Here at New Day, the morning preschool class learned a bit about Autumn: leaves changing colors and falling to the ground, the weather getting colder, and the abundance of pumpkins! The preschool teachers took this opportunity to show the children how to carve faces to make some pretty cool Jack-O-Lanterns. Gloria, our teacher, prepared the pumpkin before class, so the children didn't get a chance to see the pumpkin's innerds. But they did get to watch the eyes and mouth get cut out!
And then it came time to light the candle inside of the pumpkin! The children thought that this was exciting. Lucy didn't want to give up the pumpkin after her turn to get a close look.
Since Emelia is one of the "big girls" in class, she got to hold Mr. Jack-O-Lantern all by herself! She was quite proud of this fact and responsibility.
Silly Vincent tried to prove to us that he was sillier than the pumpkin... What do you think? Is he sillier?
We'd take a vote... but it's already clear who the winner would be. Right?
Lena lives in the baby room, while Nicole spends her time in our CCU, so it came as a huge surprise when we discovered that they were wearing the same little jacket - on the same day!
It suited both of them perfectly, and they looked adorable. Lena has been much more alert recently, wiggling and gazing intently about. Before we know it she'll be a toddler... but let's not think of that right now. We're going to enjoy her teeny tiny babiness for as long as we can.
Someone knows how to smile for the camera! Nicole giggled and grinned wide when she saw that we were taking pictures of her. She gets told that she's beautiful all the time, so she makes sure to look pretty for pictures.
Micah is two. He's a quiet little boy and still a bit wary of the new people in his life. He's been placed into a foster family already. That's his foster mom (also Emelia and Lucy's) holding him in the picture, with the foster family manager and his assistant standing around them. Micah's about to begin an adventure in Love.
Little Esther in only a few months old, and quite a bit too tiny for her age. She's beautiful, alert and talkative. She loves to play with fingers, those of hers and of others.
Micah and Esther are home for now, until they are adopted. The first chapter of their story has been penned. Today, their story of hope began.
'Tis the season to stay warm. It's already getting a bit nippy out there, but the nannies and foster parents are determined that their little ones will never feel a bit of it... even if that means oversized jackets and winter hats in October.
Caleb's foster mom lovingly dressed him in a large plaid flannel shirt yesterday. We couldn't even see his hands under the sleeves, but we're sure that he was toasty and cozy.
Keith had a cold today, so his foster mom picked him up early from preschool. If the puffy coat has anything to do with it, Keith should be in tip top shape soon!
Each morning, at the start of preschool, the children mark the day on our fun, magnetic calendar. And each morning, one child gets to take a turn placing a number onto the blank day, but on Monday three children get to help! This morning, Lucy Kate was the first one to shout out the day, so she got to place the "22" on Saturday.
Lena was pleased to be chosen to put the "23" on Sunday...
and Timothy concentrated as he put the "24" on Monday.
The kids love to belt out sing the "days of the week" song. "Sunday Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, Thursday Friday, Saturday!" they sing at the top of their lungs. The morning preschool students have quite a bit of English under their belts - they know months, seasons, days and much more.
Next, the kids had to remember what month it was. How do you say it in English? Jabin got this one right with his perfectly pronounced, "October!"
She still has that fair, smooth skin. Her hair is still sunshine and her attitude gentle and sweet. But her heart, beginning the day she came until now, has gone through beautiful changes. Evie had a serious heart condition; when she arrived she was so weak that even the smallest toys were too heavy for her. Now she is a strong and healthy girl. When Evie first came she didn't know how to be held, how to be loved, but now she does. She is blossoming within her loving foster family. Can you see the difference in her eyes? That's what love did for Evie!
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day…”
2 Timothy 4:7-8a
Friday, October 14th at noon, Carissa ended her earthly battle and entered into heavenly rest. We’re so sad that she’s gone, but we rejoice that she is now at peace. For Carissa – beautiful, sweet and gentle Carissa, there will be no more pain. There will be no more tears, no more struggling to breathe… Carissa is whole and healthy now.
Her story kept getting more and more amazing. Her life proved again and again that love was bigger than hopelessness, and miracles more effective than the knowledge of doctors. When it seemed like there was nothing more that we could do, Carissa got better. When the doctors were out of options, Carissa grew strong. And then, after she had shown us time and time again that God is the Greatest Physician, Carissa went on to receive her crown. She fought. There was not a minute of a day that Carissa did not fight for her life. Her physical heart was so broken that all we could do was love her, love her dangerously, and that love has changed us.
We grieve our loss, because we loved her. Every time she looked into our eyes… every time she smiled… every time her eyes closed in sleepiness… there were miracles in those moments. And we’re so blessed to have shared those moments with Carissa.
Her last moments were spent in the arms of those who loved her. She died peacefully, and though our hearts are broken, her's is now healed.
Claire has been one of the Foster Home’s token miracle children, and if you haven’t heard much of her story, I encourage you to read up on the miracles that have already happened in her life (check out her story). Because of her medical needs, Claire spent a good portion of her two years at New Day in the hospital getting necessary surgeries and bringing her into better health.
Since she left the hospital for the last time, Claire has been doing incredibly well. She was placed in the Pre-K Transition class because she is a little older and in need of some remedial work to catch her up.At first, Claire was one of the students who needed more help and had more trouble staying on task. However, since she joined the Pre-K class a few months ago, she has made so many improvements.
The class has recently been working on counting, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and other Pre-K skills all in the context of a letter of the week. All the students have been showing improvement in the class and they are learning a lot. Claire, however, is not one that we expected to necessarily grasp everything the first time.
But here is where Claire exceeds our expectations again. To our delight, Claire has really latched onto the ABCs, rising as a star student! She points out letters on signs, in movies, on t-shirts, and in books! I have seen a growing confidence in her abilities, even in her quiet, shy voice becoming more pronounced as she answers teachers’ questions in school. She takes pride in her work and enjoys learning. It seems clear that the miracles that restored Claire’s body were not the only ones to be done in her life.
It's been months since you all blew us away and ordered strollers to be shipped too us, but because of some customs issues, they didn't arrive until this week. And let us tell you, there was dancing in the streets when they arrived!
We were so excited that we had to take a group picture. The children thought that it was great to get to sit on the boxes...
...until Philip started falling through one! That sure got everybody (Philip especially) laughing.
Then, of course, we just had to go on a walk to test them out.
We want to thank everybody so much for all that they have done to get these strollers to us. They were very needed and will be used quite often.
Joel is a different boy now than he was months ago. He used to dislike learning and he wasn't always kind to his friends. Well, things have changed. We asked our preschool teacher, Gloria, to write something about Joel to you to read. She whipped this up pretty quick and we think that you will be excited with what she has to say.
Joel is a boy full of understanding. He is one of the smartest students in my class. During class, he is always so eager to learn, and every time I ask the children questions about the lesson, his answers will definitely be correct! He also really enjoys the stories that I tell, you can see his eyes open up wide, as if he does not want to miss a single part of the story!
The cutest moment for Joel, would be his scooter time. He is so good at it, and is fantastic at controlling it. This little scooter can bring him to any corner of the yard that this guy wants to be in. Yesterday, I saw that he even invited Joshua to sit behind him on his scooter. Joel told him, “Remember, put your legs up, don’t let them fall!” Then he picked Joshua’s legs with his hands and helped put them up on the side of the scooter.
“Hold my waist. Let’s go!” he said, and with the most joyful laughs and giggles in the world, they started their happy journey in our backyard. We are all very proud of you, Joel.
We provide this information to give our sponsors and supporters a general idea of the challenges our children face. For prospective adoptive parents, the information on the blog is not intended to be a substitute for a complete and up-to-date referral packet from your adoption agency. Please keep in mind that in our blog posts, we always try to focus on a child's strengths, accomplishments and positive developments, not in an attempt to gloss-over their often serious medical conditions, but in an effort to share a glimpse of their precious personalities.
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