Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Cora and Carrie

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Connecting You

I got an e-mail this morning from one of our blog friends, Jenna. She recently gave a presentation at her church's women's group on NDFH, and she shared the following with me about her experience:

I mentioned in my presentation that when God first got a hold of me in regards to orphans it was when I heard James 1:27 for the first time three years ago. (I mean it was the first time I HEARD it and listened up). I realized shortly after that I couldn't name an orphan. I didn't know one. I could name a couple people I knew who HAD been orphans, but that's about the best I could do. So, in my presentation, I listed the names of several of the kids at New Day and what I now knew about them. That's when I broke down because I had a sort of epiphany right there in the middle of the presentation that New Day has not only been life-changing for so many orphans, but in a very real way, it has been for me and my family as well. Being able to be involved in these kids lives has been a gift for me, my husband, and my kids. My 6 year old runs over to the computer each morning asking to see pictures of "the kids." Anyway... I encouraged the women to get involved and get to know the kids for themselves, and to go ahead and see what God will do as a result. I can't wait to hear the stories at the end of the year.

Her e-mail reminded me that this blog and the work of NDFH is about so much more than only helping the children. Obviously, that is our primary objective. But, we also want to be a conduit for people who live far from orphans; people searching for a way to be involved in orphans' lives in meaningful and tangible ways.

We couldn't do this work without partners like you. And, since you are critical components of our work, we want to connect you with some ways that you can help the foster home. Sometimes it's hard to know what you can do. You have a heart for orphans, but then what? Well, we want to answer that question. Here are a couple of ways you can be involved in meaningful and tangible ways, and if this doesn't answer your question, there are more ways on our website!

Remember the days when mom gave you some spare change to buy milk at school? And remember trying to use some of your milk money to buy candy instead? Well, we could really use some milk money, and we promise not to use it for candy!

Right now our single greatest supply need at the foster home is infant formula. We use a lot of it -- over 1,000 bags a month! In our formula project alone, we will spend over $50,000 USD on formula this year! (That doesn't count the other expenses of managing the formula project or the formula we use at the foster home.) Due to a rapidly increasing enrollment in our project, our expenses have more than doubled in the last 8 months, and we need your help.

For starters, you can put the Milk Money button (available on the right) on your blog or website to help us raise awareness, but we hope some of you will do more than that. We hope you will get involved in helping us meet this incredible need. We give a few ideas for how you can do that on our website, but you probably have more! We're open to helping you execute just about any plan in any way we can, so contact us if you have other ideas and need our input or help.

If you want to help make Christmas at the foster home full of giggles and pure joy, check out Operation Giggle, a special project set up by Sherri. Sherri came up with this plan to help get all of our children a Christmas present, wrapped up and selected just for them.

We can just see it now... Christmas morning and our playroom will be brimming with children, nannies, staff, and foster parents. After we've had a chance to share the Christmas story, Santa will come in -- dressed up, of course -- and pass out a present to each child, sent with love by people like you from all over the world!

So if you want to get involved, contact Sherri. She needs people who are willing to help sponsor shipping costs and people who want to buy presents for the kids. We're so thankful that Sherri is coordinating this for our children, and we think it is a great way to get our blogging community involved in giving our kids a very Merry Christmas!


Phew. That was a long post. I feel the need to cap it off with a picture of a cute kid. This is little Timothy, one of our newer arrivals and a true charmer.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Little Dirt

You know what they say about dirt...

A little bit of it never hurts anyone!

And we decided to just sit back and let Annie figure that out for herself the other day while she was playing in the sandbox in the back yard. When we saw that handful of sand heading up towards her mouth, we simply chalked it up as a form of culinary exploration. We think the progression of pictures is quite amusing -- from curiosity, to slight remorse, to an all out look of disgust. Maybe better people would have saved her from discovering this on her own. We sat back and took pictures. Though we did help her wash out her mouth after we caught the last shot.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Friday Fun

It's Friday, and we thought we'd wrap up our week with some videos we caught of the kids the last few days. Enjoy!

Liam's got a new skill - jumping roap. And he is absolutely adorable.

Chasing bubbles is always fun, but Peter takes the enjoyment to a whole new level!

Wait for it... wait for it... a momentary shower!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New in School

Hannah's health has improved to the point that our doctor has given her permission to attend pre-school. This is huge! For Hannah, who has spent her life up until this point out of breath and mostly lying down due to her heart defect, the chance to play with other kids and be involved in any sort of school is a dream come true!

We know that very soon, she will have advanced past the offerings of our in-house pre-school, but for now she is enjoying learning all the songs the kids sing during music time...

...And learning how to do complicated puzzles with new friends. Victoria has taken Hannah under her wing and is excited to "show her the ropes" of class. We're so glad they've become friends so quickly.

So much more has changed in Hannah other than simply her health... her whole countenance has changed. She is a laughing, smiling, happy little girl, eager to learn and outgoing in new situations. We love to see her unfolding and blooming like this.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Sandbox Fun

Yao Ming's Competition

Strong arms lifting.
Little boys dreaming.
Joy can be found in a goal finally reached.
And the crowd goes wild...
Monday, September 21, 2009

A New Day Wedding!

Over the weekend, we celebrated an exciting day for our Foster Home family! Last Saturday our nurse Ellie married John, who does public relations work in our offices. The ceremony was held in our back yard, and a lovely evening reception took place in New Day's main courtyard.
Elva from our public relations office served as a bridesmaid.

Victoria was in awe of the beautiful bride and was so excited to dress up and attend this special event with the nannies. She was by Ellie's side at every opportunity. She even got to wear a little glittery makeup and kept asking for more applications of lip gloss!

Our nannies sat along the aisle and threw rose petals just before Ellie and her dad walked down the aisle.

Nannies excitedly arrive at the wedding.

Little Madeline has a special place in John's heart, so she got a special invitation from to attend the wedding with her foster parents.

Carrie did a beautiful job with the flowers.
Byron officiated the ceremony, and Karen oversaw each detail to ensure the wedding was beautiful!
Friday, September 18, 2009

Miracles Happen

Claire's story is quite amazing... and she pulled through her last surgery better than anyone, even her doctors, expected. She was even released from ICU after only 1 day, again defying the odds.

Please read her whole story to learn the miracle that's happened in her life. And, if in the future you'd like updates on our children when they are in emergency situations, please e-mail Karen at She sends out urgent alerts when our kids are going through particularly trying and dangerous situations.
Thursday, September 17, 2009

School Daze

It's back to school time all over the world, and here is no exception!

Elizabeth attends class in the mornings in the foster home, so that she can improve her Chinese and do fun arts and crafts. But we know that since she is older, she needs a bit more of an educational challenge, so she also has a daily class with her foster mom.

Elizabeth's English is improving by leaps and bounds, and each day she learns new words. She knows all of her ABCs and the sound each letter makes. She's even learning to recognize and sound out some words! Today she is working on the letter S, with words like sit, soup, and sat. She's such a smart little girl!

She's also studying math and her shapes... She's learning so much, and she loves class! Soon she'll know more than we do!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Khloe's Many Faces

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Little Lovebirds

On the way to Beijing for a preschool field trip today, it quickly became apparent that Drew has a crush.

Unfortunately, he didn't plan his moves very carefully, so he ended up sitting in an entirely different car than the apple of his eye, so the whole way to Beijing we were regaled with cries of "Where's Adahlyn? Where's Adahlyn?" Our reassurance that she was simply in another vehicle left him unconvinced; he seemed worried that we'd left her behind. But when he caught a quick glance of his beloved through the window of her car when we made a quick stop at a gas station, he was satisfied that they would be reunited soon.

And reunited they were. As we strolled through the park on a warm autumn afternoon, the two young lovebirds couldn't have asked for more. Adah wore a beautiful purple dress and Drew sported some pretty cool sunglasses. Butterflies danced in the wind and the aroma of sweet flowers filled the air. The "atmosphere" was clearly more than Drew could handle, and against his better judgement, he succumbed to a temptation many young boys do when they first desire to express their affection to the fairer sex.

He tackled her.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, he took her down. A simple hug couldn't possibly express his love adequately; even a bear hug wouldn't do. In an effort to show just how powerful and strong his feelings were for her, he pinned her to the ground.

Let's just say it didn't go over well.

But like most lover's spats, this one ended happily. They made up quickly, and soon walked away hand in hand. Drew even planted a kiss on Adah's little hand, and when he saw that she didn't mind this expression of his affection, he did it again. Because what boy wouldn't steal two kisses when he had the chance?!

Don't worry... We now know we better keep an eye on these two.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Queen on Her Throne

A Bumbo Baby seat and a royal cloak turn sweet little Polly into the queen of her foster mom's bicycle cart... and of our hearts!

We're thrilled with Polly's progress... when she arrived, she wasn't quite 11 pounds at 1 year and 1 month of age. She couldn't sit up, roll over, or meet any of her other developmental milestones. She needed surgery to correct her heart condition, and she has Down's Syndrome. In the last few months, she's gained a lot of weight, and her trunk muscles are getting stronger and stronger thanks to plenty of physical therapy, the hard work of her foster mom, and the Bumbo seat!

We're thankful Polly is in our lives, and we're expectantly waiting for her adoptive family to find her! We know Polly will have lifelong challenges that she faces, but we trust that there's a family for her out there! We can't wait for the day!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New in Town

We have a new boy in town! Little Samuel arrived today. He's understandably nervous and overwhelmed right now, but we think he'll settle in pretty soon. He's a sweet little boy whose only known special need is that he was born without legs.

We hope that by bringing him to the foster home, we can increase his chances of being adopted quickly! And in the meantime, we hope that we can help him grow to be a strong and independent little boy.

So welcome little Samuel to the NDFH family!

Wordless Wednesday: Sleep Tight

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Growing Up

It's hard to believe that just a few months ago, Aurora was such a brand-new little baby!

Sleeping all day and night... busy growing up on us, right before our eyes!

It seems like no time has passed at all...

Before we know it, she'll be joining in the preschool activities and we'll be trying hard to keep up with her!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Clean Patrol

It isn't a normal role for a little boy, to be so concerned about being clean. But then again, Drew's an extra-special little guy!

Recently he caught a piggy-back-ride across the yard from one of our staff members, Elva. With his nose just inches from the back of her head, she noticed that he seemed to be taking very deep breaths.

Suddenly he asked, "Did you take a bath yesterday?"

Surprised by his question -- and perhaps a bit worried about why he felt the need to ask -- Elva quickly replied, "Yes... Why?!"

He paused for a moment, put his nose even closer to the back of her head, and inhaled deeply once more.

"Ahhhhh," he said, "You smell good!"

Elva was more than a little relieved. After all, it isn't every day that a 3.5 year old boy inquires about the frequency of one's bathing habits.

Elva with Drew in the Winter of 2008.
Thursday, September 3, 2009

Before and After

When Hannah first arrived in July, her tiny figure left all of our hearts aching... at 7 years old, she only weighed 31 pounds. She seemed forlorn and heartbroken, and she urgently needed heart surgery.

She had her first heart surgery on August 24, and we've already seen such a transformation. She's gained 6 pounds since she arrived, which is incredible considering the trauma of surgery, and her face is now bright with a happy smile!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

She's Got the Moves

Maria knows how to move to a beat! And though she doesn't yet know all the words to the song, she certainly makes up for it with her enthusiasm and free-form dancing. Little Maria is one spunky little gal and has such a zest for life... she is always a source of a lot of energy, excitement, and laughter.

Oh, how blessed we are to have each of these children in our "nest" for a while!

Wordless Wednesday: Addison