Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hard-working Jack

When it is our annual 'flower planting day', some of the older kids like to 'help' with the flowers.  They have fun, and we get some cute pictures of them with the flowers, but most of the real work is done by the staff and volunteers.

This year, however, Jack really helped.  This little guy worked hard.



Right from the moment he realized what was going on, he wanted to go outside and start working.



Long after the other kids had got distracted and wandered off, Jack kept on fetching flowers and helping to plant them.



It was a delight to watch, and wonderfully demonstrated what Jack's nanny had written in his April monthly update:

"He can help adults do some simple things, the nannies often praise him, which makes him proud and confident to do anything...Jack is a modest and polite child, and has very harmonious relationships with other children, and we hope he will be happy every day."

Monday, May 2, 2016

Remembering Tristan...

On Thursday last week we held a memorial service to remember precious Tristan's life.  We know that many sponsors, former volunteers and Tristan-fans from around the world wish that they could have been here with us for this, so we wanted to share some pictures. 



Earlier in the week, when we were preparing the memorial card, Karen felt that an image of a kite would be meaningful.  It was decided that the memorial service would include writing messages of blessing on a kite, and making our own paper kites to remember Tristan by.  It 'just so happens' that kites have a special significance for the Tristan's forever family; as his mama wrote "Our home town has an annual kite festival that advocates for causes such as adoption.  We had planned to take our Baby Boy with us to the festival. Now that this will not be possible we would like to fly his kite at the festival next spring."   We will be sending this kite to them, for them to fly and keep.


While a slide-show of photographs of Tristan played, Grace read out the memorial card in Chinese, and a message from Tristan's parents, who would have been travelling to adopt him in just 10 days time.  Karen shared an email message and video sent by the mama of a New Day graduate, which she had received just when she was most needing encouragement and a fresh reminder of why we do what we do here.


We need reminders like this, which is why our memorial services always seem to include looking at pictures or videos of children that have left to join their forever families.  This work is hard.  Loving children who may not make it is scary, and losses doesn't get easier.  We need to see why it is worth it, and the faces of children who were once orphans, often battling serious illness, but are now thriving in families...this is exactly the reminder that we need.  It's so worth it, but the pain is very real.  In the picture above Sarah is comforting Sharon, our medical assistant, who went with Tristan to the hospital in the middle of night.


Doing something practical and creative is something that many of us find a very therapeutic and helpful way of reflecting and processing during a time of pain and loss.  Everyone made their own decorated paper kites, and also wrote their own messages on the large kite.


Since we announced the devastating and unexpected news about Tristan passing away, the Facebook post has been shared many, many times and seen by more than 20,000 people.  We are thankful for the many messages of sympathy and support.  Tristan's life was valuable and significant, and he was loved by so many.  He will never be forgotten, by the forever family that was longing to meet him, or by us here at New Day.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

NDNorth: Dress Up Day

We recently brought a few dress up clothes for the kiddos and they loved them! It's so much fun to get all dressed up and pretend.

Rina was a movie star for the afternoon:


Kristiana was also a movie star...hiding out from the paparazzi!


Chad was a businessman getting dressed for work:


And Stephanie was a beautiful princess!


Emerson...we're not too sure what he was dressing up to be...that's a nifty hat though!


Looks like we can all agree on one thing though...dress up day was a huge success!


Friday, April 29, 2016

Scooters and 'Snow'

These three-wheel-scooters are quite 'the thing' here at New Day.  There are a number of children of staff and volunteers here on campus during the weekdays, and they all have them.  Hudson and Enya are here with their foster-mama all day, so they have had plenty of chance to try them out, and did so well with them that they got their own.


Last week, when the children were waiting for the shadow puppet show to begin, some of the other kids decided to join in the scooter-craze.  Adia knew exactly what to do...


Hey, Adia...come back!


Where did you learn to scoot so fast?


Josiah watched carefully how everyone else was doing this 'scooting thing'...he was especially in awe of how well Hudson was getting around.


Soon he was able to scoot confidently himself.  Good job, Josiah!


Did you notice the white stuff on the grass?  This is what we 'affectionately' call 'Bejing snow' and it's actually the cotton-like seeds of the poplar trees all around the campus.  There is even more of it now than when these pictures were taken.  'Snow' in April!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Introducing...Amelia

Proudly introducing our newest arrival, eight-month-old Amelia...


Amelia arrived on April 19, and immediately set about winning everyone's hearts.


She was warmly welcomed by our volunteers, and her new friend Ronan.


During Evelynn's memorial service, Karen announced that we would be bringing in another child with the same GI disease, from the same organization that Evelynn came to us from.  Amelia is this child, and her name is already on the list for a liver transplant.  Yes, it's scary, to take the risk of loving another child with this serious disease.  


We committed to 'hold onto hope', and that is what we are doing for Amelia.  We are totally committed to loving her and caring for her and hoping for her.  We aren't giving up in the face of discouragement, and Amelia is a demonstration of this determination.  


Amelia is actually the tenth child that we have cared for that has this particular GI disease.  Out of the nine other children, four of them are now home with their forever families, four of them are home with their heavenly Father, and number eight is Marcus, who is here in our CCU, recovering well from his recent liver transplant.


We are so glad to be able to introduce Amelia to you, and we hope that you'll follow her story as it unfolds.