This weekend we had a few events worthy of mention with Katya.
Saturday a.m. we got up early and Paul and I took Katya to a local kindergarten back-pack and school supplies giveaway that was being done for the various schools in the area. We weren't at all sure how Katya would cope with being in a strange place, surrounded by a lot of commotion and mostly new faces, but she did really well. Once she realized she had a back-pack and was supposed to go around and collect interesting looking supplies from the various tables and drop them into her bag, she was all for it. She even TRIED hard to control her fear about getting photographed beside a big mascot . . . however, Mom had to be in the picture too as she wouldn't let go of me. Still--she TRIED!
When we went to leave, the room there were several routes out we could take. I choose to see what Katya would do if we led her out through the door that would take her between two rows of teens from her school wearing their cheer leading uniforms and rattling metallic pom-poms over her head. The look on Katya's face as we were mid-way through that still amuses me! She had her little mouth primly held--but their was pleasure dancing in her eyes. "For me?!" I imagine she was thinking. She strode so self-confidently through, holding my hand. It did me good to see it.
I was very pleased with the school supplies--it means I have about 50% of what was on the list from her kindergarten teacher, saving me a significant sum of money and some time and hassle. I will compare the list carefully item by item before the first day of school, and fill in any thing that is missing. Some of the items she was given are not on her specific list so I will be able to use them here at home with her, so that is very helpful too.
Here are Katya's goodies.
After we got home, we quickly loaded up Charity, Kristina and Chad and headed to a library almost an hour away that does a Signed story time once a month. All our children enjoy this, except for Katya--she still doesn't have too big of an interest in it. However, we keep going because it helps US learn more signs and exposes her to others signing outside of our family.
On the way home from this little jaunt, we drove past an airport and saw an airplane taking off. Katya began doing her unhappy, keening noises like she often does. We said, "Katya, that is an airplane [using English, Russian AND the ASL sign] and it's OK." Katya continues keening. We said, "Katya, it's OK, you flew on an airplane with Mommy and Charity from Ukraine to America!"
At this, Katya increased the volume and intensity of her keening and signed, "Fright! Fright!" I said, "Oh Katya, were you frightened when you flew on an airplane? I am sorry, sweetie! Mommy, Daddy, Charity, Todd, Chad, and Kristina LIKE to fly. We have fun on the airplane, We read books, listen to music, watch videos, and play games on the airplane! And if Katya flies with Mommy and Daddy again, you can have FUN too looking at books, playing games, and watching videos, OK?!"
Katya settled right down, stopped keening and seemed satisfied. I was ecstatic because it feels as if we actually made some headway in communication/addressing issues that needed worked through.
The other thing that was fun, was that any time we have given Katya gum previously, she would chew it two or three times and then swallow it. No matter what we told her, down her little throat it would go. Yesterday, on the way home, we again gave her a piece after telling her yet again what to do with gum. "You chew it and chew it Katya, and then when you are done, you take it out of your mouth like this [Charity demonstrates] and put it into the trash bag!" Well, we tried to keep a pretty sharp eye on Katya and sure enough, she kept chewing and chewing! And then when we got home, her mouth was still! We looked and she had no gum, so just in case, Charity looked on the floor, and sure enough, there was the wad! So she didn't QUITE do every thing we had asked her to do, but still! That was the first time she chewed it for any length of time--and then she did not swallow it yet! So progress . . . progress. It's all small things, but it's still progress.
On a related note, we have a big prayer request about a situation that concerns Katya (and our family). We serve a big God . . . and I want to trust Him fully. Pray for us to trust Him with this situation that looks so big from a human perspective.