Thursday, February 8, 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday, December 3, 2016

I don't believe my eyes!

I was amazed! It never occurred to me that it really works!



Joanna Mckinney



I never would have thought it̢۪s possible!


This is excellent! I can highly recommend it!




Joanna Mckinney 





Monday, October 17, 2016


Just look at this I can highly recommend it!

Joanna Mckinney
Sent from my iPhone

Friday, February 19, 2016



Saturday, December 26, 2015


Hi, it's Joanna!

Joanna McKinney
Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone



Saturday, September 19, 2015

from: Joanna McKinney

Breaking news:


Joanna McKinney

Sent from my iPhone   

Thursday, April 16, 2015

from: Joanna McKinney

How are you?
Have you seen this before? Oprah had been using it for over a year!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

from: Joanna McKinney

How are you?
Oprah says this really works!
She had been using it for over a year and the results were unbelievable!

Joanna McKinney

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Re: Joanna McKinney


Hi! How are you?


You can read about it in the new Oprah's book


Joanna McKinney



Thursday, April 1, 2010

Taye Day - One Year Ago

One year ago today we met Taye. As I drove home from work, I looked in the rear view mirror at his reflection and said out loud, "wow...what a year".

The day we met!

Last week!

I am not sure which was longer the journey to bring him home or the journey to today.

Glad you are here, Taye...for so many reasons.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Comeback Post

We were on a "blog break". Apparently, posting was something too difficult to keep up with as we poised ourselves to make it through the days. However, now that Thanksgiving is upon us how could I not take a moment and share my thanks for everything that has happened in our lives since last Thanksgiving.

Almost one year ago we received the referral our little man, Sintayehu. He was appx 8 weeks at the time and we spent days staring at his pictures willing him home. We are so thankful for the hands that brought him to the orphanage, the caretakers who did their best with what they had to care for him and Alemu who worked on our behalf to connect our family.

Fast forward a few months to the day we discovered that Sintayehu was not getting formula. We are so thankful at the response we and others received to help kids who live over 7000 miles away get the nourishment they desperately need. Since that day, over 500 lbs of formula have been sent over with various travelers from people who answered our call for help.

When it was finally time to travel and bring him home, we couldn't be more thankful to our parents who made the long journey with us to help care for Mikias and see their grandson's birth country....a gift like no other.

When we were in country...we had the best day of our lives thus far! On the same day, we had the opportunity to reconnect with Mikias' African Mommy in the morning and meet Sintayehu for the first time in the afternoon. We are so thankful she was willing to meet with us, play with him and join me in holding our son. And....our new baby. There is nothing more authentic than picking up your child for the first time and having his head nestle in to your neck. I am thankful every day that he is our son.

And of course just 14 days after the best day of our lives, came the worst. We can't even begin to express our gratitude for the depth of support that surrounded us. We are so thankful for the quick medical responses of the ER team, the skillful hands of a surgeon and the hours of round the clock care in ICU. Not to mention, the levels of people who lifted Taye and our family and held us so close for many days. We could not have survived something like that alone. We are so thankful for the strength given by our family and friends.

It is difficult to find words to show graciousness for the last 8 months of recovery for Taye. His medical team, rehabilitation specialist, therapists, school therapists and advocates have played such an integral role in his journey. We are so thankful for the careful attention given to one little boy. To aid in this, we have had numerous people support us in being able to attend to his needs and his aggressive schedule. We are so grateful to our family and friends for the countless hours they helped in watching Mikias, making meals and overall attentiveness to Taye. Being able to celebrate with others as he overcame each obstacle was wonderful. Thank you.

We are so thankful for health. We watched Taye grow from his starting point of not being able to bear weight on his legs at 6.5 months old to walking across our room babbling after a serious accident. We are eternally grateful for his spirit and resiliency. This little fighter has taught me more than I thought I would ever know.

On a personal note, I can't help but be very thankful for Benjamin. My husband is a man with an unwavering commitment to us. He easily supported my new position which created more responsibility for him. He eagerly took a paternity leave, as we decided, when Taye came home. (Despite the fact he encountered bit of discrimination from a few people who have things to learn yet) Most importantly, he became Taye's #1 advocate and medical coordinator. His stamina through all these months (with nothing more than a grimace when he was laid off) reminds me daily of someone else I have to be thankful for.

As this year is almost all said and done, I realize I am most thankful for the clarity I have in life.

Three of the four people in our house are napping right now, laundry is not done, we still have a suitcase packed under our bed from Africa (no joke), piles of paper are stacked strategically around the house---but hey, the basement is almost finished.

I have never been happier.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A picnic & Taye's new trick

We had an awesome time this past Saturday at a picnic at Kensington for adoptive Ethiopian families. Although we knew most of the people there, we were able to meet a few new people as well. We were undecided about going, but once we saw how well Taye was recovering we knew it wouldn't be a problem. It was a perfect afternoon and it was fun to see all the kids playing together. We're so fortunate to be connected to all these people.

Taye and his new friend Daniel

Mikias with Samson and Zachary

Mikias getting some help from Sofanit in the sack race

I also need to mention how impressive Taye is doing. Within the past couple days he's even got a few new tricks...most significantly sitting himself up. Now his method isn't the same one he's been working on at physical therapy, but it gets the job done. He's also just started clapping his hands together. We're so happy that's he's making these improvements considering where he was a couple months ago. Judging from this video Mikias is also very, very excited.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Home Again

After being transferred to the pediatric floor this morning, we spent most of the day waiting for the neurosurgeon to come and give us the OK to go home. Everyone that came in a saw him said Taye looked great, but we needed the neurosurgeon to officially discharge us. Finally, around 5pm today Taye was discharged and we are now home!! It's hard to believe that just yesterday morning we ate breakfast here...a busy couple of days to be sure.

The rest of the week for us will be good. Joanna has time off work and the best part is no more doctors appointments or therapy appointments to go to for the rest of the week What a treat! Hopefully, this will give us some time to get back on track.

Taye sleeping post-op yesterday...with his big hat

Taye tonight at home showing off his interesting haircut

Moving along nicely

As I'm writing this both Joanna and Taye are taking a morning nap. Last night was a bit restless, probably because Taye slept so much yesterday during the day. He didn't really sleep for a long time in a row last night...just 1 - 1.5 hours at a time. But that's OK because he seems to be doing really well. Yesterday afternoon he started back on his normal eating schedule and has been eating like normal ever since. He also doesn't seem to be in too much pain and has only been on Tylenol recently. I think most of his fussiness so far is just related to all the wires he has to contend with when he wants to move around.

So, it sounds like we'll definitely be leaving the ICU today to either go home or to the regular pediatric floor. We'll have a better idea once the doctor makes rounds today. I'm hoping for home myself just as long as they think his pain is under control and there are no signs of infection.

It's amazing to me that this has seemed so easy for us. Of course compared to April's stay this is much less urgent and, unfortunately, we have a comfort level with it now.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A familiar place

Taye is now in ICU in the exact same room we were in back in April. It's kind of strange being here again, but there's also some comfort in knowing the people here and how everything works.

Taye was pretty fussy when Joanna and I first saw him in recovery. He was extremely hungry and sucked down a lot of water and a little formula. It seems he has some pain, but now he's drugged up so he's sleeping comfortably. We'll definitely have our hands full when he completely wakes up though. When he was awake earlier he was twisting himself in the IV and monitor cables and rolling over all over the place. Not sure what we'll do to contain him, but we'll figure something out.

One of the things the neurosurgeon was talking about earlier was how the skull piece that was reinserted was actually dead bone. Once the skull fuses itself back together after a few months that piece should come back to life...amazing! There's already been talk of us going home tomorrow depending on how well Taye is doing and how well all the systems are working. We'll see.

Surgery complete

The neurosurgeon just came out to let us know that the surgery is done and everything went well. We haven't seen Taye sounds like he'll been in recovery for a little bit and then we'll head up to ICU. But, everything was successful and the bone was put in place. We're anxious to see him and are so happy that everything has gone smoothly so far.