Thursday, July 30, 2009

Most Eligible Bachelor

By: Laura-Kate Denny, A NDFH Summer Intern

Ladies, we have a heartbreaker on our hands.

The first day I arrived at New Day Foster Home, Nathan greeted me with a big hug around both legs - how's that for a warm welcome? Since that first meeting, we have had a standing date every day at the playground swings. Sometimes Nathan is reserved and thoughtful as he swings higher and higher, and sometimes his smile and giggles light up the playground. When this little man isn't busy charming the interns, his inquisitive nature shines. This week, Nathan quietly watched our handy-man painting one of the nursery rooms. He was quite intrigued - you could see the look of concentration and curiosity on his face as he watched the handy-man climb up and down the ladder!

Smart, funny, AND handsome? I think I'm in love!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Miracle Baby

Sometimes the transformations that occur in our children's lives leave us speechless and nearly weeping out of thankfulness and awe as we witness His mighty hand in their lives.

Judson is a perfect example.

Today is his birthday, and he was born with such a severe birth defect (his stomach and intestines on the outside of his body) and suffered such severe hypothermia from spending his first night of life in a cold ditch, that noone thought he could possibly survive. Due to a string of miracles that you can read about in his full story, he arrived at our foster home when he was only 3 days old.

Given less than a 10 percent chance to live by his doctors, he defied expectations at every turn. And today we celebrate his 1st birthday.

We love you, Judson, and we're so thankful that we've been blessed with the opportunity to taste and see the goodness of your creator. You are a living and breathing example of His hand of protection and mercy in each of our lives.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Joshua

Pools and Tunes

What can we say... Peter really loves the water.

A few weeks ago, we posted a story about how Liam loves a Silly Sing-a-Long. Several people requested a video of him singing. We did our best to capture it, though he was more interested in singing John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt instead of Do Your Ears Hang Low. And be sure to look for little Khloe's surprise appearance, too! She's our up-and-coming star!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just Add Water: A Soggy Blog from an Intern's Journal

By: Laura-Kate Denny, A NDFH Summer Intern

Combine soaring temperatures, predictably sticky summer babies, generous donors, and a box of brand new (and adorable) swimsuits. What do you get? A trip to the local water park, of course!

Last Friday, the kids piled onto a bus for a trip to the splash park. I'm an intern here at New Day, and let me tell you - these kids are clever, charming, and fun-loving! The children spent the entire morning splashing, getting into floaties, getting right back out of floaties, investigating the water spout, throwing inflatable toys, laughing inexplicably at an elephant-shaped slide, and generally basking in the sunshine. The more daring ones even ventured into the deep end on an inflatable boat pulled by some volunteers! After an exciting morning in the water, the kids devoured a picnic lunch before falling asleep immediately - practically in unison - on the bus ride home.

The near-constant joy among the children at New Day is infectious. There are some big personalities in these tiny packages! These precious little ones have so much to offer as they continue to grow, play, and learn. Evan certainly knows that his future is so bright - he's got to wear shades!

Blog Design Raffle

Danielle of The Design Girl, designer of NDFH's own blog, is hosting another raffle for NDFH's formula project! You can win a deluxe free blog makeover by entering the raffle on her site, and all of the proceeds will come directly to NDFH and go towards buying formula for beautiful babies like this sweetie-pie.

There's more! If you sign up as a sponsor between now and August 3 for any of NDFH's projects -- whether that's a formula sponsor or a child sponsor -- Danielle is going to give you a free blog makeover using one of her very cute and classy pre-made blog templates.

All you need to do to participate is either enter the raffle on her blog or register as a child sponsor or formula sponsor on our website. Leave a comment to let us know that you've participated! And, as always, you can e-mail me with any questions:
Sunday, July 26, 2009

How Our Garden Grows

When children first arrive at New Day Foster Home, they often look just like Sophie and Victoria did in these pictures from around the time they first arrived...

But with time and love, each child blossoms into another flower in our garden.

Now they're some of the oldest girls in our foster home. It won't be long, and they'll both be leaving with their adoptive families. We're so thankful for the opportunity we had to get to know them and be a part of the beautiful transformation that occurred in their lives.

There are already new little ones arriving, with the same fearful and uncertain looks on their faces that Sophie and Victoria once had. But we know it won't be long until we see another side of them as well...

After all, Love grows here.
Thursday, July 23, 2009

Getting Fluent

The office has become the testing ground for some of our children's newly acquired English skills. During the summer, we assign interns to teach English to our older children one-on-one. Lately, the interns have been teaching the kids some practical English phrases and sentences. We're thrilled at all of their quick progress! We always knew that we had some brilliant kids. We also have some amazing interns!

So in addition to Julia's dazzling English skills that she demonstrates in the video, we had Victoria and Sophie come to the office to "buy candy." (They were going to the snack shop to buy candy, but it was closed, so they made a detour to the office.) They each came up to my desk with 10 RMB bills in their hands. They very politely introduced themselves...

"Hi, my name is Sophie."
"Hi, my name is Victoria."

With a little prompting from their teachers, they then asked, "Can we buy some candy?"

I searched through my desk for something that resembled candy and came up with a sack of dried kiwi fruit. I gave each girl a couple of pieces and they "paid" their bill and said "Thank you!"

Sophie and Victoria with their English teachers.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: "Little Debbie"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Comings and Goings

This last week has been filled with lots of comings and goings...
In the "Comings" department, we have 3 new children who just arrived at NDFH.

Melody, 4 months old, is here to receive treatment for a growth on the back of her head.

Seven-year-old Hannah needs to gain a lot of weight and have heart surgery.

And sweet little 3-year-old Raegan needs heart surgery as well.

It's been a busy couple of weeks, with lots of new arrivals. It is always fun to have new little ones join our family, but the best part of our job is when we hear of someone who will be going...

Though he won't be leaving very quickly, we did get the wonderful news that Adrian has been matched with an adoptive family!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Infectious Laughter

There are some things we don't want spread around, but we can handle a case of infectious giggles. And, if we have one child who is contagious with that, it would be Julia! Her deep belly laugh always gets a few others to laughing as well...

And being given a chance to swim in the pool on a hot summer afternoon wearing the brand new bathing suit that her new mom and dad just sent? Well... that's just the trigger she needs to get a big case of the giggles going.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Silly Sing-a-Long

Our kids LOVE to sing. On any given day, it's never hard to find a group of kids ready to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle" or "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" with all the hand motions. They learn a lot of these songs in pre-school and also from the nannies, and it's adorable hearing them sing their own versions - sometimes getting the words or the motions all jumbled.

For some reason, Liam's favorite song is "Do Your Ears Hang Low?" It's a little bit of a random song that we started singing with him several months ago. None of the other children request this tune, but it is definitely Liam's favorite. It's gotten to be such a habit between us, that every time he sees me walking into the playroom, he'll run over with his hands hanging by his ears - his signal that he wanted to sing that song (with all the hand motions too, of course).

Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you throw them o'er your shoulderLike a Continental Soldier?
Do your ears hang low?

Liam was recently in the hospital, so I hadn't seen him for a couple weeks. It's amazing how quickly kids grow and develop, so when I spotted him in the back yard last Friday, I was immediately struck by how fast this adorable little toddler is growing.

For a split second, I wondered if maybe he'd outgrown our little routine.

But then from across the yard, he spotted me, yelled "Ayi!!" (auntie), and brought his little hands up to his ears. In the days since then, I've still been so amazed at how quickly his vocabulary has progressed and how much heavier he is to pick up. (This little man is growing fast!) But as fast as he's growing, I love that he still enjoys cuddling into my lap to sing our favorite little song.

Buckets of Fun

We have some water babies! They really like to splash and play, as long as they don't get too much water in their faces. For some reason on this afternoon, Addison didn't want to sit in the water, but she liked playing with it as we poured it from a bucket. We think by the time they leave with their adoptive families, our kids will be ready for swim lessons!


By putting a water hose at the top of our small slide and a small pool underneath the bottom of the slide, we turn our backyard into our own mini-waterpark.

While the older kids, like Sophie, think barrelling down the slide is a great way to spend the afternoon, the littler children are a bit more divided on whether or not they think it is fun. Some of the little ones really get into it... like Annie. She's generally fearless. Khloe, on the other hand, would prefer to sit undisturbed in the pool. She has no interest in barrelling down the slide, and she's not all that happy that she doesn't just get the pool to herself! We think she definitely has a future as a sunbathing beauty who doesn't really want to get too wet! And Ethan is shaping up nicely into the little guy who thinks that flirting with a girl is synonymous with hitting or being a little bit mean to them.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Chase

Like water running through their hands, this baby chick kept escaping the grasp of Peter and Adam this past Spring. We just found this video in our files, and we thought it was funny... the baby chick was certainly faster on his feet than our two little guys!

And no worries for the chick, the only thing harmed in the making of this video was Adam's and Peter's sense of accomplishing their goal! They never did catch the moving fuzz ball!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Photo Shoot

These were just too deliciously cute to not post all of them...

Little Tristan was chosen as model for the day, and boy did he live it up!

Though looking back on the whole event, perhaps he was more interested in emptying out the entire bottle of shampoo into the tub -- not something he's normally allowed to do -- as opposed to hamming it up for the camera.

But either way, this boy is CUTE! We're talking Gerber baby cute. Or, as it was in this case, Johnson and Johnson cute.

See, we really were staging a photo shoot... Our friends over at Johnson and Johnson give us all the of the baby soap, diaper wipes, and lotion that we need, and they needed a few pictures from of us of their products in action.

It's really generous of them, because do you know how much good smelling sudsy stuff it takes to keep our babies looking so sharp?! And Kimberly-Clark gives us all of our diapers! We're incredibly blessed to have these two corporations supplying these major needs, because it takes a lot of diapers to keep all those bottoms clean, and those of you who are moms know how fast a little one can go through a bottle of shampoo...

Now if only we knew someone at Nestle who could donate all of our formula... Oh well... Until then, we can dream!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Little Temptress

In the event that all of our nannies ask for the same day off at once, we have a back-up plan...

Her name is Addison, and though she may be our little half-pint, she's proven herself up to the task of feeding and caring for those who are younger (though perhaps not smaller) than her.

For her practice-run at being a mama, she chose Owen as her test subject. Poor little Owen... his favorite activities all involve eating, and the empty bottle Addison wielded did nothing but taunt and tease him.

As evidenced by his ever-growing cheeks, if we didn't save him from himself, Owen would be happy to eat all day long. So, we really must intervene and keep it to regularly scheduled mealtimes. So when Addison found the empty bottle and plopped it in his mouth, Owen thought for a few minutes that today was his lucky day, but it didn't take him long to realize this was just another of Addison's little games.

But if they can't tease, what are big sisters good for?
Friday, July 3, 2009

Waterpark Trip and Pediasure

We haven't mentioned needs before on the blog, but we wanted to bring a couple of items to our blog readers' attention, in case anyone wants to get involved. We want to take our children to a water park on July 23 in Beijing that has an area for young children. It's a place where they can splash and play and cool off from the hot weather. The trip will be for about 20 children, and the cost will total about $250, including lunch, entrance tickets, and transportation. If anyone wants to help sponsor this trip, please e-mail me with the amount that you could contribute at, and I'll give you instructions on how to make the contribution. (In case there's a big response, I don't want to end up with enough money for 2 trips! That's why I'd like you to write first.)

*****UPDATE***** You blog readers are amazing! Less than 24 hours after I wrote this, the trip is already covered! Thank you so much for generously meeting this need.

And, one more need we wanted to mention... We've run low on Pediasure, which we need for three of our heart babies. The extra nutrition really gives them the boost that they need to grow, a hard thing to do for heart babies. Though it is available in China, it is almost twice as expensive as it is in Western countries, and we need about 90 bottles a month. Unfortunately, in the USA, it is only available in liquid form, which we know is expensive to ship. But, if you live in a country where it is is in powdered form, that would be easier to ship! And, if you think you could ship a package, even of the bottled version, that would be wonderful. We might even be able to match up donors with volunteers who are coming to work at NDFH who can bring it to Beijing with them. Again, if this is something you think you could help with, please email me.

The Six Upstairs

We don't always get a group shot of our upstairs babies, but we thought this one was too cute not to share. When children come to NDFH, they often start upstairs. It is a little quieter and calmer than our rough-and-tumble downstairs playroom. They get to listen to soothing music and lounge on blankets all day. Not a bad life, really... especially in the summertime when there are more than enough interns and volunteers around to ensure no one has to lay by themselves for long. After they've had their surgeries and recuperate, they either move downstairs or to a foster family. We can house up to 6 children upstairs, so you can see we have a full house right now.

Starting with Debra in the orange shirt and going clockwise we have Judah, our newest arrival, Cora, Cameron, Jamison, and Tristan.

New Matches

These two sweet gals have recently been matched with their adoptive families.
Kerstin's new name is Maria.

And our crazy-haired little Elise will now be Khloe.

Congratulations to both of these little girls and their families.