Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Our Kids are Finalists...

Hi everyone,
Our kids have been chosen as finalists in a photography Contest hosted by JUDE WOOD PHOTOGRAPHY here in PEI.  We would love to have your support to vote for them!  If we win, we will be getting a family photo shoot done of our family - something we haven't done since we adopted Evan almost 3 years ago!  We would love to have a family photo that includes Evan and an amazing foster child who is a special part of our family.

In this contest, whichever picture  has the most "likes" through facebook WINS.  All you have to do is click HERE and then LIKE Jude Wood Photography at the top of her facebook page.  Then scroll down her wall posts until you see the link for "Small Moments that make your life BIG".  Click on it and see all the families entered....our children are the bottom, right hand side.  Click "like" on our photo and you have voted for us.
Tammy and the gang

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where have the months gone?

So it's obvious I haven't posted in several months. There have been so many times I wanted to write but then just couldn't do it. There are 2 major "things" that have been transpiring since January and I'm not allowed to publicly talk about them. So, it was just easier to not update.

I'm still not able to say much but I do feel a bit of resolution and perhaps a positive outcome can still happen!

Life in general at the MacKinnon house is very good. The kids are great - healthy, happy, doing well in school, getting along together pretty good. Life has been a lot calmer since I left my job at Canadian Blood Services - I am LOVING being home. I am selling Silpada Jewellery and really, really enjoy it. Silpada makes a fine piece of jewellery but best of all it is Fair Trade. I am proud to visit people's home and share our jewellery with them. Click here if you want to read more or are interested in hosting a party. (Great hostess benefits...FREE jewellery).

Chris and I are starting to really experience life with "tweens". All of you out there changing diapers and chasing toddlers around - ENJOY IT! Actually, it's not all terrible. Caleb is an incredible baby sitter for Evan and Alyssa. They love it when he looks after them, jumps on the trampoline with them, reads to them, lets them stay up later than they're supposed to....

It's true that kids begin to think their parents don't know anything. I keep trying to tell Caleb that I am a highly educated, ambitious, motivated and "with-it" adult so I know what I'm talking about. But he's not buying it. Seriously, he thinks he knows more than me!

Dylan is not quite there yet (he's 11) - although he can beat me any day at a game of "Boggle" and just about any other game but I'm still smarter than him. Those games don't matter. I'm still smarter.

Alyssa and Evan are doing great. Alyssa is now part of a competitive gymnastics team and she is so adorable. Every time I watch her do her little mat routine I want to cry. So, so sweet. Evan has come so far. We have noticed many changes in his behavior (for the better) in the last 6 months. He is much more settled, seems more calm. He used to be so antsy it was like he was trying to get out of his own skin. Sometimes we couldn't hug him or be close to him, he just couldn't handle it. Much, much better now. He still talks about China all the time. Still longs to see his "mama and baba" in China. Is nervous that he won't be able to go back to China because he forgets a lot of the language. Still insists China is better in every way. Their fish is better. Their cheese is better. Their rice and noodles are better. ALL food in China is way better than ours. But, he did tell me the other day there was one thing better about Canada than China - his family. He is so precious. And really, that's the most important thing anyway so I'm glad (almost 2 years later) he is able to say he is happy with his Canadian family! :-)

There may be some exciting news to share down the road.....would love to spill it but it may be premature so I'll wait. Don't want to jinx anything.

I tried to get the camera to upload some pics from Mother's Days but my boys have once again claimed it. They love to make movies with our camera and every time I go to use it the batteries are dead. Then when I get it working again, I download tons of footage of zombie and vampire movies starring my children and their friends. Fake blood and everything. Life. You just never know where it will take you.

Friday, April 30, 2010

What's up?

It's totally time for an update! SO much has been happening...I was going back through the blog and it's been kinda "deep" hasn't it? And no real update on the family or any pictures. Hmmmm, I've been negligent. :-(

All the kids are doing great! It's hard to believe only 37 more days of school and then SUMMER BREAK! I can't wait! I resigned from my job at Canadian Blood Services and finished up on April 1st. Now I am home and LOVING it. Seriously, life has just sort of settled down. Much less chaos. More time hanging out together. Just all around better.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

"As I turn up the collar on my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind!
I see the kids in the street with not enough to eat
Who am I to be blind, pretending not to see their needs?"

~Lyrics from "Man in the Mirror"~

These are some common phrases I hear when discussing helping others -whether about adoption, giving financially, being involved in service trips, spending $$ on ourselves rather than helping others, etc...

"You can't save them all"

This one bothers me the most. Like it's an excuse to not even try. People tell me this all the time - usually when I'm talking about wanting to adopt again or if I tell them about specific children who need to be adopted before they lose their chance. Are people forgetting we are talking about living, breathing human beings? Helpless, hopeless, innocent children? So, we can't save 147 million orphans so we should ignore them and carry on with our own "blessed" lives. Like somehow it's our right to have a great life but not the orphans' right.

It would be interesting to see the people who say this during a time when their child's life was at stake.

"I work hard so I deserve to enjoy my money" (and all the materialistic things it can buy)

Okay, a little perspective. In North America we work in heated/air conditioned buildings (depending on season), if we work outside, we alter our work schedule with the seasons so we are not left out in the elements for hours on end, we work 7.5 hour days with 2 coffee breaks and a 1/2 hour lunch break (usually taken in fully equipped lunch rooms), people who work 12 hour shifts are compensated by getting more days off so they still only work the 37.5 hour work week, those who work longer hours or more days can do so at their own choice and with compensation, most jobs offer vacation time, sick time, personal days, mental health days, we also have the option of taking days off and not being fired, sometimes we are offered health insurance, free uniforms, free or discounted merchandise at the place we work, RRSP options, life insurance, sometimes employees even get free vehicles to drive around, housing allowances, food allowances, all-expense paid trips and certainly tax breaks for all our hard work!

In India right now there are men and women who are digging a lake - they are paid pennies to build this lake everyday. Guess how they are building it? With their hands. This is the truth. They are digging the lake with their hands! For pennies! For long, long hours every single day.

In poor countries all around the world there are children as young as age 5 who are working in fields for 14 hours a day. Every day. They will not go to school to be educated to get a better job.

In countries around the world there are children, both boys and girls, as young as age 4 who are being sold into the sex trade. They are made to "service" men with sex. As young as age 4. Every day they are forced to perform sex acts with adults. And other people are making money off these children.

Men and women in Third World countries work 14-16 hours every single day in sweatshops, making as little as $1/day. They work in disgusting, dirty and unsafe places to make $1/day.

Children in Guatemala (and may other countries) spend every day digging through garbage dumps looking for small items they can sell so they can feed themselves.

Oh yes! Here in North America we sure work hard for our money, don't we!

"I give money to charity, what more can I do?"

Giving money is easy. Usually when we give money, we give it when we've taken care of ourselves and we've bought all the little "extras" we want. Then, if there's a bit left over we'll pass it on to a charity and feel like we've done our part. When do we give when it's a sacrifice on our part? Imagine if we gave $2000 and sacrificed our yearly vacation trip? Imagine if we gave $20,000 and sacrificed having a 2nd vehicle? Imagine if we gave $75/month and gave up our cable? Imagine if we gave up $100/month and didn't eat out once at a restaurant? But those are the things we love! We want to do those things! It is much more difficult to give when it means we go without something.

Giving money is a start. But giving money doesn't change a person. Loving, caring and interacting personally with others is what changes us. When Jesus tells us to "Love One Another" and to "Love Your Neighbor", I believe He means for us to love them personally, not with cash.

I am so guilty of all of this. There are days where I am so selfish and want new things for my house or I dream of going down south and getting a break (because my life is so hard, right?!), or I want to eat out because I love food and it's easier than making a big meal at home, I want to buy my kids the latest name brands because surely they'd fit in better, and on and on and on....

None of those selfish wants is God's desire for my life. He has asked us to love Him and love others. He did not ask me to love things. He didn't say it would be the easy way, He said it would be hard. But He said it would be the way full of hope, redemption and joy!

I truly want to stop thinking it's my right to have everything that is available to me - I want to choose others over selfish wants!

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for the least of these brother’s of mine, you did not do for me.’

Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

~Matthew 25~

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hi friends!
This is an URGENT plea. The two boys listed below are little cuties from Reece's Rainbow. They are both very, very close to turning 4 and need families before they do. They live in a very poor area and all children at their orphanage are transferred on their 4th birthday. They will be transferred to an institution that cannot give them even the basic necessities for living. 80% of the children who are transferred die within the first year. This is not to be dramatic...this is the truth and reality for these children. PLEASE won't you consider these boys? Please spread the word and let the adoption community know of these two precious children. Paper ready families are ideal because there is such a time constraint...BUT if you are interested (and not paper ready), PLEASE contact Andrea immediately!

Don't forget these children....

Dennis (9)


BOY, Born March 18, 2006


Dennis has lost his family at the 11th hour, and is in crisis need of a paper-ready, USCIS approved family to save him from an institution he can't be adopted out of.

Dennis is a darling little boy with blonde hair and big blue eyes. He is not very active, and he struggles with pulmonary artery stenosis and rickets. He needs to get HOME, so he can have adequate medical care, sunshine, nutrition....so he really has a chance to achieve his true potential. He is an orphanage favorite, but he won't survive a transfer to the institution. Please consider rescuing this munchkin!!

Regrettably, this orphanage is one of the poorer ones, with very little outside aid and very little hope. All of the children are tiny and undernourished. These children are immediately transferred at 4, and have little chance of survival where they are sent. All of our waiting children need families, but these have a critical need. Please consider one of these children soon!!


Dennis has a grant of $5000 for the family who chooses this little sweetie!!!


The most difficult part is that Dennis is literally WEEKS from transfer to the institution, one he can not be adopted out of. We are desperately seeking a paper-ready, USCIS ready family who would be willing to specifically request him so he can be saved. Other photos available, we have had several families adopt from this orphanage previously as well.

BOY, Born June 2, 2006


Baby Alec....goodness, even at 3, he is still so much a baby. Alec is HEALTHY, with no heart condition. He does struggle with rickets (lack of Vitamin D), which can be helped once home. It is critical to get him home so his bones are not permanently damaged from it. He has also has cryptorchidism. This can often be corrected with surgery (if just undescended). He needs a mama who can love him and hold him and not leave him sitting all day long. He needs SUNSHINE!!


Regrettably, this orphanage is one of the poorer ones, with very little outside aid and very little hope. All of the children are tiny and undernourished. These children are immediately transferred at 4, and have little chance of survival where they are sent. All of our waiting children need families, but these have a critical need. Please consider one of these children soon!!


Alec has a grant of $5000 for the family who chooses this amazing little boy!

Monday, January 18, 2010

An amazing ministry in Haiti....read updates on what is happening in Haiti...next time we grab a glass of water or we give our children a hug, say a prayer for the suffering in Haiti!

CLICK HERE to donate to Cry Haiti (Canadians can get an income tax receipt too, but really at this point, who cares!)

I've also added a button on the right hand side to donate financially through another organization "Compassion".

Other important news from Haiti:

Not only is this great news for families waiting for their children, it means more orphans can be taken in by these orphanages and get the care they really, really need right now.

So much help and prayer is needed!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Here she is....

Here is the little darling that captured my heart. No denying she is precious, that's for sure.

The reality is this: this little one needs a family. You can see by reading her profile below that she is going to be transferred soon to another institution (for severely disabled children - which she is not!). She will turn 6 in June and that's when she will be transferred.

I believe God wants a family for this little girl. I'm not sure if He is leading us to her or is only using us to find her a family.

Cara (and ALL the children through Reece's Rainbow) have an adoption fund set up to
financially help families who might be interested in adopting. Cara currently has $210 in her fund. If you want to donate to her fund or to any child's fund just click HERE and scroll down to her name or any child you wish to donate to. Sometimes a family would truly love to adopt and has the love and support to give a child but they simply do not have the money available to them to adopt. This is why Reece's Rainbow offers adoption funds for the children - in hopes that it will help families be able to adopt these amazing children.

I would love to ask you to pray for Chris' heart, that God would change it and he would be open to adopting Cara. But, that would be purely selfish on my part and this is not about me. So,
instead, please, please pray for little Cara and that her family, the one God has chosen for her will find her quickly! (and maybe even Mary Margaret, too! Read below...)



Look at this little doll baby!

Cara is HEALTHY, and quite high functioning. She is very active and happy and affectionate. She will

be a wonderful addition to any family. We are seeking a family quickly for both her and Mary Margaret, as

they are both nearing the time when they must be transferred to the home for

severely disabled children (no other place to go). This beauty was abandoned at

birth, and has been living at the children's home since that time.

From her caregivers: Emotionally: She has a high self esteem, very social, calm and
cooperating with others, loves and enjoyes life. Very positive for her age, and is always smiling. She receives therapy
at the CREE and goes to the Rafael Arganiz School where she receives special treatment
for Down syndrome.

Cara is in the same orphanage with Mary Margaret, and both
girls could be adopted together.

Meet little Miss Mary Margaret