Saturday, September 20, 2014

NDSouth: The Places We Could Go!

As we've shared over the last few weeks, morning preschool here at New Day South is where a lot of fun and educational things happen. Some of the things we like to encourage in preschool includes things such as creativity, sharing, as well as playing together. So what's a fun way to encourage all of the above? Playtime, of course! And what were our toys of choice earlier this week? Well, we'll let you see that for yourself...

The children love playing together, and even though we do have our occasional sibling-like spat, they have a lot of fun playing together, too. That said, everyone knows that Hayden's favorite car is the police SUV, and ever so kindly, Ada and Amy are often quick to find it for him.

As far as creativity is concerned, we love when the kids really get into whatever activity we're doing, and as you can see, Ada was all in on this particular morning.

Amy and Chris enjoyed playing together too.

Amy is such a sweet big sister to him. She is often encouraging him as he learns new things or is redoing old ones, and playing with cars was no exception. She was more than willing to show him all the fun that could be had...

...and before long we think it's safe to say that he was having it. Isn't that right, Chris?

Yes, preschool can be lots fun. So stay tuned; we're sure there will be a new adventure before too much longer!

Friday, September 19, 2014

All about Robert

Robert just turned 18 months old - such a huge milestone for a little guy. All of the children in New Day's care have some sort of special medical need, and often these needs keep the little ones from progressing at quite the speed of other children. Robert has certainly had some challenges to overcome, but with lots of therapy and encouragement and practice, he is well on his way to doing more and more things!

He is a quieter boy and easily entertains himself. He is very pleasant and easygoing, such a delightful little guy to have around. He keeps to himself, but immediately smiles if someone comes over to him. He loves being played with! He is also really ticklish and has the cutest smile and giggle. sometimes just catching his eye causes him to start giggling and babbling!

Robert usually lays on his back or stomach to play. He isn't quite able to pull himself up to sitting, but can sit steadily, leaning on his hands, if you help him get to that position. Robert isn't crawling yet, but he's getting close! He is beginning to scoot on his stomach, especially if there's something to get to. Just watch him!

Robert plays well with the babies. He enjoys shaking and banging things - what' boy doesn't?! Robert just loves just hitting the floor with his hands like a drum.  He is definitely learning how to figure out his environment

As far as language goes, Robert hasn't figured out how to use words, but he has learned how to use his voice! He's got the cutest babble. Just listen to him!

And can you even handle his dimple? It's way too precious...

Robert has only been at New Day for nine months, but in this time he has come so far! One of our summer volunteers (also named Robert) wrote this about little Robert:

I spent three months at New Day this summer and over that time I got to see many kids make a lot of progress developmentally. Robert was one of the kids I saw make huge progress! I was especially excited to meet Robert as he has one extra special trait - he shares the same name as me! When I first arrived at the end of May he was gaining strength in his neck in order to support his head. The nannies would put him on his stomach and help him lift up his head.

As time went on he learned to crawl, which gave him the freedom to go and play with the toy he wanted to! Then we helped him sit up. At first he needed a lot of support! Each day he got stronger and stronger, and with the help of the therapist Zoe, and his nannies he could then sit up using his hands to support himself! He was so proud of himself! Then, he practiced lifting each hand up, testing his balance, until finally Robert could sit up without support! Robert has become more independent as time has gone on, though he does still love a snuggle every now and then!

I loved spending time with Robert. He is one of the most easy-going and relaxed kids I've met! He loves going outside to the backyard, playing with toys, listening to music and crawling around. As the summer went on, he would babble more and more, and begin to imitate some sounds! I'm excited to now see what more progress he will make!

The face of focus
...staying super-still so that Iris can climb on top

We can't wait to see what you learn how to do next, little one.

Do you love these "All about" posts? Tell us who you want us to focus on next!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

NDSouth: A Year With Noelle

Noelle is a sweet, sweet girl who will have been with New Day South for one year next month, and in that year, we've gotten to see so much of her story unfold...

...from the very miracle of Noelle's life to her quickly blossoming into a little girl, Noelle has truly transformed right before our eyes over the last year.

She is certainly adored in the upstairs apartment as her nannies continue to daily teach her new words and phrases. Whenever they ask Noelle, "Who's pretty?" She is quick to strike the pose depicted below.

Being the oldest in the upstairs apartment, Noelle is also the resident big sister. From caring for her own baby to offering to hold the other babies, Noelle is convinced she can do it all, and with an offer of help coming from such a sweet girl, how could you resist?

Yet even though Noelle is a willing helper, she is still a little girl who loves to be held and cuddled at the end of the day, too. Whenever a familiar face arrives, Noelle is quick to raise her hands with a request to be held, and honestly, it's a nearly impossible request to refuse. 

Yet despite a love for being held close, Noelle has begun to venture around the playroom on her own, too. Sometimes she crawls...

...but most of the time she prefers to scoot from place to place while also wearing one of her winning smiles.

Yes, getting to see the transformation of love and healing that has happened in this precious girl over the last year has truly been amazing. We can't wait to see how she continues to transform in the days to come, and hopefully one day soon, that transformation will include a mama and a baba of her very own.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NDNorth: Timothy's Good News!

We have some news that is both incredibly exciting and surprising to us.  

Just a month ago, Timothy’s oxygen saturation and pulse readings were as bad as they ever had been, his energy was low and the indications were that his heart defect was more likely getting worse than better.  So, we sent him to Beijing for pre-op testing and surgery. 

Last week Timothy went to the top cardiology hospital in Beijing for testing. We hoped that they would schedule his surgery soon.

After some testing, the cardiologists presented us with his report: the hole in Timothy's heart was closed up - healed! Just a month ago Timothy seemed to be deteriorating, and now to find now that the heart defect is not only better, but completely gone, is amazing.  At our Beijing facility, the staff are remarking about how strong and bright he is looking.

blowing kisses?
We are so excited for him. Providing children with surgeries is one of the things that New Day specializes in... it's part of our mission. But open-heart surgery is no small thing... it's a lot for a little one to go through. We are overjoyed that Timothy will not have to have surgery, that he is suddenly healthy, growing, and strong. We are incredibly thankful to our nannies who have worked hard to help Timothy grow strong and healthy - it is in large part due to their tender care that he is alive today.

In case you're wondering how Timothy feels about the news, we asked tickled him and this is what he said...

Wordless Wednesday: Hope's Hair

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Therapy Tuesday: Still Working At Walking

Austyn has been working hard at walking for a long time, and is making slow but steady progress.  It's not easy for him, but with the help and encouragement of his nannies and therapists, he's getting there.

It's fun to try new ways of developing his skills and muscles.  Check out...Austyn on the balance bike!

This is a great way of working on balance, as well as getting him moving his legs.

Don't you just love that look of concentration?!

That's right, Austyn - you should be proud of yourself.  We're proud of you too.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our Amazing Volunteers: A Life-Changing Experience

Our Summer Staff program has now ended, but we still have one final guest post to share with you.  Abbie came from England to spend 6 weeks volunteering in the Foster Home.

Serving at New Day this summer has been an amazing experience and my life has been touched just watching how much love and care is given to the children in the foster home.  Most of my time has been spent with the babies - giving them cuddles, feeding them, burping them and just showing them love! 

I've loved being able to see the children grow and strengthen over the last 6 weeks.  Mark was so sweet and I watched him develop and helped him to stand on his own two feet and take his first few steps. 

One child who I feel has developed in leaps and bounds is Iris.  Firstly, her suction when drinking a bottle has massively improved and she can also nearly hold the bottle on her own. Her muscle strength is improving too, she has more control over her neck and she can roll over onto her stomach and push herself up.  It is amazing that she's made so much progress and I'll continue hoping that she becomes stronger everyday.  I felt very attached to sweet Iris, she has this contagious smile which instantly brightens your day!

One morning I was able to go into the Critical Care Unit which was so amazing, being able to see how happy the children were, despite the severity of their conditions.  It also gave me the opportunity to prepare myself for starting my Children's Nursing course at university this September and start to understand the medical needs of the children.

One child that particular captured my heart was Ella.  She struggled with her breathing most of the time. I loved just sitting with her, stroking her hair and comforting her. She needs a miracle and a loving family who can embrace her with open arms.

Being at New Day has shown me the dedication of the staff, and I'm so excited by the fact that I was able to serve here and experience this special place.  It has made me think differently about the way I'm going to lead my life in England.  I'm so thankful for this opportunity!

A big thank you to Abbie and all the rest of the 'Summer Staffers' who gave up 6 weeks (or more) of their summer to serve here.

Would you be interested in coming to volunteer at New Day Foster Home next Summer (or at another time)? See our Volunteer Services website for more information!