"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, July 27, 2012


One of the good things about adoption is how it broadens your world and brings new friends into your life! Some friends are short-term, others are long-term. When we were in the process of adopting Katya, we made several friends who are what I consider "life-long-friends". Leah, and her family, are definitely in the "life-long-friends" category! We were friends even before going to Ukraine, and our friendship deepened over Skype while in Ukraine. Leah has extensive experience in parenting children with special needs, being both a bio and adoptive Mommy of children with special needs. She also (YAY for us!) is fluent in ASL, having served even as an interpreter! In addition, she uses ASL with her two adopted sons.

Leah quickly became a life-line friend for our family, helping us with signs, holding our hand over Skype and the phone, and dishing out support and advice as needed. She also gave us much needed humor when we were feeling grim and needed cheering up! I honestly don't know what I would have done the first 6 weeks that we were home with Katya had it not been for Leah who was there helping me figure things out with Katya, vent, or cry or whatever I needed to do that particular moment.

So imagine our delight when Leah called on Wed. and said she could be coming through our town in about 2 hours if we wanted to meet her and 3 of her sweet children! I was finishing up with Katya's Social Worker at a town 45 minutes away, and still needed to grab lunch before driving home since it was long past lunch time and my blood sugar was tanking badly.  I alerted Charity, and she said she would rather meet Leah and her children in person than go off for her group violin lesson and Youth Bible Study, so she would make sure the house was cleaned up and ready for guests.

Well, bless my kiddos hearts--they made a list of what needed to be done, and by the time I arrived home, they had given the downstairs a good straightening up and cleaning, and things were almost ready for Leah and her kiddos. I was so happy and proud of them! Charity said even Chad and Katya had helped! Dear Hubby stopped by the store and picked up some things for supper. We threw burgers and hotdogs on to the grill and were able to enjoy visiting and eating supper together.

It was such a treat to have Leah and her children with us!

Represented in this photo are kids saved from mental institutions/orphanages in 3 different countries! Left to Right-- Serbia, Russia, and Ukraine. Not shown is also Axel, from Serbia. Standing and watching these lovely children being able to play together, knowing they are loved and cherished and cared for was a real thrill and a rather emotional moment for us.

Please note that Katya is signing, "My Turn!" in this photo, since she wanted her big sister to push her too!

My kids had a blast playing with Leah's kids--even Chad finally thawed out and did a water fight with Axel! When Leah and her children pulled out that evening, Katya began to cry sadly. And she cried for quite a while after they left. I think she liked having kids around who also signed!

Made us all so happy to have Leah and co here . . . I hope we can get together again before too many more years . . .  Having friend who understand some of the unique challenges we face with Katya, AND are fluent in ASL is a very cool thing. I'm very grateful that God allowed us to become friends.

1 comment:

Leah S. said...

It really was wonderful to visit with your family. I'm so glad God pulled it together so simply, and that you were available! My kids had a blast playing with yours, and even later at the hotel Axel was talking about his "wet clothes. Fun. Wet clothes" and making up a sign for a water gun! LOL