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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas is COMING!

Good morning peeps!
Well, we are TOTALLY excited to celebrate Christmas in just a few days! My shopping is done, most the gifts are already wrapped, and yesterday the kids and I baked 9 cookie trays, which we are delivering today! :) Mostly I am excited to celebrate Jesus Christ's birth, and to start a new year of serving Him! Praying for lots of guidance and clarity in the new upcoming year!
An update on the FIVE kids......well, it is weird. After LOTS of prayer about them, Dale and I both felt we needed to know them more. So, we called our caseworker, and asked her to set up anther weekend home visit. We would go into this visit a little wiser, and knowing more of what to watch for. Our caseworker made MANY calls to the kid's birthmother, and she has never returned her call. Dale finally emailed Brandon (the oldest) last week, and Brandon told him, that a family member had shamed their birthmom into keeping the children, instead of placing them, as she was planning. But, the older girls continued to visit the caseworker's office telling her mom wanted them to go!!! So, we have NO IDEA what is going on. For the kids to stay with their birthmom, would be the best thing, as they love her dearly. But, she has to step up, grow up, and decide to be a mom, which means giving up a lot of her needs in exchange for theirs. These kids have not been in school since October.....because mom hasn't had the time to get them in for their shots and physicals!!!! So, we continue to pray that God's will be done, and we continue to try to figure out our role with these kids. We will see them on the 23rd, as we are taking them Christmas gifts!!! We had a of of fun shopping for them, and a lot of wonderful people from our church helped financially, so these kids could have a GREAT Christmas!
In the meantime, we are still trying to find God's will. Still have our house & farm on the market, in fact we are showing it twice this weekend. We are still looking at various waiting child lists, trying to see if our next child might be waiting for us. And also wondering if this is a season in our lives where God is just calling us to be content, and be still?!?!
Praying you all have a great weekend, and a great Christmas! God Bless!

Monday, November 28, 2011

An update and prayer request the kids. This Thanksgiving weekend was good, but also hard. It is emotionally draining to have that many kids in the house, trying to make sure they all get along, trying to keep some sort of balance. The girls all did great. The 2 oldest are wonderful, sweet ladies. They need some help in the hygiene dept., but that is something they can learn. The youngest, Bria, was terrified of Dale and I the first day or so. I truly do not think she has been around many white people! She wanted me to pat her back, and sing to her, but only if she could not see my face! Really! It was funny! But, by Sunday, she was following me everywhere, calling me momma. She is a chunky little gal, and needs a better diet, but again, things we can work on.
The boys were more of a challenge. We were told that Brian, the 10 year old has some mild cerebral palsy. Well, that wasn't quite right. Brian has some pretty significant cognitive delays. He is truly about at a 5 year old level. He talks to himself (and answers), in an eery voice, makes funny noises constantly, and has trouble understand things, and coordinating his motor skills. But worst of all, he was quite violent. Many times he punched Rory, and tried choking the younger kids. He made me very nervous. I truly do not think he has any idea he is doing anything other than playing. I do not know if this is something that he just needs disciplined for, and would then understand, or it this has been an on-going issue, that will continue.
Brandon. He was fantastic all weekend. Very polite, very helpful. Almost a too good to be real kind of thing. Our only issue with Brandon is the language he uses, and the things he has been exposed to. He has also had a lot of freedom, to basically go where he pleases and do what he wants. Not sure how easy it would be to bring some fairly strict structure into his life! LOL
So what do we do from here!?!?
UGH! I sure wish God would just whisper in my ear what is good, and which path we should follow! It would sure be easier!
I am just SO confused! I want to do everything I can for these kids, even if that means becoming their momma! But, do I do that at the cost of my own children's safety and security?!?!
Please Lord, show me your plan! Give me your peace!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Now that's a LOT of kids!

Hello! Well, do you remember the sibling group of FIVE I mentioned in my last post?!?! Well, they are here for a home visit, for the Thanksgiving weekend. It has been: Fun, Crazy, Hectic, Busy, but all in all a good time. We have been getting the know the kids, and they have had the chance to see how our family functions, to see if they would be happy in our home. They are: Brandon- the oldest, a very polite, helpful young man. Brittany- a Very pretty, but shy one. She seems most troubled by her family situation. Brianna- The spirited one! Always has a smile, always ready for a new adventure. Brian - The mystery. He has some issues, but I just cannot figure out what they are! He seems delayed cognitively, and seems to have some slight CP issues with his hands and sometimes his speech. He was TERRIFIED when we met him, literally scared to death. Now he is happy and content. He has food, which he loves, and friends. And Bria- The 2 year old, who outweighs my 6 year old, and wears the same size clothes! She has gone from being terrified of me, to calling me momma, in just a few short days.
Where do we go from here?!?!? I have no idea. I question whether I can stretch this far. But, I know God can stretch me beyond what I can imagine. We have applied for a family size exemption from the State of Illinois. Our caseworker says this is NO problem, she is sure we will get the exemption. Out atty is not as convinced. We should know sometime next week. God is in CONTROL. I keep telling myself that! LOL
IF we get a YES, from Illinois, then we have to decided whether to move forward with additional home visits, with the ultimate goal of adoption, or whether to advocate for them in a smaller family, or whether to help momma and grandma, to the point where these kids can stay home. I am not sure if the last is even an option.
Would you pray for us?! We need some wisdom and guidance!
Much love!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Oops, this one wouldn't load!

Brogan and Zachary, soon to be parents for the first time! <3 <3 <3

Friday, November 4, 2011

Some new photos of my lovies!

1) My darling Daley Faith!!!

2) Rory and MengYan at Heather P's wedding! What a fun day!

3) Bronwyn and Toby with a new friend from Uganda!

4) Dale, my love, with Keagan at the JFL banquet!

Updates on the McKinney Fam!

Hello! Sorry for the long stretch between posts. Busy as usual in my crazy household! I love my life, but finding extra breathing room is sometimes a challenge!!! LOL
Well, I have some catching up to do! Hmmm, let's start with BROGAN. Brogan is expecting my first GRANDCHILD!!!!! Landon Nelson New is due on Brogan's birthday, March 19!!! I am totally completely excited! But also feeling a wee bit old! I had the amazing privilege of visiting Brogan and Zach this summer in Germany, and it was amazing! Love it! Wonderful company, wonderful food, and awesome castles! Brogan and Zachary have made such a nice life for themselves. I am very proud of them. They are hoping to be back in the states by the time Landon is born, but we all know the army moves s-l-o-w-l-y. So please pray!!!
PATRICK! He began his first year at Olivet University this fall, and has made me quite proud! I miss him very much, but he has been able to make it home monthly. He is my guinea pig.....meaning the first of my homeschool students to go to college! It is not only a test of him, but me as well!!! So far, he is doing GREAT! Whew!!! :)
KEAGAN! Ah, my Keagan is really growing up! He is almost taller than me, and surely stronger! He just finished his first JFL season, and he loved it!!! He is improving in his school, and has been a great help on the farm, since Patrick is gone!!!
BRONWYN continues to be my diva! :) She had the opportunity of a lifetime this summer, and she got to spend it with big sissy in Germany! She loved it, and came home much more grown up than when she left.
TOBY - This is the year of the Toby! He has struggled with school since day one, and I have struggled to help him. This clicked! He is reading so well, blazing through school, and even works his homework days ahead, just for fun! His new passion is word searches! He's also a fanatic about cleaning. A good skill to have!
RORY & MENG are READING!!! I am so proud of them!!! We are already halfway through our kindergarten book, and will be in first grade by early spring. After having a few struggling learners in the past few years, it is a breath of fresh air to have these little peanuts blowing through their phonics! They spend most of every day playing with their puppy, Pipa, or their kittens, Mr. Mittens, Mr. Littens, Mr. Shockey, and Mr. Scaredy.
DALEY FAITH - Miss Deeny continues to thrive! She is so pretty, so sweet, and her laugh makes me smile even in the worst of moods! Her health is stable, and her fussiness is much improved. We have a nurse that helps with her, Tracy, and she is one of the best moves we have made! Tracy is an awesome lady, and we are so blessed to have found her! Daley LOVES her, and so do we!
And that leaves just Dale and I. God has been taking us through some stuff these past few months!!! We have read some AMAZING books lately, that have motivated us to do more and more for our Lord! We really, truly, felt the Lord calling us to the inner city. So.....we put our farm and home up for sale, to the utter disbelief of our friends and family, and we waited. We showed the house SOOOOO many times, and nothing. We were wrong about what we thought God was calling us to?!?! We reduced the price of our house, and still nothing. And then......we got a call. An call from our caseworker, Susan. She asked if we were interested in adopting again. We said "maybe". She said it was a sibling group. We said "maybe". She said a sibling group of 5. We said, "oh my". And then we started praying, and advocating for these kids. We still are. And we are going to meet them next week. And we are seriously thinking of bringing these family-less children home with us. Really! We are! And....we are excited about it! Maybe.....the Lord is bringing the inner city to us! There are lots of things to think about, lots of details that overwhelm me (like have 11 children in my home!), but we stil have this little peace in our hearts, that this could be JUST exactly what God is doing with us! We'll see!!!!
When I was younger, a friend teased me about being a Christian. "Your life is SO boring, with all those stupid rules. You cannot do anything fun". This life I lead as a Christian, has been the most absolute amazing adventure I could ever imagine! I have been more blessed, and had more privileges than I could ever imagine! Thank you, Lord Jesus, for giving me this great adventure!
Blessings! :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

God hears my Prayer, Make-A-Wish! :)

Hello friends! Well, I first want to apologize for my last post. Think this momma was having a pity party! Things are better. Daley was put on a new seizure med, which has been a very good thing. She was having 10-12 small seizures daily, and now she has maybe 1 or 2 a week! We were told that she will probably have an occasional "mother of all seizures", as we call it, but I think it will be easier since we have been through it once. Many of you know that she had been on this spiral of not eating over the past few months. After this last big medical crisis, her lack of appetite grew even worse. At 12 months of age, she had reached 20#. Last month she was down to 16#! And in a chronic state of dehydration. So, on March 25, she was hospitalized again, but this time for a gtube placement. As crazy as this sounds, she now receives all of her liquid feedings through a tube that goes directly into her stomach. She is up to 19.2#, her color is better, she is less fussy, and her hair looks so shiny and thick! It has made a huge difference! It has been kinda weird to get used to, but I will do whatever it takes to help this little sweetie pie, who has won my heart!

What do you think of the photo above?!?! Yep, Miss Emily MengYan went on her Make-A-Wish trip last week, and it was AMAZING! The most fun, awesome vacation we have EVER had! We were picked up in a limo, flown to Orlando, stayed in an amazing place called "Give Kids the World Village", and literally spoiled rotten! We went to all the theme parks (Universal was the BEST!), ate lots of food and ice cream, and met every princess and superhero you can think of! God has truly blessed us! There is no way we could have ever afforded to give Meng a trip like this. When you all are considering charities to give to, please consider Make-A-Wish. They are fabulous!

Other news? Rory turned FIVE today! Dale is accepting a job with the Neurosurgery Dept at SIU School of Medicine. This job will be working DAYS! Hallelujah! Patrick leaves for Nicaragua on June 2! Bronwyn, Daley and I are flying to Germany to spend a few days with Brogan in mid-June! All of the ewes have given birth, and we now have 16 lambs! Cows are due soon! And lastly, I LOVE my family and I LOVE my Lord!
Peace my lovies!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Needing some Jesus

Hello people, it has been a very rough few weeks, and this post may be depressing, so feel free to skip it. Really, I am serious. My heart is breaking right now over several situations that are completely out of my control. My Daley has had a very serious, life-threatening medical crisis, and I cannot let go of the feeling that her health is so very fragile right now. I am right back to where I used to be, being AFRAID of her future. I gave this to our Lord, but somehow, I have taken it back. I thought I was so much stronger than this. I am not.
My Keagan is also struggling, mostly socially, but also academically, and more recently with some alarming, scary symptoms of Tourettes Syndrome. Praying that this is not the case, but worried all the same. Keagan is the little man that motivated me to adopt, again and again, and sometimes I feel like I have not given him enough of me. I love him so much, and I have to show it more. So I am asking the lord to give me another chance to be a better mother to him. Thank you Lord, that you are the King of second chances! :)
Through Daley and Keagan's struggles, I have reached a conclusion. As much as I feel called to adopt another child, I cannot. I don't totally understand why God gave me this heart that breaks for His children who are family-less, but at this point, I can do nothing more than advocate. I am so stretched. I have to quit opening the emails about waiting kids, and I have to quit going through the lists, because I cannot simply pray for these kids without feeling moved to take it a step further. Adopting another child at this point would be detrimental to my family. They have to be my priority. But giving up my hopes for additional adoptions makes me kinda sad. :( So, someone needs to step up and take my place! :)
Other news?!?! Well, Dale found out last week that he is losing his job. His hospital has sold out to another MEGA hospital, and they will be deciding who stays and who goes. He can apply for his "old" job, but will take a $15,000 pay cut! NUTS! So, he has been applying and interviewing at every PA opening within a hours drive, and thankfully has been flooded with responses. Now he has the HUGE process of deciding which job is the best fit for our family, and which job he feels the Lord leading him to. Whew, glad it's him and not me! But, thank God he has a skill that is in demand. God, once again, is protecting our family! :)
On a much happier note, God is MOVING in our church! We had the most amazing church service EVER last week, and I cannot even think of how to describe it to you, except to say that God was right there, and we felt Him SOOOOO real! His presence has sustained me through these past weeks, although I need even more! I need to be spending more time on my knees and less time on this computer! And that is exactly my prayer. More of Jesus and less of this crappy old world.
Peace Love and Happiness, my lovies.
God Bless

Friday, January 14, 2011

Some new photos of my sweeties

Not a whole lot of news around here, things are pretty quiet, which is good! We had a wonderful Christmas! I am LOVING this snow, and hoping we get snowed in good at least once this winter! Trying to save money to send Dale and Patrick to Nicaragua this summer, on a mission trip, and to send Bronwyn to Germany to spend some time with Brogan and Zachary. Everyone has been fairly healthy, which is amazing! No new children, no new pets, just settling in and trying to keep up with all that I have! God is good, and he continues to bless me! Enjoy these photos!