- We had our biometric fingerprinting done today. YAHOO! This is one huge step closer to Katie. We are so close to being ready to submit our dossier. Once we get those results we are waiting on two documents to come in the mail, and you can consider our dossier signed, sealed, and delivered.
- Remember the party I told you Jenny was having? Well, she had it. In a big way. Guess how much money they raised? I don't have a final tally yet, but just the dollar bills and checks they received totaled. . . wait for it. . . $870!!! Can you believe that?! She said that they have a ton of coins too that they will have counted at the bank this week. I'm waiting to update our thermometer until I get the final count from her. $870 is absolutely amazing. She said that people were incredibly generous, asking questions about Katie and our family, and some were hopeful that we would be there so they could talk to us. This made me cry. I know some of Jenny's guests have been reading our blog - please comment to let me know you were here!! I am so incredibly humbled by the generosity of strangers. I'll let you know the final number when I hear from Jenny. It's so exciting!
- I went to elementary school with a girl named Kathy. She has a son who is in high school and took it upon himself to organize a benefit concert for Katie at his high school. As his mom said, "I'm shocked - he can't even clean his room, but he organized a concert!" He spoke to the principal and got permission to use the auditorium at his high school and he's organized the entire thing. I have never met this boy before in my life. The concert will be at Gardner High School on Sunday October 16th from 5-7:30 p.m. All proceeds will go to help bring Katie Ruth home. The willingness of children and teenagers literally all over the United States to help us bring Katie home is unreal. There are some parents out there teaching these children some really great lessons.
- We found out Friday that Katie is non-verbal. This didn't really surprise me, and was something we had definitely discussed and considered. Speech development in children with Down syndrome is usually late, and she's clearly not receiving any therapeutic services in the orphanage. While certainly a non-verbal child brings along with her another layer of challenges, this my friends is one for which we are prepared. David was non-verbal until he was three years old. (For new readers, David received speech therapy for three years at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center in Nashville for apraxia of speech.) This is familiar territory for us, and I've already started thinking about things we did with David (sign language, food boards, flashcards, et cetera) that were helpful to decrease his (and our!) frustration. Certainly with KR we have the additional challenge of English not being her first language, but we will cope. We're (very, very slowly) learning a few words of her native language, and will incorporate those to help her as much as we can. I've also talked with Ms. Dana, our OT for David, about available speech therapists she would suggest for KR. Vanderbilt is just too far for us to travel now on a regular basis, as much as we absolutely adored the program there. I know there are several other very well qualified providers closer to us.
- We have another fundraiser in the works - a softball tournament! It's being organized by our friend Brian, and I will pass those details along as I get more. I believe it's scheduled for October 22nd in Eagleville, TN.
- We got our FBI criminal background checks back today (unrelated to the biometric fingerprinting I mentioned in paragraph 1). Thankfully neither of us had a secret criminal past! :)
I hope your week got off to a great start! Thank you so, so much for your continued support on this adventure - we truly have the best friends we could ever think of having!