Monday, December 28, 2009

More Christmas

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

The Cutest Elves

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

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Boys

Monday, December 21, 2009

Libi Returns

We were so blessed today to have a visit from Libi and her family. Libi is a NDFH graduate, adopted in 2008. She's made amazing progress since she joined her adoptive family, and we were so thankful we had the opportunity to see her again.

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!
Libi plays in her old stomping grounds with a new friend, Eliana.

Libi and her Mama.

Libi shows off how she's learning to walk -- something many doubted would ever happen!

Libi and her Daddy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Let's be Friends

Sweet Tom. He loves all our little ones so much. So much that he just wants to smother them in kisses and sit in their laps and nuzzle them with his paws. Needless to say, some of our littlest residents aren't as thrilled about Tom as he is about them.

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

YeYe Donnie

We recently shared the story of a very special Chinese couple who gave their all. I wanted to share the story of another very special person today...

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!

Wordless Wednesday: Birthday Cake Smiles are the Sweetest

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Naughty and Nice

Santa came early to the foster home, and for the first time ever, the children didn't scream in sheer terror at the sight of the jolly old man.

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."

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.

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.

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

Singin' Time

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

Finally Home

Claire is finally home from the hospital, after a 6-month-long stay. She's a walking miracle, and we hope you'll take some time to read her story.

We're so thankful that she's home in time for Christmas! She still needs her chest tube to drain infection from her lungs, but other than that, she's doing very well!
Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sadie's Hair

Holly gave us a great idea in her comment on yesterday's post. Couldn't resist following through with it.

So, without further ado, ladies and gents, I present to you...

Sadie's Hair!

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

Wordless Wednesday: Sadie's Smile

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Moving On

Doug and Janice Bush, along with their little girl Sarah Grace, headed up the opening of New Day Healing Home, and now they are getting ready to move to Guangzhou to open New Day South. We had a little going away party at the Healing Home for them, and brought back all of the kids that had been in our Healing Home and had now moved to foster families.

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

Giving All

She called to get an account number so she could wire a donation. It’s a question we often get, so as we told her the proper information we didn’t think much about her request.

An elderly Chinese lady from a rural village in another province, she had reached the stage of life where time was plentiful and enjoyed chatting like elderly women everywhere are prone to do. We listened as she told her story.

“I heard about your organization from a friend of mine,” she said. “She worked as a nurse at your foster home for a while, and when she came back to her hometown, she told me about the work that you do there.”

“Can we send you a calendar?” we asked. “Maybe some pictures of our children?” Knowing she would likely be unable to travel for a visit, we wanted to give her a glimpse of the children she was helping.

“Oh, that’s not necessary,” she replied. “I’m blind, so I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the pictures. From the stories I've heard, I can imagine what it must be like!”

This is the second year that she has made a donation. Sending $1,000 USD each year, we knew the donation was no small sum for her. But we didn’t yet know just how much of a sacrifice it was.

“I’ll be going with my friend to the bank very soon to send you the money we’ve saved.” She went on to say that she would take a bus from her village to the nearest city where there was a bank so that she could wire her donation. A friend would accompany her to help her fill out the forms.

At this point, we overheard someone in the background, quietly reminding her to save enough money for her return bus fare. Quickly we realized that she wasn’t just giving us a donation. She was giving us all that she had.

After gently asking a few more questions, we found out that she and her husband make about $200 USD a month, or $2,400 USD a year. For the last two years, these elderly rural farmers have donated almost half of their annual income to the foster home. Saving even enough for a bus fare is something they must be reminded to do…

We’re thankful for each and every donation that comes to the foster home. But, when we heard this story, we were especially humbled and reminded that with each gift, we’re being entrusted with a great responsibility.

Though there are certainly donors who give more than this elderly Chinese couple, we don’t know of anyone else who gives all.


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

Looks Like Christmas

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

What's Cooking?

Some of you may have heard of Scarlet Threads, a small online shop started by some of us here at New Day selling aprons that are handmade by a seamstress in our village.

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

Wordless Wednesday: Jennifer