"" Life A Bit Sweeter: January 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ways to Support Baby Girl's Adoption

Adoption is such an amazing opportunity for prospective parents and children but there are often obstacles that can stand in the way of uniting an orphan with their forever family.  If you are wondering how you can assist us in bringing baby girl home, we've listed some ways below.  Please remember EVERY person's efforts counts!

  • Pray:  Please pray for baby girl, her birth family, Ethiopia, the 147 million orphans in the world, and our family.  Please pray for the process which we have to go through with the adoption.  It's a long process and can sometimes feel discouraging, overwhelming, and fearful.
  • Financially Support Our Adoption:  Whether you contribute $1 or $1,000, every single dollar goes towards the cost of bringing baby girl home.  If we find that we are overwhelmingly blessed by financial contributions, the remainder of those funds will go towards helping other families bring home their adoptive child(ren).  For now, you can make donations by sending checks and money orders.  Please contact me at michelle365@me.com for the mailing address.  If you'd like to give on-line, you can do so via PayPal by clicking here.  If you'd prefer to mail your contribution, please send it to our post office box at:
Michelle & Anthony McKinney
P.O. Box 4965
Largo, MD  20775-4965

  • Share the Plight of Orphans:  Consider adoption as an avenue for you and your family to make the total number of orphans in the world 147 million MINUS ONE.  You may also consider becoming a foster parent.  Other ways to help orphans is to support families who have become foster parents, donate goods/services/finances/time to foster group homes, or sponsor a child through agencies such as Compassion and World Vision.

Still in Love: Me & Tony

My husband and I have been married for 11 years now and I am so happy to say that I am still sooo in love with him. Now don’t get me wrong we’ve had what has felt like more than our share of challenges in our marriage from the very start. We’ve struggled through having a blended family, financial challenges, balancing home/career, both or one of us not feeling loved and/or respected in the marriage, and a boatload of other things that you probably cannot even begin to imagine…or maybe you can because if you’re married, you may have your own challenges that the two of you have conquered/are conquering.

When I say I am still ‘in love’ with Tony, it has nothing to do with my emotions or butterflies when he comes into the room. I’ve learned over the years, that my roller coaster of emotions can’t be trusted; they are as fickle as my moods and hormones! Instead, me being ’still in love’ is really about my commitment to him, God, and our marriage. Me being still ‘in love’ with him also has nothing to do with what he does or in my eyes ‘doesn’t do’. It has everything to do however with my commitment to Christ.

Just in case you’re not a Christian, give me just a moment to explain before you click me off. These are my convictions and what I am held to as a believer. You see, I believe that Jesus Christ is synonymous with Love. As a believer, I believe that I am also in Christ. So for me, when I say I am ‘IN LOVE’, it really has everything to do with me being ‘IN Christ’ and seeking to love others, especially my husband, with the same type of love that Christ illustrates…agape love. Agape love being the type of love that is unconditional and not reciprocal. This kind of ‘in love’ with my husband means that I see him through the eyes that Jesus Christ sees him. It means that I seek to fully practice 1 Corinthians 13 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2013;&version=31;). Paying special attention to verses 4-7 which states “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Every time I hear someone read this passage, especially at a wedding, I’m thinking in my mind…awwww….that is soooo nice. Now let’s fast forward to days later (okay, well sometimes, hours later) into the real life of my marriage when things aren’t necessarily clicking on all cylinders in terms of us communicating well or meeting ‘expectations’ that we place on one another….now that’s a whole separate discussion. In any case, it’s during these difficult times that I need and rely on God’s help to help me have that kind of love that is discussed in this chapter of 1 Corinthians 13. I HAVE TO, it’s not an option, see my husband through the eyes of God. When I pray and ask God to see my husband through His set of eyes, even after a disagreement or disappointment, it’s so much easier for me to be patient and kind because God is patient and kind with me. In God’s eyes, it’s much more difficult for me to keep records of wrongs because God keeps no records of my wrongs when I ask for forgiveness. I have tried it and know that it is impossible for me to have a successful marriage unless I am in Christ so that I can remain IN LOVE with my husband.

I don’t get it right 365 days a year, yet each day, I’m learning that marriage is LESS about me getting my way and MORE about me becoming and looking more like Christ. So before you give up or call it quits, ask God what is He trying to teach you about becoming more like Him through your marriage. To set the record straight, I deeply love my husband but I am finding that to have a lasting marriage, it is so much more important for me to be ‘IN LOVE’ with him, especially in the difficult times.

What do you think is the most challenging thing about marriage?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Focus Friday: Children in Haiti

This week, there has been so much heartache for Haiti.  Prayers and support has poured out all across the globe to help with the devastation.  In no way can I begin to imagine the pain experienced by those who are there.  Especially for the children affected, I can't wrap my head around the emotions they must be going through right now.  As you pray and support Haiti, please remember the children.  I don't know why God allows pain like this but what I do know is that He is sovereign.  What I also know is that we can unite in praying for Haiti.  While it is important that we use our financial and physical resources to support Haiti, prayer is the most effective tool that we have.  I'm reminded of the Lord's words to Solomon 2 Chronicles 7:13-16:

"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there."

Let me be clear that in sharing that verse that I am in NO WAY implying that Haiti is a land of sinners and so we must pray...please get off of that!  If that were my point, then hold on to your seat because each of us should be experiencing our own little earthquake right now!  (smile)  I'm simply emphasizing the importance of prayer. 

Take a look at Save the Children's discussion about the children of Haiti during this turmoil:

Below, I have listed the names of reputable organizations if you are interested and moved to donate. In many cases, support is as quick as a text message from your mobile phone.  In the words of Haitian Born music star Wyclef Jean, "idle hands will only make this tragedy worse".

Save the Children

World Vision

American Red Cross

Yele – Wyclef Jean’s Non-Profit

As you seek other ways and venues to support Haitian Earthquake relief, please click here to review the precautions provided by the FBI to avoid scams. 

Much love,


Friday, January 8, 2010

Focus Friday: Pray for Kate McRae

Focus Friday is all about turning the attention away from me and my family...our small world...and focusing on someone else.

Today, I'd like to focus on Kate McRae.  At the end of this post, you'll find the video of her parent's sharing part of her story shortly after finding out about this massive tumor on her little brain.  

Please take the time to pray for Kate....she needs your prayers...it doesn't cost you a thing except your time....such a small donation that reaps so much.  Can we count on you?  Please watch the below video in its entirety....

As I type this blog post, it is 2am and my own babies are tucked in their beds, healthy, without any pains or cares so my heart goes out to the McCrae family.  Although they didn't ask for it, please also pray for their marriage because I know that sometimes tragedies like this can take their toll on a marriage.

Want to keep up with Kate's Story?

Here is Kate's website to keep up with more up-to-date information:  www.prayforkate.com

If you're on Twitter, you can follow her parents, Aaron (http://twitter.com/aaronmcrae) and Holly (http://twitter.com/hollymcrae) for more frequent updates on how Kate is doing day-to-day.

Want to support the McRae family?
Beyond your prayers which we believe to be the greatest gift, if you'd like to support the McRae family financially, here's more information:  http://prayforkate.com/#/support/

Want to share Kate's story?
Repost it to your Facebook page, Twitter account, or your own blog.  Ask your family and friends to pray for her.  If it's easier for you, just copy and paste the link to this blog post or Kate's website to an e-mail....whatever works but just rally the nation to pray for her....yes, YOU....one person can make a HUGE difference.

Much love,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What a Tony the Tiger.....GRRREAT morning!

It is a Tony the Tiger kind of GRRREAT morning!  I'm sitting in Starbucks (it's my day off), sipping on a venti Caramel Apple Spice, and thinking about what happened yesterday.

Yesterday, I took a 35 minute drive to McLean, VA to drop off our adoption agreement and make our initial deposit!!!  Wow!  It was sooo exciting.  Excited because we're moving along in the process with the adoption.  Excited because of the provisions that God made to even have the funds to use thanks to a sweet angel family that blessed us and the grinding we've been doing to purposely and consistently put money into our adoption account.  Thank you Lord!  

I love McLean, VA because I think it's such a beautiful community.  When I arrived at the agency's building and went to the floor where they are located, I was greeted by the most amazing staff!  The office is so warm and feels like someone's home.  They just radiate love in that place.  In fact, I told the ladies that all I needed was a blanket, fireplace, and a cup of cocoa!

I absolutely adore our intake coordinator, Ms. A., she's fabulous!  If you ever begin to consider the possibility of adoption, take a look at America World....their hearts are fabulous! By this Friday, we'll get the name of our adoption coordinator and the instructions for the homestudy process.  

Next stop on the adoption train for us....saving the additional funds to take care of the homestudy fee and completing an online training course that our agency requires of prospective parents.  In the next few weeks, I hope to get a timeline up on our blog of the steps involved in the adoption process so that you can chart the course with us.  Thanks for your love and keep prayin'!

In the meantime, take a look at this family's amazing journey to a family of 3 teenagers in Ethiopia that are now a part of their family.  It makes me cry every time I see how the 'Power of One' can change someone else's eternity.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Baby Smell & Day Dreaming

I've recently had the pleasure of washing the clothes of a relative's baby girl. I've also learned to even do her hair pretty well (that is, thanks to Nikki's blog at http://beadsbraidsbeyond.blogspot.com/). Right now, I am just absolutely smitten, in love with the thought that we will prayerfully have a little girl living with us within the next year and a half.

A blogging buddy of mine (http://threeplusone--ethiopiaherewecome.blogspot.com/) is actually in Ethiopia as I write this picking up their beautiful little girl. Another blogging family (http://asformyhousehold.blogspot.com/) just received their referral for their little boy. Hopefully, they'll be traveling in the next couple of months to bring home their precious son. I am sooooo thrilled for both of these families. It's so exciting.

As I daydream, I dream of the day when I will finally convert my home office to a nursery filled with pinks and maybe browns. I dream of the day when Tony and I will travel to Ethiopia to experience her culture and see where she has grown up. I dream of the day when we will get the phone call and see the pictures of our sweet little girl. Most of all, what I really can't wait for is to get that first smell and snuggle with her. It's something that can't be captured with words. How can you have love this deep for someone that you've never even met???

The only way I know this is possible is that this love must be planted in my heart from God. Only He can do something so amazing like this within me....and for that I am ever so humbled and thankful.

Popular Posts