"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, September 30, 2012

Fall Cupcakes

Charity decided to make some pumpkin cupcakes the other day, complete with frosting and best of all, fall themed sprinkles!

Katya was much impressed when shown the plate, and politely indicated her interest in eating one.


When Charity told her that of course she could eat one, Katya began to eat with the great seriousness that still marks her eating.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

And Yet Another CT Scan

Yesterday Katya had her 6th CT Scan in less than a year. Dr. Carson wanted her to have it because she continues to have headaches. Thankfully they are not daily as they were evidently for about two weeks, but she is still having them often enough that we all felt that a CT was in order.

When Katya gets a headache, she is weepy, irritable, and can become very aggressive towards the other kids she is around. Sometimes it takes a while till we figure out that a headache must be triggering her behaviors, although I think we are all getting more "aware" that a headache could be the root problem. When we ask her if she has an owie, and to show us where, she will often point to a spot behind her incision line, on the side of her head, towards the back of her head.

The headaches can come suddenly it seems. Yesterday Paul was going to take her to school. As she got into the car, she began screeching and pulling at her hair band. That was the first signal. Then she fussed and tugged at her hair band all the way to school, and occasionally held her head. Paul informed the teachers that if she continued to seem like she was "off" and/or in pain, that the school was to call us. Sure enough, about 20 minutes or so after he got home, we got a call. Katya had been being very aggressive towards the other kids, and kept whimpering and holding her head. We grabbed the Tylenol bottle and went over to assess her, using the check-list Dr. Carson's office has given us to determine whether or not it is a "head to the ER *NOW* type of an emergency, or if Tylenol could give given. Thankfully, it was a "Give Tylenol" situation.

Poor Katya was so eager for the Tylenol she almost shook trying to help me hurry and get the medicine into the medicine cup. Then she eagerly gulped it down and snuggled on my lap for a few minutes. Once the Tylenol started kicking in, she was ready to get back up and go join her class again. The school reported that the rest of the day went better, and she didn't even need a second dose.

So given her latest headache, we were glad we had the CT appointment to take Katya to right after school was done. Thankfully, we were able to get it done locally this time. Paul and I took her in to the local place, I went back with her, suited up and "went into the CT scanner" with her again. She cooperates well for the scan except for holding her head really still--she wants to move her head around. So every time they end up asking me to hold her head in place with my hand. That means that my right side of my body has been going into the CT scanner with her again and again and again as well. Normally, it doesn't seem to cause any immediate effects, but yesterday within minutes, my skin began to sting and burn in spots. By the time I got home, I had reddening in a few spots that stung like a sunburn on my arm and my face. I treated it well with coconut oil, and today it's mostly all better except for a couple of spots on my face/ear.

Having said that, we would really appreciate prayers for protection for Katya's brain/body from the radiation, and for my body as well. Prayers for wisdom for Dr. Carson when he evaluates Katya's CT scan on Monday would be appreciated too. We Fed-Exed the CD of the scan to him, so it should be there Monday am for his perusal.

Part of me fears he will not find anything, and we will be left watching Katya suffer these headaches without knowing what is triggering them or what to do about it other than continue to dose with Tylenol. The other part of me is fearful of what the CT scan could show . . .  Whatever the case, I know that God is in control, He sees all of this, and knows . . .

Friday, September 28, 2012

Charitable Maternity Care

What on earth does Charitable Maternity Care have to do with a blog that focuses mainly on adoption?!

Well, one of the reasons we have both of our adopted daughters, one from Russia, and one from Ukraine, is that their birth mom's did not abort them, thank God! Even though both of them have special needs, they are both wonderful girls and daughters who are gifts from God.

My heart heart goes out to women who face pregnancy and are not sure how to pay for their pregnancy and post-partum care. Some women who are in that situation may find themselves at a provider who urges abortion as a "solution" to the tough situation. Or they may have a disgnosis of probable special needs in their child, which could also lead to encouragement (or pressure even at times) to abort.

Women need safe, supportive care even if they are economically challenged or face an adverse prenatal diagnosis! I'm happy that there is an organization that is working to provide this to women in one of our states. And there is a company that is willing to support a non-profit doing good! But the organization NEEDS YOUR VOTES to win $50,000. Will you please go to http://gardenofeagan.blogspot.com/2012/09/charitable-maternity-care.html  and read about The Morning Center? And then VOTE every day for The Morning Center? We can help them in this important way to succeed in their desire to provide compassionate and mother/baby friendly care!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"No, I am NOT Fussy All the Time!"

Tonight Katya's school had a Family Literacy Night. Paul had already made plans with Chad and Kristina to do an activity that was being sponsored by a local organization that supports Dads. It was not a Katya-friendly activity, so I jumped on the chance to take Katya to the literacy night program after I found out about it. I took Charity along, and so Charity accompanied Katya to the various stations for activities to support literacy while I sat and listened to the parent talk.

Having Charity there to work with Katya on her signing evidently was an eye opener to some of the staff that was assisting. She heard a few whispers such as, "Would you look at that?!" when Katya signed. HA!

Later in the evening, some of the kids were asking questions of Charity. One of the questions was, "So does she [Katya] just fuss all the time?!" Katya jerked and began signing, "NO! NO! NO!" Charity was quick to assure the kid that Katya does NOT fuss all the time, and that furthermore, she has a lot to fuss about because she wants to tell people things and she can't so much of the time!

We were pretty stinking proud of Katya that she stood up for herself and was quick to let that kid know that she is not fussy all the time!

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Some of the ways that Katya has had damage done to her emotionally are pretty personal, and I don't tend to blog freely about them. But I did want to let Katya's supporters and prayer warriors know that even in those areas, we are seeing God doing some awesome healing . . . thank you for praying for Katya and please keep on. God is a healing God, and we are claiming healing for her in Jesus' Name!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

STRESS

Stress is defined as: "Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand". This article goes on to address some of the things that can cause stress, as well as touching briefly on how damaging stress can be for a person.

Since adding Katya to our family, our family has all experienced varying levels of stress, due to the increased demands our family faces. We all have various ways of showing we are stressed, and we have times where some of us can manage to support those who are the most stressed, and other times where we all feel like we are in melt-down-mode due to the stress.

Praying and leaning hard on God are helpful. That is the only thing that has gotten us through this far. The other thing that is very helpful is the support from those who I think of as our "Aaron's and Hur's". Sometimes it's really simple--like the encouraging word a guy gave Paul the other day. Something about how much improvement he sees in Katya and that he really sees how we are helping her. That comment was very timely . . .  People have left encouraging notes on our blog and (primarily) on Facebook many times that have helped us. It's easy when we are in the trench to lose perspective. The smoke is pretty thick down here, and can hide the scenery outside the trench. Comments can help us see a little more clearly.

There are those who tell us, "I'm praying for you." There are those who have slipped us a $10.00 and said, "Use this for whatever you need." Occasionally there are those who have sent larger gifts that have enabled us to make an urgent payment on a medical bill. Sometimes we are given a cooler full of meat and veggies, or someone offers to pay a bill for us.

I'm also extremely grateful for our Social Worker who has allowed me to be completely honest with her, even when it means she gets an out burts of tears.

Don't get me wrong--we love Katya dearly and rejoice that she is alive and with us. But it doesn't mean that our lives have not changed in ways that are hard. It doesn't meant that we fearlessly float  as we navigate our way through the shark-filled waters and that we love battling the school for services for her, and that we don't get exhausted beyond words emotionally AND physically.

Reality is that life is tough. Our whole family is making daily sacrifices to meet Katya's needs.  Stress is high. In spite of that, God is good, and we all love Katya dearly. We work hard to try to give each family member what they need. And even though we can't do it perfectly, I am grateful that with God's help and the help of our friends, we are still standing. We are certainly weathered, and exhuasted, but we are still up on our feet.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

And . . . We Have a WORD!

Last week when Katya was upset and yelling, she yelled the word, "HEY". It was cystal clear--"Hey!" --and done in an audible voice. But when we tried to encourage her to repeat the word she never would. We assumed that it was a "brain glitch" and just "happened".

However, it was encouraging as it was the very first word she had said audbly when awake. She has said a few things such as "us" and "up" in her sleep audibly, but nothing prior to this when awake.

Well, a few days ago I was trying to get her to say "Aaa" for "Apple" and I heard her rumbling and rattling her vocal cords in a gargling sort of way--something I had never heard before. She kept trying, and trying--and then said a nice audible "AAA"!!! I was sooo excited and felt that we had made some type of huge progress forward. Sure enough, since then she has been trying soooo hard to make sounds both at home and at school. We keep getting those gargling noises as she struggles to activate her vocal cords.

Today the school was excited because they said Katya said "Hey!" for them at school today after they encouraged her to do so! Maybe . . . just maybe . . . we have turned an important corner towards SPEECH for her?? Oh I do hope and pray FERVENTLY so . . . I pray so . . . I want to know what is in my little girl's heart and mind so badly that I sit and tear up as I'm thinking about it . . . I pray that she will more and more let us hear her voice . . .

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Music Class

I thought I would share some excerpts from the email that Katya's music teacher sent me, and if I can get them to work, some photos.

God blessed our family with a music teacher who loves Katya dearly, sees her huge potential, the gift she has and is willing to work with her in an out of the box method to reach through the language barrier and teach Katya. She so believes in Katya and the need for her to have music lessons that she offered the lessons to us almost for free, which we appreciated very much, and still appreciate! Because of how things worked out, Katya goes to her house with the weekly respite care provider when they go to take their lessons, so I'm not present for the music lessons. While that isn't ideal, it is how it has worked out and is what is overall meeting our family's needs. Our respite care provider gives us a good run-down of the lesson, and so does the music teacher, so we are able to keep up with what is going on.

Here are some excerpts:

Hi Hope Anne, Just wanted to follow up regarding Katya's lesson. I was very encouraged with her progress. She was very eager from the time she got here, and mimicked readily things I was showing her, once I got her to pay attention. She did follow most every command I gave her, such as: Katya, come sit at the piano, or put the marker back, or place the sticker on the key, or play all the "Cs" - which were marked on the piano. She was very cooperative for the most part. When she did grumble I firmly, but gently expected it and she complied. We cheered when she got a concept or performed a task well and I gave her part of a cookie to celebrate here and there. She was more snugly this time than ever and even took my finger to play certain things. She responds well to drawing and I am using it as a teaching tool. The other thing I realized was that she learns best by doing. I have her do as much as she can - like having her place the stickers on the black keys or marking the "C'"s on the correct key. Where she is just learning something I show her myself, then take her finger, then tell her to do it, correcting it as we go. She is learning so intensely. Her interest is peaked- especially when I introduce other instruments like, today, the guitar and a bamboo flute, which was new to her. It was so cute, I brought them out together, so she took it and right away began to hold it across the neck of the guitar ( B--, pointed out that she probably thought it was a bow of some sort to be used with a violin, since that was her experience with Charity : ).
I played it for her, she picked it up and tried to get a sound out without success and was done with that onto the next thing. We had a great time strumming and singing, which she picked up readily and has a knack for - good, sound rhythm.

I wanted to mention, also that her coordination, has remarkably improved on the piano, from seeing her last week for the 1st time in months. Individual fingers adept, coordinated, deliberately playing and using both hands as one would who is more advanced. I am sure she is frustrated that she can't get the sounds out now.
 
Her teacher went on to give us a list of activities to do with her at home to help Katya progress faster.

She also sent a photo of her keyboard as set up for Katya.
 
 
And a couple of cute photos of Katya out in the okra patch helping harvest some okra for the respite care provider to take home.
 

 
So many things with trying to get the help and services and support Katya needs are really, really hard and stressful. I am grateful that in the midst of all that, we have a piano teacher we can trust who really loves Katya and sees her as a child with potential just waiting to be found and helped to blossom. And I'm grateful for her respite care provider and family who love and embrace Katya and provide a safe and happy place for her each week for a little over 3 hours so I can run errands and the kids can focus more in depth on school and projects at home. It is a huge blessing. And in a world where so many are willing to ignore our daughter's potential, a blessing beyond words.
 
 
 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Not Happy News

As I suspected, our family Dr. could not find a single thing wrong with Katya. No ear infection, no sign of inflammation or infection any where. Just a seemingly healthy girl.

Since Katya was more cheerful and interactive this am than we had seen her for the last 2 weeks, we were hopeful that we were over the hump and heading in the right direction.

After the appointment, I took Katya back to school. When I came to pick her up around 2:00 pm for her music class/respite care, the teacher looked beyond exhausted and said that they had not had a good day at all. Katya had spent almost the entire day whining. She pinched. She kicked. She even started a whole new ugly behavior--stomping repeatedly on the feet of the children under the table. No amount of consequences stopped her.

At the respite care providers and music class, things again were not good. Katya even threatened to bite the 12 year old daughter--which is totally out of character for her. Normally she doesn't mess with kids that much older and bigger. When I arrived to pick her up and bring her home, she screamed. She kicked. She sobbed. All the way home. Interspersed with occasional seconds of laughter, and then right back into screaming and kicking.

At home she has spent the majority of the time screeching, crying, and whining. Even her bath--normally something she loves and can linger in for an hour or more, seemed to not soothe her very long. She soon was whining and crying. So she is out and I'm going to rock her and then try to send her to bed early . . .

Please pray for our dear Katya, and pray for Dr. Carson and his staff to have much wisdom. It's looking like a long, long week lays ahead of us. Pray for our faith to fail not.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Katya Enjoying a Good Book



Charity managed to capture some good shots of Katya enjoying a book today. Thankfully, overall, today seemed to be a bit of an easier day for her. She clearly is not back to normal, but we did see a little more of our sunny girl part of the day.

Thank you for continuing to pray for Katya.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Update on Katya's Medical Situation

After a long talk wtih the one and only PA on duty for Dr Carson today, this Mommy has a plan. And I always do better with a plan, so thank you for praying . . .

The plan is to have Katya see her family Doc on Monday to rule out any possibly 'simple' explanations for her issues. Ear infection, sinus infection etc. Now, I don't really think that any of those things are what the issue is, but I agree that it's wise to cover all our bases JUST IN CASE before going to a CT scan and it's radiation, especially given how stinking many she has already had to have (way, way, way too many for one kid in less than a year's time). If all checks out OK on Monday and our family Doc can't tell what on earth is wrong, then I'm to contact the PA right away, and she will start the ball rolling for a CT scan. We aren't sure yet where it will need to be done--whether JHH or locally. She will try to get permission to do it locally from the Drs since neither Dr is at JHH right now to see Katya anyway were we to go there.

We also have a clear plan of what constitutes a "throw clothes into your bag and get to JHH *NOW*"--those include things such as any possible seizures, changes in eyes, or if Katya becomes suddenly extremely clumsy. When I told the PA we have noted some minor clumsiness that seems to come and go, I could tell she got a lot more sober and serious about the situation than she had been up to that point . . . .

Anyway, we had a good talk; I feel like I was heard and that we are on the right track now for getting Katya the help she needs medically.

Now, if we could just get the school situation dealt with as well too. Ah well . . . that's a topic for another time and day.

Thanks for praying . . .

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Katya Needs Prayers

The Sunday (September 2)  after Katya's very eventful day with the trip to the library and purchasing Legos, Katya was a weepy, emotional mess. Any thing and every thing seemed to trigger tears, and her usual Lego building abilities didn't seem to be there for her. She would try to put pieces together, and mis-judge how to match them up, how much pressure to apply and so on. Instead of pieces going together well like they usually do things just fell apart, and poor Katya would weep loudly.

We finally surmised that perhaps school and then the Saturday excitement had worn her out, and had her lay down with her pillow and blanket on the couch to rest and listen to music. She gratefully lay there for several hours. We commented on how strange that was, but tried to dismiss it as perhaps a normal reaction to all the busy life she had been having lately.

However, as day after day went on from that point, it became clear that Katya was no longer having good days, or happy days. Lots of weeping, whinning and needing to lay down and rest. Her sparkly smile pretty much all but disappeared.

And then she began not sleeping well at night AT ALL. And then it went to even waking up so thoroughly, weeping and howling that I would have to get up and sit with her for hours in the living room till she went back to sleep.

Along with all this, we noticed that she had a lump on the back of her head. About the size of a large marble, it was hard and bony, and at first actually hurt Charity's arm when it pressed into it when she was rocking Katya--which incidentally was how it was discovered. As the days have ticked on, this lump has become slightly less sharp, but there are other lumps and bumps rising around it on her skull, very much like how things were prior to her surgery.

Even the school was noticing that Katya was not feeling well nor acting at all like the sunny, bouncy little gal who had first started school a few weeks ago.

I am in touch with Katya's Doctors and they are working on coordinating their schedules and trying to set up some appointments for Katya back at Johns Hopkins. Also, possibly, some testing. In the meantime, we have discovered that clearly Tylenol reduces her weeping and whinning to the point that she can actually smile again. So it's clear she is in some significant pain. Giving her Tylenol before bedtime has brought back better sleep for all of us, which is crucially important.

We ask you to pray for Katya and our family . . . it is hard to see her deteriorating and returning to so many ways that remind us much of her pre-surgery. We miss the cheerful, smily little girl she had become who went around signing "Happy! Happy!" multiple times a day with a giggle and a grin. We wonder what is going on inside her head and pray that her already damaged brain is protected from further damage.

I'm grateful that the Great Physician knows about Katya's needs. I'm grateful He also knows our family's needs as we seek to care fo her. The many trips out of town to obtain medical care for Katya are stretching our family's finances horribly, as the things like gas, hotel, food etc. are not covered at all by our insurance. Every time we have to go to John's Hopkins, it costs around $325 or more for a one night stay, when we figure gas, hotel, food, and parking fees. In addition, Paul loses time from  his work, resulting in a loss of income. Sometimes with needing to stay more nights, it's even more costly.

 Several friends have encouraged us to put up a PayPal button for anyone who wishes to make a contribution to Katya's on-going care expenses that are not covered by our insurance. While we hestitate to do this, we do respect the friends who have encouraged us to take that step, so we plan to go ahead and set up that button. Please know that any donation, no matter how small, will be gratefully accepted. Also please note that we have no plans of continuing to make a splash about the button or donations so this is your first and hopefully last notice about it. ;-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Waters are Parting

Lately so many times it has felt like our family has been standing at the Red Sea. Ahead of us are the huge and deep waters--an insurmountable obstacle that we don't know how to go around or over or through. From behind we are being pursued by the enemy. While our very lives are not in danger, so many things in our lives are very hard because of the obstacle.

One of those very hard things has been feeling like we can't fully meet Katya's needs for communcation. We had high hopes last year that we would get good help from the school, but that has not worked out very well, to put it mildly. Katya continues to learn ASL at home here as we can help her learn it, but we are not fluent by any stretch of the imagination in ASL, so it's not as fast as we think it could and should be. Since Katya does not have an ASL teacher or interpreter at school, now that she is going back to school for 6 hours a day, she is having much less time to work with us, and so she isn't making as fast of progress as she had been before school started. While private lessons would be great and helpful, there has been no way to stretch the budget to accomodate it no matter what we tried to figure out.

Today, God showed us that He is "parting the waters of the Red Sea" so to speak for Katya in this regard, and in such a lovely, lovely way!

I don't have time to type up the whole story, but turns out that there is a sweet little gal in Katya's classroom this year, who grew up with a Mommy who is fluent in ASL, and a Grandma who is fluent in ASL. And when this sweet little gal went to school, she recognized Katya signing and went home and began to talk to her Mommy about it. And as more details began to emerge about Katya's situation, and the Mommy began to understand that Katya was in school WITHOUT AN ASL INTERPRETER OR TEACHER,  this Mommy was so moved  by Katya's situation that she went to the school and said, "I'd like to volunteer in my daughter's classroom, and oh by the way, among other things that I know, I'm fluent in ASL."

Turns out . . . to make this story even more clearly a "God-thing", that this lady had first considered homeschooling her little daughter, then decided not to, and to send her to school this year. THEN--here's where it gets REALLY good--this Mom and her daughter didn't even live in our school district. They lived in a whole 'nother district. And for whatever reasons, they decided to enroll this little gal IN KATYA's SCHOOL. And then she ended up in Katya's kindy class room . . . and the rest as they say, is history.

Friends, do you GET THIS? This Mommy was so moved by our daughter's situation of being in school without the teaching and interpreter she needs for ASL that she is VOLUNTEERING to come work with Katya?! I broke out in goose bumps as we were talking and she was sharing this with me today after we dropped off our girls about the same time. I see and feel the Spirit of God moving in Katya's behalf with this. And best of all, I felt such a caring and compassionate heart from this Mom. She has experience working with special needs kids and kids who have been abused, and I think we have a new best friend in her! She will be a GREAT resource for Katya and our family.

She has been learning ASL ever since she was FOUR YEARS OLD and her best friend's parents were deaf. Since her friend knew ASL she wanted to learn it to . . . and she went on to learn it so well that eventually she spent time interpreting in court, for patients at Doctor's visits etc. Clearly, this is the woman we need in Katya's court, helping her!!

Thank you, Lord Jesus for seeing our heart's cries for Katya and once again, parting the waters of the "Red Sea". This was not a literal sea for our family, but it was a big obstacle, with a need for divine intervention, and You have provided that for us, just as You did for the Israelites! Great is your faithfulness!"

Please join in praying that the background check for this woman comes back VERY soon so that she can begin working with Katya! I see great things in store for Katya with more teaching for her . . . please pray that the school will work well with this woman so she can help Katya as much as possible. And pray for God to bless and prosper her and her little daughter for their caring and compassionate hearts for Katya's needs!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Happy Saturday

Saturday most of our family loaded up and went an hour away to a library that does a children's program in ASL. We try to take Katya to that as much as we can, in order to help her be exposed to others using signs, and to help our family learn more signs. Since the program is spoken as well as signed, we all enjoy the stories and songs. Often we just book it right home after the program, but yesterday we packed our lunch and took a few hours to enjoy ourselves after the program.

One of the family's from our church had wanted Katya to have a new set of Legos, and they gave us $20.00 to purchase a set for her. So our first stop after the program was to the Lego store! I knew that Katya really likes the "Friends" line of Legos that Lego has, so I picked two sets that were in the price range and let her choose. After a quick look at both sets, Katya grabbed the set that Charity and I were both sure she would likely go for! It was "Olivia's Tree House". We both figured she would choose that one due to the large amount of flowers, butterflies and other little tiny pieces that she so adores! It was so fun to be able to help her get a Lego set, so thank you K and M.S.!! We really appreciate it!

After that, we ate our lunch in the car in the parking garage, and then walked to the bookstore. We spent a happy hour or so there browsing through books. I had a gift card for there and so was able to pick out a easy reader for Chad, and a book called  "Manners Time" for Katya. I'm very excited about the book for Katya because I have been looking for books that would help us teach her more of the things she so desperately needs to understand and know, and this book is PERFECT. It even includes the lines, "Look the person in the eye when you say Good-bye" and that is just wonderful, because Katya, while she has now learned to wave, "Good-bye" will often turn her back to the person and THEN wave good-bye! This book is from a series so I'm hopeful that I will be able to add more books to her library from the series that will be useful in teaching her things she needs to know to develop.

After that, we took ourselves back home. Poor Katya, who had really done quite well overall up to this point, found the fact that she was not allowed to open up her Lego set and begin playing with it in the car to be so totally distressing as to warrant her loudest shrieks accompanied by kicking the driver's seat just ahead of her as hard as she could. After a few miles of that, and nothing we said or did served to calm her down, Paul finally got out and talked to her gently but firmly, and she quieted down enough that we were able to soon distract her with her new book, and then she calmed further and arrived finally back home happy and calm.

Good thing, because the Lego set was just waiting to be opened up and played with!!! Big Sister Charity sat down and helped her assemble it. Katya was so intent on all the lovely pieces, and figuring out what she could do with each of them!


Enjoying the fruit of her labors.



And just look at the joy!!! ;-)


Also, please observe how chubby her cheeks are getting! Right before school started, Katya's appetite took a great jump, and we are witnessing the happy results as she finally starts to fill out weight wise! We are so happy for how healthy she is finally starting to look!

I also have a very important praise report for those who have been praying for Katya--starting Friday after school, Katya has been much more accepting of Chad receiving attention and affection from me! She has spent the whole weekend being mostly accepting of this, instead of screeching and physically trying to separate us. It is such a shocking departure from what we have dealt with constantly for over a year that I find myself hardly knowing how to relate to it! However, I can assure you that it's done much to encourage Chad's heart and to make him more hopeful for the future. Also, it has made our home so much more pleasant! I don't know if this will be a permanent change, or if Katya's behavior will revert back to her old ways, but I feel hopeful that my little girl is finally starting to comprehend perhaps that Mommy has enough love for ALL her children, and that my giving love to Chad doesn't diminish the love I have for her in any wise.