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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

In our hands!

Yep, our LOA from China arrived today!  Countdown to China has begun!  It finally seems real!  And now I have to wrap my head around being a mom two three year olds!  EEK!   

Friday, July 25, 2014

Meng's Blown Port, our REAL LOA (and new W&W pics), and a Brian update!

Hey folks!
    Lots of craziness going on here, a usual.  Meng, Rory and I just got back from Memphis TN, where Meng had her 6 month check up at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  We have been having lots of trouble with her port these past few months.  Yesterday we discovered why....there was a small kink in it, and after trying carefully to straighten it out with a few ml's of saline, the nurse accidentally blew a hole in it!   OUCH!  Meng flipped out (yes, it was painful), and now.....she has to have surgery to remove the blown port and replace it.  Not a major surgery, but still one more thing to add to my list!  And....Peoria wants Memphis to do the surgery, so we will be heading back in August to have the port replaced.  But...despite that unpleasantness, Memphis was great!  We went with some friends, who introduced us to some local authentic BBQ and some amazing pizza!  We had a good time.  But now we are tired!  LOL

    Well, you may remember that I was SO excited to announce that we got the boy's LOA?!?!  Well, the agency director had us confused with another family.  How disappointing to find out she was wrong!  But....TODAY WE GOT OUR REAL LOA!  So, we can celebrate all over again!  LOL  With as busy as things have been, it didn't seem like to much extra time to wait.....and we still got it in less than 60 days, when many folks are waiting 90 or 100!  God is good, his timing is perfect! We should still travel by early fall.

   Brian news.  Well, as crazy as this sounds, I just made a DCFS hotline call to turn DCFS in for child abuse!  Really!  He has been in a facility called Aunt Martha's ever since our dependency hearing at the beginning of the month.  We have been able to talk with him, check on him, and be involved in his care.  Little by little he began to have some aggression issues, especially over this past week.  And then yesterday, I am told he snapped.  Injured several staff and patients, and damaged office equipment.  He was SASS screened, and taken to a psych hospital in Chicago.  Today, I called to check on him and talk to him, and I was told that they could not speak to me, since he was a state ward.  I spent the day (while driving home from Memphis) calling every social worker involved in his care, but not a single one ever called me back.  The hospital absolutely refuses to talk to me, or to allow me to talk to Brian.  So, I called DCFS to report that my son was not being allowed to speak to me, or for me to able to check on him.  Their response?  Wait til Monday and they will get a social worker to permit the hospital to talk to me.  Crazy.  I know Brian.  After he rages, he is scared.  He is alone.  He needs to hear a familiar voice, and we were hoping to visit him this Sunday.  But......they seem to know what is best for him, so none of those things are allowed.  It is truly a broken system, and one that does NOT have the best interest of the child at heart.  We were promised by DCFS and the judge in our case, that we would be involved in every aspect of Brian's care.  Not true.  Even though we retained our parental rights, we basically have none.  So, once again, I place Brian in God's hands, and ask God to comfort him, and bring him peace.  I know He will.  And I ask Him to give me peace also!

    Gotta go.  Busy weekend!  We have Shunnishi here visiting from Japan, we are heading to Chicago tomorrow to visit Bronwyn's birth family, and to visit Chris B, who just had surgery.  Then heading to St. Louis on Monday, to take Daley to a seizure specialist.  Always busy, but loving my busy life and my beautiful family!!!

    Enjoy these amazing new pics of my boys!  I cannot wait to hug them!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Boys, we are coming!

I just have a minute, but I had to share!  I went to an adoption picnic today, and there was our agency director, who told us she has our Letter of Approval from CHINA!   WOOHOOOOOOO
We will be finishing up all of the last paperwork, and should travel in about 8 weeks!
OMGosh!   It is real!   Thank you Jesus!  Cecil LiWen McKinney and Ervin LiWu McKinney,
 I cannot wait to meet you!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My quiet week!

Well, this is a very unusual week for me!  Brittany is serving with our church on a mission trip in Georgia.  Keagan, Bronwyn, and Brianna are at Camp One Way's Teen Retreat.  And Tobin, MengYan and Rory are at Camp CoCo, and hem/onc camp in Bloomington.  That means I have ONLY Daley Faith at home with me this week!   This house is SOOOO quiet!  It is kinda weird!  It was nice for the first day, now I miss them like crazy!  I am working on a list of household projects I am working on completing.  Doing good with it so far, but not sure I will complete my list by Friday!

Daley has been a lil stinker lately!  She is so darn cute.  She is not supposed to have enough brain to have personality, likes/dislikes, etc.  But she sure does!  Her big thing lately is holding a grudge.  She got FURIOUS with me over her bath a few days ago, and when I tried to comfort her afterwards (Yes, she HATES them), she literally took her little hands and pushed my face away from her!  So cute!  And yesterday I was trying to rub her head and kiss her cheek, but shame on me....I was interrupting her Sesame Street!  So, she did it again, literally pushed me away from her!  LOL  She is becoming just like the other kids, with a lil attitude!

We went to court on Monday, for our situation with Brian.  We completed all 5 hearings for his care in one appearance.  He is now a state ward, but we were able to maintain our parental rights.  We will be a part of his care, his future.  We will be able to visit him, call him, and retain our mom/dad relationship with him.  And....if he makes drastic improvements, we also have the option of trying to transition him back home.  He is currently in a place called Aunt Martha's in Chicago, while they try to find the best residential placement for him.  The only stinky news, is that we did not get our charges dropped at this point.  This hearing was only for Brian, not our criminal charges.  So, we have to go to court again on Aug. 5.  If they call our names and announce No Charge afterwards, we go home and it is all over.  If they give us a docket number, then we have to hire a lawyer.  I am confident we will be OK.  DCFS and the Asst State Atty have both asked the court to drop our charges.  And....God is in control.  As always.

Dale started his new job at DMH this week, and Patrick also started a new job, with MiCar.  Dale will be working with Dr. Krause and Dr. Dold in the Neurosurgical dept, and Patrick will be welding and pipefitting at ADM.  So good to have both my men working!

I am working hard this week to read through the entire New Testament.  Every time I read God's Word, I stumbled across something I don't ever remember reading before.  OR perhaps just something I really need to read at that particular time.  I am really convicted of LOVE this week.  Showing love, sharing love, experiencing love, and loving even when it is hard or I don't want to.


This is the amazing lil man my sister is hosting for the month!  His name is Shazou, and he is absolutely adorable!  I am so hoping they decide to make him a permanent family member!  Adoption rocks!
Dale's official name on the office door at DMH.  I am so proud of that sweet man!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Family News

Hello friends,
   I wanted to give you all an update, especially on our situation with Brian.  It has been a difficult week.  On Monday, we met with all of the therapists again, as well as executives from DCFS.  By the end of the meeting, they all agreed that we should not bring Brian home, for safety reasons.  We all decided that the best road for us to take was to do a DCFS supported "Lock-out", which is basically where we refuse to bring Brian home, once the mental hospital is ready to discharge him.  So, that happened on Wednesday.  The hospital knew this was our plan, and all people involved did as well.  I was able to talk with Brian beforehand, to explain the situation to him.

   The downside to a lock-out, is that the police have to be involved.  Shortly after the process began, they called, and needed  Dale and I to come to the police station, where they arrested us, and charged us with child endangerment/abandonment.  We literally sat in this little holding room for 4 hours, while they tried to sort it all out.  I am a document/paperwork freak, so this helped us tremendously, as I already had a packet of info prepared for both the police and the DCFS investigator.  Brian was in the room across from us, and he was very agitated.  We are told he tried to punch on of the officers, he destroyed some security equipment, and he took off his clothing (this is a new one).  I know he was just scared.

    On Monday, we go to court, to begin the Petition of Dependency process, and to ask that our charges be dropped.  I have met with the asst. to the States Atty, and they have assured me that they are asking for charges to be dropped.  DCFS is asking for this also, so I am fairly confident we will be ok.  Brian is in a temporary placement, at a shelter in Chicago, while they try to find the best residential facility for him.  We are NOT giving up our parental rights, we will still be very involved in his care and treatment.  We have explained to him, that he is still our son, and we will always be there for him, he just will not live in our home.....just like his sister Brogan who is in NC, or his brother Brandon, who lives with another adoptive family.  He seemed to understand this very well, and is ok with this transition.

   Whew.  In other week will be so weird!  My kid are all heading in different directions!  Brittany leaves today for a mission trip with our church to Georgia.  Tomorrow Rory, Meng and Toby are heading to their favorite summer camp, Camp CoCo!  And Monday Keagan, Brianna, and Brownyn are heading to Camp One Way.  So.....I will have only Daley at home with me all week!!!!  Wow, crazy!  Don't worry, I have lots of things planned.  Mostly painting and cleaning.  And a little date night with Dale as well!

   Well, I have to get off this computer and get moving this morning.  Thanks for checking in.
God bless!