Thursday, April 29, 2010

The American Way

Last week, thanks in part to your help, we were able to take 30 of our children (with 30 adults) on a field trip to the Botanical Gardens. After walking around and admiring the beautiful flowers, we sat down in the cafeteria area and waited as some of the staff went to buy lunch. Imagine our excitement when they returned with McDonald’s! 60 sandwiches, 60 drinks, and 60 orders of french fries!

Not everyone was as excited, though. Khloe successfully turned down everything she was offered.

Hamburger? Bu yao! (I don't want it!)

Chicken nuggets? [vigorous head-shaking]

Orange juice? Bu yao!

But when she saw the french fries, her mood seemed to change. She tried one…then one more… and one more… until eventually she finished her entire container of fries. But she didn’t stop there. Nope, she reached over and grabbed Karen’s fries, dutifully eating them one by one until she had almost finished those, too.

Khloe is going home to America soon, and now we know there’s one food she won’t have a hard time transitioning to!

 


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Blog post and photography by our intern, Jess

The Darnedest Things

Kids do and say the darnedest things, right?  Well ours are certainly no exception.  It's a beautiful spring day, so after lunch most of our language school, company, and foster home staff were in the front courtyard of New Day, enjoying the warm sunshine.  Some of the foster home children were also playing in the courtyard with their nannies.  Several of the staff members began showing the children how you can whistle with a piece of grass.  Not sure what I'm talking about?  Well, turns out there are instructions online

Well, no one could really master this new skill, but Jesse was particularly creative in his efforts to mimic the shrill sound he heard coming from the grass-whistlers.  So he grabbed a giant handful of grass, stuck his grass-filled fists in front of his face, and let out an ear-piecing shriek.  It was so adorable!  He got so much laughter from the crowd that he kept doing it, quickly rising to the role of a performer.


And then just a little while after that, Victoria was being quizzed on where she's going to live in America.  Byron, who was asking Victoria the questions, asked his wife Karen, but she wasn't sure off the top of her head, so she started to look it up.  In the meantime, Byron went through a whole list of states, asking Victoria:
"Is it California?"
"No." 

"Texas?"
"No." 

"Minnesota?"
"No." 

"Ohio?"
"YES!"

She's one smart cookie!  We didn't realize she had that little bit of information memorized.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Three Times Samuel

For the Kids

It takes a lot of perseverance for a child to pull through a major surgery... a lot of effort, energy, and hard work.

It also takes a lot of perseverance for a man to complete a triathlon... a lot of effort, energy, and hard work.

You know what these two have in common?  Well, Scott Kellogg is participating in the 2010 Louisville Ironman triathlon and racing for New Day Foster Home.  Starting on August 26, The Ironman is a grueling 140.6-mile journey consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike, and a 26.4-mile run. All must be completed in 17 hours for athletes to earn the coveted title of Ironman.

On her blog, Scott's wife Jenny says, "When he first thought about participating in the Janus Charity Challenge, he thought of the physical fight the children must  endure for their health, and the emotional strength they display while awaiting a forever family. What better motivation to push him to finish the 12+ hour triathlon?  While pushing his body to its limits, he will have much time to think, reflect, and pray. I know these kids, volunteers, and the Foster Home will be there with him in spirit every step of the way."


Scott's goal is to raise $5,000, and Janus Charity Challenge, the host of this triathalon, could match his donations up to $10,000!  So, let's get behind him as he races for our little ones.  You can learn more about the race on Scott's page on the Janus Charity Challenge's website.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Spotlight: Anneli Johnson


We're introducing something new on our blog called "Spotlight."  Each week we'll introduce you readers to some people that work here at New Day. This first one is about one of our interns, Anneli Johnson. Read her story about coming and volunteering in China. 

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How did you hear about New Day? 
A friend of mine told me about New Day in 2004. He was here for a week and he told me about the organization, what they do and how incredible it is. “You should really check it out,” he said. But the timing wasn’t right so it took me four years until I even started considering it. I had always wanted to go to China to work with something related to international adoption. But it took me a long time to finally decide to go. But it all came together the summer of 2009, and as I started to plan towards my trip I saw how the pieces fell together.

Why did you decide to come and volunteer with New Day? 
Well, I’ve always had New Day in the back of my mind since my friend told me about them. I looked into volunteering with another organization but it didn’t work out. So I contacted Caroline (the one who’s in charge of the volunteer service at New Day) and started emailing her and here I am!

What do you do as an intern at? 
 I work in the preschool. I teach in English every second day. I play with the children and sing songs with them. It’s great! Everyone who is interested to come and volunteer at New Day gets to fill in an application. You can tell them where you would be most interested in volunteering; in the preschool, with the babies, in the office, with the company, or with the school teaching in English.

What is the best part with volunteering in China? 
The kids: to be able see their smiles when you walk into the preschool room. They’re so cute! And the bonds that you get to form with them. They’re really precious.

Have you had any “China moment” 
Well, I love how friendly the people are here. I don’t speak any Chinese but they’re still willing to try and communicate with me. Whereas back home if you don’t speak any English I am not sure if someone would be interested to try to find other ways to communicate with you.

What are the things you’ll always remember from this experience? 
The kids and the people. Just the fact that these kids are happy even though they been through multiple surgeries and transitions. The best example of that to me is Vincent. He came to New Day when I first arrived here. He was sad; he cried a lot and you could see how broken he was. But now only a couple of months later, he’s not the same child. He’s happy; he’s laughing and he’s so talkative. The changes that he’s made are just incredible. Love truly makes a difference. 

What’s been your most useful Chinese phrase?  
“Ni hao” I use it everyday and you can say it to everyone you meet.

What’s your favorite dish you’ve eaten here? 
 I love garlic shoots! I didn’t even know they existed until I came here. And dumplings; they’re delicious.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Preschool Prom Queen

In a recent care package from a sponsor, Victoria receievd this beautiful dress, high heels, headband, and earrings. She got all dolled up and then made her grand appearance.

Hey boys, whatcha looking at? Jack, Trey, and Vincent saw Victoria make her grand appearance, and they couldn't contain their excitement.

They gathered around and Timothy joined in the admiration.  Victoria was more than happy to let the boys admire her beautiful dress.  She never has been one to mind being the center of attention.

We're not sure who appreciates her outfit more... Victoria or Jack!

Jack and Trey even gently touched the fabric.  Maybe they're going to grow up to be fashion designers... or at least to admire beautiful ladies.

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And in other news... our new total for Kiah's fund is $2640.50, and Christopher's adoptive family just contacted us and asked that we share their family's blog with you.  His new name is Jack, and his mom keeps a fun blog chronicling the lives of her 3 precious sons.  You can also find the link in our extended family section!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Surgery Fund Update

Here's an update on our Life-Giving Love Campaign for Kiah!

So far, you've raised $2,399.50 of the needed $8,000!  We're over a quarter of the way there!!!  You know what's most amazing about this?  Most of the donations have come from people who are giving $10 or $30... so this is proof that a lot of people doing their part can really make a difference!  Thank you so much!

Let's finish strong, friends.  We still have a long ways to go before we meet our goal. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Kisses and Love from Nanny


And will you lift up Kevin and his adoptive family?  They're going through a rough time and could really use our encouragement and love.  {Their blog is also listed in our Extended Family section so you can visit it again.}

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring Fling

Last Friday the 16th of April we held our annual Spring Fling (Easter egg hunt) at the Foster Home.
It was a beautiful afternoon, the sun was out and all the children were gathered. Everyone participated; the children from the Healing Home, foster families and the babies upstairs. They all had each a basket to put everything they could find.  And at 3.30 PM we had kids running all over the backyard looking for eggs, cookies, candy, juice boxes and bananas to put in their baskets.

They were all very excited. They kept shouting “Look what I've found?" Once their baskets were filled with all the goodies, they found a spot on the grass, sat down and enjoyed the treats. But the fun part didn't end there. Two days before some of the older preschool kids had gone out to the Luna market to buy chicks for the special day. We brought the chicks out to let the kids play with them and they loved it. They pet them, held them and fed them.
















Find more pictures from the event here: Spring Fling scrapbook

This blogpost was posted by: Alyssa Chan interning with the Foster Home. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's Happening!

What's that, you ask?

Remember this picture of Hong Shuang? Taken at the beginning of April, this picture wasn't a one-time shot... it's pretty much how Hong Shuang looked all the time.  Fearful, timid, guarded...


But it's happening!!!

IT is the beautiful, amazing, miraculous transformation that occurs when a child starts to understand that he or she is loved. And this is Hong Shuang today:



And you know what else is happening?

You're raising the funds we need for Kiah's surgery! After adding the donations we received over the weekend, we discovered you've given $1594 so far!!!  Thank you!  Please keep up the good work.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Life-Giving Love Fund Update

Sorry for the lack of updates yesterday... was a busy day with Victoria's party  But are you ready for this?

So far you've contributed $1,237 to Kiah's fund!!  In 3 days!  AWESOME!  We're on track to meeting our goal!!

A few things...

1: In case some of you think we're delaying Kiah's surgery until we get the money, that's not the case.  She can't have her operation until she gains more weight.  So, don't worry about that.  If we don't quite meet our goal, we aren't going to endanger her life or anything.  Just wanted to make sure that was clear.

2: Do you want to be involved but don't have money to give?  Or want to do more?  Besides posting this on your blog, facebook, or twitter, you can e-mail me to be included in our newly forming volunteer network!  We know you guys want to be more involved, so we're working on ways to mobilize you even more!  E-mail carrie@newdaycreations.com if you want to join this network.

3: Some organizations have raised a lot of funds through an online raffle or ebay store.  Anyone interested in working on that kind of project for our surgery fund?  If so, email me and I'll introduce interested parties to each other.

Ok, that's all for now... another update next week!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Victoria Hosts A Party

Yesterday, Victoria turned 6! She was invited to Carrie's apartment to make her birthday cake and some other snacks. Later in the afternoon, some of the other children were invited over to the apartment and Victoria got to host her own birthday party! She loved showing everyone where to sit, passing out plates and napkins, and giving every child a snack. She kept asking them, "Is the cake I made good?" The other children eagerly shouted, "Yes! Yummy!!!" We hope Victoria will be able to go home with her family soon. We're sure they'll be impressed with her new found baking and decorating skills.








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Post and photography by our intern, Jess

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: New Kid in Town


Thank you for your support of Kiah's surgery fund. As of right now, we've raised $637 of the $8,000 we need! Friends, you are on track to meet this challenge! To meet the goal, we need an average of $500 each day until the end of the challenge. In the first 24 hours, you exceeded our daily goal!

Here's an easy way to help:  Add the ChipIn block to your site for the rest of this month!  Donors can give to this cause directly through your site if you put this little widget up

Keep spreading the word!  As so many of you expressed in your comments and e-mails, together we can do this!  

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Life-Giving Love

" The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things.
But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful."
-Mother Teresa

It's been a long time since we had to say no...

We often have children on our waiting lists, but in the past we knew that it was only a matter of time before a bed would open and they'd come to join our ever-growing family. But now it's a little different... Our surgery funds are severely depleted, and though we're waiting on some grant applications to be decided, right now they are all still pending.

So when we got a call last week about 2 little girls who needed heart surgeries, we had to say no... And its the hardest thing we've done in a while.


Losing a baby after they've had their surgery is tragic, but its even worse when a child never gets a chance. We're hopeful that this "no" is really "wait a while," but until our surgery fund is replenished, we will not be able to bring in more complex cases. And it's the children with complex cases that need surgery the most! Children like Cora and Robert and Chase and Debra; they are the ones whose only physical chance for survival hinges on their ability to get surgery, and the only way they'll get surgery is if we help them!  And those are the ones who you already know and love!  Just think about how many still wait...


So friends, we're calling for your help. The other day, you raised the money needed to send our kids on a field trip in less than 24 hours. What if we dreamed a bit bigger? What if we called upon you, our online community, to save a life? A heart surgery costs between $5,000-$10,000 here in China. What if you worked together to give a child the life-saving surgery they need? What if you gave 3 or 5 children their surgeries?

So here is my challenge... can you, by May 1, raise funds to pay for one complicated heart surgery? Let's make it personal... How about Kiah's? Can you work together to raise $8,000 to pay for her VSD and ASD surgery?


She's worth it, don't you think?

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Wanna help? Here's what you can do:
  • Give to our surgery fund.  Designate Kiah's name if you want it to go towards this 'lil collaborative effort.
  • Visit our surgeries needed page and take a look at the other children who need operations. Maybe someone else will jump out at you; perhaps your church, school, business, or community organization will want to 'adopt' a child's surgery.
  • Post about this on your blog. Twitter about it. Share it with your facebook friends.  Tell your MOPs group.  Invite others to join you in meeting this challenge.
  • Have an idea of a way to spread the word or raise funds for this cause? Send your ideas to carrie@newdaycreations.com.
I'll keep you updated on our progress!!

We don't normally use the blog for fund raising... and I promise that's not what it's going to turn into. But we just had to turn away two babies and that's heartbreaking. So heartbreaking, in fact, that we're changing our tactics a bit and asking for your help.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Sticky Situation

In anticipation of today's strawberry-picking field trip, the kids in our preschool spent the whole week learning about strawberries. They're red! They have seeds on the outside! Strawberry starts with the letter "s"!

Of course, a preschool unit on strawberries would not be complete without a lesson on the fine art of jello-making. Strawberry-flavored jello, of course.

The kids took turns stirring the mix and pouring the liquid into ice cube trays. After all that hard work, they got to relax and enjoy some strawberry flavored juice for snack!








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Blog post and photography by our lovely intern, Jess!


Blooms and Blossoms: Botanical Garden Trip!

UPDATE:  The trip costs were covered in less than 24 hours!  You guys are amazing!  A huge thanks to everyone who contributed...  

It's been a long, cold winter, but we're finally thawing out around here!  We're a little concerned that our little ones have forgotten what green grass and flowers look like, so we're going to take them on a refresher course.

Khloe: Taken last year when she still remembered what flowers looked like!

On April 22, we're going to take 30 children (and 30 caregivers!) to the Beijing Botanical Garden to see the spring blossoms.  The Botanical Garden is giving us free entry tickets, but we still need to rent a bus and pay for lunch.  We estimate the outing for all 60 attendees will cost about $300 USD.

At the Botanical Gardens last year.

Do you want to be a part of sending our children to the garden?  If so, you can make a one-time general donation to the foster home through PayPal.  Just type "Botanical Garden" in the memo line.  As a sponsor, you'll get pictures from the trip and the joy of knowing that you sent our little blooms and blossoms to enjoy the other kind of blooms and blossoms! 

(But unlike our blooms and blossoms, the kind at the garden usually always smell good!  Sorry.  Couldn't resist.)

If you have any questions, e-mail me at carrie@newdaycreations.com.  I'll update this post if our trip costs are covered.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!


Eliana just wanted me to tell you that GoodSearch will donate $1 for every toolbar that is downloaded between April 6th at 9am EST and April 9th at 9am EST up to $5,000!! Please download the toolbar right now by following this link.  If you're in the first 5,000 people to download the toolbar, we'll get $1 for your effort. 

And $1 can do a lot.  It can buy an icecream bar for 7 children here at the foster home!  And with summer coming up, that's no small matter.

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And, Evan joined his adoptive family!  Many of you already follow his Momma's blog, but for those who don't you can visit it by clicking this link, or find it later on our Extended Family list on the sidebar!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Just a Day

So it's been a busy day today... we have three new little ones that joined our foster home family today.  Hong Shuang, Jenna, and Anton.  It's always an exciting, yet scary, time when children first arrive.  Usually we're the ones who are excited and they're the ones who are scared.  When we see pictures like this, we can't wait to see what the "after" picture will look like several months down the road...


That's Hong Shuang, right after she arrived today... And now for just for a little bit of fun, here's a video of Timothy practicing his somersault.  He's pretty cute!




Up-and-Coming Acrobat from Carrie McKean on Vimeo.


Also, we have a new style of scrapbook page over on our website.  While we know you'll love the adorable pictures, we'd like to know what you think of the album... Like it? Love it? Hate it?  Do you prefer old style or new style?  We're interested in your thoughts as we consider making this a long-term change.

And, we'll end on some more cute pictures of Lindsey with her foster mom.  Those cheeks!  Don't know about you, but we can't get enough of those cheeks.  And her smile!  She's one adorable little tiger.