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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Court Date!


This was a great week! We went to court this past Wednesday, to officially adopt Daley Faith McKinney, and to re-adopt Emily MengYan McKinney! It was a pure blessing to make these girls "official" family members, ever though they have been since the minute they moved into our home ( and hearts!).

Court was crazy! We have adopted 4 times before, but this was the first time we spent over an hour in a tiny little storage/conference room filled with toilet paper! Our hearing was postponed for an hour, and our attorney did not want us to wait in the hallway with the inmates (thank you), so we spent some "close family time" in the storage room! LOL It was interesting!

Update on other things: I think I am ready for Christmas! Done with shopping, done with wrapping, almost done with baking.
Dale may have a chance to take a day shift at his hospital. Please pray he does! I don't think he wants to, but I would sure like for him to try it. I would LOVE having him home every night! Although Rory would be pretty hacked to get kicked out of my bed! Timmy is still with us, but will be going home to spent some time with his momma over Christmas. She was able to get a house, and we are helping her move in tomorrow. Timmy has gotten As on his pat 3 spelling tests! We were also able to get his bad tooth looked at, and a treatment scheduled. Brogan and Z are doing well in Germany, but I am sure gonna hate not having them here for Christmas. It will feel so weird, not having my oldest baby here! I miss her very much. Our van broke down, but is finally fixed, now we are trying to get the tractor running before any more snow hits! With our 1000 mile driveway (ok, it just seems that long), we cannot be without a tractor!!! We would be snowed in for week! (hmmmm, might be nice!).
Making huge decisions on the kid's education. After 12 years of homeschooling, I am finding myself questioning my capabilities. Daley makes my days so difficult, and our entire school year has been so out-of-whack. I would never do public school, but there is a Christian school I am praying about. My other option is to hire someone to help with Daley for a few hours each morning. Hmmmm, lots of prayers going up, but no answers coming down..........

Well, thanks for checking in, and here is a quote that I just totally love!
"Jesus did not come just to comfort the afflicted, He also came to afflict the comfortable".
God Bless and Merry Christmas!!!! Happy Birthday Jesus Christ! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Timmy"


I'm back! It has been a while since have had a chance to blog! This guy above the type is part of the reason.
Seven years ago, Timmy came to stay with us for a week, and ended up with us all summer. We fell in love with this little mocha boy, and we missed him dearly when he went back home with his momma. We have kept in touch loosely through the years, but have always had a special place in our hearts for him.
About a month ago, we got an email from his momma. She was in a very rough spot. She is currently homeless, she has lost both her job and her car, and she literally has nothing. She asked us to help with Timmy, as she did not want him to suffer because of her situation. We began keeping Timmy over the weekends. We offered our home to her as well, but she declined. This past week she called and asked us if we could take him full-time, on a temporary basis. So, Timmy has moved back in!
He is a joy. Despite his rough life, he is happy, and his smile is contagious! This little guy, who is now ten, came to us having been abused, neglected, and bullied. He brought a bag of his belongings.....6 WWF wrestling toys, a WII game, 2 prs of jeans, 2 shirts, and 1 pair of undies. No coat, no hat, no mittens, no socks, no toothbrush. My bestest bud Kimberly went on a shopping spree and bought him some clothing and essentials. The school generously donated a coat to him, and also bought him shoes, gloves and a hat. Now we are spending our evenings helping him get caught up on school, and working on some social skills that are a little lacking.
Some family members & friends think we have gone crazy, for taking in another one of God's children, who is in need. One even suggested I let DCFS do their job. Will they ever get it??! If we Christians would step up and do what God has asked us to do, there would be no need for DCFS! If we take off our blinders, and truly look, we will see hundreds of children like Timmy, right in front of us. Yes, the need overseas is HUGE, but the need in our own backyards is there too!!! I challenge you all to take a look around. Find a child who doesn't have the things your children do, and then ask God how you can be a blessing to that child.
I ask that you keep Timmy in your prayers, as well as his momma. His momma needs a job, and a safe, clean place for him to live. But until that happens, we are having fun getting to know him more, and watching him blossom into a wonderful, handsome, joyful young man!
God Bless!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Are we REALLY against abortion?!?!


Ooooh, touchy subject. But I cannot help it! Let me back up and explain. Last week, my wonderful adoption atty called. Now, she usually only calls me to let me know about an upcoming court date, or when she needs help placing a special baby. This call was about a special baby. A Downs baby, that was being delivered on Thursday of last week. She had not one family interested. I spent a good part of the week advocating and networking for this little guy. Last I heard, there was one family semi-interested. Breaks my heart. Where are you Christians?!?! Now let's chat. Are we really anti-abortion?! Cause if we REALLY are, then we have to step up, and be a family for these babies who are unwanted by their mommas. And I don't mean just the healthy white babies. I am talking about the brown babies, the bi-racial babies, the latino babies, the babies whose momma's used drugs and alcohol. The babies who do not look perfect, or who have a disability of some sort. The babies who need xtra love and care, and YES, EVEN THE BABIES WHO WILL NEED TO BE PARENTED FOREVER.

Can you imagine being young, scared, pregnant and alone?!?! Can you imagine making that terribly difficult decision to place your child for adoption, only to find out that no one wants your child?? Wouldn't that make abortion just about your only option?! Is this really what we want?!

How much do you trust your Lord?! Do you trust him enough to step out and do something crazy, scary, and completely out of your comfort zone?! Is He asking you to consider parenting one of His special children? Has be placed a child on your heart?! Don't be scared. He will guide you! What you should be afraid of is saying No to Him. If you say NO to Him, He may decide not to ask anything of you again!

An amazing thing happened this week to me. God literally spoke to my heart through a Beanie Kid in my living room. You see, years ago, I started collecting Beanie Kids that resembled my children. I have one for Brogan, Patrick, Keagan, Bronwyn, and Tobin. I later got one for Rory and Meng. And then for some crazy reason I bought one with long blonde hair and blue eyes. MANY times I thought, why on earth do I have this doll?! I will never have a child that looks like this. And now I have Daley. My Daley has pure white hair and beautiful blue eyes. My Daley is severely disabled. Daley is my joy, but she is also my fear. I am AFRAID of her dying. I am AFRAID for her future. I am AFRAID of me not being able to give her all she needs. But when I looked at that silly little Beanie Kid, it hit me, that I bought that doll years ago, not realizing that she represented my Daley. And for some reason (God is Good!) I had placed in her hand, a little hand painted tile, that a young boy made for me years ago. And on it are these words PERFECT LOVE DRIVES OUT FEAR. I literally cried! God was waiting for me to get this message. A message that He sent me years before Daley was born! He knew! He prepared me, without me every knowing it. My love for her will drive away my fear! And just as He sent me this doll to reassure me, He will do the same for you! He will bless you beyond measure for stepping out in faith to help one of the "least of these".

My prayer is simple. I pray that we will wake up and realize that the treasure of a child is beyond all value. Despite the needs of the child. I pray that the next time Kirsten calls me with a special baby, that there will be families fighting over this child! Please, consider taking that step of faith. It is an amazing journey!

God bless!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Cure for my Meng?!?!?!


My sweet Emily MengYan! She and I just returned from a 3 day trip to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis TN. She has been accepted into a research project, for her Beta Thalassemia blood disorder. We had a great time having "mom and Meng" time, and the staff at St. Jude spoiled her rotten! She had labs, an eval at the hematology clinic, an eye and ear exam, and finally a Feriscan of her heart and liver. She handled it all like a real trooper, and made her momma quite proud.
We got some really good news while we were there. There is a fairly new program in the works, it involves gene therapy. Gene therapy has improved red blood cell production in Bet thal rats and monkeys, to the point where they no longer needed transfusions. St. Jude just got the OK to begin testing this therapy on humans! Their first cases will be kids 16-21. Meng's hematologist feels certain that this therapy will benefit Meng, and hopes to try it on her in as little as 3-5 years! This is leaps and bounds of when we expected!
Our God is good. He has protected Meng while in China, he has restored her health since she has been home, and now he has led us to the place where she can be cured. He is an amazing God!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things.........




What to do with Halloween?!?!?!

I love this time of year, Fall is my absolute favorite. But I hate the dreaded issue of what to do with Halloween. HATE IT. This is only October 3, and Bronwyn came home from youth group with an invitation to go to The Scream (local haunted house) with her youth leader!!! You have got to be kidding!
When Brogan and Patrick were little, we did trick-or-treat for the first few years. Then we felt this huge conviction to NOT celebrate this pagan holiday. We offered an alternative to Halloween, a party we called The Pumpkin Bash. We had this party every Oct 31 for 10 years, and averaged over 300 in attendance. And then we moved, to an area that was not fenced, and not very safe, as we are very close to a lot of forrest, and the Sangamon River.
So, we began attending our church's Trunk or Treat party. Well, all of a sudden, I feel like I have been duped into celebrating a pagan holiday again! I feel like little by little, we have given in, and are celebrating a holiday that glorifies death, witchcraft, blood, gore, and fear. OK, so no more. The kids are gonna hate this, but we will not celebrate halloween ever again, in any fashion. What do you all think??!! Do you think our Lord Jesus would approve of our kids participating in Halloween?! Everyone has to make their own decision. Pray about it. Seriously give it some thought. Going with the flow is easier, but is it right??!! hmmmmmmmm

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Favorite Farm Critters


This is Nutmeg. She is my First Irish Dexter. She had her first calf this year, a Dexter/Jersey bull calf named ADAM. If all goes well, and she doesn't kill me, I plan to milk her next spring, when her second calf is born.

This is my new Nubian doe, Fannie. She is beautiful, and quite a sweetheart.

This is the other Nubian doe, Butterfly. She is the friendliest, and comes running when the kids go out to visit her. She will have her first kid(s) early spring.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New goats and My Daley

Well, do you remember a few posts back when I mentioned how sad I was that I sold my dairy goats? Well, I am not so sad anymore. I bought some new ones! I bought 2 Nubian does, one a heavy milker and one a yearling, and I also bought a Kinder buckling. And the best part is they are just as sweet and loving as my girls were. And another best part is that I can switch Daley right from her formula, to goat's milk, instead of grocery store cow milk (gag). I am happy!!! :) Will post photos soon, computer won't let me right now!

Speaking of my Daley, we got an official diagnosis on her yesterday, from Dr.Morgan in Peoria. Here is goes...... Cerebral Palsy - mixed quadriplegia, severe and profound global cognitive impairment/mental retardation, visual impairment and severe neurological irritability. She laughed as I read it to her! Really, she did! This should probably all freak me out, but it doesn't. Not even a little bit. This is one man's guess. Regardless of my baby girl's future, I love her, I will do everything in my power for her, and I thank God for her every day. She has grown my family in strength and love. She has made us so much better. And God has used Nancy, and Chris in my life, to prepare my heart for her. It is crazy, sometimes we don't even Realize that something we think is just an experience in life, is actually preparation for something God has planned!

Have a blessed day! And if you want to come love on my Daley, or my new goatie girls, come on over! LOL

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Special Visit!!!






When a child lives in an orphanage, they miss out on that parent/child bonding. Even the best orphanages, with the best nannys just cannot provide all that a parent can. And when the child's spirit figures out that they are missing that huge part of their life, they can become quite attached to other things, or to their roomies. This is what happened to my sweet Emily MengYan, and her best-est friend NuiNui, AKA Margaret, AKA Anna Claire! They shared a room and a bed for almost 2 years in China. They did everything together. I have very few photos of Meng that don't include Nui Nui. I am told they were inseparable. When we brought Meng home last September, the nannys told us that Nui was devastated. We actually tried to adopt them both, but the CCAA would not approve it. We planned to turn right back around again, and bring Nui home. But God had a different plan! He sent her a family! Shawn and Anna brought Nui home to N. Carolina last December. What a blessing!!! Since then, it has been so fun to sit back and watch these girls continue their relationship. They call each other frequently, and we actually got to spend several days together last May. It was precious! Last week, Nui's family were in St. Louis, which is not far from us. We spent the day with them again, and the girls had a blast! I thank God every day that the one thing they both loved about China (each other), they can still love! I truly believe God knows they need each other, and has made it possible for them to see and talk to each other often. God gave them the desires of their hearts (a family), but also kept their friendship alive. Thank you, Lord! You are an awesome God! :) Enjoy these photos of the girls!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Is this your daughter?? Or is she mine????


So, this beautiful, charming little girl is Dang LingLin, also known as Shepherd's Field's Melanie. I cannot get her off of my mind! She is the same age as Daley (10 months). Her file is being submitted to the CCAA in China very soon. All agencies think she will have a very hard, if not impossible time finding a family. Again I say, I cannot get her off of my mind. What does this mean?! I am praying, asking God to show me what it means. Sometimes when God puts a child on my heart, it is to become their prayer warrior, and to advocate for them like crazy. Sometimes when God puts a child on my heart, it is because they are MY child! Which is it??? I simply cannot tell. Waiting for God's answer. And a little nervous about it too! Will you pray for her?! Will you pray for God's perfect will for her life! Thank you!

Poor George.....

Well, when doing barn chores this morning I found that little George, one of my Alpine bucklings, was missing. I have spent a large part of the day searching for him, or at least for some sign of him. Nothing. Dale is sure our neighborhood fox or coyote have feasted on him. That stinks. That is the part of farm-life that I hate. I totally know that all wild critters have to eat, but why do they always have to get my favorite critters??? I have found that the ones I don't name, and don't get attached to stay around forever. But once they have a name, they become a target. Poor George. He was an ugly little guy, but I liked him.

On a lighter note, today was a good day! For the first time EVER, Daley was great for a babysitter! Miss Rachel came over and watched Daley for about 5 hours, while the kids and I ran errands and went to a 4H meeting. For those of you who do not know Daley, she does NOT like many people. But Rachel said she did great, and cried very little! This is huge progress! Thanks Rachel, for loving on my girl, and for making me feel good about her behavior!

Celebrating Bronwyn's bday tomorrow. She will not be 10 until Monday, but her girlies are coming over tomorrow. She is such a smart, beautiful girl, and I am blessed by her. She is gonna do great things, and I get to stand back and watch her. Love you Bronwyn Shea Justice Unique Eunice Allison Baker McKinney! :)

Good night, have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Treasures!




A catch up and a RANT!

Hey! I am back! I did not die, and I was not injured in some freak accident. I have just been so incredibly busy that I have had NO time to blog about anything! So, here is a quick catch up on the McKinneys, at Rainbow Family Farm! Ok, so Brogan and Zachary got married on December 10. An amazing wedding! Absolutely beautiful! I have never been so proud of Brogan, or any of my family, for that matter. Getting her to Germany to be with him was a different story. It took three months to get her there, and 6 months to get their stuff there! The Army is not in a hurry to do anything! But they are together, and enjoying life as newlyweds!

Just a few weeks before Brogan left, we had a major life change! We felt that all too familiar call, and accepted that call! God send us a new treasure, in the form of a baby, who is my true love, but also my greatest life challenge! My Daley Faith is now 10 months old. She is missing a huge portion of her brain. It is just not there! No one can explain if this is a birth defect, or damage from prenatal Meth exposure, or what. But it doesn't matter. She is blind, she has Cerebral Palsy, she functions at about a 2-3 month level and this may be as good as it gets. But I cannot tell you how close I feel to God when I hold her! I love this little peanut SO much! We all do. The kids fight over who gets to feed her, rock her, play with her. She has blessed us all SO much! But it has made things just a little crazier than usual...........

MengYan is still being transfused every three weeks. Toby has had several sickle crisis', mostly due to me letting him swim!!! And little Daley has OT, PT, ST, and VDT weekly. Oh, and Rory is back in OT. Whew! Wears me out, BUT, I love my life, and I love my kids! In fact, Dale and I are praying about #9. She's a beauty, just don't know for sure if she is intended for us, or we are just to advocate for her. Hmmmm, we'll see!

Farm life is good, although we did downsize this year. Many of you may have noticed that we disabled our website. When Daley came along, my spare time disappeared. I sold my beloved dairy goats (no time to milk), but quickly realized how stupid that was. I miss them dearly. Hope to get few back! We had our first calf, and now have 6 cows. Our sheep flock is thriving, and the chickens (the ones that survived the fox) are still laying like crazy. I am hoping to be back into the swing of farm production by next spring, depending on how Dbaby is doing.

We just started our 12 year of homeschooling. Patrick is a senior, and will graduate in January. Keagan and Brownyn are in 5th, Toby in 2nd/3rd, and Rory and MengYan are doing preK. And Daley just sits and watches us all, wondering why God sent her such a crazy family!!!

Which brings me to my RANT. School. I know homeschool is not for everyone. I truly know that. But, I cannot simply believe that people have the nerve to question me about our choice! I cannot believe someone would say to me, "I don't know how you do it". I think in some way that is supposed to be a compliment???!!! But I don't take it as one. So here is my answer, cause, I know I will never have the guts to say it to someone. "What?????? You don't know how I do it??? How the heck do you do what you do?? How the heck can you, as a Christian, put your child in a government (Caesar) run institution that is completely void of God in every way. An institution where kids are taught that their silly parents are wrong about how our world started. Wrong about why family values are important. They are taught that their self esteem is far more important than loving and serving one another. They are taught SO many things that are against God's word. And to top it all off, they are bullied, they are encouraged to have any kind of sex that they want, they are exposed to drugs and alcohol, profanity, and pornography. I could go on. So I am accused of sheltering my kids. OF COURSE I AM SHELTERING MY KIDS. That is my job!!!! Until my kids are old enough and educated enough to make wise decisions, it is my job to shelter them from garbage!!!!! What animal in this world gives birth to her young, and then sends them off to the jungle to fend for themselves??!!! And one more thing. PreK. What A joke! It is simply an opportunity for the government to brain wash our kids at an earlier age. The more often someone hears a lie (like evolution), the more likely they are to believe it. Tonight I questioned why a mom would send her child to preK, since she cries and begs to stay with her momma. A woman I do not know came to this momma's defense, saying it is OK if they get upset. Her son Colt, is seeing a social worker, to help him with his separation issues. HE IS FOUR YEARS OLD! This poor little guy just needs his momma! Can't these mothers see!!!!!! They are giving away their most precious gifts!!! My dear friend JW recently told me that he regrets his public school choice for his kids. They are both drinking, one an alcoholic, and both sexually active at a very young age. These are Christian kids, who came from two strong Christian parents. When we asked him what he thinks happened, he simply said, the school system. I am not saying that these kids cannot turn around, but why do they have to go through all of this in the first place?!!! They don't. People, there is a better way~~~
Oh, and one last rant. Socialization......hmmmm. Would I rather have my kids be able to carry on an intelligent conversation with an adult, even shaking hands upon meeting them, or would I rather have my child know how to send 15 texts in 2 minutes.
That's a no-brainer.


Ok, I am done. I apologize for this rant, but it has been brewing for a long time! I feel better! Seriously, if any of you reading are concerned about your children's education, PRAY about it! God will lead you in the right decisions. Please do not get caught up in that whole "My child is a light in the world" thing. Find me one instance in the Bible where God used a young, immature child to reach the world. It didn't happen. Your kids aren't ready for that. It is easier to get pulled down off the mountain, than to pull someone up. Try it. God wants the best for your children even more than you do. HE will help you, with whatever education decision you make. But you have to include Him!

God bless you, my peeps. I will not wait 11 months to post again. Even though some of you hope I do! LOL
Blessings,
Ann