hand her that, even if at this point she wants it all to be on her terms.

This photo was taken last evening by Paul.  Truly, the evening with Katya is the best part of my day. She's happy to snuggle for about an hour while I rock her and it's my sanity saver. Parenting a child who has been allowed to live in her own little world for so long is NOT an easy task. I knew it would be hard--all of us knew it would be hard--but the sheer enormity of the task sometimes bowls us backwards as we try to get through each day. Only in God's strength are we being able to do it, and the prayers of everyone is very vital.

To further add to the stress of the situation, her whole insurance status is still hanging in limbo. (Yes, it is a long story . . . and I'm not getting into it all here.) And to further complicate matters, when we tried to apply for her Social Security number, we were told that the application is being rejected by the Department of H*meland S*curity. There is an error in Katya's paperwork some where . . . no one knows where yet as it's under investigation. Needless to say, we didn't need THAT stress hanging over our heads yet.

 Each day when I am awakened by the sound of a little girl thumping and banging around over my head I have to pray quickly before I climb out of bed and ask God to give me the strength and grace to get through each minute of the day. I feel overwhelmed and unable to keep up with all that needs done. One of my children asked me, "If you choose to do this, do you have ANY right to voice unhappiness?" I told them that I knew God was calling me to do it--that was the reason I did it--obedience to Him. And obedience to Him doesn't guarantee that we are going to be comfortable or happy or find life easy! In fact, I seem to recall that Jesus' choice of obedience to His father, God, sure brought a lot of stress, challenges and physical and emotinonal and mental pain to Him. Paul and I both know God called us to add Katya to our family, and we are trusting Him that He has not brought her this far to turn his face away from her and us . . . No, I am positive that He has not! I don't know what all His plans are for her and us but I'm choosing to make the choice to trust Him each day before I get out of bed that He's going to get us through another day, no matter how hard it is. I'm choosing to trust that He's going to bring healing into her emotions and into her body. I'm choosing to trust that He will provide for her medical needs and therapy needs even though I don't see how yet. I'm choosing to trust that He has a perfect plan for her life even though things are hanging in the balance right now with the snafu (unknown as yet to us what it is!) in her documents.
So, even though Katya is home . . . I'm going to ask you to keep praying for her and praying for us . . . there are many needs. God knows what they all are and as His people pray, He can apply them to the needs. Thank you again for standing with Katya and us through this amazing and crazy journey!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Update On Katya

Katya has now seen our family Doctor, the Osteopathic Doctor, and the whole International Adoption Clinic team.

Everyone feels that given the life she has led for the last 6 years, she is doing amazingly well, both physically and in her adjustment and bonding.

Katya is gaining weight! When we first brought her out of the orphanage, she fit into size 3/4 underwear with a lot of "bag"  . . . she was simply skin over bone--it HURT literally to hold her on our laps because her hip bones dug painfully into our legs. Now she has some nice padding on her body--not a lot, but some and I expect her to continue to put on more weight if she keeps eating as she is. Now that she's learning that there is enough food for her, her "wolfing" is lessening . . .

Katya also already is clearly recognizing some basic words or phrases in English! "Let Mommy help you", "Wait", "Come to Mommy" and "Katya, go wash your hands!" She also recognizes, "What does Katya want?" and she knows that her is her "cue" to sign "more". She also will sometimes now spontaneously sign "more" when she sees something she wants to eat or if she truly wants "more" of anything she's already eaten! We are working hard on teaching her the sign for "toliet" and hope that at some point she will learn to sign that for us. In the meantime, taking her frequently to the toliet is working--she also is starting to take herself at times now.

Recognizing her bedtime routine has happened now as well--Katya will go after her bath, pick out a book and wait in the (very old and worn out) rocking recliner waiting for me to come snuggle her and read to her. I rock her usually for around an hour, and then take her up and tuck her into her bed. She generally pulls the blankets right over her head and goes quickly to sleep! She seems to be happy every time I tuck her into bed--I think the fact that she saw the photo ahead of time of her bed makes her feel connected and safe in her bed.

Lest you think all is peaches and cream, I will be honest and tell you that there are PLENTY of hard moments. The hardest is that Katya views Chad evidently as a threat to her and is really unkind to him again and again. We continue to address that and try to work with it, but so far we havent' succeded in getting the behaviors all stopped. I'm sure they are "survival of the fittest" behaviors and will lessen with time, but in the mean time it's being really hard on Chad and all of us . . . he's prayed and loved Katya so faithfully and persistently all this time that it's hard to see him hurt so much.

Katya is also testing, testing, testing! She obviously is thinking hard and trying to see what the boundaries here at home are. We've done bodily excretions, tantrums, clothing chewing and other assorted things . . . fortunately . . . we are able to keep a pretty good sense of humor most of the time and roll with it all and she's starting to realize that such behaviors don't punch our buttons and instead end up with her being the loser. Her tantrums have lessened in intensity and duration quite a bit, and a lot of other behaviors are seeming to lose some steam as well.

There is still much need for prayers for Katya and our family . . . . please continue to pray. And we will continue to try to update you as we can find a few moments here and there!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If you commented or contacted about buying an item...

We have gotten emails and comments from people who said they wanted some of the souvenirs we brought back from Katya's country, but then never heard back. If you contacted us and still are interested in buying any of the items, please email at phdfam@gmail.com. Thanks!

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Picture Speaks 1,000 words....

At the airport...6/30

Asleep at home in her own bed.

A Katya-initiated hug with her "little" brother...

Mama teaching Katya how to hit a baseball

Friday, July 1, 2011


Katya slept in her own bed last night . . .

We are crazy busy as she needs supervised every single second. I will try to post some photos of her homecoming later  . . .


And a special thank you to our friends who came last night to the airport to welcome us home. You do not know how very much we appreciated each and every one of you taking time in your busy lives to come show love for Katya!!

Next week we start taking her to Drs, hoping to try to get a clue of what types of needs she has and what can be done to meet those needs. There are many, many hours of medical appointments and therapy ahead of us, so thank you for continuing to pray for Katya and our family as we all wade though the adjustments that having the equivalent of a baby who can walk and run in the family brings! I have high hopes that as she is taught and related to, Katya will develop new and older behaviors, but in the meantime, she needs constant supervision to keep her safe.

God bless!