Monday, November 30, 2009

If You're Happy and You Know It

We're so happy that Judah is out of the hospital and doing well!

So happy that we could, well, clap our hands!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

5 Going on 15

Ganlu, the photographer behind most of the photographs on our website and blog and our amazing web designer, is rarely seen without her camera in hand. The kids have come to expect that...

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

Wordless Wednesday: Joshua's Joy

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Next Steps

It's almost Thanksgiving. We're getting ready for our big Thanksgiving meal here at the foster home, complete with all the trimmings. We'll be sure to post lots of pictures of the feast and the naps that happen afterwards.

And you know what comes after Thanksgiving, right?

Black Friday!

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, 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, and I'll send you more information on the position.


And guess who is walking on his own now?

Some said he would never walk, but after months of hard therapy, William is toddling around on his own!
Monday, November 23, 2009

First Impressions

These reflections were written by Lindsey Johnson, a volunteer from Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

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

Politically Well-Informed

On the way to the flower market for a recent preschool field trip, we passed by the US Embassy in Beijing. In preparation for President Obama's visit to China, they had hung very large pictures of him and other officials in front of the building. There were also pictures of the Statue of Liberty and other familiar American landmarks.

As we drove past the building, the pictures caught Julia's attention. She pointed out the window and loudly shouted, "OBAMA!"

We have no idea how she recognized him... How many American 5-year-olds do you know who recognize their president? Now, how many Chinese 5-year-olds do you think recognize the American president?

We're pretty sure it might just be Julia.

It's official... She's brilliant.

And politically well-informed.

Wordless Wednesday: Underneath the Layers

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Guess Who?

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

Bilingual Gal

Even though winter has arrived, Elizabeth continues to bloom and blossom.

She's learning to read with her foster mom's help, and we're constantly amazed to hear her sounding out long words! For her, learning to read English is probably more difficult than it might be for most kids learning to read in their native language, since when she sees a picture and a word, she has to learn both the way the word sounds and the sounds the letters make.

She's learning word meanings and how to read at the same time! Which she makes look shockingly easy, since she is such a smart cookie.

But one of the cuter side-effects of her becoming bilingual is the way that she blends the languages sometimes.

In Chinese, the days of the week go something like this:
Xing Qi Yi
Xing Qi Er
Xing Qi San
Xing Qi Si
Xing Qi Wu
Essentially, this means "Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, etc."

The other day, she told one of our staff members that she was going to do something special on "Xing Qi Four." That's literally what she said - an adorable mix of Chinese and English, from an adorable little girl.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Eliana

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Orphan Sunday

In churches across America, Sunday, November 8 was Orphan Sunday. We're so thankful that more and more people are realizing that caring for the worlds' estimated 140 million orphans is our responsibility, and we see the difference that your love makes in the lives of the children in our care.

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

Beginning and End

Today was a bit unusual. Such important events don't often fall on the same day...

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

Wordless Wednesday: Precious in His Sight

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Man's Work

Since all of our children's primary caregivers are women, we must work hard to ensure our children get plenty of positive male role models. Thankfully, there are lots of wonderful men who work at the foster home, so the children have an abundance of chances to be tossed in the air, carried around, and tickled with scratchy whiskers. Until our little ones have daddies of their own, we're thankful for the ways these men pour into their lives.

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.

Christopher's foster dad helped bring him up from a little baby to a busy toddler!

All of the little boys love helping our gardener with his work in the back yard. He's also who they always run to when the dog comes to close!

Doug, one of our foreign staff members, always has room in his arms for cuddling a little one! The children in our Healing Home, which he manages, know him best.

Wang Shu manages all of our foster families, but he doubles as all of our children's grandpa! Every child needs a little extra spoiling, and Wang Shu never fails to deliver!