Thursday, June 10, 2010


During preschool each day, we devote some time to help the children develop their fine motor skills. This can include buttoning and unbuttoning extra shirts, zipping and unzipping pouches, and sometimes even making things from play-doh. On one particular day, we gave the kids a handful of beads and a shoelace each and asked them to make some necklaces (another fine motor skill task disguised as fun!).

This is Emma.

Emma was having a little trouble making her necklace. She just couldn't seem to get the beads turned the right way or the shoelace to go all the way through. We encouraged her over and over, saying, "You can do it, Emma! Try again!"

And try she would. See that tongue all twisted in concentration?

Often times, you can hear the phrase "你真棒!" (ni zhen bang!)  echoing throughout our foster home. This is roughly translated to, "You're so great!" or, "You're awesome!". We use it a lot to encourage the children and let them know what a great job they're doing and how proud we are of their accomplishments.

After a few minutes, Emma had the necklace-making figured out. As she strung her first bead, she smiled proudly. Before we had the chance to cheer for her, she exclaimed excitedly to herself, "Emma, 你真棒!" ("Emma, you're so great!")

A healthy dose of self-confidence never hurt anyone, right?

Well, we all agree, Emma. You are great!

post and photography by our intern, Jess


  1. :) I love that she said it to herself!

  2. Go Emma!!!!
    She looks so proud of herself:)
    Love it!

  3. Yeah!!! Go Emma!! That's what we all need to do...learn to encourage and congratulate ourselves. Way to go Emma!! the pig tails!! :-)

  4. I miss that little girl so much. So proud of her! : )

  5. Love the pics! So glad she is doing well!!

  6. Yeah Emma! WOW your necklace is beautiful. I am so proud of you ;)

    You can do ANYTHING.


  7. She is such a doll! Her new family is SO excited and I know they are anxious for the day they can bring her home. She is such a little spitfire... LOVE her determination and self-cheering! If I hadn't met her in person, I might not believe all that spunk could be wrapped up in such a small package. Emma is adorable!!!

    Great post, Jess!!

  8. i am emma's mom and we are beyond EXCITED to meet Emma Lael (lael means belonging to God) and bring her home...each and everyday when we open up the new day blog/web site we are thanking God for new day for all they are doing for emma and all the children...we love her so much already and are counting down the day until we can bring her home...until that time we are so THANKFUL for new day, interns, nannies, teachers, her foster grandparents and all the new day staff...we are still pinching ourselves how did we get to lucky to be emma lael's parents...GOD IS AWESOME! she will fit in with her forever family perfect ;0) God knew she was what we needed to make our family complete.

    thank you to all of you who post such sweet comments about emma lael...i am hoping to be able to share these with her one day.

    Good day & God bless,
    andrea, kent, garrett & natalie the PROUD forever family of ms. emma lael li ;)