Monday, February 28, 2011

Tea for Three

Cora hosted a tea party last week. She invited two of her best friends, Miranda and Ajay, and they had a marvelous time.

The preschool room has a corner built into a playhouse, complete with a little kitchen set. The children love to open the door to their little house and play with all the pretend food and dishes. The kitchen is set with a stove and refrigerator, cabinets and sink. There's also a little kitchen table in the corner complete with chairs to sit at.


Cora and Miranda were excited to get the tea party ready. They all found tea cups for themselves and Ajay. Cora poured imaginary tea from the teapot.

Ajay sipped his tea and sighed satisfactorily, "Ahh!"

Miranda found a spoon to stir her tea with and Cora served herself an imaginary plate of something yummy.


What a happy party they were! Ajay happily drinking his tea, Miranda flitting about busily clattering plates and spoons and Cora giggling as she poured tea.


We love watching the creativity of the children. Seeing them pretend and have fun is such a precious sight.

---

Today Miranda called to me and pointed to the playhouse. I suggested that we invite Ajay along and she immediatly agreed. The three of us went in and I found three teacups. After pouring each cup full of imaginary tea, we each drank, sighing, "ahhh" after we sipped. Miranda gently took the teapot from me and poured Ajay another glass. He put the cup to his lips, tipped his head back and pretended to drink. As soon as he was done Miranda poured him another glass. Then she poured herself one. He drank his fill, she didn't. Miranda walked about with the teapot in one hand and her cup in the other, pouring glass after glass.

She must have been thirsty.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Operation Giggle: Completed

 With all the Chinese New Year celebrations, things got really busy around here. The gifts that you sent through Operation Giggle did arrive and the next time we found all the children in one place...


...magic happened!

There was excitement squeezing its way out of all the "second Christmas" parties we held. Everyone had a gift and they were all perfect.


We want to thank all of the sponsors who helped our children have such a fun day. You never cease to amaze us with your kindness and generosity.


We tried to snap a photo of each and every child, though we know that we probably missed a few. Head on over to the scrapbook and take a look at the huge photo album!
 
Thank you!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

If the Sock Fits...

In a recent package from a sponsor we were delighted to find bundles of bright and fun socks!


Ajay chose to wear his favorite color, green. He loved the bright colors and wore his socks for the rest of the day! Jayce wore the yellow socks. He didn't care which color he wore but his nanny felt like yellow would be more appropriate for him than pink. He's growing into quite the little man!


Josiah picked out blue socks to wear. He looked adorable with the slightly-too-big socks on his feet.


We brought the socks down to preschool to pass out and the children went crazy over them! Emelia has on some cute polka dots and Lucy Kate is showing off her flower decorated sock. Doesn't Tony look proud of his zebra striped socks? He's a handsome boy who's doing very well.


Funky leopard print socks made therapy extra fun for Joel. He's been working on his footwork recently and we can't wait to see where his determination leads him.

A big "thank you" to all of our sponsors and those who send packages of goodies for the children. You make their day every day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We're Bubbling Over With Excitement!

It just goes to show you that you're never too old for bubbles! Even our older girls never get tired of doing bubbles. Some of them are quite good at it too. Check out their bubble blowing skills!




Monday, February 21, 2011

Firsts

One of the greatest things about working with children is being able to witness all of their "firsts". Sometimes we don't even realize that the steps we see taken or the smiles and laughter we rejoice at are firsts for many of the children.

Jayden's been taking quite a few steps lately. As soon as she discovered that she could, Jayden has been forging ahead. Nothing stands in her way and we're tickled by the way this tiny little girl lets nothing stop her.


It's been said that Angela took her first steps last week. The rumor has yet to be confirmed by additional evidence, but that won't keep us from celebrating!


Josiah just celebrated his first birthday. We're so proud of how far he's come and we're dreaming big for him.


Judah has been learning so much recently. His sign language vocabulary is blossoming and today, for the first time, he asked for "help" unprompted.


The progress that we see everyday is incredible. Watching the children transform from the inside out takes our breath away and we're thrilled at each new milestone. We dream for the day when, for the first time, each of the children in our care will have a family. Dream with us!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Aw, Grandma!

Our visit to the Lantern Festival yesterday was incredible! The children were awed by the hundreds of fan dancers, pantomime shows and even a few dragon dances. Because the Festival was only a short walk away from the Foster Home, we brought the healthy, older foster home children, and the whole afternoon preschool class! The children were excited to see some familiar faces when the Healing Home came out to watch, as well as some other foster family children who came with their foster parents. Keith got a special surprise from his foster mom, whom he calls "Nai Nai" (Grandma). She was one of the scarf dancers!


After Nai Nai's group was done with their dance we brought Keith over to say "Hi." He was happy to hang out for a bit until he started getting a little too much attention for his liking. He didn't feel like the scarf dancing prodigy they wanted him to be.


A little bit shy and rather embarrassed, Keith consented to a hug. We giggled at his blushing cheeks and restrained ourselves from giving them a grandmotherly squeeze.


Everyone needs to be embarrassed now and then by their Grandma, right?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Likeness

We’ve gotten to know a lot of talented people here at the Foster Home. They come for the children, they say, but when they leave we find that we’ve exchanged much more than we anticipated. One such talented young lady who was here in January is an artist, and one passionate about helping the children here. Her name is Sunni and she can look at what’s in a picture and recreate it with her oil pastels in a way that’s breathtaking. Here is an example of what she did with a picture of Miranda (who, just the other day, was Jennifer. She’s been matched with a family!)




Isn’t it lovely? Sunni just contacted us with an offer that we couldn’t ignore. She’s excited about beginning a child portraiture enterprise and bless the foster home at the same time. She’s offering us a deal. For every portrait she is commissioned she will donate 50% of the profit to New Day. All you need to do is contact her with photos of your child(ren) and in about three weeks you will receive the finished portrait. The prices are negotiable, but the standard is $30 for an 8x11 picture. And 50% of that comes here!

We’re excited about this opportunity and hope that you are too. Please don’t hesitate to contact Sunni if you have any more questions.

Happy Valentines Day From the Forever Home Girls!!

The Forever Home girls enjoyed making some valentine hearts. They were all smiles as they celebrated this special day.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: A Valentine

Never again will their hearts be lonely


Their hope will never fade


Thank you for your support, 
and Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Do You Love Me?

Samuel and Lucy Kate have something in common. They both have very special feet. In Lucy Kate's case, she merely had a clubbed foot and has already had surgery for it. For Samuel? Well, he only has one foot, and it's not the most normal foot around.

Willa and Samuel were sitting in preschool chatting the other day. "What happened with your foot?" Lucy Kate asked. Samuel just grinned. He wasn't embarrassed because he knew that she wasn't teasing him. Lucy Kate would never tease, so Samuel gave her one of his signature smiles.


We snapped the picture above of that moment, and the video below is what happened afterward. Trust me, it's worth the watch!


In case it was hard to follow, Lucy Kate leans in close to Samuel and asks, "Do you love me?" Samuel grunts affirmatively. "I like you." Lucy Kate tells him. She's not sure that he heard, so she leans in a bit closer and says it again. "I like you." Samuel nods and Lucy Kate's satisfied. She settles back with pleased look on her face and Vincent's singing commences to drown out any other action.

Friday, February 11, 2011

One Foot In Front of the Other

That's all it takes to walk.

Just put one foot in front of the other. Then do it again.

They said Philip would never walk, and though he isn't yet putting much weight on his legs, he's coming pretty close.


One Foot in Front of the Other from New Day Foster Home on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fun in the Snow

The children woke up this morning to a light covering of fluffy snow - the first we've had this year! After experimenting with the snow in preschool the children bundled up for some intense frolicking!

Doesn't Serena look stunning in her bold red coat? She was excited about playing in the snow with all her little friends.

Vincent wasn't afraid to collect handfuls of snow in his bare hands. He loved the way it looked after he tossed it into the air.

Reagan was a little unsure about touching the cold wet snow, look how her hands are safe and snug stuffed up into her sleeves! In no time she was on the ground cultivating a little snow garden with some beach toys we had. Playing in the snow was so much fun! Hopefully it will last a few days so that the children can play in it some more.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Moment

We know we just teased you with the picture of Robert (now named Jace) "meeting" his new family…  we wanted to share a few more details, as we know many of you have carried him closely in you hearts as he's waited for this moment.


When we got the picture, Karen took it to the dental clinic, where Jace was pretending to get his teeth cleaned with some other children in preparation for an upcoming trip to the dentist.  (We've found the "pretend" version helps the real trip seem less scary.)

Karen walked in the door with the picture behind her back.  She caught Jace's eye and smiled as she pulled the picture out from behind her back.  His eyes widened and he asked "Wo de?"  ("Mine?")


Karen nodded and Jace let out a squeal of excitement as he ran towards her.  Pulling the pictures out of her hand, he soaked in the details of his new family.  It didn't take long for the other children in the room to crowd around, celebrating the moment with Jace.

Then Jace put his hands in the air, airplane-style, and buzzed around the room, happily shouting that it wouldn't be long before he was on an airplane bound for America with his new family.


Soon he went back to the foster home, and when his nanny found out that he'd been matched, she cried with joy.  As the other children found out Jace now had a family, they eagerly reached out to see the photograph.  Somehow Jace got separated from it for a few moments and he started crying, "Where's my mom and dad?  Where are they?"  Needless to say, the picture was quickly relocated back to Jace's hands.


As for me, I found out about Jace's new family a few days later.  The kids were mostly still asleep in their afternoon nap time, but Jace was awake and in the playroom.  I walked in and asked if he had some special news.  He nodded and smiled as he told me he had a family.  I asked to see a picture and he went to retrieve it from his room, whispering as he searched for it so as not to wake his roommates.  After pointing out each of his new family members, he smiled, said "I love them," and covered the picture in kisses.