Friday, July 30, 2010

Transformations (Part 2)

Just a few more amazing changes we see in our kids...

Ethan:


Henry:


Jennifer:


Philip:

Philip came to us 3 years ago with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. He had surgeries to correct these conditions, but when the surgeon looked at the MRI, he told us that Philip only had a 2 cm rim of brain tissue around the inside of his skull remaining-- the entire center of his brain had been filled with water. They told us he'd be severely brain damaged and would not be responsive. Today, Philip is talkative and greets everyone who walks into the room. He loves preschool and learns things very quickly. What a miracle he is!


We rejoice with Ethan and Henry because they both have forever families who are coming to bring them home! Jennifer and Philip are both still waiting. We can't wait to see how these children continue to change and grow!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

You Have A Family!

Yesterday was an exciting day for us in the foster home. We found out that Evan has been officially matched with a family. His new name is Cooper! We printed out some pictures of his family, and everyone in morning preschool was very excited for him. They gathered around Cooper and admired the pictures as he pointed out each member of his family.


Cooper was proud of his pictures and showed them to everyone who asked, but there was one child who was even more excited-- Robert! He kept exclaiming (quite loudly!), "Liang Liang has a family! He's going home!" He studied Cooper's pictures very closely and wanted everyone to know the good news. Here he is grabbing Cooper's hand and leading him around the room:


During music time, Robert would repeatedly turn around from his seat in the first row and talk to Cooper. He held up 4 fingers and counted, "Now you have a dad, a mom, a big brother, and a big sister! Liang Liang! You have a family!"

We looked on, smiling and teary-eyed... not only because it was cute to see, but because of Robert's wonderful heart and sweet spirit. How much more this makes us long for the day that Robert will get a forever family of his own.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bursting With Laughter

So sorry, somehow I forgot yesterday was my day to post on the New Day blog! I figured hey! Better late than never, so I'm posting today and there'll probably be two posts today and that's okay. I didn't imagine you all would mind:)

In case you've been wondering how Hannah has been doing since her heart surgery, I think this picture says a lot! She is one happy girl, often bursting forth in contagious laughter. She is also feeling much better physically and we are seeing slow but sure improvement in some of her gross motor skills. She has begun physical therapy and speech therapy, attends preschool and clearly loves to do many things she was not previously able to do. Way to go Hannah!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Just Keep Singing!

What do you do when you want to sing a song but you can't remember the words?


Ethan's ABCs from Carrie McKean on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Transformations (Part 1)

Sometimes, when a child first arrives at New Day, they are afraid, guarded, quiet. The moment they come through the doors of our foster home, they become part of our family, and they are loved. It may take a little while for them to understand and realize this love, but when then do... something beautiful happens-- they blossom. They gain weight; they start to talk; they let their personalities shine. They start to heal, and the transformation is absolutely amazing.

Over the next week or two, you will be able to see for yourself the ways our little ones have grown and changed. We hope this helps you to see how much your support means in their lives. Love really does make a difference.

Just take a look:


David:




Cora:



Claire:



Chad:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy!

Besides attending morning preschool and speech therapy, Claire also has a one-on-one time in the afternoon. She works with one of our interns on her speech and fine motor skills. Having this kind of attention and encouragement is really benefiting Claire. She's been using her words a lot more and she's picking up new skills and information quickly. What a joy to see her make progress!


Happy! from Carrie McKean on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Blessings Are Flowing






This week a team from Savanna, GA. came to help us out here at New Day. They not only brought many things for the Foster Home, Forever Home, and likely others I don't know about, but they have truly just been a blessing to all of us! They have helped out in the Learning Center and Foster Home in many ways. We are very grateful for their graciousness and generosity!! They have particularly made our girls at the Forever Home feel oh soooo special. They blessed them with some clothing. What girl doesn't like new clothes?!! They also made up a special bag for each one filling it with goodies! Imagine the girls surprise and anticipation when I told them they had a gift for them! Why, I could hardly contain them! We just wanted to say thank you for making all of New Day so blessed by your presence this week!! Thank you Savannah team from the bottom of our hearts!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Everybody Loves Me!"


Have you met Willa yet? She's a sweet little girl who did something today that most children her age will never do. She just had surgery! You hardly would have guessed it - she walks so well, but Willa was born with a clubbed foot. She walks with a limp, but that doesn't stop her from taking the stairs, and when asked to hop on one foot... she uses the foot least expected.

Today, as we arrived at her hospital where she was waiting for surgery, we asked her, "Willa, what's happening today?" "I'm going to have surgery on my foot!" she responded. With a beautiful smile on her face, and nodding as she understood, Willa listened as Grace told her what was going to happen so that she would be prepared. "Okay, okay" she said with a courageous gleam in her eye, and when the time came for us to say "goodbye" as she was wheeled into the operating room, that spark was still there.



After a lightning quick surgery (only 2 hours!) Willa returned. Even in her groggy state Willa smiled when she saw familiar faces. As she woke up she began to get excited. "Soon I'll be able to wear shoes!" she said. "In a little while I will walk so well!" she beamed. "Were you scared?" we asked. "No," she replied. When asked how many days she would be in the hospital, she held up three little fingers and grinned. Willa, you're so brave! Just try to keep your foot still.... you have to let it rest!

Before the surgery Willa said something precious, something that encourages and confirms all that we do.

"Mama loves me. Aunties love me. Everybody loves me!"


That's so true, Willa, and we're so happy that you came here to receive that love.




---
Posted by Hannah

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bringing Them Home

I'm so thankful to Jessica, Hannah, and the other interns for taking over the blog in my absence.  Aren't they doing an amazing job?  I'm enjoying the daily updates from NDFH while I'm in the USA... I'm starting to understand how much the blog means to our big New Day family -- it keeps us all connected!

We've been so excited lately to find out that so many of our little ones are on the shared list.  In addition to Samuel, Serena and Jenna being on the list, we've also found out that Jack, David, and Vincent are also available for adoption!  (And perhaps others that we don't even know about yet!)  We want to do our best to advocate for each of these children, and want to enlist all of you to help!

With the CCAA's new shared list system, it means you can go through any agency with access to the shared list to adopt one of these children.  As Jessica mentioned yesterday, Lifeline has stepped up and offered to help advocate for Serena's adoption, and we've also been informed by WACAP that they are willing to give an adoptive family a financial grant to adopt either Samuel or Jenna!  (To receive the grant, the adoptive family must use WACAP.  Contact Elizabeth Rose at WACAP for more details.)

But, in general an adoptive family is able to use the agency of their choice to adopt any of these children -- even Serena, Samuel, or Jenna.  If you are already in-process with another agency and have access to the shared list, you should be able to be matched with any one of these precious little ones.  NDFH is not directly affiliated with any one particular adoption agency (there are lots of wonderful ones!), but if you are new to adoption and don't know where to start, we do provide a list of several agencies that are reputable that families have used in the past when adopting our children.

Now, back to spending time with my family... I'll talk to you when I get back to China in early August!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Our Hope For Her

Serena came to the Forever Home almost exactly 2 months ago. She came to us with basically no education (due to her vision issues, her former foster family had not placed her in school). Since her arrival, she's started some basic education with a tutor and she comes to preschool for music time each day. She's doing very well and has already learned a lot. You can frequently hear her singing (with gusto!) English songs she's learned.


Serena's papers had been submitted a while ago, but no one had yet expressed an interest to adopt her. Imagine our excitement when we were contacted by Lifeline and asked whether we needed help with any of our kids! We told them about Serena's situation, hoping they'd be able to find out if she was on the shared list and if an agency had her papers. We were so thrilled when they responded saying they'd found her file-- and that they'd like to help her find a home!


Here is a bit about Serena (written by her foster mom):

Serena was born on August 1, 2000 and will soon be 10 years old. She was abandoned the same month and placed in a foster family shortly thereafter. When she was one year old, the orphanage staff noticed something was wrong with her eyes. She received a surgery on her left eye in November 2004, and her eyesight improved some. She was diagnosed with amblyopia in both eyes and anorthopia in her left eye. She has difficulty focusing and doesn't see well at a distance. We plan to soon have her in to see a specialist in Beijing so she can be reevaluated to see if there is anything further we can do to help regarding her vision. She has no other health issues that we know of.

Serena is a sweet, affectionate girl. She absolutely loves to sing and dance and brings much joy to us here at New Day. She is very smart and quick to learn, and picks up things easily. We know that she would flourish with a family to call her own.


Would you help us by spreading the word about this sweet young lady? We'd like to give her as much exposure as possible. We've received permission to have anyone interested (and you can include that information on your posts) contact Lily at Lifeline Adoption Agency. Here is her email address: lilyqiuchina@gmail.com

Thank you, friends, for all the ways you support our children. And thank you for standing in the gap for Serena as she waits to find her forever family!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Goin' To New Day!


Lest you've ever wondered how we get all these girls from here to there, this is our regular mode of transportation. I often make 3, sometimes 4, trips to and fro New Day and the Forever Home daily. Due to the fact that we are about 3 kilometers away, walking just isn't an option for these little ones--especially for those who have health issues. It's simply too far. We have 2 of these electric carts and both get used regularly. The larger one has a wonderful cover that was especially nice during the winter months and when it is raining. Now that our family has expanded here at the Forever Home, we will likely need to put a cover on the other cart as well. For the past week, one of them, (the bigger of the two) has been in the shop getting fixed as the motor went out of it and had to be replaced. That has required us to be a little more creative in planning and getting everyone where they've needed to be. Not to worry though, we were able to get everyone where they needed to go. We are very grateful, however, to get our larger cart back yesterday. Yippee!! It just makes life a little easier.

Getting to Know You...

Over the past few weeks the dynamics in the upstairs playroom have changed dramatically. Just a few months ago we were busy chasing Cora around, helping Jennifer walk and pinching Shaun's cheeks. Now they have moved downstairs and our arms are full of little tiny babies.

Josiah and Jayce came first.


At 3 1/2 months old, Josiah was the oldest of the two. Jayce was only two weeks old! They were both very tiny when they arrived. Preemie clothes were the only ones that fit. Within just one month these two little boys have changed so much that it just takes your breath away. Josiah, who used to be mere skin and bones, is now an almost chubby little guy with a huge grin.


Jayce, though he still spends most of his time sleeping, has gained weight and is appearing to be quite a charmer.


For about two weeks these guys maintained the "littlest" title, but that all ended last week with the arrival of two more tiny babies.

Enter Jayden! Jayden is one of the most alert, strongest, cutest and by far the tiniest 6-month old I have ever seen. Just look at her spunk!



She does not enjoy being cradled like a baby (except when she is tired), and would prefer to sit in a lap. Jayden also loves to stand up by pushing on someone's hands and finding her own footing! It's amazing to see what this little girl can do.




While we're on a "J" streak, before I introduce the other little ones, let me re-introduce Judah. You all know him, and we all love him like crazy. If we could use one word to describe Judah it would be "joy". He's such a happy little guy!



Judah's favorite thing right now is the "Itsy, Bitsy Spider." He asks for it multiple times a day and his ability to perform the motions is rapidly improving. Judah loves the outdoors and sits up straight and alert when we go on walks. He doesn't miss a thing.




Caleb is the smallest right now, and though his name does not start with a "J", he has certainly been folded into our little family upstairs. We are excited to see him stable, and look forward to the day when he is healthy enough to come and play.




Our newest arrival, Evangeline, is a sweet little girl with beautiful eyes. She arrived this past weekend and is already winning hearts. She loves kisses and cuddles, and we're good at doing that!




Our lovely ladies - already best friends!







---


Posted by Hannah

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Perfect Summer Snack

It's the middle of summer here and it is h-o-t. The preschool teacher asked me to teach about fruit in preschool recently. I decided to do a lesson on banana splits. Not technically a fruit... but it contains fruit. Close enough, right? We taught the children to say "banana split" in English. It's called xiang jiao chuan (banana boat) in Chinese. Then, we did a fun banana split craft:


After crafts, it was snack time. Imagine the excitement on the children's faces when we brought out bananas and tubs of ice cream! We couldn't get whipped cream here in our village, but I don't think the kids minded much.



Here's Vincent after he was done with his banana split but realized he'd dripped some ice cream on the table!



We love banana splits! What's your favorite summer snack?