Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Four on a Bench

Sunday, July 28, 2013

If You Give Alea a Cookie

If you give Alea a cookie, she'll probably invite you in to watch her eat it.
While you're watching, she'll probably sit her baby doll down next to her and then take a few bites.

You'll ask her to share a taste with her doll, and she will look at it incredulously.

You'll ask her again and she will slyly slip the doll a crumb.

Then she'll remind you that the baby doll's mouth actually doesn't work, and so convince you that she can't possible share.

And then, worried that her doll will feel hurt, will console it in the best way possible.

If you give Alea a cookie, she'll probably eat it all up.

Because she's a hungry little girl, and that's what little girls do.
The End

Such Sweet Memories

It’s been a little over two weeks since I’ve been home from serving at New Day Foster Home. 

What an amazing place!  I didn’t want to leave…. 

Since being home, I find myself thinking about what time of day it is and what the children are doing. 

I sure do miss playing with the babies and making them smile.  We read books and played roll the ball.  Their squeals and giggles were contagious!  I especially loved meal time with the babies!  Talk about an exciting time, as they knew exactly what was coming.  They ate their food like little pros and didn’t mess around when it came to taking their bottles.  I got to hold a few of the babies when it was bottle time.  I remember just looking at each innocent little face and wondering what His plan was for them.  I sang to them and talked to them and promised them that He was always with them and loved them.  These are sweet memories.….

I miss the toddlers & preschool kiddos as we played outside on the swings and bikes.  One little boy insisted that I get on the seesaw with him for some fun.  I did….. and,  let’s just say, my legs were really feeling it for the next few days.  I’d do it all over again, though, to see the happiness on his face as he went up and down.  I also loved watching the kids play with Tom, the resident dog at New Day.  Tom seems to know just when the kids need a little extra affection.  I watched him give numerous doggie kisses to all of the children.

The little ones at New Day have such joy!  This is obviously a result of the genuine love and care that the nannies and staff provide.  Several times, I got caught up in watching the nannies and kids interact.  It was a beautiful thing to watch when a little one was unhappy for some reason and their nanny would pick them up and love on them just like I would to my own children.  The nannies love the children and it is so evident.  In turn, the children know how to accept love and show love and affection to others.  Getting to spend time with the children at New Day was truly a gift that will stay with me forever.  I am so grateful for the experience that He allowed me!

This post was written by one of our volunteers, Jennifer
Saturday, July 27, 2013

NDSouth: Princess Laura

We had some visitors come through recently and they brought a special gift for Laura.... a tiara! We decided it was the perfect gift for our little princess.

"Is this how it goes?"

"Or maybe like this..."

You look absolutely stunning, Laura. You are our little princess.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Welcome, Adia!

A few months ago we got a call about a newly abandoned baby with a very serious heart defect. The orphanage contacted us, asking if we could help. Sadly, we had no open beds. We had to say no. It hurt. But we hoped that the little one would survive, we hoped that she would hang on and prove the cynical reports of the doctors wrong. We wanted for her to have life.

A few weeks ago the orphanage contacted us again. The little one was still hanging on, and this time, because of a few recent adoptions, we were able to say "yes."

Adia arrived at New Day Foster Home on July 10th.

She was rushed straight to the hospital for a full evaluation We were sure that she would be scheduled soon for surgery. We hoped that surgery would be possible.

The news was almost too good to be true. Somehow, for some unknown reason, Adia's heart was not as serious as before believed. In fact, she didn't need surgery right away at all! We brought Adia straight home to New Day, rejoicing that she wouldn't have to stay at the hospital... rejoicing that she had hope.

There isn't really any other explanation for Adia's healing other than a miracle. That's okay, we don't need another explanation. A miracle is just fine by us.

Please join us in welcoming our flower, Adia. We can't wait to watch her blossom!

Help Mark Get His Miracle!

It takes at least two months for the subtle signs of Biliary Atresia to manifest, to be more than just jaundice and discomfort; for parents to begin to worry about their fussy little baby whose skin is turning more and more yellow. Worry turns to horror when a doctor explains the reality of Biliary Atresia: expensive surgeries, uncertain prognosis, local hospital's inability to perform the surgery, medicines that would cost them everything they own... an extremely high chance that the child would need a liver transplant as soon as possible and a lower than low chance that an organ would ever become available for their son.

Their son...

Mark was born on a crisp day in November in a southeastern province of China. Four months later he was abandoned at the local hospital. The police searched for his parents but couldn't find him and Mark was taken to the orphanage. When he arrived at the orphanage he was very jaundiced. A generally content baby, Mark was always in discomfort. The local hospital confirmed that he had Biliary Atresia but there was nothing that they could do. Ill-equipped to save his life, yet holding on to the belief that no child should be given up on, the orphanage contacted New Day Foster Home. They asked us to save his life.

In June, seven-month old Mark arrived into our care. We had never seen a little one with such severe and progressed liver disease. Mark's abdomen was so distended he could not roll over. He was in continual pain and comforting him was a huge job for our nannies. But we discovered that he loved to be interacted with, that when he was feeling his best he would delight us with a sweet laugh and that he loved to go outside.

A month after he arrived we admitted Mark into a hospital in Beijing that specialized in liver disease. They had successfully found livers for two of our other children who had needed liver transplants - beating the odds and proving that miracles do indeed happen. The hospital promised to try, while at the same time reminding us that organ donation is so unusual in China that Mark had little chance of getting an organ. Meanwhile visitors, hearing the stories of our other miracle children announced in awe that "it's impossible for an orphan to receive an organ."

Mark is currently very sick and in the beginning stages of liver failure. The doctors have told us that he doesn't have much time left and are working double-time to find him a liver. It's his only hope.

Not only are Mark's chances slim, but his costs are high. The surgery will cost $35,000. But we were willing to take the risk and love Mark, bring him in and give him a chance at life. We're also willing to pay the high costs for his surgery... when a little boy's life is at stake, how can you say no?

Today we are giving you an opportunity to play a part in Mark's Miracle. Please know that we won't postpone Mark's surgery if it has not been fully funded. Right now, Mark is in the hospital fighting for his life but we are thankful that he has a loving nanny by his side at all times providing him with the tender loving care that is so essential for survival.

What can you do? 
Give a donation towards Mark's medical costs by making a one-time donation to our Medical and Surgical fund and putting "Mark's Miracle" in the memo.

Get your kids involved! We are arranging for "Get Well Soon" cards to be carried over for Mark. Encourage your children to write prayers or blessings for Mark and then do their best artwork. E-mail Hannah Samuels for mailing information.

By participating in this fundraiser you are helping to save not just one child's life, but you are giving orphans all around China a hope and a future. Thank you
Thursday, July 25, 2013

NDSouth: July Birthdays

Last Thursday we celebrated our July birthdays! We didn't have just one birthday this month, but two. Double the celebration, double the fun!

Hayden turned 3 on July 17th. This was his first time celebrating his birthday with us and quite possibly the first time he has ever celebrated his birthday. What do you think, Hayden?

 Sadie is our birthday princess! She turned 1 on July 14th. She looks excited for the festivities to begin!

 Make a wish you two!

The little ones had a hard time blowing out their candles so big brother, Cooper, gladly helped. Great job, Cooper!

Laura loves cake.... can you tell?

 Fisher does too!

We have such a great group of nannies and volunteers loving on our children. They are loved so much!

For more birthday party pictures, check out our Facebook album and scrapbook!
Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Ella's Smile

The Headband Dilemma

Something is not right... Now, what could it be?

Oh my! There's something wrapped around my head? What a bother. This thing is coming off.

Phew! There we go. All better now.

(From the Nanny's perspective: *sigh* and yet again, Talley takes her headband off. Silly girl, what could she be thinking?)
Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Forever Home: Just Goofin' Around

This mirror is the best thing! The girls love it so!  What is it with kids and mirrors?  They're so entertaining!

They're stylin' now.

Awww! Does it get any sweeter than that?!
Monday, July 22, 2013

Playing Cards in the Backyard

There was a pretty intense game of "Go Fish" going on the backyard the other day.

Guess who won?

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time there was a beautiful lady. She was a princess and made her home with the fairies who magically braided her raven black hair into pastel-colored braids.
She wasn't vain, per say, but she sure did enjoy looking at herself in the mirror. She knew that she was lovely, as did...
...a very handsome prince. The prince had to wear a mask because his handsomeness was so great that any normal lady would swoon at sight of him.
The princess wasn't normal, though. She had special eyes that saw past outside-looks and saw into the heart of each person. When she met the prince, she saw only his kind heart and the way he remembered others and tried to make them feel comfortable and important.
The prince and the princess had a lot in common and so they bonded closely over important things like dress-up outfits, their ABCs and which new English words they had learned.
Eventually the Prince made a decision and he posed a question to the beautiful little princess.
It was a very important question, so he held her hand while he asked it. The prince was very gentlemanlike and didn't want the princess to feel uncomfortable and he wanted her to answer with a steady heart.

"Will you... play on the swings with me?" he gently asked.
She nodded happily, and they both waited for their preschool teachers to help them change out of their outfits so that they could run outside to play.

 And they lived happily ever after!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

One, two, three… JUMP!

When Lucy first started coming to Occupational Therapy she wanted to play- there were many new toys, so much to explore in the therapy room and she found it hard work doing the activities I asked her to do. However, as the days passed we got to know each other. Lucy has so much personality, so much fun inside of her and so much desire to love and be loved. She started to enjoy the challenges set for her, and worked hard to receive praise at the end of a great session.

One of the goals I set for Lucy when we started to work together was for her to be able to jump three times without any help. This initially seemed a mammoth task- her best attempts at jumps were more lopsided gallops, and often ended in her landing in a pile on the floor in a fit of giggles! But together we have persevered- we have worked on balance and strength, giving her the support from her pelvis to enable her legs to co-ordinate themselves into a jump. We have practiced jumping regularly and rejoiced together at the fast progress she has made with this practice; Lucy’s face the first time she jumped when holding my hands was amazing and beautiful- a picture of pride, joy and self-confidence.

As the weeks have continued, Lucy has made further progress on an almost daily basis. We have been working on jumping down small steps holding hands. As always, we have a routine- together, in Chinese we say ‘one, two, three… JUMP’. On ‘jump’, Lucy will bend her legs, her knees and leans forwards (occasionally the difference between this and a Chinese squat is negligible!) but she will then rise with a leap and land on the next step, a huge smile spreading over her face and a round of applause ready for herself. Today, for the first time, Lucy jumped down the steps just holding one hand… what a wonderful achievement for a girl who 6 weeks ago could not jump at all! Well done Miss Lucy!

Although jumping to me an you may seem a small, irrelevant achievement, to sweet Lucy it is one of the most significant things in her little world. It is such a privilege to be able to help the kids at New Day achieve their goals, and witnessing their joy following the hard work and struggles brings unimaginable satisfaction; thank-you Lucy.

This post was written by our Occupational Therapist, Jenny
Saturday, July 20, 2013

NDSouth: Future Photographers

Our kids get their pictures taken.... a lot. Whether it's for the website, blog, Facebook page, scrapbooks, etc. Needless to say, they learn early on what a camera is and what it does. Fisher and Asa recently decided that they wanted to take pictures as well and made cameras of their own out of the giant legos!

"Say cheese!" - Fisher

Wow Asa, that's a big camera you have there!

"Just need to get a different angle..." - Asa

How does it look, Fisher?

You boys may very well be photographers one day! Whatever you do, we know that you be great at it and follow your dreams.