Author Archives: PFN News

About PFN News

Does the interweb really need another news blog? Yes, yes it does, particularly this one. In a world saturated with partisan pundits, corporate news spin-factories, talk radio, who can you turn to for reliable news content? At PFN News, our number one priority is integrity. You can rest assured that everything you read here will be: unbiased, loosely based on fact, and derived from our sources who rely solely on hearsay, exaggeration, and fairy tales. We hope you will keep us on your speed click for news you can alway possibly trust.

SHOP TIL YOU DROP

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If you are not on Facebook, and you would like to shop from our One Stop Christmas Shop, here are the links you follow to each “party.”

https://audreybraman.scentsy.us/?partyId=259739597 This is the link to our Scentsy Fundraiser.  We get 25% of all sales through this link.

https://v3726.myubam.com/64299  This is the link to our USBORNE fundraiser.

rasheffield.myrandf.com  This is the link to our RODAN+FIELDS fundraiser.

http://www.Origami4Orphans.origamiowl.com/parties/4Orphans488909/collections.ashx  This is the link to our ORIGAMI OWL fundraiser.

https://www.mythirtyone.com/shop/catalog.aspx?eventId=E5048667&from=DIRECTLINK&extern=true&verify=true This is the link to our THIRTY-ONE fundraiser.

www.pamperedchef.biz/askewacres  This is the link to our PAMPERED CHEF fundraiser.  You must put DRAKE ADOPTION as the hostess

http://horvath.jamberrynails.net/party/?uid=9e6e152f-d05d-47ca-ba43-57904d33abe1This is the link to our JAMBERRY fundraiser.

http://www.norwex.biz/PublicStore/event/572589/default.aspx  This is the link to our NORWEX fundraiser

youngliving.org This is the link to our YOUNG LIVING fundraiser. You must use this ID code for us to get credit: 1569871

Happy shopping!!!! =)

Or if you would rather buy a T-shirt, you can do so here.
Or if you would rather make a tax deductible donation, you can do so here

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Fundraiser Update

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Our USA Map fundraiser is doing great! This is where we are at:

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So we don’t lack too much with it! You can donate  $10 here and email me at mehgandrake@yahoo.com or comment to let me know if you sponsored a state.

However, our T-shirt sales have not been quite as successful. We have only sold 11 shirts.  One more shirt, and I will share a new picture of Pearosn!!! You can buy a shirt here:  https://www.bonfirefunds.com/the-drake-family-for-pearson
We only have 13 days to reach 50 shirts, or no one gets shirts, and we don’t get donations.
Also our Christmas Shop is still going on now through October 31st!!
Thank you for all your prayers and support!! We are working hard to bring home our son!! =)

US Geography–Enter to Win a $50 Gift Card

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Here is a United States map:

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But, it is no ordinary map.  You see this map will magically help bring our son home. This is how it works.  People from around the country–THAT’S YOU– will (Lord willing) donate $10 to sponsor a state.  Your name will then appear on your state.  When the map is full, we will have $500 for our adoption, and one lucky winner will be drawn to receive a $50 GIFT CARD!!!  (This gift card can be to anywhere of the winner’s choosing)

Please donate to our FSP.  Then comment here, email me at mehgandrake@yahoo.com, or if we are friends on FB send me a message and let me know what state, or states, you are sponsoring! Thank you so much! And feel free to share!

Also, don’t forget about our Tshirt fundraiser we have going on now through October 29th.

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You can also shop at our One Stop Christmas Shop now through October 31st.  You can browse through Norwex, Jamberry, Thirty-One, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Usborne, Origami Owl, and Rodan +Fields.  Representatives from each of these companies have generously offered to donate their commissions to Pearson’s adoption.

Please shop, donate and share to help us bring home our little man!  We have a short process this go ’round, as we already have immigration approval and a home study, but we can not go to him until we are financially able.  We are working hard, and we are ready to have our boy home!
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Lost Boys’ Home

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I had someone ask about where my boys are from. And this is what I sent her:

Hi! Yes, both of my boys were Lost Boys. The term was coined from a mother, because her son was the first boy to come out of this orphanage. It is blogged about here and you can read about my Boden there as well.  His name was Heath on RR.  It was a level 4 mental institution in a very small, rural village. Boden spent 8 years of his life there….he was sent there when he was 4. The whole time he was there, he shared a wheelchair with another boy, and had absolutely no stimulation or education at all. When we met him, just coming into the office where we were so completely overwhelmed him. He was constantly yelling and making noises, his hands were constantly squeezing and pinching. He terrified me. He couldn’t even make eye contact or look at anything. He didn’t take notice of anything….not even bubbles. So much so that I thought he had vision problems.
No toys. No playing. nothing. They sat in the metal sheds with the doorway blocked by benches, or they sat off to the side of sidewalks, waiting for the next time to eat.
It’s not that the director or nannies were mean. Quite the opposite actually. You could tell that most of the staff genuinely cared for the boys there. The director was a sweet Christian woman. But they are underfunded, and overworked. There would be two nannies in charge of about 30 boys. Most of whom needed diapers, needed to be spoon fed, and would hit themselves or others. So toys were dangerous. Toys got dirty, and there wasn’t time to keep up with them.
Boys that could walk away were drugged. I am thankful that Boden wasn’t. But I think they were all drugged at bedtime.
They were only allowed one or two diapers a day. So they sat on buckets for hours at a time. They were dehydrated purposefully.
I am not mad at the nannies. Boden looked like a holocaust picture when I bathed him on the night of Gotcha Day. Even though they had three meals and two snacks, the group of about thirty boys would finish lunch very quickly. And most of them had to be spoon fed, so they probably didn’t get very much. Although I must say I was impressed, that the kitchen staff worked very hard, cooking from scratch all day for the boys. This situation isn’t unique to their institution. They caregivers are doing the best they can with what they have…or lack thereof.
I saw some boys raking leaves, carrying the potty buckets, pushing wheelchairs, etc. It gave them jobs…it gave them purpose. There was so much that we didn’t see. There are laying down rooms that no one is supposed to know about. IDk how many kids have died in there. Alone and forgotten.
This orphanage was pretty much closed. It’s not that the director is a harsh woman and doesn’t want good things for the boys. She is scared, because she does care for the boys. There is fear in letting people in, fear of the unknown. Especially when it is your job to protect kids who can’t protect themselves. Every once in a while she opens up and lets one couple that we know come in and minister to the boys. Then, only the most “normal” are allowed to listen to music, open presents (only to have them taken away) and hear about Jesus.
That’s what we know about the orphanage. But when we were there, it seemed pleasant enough, strange to say, I know. They are doing the best they can with no special training, no dr., and no money. There was mischief from some of the boys….one that would break away from the group to snatch walnuts off the ground (sometimes eating the shell, too!), we saw a boy hide a kitten under his coat and smuggle it inside (we saw it make an escape later). One boy that I affectionately refer to as my friend with Down Syndrome always wore a sport coat. He blew me kisses, and showed me the work he was doing and the apple he had, and the cut on his finger. He would always wave and blow me a kiss.
One boy would always grab me and mumble loudly, IDK what….But more than once a nanny had to get him off me and tell him “She’s not your mama!” It both scared me and broke my heart. You wouldn’t believe the cheers and smiles and excitement from the boys when they were paraded from their sitting places into the dining room. They loved seeing us. We caused a stir with our presence, and I am sure it made the nannies’ jobs harder, but oh the joy from the boys! Lots of smiles, waving, and excited jumping….
That’s our Lost Boys’ home.

This is why it is important to care for the orphans.  If you can’t adopt, give.  Donate to missions. Donate to families like us who are working to bring our kids home.  If you can’t donate, advocate. Yell for these kids, share fundraisers, spread the word.
Here is where you can give a tax deductible donation to our adoption to bring home our Lost Boy.

A Little Something We Have Going On

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So things to bring Pearson home are in full swing!  I have about 50 ideas racing through my head of ways to make that happen.  I may be driving myself a little crazy.
The first project on my list is something special that I know you will all enjoy.  I have set up a One Stop Christmas Shop. Why go to multiple crowded stores when you can shop from your living room? Independent representatives from each of the following companies have graciously offered to donate commissions to our adoption: Pampered Chef, Rodan+Fields, Thirty-One, Scentsy, Young Living Oils, Norwex, Jamberry, Usborne, and Origami Owl.  This is huge!! And all of it is conveniently located at a central FB group I set up so you can go and shop here! There is something for everyone!  So review you Christmas list, shop for you loved ones, and help bring our son home at the same time!  It’s a win-win!  This event is scheduled to through October 31st.
http://reecesrainbow.org/82284/sponsordrake-2

Another Baby Duck!!

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Look! I finally have  a family picture with ALL of my kids in it!!

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Oh aren’t my babies beautiful!!!

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary that we boarded a plane and headed to our son’s birth country to finally bring him home.  I can’t believe it has been that long!
But the big news here is that we are going back!  You see, Boden (“Heath”)on Reece’s Rainbow was a Lost Boy.  He was at an institution where boys didn’t make it out very often.  In fact, my son was only the fourth boy to ever come out of that rural institution.  One boy has found a family since then.  Until now.
That’s right! We are going back for another Lost Boy.  I take that back, he was Lost, but now he is found.  He is ours.  We are working very hard between work, home school, and chores, and kids, and crazy awesome life to fit in fundraising and paperwork to bring home our new-found son.  We are over the moon!
But it has come to our attention that not everyone understands or likes this.  I just want to say a few words about where we are at:
We are not better than anyone for doing this.  We are not saints, and I do not have the patience of one.  We do not deserve to be chosen to be a part of God’s redeeming work in these kids, but for some reason, God has chosen to stir our hearts, and has given us a passion to care for the fatherless, the lonely, and the forgotten.  We love these kids because God first loved us.  It would be so easy to turn a blind eye and a cold heart and choose to live a life of ease.  It would be so easy to live a life that is only about how happy we are and how much fun we have.  But God doesn’t call us to a life of ease.  And our purpose on this life is to not make ourselves happy.  The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.  We are called to be a compassionate, caring people–to defend those who can’t defend themselves.  I know that there are many people who think we are crazy.  To most, following God can look crazy, and may not make sense to the outside world.
All that being said.  I love my life. I love all my children.  All five of them (Wow that’s a lot!) Just like my biological kiddos.  I am happy.  Being a mother makes me so happy.  There are so many days when it isn’t easy. There are days when I want a break.  But I do not regret for a moment being faithful to God’s work.
I also want to say that we do not bring these kids home out of obligation.  They are our kids.  We love them, and we like having a large family.  We are suuuppppperrrr excited to bring our son home!!!!!!!  Our kids are excited, too!

We will be doing several fundraisers, as we have quite a bit of money to raise before we can travel to Pearson.
If you would like to donate, click on the link below, and you can donate a tax deductible gift towards our adoption.  I will also work on putting a donate button on my blog
Here is a link to our family sponsorship page:  http://reecesrainbow.org/82284/sponsordrake-2
And here is our son:

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Babies and Bugs

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So we were able to finish up our third week of homeschool on Friday!  We usually won’t do school on Fridays, but Monday had us away from home for ophthalmologist’s appointments, so we had a make-up day yesterday.  The flexibility that homeschool affords is so nice.  But I will say that the structure it creates is amazing as well.  This is just what we needed.  Less time is wasted, more time is spent together.  There is an incredible level of intentional parenting going on.  I am learning to play and interact more.  We are connecting better.  Attitudes are seeming to be better at times ( although one child is coming to terms with all the changes, and that’s been dicey a few moments).  I know that everybody has their own opinions, and different things work for different families.  But this homeschool business seems to really be for us so far.

I have had to make a few changes.    I was using The Big Picture Bible Timeline for L&S, but it seems to work better for us, if they follow the same schedule as Andi, sans worksheets.  They can still do some of the activities that Andi does (like make a Creation mural), but I found that TBPBT just wasn’t necessary for us.  Also, I had prepared to use Apologia Zoology 1 for our science curriculum.  It didn’t work for us at all.  I was a bit bummed about it, because it is a great curriculum, and I was pretty excited to use it, but it was too much.  I don’t think my four and five year old can grasp lift and drag, or binomial nomenclature.  So we quit.  And now I am so super excited!  I decided to conduct an insect unit with the kids instead.  My kids love finding critters of all sorts.  We can’t walk from the door to the van without somebody looking for roly poly bugs.  So a friend has lent me some Abeka insect cards, another has allowed me to borrow a few insect books, I have pinned like a crazy person on Pinterest, I will get some more books, and I am putting together my own insect study.  I want to do a general insect study for a week or two, then break it down into ants (ANT FARM!), butterflies, grasshoppers, something that I haven’t decided on yet, and spiders (and why they’re NOT insects).  The kids are stoked!

On another note:  The weather was gorgeous today.  Today gave us a fall preview.  I know it will get hot again soon, but today was fall.  It was windy, cool, and overcast.  Perfect.  We spent all day outside doing yard work and catching critters.  All in all, we caught an estimated gazillion millipedes, 3 frogs, one very well camouflaged caterpillar (that somehow escaped….unless his camouflage is better than I think), a giant grasshopper, a mysterious bug,  three snails, a small grasshopper, and a cricket.    Then we bought crickets for the frogs to eat.

Watching the joy in my kids today brought tears to my eyes.  I am so grateful for all that I have.  The lawn mower and a thousand other things are broken, but none of that matters.  What matters is seeing my son throw handfuls of grass into the air exclaiming, “This is the best day ever!” and making clipped grass angels in the backyard.  What matters, is seeing my other son walk in the grass by himself, walk on the trampoline, and walk across the rough patch of cement…none of which he could do before today.  What matters is hearing my daughter read to me about the United States presidents’ pets.  What matters is hearing my other daughter squeal and giggle about the 3 inch long caterpillar inch-worming his way up her arm.

Before Sawyer, Caleb and I went back into the house later in the evening, we stopped to play just a little more.  We have a persimmon tree.  Only thing is–persimmons are nasty.  So what do we do with them? Hit them with a baseball bat, of course! Actually Caleb has a thing with hitting stuff with a baseball bat. He let me have a turn, and now I understand why.  Nothing is more therapeutic or satisfying then when you connect your bat to a piece of fruit, and it is utterly obliterated!  And what’s even better….according to Sawyer, every time I hit one, I got a hundred points!  At one point I had a few hundred points, and Caleb only had a couple of points.  Then Sawyer started deducting Caleb’s for various reasons! When Caleb protested Sawyer replied, “Tough luck, kid.”  He also said that each time someone missed the ball….well, fruit actually.  He tried to hit a persimmon a few times, but the bat is way too big for him.  But he pitched quite a few.  He did well.  Sawyer always amazes me at how well he can throw.  Maybe baseball is in his future.  I tried to enroll him into “soccer ball”, as he calls it, but we missed sign ups by 3 days.  I was worried he would be upset, but he said it was OK, because he really wanted to play basketball instead.

I enjoy my kids so stinkin’ much.  Even when I drag them to the grocery store at bedtime for groceries.  Each time I put an item in the buggy, Lilly scanned it and told me how much I owed her.  At one point, I had to give her three dollars, and I received $100 back in change.  I really like doing business with her.  And from an education stand point, she pretend counted my change each time.

I am amazed at my kids’ progress in the past three weeks.  We have emerging readers in the house!  And the two youngest are also doing so well with their other subjects.  Andi is impressively remembering things, and she is breezing through most of her curriculum because it is review for her at this point.  I can’t wait to move past that stage and give her a little challenge.

 

First Day of Home School and a Boden Update

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Well we survived the first day of home school!  Everyone was in a good mood for the most part.  Now Andi is finishing up her English assignment while the little ones nap.

It went well today, but we have a few wrinkles to iron out.  I am still not sure what Andi should be doing while the little ones are doing things with me, and vice versa.  But everyone loved the work, which included, worksheets, morning meeting, memory verse, catechism, Bible study, English, spelling, math–with towers, numbered jumping jacks, numbered spins in the spinny chair, and numbered laps around the house!, reading, coloring and more.  It was good. I think they think I overhyped it a smidge.  Andi is currently alternating being super excited about home school, and super bummed about missing friends at public school. So all you local home school readers…..Wanna have play dates sometime?Andi 3Lilly KSawyer K

I have had a few people ask what we are doing for Boden’s education.  The truth is, we didn’t know what to for a long time.  Today he did some activities on his level–putting blocks into his giraffe toy, playing with his turtle mirror, and he listened to our Bible story.  I was going to start teaching him his colors today with bandanas, but apparently those have scattered to the four winds, never to be seen again.  I will have to buy some more soon.  They have them at Hobby Lobby for about .89 each.  My thought is that I should be able to ask him to find a color, and he will be able to pick the color out of the laid out bandanas.  As far as education goes….He will be going to school. GASP! It sounds harsh to send him and keep the others at home, but I am trying to approach the kids’ education on a child-by-child basis.  Boden was an orphan for 12 1/2 years.  I am so scared to send him to school.  However, our school district has a wonderful special needs/life skills educational co-op with the next town, and I think this solution will work for us.  We should be able to get him in school for only half a day each day. That way he is home the majority of the time to still work on attachment (which is going great!), learn how to be in a family, and learn things that pertain to our family life.  I can’t have him gone eight hours a day.  It wouldn’t work for teaching him and attaching with him, and he just doesn’t have the stamina to put up with a 40 hour week. At least 8 of the 12 years he wasn’t with us was spent with absolutely no stimulation or education or playing or toys or walking at all….that does something to a person.  He is very fast and easily overwhelmed.  Also, he will be receiving PT, OT, and Speech therapy while is at school.  I am so relieved!  We were doing therapy multiple times a week, but the closest place to us was an hour away.  It ran our lives for us. SO this program seems like a great solution.  We are waiting for evaluations =)

BodenBoden2OK this is a combo-post.  So the other thing I wanted to mention was Boden.  He has been home for 9 months and 5 days.  He is growing a lot (Has went up 1.5 shoe sizes, has gained 16 pounds, and grown 3 or 4 inches), he is doing great, and is making tons of progress.  In the mornings, he opens the pantry, brings me the PB for his oatmeal, brings me a banana, throws the peel away, opens and closes the microwave, pushes the start button, opens and closes the microwave when it’s ready, gets me a spoon, and puts the PB up and closes the pantry door and turns the light off. AMAZING! We put him on the potty several times a day, and when he uses it, he likes to flush and close the lid ( that’s better than my bio kids!).  He also hates to chew, but will.  He knows what we are saying for the most part, and follows directions (or chooses not to, thank you very much!).  Boden walks all over the place now.  He paces and practices a lot.  When we first got him home, he had newborn soft and wrinkly feet. Now they have calluses–proof of all that hard work!  He walks with his left leg locked because that knee is out of place, and the orthopedic dr. doesn’t think we can fix it because his patella is misshapen.  Eyes and ears appoinments are coming up.  We have already done a lot of medical work, that I won’t delve into.  After 8 months, he finally decided that he could do patty cake on his own, and he can do signs for “more”, “eat”, “please”, and sometimes “mama”.  He does the motions on his own, but he likes for me to hold his wrists while we do them.  Boden fits into our family so well, it’s like he has always been here.  He loves having a family.  He loves having an Andi as much as he likes having a mama and daddy.  He is starting to follow Lilly and Sawyer around, and he is interested in what they’re doing, but after never playing for 12 years, he still doesn’t know how.  His favorite things are music, vibrations, chocolate, piggy back rides, and currently, Andi’s Skip-it

I guess that’s it. 

A New Adventure

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Tomorrow we finally start a new adventure that I have been tirelessly working on for months now….HOME SCHOOL! 

So here’s the back story: I used to be one of the people who swore they were not equipped with the knowledge or patience enough to educate their children at home.  That home school was never done right…that public school was the only way to go. Hahaha! I think my former self is rolling in my proverbial grave!  Then I thought, “Well, maybe I could do this…but what if I screw my kids up?! What if I don’t know what to do?” So I heard of this amazing home school co-op in our area, and I was instantly convinced that is was the answer I was looking for. Only one little word held us up–policy. The policy at co-op is that a family needs to home school alone for a year if their kids are coming from public school. Oh the humanity! Oh the tears! I think for a couple of days I went through all the stages of grief (how many are there? Like 47?).  What was I to do? Put them in public school and give up because I didn’t have the accountability and support that I thought I needed? Uh no.  Not this mama.  I got over it, realized it wasn’t personal, respected their policy (and hope to try co-op in a few years!).  I also realized that I was looking for a safety net, and was relying on outside help to get me through this new endeavor, when I should have been seeking out God’s plan for us. I am thankful that He shut that door for the time being so that we could move forward. And then realized that there was a lot of Godly home school moms who were veterans at this, and I set to gleaning wisdom from them. One mom that lives across the country from me, that I’ve never actually met, has been invaluable to my experience.( I love my Taylor Tots!!)

Getting so much advice, looking through curriculum, deciding what my home school philosophy (fancy, huh?) should be….was OVER. WHELM. ING.  I fretted, and lost sleep, and cried….But months and several hundred dollars later  I figured out how I want to operate, how my kids learn and function best, and found curriculum. 

Tomorrow is the big day. I am giddy. And a little sick to my stomach! I want to remember all of this, and honestly share with you our victories, hard times, and everything in between.  I don’t know if any of you are interested, but I will be glad to go back and read.  I would love some encouraging comments and nice words.  Criticism, not so much.  I am tired of answering the “Why?” question and trying to defend our decision. We’re home schooling because. That’s the answer I’m giving now =)

So for anyone interested, here’s our curriculum: 
Andi is in third grade, operating at an advanced level.  She will be doing the following:  Saxon Math 4/5, Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1, Phonetic Zoo, Shurley English 2 (but she swears she knows it all already =/), Veritas Genesis through Joshua. For Literature, we are doing a comprehensive study of all the Chronicles of Narnia Books.  For History, we are studying biographies, and are reading through the stack of “Who Was…” biography books.  ( I wanted to survive this year, and felt like adding in a legit history curriculum might have done me in for year one! Andi is third grade and the babies are in K, so I thought this would be an OK thing to do…and it is…because we home school!). We will also be sprinkling in some home making skills and journaling.

Lilly and Sawyer will be in Kindergarten. (Side note: Sawyer is 4.  He is already pretty good at letter recognition/sounds,  CVC words, and number concepts, so I am making it easier on myself and starting him with Lilly, who is 5.  I have found ways to teach him out of the seat, in a hands-on way, and will make allowances for his age and gender.  If there are two math work sheets, he may just do one. I do also understand that he may progress a little slower than Lilly). This is what they’re up to this year:  Saxon K Math,  Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1, The Big Picture Bible Timeline, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons(I hope this goes by quickly, then I would like to use Saxon K Phonics…you got Saxon K Phonics I can buy? Let me know!) They have supplemental worksheets and activities, and their curriculum includes learning great things like calendars, patterns, tangrams, and memory verses and catechism questions and lots more.

 

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So that’s it.  I will try to keep you all updated, as I know you are all waiting with bated breath. Pray for us and wish us luck. I hope we survive!!!