Adrian and his new adoptive family (that's his momma up above!) are off to a flying start! Or maybe I should say a sliding start?
Whatever it is, it's a great start. You can get to know his family a bit more and follow their adoption journey on their blog, which is also listed over on our sidebar now.
He joined his family today, but had an opportunity to get to know them on his "home turf" first. He did really well and especially enjoyed getting to know his two big sisters. We'll miss him around here, but we're so thankful to see him going home with his family!
And a very important update. Nathan is going to have his heart surgery on Wednesday. Read more about it on his momma's blog... this is a critical surgery, and he's a sick little boy. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts.
What's a foster mom to do when a raging Beijing dust storm strikes just after she's dropped her little ones off for preschool and physical therapy?
Well, I guess the first thing you do is hope it ends before you need to pick the little ones up.
But what if it doesn't? What if the sky is still orange and the dust still swirling when it's time for lunch and the little ones have growling tummies and are beginning to wonder where their baozi and jiaozi are to be found?
Well, our ever-resourceful and ingenious foster moms never cease to amaze us with their unique solutions to tricky problems. And today was no exception.
Without a vehicle at her disposal, Evan's and Polly's foster mom needed to come up with another method to transfer her little charges home. And I bet you'll never guess what it was...
A giant cardboard box. (If you recently mailed a large box of supplies to the foster home, perhaps it was even your box!)
She plopped the box into the back of her tricycle and then loaded Polly and Evan into it. The box's sides were tall enough that it blocked the little ones from the wind, and they thought it was great fun. What kids don't like playing in boxes? And what kids wouldn't enjoy riding in boxes? I'm telling you, from a kid's perspective, it was dream transportation.
And though we didn't have a camera on hand when they rode past, we'll never forget the site of their little hands waving at us over the edges of the box.
Check it out! We're the Charity of the Day on GoodSearch today! And, the fun doesn't have to end today. Install the New Day Foster Home GoodSearch toolbar to your desktop, and send a penny to us each and every time you click search! (And if you buy something through GoodShop, we also get a donation!)
A phone rings. A sponsor calls, “What size is she wearing now?” Another call. A new visitor arranges a time to visit. Oh the lives that might be changed with that simple visit! And not just the child’s…
Behind me, a brainstorming session simmers and stews... How do we help our babies become more verbal? How can we make this less like an institution and more like a family? New ideas bubble to the top.
Next to me, two staff members carefully select photos for a child’s adoption file. Which ones will show her in the best light? Which one captures her smile? Her future is wrapped up in one little file, and we want her best face forward.
The sponsor reports and financial sheets. The formula proposals and website tweaks. The e-mails received and the ones replied. The growth charts reviewed and the pictures snapped. The days hum by, filled with soft sounds and moments of jubilee. A match made! A surgery completed! A family coming!
It is an office, but it is also more... It’s a place of shared passion, of big dreams, and of firm belief. These little ones aren’t forgotten. They deserve to be fought for… and that’s what we do, inside the walls of this office.
Today was a special day... a photographer from Beijing came and did professional portraits with almost all of our little ones.
Don't we have absolutatly adorable kids? Seriously. They don't get any cuter than this. (Even when Yan Zhi is trying to be all sober.)
And their wardrobes? Completely supplied by people like you... we dug deep into our storage room and uncovered all sorts of adorable new clothes. All of us in the office have agreed, the kids have better wardrobes than most of our staff!
You know what I personally love about these pictures most of all? How if you didn't know better, you'd never guess that these little ones are orphans with special needs. Like this picture of one of our newest babies, Kiah. Sleeping so peacefully, you'd never guess the painful road she's traveled over the last two months to come to this place.
And Judah, happily clapping and hamming it up for the camera... the picture doesn't reflect the reality of his broken heart.
But maybe the pictures tell us the truth. These little ones aren't defined by their stories, their tragedies, or their broken hearts. They are defined by their joy, their hope for the future, and their potential.
Due to early malnutrition and poor medical care and the subsequent impact on their teeth, both Hannah and Elizabeth have had to spend quite a bit of time at the dentist’s office. Both of them are quickly catching on to the fact that it isn’t the most fun place in the world to visit, and the sucker they get at the end isn’t enough to make them think the trip is worthwhile.
Both of the girls have an abscessed baby tooth. After unsuccessfully trying to clear up the abscess by draining the infection and treating with antibiotics, the dentist told Rita (the girls’ foster mom) that they’d need to simply pull the baby teeth. So Rita took both girls to the dentist today, psyching them up for what was to come.
While Rita readied Hannah for her turn in the dental chair, Elizabeth happily chattered away with the dentist. Rita thought nothing of their conversation… just assumed Elizabeth was being her normal outgoing self. But when it came time for Elizabeth’s turn in the hot seat, it became quickly apparent that something else had transpired.
“Oh, I’m not pulling Elizabeth’s tooth today,” said the dentist.
“Why?” asked Rita, not understanding why the plans had changed.
“Oh, Elizabeth and I made a pact earlier,” the dentist explained. “I agreed that I’d only pull one girl’s tooth today, and Elizabeth said Hannah should go first. And, I’m not going to break my pact.”
“What!?” Rita incredulously asked, unsure of why a nine-year-old was being allowed to have a say in her dental care.
No amount of cajoling or convincing could change the dentist’s mind, so Rita left with Elizabeth’s dental work undone.
So what did we learn today? That Elizabeth has phenomenal negotiating skills. She could talk a jumper off a ledge. She could get a robber to release the hostages. She could broker world peace. We told Rita that these skills should be nurtured… not sure if she agreed. :)
And we learned our dentist is a bit of a softy. He mentioned more than once today that he wasn’t really a pediatric dentist. Evidently having to pull one little girl’s tooth was as much as he could handle in one day; the thought of doing two was unbearable.
We had a memorial service for Tristan last Friday afternoon. It was a time of both tears and smiles as we remembered Tristan. We know Tristan's life mattered and made an impact on many people -- we could see the effect he had in the room as everyone shared stories and poems. It was a sad time, but hopeful as well... it was beautiful to see a little orphan remembered.
We wish all of you could have joined us in this special time... so we took some pictures to share the service with you.
CSN Stores contacted us recently offering to sponsor a giveaway for our foster home blog readers. We thought this would be a fun way to express appreciation for all of you, as you guys rock! You are so encouraging to our staff; you love our kiddos from afar; and you rally together to meet the foster home's needs! You're an amazing group of people!
So I spent some time searching through CSN's website looking for something fun to choose as a giveaway item. They have kids bedding, car seats, toys and games, and all sorts of other things for your home and life. Really the question seems to be: What do they not sell?It took me a while to figure out something that seemed like it'd be a good fit for you guys. But then I stumbled across one of these. A plasma car, available in all sorts of colors!
In the warmer months, our children think these are just about the best toys ever. They're powered entirely by hand-power, so even Samuel and Joshua can enjoy them and scoot all over the yard. And they are a great way to expend some of that never-ending kid energy.
So, thanks to CSN Stores, we're giving away one plasma car in a color of your choice to one lucky winner in the USA or Canada!
How do you enter? Just leave a comment sharing what NDFH means to you! You can get an extra entry by posting about the giveaway on your blog, facebook, or twitter (one for each, I suppose!) and another extra entry by putting a NDFH button on your blog (if you already have it, that counts). Just tell us how many entries you qualify for in your comment! That's up to 5 entries!
We'll announce the winner on Wednesday, March 10. So, the contest closes Tuesday night in North America.
So we had a bit of an emergency this morning... we almost floated away.
A water pipe burst in an upstairs bedroom at about 5 am this morning, and due to several "technical difficulties," our maintainence staff couldn't get the water main shut off until there was almost 6 inches of water on the bedroom floor!
Our quick-thinking nannies were able to quickly get the little ones who live in our purple room out of the "flow" and into the common area, and then they piled up blankets to keep the swimming pool water confined to one room.
Most of the little ones were none too happy to be woken early and jostled around so early in the morning, not to mention have their quiet little home invaded by workers with their tools and loud voices, frantically trying to keep the swimming pool from turning to a lake. The nannies had their hands full, trying to keep everyone happy, comforted and content. But before long, one of the nannies realized there was one little one who seemed perfectly content with the chaos.
It was Lindsey. A resident of our purple room, she seemed unpurturbed by the rising waters. In fact, she seemed to downright enjoy the swirling tide of activity, and when the gushing turned to a trickle and everyone packed up to leave for a while, she got a little disappointed. The party's over, she wondered?
We've come up for a theory for why she seemed to enjoy it all so much. In fact, our theory has grown to include an explanation for the cause of our water leak.
It's all her fault!
She doesn't look sneaky, does she? She looks like an innocent little bystander, I know. But she's not, dear bloggy friends. She is most certainly not. Behind that adorable smile lies much impishness.
And how could this angelic face be responsible for this minor catastrophe, you ask? Well, the proof is in her name. Her Chinese name means "Rushing Water." Clearly we have found our culprit, ladies and gents. Clearly.
No muddy water or confusion here. Just some soggy floors.
But we've got our eye on her...
Be sure to check in tomorrow for the very first New Day Foster Home blog giveaway!! It will be a fun way to celebrate you, our community of blog friends, who we deeply love and appreciate.
Over Chinese New Year, one of our staff members went to visit the lady in her home town. She took a few gifts to her from the foster home and enjoyed a pleasant afternoon visiting with her and learning more about her.
The woman is almost blind, so she used a large magnifying glass along with her eyeglasses to look at pictures on the calendar.
We learned that she became a believer when she was about 40 years old, and that she and her husband financially support 13 small fellowships in their area! All on their small income as farmers.
She also shared that her own mother died when she was a little over 1 year old. We think we understand a little better why she has such a soft spot in her heart for orphans.
We're so thankful for this grandma and her heart for our children... we hope that you enjoy getting a glimpse of this grandma and keep her and those she loves in your thoughts!
We provide this information to give our sponsors and supporters a general idea of the challenges our children face. For prospective adoptive parents, the information on the blog is not intended to be a substitute for a complete and up-to-date referral packet from your adoption agency. Please keep in mind that in our blog posts, we always try to focus on a child's strengths, accomplishments and positive developments, not in an attempt to gloss-over their often serious medical conditions, but in an effort to share a glimpse of their precious personalities.
If you are a NDFH adoptive family with a blog, please let us know and we'll add you to the list! We won't add any family without their permission, as we want to respect the privacy of our adoptive families.
To protect our children and the ongoing work of our foster home, please do not copy pictures or stories without our express written permission. Linking to our posts from your own blog or website is fine and does not require special permission.