In response to the questions about whether or not we have any more video from Christmas morning, I thought I'd post this... the last remaining video segments. Unfortunately, we don't have video of all the kids. But, I thought I'd share what we did have. Some of you mamas will get a glimpse of your little ones in this footage.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Each child is such a precious gift, and we are so thankful for Noah and Polly. Our hearts swell with love and pride as we watch our children bloom and blossom. Words really can't describe how blessed we are to have them in our lives.
When these little ones first joined our family, their futures didn't seem so bright. Babies with Down's Syndrome sometimes seem "hopeless" to orphanage staff overwhelmed with many children.
Take Polly for example... When we first met Polly, she was in our formula project and weighed 8 pounds at 6 months old. She came to our foster home when she was 14 months old, and she still only weighed 10.5 pounds. She had no muscle tone and spent all her time on her back, unable to even lift up her arm. In a busy orphanage with many children to attend to, it is easy to overlook a little one like Polly, thinking that she never has much of a chance anyway. But we believe each child was created with great joy and purpose, and we are so thankful we had the opportunity to bring her here. Now at 28 months old, she weighs 21 pounds and loves to dance to Christmas carols.
She's one of our cutest little elves, and we are so thankful we've been entrusted with her care.
Merry Christmas! Thank you for making this journey of love possible. We hope you'll continue to join us in 2010 as we seek to bring hope to the hopeless and the fatherless home.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Libi's parents are in China adopting Libi's big sister, and they brought their whole family, including three big brothers and grandma! It was wonderful to spend a day with Libi and her family.
Also, we added her family's blog to our "Extended Family" list, so you can keep up with her in the future!
Libi gets to hang out with her nanny again!
Friday, December 18, 2009
But, every now and then comes along a kid who thinks Tom would make a great pal; a child who is just as curious about Tom as he is about them. Polly is one such baby. She never acts afraid or concerned when he is around; she just stares at him as if she's wondering what this four-legged furry friend is up to. We think they'll continue to be great friends!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
We first met Donnie when he signed up to sponsor Brett, a little boy who used to live at the foster home who had only one leg. Brett was a high-spirited little boy, but there seemed to be a sadness about him... some kids just seem to be affected more deeply than others by the fact that they don't have their own family. Brett was one of those little boys, and though we did our best to encourage him and build him up, we could still sense his brokenness and sadness.
But then along came Donnie. Donnie took this sponsorship seriously, and decided that what it really meant was that he'd be Brett's grandpa, or YeYe. He mailed Brett small presents and pictures of his motorcycle. He sent doo rags and lots and lots of candy. And something inside Brett started to bloom. He smiled more and when a package would come to the foster home, he'd excitedly scoot over and ask if it was from his grandpa.
When Brett was adopted, Donnie had the opportunity to meet his little grandson. Brett said he wanted to go on a train ride with his YeYe Donnie, so that's exactly what they did. It's clear from these pictures that what we suspected all along is most definitely true... Love makes a difference.
After Brett joined his family, Donnie started sponsoring Polly and Jack, never missing an opportunity to sneak them some suckers like any good grandpa does. He also sent our kids on a wonderful field trip this summer, and signed up to help sponsor formula as well. He always sends us emails checking on "his kids," and through the internet has connected with families adopting New Day kiddos. He's participated in some fundraisers to help families pay for adoptions, even winning a Vera Bradley bag once! (Donnie said he wasn't too sure what to do with a Vera Bradley bag! It didn't go well with his motorcycle.)
Everyone at the foster home knows about the "American Grandpa," and he's become such a part of our family that we decided to make it official and name him as NDFH's Honorary Grandpa! (Scroll down to the foreign staff section to see Donnie.) Thank you Donnie for all that you do!
From all of your grandkids at NDFH, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
We think it's because he came with candy.
We did learn something from Santa's early arrival... we found out "who is naughty and nice."
And look how nice little Faith is being to Santa. He's offering her candy, and she politely folds her hands and says "Ready," just like she does in preschool every day. This little girl remembers her manners.
In the naughty camp, we have Adrian. Look at him, trying to rob Santa's bag of an extra piece of candy. Clearly this little guy hasn't learned that the consequence for such behavior is a large lump of coal.
Is it purely coincidental that there seems to be a direct correlation between gender and being naughty or nice?
I think not.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Song time is probably the best time of preschool, if you were to ask all of our kids. They especially liked it today when Sarah, their preschool teacher, invited them up one at a time to select their very favorite song to sing. You mamas would all be so proud; the children did a great job taking turns and enthusiastically singing one another's favorites. First up was Matthias, then Adahlyn (with Matthias' talking), then Drew, and finally, Elizabeth and Trey. You can see, there's never a dull moment!
We also have very exciting news. Samuel's papers are with Adoptions Together, an adoption agency in the USA. According to their website his papers are still available for to be matched, so we're hoping his family finds him soon!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
So, without further ado, ladies and gents, I present to you...
And just in case you are wondering, no products are necessary to coiffe this stunning style. It's all natural, baby.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Being together brought back a lot of good memories -- so many children who had a chance for hope and healing because of this new project!
We can't wait for the time -- not too far down the road -- where we can take a group picture of the little ones who have become a part of New Day South. Thanks to the Bush family for your service and vision! Many little lives have changed, and will continue to do so, because you are willing to take leaps of faith.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Though we haven't visited this couple in their home, we imagine these pictures, shot in villages around China (including our own!), reflects their lives as well.
Friday, December 4, 2009
We've decked our halls, and they definitely feel more cheery! That's the upside. The downside is that we'll be spending a lot of time reminding a large group of orally-inquisitive toddlers that the pretty, shiny things hanging on the tree are not good to eat.
Oh well, isn't that what a Christmas tree means in any house with little ones?
You can see more pictures of our decorating day over on the foster home's scrapbook.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Well, several customers asked us to make matching children's aprons, so we have started working on them. We wanted to check our progress, so we thought we'd test them out on some of our resident cooks.
When we brought an apron to try on some of the older girls, all of the younger ones wanted a chance at the modeling gig, as well! As it turns out, we have plenty of cute models who can make anything look good.
The little play kitchen at the foster home will definitely need a few aprons hanging on the shelf, because everyone knows you cook better food when you're wearing the appropriate gear.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
On a recent afternoon, Ganlu was with the children and picked up a toy camera in the playroom. She pretended to take a picture of Victoria with the big, plastic camera.
"Smile!" Ganlu told Victoria.
Victoria rolled her eyes.
"You have a real camera. Why are you playing with that camera? It's for little kids!"
Poor Ganlu. She can't have any fun.
But Ganlu did convince Victoria to take a picture of her with the toy camera... so I guess under all her 15-year-old-bravado, Victoria is still just a 5-year-old on the inside.
In response to several requests, we created a button that you can put on your blog or website to link shoppers to Amazon so that they can support NDFH in their holiday shopping. You can find it on the right column in the button section. Thanks for helping us spread the word!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
And you know what comes after Thanksgiving, right?
A time of maddening crowds and great deals. But this year you can skip the crowded parking lot and pushing and shoving over this season's must-have-toy by shopping from the comfort of your home.
If you click on this button and do some of your Christmas shopping at Amazon.com, NDFH gets a percentage of each sale! You do need to access Amazon's website through this button, or we do not get credit for your purchases.
Are you a sponsor who gets a monthly update on your sponsored child from us? Did you know that our monthly updates are edited by a team of volunteers? It takes quite a few people to prepare the updates to be sent out each month, and we need to add a few more people to our volunteer pool. The updates are written in Chinese by the nannies and translated by our staff and Chinese volunteers. However, they need some editing and smoothing over before we send them to sponsors each month.
This is a NDFH volunteer project that you can do from your own home. The only requirement is that you have a good command of the English language and basic grammar skills, and a willingness to work within a tight deadline.
If you are interested in serving as a volunteer update editor, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll send you more information on the position.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Every day since I heard about NDFH back in March, I have diligently checked the blog and the website to see what was going on. I would eagerly log in to see what the kids were up to this week. I have clicked on each kids picture, and have thought about each child by name. When the summer internship was full, I never thought my dream of being able to come to NDFH would come to fruition.
Today, that dream became a reality. Stepping inside the foster home was like stepping into a reality tv show. Before I was even introduced I knew (almost) every child by heart. My day was full of books and toys, of laughs and giggles. Each child brought a new joy to me. Ethan is full of jokes and pranks, Adah radiates tenderness, and sweet Debra (who resembled the likes of Cindy Loo Hoo today with her pigtails and polka dot footies) is full of smiles.
There is something special about this place that cannot be understood from a website, a blog or a newsletter … and I never understood that until today.
Even after spending just a few short days here I am reminded of how He truly does care for His orphans.
If you ever find yourself in Beijing, go visit NDFH. You will be instantly filled with joy and it will do your soul good… promise!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
No one is going to rob a bank... the "disguise" is just what happens when winter arrives with all of its gusty force. Kids are bundled up from head to toe, and though everyone stays quite warm, it turns into quite the guessing game. Who is under all those layers?
So now it is your turn.
Who do you think this is?
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Did your church have any special events or speakers to acknowledge the plight of orphans this Sunday? We'd love to hear about the ways that your community is responding to this need. And if there are ways we can come alongside you and support you in your efforst, we'd love to be involved!
As you know, Nathan joined his adoptive family late last week. They are bloggers, so for those of you who don't already follow their blog, you can join them on their journey.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
It was both the start of something new...
The arrival of these three sweet babies from a new partner orphanage... all urgently needing heart surgery. At first, we didn't think we had room for all of them, but how could we choose? But because something else happened today, bed space opened up, so all three little ones could come.
And that "something else" was another beginning that happened today... an end for us, but definitely a most beautiful beginning.
Nathan joined his adoptive family. Mom, Dad, and big sister all came to pick him up. He gave his new parents the biggest hugs when they first arrived, and he quickly decided that Daddy's arms were the place to be. When it came time to leave, he simply waved goodbye to all of us and blew us kisses, clearly at peace with the fact that with these new people was where he belonged.
So it was the end of our time with Nathan and the beginning of our time with these three sweethearts. Sometime down the road, we'll be saying goodbye to them and opening our arms to new little ones.
It's the cycle of our work -- bittersweet at times, but beautiful always.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Our carpenter is like your childhood uncle, who was always pretending to "eat your nose." He often pretends like he's going to "paint" our kids or "work on them" with his tools. But, when he's not teasing, he certainly has a tender side!Aurora's foster dad gives her all the tender care that a little one can need.
Friday, October 30, 2009
The children's peals of laughter warmed up the chilly fall morning, and we hope the sight of their smiles warms your heart. We hope that you're able to enjoy playing in some leaves of your own!
Pictured top to bottom: Julia, Victoria, Maria, Adahlyn, and Trey