A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes…

From the magical mind of Real Disney Mom Janie GD…
Please be aware that you may find parts of this article uncomfortable to read, and maybe even harder to imagine.
As in any Disney tale, you will find heros, villains and triumph over adversity; and this true life account is no different.
In a land, not so very far away; there is a terrible place where the sun never shines, and found trapped in that dark place were six children named Cooper, Dustin, Matthew, William, Nathaniel & Zoe Renee until their little lives were flooded with light by their adoptive parents Eric & Stephanie McKinney.  These innocent babes did not have the loving and cozy beginning that is usually lavished upon all new borns. Their birth parents had issues of their own, full of drug and substance misuse which lead to the horrors of child abuse; both physical and sexual.  Tragically this has left scars both visible and invisible…
Using Stephanie’s own words to describe just how her children’s lives began –
Cooper  – “He was found when he was three, abandoned in a trailer open to the elements…he was covered in body fluids and left to die in the elements.  He had been physically abused, mentally/emotionally abused, and sexually abused in the most disgusting and heinous way.”
Dustin – “Dustin was three and in the hospital when we met him.  He had been starved and abused in his FOSTER home.”
Matthew – “We got Matt and William at the same time, and Matt was two.  They are biological brothers.  They had already had three foster homes, because no wanted Matthew. He was ‘weird’.  He has Autism.”
William –  “He had been beaten so severely when he was 4 months old, that both sides of his skull had been fractured.  His biological father had beaten him hard enough to crack his skull on both sides, with a plastic bottle.  Everyone wanted to adopt William but not Matt.  But William has since developed ADHD.”
Nathaniel – “He was 22 months when we got him, and he is currently 4.  He came into care because both he and his sister (Zoe Renee) were removed together.”
Zoe Renee –  “She was 5 months old when we got her, and is currently 3.  She was a mess when I got her.  She weighed only 6.5 lbs and had 12 fractures.  Both her arms, and legs had been twisted broken…along with 8 of her ribs.   Both biologicals deny any involvement.”
Tough reading I know; especially if your soul has been sheltered from the darker side of humanity.
The McKinney’s are honest to goodness working folk, wanting only to provide the best life and accommodation for their growing family’s disability needs.  This year the project has been a more accessible downstairs bedroom for Cerebral Palsy sufferer Zoe, thus giving her more independence as walking and climbing the stairs is quite challenging.  The expense of this build soon nibbled away at the savings carefully put aside for a Disney vacation.  However, neighbor and self titled ‘Disney Nut’, David Mullican swooped in with the splendid idea of Eric and Stephanie entering their local Tennessee TV station’s competition for a deserving family to win the ‘Trip of a lifetime to Walt Disney World’…unfortunately, even with the help of all David’s fellow Mickey Moms Club members voting online until their fingers were sore; the McKinney’s luck wasn’t quite yet Pixie Dusted!  But not winning wasn’t an option for former US Marine Mullican, he soon rallied the MMC troops into action once again…with the afore mentioned pixie dust arriving in the human form of Club member Heidi LaDuca!  With Heidi’s generous donation of the free use of her stunning vacation home in Orlando, and the growing involvement of the Mickey Moms Club; gradually the dreams and wishes in the hearts of the McKinney family were coming true.
Now can you imagine the joy that this trip to WDW will bring?  It will bond and reinforce the commitment and love that runs right through the very core of the McKinney family.  When Eric and Stephanie announced that they were going to Walt Disney World in May 2012 the children all produced smiles bigger than the Cheshire Cat, not to mention more noise and sheer exuberance than Illuminations; now wouldn’t you have loved to have witnessed that?!  Amongst other conditions both Cooper and William suffer with ADHD, Matthew is Autistic and Zoe has problems with mobility, so the the careful planning of each stage of this amazing trip will be paramount due to each individuals special needs.  Each child has their own personal Disney ‘to do’ list’ including visiting Epcot, watching fireworks, taking in some rides, checking out Star Tours and visiting with the Princesses, but topping the list is of course, a meeting with Mickey & Minnie Mouse!
This family are all heroes, the parents for their unconditional love, and the children for their ability to thrive against all the odds.  Maybe this is your chance to be a hero, whether it’s giving complete acceptance of disability, or to just offer your love and support to the Marvellous McKinneys.
You can follow Eric & Stephanie, Cooper, Dustin, Matthew, William, Nathaniel & Zoe Renee McKinney on a Facebook page dedicated to their Disney dream vacation here – The MicKinney’s Magical Trip to Walt Disney World
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Big News for The Real Disney Mom!

Since I have started writing for the Disney Driven Life my own little Real Disney Mom blog here has been severely neglected! Between being the Kids writer for the DDL, finishing up the planning for my own WDW vacation on August 5th, and being a mommy and wife, I have had very little time to do much of anything else and I was very sad for my little blog here!

That is why I am very happy to announce that I will be introducing to you a fabulous group of Real Disney Moms that are going to be contributors to the Real Disney Mom blog!! Your own original Real Disney Mom is also going to assign herself one night a week to write a blog post for you about the planning of her WDW vacation! That being said I’d like to introduce to you the first 3 lovely ladies that are proud to call themselves Real Disney Moms!

Meet Real Disney Mom Janice B! Hang with her on FaceBook!

Real Disney Mom Janice B.

I am an almost 56 year old mom of 2 adult children (27 and 24); married for almost 30 years; and a true Disney fanatic. I was born and bred in NJ. When my husband retired in 2005, and both children were off to college, we moved to SC (much closer to Orlando!).

I began my love affair with all things Disney when, in 1972, my single mother drove her 2 teenage daughters from NJ to Florida to see the Magic Kingdom. Since that time I have returned to WDW approx. 35 times. It seems as if I am always planning our next trip. I have gone to Disney World alone; with my son for Mother/Son bonding; with my daughter for Mother/Daughter bonding; with my husband; with friends; bringing friends of my kids – I will never tire of visiting the “happiest place on earth!”

I am fortunate that my children, having been raised with the belief that everyone goes to Disney World on a regular basis, still look forward to our family trips. One of my proudest moments was when my daughter, a chef, was invited to cook at the Party for the Senses at the 2010 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

http://about.me/bjkbrady

Meet Real Disney Mom Janie GD! Tweet with her on Twitter! Hang with her on FaceBook! 

Real Disney Mom Janie GD.

I’m an English girl who’s been been enchanted by Disney since my very 1st visit to WDW in the late 1970’s.  Sharing my life with my much beloved husband, our own four little darlings, & an array of close family & dear friends, I aim to do random acts of kindness & think happy thoughts each and everyday!
Meet Real Disney Mom Michelle W! Tweet with her on Twitter! Hang with her on FaceBook!

Real Disney Mom Michelle W.

I’m a wife, a mom, a former Disney Store CM & all total “Diznoid” from NJ! I’ve been a visitor of WDW over 25 times, have enjoyed a few visits to DL, and have sailed on 2 voyages on the DCL. No one asks me where I’m going on vacation anymore…only when I’m going back!
Michelle is also a contributor to Disney World Nation
I am thoroughly excited to have a this fabulous group of Real Disney Moms here to help you get wrapped up in some pixie dust! I can’t wait to read their first blog posts, how about you?!