Thursday, September 30, 2010

We're so proud of Kenneth!

When Kenneth first came to us three weeks ago, he was not able to hold his head up. He's quite a bit stronger now, and we're so happy to report that he has already gained over a pound in weight!

Everyone Needs Some Comfort

Sweet little Robert.  Such a precious little boy... full of so many cute quirks and adorable little habits.  He's a cuddly little boy anytime of the day, and naptime is no exception.  He likes to have something comforting with him while he goes to sleep.  Nothing too unusual about this story so far, right??

This is where it gets a little odd.  A little "Uniquely Robert."

Notice what Robert has in his hands?  A pair of socks.

That's right, friends, Robert's a big boy... he doesn't need a teddy bear or a favorite blankie when he goes to sleep.  He's much too big for that.  But, that's not to say he's totally grown-up yet... give him a pair of socks, and he'll drift right off to sleep.

And without them?  Well, watch out... that's a problem that needs fixing.  Recently, one of our staff members heard Robert crying softly at the beginning of naptime.  Peeking her head around the door, she asked Robert what was wrong.

"My socks," he whimpered, "they're too dirty!"

After a long morning of playing outside... his socks suffered the fate of all little boys' socks.  Though he still had them on, they were destined for a wash pile, and even Robert knew they were too yucky to cuddle as he fell asleep.

The problem was easily solved... a new pair of socks straight from the laundry.  Robert drifted off to sleep in no time!  Dreaming, no doubt, of footwear.


I think someday this picture might be shown at Robert's wedding or high school graduation... the perfect "embarrassing little boy picture."  :)
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Swingin' Smiles

Jump Girls, Jump!!

Jenna, Hannah, and Serena pose for a picture!

Big sister, Elise, helps Jenna "ride" the rip stick in a different way.

Time outside is one of our girls favorite activities. They enjoy a variety of things including jump rope, learning to roller blade, rip stick, bike riding and many other outdoor activities. There's little doubt that they put their all into such things! Just look at some of these pictures! Now, all we have to do is get them to do things like clean their rooms or school work with the same enthusiasm! Guess I'm dreaming there, huh?!
Monday, September 27, 2010

Adorable Boys

Vincent is a cute little guy with a big personality! He has a song in his heart, and it always comes out in various musical ensembles - this time focusing on Old MacDonald. He is an affectionate little boy who loves all his little friends. Robert and Vincent are best buddies... they are both such bright lights in our family! They always make us laugh and bring smiles to our faces.  We're thankful for these rambunctious little boys and look forward to the day when they both have a family.
Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Big Bright Moon

It has been quiet in this little corner of the web these last few days... that's not for lack of activity, though! We just finished celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival, an important Chinese holiday.

The children had a great time... with a special party, lots of moon cakes, and even a trip to Beijing to watch an acrobatic show on ice! You can see pictures from the festivities in our scrapbook!

Zhong qiu jie kuai le!  Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Full Lap!!

A Homecoming

We started the formula project because of one little boy... Jacob

Jacob came to us for heart surgery.  He arrived clinically malnourished, making him frighteningly susceptible to sickness, and he caught an infection which spread to his already-weakened heart, causing it to enlarge and beat irregularly.  We immediately admitted him into ICU at a Bejiing hospital, where he stayed until the infection cleared and his heart returned to its normal size.  The story ended happily, but we know that good nutrition from the beginning would have saved Jacob a fight for his life.  Jacob's situation started our formula project.

Today was a very special day... Jacob came back for a visit with his family, who were in China adopting Jacob's little sister.  His smile is as joyful as always, and seeing him "all grown up" really brightened everyone's day.

His nannies couldn't believe how tall he was getting!  He was once a sickly, small little boy... now he is healthy and strong.  And his legacy continues today in our formula project... giving more children the healthy start they need.  If you don't yet know much about our formula project, you can learn more about how you can get involved in saving lives.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What a Grape Day!

There isn't much better than a field trip... especially when it involves food! On this cool, almost-Autumn day, the local vineyards are still heavy-laden with beautiful globes of goodness!

And we have lots of little fingers on hand that are just itching to pick things. We spend most of the summer trying to remind the little ones not to pick every single flower in the foster home yard... so taking them to a vineyard where they're actually supposed to pick things is the perfect activity for itchy fingers.

As you can see, they get a big kick out of picking their snacks for the next week.

We came home with bags and bags of grapes and lots of little bellies full of "samples."  Now when they eat grapes, they'll have a better idea where they come from.  You can see more pictures from our fun excursion in our foster home scrapbook


Did you notice that Emma joined her adoptive family? They are bloggers, so you can follow along with their journey to get Emma home on their blog, God's Gracious Gift. And for future reference, it is linked under our graduate list!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kenneth's First Week

We've all had a lot of fun getting to know Kenneth in his first week at New Day South. He has fit right in the routine of our home while we are in the process of looking for nannies for the foster home, just a few steps away. (Well, for the most part anyway... he has brought a few changes to our sleep patterns!)

School time for Sarah & Kenneth

Wordless Wednesday: All Smooshed Up

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Before and After

He was blue... now he's rosy-pink.

He was too thin... now he's gaining weight.

He was near death... now he's a squirmy, wriggling, giggling bundle of life.

He was in the hospital... but now he's home with us.

Have you read Caleb's amazing story yet?
Monday, September 13, 2010

Just An Ordinary Day

The weather is wonderful here, these days... so we're spending lots of time outside. Our dog Tom's pretty excited about all the extra company. David doesn't seem to mind hanging out with Tom, either.

Timothy has the greatest giggle.  I wish you could hear it from a picture.  I think you almost can...  He was getting a kick out of peeking in the office windows with Karen.  Someone on the inside saw him looking, so they pressed their face up against the window when he peeked in.  That set him off in a fit of laughter.  Which of course is more contagious than the common cold. 

Jayce and Josiah are hanging out upstairs on a blanket, soaking in some sun.  They're a couple of adorable little guys... and now we have even more babies around here!  It's so much fun to watch them change before our eyes.

Annabelle is one of our newest arrivals.  She's almost 2 years old, and when she arrived, she was completely non-verbal.  But that was last week.  Now she's saying "momma" and "eat."  Joshua, her roommate, is trying to get her to call him "big brother."  So far she hasn't done it.  He's pretty disappointed.  We trust he'll have her chatting up a storm in no time.  Or, on second thought, she'll just get an earful from him.

Funny side story about Joshua... he's taken to addressing groups of his peers as "Children!" (hai ze men).  It's really a Chinese word that grown-ups use when addressing a large group of children.  Joshua doesn't think it applies to him.

But, we're not convinced that Joshua doesn't belong in the group of "hai ze men."  After all, look at his reaction to a praying mantis that someone put on his scooter.  For the sake of the praying mantis' livelihood, we moved him before Joshua could get violent with his fear.  But not before we snapped this picture.  Evidently he still has some "child" left in him after all.  :)

The other boys weren't so bothered by the praying mantis.  Donovan, Ethan, and Vincent just liked watching him.  We distracted them before they got bored enough to see what would happen if they tried to "pet" him or "play" with him too hard.  So no worries, no praying mantis' were harmed in the making of these pictures.

But maybe Joshua's "I'm a big boy" self confidence was... just a little.  :)
Thursday, September 9, 2010

First baby for New Day South

What an exciting day for all of us down here in south China!

Our first child, little Kenneth, came to join us today. Kenneth is a happy little boy, and we are all quite amazed at how well he is doing in this first day in his new home.

Kenneth was quite tired after his long train ride today, but we did manage to capture a few of his sweet smiles before he went to bed tonight. (Now, I know we are being the typical proud 'parents', but isn't he a handsome little fellow?)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Two Flowers in Our Garden

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to School!

Last week on September 1st, the Forever Home girls all went back to school after a fun-filled summer vacation. We took multiple trips to the pool, which was their absolute favorite! They also enjoyed biking, roller blading and various other outdoor activities. Jenna and Hannah went back to preschool at the foster home in the mornings. Serena has a Chinese teacher and studies all morning at New Day in a classroom there. All the girls return home for lunch and then study at home in the afternoons. Serena continues her Chinese, Jenna and Hannah have specific activities that they work on with an intern as well as a short Chinese lesson. Elizabeth home-schools utilizing English programs. She takes some Chinese classes as well so she is able to learn to read and write in Chinese as well as English. It's kinda nice to be back in a regular routine again although I'm sure they're missing their sleeping in each morning. Now they must wait 'til the weekend for those special times:) Oh, and if you're wondering where Hannah is, she was gone to the dentist when these pictures were all taken. She's also enjoying her time back at preschool.
Friday, September 3, 2010

A Family While Waiting

No institution, no matter how loving, is a substitute for a family of one's own. That's one of the core beliefs of NDFH, and even while our children are waiting for their forever families, we want them to experience the love of a family. Today was Zoe's big day! The day she left with her new foster mother.

We are blessed with an incredibly loving team of local foster families. The way they love our children leaves us speechless, and the children truly transform under their love and care. This wouldn't be possible without the careful attention of Wang Shu and his assistant Jane, seen here with Zoe and her new foster mom. Wang Shu manages all the foster families, and his hard work is evident in the laughter and smiles of all the foster family children who call him YeYe (grandpa).

Little Zoe - you might not know it yet, but today was a very important day for you! We know it'll be a turning point in your life... the first time you experienced the day-in and day-out love of your very own mama.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Joshua's Special!

Joshua's Special! from Carrie McKean on Vimeo.

Joshua knows lots of reasons why he's special, but we can think of a few more! For example, in addition to being kind, gentle, and strong, Joshua is also special because he knows lots of shapes -- in English! Joshua, we're glad you know how loved you are. With a smile that bright and a heart that big, we know you're going to go far!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: And They're Off!