Happy Holidays from Mackie


Mackie where did you come from?  He had been busy and off silently moving around in the house.  Mackie requires external supervision to do well.  He has been silent and out of sight. I was thinking what did he get into and where do I search to find out what he was up to and what kind of mess do I have to clean up.

Well…  he had quite an answer that I hadn’t planned on.  The concrete language of kids with neurodevelopmental disorders requires thinking on how you phrase things.  Well, I didn’t think this one through.  But the answer was enlightening anyway.

Yes Mackie, you are our gift.

For those who do not know Mackie’s story. Mackie was adopted from the foster care system and he has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome plus two genetic disorders, has involuntary movement disorders and is medically complex.

Come back each Monday to see It’s Mackie’s World cartoons and share in Mackie’s adventures.

Happy Holidays from Mackie and our family to yours.

Mackie’s Mom

No Floaties


Mackie loved Lego Land. Becca and Mackie stood in the long line to ride the little boats in the lagoon for over an hour. Finally it was his turn and he announces “I cannot go on the water, I do not have my floaties.”

Lesson to Mom: When heading to the theme park, pack Mac’s floaties so he can do water rides.

Mackie’s is a rule guy. We cannot change the rules, once he has learned them. I am careful to not change the rule as it then is the new rule.

With water, he knows he has to wear his pool floats or life jacket in and on the water. But knowing this, we still do not trust that he will always remember as impulsivity is part of his disorders and he will then remember after the fact.


Ice Cream?


When you can’t eat ice cream due to dairy, gluten, and other food intolerances, Mackie came up with his own problem solving. Mashed potatoes in a gluten-free ice cream cone!

Since that day Mackie has wanted ice cream and we have found that the dairy-free alternatives though hard to find are his favorite.

This Fourth of July and Mackie will be looking forward to real ice cream this time.


We wish you and your family a Happy and Safe Fourth of July!

Anny and Mackie

Launching It’s Mackie’s World

2.Mackies World Real Boy Adventures

Twenty-seven years ago, our daughter Becca was born with a severe form of Noonan Syndrome. Our family struggled, and we used those struggles to pay it forward with adopting a sibling set with complex trauma and prenatally exposed to alcohol and other drugs and toxins. Our world was parenting our eleven children, six biological and the adopted sib set of 5 now grown. The lessons learned with our kids had prepared us for the newest addition to the Yurcek Tribe. Mackie was the answer to our prayers.

Mackie needed us, and we put our lessons we had learned with our complex children to work. McKellen Edward Yurcek came to us at 17 months old, a fragile baby who would not be expected “to be anything.” Global Developmental Delay, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Autism, prenatally exposed to drugs, prescription medications, tobacco, and born to parents who had developmental delays of their own. Mackie would enter the foster care system at birth and would find his forever home with our family. Mackie is surpassing any odds that professionals have given him. In time we would learn that he has brain damage in the motor programming and movement centers of his brain, this means he struggles to get his body to move as he wants. At this point, he has 87 health problems on his Care list, but nothing stops Mackie.

Last year I became a part of the 90 Real Lives Campaign to raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. While writing and blogging, my partner and good friend, Jodee Kulp came up with Mackie’s cartoon character to help us raise awareness about kids with Complex Disorders and FASD.

I was writing one day, and Mackie saw the cartoon character and said: “that cartoon boy looks just like me.” The idea for Mackie’s World was born.

Mackie’s World is a cartoon, so I looked at the definition of what a cartoon is. Cartoons teach and bring smiles; we mean to use it as a drawing symbolizing the actions and understanding of a little person with multiple medical, relational and learning differences in understanding to impart knowledge to the general public so they can be more sensitive to those with extraordinary abilities.

Our goal is to be sensitive, reflective and heartwarming. Our mission is to broaden the understanding of those with additional needs.

This year 90-day campaign is to raise awareness about FASD is now moving forward. Of course, roadblocks are getting in the way, as life with Parenting Complex Children has many challenges on its own. But the storm, lack of electricity, broken air conditioners, or the death of a good friend today will NOT stop me from launching; It’s Mackie’s World.

Every Monday we will launch a new cartoon, and I hope that you come to love and enjoy our little man and his friends as much as us. Through him, we hope that the greater world will see the strengths, value, gifts and hope that those with disabilities bring to our lives. The endearing qualities and adventures with Mackie and his friends.