Monday, October 20, 2014

A Baking Adventure

Look what we have...a wonderful pile of baking equipment and ingredients (kindly donated by the Parker family).

What could we do with them?  Thankfully, we have some visiting volunteers, and one of them agreed to give a cooking class to our morning preschool kids.

Julie was an excellent teacher.  They made pink strawberry cupcakes!

All the kids had a turn at stirring the batter, and helping to pour it into the cake-cases.

So, what's next?  More eggs being cracked...

Asher, Enya and Zoe watched carefully, dressed the part and hungry to learn.

When it got to the messy part, Asher looked even more interested and Enya was a little concerned!

Lucy needed a little help to roll out the dough...

Eventually there was a tray-full of cookies.

Where could we bake the tasty treats?  Chinese homes do not usually have ovens.

Right next to the preschool, through the new doorway...into our brand-new kitchen!  With a wonderful big oven!

Can't you just smell the aroma of freshly-baked strawberry cupcakes?

The kids were pretty impressed.  Next, it was back to the preschool room to decorate...

Julie demonstrated how to spread on the frosting.  The boys were either in awe of her cake-decorating skills, or very excited about getting to eat the cakes afterwards.  A bit of both maybe?

Lucy chose pink frosting to match her clothes.  Is it time to taste them yet?

Oh yes!  Chef Zoe samples her creation...

Wow, the cookies look amazing.  Good job, guys.

The best part of baking?  The part where you get to lick the spoon.

Want to see more pictures of the baking class?  Check out our scrapbook.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

NDNorth: Bringing Hope for Cerebral Palsy

One of the things we have learned here in Inner Mongolia is that there is a big need for therapists who know how to work with children with cerebral palsy (CP). CP is just as prevalent here as in other parts of the world, but the knowledge of how to care for children with this need is limited. Because of this, many of these children are abandoned and are found in orphanages, where the staff do what they can, but really don’t know how to best help.  One of our visions at New Day North is to help these staff help these children. To this end, we have brought up several therapists over the past year to help the orphanage staff learn better how to care for these special children. We have already written a couple of blog posts about this in the past

You have also seen some of the pictures of our first New Day North room in one of the orphanages where we have begun working with some of the younger children who have CP. It has been great to see how well the children are doing and to see how encouraged the staff have been to see some of the potential for their children with this special need.

Another exciting opportunity we have coming up is to set up a room in the same orphanage with some of their older children who have CP. We hope to be able to both give these children better care and to provide a model of what can be done for children who have these multiple needs. More to come on this in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, as we have been both seeking to help the orphanages care for these children and seeing more and more of them abandoned, we happened upon a special center for special needs children here in the city of Hohhot which, with the help of governmental subsidies, provides therapy for families with children who have cerebral palsy and have NOT abandoned them. As we met with this center, we realized what heroes these parents were and what incredibly important work these therapists were doing to help these families keep their children. We saw how well it fit our vision to help these therapists give these children the best care they could get to encourage the parents and enable these children to reach their potential and to not give up hope and drop their children off at orphanages.  To that end, we partnered with a local American therapist who brought in a team of therapists she had trained in Mongolia to help provide specialized training at this center for their therapists. After several days of sharing ideas together, they gifted us with some therapy equipment to take back to the orphanage to use in our New Day North room to help the children there.

Therapy equipment donations

Kristiana in her new "seat"
Thank you, Margie, Duda and Daugie for your contribution of skills and materials to the children of China.

This post was written by Wendy, NDN's special education teacher

Saturday, October 18, 2014

NDSouth: Spunky Little Anna

Anna celebrated her 1st Birthday back in August. It's hard to believe that she's already one, but it's true!  

When she first arrived in March of this year she was only seven months old, but due to her heart condition, she was also very sick.  

Yet since having a much needed surgery and coming back home to New Day South, Anna has developed into quite the spunky little girl.

While she can scoot from place to place, it isn't uncommon to see her rolling around the room to obtain whatever toy she has her eye on - though it's usually a toy that someone else already has!

Of course, with Noelle recently moving downstairs, Anna is the resident big sister in our upstairs apartment, and as much as we might not want to admit it, she's growing up pretty fast too.

Yet no matter how big she gets, she's still a little girl who loves to be held and loved and played with, and though Miss Anna is becoming more independent with each passing day, she's quick to flash a smile toward anyone who looks her way.

She loves to make silly faces...

...and keep an eye on everything that's going on.

She is an energetic and spunky little girl who we hope will one day soon have a family of her own trying to keep up with all her energy and spunk.

But until that day comes, we're more than happy to keep loving you, Anna. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

'Tis the Season

...what!? Already? Afraid so, folks...

Although it's not quite time to start decorating, it is time to start shopping. If you've been following New Day for a while now, you'll remember that every year around this time we launch our Christmas Sponsorship program.

Hudson's first Christmas. Awwww....

Here's the the short and sweet of it all:

What? Sponsoring Christmas presents for the children at New Day Beijing, New Day North and New Day South (maybe, we'll keep you updated).

How? Go to THIS PAGE and click "To Sponsor" or e-mail Hannah ( let me know who you'd like to sponsor! Shop for your sponsored child by buying age appropriate clothing and toy items. Ship the package (either medium flat rate or shoebox size) through USPS to the address listed by November 16th. If you are not in the USA, that's great, we have successfully received packages from all over Europe, it just might take a little extra time, so make sure to ship the package out early.

What? Anything! Clothes, toys, shoes, socks, rattles, treats (NO stuffed animals, please!)... check the blog for more information about each child's personality. Also, this year we have a Wish List! The items on this list are examples of things that will be used at the foster home. For example: sleepers, warm pants and jackets, finger crayons, shoes, Baby Einstein musical toys, etc. We will add to the list as needs arise, so please check back to it as you prepare to shop.

Note: Each child will be allowed three sponsors. When they are fully sponsored, "Fully Sponsored" will be marked beneath their name.

1) Right now our Christmas sponsorship program is open to MONTHLY SPONSORS ONLY.

I know, I know, some of your aren't monthly sponsors right now and yet you really want to send a Christmas package and you're afraid that the children will be fully sponsored before you get a chance. I'm sorry. This is how we are doing it this year. We will open sponsorship up to all on the 22nd.

If you are not currently a monthly sponsor but are interested in becoming one, head on over to this page.  Currently Ava, Charlotte, Zoe, Robert, Evelyn, Lulu, Ruby, Leon, Luke and Kristiana need sponsors. If you sign up to sponsor today you are welcome to e-mail me and let me know that you did so and I will be happy to sign you up to send a Christmas package.

2) Each child will still be limited to 3 sponsors each, regardless of whether you sponsor them monthly or not.

3) This year at New Day South we're doing things a bit differently. To sponsor a child, go HERE and make a one-time donation (suggested amount is $50, less than the cost of shipping a package to China, and enough to make a difference). Make a note "Christmas sponsorship / name of child" in the memo. The staff at New Day South will then order gifts for the children (fun things like toys and clothes, and practical things like diapers and formula) online from Chinese sources. Your one-time donation will cover this. (disclaimer: we cannot, due to practicality and the time commitment of our staff, keep exact records of what each donation goes to cover. Our priority is to ensure that the children are well-cared for and loved). As a "Thank You!" to the sponsors, we will take pictures of the little ones and their gifts, and send them to you.

4) New Day North will be celebrating Christmas a bit later this year, because of scheduling conflicts. If you sponsor a NDN child you will receive pictures in mid-to-late January. But please still mail the packages before the deadline.

5) Shipping a medium flat rate box via USPS (the most affordable and trustworthy option) costs about $60, This is the cheapest way to get something from the US to China. If you are sponsoring more than one child it will be more affordable to use a larger box than to ship two packages, and you are welcome to do this.

6) If you would rather not spend the $$ on shipping and shopping, and yet still want to bless the children this Christmas, consider making a one-time donation to our Acute Care Fund.

Is it starting to feel like Christmas yet?

Head on over here to start sponsoring...

Join Team-Nelson!

Today is Nelson's birthday!  Two today!

Nelson is a pretty awesome little guy.  He’s funny, cuddly and full of enthusiasm.  He also has a poorly little heart.  He had heart surgery, but now it has been discovered that he needs medication to treat pulmonary artery hypertension.

This medication is NOT cheap.  Worth it, but not cheap.  $873-per-month-not-cheap.

Anyone want to join Team-Nelson and help us to pay for it?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

NDSouth: Keeping Up with Lulu

Though it has only been a couple of months since Lulu first arrived at New Day South, it has been during those months that we've truly gotten to see a sparkling little personality emerge. When Lulu first arrived here, she was rather quiet and reserved; mostly preferring to keep to herself.

As the days began to pass us by, hints of her sillier side started to appear...

...and as the weeks went by, those occasional appearances became more and more frequent.

It wasn't long at all before we found Lulu's shining personality to be completely contagious.

From her wholehearted laughter to her darling dimples, it really doesn't take much more than that for those around Lulu to be completely smitten with her.

She's a joy to have in preschool, and watching her learn the motions during song time has been especially fun. She might not know the words, but that doesn't keep Lulu from trying to belt out a tune anyway!

In recent weeks she's only become more and more mischievous. It isn't uncommon for her to slip away from her nanny's grasp before flashing a grin and cackling with laughter.

She loves to color and sing and be held close. All of which are things that we are more than happy to provide plenty of.

Yes, Lulu is settling right in, and we absolutely love what love is doing in her life.