Saturday, December 31, 2011

Favorites of 2011

It's hard to believe, but in the past year we have posted 300 blog posts. Some of them have been funny, some of them more serious. Have you read them all?

Our mission here on the blog is to share the joy and the hope, the laughter and the dreams, of these amazing children. We love sharing their stories and hope that you have enjoyed reading them this past year.

So, with the help of some of you on our facebook page, we've gone through and found our favorite, and most popular blog posts of 2011.


Hope

The Moment
This post is one of our  most popular posts of all time. You had been following Jace's heart-longing for a family, and when his dream came true, all rejoiced. You can follow Jace's continuing story on his forever family's blog.

Two Daughters
"I thought of her the morning I first held my daughter, but I didn't yet know her name..."
(Sweet Vivian has been matched with a forever family of her own and is now named Kendra.)


Learning to Trust
Wendy's journey down the slide.

Unconquerable Joy
Ajay's life is a miracle in itself. Follow him and his family's long road to healing on their blog.

Beating the Odds
For the first time in his life, this summer, Philip stood up and walked.

The Learning Curve
Sage's miraculous story just kept getting better!

A Very Special Picture / A Miracle
Landon and Joshua have been through a lot, but their determination is going to help them go far.



Dreams

Much, Much Too Busy For Me
Joshua's family came forward just days after we posted this, and he is now matched with a family of his very own. They weren't too busy for you, Joshua.

Hannah's Question
...was answered! She is matched with a forever family.

Our Little Woman
Serena's transformation was divine, and now she has a forever family waiting to bring her home!

Noah's Grin
Noah is still waiting for his family, but that doesn't make his story any less amazing, or his dream any less beautiful!


Wordless Wednesday

Helping Mei Mei - February 9

Boys in a Bubble - March 23

Too Cool - May 11

Brother Love - June 15

Very Happy Kids - June 27

Fostering Love - July 13

Big Brown Eyes - August 1

An Infectious GiggleDecember 13


Silliness
Vincent and Friends
This silly group of kids are all in their forever families now. We have no doubt they are adding a lot of silliness and joy to wherever they go!

Tony's new name is Jabin, and he's still just as silly!

Tea for Three
Back when they first started preschool...

Peekaboo!
Joy and Roy keep us giggling with their silly antics.

With Great Power
...came great responsibility for Jayce (now CJ).



Sweetness
Cora and William are finally in the same preschool class!

Glad Tidings We Bring
The sweetest Nativity you'll see this year

The New Family in Town
Serena, Alex and Hannah start their own, creative little family

Tough Competition
Our amazing kids compare battle scars


Video
Josiah is motivated to stand in therapy by a yummy cookie.

One of our most popular posts this year! Polly, who is now Khloe and is living with her amazing forever family, has a song in her heart.

Philip and the Shark
Are you afraid?

We can't get over what an amazing miracle Philip is!


New Day South
Was it about time for little Asa to get his famous hair cut? We asked for your votes and the people spoke.

A Whole Lot of Growing Going On
Jewel crawls and Benjamin takes his first steps!

A Good Report
Renee recovers well after her spina bifida surgery


To Always Remember
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.

She Was Worth It
Paige left us unexpectedly and we went reeling, but loving her reminded us that it's always worth it. Our hearts were broken, hers is healed.


Did you have any other favorites we failed to mention? Please share yours!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Little Puzzle Crazy

Every morning, Anton spends an extended period of time in his bedroom doing nebulizer and oxygen treatments. His nanny spends that time with him, and together they come up with many new and creative ways to occupy the time. For example: the fun game they invented with a puzzle.


Anton is a little bit too young to be dexterious enough to put a puzzle together himself, but that didn't stop him and his nanny (Alice) from having a blast. Alice filled the puzzle tray in Anton's hands with loose pieces, and then Anton let them fly.


It goes to show what an exciting woman Alice is; she not only encouraged this activity... she invented it.


So, despite the clean-up and organizing requried after an activity like this, it's totally worth the happy and content child. Do you have any games to preoccupy your children that, upon first impression, don't seem 100% beneficial? Please share!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Day at New Day South

Thanks to the generosity of our friends and sponsors overseas, there were many gifts around the tree at New Day South this year.

The children (and the nannies!) had a blast opening all the presents.  We captured a bit of the fun to share with you all in our Christmas scrapbook.

Even Marshall, who continues to improve day by day, was able to join the party for a little while.  He wasn't able to play with the big kids this year, but he felt right at home with the dolls..



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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Forever Home's Christmas Present

Welcome to the Forever Home, Holly!


Just a few days before Christmas, Holly arrived here at New Day. We are so happy to have her join the Forever Home family. What an exciting time to join us with lots of parties, activities, and gifts!! Though we are concerned that her and Elly, who came just a couple of weeks before Holly, will be thinking that we have parties and gifts nearly every few days around here!!

As a matter of fact, that was what Elly thought one day when I mentioned we were going to New Day for another get-together. She got all excited and said, "Oh, hai you yi ge li wu!!" (we're getting another gift!) I had to burst her bubble saying no, not this time, we were going to eat together not get gifts. She had fun anyway.


It was Holly's first Christmas celebration, she said. She really enjoyed all the festivities of Christmas. She is doing very well here with us. She seems to enjoy our home and is adapting well. This week we've been assessing her to see what she knows and where she may have learning gaps. She is anxious to go to school with Serena, Hannah, and Elly. Probably Friday she will begin school with them at our New Day backyard classroom for older children.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Spoiled

We have to admit it. We're spoiled. Christmas trees overflowing with packages, merriment and cheer spilling out of all cracks, and children - precious healthy children - who've defied all reality to be here today.

Not only have we watched as their medical needs are dealt with and then sometimes even disappear, we've watched as the sadness in their eyes becomes abundant joy. The great medical attention that they receive from amazing doctors helps them to heal physically...  The foster families, mostly empty-nesters who saw that they could make a huge difference in a child's life, have loved incredibly. 

And they get to witness, as they mold each tender heart with their loving hands, a child's beautiful transformation.

We love to watch this foster family below, as they're bursting with joy from three sweet blessings. Emelia, Lucy and Micah are very loved by their kindhearted foster parents.


Doesn't the family-ness of it bring tears into your eyes? This is what each child needs!


Timothy and Noah make us grin with their brotherliness. They've been together in a foster family for a long time and are very fond of each other. We assume that a lot of mischief goes on in their home as well, though. Thankfully, their foster mother is a patient and fun woman.


Jabin was released from the hospital after two successful eye surgeries, just the day before this picture was taken. He's without his glasses and he can see you. Two sweet boys, whose home is now crawling with all of the cars, trains and airplane that you sent. We've heard it said that their foster mom has a thing for little boys... no doubt Jabin and Landon are benefitting from this. If those chubby cheeks and milky eyes don't reflect hearts soaked with love... well, we could come up with other reasons.


Sometimes it's okay to be spoiled, and we think that these kiddos deserve it, especially after all that they have been through. And then we just have to say, "Thank You!" to all of you.

"Thank You!"

You guys have given these children a Christmas that they will never forget through your generous packages full of presents, your monthly sponsorship that keeps things running over here, and your donations. Lives are being saved, hearts are healing and hope is rising as love grows here.


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Keep your eyes out on our website for the scrapbooks soon to come. Already released: Baby's First Christmas and Party in the Playroom. Coming soon: Foster Family Fun and A Southern Christmas (NDS).

We'll also be publishing photos on our facebook page. Share the Joy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wendy's Christmas

The doctors had told us the day before that Wendy might be able to move from mid-care into a regular bed the next day. We happened to be going to the hospital for Rebecca's surgery, and would be on the same floor, in the same ward, and just down the hall from Wendy's potential new bed.

So, with Wendy’s Christmas presents filling up a red bag, we saw Rebecca off as she went into surgery. And then we waited, hoping to be informed of Wendy’s room-change soon.

Good news! She was doing well enough to be moved, the nurse said. So with her presents piled up in one corner, we went into her room to wait. She came in a few minutes later. She was a bit flustered at first, but as soon as she saw her presents she knew. Reaching out, she began to tear into them, loving everything that she found inside!


The craft activity was an especially welcome gift. She broke into it right away.



Didn't she do a great job?


We're so happy that we were able to bring a little bit of Christmas to Wendy in the hospital. She still has a ways to go with regards to her recovery, but so far it's been nothing but miraculous.


Wendy's Christmas wish was to "go home!" and it's ours too. Get well soon, Wendy. Everybody here misses you.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

NDSouth: Getting Ready for Christmas!

Christmas is just around the corner, and the children can tell something "different" is in the air.  Today, Benjamin and Jewel spent their afternoon play time 'rocking around the Christmas tree' together.




 (we're going to have to get a video clip on here someday for
you guys to get a better glimpse of this little fellow's personality..)


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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Noble Little Woman

She's of the squirmy, delicate sort; strong yet fragile. Already, she has a name and a story.


Lydia, our noble little woman, arrived today. With her she brought the almost blank slate of her precious little life. There's a story waiting to be written on her searching eyes and in her tiny heart.


And it's been begun; her story is one of rescue and hope.


Lydia has already had one lifesaving surgery; we'll wait until she gets a bit bigger before she has her second. Until then, Love sounds like the best title for this chapter in Lydia's story.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Perfect Accessory

A package of headbands and hairclips was just the fashion boost our ladies needed.


Ella, who suffers so much, really wears headbands well. Doesn't she look dazzling in the bold blue?


A funny story about Brooke and Carolyn... They were playing together when we brought the headbands into the playroom. Carolyn's face just lit up when she saw all of the lovely colors, and positively glowed when we put a headband on her head. Brooke, on the other hand, didn't care to be primped up and refused her headband. So we handed the purple headband to Carolyn, who happily took it. Then, of course, Brooke wanted her headband. In fact, she wanted it a lot! Carolyn, being the sweet and caring sister, offered the purple headband to Brooke, who was then very happy to wear it.


Not only are you beautiful on the outside, Carolyn. You're beautiful inside too!


The babies didn't quite understand all of the excitement, but they did a great job modeling the headbands for us. Sweet Esther is growing more and more beautiful.


Little Angelic Lena... how we love you! Lena is getting stronger every day, and is, slowly but surely, growing.


Ah, Nicole. If you tell this girl that she's beautiful, she will thank you with one of her amazing smiles. Nicole has become more and more vocal recently. When she's pleased with herself (like she was after we showed her this picture!) she says, "Bababa." When she wants something, though, and is being impatient, she says, "mamama." Silly girl.

We have some beautiful little ladies, don't we?