Sunday, February 7, 2016

NDNorth: Celebrating Transformation

This week, as Chinese New Years approaches, we say goodbye to the "Year of the Sheep" and hello to the "Year of the Monkey." We celebrated by gathering together for a time of thanking and honoring our nannies for all of their hard work this past year. Our nannies invest a huge amount of love, time, and energy into caring for our little ones. They do not have an easy job! But as we think back on the past year, it is easy to see how much the efforts of these nannies have paid off. The childrens' bright smiles and chubby cheeks say it all: they have been changed by the love they have received from their nannies!

We sure did have a lot to celebrate from this past year! Two adoptions, successful surgeries, children learning to crawl and walk, and so much more! During our celebration, each child was recognized and their nannies were given a red envelope (a traditional monetary gift given during Chinese New Years):

We finished the party off by showing a slideshow of the best pictures from the past year (very hard to narrow down)!

May the Year of the Monkey be a new year filled with more stories of transformation, hope, and love!

Friday, February 5, 2016

It's Party Time!

It's that time of year again, time for beautiful red decorations, dumplings and a whole lot of fun!

The Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival) festivities are the biggest celebration in the Chinese calendar, and we always have a big party before the official holiday begins.  The nannies keep working their shifts over the holidays, but the foster home office shuts down for the week (as does almost everything else in China), and people head home to spend time with their families.

A big part of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations is making, and eating, dumplings together. Called 'jiǎozi' in Mandarin, they are shaped like a gold ingot (the currency used in ancient times), symbolizing luck and fortune.

In the Foster Home, we set up two 'dumpling-making-tables', one in the playroom for the little ones, and another in the preschool for the older kids.  The nannies and other staff love making dumplings with/for them!

Dumplings always taste better when you've 'squidged' them before they're cooked!

Tray upon tray of beautiful jiǎozi, all ready to be boiled and eaten.

Meanwhile, in the dining hall, the foster-parents and their charges are also busy making dumplings...

...and then it's time for the best part: eating them!

Bellies full of dumplings, it's time for the little ones in the Foster Home to take a nap, while the show begins in the dining hall.

Our nannies and office staff are a talented group, and love to perform dances, songs and skits.

The foster families stayed to enjoy the show (but Tim was more interested in watching his foster-mama than the performances).

Some of the children really wanted to be center-stage themselves; here is Hudson joining in one of the nannies' performances, and look out for an adorable video of Elizabeth dancing along in another post coming up soon.

Can you guess what this skit was about?  We didn't have performances at our Christmas party, but enjoyed this just as much for Chinese New Year!

For the finale, a group of our office staff performed a hilarious and well-choreographed dance routine.  Another highlight, which we don't have pictures of, was the slideshow of New Day graduate pictures, sent in by their forever families.  The nannies love seeing how much these fondly-remembered babies have grown.

From our big New Day family to yours, "xīnnián kuàilè" (new year happiness)!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

NDSouth: Look Who's Crawling

Jeanie has been very busy this week!

She's been practicing very hard...

...and when she 'falls', she is quick to try again!

And with all that hard work and determination...

...we are thrilled to announce,

We have a new crawler here at New Day South!

Way to go Jeanie!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Celebrating Ella

With more than 30 birthdays to celebrate every year, it's not possible to do a special birthday-blog-post for every child, even though there is so much to celebrate about each one of them.  However, today is Ella's 5th birthday, and she gets a post in celebration, 'just because'.

Ella has been here at New Day Foster Home since she was a little baby, back in March 2011.  She was very ill when she first arrived, and since then she has had way more than her fair share of set-backs, time in hospital, and scary moments.

The picture above is from this post, written exactly three years ago (a February birthday means that some years Ella's birthday falls during the Chinese New Year holiday).  Reaching her second birthday was a miracle, and it's been a beautiful miracle to watch her grow in the three years since then.  She's looking like a real 'big girl' these days!

Ella still loves getting her hair done...

...and having a massage. 

Tucked away in the Critical Care Unit to protect her from infections, most people don't get to see her, but Ella is being tenderly loved and cared for by the amazing CCU nannies.

Ella's life is precious, and it is our ongoing privilege to have her here at New Day.  Still, our biggest birthday wish for Ella (besides that for her dramatic and miraculous healing) is that this would be the year that her forever family finds her.  

Happy Birthday, Ella!

For more information about adopting Ella (not inquiries about other New Day Children please, as in the vast majority of cases we will be unable to give out any information besides that which is already on our website), you can contact

NDNorth: Therapy Day

This week, Eva and Ting Ting, two occupational therapists from Beijing visited New Day North. It was a great day and everyone learned new ways to be helping the children more. The kiddos also enjoyed their time with they therapists, though they did make them work extra hard! Here are a few highlights:

Ruby got her new chair adjusted so that if fits her just right!

Ruby also enjoyed some special time with Ting Ting.

Clara enjoyed dancing with Eva and being kissed by her too!

She didn't enjoy time on the ball so much. But she worked hard and everyone cheered for her when it was all over!

Chad took to Eva right away!

The therapists made Timothy work hard. But it was so much fun that he didn't even realize he was working!

What's that Clara? Eva and Ting Ting are pretty wonderful? I think we can all agree with you on that!

Friday, January 29, 2016

All The Layers

Beijing winters are always cold, but this one is especially arctic.  At times, temperatures have hit a 30-year low of around -17 (just over 1 degree Fahrenheit) and we are all wearing more layers than normal.

For our foster families travelling in and out of New Day for preschool, therapy and medical check-ups, keeping the kids warm is a big challenge.  All of them do a great job at wrapping their precious charges up well, but Natalie's foster-mama has it down to a fine-art!

It's all about the layers.  When Natalie comes for her monthly check-up and needs to be weighed and measured, it's a pretty long process to 'unwrap her'...and then to put them all back on again afterwards.

Look who we found under all of those sweaters and pants...Natalie!

And here she is with them all back on again. 

Time to head out and brave the cold for the journey home.  Coat, hat, scarf...

...and one of her foster-baba's coats to wear in the cart.  Toasty-warm!