Thursday, February 28, 2013

NDSouth: Transformation

We absolutely love watching the transformation that takes place in our children from when they first arrive at New Day South to the present.

Hayden arrived in our care on January 24th. He was sad, quiet, and scared. 

This was picture was taken while he was still in the orphanage a few weeks before he came to us.
 In the last month he has started to look like this...
 And then this...
 Until finally this! This little boy's smile lights up the room!
 Hayden is one of the happiest little boys. Smiling, laughing, and giggling.
Amazing what a difference a month full of love can make in the life of a child. We are so glad you are here with us, Hayden, and we can't wait to see you transform even more in months to come!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Forever Home: Growing, Growing, Grown


It's always amazing to see just how fast these girls grow up before your very eyes!  Zoe was feeling particularly big this day when she got to play Jenga with the older girls :)




And Camilla, well....she can now walk like the big girls!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Color Coordinated


A few outfits were donated to the foster home last week. In the bag were three matching purple outfits. The clothes were small, but perfect for the lovely ladies in our Critical Care Unit. Maya was off at a Chemotherapy appointment, but Lena, Annabel and Anna Rose were happy to play model in the new clothes.
Christopher thought that Anna Rose looked awfully pretty in her new outfit. She likewise thought that he was strikingly handsome in his new outfit.
Our three little ladies... looking so lovely and coordinated! Lena doesn’t yet have enough strength to sit up on her own, so she leaned over on Annabel. Annabel is strong, but not strong enough to sit up with Lena leaning over on her... and so she leaned into Anna Rose who was thankfully being held up by her nanny.
 Things worked out better when we sat the girls on the floor. Do you see it?
Annabel, the baby who wasn't supposed to survive, is now sitting up on her own. And she's so proud...

We're about bursting with pride too! And adoration over our lovely little miracle babies.

Snapshop Sunday: Grace the Photographer

 I made a little mistake the other day. A wonderful, adorable mistake. Abi (one of our beloved interns) and I were upstairs working with the babies. Grace has been a little extra fussy and blue these days, and we know that the best thing for her heart is for her to stay happy. For Grace, happy means busy, and busy means playing... preferably with "no-no" toys.

Grace is so close to taking her first steps. We've been keeping the little camera close at hand so that we can catch those steps on video, but today Grace would have none of it. She wanted to be cuddled and entertained... and she wanted to play with the camera.

So I let her, and Abi took pictures.




After trying to take a few pictures, but not understanding exactly how to do so, Grace decided that the camera was, indeed, a phone. She made some long-distance calls to the US to tell her adoptive family to hurry up and get her.



Just a day after this fun photo shoot, I was holding Grace with my camera slung over my shoulder. She kept turning and reaching around me, and I realized that she had her sights set on the camera hanging behind me.

Yup, this girl's got a love of cameras. Whether it's because she loves taking pictures, loves being in pictures, or just loves the idea of playing with something that the big people use, we may never know... but the one thing that's beyond debate is that Grace is absolutely adorable.


Ni Hao Yall

Friday, February 22, 2013

Big Sister Rachel

Rachel is a dear.

Rachel lives as the oldest upstairs. She gets to truly be a big sister, and what a great big sister she is! Being a big sister myself, it's been so special to see her grow as an exuberant and expressive two-year-old while learning how to be gentle with mei-mei and di-di (little sister, little brother). Grace joins Rachel at the "big girl table" when it's meal time, and I often see Grace sneaking a glance to see how Rachel's breaking her cracker or drinking her juice. Rachel's already a gentle leader. Her sweet smiles, constant dribble on her chin, and song-like laugh when you dance with her light the room up with joy. She's also very observant and aware of her younger siblings' needs. Many of them haven't been having clear lungs; therefore, the nannies have been patting backs more often than usual. Rachel, upon seeing this done, has decided to help the nannies out. She goes around patting backs, looking up now and again with a smile that anticipates a smile in return.

Rachel is a dear little girl, and you're going to love the video we got of her doing her thing!


---
Post written by our intern, Abi



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NDSouth: Jewel's Quilt

We received a care package a few weeks back and one of the items we pulled out was a beautiful, handmade quilt.
Jewel decided right away that it was hers and proceeded to lay down and "try it out."
"Oh this is soft and rather comfortable!"
The quilt is now found in her crib where she sleeps with it each night.
We are so thankful for all of you who are so generous in sending us donations for the children!

Wordless Wednesday: Miracle Babies


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Forever Home: Camilla's First Steps!




 First steps are one of those milestones that mean so much.  Soon we'll be running every where after her! Way to go Camilla!! We're sooo proud of you!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Day in February

It's been a nice, slow day here at the foster home. There have been lots of smiles, giggles and cuddles. Alea was bursting with laughter today, a stream of giggles just flowed from her and she babbled  sweetly as she toddled around the playroom.


Julia Grace is getting so big, isn't she? We tried to get a group shot of some of the children in their new hats, but Julia was the only one who looked at the camera. Our kiddos are busy!


While the older children played and showed off their hats downstairs, the babies were busy upstairs. Talley and Wayne are learning how to crawl, and so we challenged them to races with toys.


Wayne ended up getting distracted each time, so Talley won the races.


 Downstairs in the preschool room Micah and Zoe enjoyed oranges for snack...


 ...and then back upstairs in CCU Lena took it easy, resting in her favorite seat.


So, what did you do today?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wow

We wanted to do something big for Chinese New Year, and for the babies. We set our sights high - raising $12,000 in 12 days for the Acute Care Fund. We told story after story, and you guys shared the miracles with your friends.
With just a few hours to go before the fund-raiser would end, at the same time as a matching challenge was going on, suddenly our goal was met. And now, with the money donated through Paypal and through checks, our total is...

$14,164

I cried when I saw that we had reached our goal. It's breathtaking, really.

Exactly one week ago, a little boy arrived into our care. He has two very severe GI defects, and had to be flown in from his province and rushed to the hospital right away. Benjamin had emergency surgery just a few hours after arriving at the hospital. The surgery went well, and he is now off of the ventilator and off of supplemental oxygen.


Benjamin was born premature, so his health is very compromised. He could be in the hospital for a very long time, and the Acute Care fund is what is making his care possible right now. It's saving his life.
 

So thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Thank you for your generous donations, for your enthusiastic support and for literally saving a little baby boy's life. One day little Benjamin will be running and playing and we'll all be sitting there marvelling at the miracle of his life.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

NDSouth: Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year from New Day South! In honor of this special holiday, we had the children dress up in their Chinese silk outfits. They looked absolutely precious if we do say so and thought you may enjoy seeing them as well!

Hayden is such a different little boy today than he was just a few short weeks ago when he arrived. He was quiet, scared, and sad. He is now quite often seen laughing, smiling, and playing! What a transformation!
 Asa is no longer a baby but quite the big boy now! Doesn't he look handsome?
 Sammy and Cooper also looking good in their traditional Chinese attire.
 Then there is Marshall and Charlotte. They are best friends!
We are so thankful for Marshall and his life. Hard to believe that just over a year ago he was fighting for his life and now he is not only alive, but thriving.
 Daphne is such a good mama to baby Chris! And we think Chris would agree!
 It is always hard to get a "group shot" and as you can tell, but we did manage to get 7 of the 11 children to sit for a picture!


Happy Year of the Snake!




Wordless Wednesday: A Girl Can Never Have Too Many Sweaters.


 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Full Head of Hair (12 Days of CNY - Extended!)

What?! you must be thinking. Yesterday was Chinese New Year, and you featured Alea and her miracle on here and that was amazing and now I thought that you would be getting back to regular blogging?

Well, almost. You should have seen the list of amazing stories and spotlights that we wanted to do on the children. We could have featured every single one here, and cried big tears as we remembered their miracles, transformation and re-births. That would take months, however, so we tried to limit ourselves to 12 children. And we failed. But we're not feeling too guilty about it, because this is a pretty neat story.

You may not have read the third part to Maya's Amazing Story; we just put it on the website a week ago. So case you've missed out, I'm going to re-post it here, because it's too incredible to miss out on.


Maya began chemotherapy to prevent the spread of cancer cells in her body post-tumor removal on May 20th, and continued with one treatment each week and a week of treatments every three weeks. During the week of chemotherapy, Maya would often come home exhausted and sleep through the afternoon. Once Maya’s platelet count got too low and she needed to be admitted into the hospital for blood transfusions, but she otherwise remained remarkably healthy and strong. When Maya should have been weak and tired, she was strong and full of giggles.

Her nannies often told us when she returned home from chemotherapy treatments that “Maya had smiled at the nurse who gave her the shot.” And there was something else remarkable that her nannies noticed. All of the other children at the hospital receiving chemotherapy treatments were bald – they had no hair. But Maya? Her hair was long, though thin. And then, just a few months ago, Maya’s hair began to thicken. Daily and weekly chemotherapy treatments seemed to have no effect on her hair, if only to make it thicker.

It is another miracle… another piece of tangible evidence that God gives good gifts to his children.


Want to see our happy girl in action?




And that, everybody, is that. Happy Chinese New Year! Thank you for your incredible generosity these past 12 days, and for the way that you have helped NDFH to touch other lives by sharing the stories we've been posting.

We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

The Forever Home: Celebrating Chinese New Year


Camilla was quite happy to receive her traditional hongbao (red envelope)! Though we suspect it was just the pretty colors of the package that excited her :)




Zoe was just a little bit excited at receiving some new clothes for Chinese New Year!





Holly, on the other hand, knows the value of what she received.  She knows that inside that pretty red envelope is MONEY that she can buy her some things!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Twelve Prayers Answered (12 Days of CNY)

Happy New Year, everybody! We literally ended the lunar 2012 with a bang (lots of them) and have rung in the new year with... even more bangs. The fireworks are still going strong and it looks like, judging from all of the oranges out for sale and the fish decoration on the doors, this is going to be a year full of prosperity.
 
Over the last year we have seen over a dozen incredible, life changing miracles. It's really hard to choose a favorite, but Alea's certainly ranks up there. She arrived at NDFH a year ago in February, and we were a little bit scared. Alea's only hope, the only way that she would survive, was if she was able to receive a liver transplant before she was 18 months old. Time was ticking down for our sweet girl who experienced a lot of discomfort because of her failing liver. Her poor distended belly was hard to look at and she was most comfortable sitting upright in someone's arms, where the pressure from her diseased organ was less. 

Alea needed a miracle. She either needed a liver transplant in China, a visa to get to the US for a transplant, she could be adopted right away, or her liver could just be healed. Each of the four options for Alea's healing required something amazing to happen. Organ donations are not a culturally accepted practice here, so the chances that she would receive a new liver in China were quite slim. The cost for Alea to have a transplant in the US was quite large, and a lot of hoops were going to have to be jumped through for her to get permission to travel overseas. Alea only had 8 months until her body would begin deteriorating to the point that a liver transplant would no longer help her. For adoption to be an option, Alea was going to need to have her paperwork completed and expedited, as well as a potential adoptive family to come forward and be fully prepared for her needs. And they would need to move fast. And then for Alea to just get a new liver... well, that would be a miracle.

We raised money and looked into getting Alea a visa. We put out a plea for an adoptive family to come forward and the responses were overwhelming. We prayed every day, laying our hands on Alea's distended belly, that her liver would be renewed. And we put Alea on "the list" to receive a liver, if one were to become available. We knew that if she were to be survive, the impossible would have to happen.
 
Well, the impossible happened. At 8pm on a Saturday night a liver became available and Alea went into surgery by 10pm. The team of surgeons worked through the night and Alea was out of surgery by 10am. The surgery was successful and now, well, just look at her...
 
Alea's story is one of our favorites, because there wasn't anything that we did to save her. We were totally helpless, just as she was, simply waiting for a miracle. We could pour love into her, make sure that she was eating a good diet, and keep her clean, warm and happy, but we couldn't save her life. Only God could have saved Alea, and he was the one who rescued her and renewed her life.
So today, the 12th day of Chinese New Year - Chinese New Year itself - we want to celebrate Alea's miracle. 
 

 
We haven't quite met our goal of $12,000 yet, but who knows what can happen in another 24 hours? Right now there is a matching challenge going on. Every dollar, up to $1000, will be matched! That means that if you donate $5, it becomes $10. If you donate $25, it becomes $50. And it also means $1000 more to help save the lives of children like Benjamin, who arrived Thursday afternoon and went straight into emergency surgery. He's a tiny little boy who was born with multiple GI defects, but we believe that his life is one of promise, and that he will survive. He is currently in ICU, and the acute care fund is saving his life right now. Thank you!