There was much loving thought put into the gifts, careful planning, and frugal plotting. Coupons, sales, and stash raiding were all used to make this happen.
The 3 youngers each got a Lego set from Mom and Dad, and a clothing item--a sweater for Katya, tights for Kristina and a shirt for Chad. In addition, a friend of mine had shipped a lovely floor puzzle for each of them (thanks, Sarah!).
Charity got a book she had long been wanting and a memory card for her camera that she needed, and a pair of socks. Her Dad also decided to go shopping for the kiddos, and surprised Charity with a headset. She was very excited about that! He had a surprise for me too--a set of new speakers for our computer--the others were freebies when we got them years ago, and were long ago old and worn out.
Charity, Kristina, and Chad had thoughtfully shopped as well, in order to give gifts. They had pooled their resources in some cases. For instance, Chad and Kristina gave their Dad a brain teaser book--picture differences, and Charity and Kristina had purchased a candle holder for me (probably my favorite gift!)
And with some help from Mommy and Charity, Katya had a few items from the Dollar Store to choose from to give a gift to Chad and Kristina. We don't know how much she "got it" but we figure she will never learn if not given a chance to learn! They were happy with what she picked for both of them--a tin box with a hinged lid for Kristina, and a Bible Story DVD for Chad.
Chad had lovingly picked out a new tub of PlayDoh for Katya, and Charity had not only sewn Chad a pair of fleece pants, but also gave him a coordinating shirt. And much to his delight, his dear doggy, Honey, had his own present too! (Make sure you watch all the photos in the slide show!)
Charity also made Kristina a skirt out of fleece with brilliant butterflies.
Katya was very excited that her first present was a small Lego set from Kristina.
She was so excited she shook!!
But then she made US so excited, WE almost shook too!!
Yes, your eyes are seeing right! Katya has the directions booklet open and is following it! This was a first!! With following the directions, she got that set assembled almost completely on her own! Granted, twas a small set, but even so! How exciting and impressive!
When it came time to open her next present, she was totally unimpressed--she was too busy with her Lego set. So we set aside her gifts, waiting till she was ready.
After the small set was put together, Katya was ready to tackle another present. We gave her the Lego set from Mom and Dad.
When she opened the packaging, her face about froze! She was shocked--clearly.
While her Dad cut the box open for her, she gapped in wide eyed wonder!
This set totally overwhelmed her with the amount of pieces, and so Charity settled down to help Katya put it together.
By the time it was together, Katya was an emotional and weepy wreck . . . she had no further interest in her couple packages still remaining, and in fact, she was so overwhelmed that I had to sit and firmly hold her for awhile as she wept and yelled and kicked. It finally took lunch and a long "down-time" on the couch listening to her favorite Cedarmont Kids DVD before she was able to regain her equilibrium and resume having a good day. She did later open the Play Doh from Chad, but has no interest right now in opening her last two packages. So they sit--waiting probably till tomorrow.
After a life of deprivation and lack of stimulation and appropriate toys, we are not surprised at this. Add in the fact that she can't express what emotions are churning inside of her, and this storm does not shock us.
I have to wonder if this richness, this abundance . . . makes her angry as she thinks about how she was treated and how she spent the first 6.5 years of her life?
I hold hope for the future . . . . hope that some day she will be set free to fully enjoy Christmas. As simple as our day was, and as few of gifts she received, I know any thing more would be completely cruel for her right now. In faith, I hold out hope for Christmas in the future. Hope that Katya will be able to communicate better, and will have found enough healing be able to plunge deeply into the joy that is Christmas--in all ways--spiritually AND emotionally AND relationally.
(Yes, her collection is starting to fill up the window ledge as you can see here!)
Merry Christmas to you and yours--because He came!!!