Monday, November 29, 2010

Look What I've Grown!

Recently, Elizabeth has been studying plants, farmers, animals and such in school. Since hands on projects are the best way to learn and oh so much fun too, we had her put some of what she's been learning to action. She planted some beans and watched them sprout and grow in such a short period of time! She was amazed and excited! At the same time, she also started a sweet potato sprouting. She has learned, among other things, that some things grow much quicker than others. She also was able to see the roots grow and sprout on the sweet potato which is something she now knows happened with the beans too, although she couldn't see it do that under the soil. The beans will come and go quickly, but the sweet potato will be around for some time as it continues to sprout new roots before later seeing it bud on top and growing leaves and then vine everywhere. All the kids have enjoyed watching her school project in progress.

Elizabeth says we no longer need to buy food, she'll just grow it all for us! Perhaps she has more yet to learn as I think we'd all be a hungry bunch. She doesn't yet realize just how much it takes to feed a family of 8! Perhaps we should take her up on her offer and just stop buying food so Elizabeth can grow our food. NOT!! I think if we did that though, she'd learn pretty quickly that it takes much more to grow enough food for our family. One going hungry meal would probably do it! However, I think we might have some unhappy people, perhaps that wouldn't be a good idea, huh?!

Finding Their Feet

David and Angela are two of our most bright eyed children. Even without smiling they can light up a room!
Recently they've both been finding their feet - literally! David, one of the fastest crawlers in the playroom, is soon to graduate to the rank of "toddler." He's been finding his footing more and more over the last few months, and just recently took his first steps!
Angela, whom you think would be hindered by having repaired clubbed feet, has just discovered how tall she can be when she stands up. Her favorite place to practice standing is in the ball pit, where she watches all the action before loosing her balance to the ever-rolling flow of balls.
We're excited to watch our little ones grow and are eager to see just what milestones they conquer next!
Friday, November 26, 2010

Catching Up

Having a big Thanksgiving meal meant that every single one of NDFH's children was in one place at one time.  (Except those who were in the hospital.)  There aren't many days like that, as most days find the children spread out over the village with their foster families.

But like any family does on Thanksgiving day, we all gathered together to count our blessings... like little Noah! Who is suddenly not so little anymore!

Or Lindsey... can you believe those cheeks? They seem to get more kissable each month.

Having everyone together meant we all got a chance to see some of our children who live in foster families... kids like Zoe, who aren't quite old enough for preschool so don't come into the foster home as frequently as the older kids. 

It seems like just yesterday when Aurora was just a tiny baby... and now she's a busy toddler!  Where does time go?

Eliana is all smiles and hugs, all the time.  She has such a sweet and friendly spirit.  She makes people feel like the center of her little world each time she smiles!

After a big meal, Logan and Jack got bundled back up for the ride home.  These two spirited boys keep their foster parents busy, that's for sure!

We have so much to be thankful for... not only the children, but also all of the loving foster families who pour into the kids' lives and help bring about the amazing transformation we see in each of the little ones.
Thursday, November 25, 2010

Counting Blessings

It's Thanksgiving... a time to count one's blessings,

And count we did. We've come up with at least 55 so far. Fifty-five precious little ones entrusted to us for this season of their lives. We're so thankful for each of them, and we know if we kept counting our blessings, the number would grow even larger!

But today, we just want to remember how thankful we are for each and every one of them...

... for Raegan, who is not nearly as afraid of new things and experiences as she once was.

 ...for Judah, who had his own private Thanksgiving feast upstairs.  (Unfortunately, he's in medical isolation, so we brought the party to him!)

 ...for Ethan, who certainly knows what to do with a good Chicken leg.

 ...for Tony, who can see the world a little more clearly for the first time.

 ...for Robert, who approaches each day with such joy and enthusiasm that it spreads.

 ...for Vincent, who makes us laugh with his silly antics.  Like carrying around a pumpkin!

...for Samuel, who's tender heart always finds a way to make people feel loved.

Want to see more of our many blessings?  We've just added a scrapbook for today's Thanksgiving feast!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: First Thanksgiving...

...for our British teacher!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Prancing and Dancing

Willa has a song in her heart and it comes out through dance. She certainly keeps us all smiling and laughing... and probably makes the downstairs neighbors wonder what's going on up above! We're so excited to see how her first steps are now turning into exuberant dance moves! She's clearly inspiring little Camille who follows her around to learn the moves.

Nothing will slow her down.  

Check out the new pictures we just posted of the Healing Home children!
Friday, November 19, 2010

Philip's Progress

We've been doing lots of "stair" videos lately... but that's because we have amazing children who are conquering the stairs on their own... children who many thought would never have that potential! We're so proud of Philip. He works so hard and always has such a great attitude. His laugh is contagious and his determination is inspiring. We pray that his family finds him very soon, because we know that he'd reach even higher heights with the love and support of a family!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Fishy Day

We had quite the fishy day yesterday!

Taking a trip to the aquarium certainly opened our children's eyes to a whole new world under the sea.

Even though they had a great time, we think they're all very happy to stay on dry ground.

You can see more pictures on our scrapbook. And if you are every interested in sponsoring all or part of a field-trip, please e-mail for details! We're always on the lookout for fun trips!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Bucketful of Kids

Learning With Blocks

Serena, as well as several of the other girls, work on some of their fine motor skills, depth and visual perception skills by building things with blocks. It always helps when it's something fun for them. Although it isn't one of Serena's favorite activities, she does enjoy some time working on these important skills. Of course, lots of praise helps!
Monday, November 15, 2010

Lucy on the Move

She's the kind of little girl who just lights up whenever she makes a new friend or gets to spend time with an old one. She's full of joy and is so outgoing, and so she always wants to be in the "center" of the action. For the last several months, Lucy has been working hard at walking on her own, and she's made it! She's going to be unstoppable now... it will be even easier for her to get herself in the middle of the action now!
Friday, November 12, 2010

She's Beautiful

Nicole has come home from the hospital, having completed her hydrocephalus and spina bifida surgeries.

She's so beautiful... she takes our breath away.

Currently, this little angel has no sensation in her legs. She does not respond to stimulus. But, maybe that will change in the future. We hope it does...

But regardless, we are thankful for the chance to care for her.
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just Like Big Brother

Sometimes Judah can be a bit picky... when it comes to food that is. And yesterday, he just didn't seem so interested in eating. He didn't want milk. He didn't want cereal. He didn't want crackers. He was in a bit of a funk and just seemed to want to fuss and fume.  We've all been there...

His Nanny made him a tasty bowl of eggs, but he still wasn't interested.  He went downstairs with his nanny to the dining room, and there he found Donovan, happily chowing down on his own bowl of eggs.  Judah watched Donovan out of the corner of his eye...

"Hmm... seems Big Brother thinks this is yummy.  Maybe I'll take just a little bite!" thought Judah.

Sure enough, that was all it took!  In no time, Judah was eating his food without complaint.  And when Donovan finished his, he decided that the proper "big brotherly" thing to do would be to help feed Judah.  So that's just what he did... took the spoon from Judah's hands and started helping him get bites.  Judah just soaked up all the extra "spoiling" and Donovan seemed to relish his role as Big Brother.

Wordless Wednesday: Caleb

So, I totally forgot to load this yesterday.  So we're having "Wordless Wednesday" on Thursday. 
(With a few words.)
Monday, November 8, 2010

Time for School

Elizabeth is doing so well in school! This is her doing Math. Although she began school a couple of years later than normal, she is catching up. She is very bright and especially loves Math. She just seems to absorb it! Last year she did 2 years of Math! She's doing an English home school program and this year she is doing 1st grade work and 2nd grade Math. She also has Chinese class so she can learn to read and write in Chinese as well. She's just amazing and we love caring for her!

It's Always More Fun to Share

Today was a special day for Ethan. His adoptive family sent him a care package! Ganlu pulled him out of preschool to go back to his room to open the gift and take pictures. When she did, she quickly noticed that in the box, there was two of everything!

A little surprised, Ganlu told Ethan they needed to wait until she could figure out who the other gifts were for. Ethan piped up right away and said, "I know, Ganlu! They are for Robert!"

"Are you sure?" Ganlu asked. Robert and Ethan share a bedroom, and they are very close, so Ganlu wasn't surprised that Robert was the first child to come to Ethan's mind.

"Yes!" Ethan replied. "Last week when I talked to them, they told me that they were sending me and Robert a present! I'll go get him!"

Ethan ran off to get his friend from preschool, and when they came back together, two very happy boys opened presents... Ethan proud as punch that his Mama and Baba sent his friend a present and Robert as happy as a clam to have a very special gift to open.

Afterwards Robert scampered off to class and told his teacher that his Mom and Dad sent him a present. His teacher quickly explained that the gift was from his very Auntie and Uncle who care for him very much, and that his Mama and Baba are still looking for him. He seemed to understand, and was as happy as can be, but We can't wait until Robert has a present to open from his parents...

And Ethan? Well, he's busy making plans for his upcoming departure. He asked one of his nannies last week if he could go talk to Karen, our director.

His nanny asked why he needed to have a meeting with the director, and Ethan said, "Well, when I go to America, I want to take you and my other nanny with me! So, I need to talk to Karen about it."

This boy will be a skillful and fearless negotiator in no time.
Friday, November 5, 2010

Tom's Special, Too!

Every day, Tom sees people come to visit the children. They run and play in the back yard, and sometimes when he runs up to greet the visitors they shoo him away.

It is enough to discourage the friendliest of dogs. And then there are the treats... visitors bring special treats for the children and take time to give everyone little gifts.  But no one ever remembers Tom.  He just watches it all...

What's a dog to do? How do you keep your confidence up when clearly no one else understands that you should be the center of attention? Well, Tom wasn't sure, but at last his day has come...

Someone came to visit the foster home and brought him presents! Beautiful new clothes and a few tasty treats! Finally, Tom has been given the attention he knew he deserved.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Day South: Home from the hospital!

Unfortunately, little Kenneth came down with pneumonia and spent the last week or two in and out of the hospital. While hospital time is not fun for anyone, Kenneth made the best of the situation and came away with quite a few new friends (nurses, roommates, etc.)

Kenneth will now be spending his days in the foster home with our first nanny, Dawn. (Although only a few steps away, we will miss having that little smile in our home all day!)

Wordless Wednesday: Philip's Therapy

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Can You Guess Who?

No it's not quite that cold here yet, she's just practicing! Won't be long though! I think she's prepared, don't you?!
Monday, November 1, 2010

Walking Tall

When Willa and Joel first came to live at NDFH, neither of them could walk on their own. That was only a few months ago... look at them now!