Monday, January 31, 2011

Jenna The Builder!

Would you look at what Jenna made all by herself?!!

She's quite the builder! She loves to play with blocks and is quite good at it. Perhaps she has some engineering skills we should nurture?! Great job, Jenna!!

Lest you wonder what happened to the larger size picture, our staff who works their magic on these was out for the holiday today. No worries though as she'll be back after Chinese New Year to again work her magic of bringing you the bigger pictures again!


Chinese New Year is a time when everyone goes home to visit their families. They say it is the single largest migration of people in the world, as people travel to their hometowns. It seems everyone is moving around and going back to the people they love. It's no exception here... we had our own very special homecoming today, just in time for Chinese New Year right around the corner.

After being hospitalized for 5 months, Claire is finally home and free of the chest tube she's had for over one year. Read more of her amazing story, and join us as we thankfully rejoice in her homecoming.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dance Party in the Playroom

Today in the playroom a spontaneous dance party broke out involving Brooke, Annabelle and Angela.  The older two, Annabelle and Angela, were sitting on my lap facing each other.  A song was playing in the background and I began dancing to the music.  By dancing I mean moving my arms around in a vain attempt to match the music.  Annabelle, who was facing me, began to join in, first by just swaying then started mimicking my arm movements.  Then Annabelle grabbed my hands and stood up and danced.  Angela wanted to join in and reached for Annabelle's hands.  To my surprise and enduring delight, Anabelle took Angela's hands, stood up and swayed and danced with Angela.  As we continued our party, Brooke was sitting and watching very closely.  All of sudden, I looked over and she was moving her arms and giggling.  She had the biggest grin on her face and was so pleased with herself.

As if all this was not cute enough, Samuel decided to get involved.  He desperately wanted Annabelle to play with him but she was too interested in dancing.  So Samuel came over and gave her a sweet little kiss on the cheek.  I told Annabelle "aww he gave you a kiss".  She looked at me and started making her sound for the word kiss and trying to give me a kiss.  Then Angela leaned forward and tried to give Annabelle a kiss.  Anabelle at first was quite skeptical but I told her that Angela wanted to give her a kiss.  So Annabelle leaned forward and let Angela kiss her, then gave Angela a kiss of her own.  A little later, Annabelle again tried to give me a kiss but could not reach me.  Annabelle was quite upset that she could not reach me, so I showed her how to blow a kiss and she sent me a kiss through the air.

It was a very fun and adorable moment for me and the little ones seemed to have a blast dancing and kissing.

--- Posted by Intern Jazz
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jace's joy

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Kiah

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dreaming Big!!

Isn't this a beautiful picture of Hannah?!

She looks all dreamy here. Makes you wonder what she's thinking about, doesn't it?!

Like Serena, Hannah is also making great strides these days. While there were some months where we seemed to have lots of trouble just learning our colors, something seemed to click in her brain and now, WOW, she is making lots of progress!! She has not only learned her colors in English as well as Chinese, but she also knows all the letters of the alphabet, can also write several of them, is learning to count and so many other things. She has been doing some kindergarten work and continues to learn at a faster than normal pace, which means she's doing some catch up. We couldn't be more pleased and are proud of you Hannah!! Keep up the good work!!
Sunday, January 23, 2011

NDSouth: Kenneth's First Birthday

The big event at New Day South in recent days was Kenneth's first birthday. The first celebration was a shared birthday party with a local neighbor friend.  Although it was wonderful to see Kenneth surrounded by so many well-wishers, it was almost a bit overwhelming for the little fellow!

The next day, we had a small and quiet 'family celebration' at the foster home.  Kenneth so enjoyed learning how to open his presents.    He doesn't quite understand how to enjoy a good book yet, but he loves making 'music'!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Twinkle in Her Eye

They said she was non-verbal and there was a sadness in her eyes. She was silent, reserved, scared.

Now? There's a spark of mischief in her eye. She laughs, talks and plays like she's been loved forever. Because she has been. The twinkle in her eye is proof.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's A Girl!

"Baby!" Vincent called out to Ethan and Robert as they clustered about Carrie in the hallway. He was already gently rubbing the little bundle, seeming to understand already that this baby was what had been in Carrie's tummy all along.

 "Baby! Baby!" Ethan said as he quickly reached out his hand to touch the little head. Robert hesitated for a minute, and then he also gently patted the soft little head.

They dragged Carrie and her still-sleeping child into the playroom to show the others. Reagan was awed by the tiny little person. Joshua pushed the baby aside to check and make sure that there was nobody left in Carrie's tummy. They were all amazed.

Vincent gently laid a kiss on her little cheek and was followed by the rest of the children. They had been waiting so long to meet their new 小妹妹 (little sister).

Robert raced to the preschool, his little legs moving as fast as they could. "Baby! Baby!" he shouted, interrupting the younger children's singing. time. This was much more important than "Old MacDonald." When Cora saw Carrie walk through the door her eyes widened and she let out a joyful (and hearty) shriek of excitement! Clapping her hands and jumping in her seat she literally flew into Carrie's lap, meeting the newest Cora for the first time. Samuel came too, first looking, and then patting gently. Then he laid a sweet kiss on her cheek.

Welcome into the world Miss Cora (her name has nothing to do with our Cora, they just happened to be named by likeminded people). I think we're pretty safe in assuring you that you have the best honorary older siblings there are.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Evie Finds Her Fingers


Have you been aching to help NDFH's work but never knew what to do? Well, wonder no more. We have the job for you. We're looking for some new back-up editors for our child sponsorship project, would you like to help? All you need is a computer, e-mail, and a little extra time once a month. E-mail if this opportunity sounds intriguing and we'll send you more information.

EDIT: I'm happy to report that, thanks to your generous offers to help, we have the back-up editors we need! You guys are amazing.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Serena!

Serena has such a sweet, sweet spirit! She is doing so well. She is progressing by leaps and bounds these days! We are so proud of what she has accomplished thus far and know she has a bright future ahead.

Here, she is working on her Fine Motor skills and eye/hand coordination which can be a little more challenging for her due to her vision difficulties than most children. However, like so many of our children here with their own special needs, they seem to overcome and find a way. It is amazing and wonderful to see them accomplish tasks that often were told us by doctors that they'd never be able to do. Where there's a will--there's a way!

Despite Serena's vision challenges, she functions quite well. In fact, people who often visit us here would never know that she wasn't just another child with glasses. She writes, is learning to read, she now rides a bicycle, and she does all the things other children do. Yes, she sometimes stubbles or runs into things a bit more than normal, but other than that, she is like any other child. We're so proud of Serena and all the things she is accomplishing and the challenges she has learned to overcome! Way to go Serena!!
Monday, January 17, 2011

Much Too Long

It's been much too long since we featured two special little boys on this blog. Shaun and Chad have been growing and thriving in foster families since this summer which means that we haven't seen them quite as often as we would have liked. We recently caught up with them last week and they're doing marvelously! Just look at those shining eyes and chubby cheeks.

Chad is doing a lot of walking these days. It's hard to imagine that he's the same little guy he was last summer, crawling about and giving us happy grins. Philip is his foster brother and they get along fine. Just the other day Philip was asking about a picture of Logan, Jack's foster brother. "Who's that?" he asked. We told him, "That's Logan, he's your classmate Jack's little brother. Who's your little brother?" "Chad!" Philip replied. We're sure that they have lots of fun being boys together!

Shaun has always been the strong and silent type. His foster mom says that he understands everything, but doesn't care to share much. Maybe it has something to do with living in the same foster family as chatty little Emelia? With two older foster siblings, Emelia and Isaac, it might be hard for Shaun to get a word in edgewise.

It's exciting to watch these little boys blossom like only boys can. We long for the day that they will finally have forever families to call their own. One day that dream will come true. But for now we wait. Wait and hope.
Friday, January 14, 2011

Free at Last!

The babies upstairs have been quarantined for much too long. One of them got a contagious bug and decided that it would be rude to not share... Hopefully they'll keep the germs to themselves next time (hopefully there won't be a next time!). The little ones are happy to be out now and they celebrated yesterday by going back to their "regularly scheduled programs".

For Jayce and Judah this meant that they got to go to therapy once again!

Jayce practiced his crawling skills while Judah worked on those walking muscles.

They were joined by Joshua who was focusing on his... flying?
Thursday, January 13, 2011

Philip and the Shark

The children are still talking about their trip to the aquarium! On a recent bus ride, Philip told Kevin (Staff, PR) all about it while Kevin recorded the conversation on his phone. We finally have the video translated, uploaded, and ready for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Philip and the Shark from New Day Foster Home on Vimeo.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Anton's Smile

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A New Look

Why is it that those of us who have straight hair want curly hair and those of us who have curly hair want straight hair?!! What makes us want blond hair when we have brown hair and vise versa? I guess it's just wanting something different than what we have and wondering what it'd be like to have that different something. Apparently it's not just adults who have these desires--even kids enjoy the idea of something new and different. It's perfectly natural.

Elizabeth has often expressed interest in wanting straight hair. Now... we think she has the most beautiful curly hair EVER, but we all enjoy trying new things and wanting something different. Therefore, when getting ready to go to a friend's house one day, she expressed interest in having her hair straightened, I said "Sure, why not?!" So, I got out the straightener and commenced to give her straight hair! Wow, would you look at how long it looks (or actually is) when it isn't all curled up!! I have to tell ya, her curly hair didn't want to become straight! It took a bit of doing, but she ended up with some... well... fairly straight hair--or as straight as I could get it. She was quite pleased with her new look and marveled at just how long her hair really was when it wasn't all curled up!

However, it didn't last long:( By the time we arrived, only a few minutes walking distance, it was beginning to curl back up again. Oh well... she had straight hair for a few minutes anyway! She hasn't expressed an interest in doing it again since. I guess she was just curious what it'd be like. We think you're beautiful Elizabeth, with or without straight hair!! Keep on smiling girl!!
Monday, January 10, 2011

The Journey

The implications of the loss and pain these children have experienced are set aside when we look into their eyes. When we see the vision and the strength where once was only emptiness we know that a life has been reborn. Jayce will never be alone again.

The reality of how broken their hearts were is forgotten when we see them, for the first time, smile. Brooke's heart was so sick and so broken. Her rosy cheeks today are just one example of what hope can do.

The sadness we experienced when we saw them for the first time no longer brings us sadness, because we see - today and everyday, the miracles that love can perform.

Transformation is a journey, and it's worth every mile.
Friday, January 7, 2011

Just Pretending!

There are some very smart children living here. They are bursting with creativity and intelligence... it's actually rather hard to keep up with all that they know how to do! For example, just the other day Philip decided that Gan Lu (our amazing photographer) needed to have her blood pressure taken.

Being the smart, experienced and careful doctor that he is, Philip gently slid the stethoscope under the blood pressure cuff. How many four-year-olds do you know who can take someone's blood pressure?

Before feeding Arwen her snack the other day, Vincent ran into the playhouse for something. He came out with a little napkin which he directly tucked under her chin.

Then Vincent filled a tray with some goodies and began to spoon-feed Arwen out of a tea cup.

I wonder what the bib was for, Arwen's eating or Vincent's feeding? From the looks of the giggles, I'm going to assume that it was for Vincent.
Thursday, January 6, 2011

Seasons Changing

These last 3 years of working with New Day Foster Home have been such a blessing to me.  It's impossible to describe all the ways it has molded and shaped and changed me.  The fact that I could play some small part in bringing hope and healing to our precious children is something for which I'll always be grateful. 

But seasons change... and while there is always some sense of loss in the change, there's also expectation and anticipation and joy.  Many of you may know from reading our personal blog that Jacob and I have decided to move back to the USA.  We leave in February, shortly after the birth of our first baby on January 5th.

Leaving the work I've done here at New Day is difficult, but I know it is time to switch my priorities for a season of life and give someone else an opportunity to experience the incredible blessing I've experienced!

You may have noticed that Hannah has been writing a lot of the blog posts recently.  Hannah moved to China with her family a little over a year ago, and she's been interested in getting more involved in public relations and writing.  So she's taking over my role at New Day Foster Home.  She's a talented and beautiful young woman with a unique voice, and I know you will enjoy hearing the stories of our little ones from her perspective.

We may be physically leaving New Day, but there is such life and hope and transformation occurring in this place... I can't imagine leaving it behind forever.  We will remain connected to NDFH, and hopefully that means we can stay connected with you as well!  The friendships I've made with people all around the world who share a passion for our kids... that's just another one of the many things I treasure from my time here! 

So, please stay in touch.  If you don't have my personal contact information and want to remain connected, please e-mail me at  But, if you have any questions about NDFH work or want more information about how you can partner with us, please begin emailing
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Kenneth's Got His Smile Back!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Who's who?!

A couple of the girls decided one day to do some play acting. They couldn't help but giggle when I snapped their pictures.

Aren't they cute? They'd made some home-made masks. They're pretty creative, don't you think?! They have great imaginations and often surprise us with such things. Then they performed a bit with their creative masks. One of them is the big bad wolf from the popular cartoon here in China called "Xi Yang Yang." The other girl is a rabbit from the Wii games. Can you guess who is who?!