Thursday, July 31, 2014

NDSouth: Where is your....

Ada has recently learned several body part names in English. Just ask her and she will tell you where they are.

Ada, where is your nose?

Where is your eye?

Where is your ear?

Where is your hair?

Where is your tummy? (She was patting her tummy)

Great job, Ada!
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

NDNorth: Feeding and Families

Timothy is growing stronger every day, and though he is still tiny, heʼs gaining weight the  quickest! Soon we know that he will be strong enough to sit up and start crawling.

Philip was quite persistent in asking to demonstrate to Timothy how to eat his food. We think that Timothy has already nailed that skill though. Open wide!

Though we all love five children at New Day North, everyone knows that the real hope is that they will all have forever families one day. New Day Northʼs most thrilling news this past week is that Philip has been matched with a family! We don't know when they'll travel to bring him home, but we hope that he doesn't have to wait too long.

Congratulations, Philip! We're so happy for you. And thanks for looking after little Timothy while you wait.

post written by Page

Wordless Wednesday: Flying


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Therapy Tuesday: Working Hard At Walking

We thought you might like to see the progress that Austyn is making with his walking.  Look at him go!

As you can see, it's hard work for Austyn and takes a lot of patience, but he's taking steps forward (literally).

Outside of therapy sessions,  Austyn will stand (holding on to something) but crawls when he wants to go somewhere.  His nannies and helpers encourage him to walk holding both their hands whenever possible.  He's getting pretty heavy to carry places these days!

Keep up the good work, Austyn.  We can't wait to see you take steps on your own...
Monday, July 28, 2014

Mama Zoe

Zoe is an awesome big sister to Camilla.  They have lived in the same home since December 2012 and are very sweet together.  They are foster-sisters, but Zoe also likes to play the role of mama, and she is great at it.

She's clearly learnt from how her foster mama (and Rita, back when she lived in the Forever Home) takes care of her children.  What do good mamas do?  Watch and learn...

  • They make sure to get photographs of their kids, especially when they are wearing pretty clothes.
  • They encourage and try to persuade their kids to go along with the plan...
  • ...but also know when to quit trying and just go play on the swings instead!
  • They take their child's safety very seriously, and make sure they are holding on tight before starting to swing.
  • They praise their kids often.
  • They push their kids on the swing, and check to see whether they want to go higher.
  • They patiently deal with pesky shoes that come undone.
Good job, Mama Zoe!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

NDNorth: A Day in the Life of Kristiana

Good morning! It's time for a good stretch...

A little bit of therapy... I'm always happy to see Philip and nanny there to pick me up when I'm done stretching.

Some romping about in the walker! I know that it's not the right height for me - I'm getting so tall! - but I sure do love being able to move fast and reach whatever I want. 

My nannies are smart... too smart. They let me eat snacks while in the stander. I don't like the stander all that much, but I sure do love eating! And playing. So it's okay.

What did you do today?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

NDSouth: Ribbon Fun

We receive many donations from supporters and sponsors. Recently we received some ribbons that can be used for dancing or really whatever else you want! We thought it would be fun to wear them during music time. The kids thought that was a great idea!

Amy showing us her beautiful orange ribbons. 

Sadie had yellow ribbons that matched her dress as well. She really got into the ribbon dancing!

Hand motions are way more fun with ribbons.

Hayden wasn't quite sure what to do with them.

Chris is in hiding.

"What in the world do I do with these?" - Chris

Ada was all smiles!

So much fun! We love them and I'm sure will use them again soon.
Friday, July 25, 2014

Crawling and Cucumbers

Mark has been out in the 'big wide world' for over a month now, since he became strong enough to leave the Critical Care Unit.  We've loved having Mark out in the Baby Room.  He's got such a funny personality and is a real charmer.  During this last month, he has actually made quite an impact!

Grace, one of our awesome Summer Staff volunteers who recently returned to America, wrote this about the effect that Mark has had on the other babies -

"Until Mark came out, none of the babies were crawling or walking.  However, as soon as Mark started crawling around everywhere, Jack decided he wanted to get in on the action. After a few days of watching Mark,  Jack was crawling right behind him (and of course, getting into all sorts of trouble!).

Since then, Jack has moved downstairs with the other toddlers. However, this week, we noticed something else.  Robert started crawling!  Robert, who when he got here could not even lift his head, has been scooting around the floor all over the place on his hands, knees, and stomach this week.  Robert couldn't let Mark have all the fun!  Up until this week,  Robert had been quite content to roll around on the floor.  Now, however, he is quite mobile. Yay Robert!

This just goes to show that kids really do teach each other. It’s fun to watch them grow and develop, and as one gains a new skill, such as crawling, the other ones want to learn too!"

Besides teaching other kids to crawl, Mark has been busy doing other things as well.  He is always on the look-out for items that he isn't allowed to have.  He seems to have a special talent for it.  Any item that is left at Mark-level - boxes of tissues, mobile phones, bottles of milk belonging to other babies - will almost instantly be grabbed and investigated.

Not only does he like to take things, he also likes to share them.  In this picture he is kindly sharing the lens-cap taken from Gan Lu's camera with Iris!

One thing that Mark does not like to share is food.  He has a remarkable appetite and would happily eat all the time.  When other kids are getting food and he isn't, Mark is not a happy boy.

The other day, Mark ate a LOT of cucumbers.  He was photographed on at least three separate occasions eating them, and who knows how many more he ate at other times.

Cucumbers are delicious, aren't they Mark?  Especially the big, juicy home-grown kind you can get here.

At one point, Mark's nanny tried to eat one as a snack, and Mark fussed at her until she gave him a piece too!

Mark shows an interest in his little companions and Iris thinks he's amazing.  Apart from Robert, none of them are very good at playing with him yet though.  Note the piece of cucumber on the ground behind Mark in the picture above!

Keep up the good work, Mark.  Keep crawling and exploring and entertaining everyone.  Your next challenge?  Walking...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

NDSouth: A Family for Hayden

Hayden just celebrated his 4th birthday. He has been with us for a year and a half and has made so much progress during that time. He has learned to love, to trust, and to smile. Our hope for each of our children is that one day they will join a forever family of their very own. They are never meant to remain with us forever, just for a short time until their families find them and bring them home. 

Hayden hardly resembles the quiet, scared, and sad little boy who we met in an orphanage in January 2013. Love truly makes a difference and this little boy has not only learned what love is but has learned how to love others and be loved in return. 

Hayden can be quite the little goof ball. He is always making us laugh and smile with his antics and silly sense of humor. Don't you love his sunglasses? He loves to wear them upside down! 

Hayden still has a lot of progress to make but when we look at how far he has come, we can't help but stand in awe. 

Hayden desires what every child desires: a family of his very own. A family who will love him unconditionally, encourage him in all that he does, and help him to reach his full potential.

That dream of his may not be too far away. Hayden is waiting for his family right now. He is ready and waiting. Could you be his family?

We have recently learned that Hayden's file is currently on an agency's waiting child list. For more information on this precious little boy, email New Day South's Director at
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: A Kiss From Natalie?!

NDNorth: Picking Kristiana up from Therapy

Everyone needs a little brother to help pick her up from therapy, don't you agree?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Therapy Tuesday: Violet's New Friend

Learning to talk is something that takes some children longer than others.  We are blessed to have a wonderful Speech Therapist, Lillian, who is able to give our children some extra help with their speech development if they seem to need it.

Violet recently turned two, has started coming to Preschool, and has also begun Speech Therapy sessions with Lillian.  Looks like Lillian is pretty fond of Violet already...

They've been making good use of a mirror in their therapy sessions.

What do you see, Violet?

Looks like they might be practicing the word 'nose' ('bizi' in Chinese)...

Good work so far, Violet and Lillian.  We wish you many fun and productive therapy sessions. We look forward to hearing to hearing all that Violet is going to say!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sweet Selah

Selah arrived at New Day South in January this year, and this Summer she came up to Beijing to have surgery to treat severe heart disease.  She was here with us for a short time before she went into hospital, and once she was well enough to leave the hospital she returned here.  The decision has been made that she will stay here with us in Beijing, as she will need follow-up hospital appointments.

We asked Catherine, one of our regular Summer volunteers, to write about the time that she spent with Selah.

She arrived back at the foster home on Monday, July 7th following her heart surgery.  We were all anticipating her arrival with great excitement and couldn't wait to meet this heart-warrior beauty.

When I first met Selah, I was just amazed at her resilience.  She has soulful eyes and a dainty little body.  Just coming from the hospital, she was quiet and somewhat somber as her body was still in recovery mode and quite weak.

The first few days, I barely heard her utter a word.  She sat on a pillow and her nanny lovingly looked over her, bringing toys to her pillow and interacting with her.  Selah was still weak and a little shaky, but made progress each day both physically and emotionally.  At that point, Selah would smile, but she was particular about who she would give her smiles away to!  She was still learning her surroundings and didn't like people to get to close to her until she became familiar with them.

By the following Monday, Selah had turned an amazing corner!  She was no longer shaking when holding a toy, cookie, or block, but was feeding herself and even throwing a ball across the room!  She has the most contagious laugh, and really belly laughs if you play peek-a-boo with her or talk to her in a funny voice.

As Selah has gained strength, she has decided she wants her independence back and began walking just a few days after she arrived home.  At first she was very cautious, holding onto both her nanny's hands, then gradually just one, and now no hands at all!  Her nanny will walk right behind her and encourage her every step of the onto moving around a bit more in the playroom.  She was hesitant at first, but the other day, I noticed that she really wanted to join in a game some of the kids were playing with a musical toy.  I called to her and asked "ni yao ma?"  ("do you want to?").  She nodded her head yes and so I said "lai" ("come') and motioned for her to come.  She looked at me for a moment and then crawled right over into my lap, clapped her hands, and began playing.  What a huge accomplishment for her!  All the nannies in the room were cheering and saying "Great job!!!".

Selah LOVES music and will happily listen to you sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" many times in a row!  I used to have to point to each body part for her, but now that she is strong and comfortable, she does this all on her own.  When the song is over, she signs for "more" and will say "more" too.  Often times she will want to include her belly in the song, saying "duzi" and pointing to her tummy so you can tickle her.

Not only does she love music, but she highly enjoys reading books as well.  We have many "touch and feel" books in our playroom and Selah loves to turn the page and touch and feel the different textures.  The animal books are always her favorite and if you tell her the animal name, she will repeat it loudly in the most heart-melting-sweetest-voice you ever, ever heard. She will even act out many of the motions that go with the pictures, especially if it is a lion or tiger or rabbit.  Just this week, she decided she was ready to see the rabbits we have in the backyard in person and not just in a book.  She was sitting on her nanny's lap outside and I told her I would be going to have a look at them and asked if she would like to join me-she smiled, clapped her hands, and then lifted her arms up and said "bao bao" ("carry").  I carried her back there and the rabbits were all hiding so she called to them "tuzi- guo lai!" ("rabbits, come here").  And what do you know?  The mama came hoping to the edge of the cage and Selah was in heaven!  She watched the mama for several minutes and had the best time.  It brought me so much joy to watch her experience new things and see the world just open up before her.  I can't wait to see what her future in this world holds for her. I think it's lots of big things!

It has been such a privilege to get to know Selah.  I can't help but just stand in awe at this living, breathing, miracle of a girl.  She is smart, adorable, joyful, determined, independent, beautiful, curious, and more.  She holds an incredibly special place in my heart and has her tender spirit wrapped around my finger.  Though it breaks my heart to return to America and not see her daily, Selah closed out our time together just as she says good-bye to me everyday- with a big wave, a little "zai jian" ("goodbye"), and a kiss blown from her hand. There is nothing sweeter!

Thank you, Catherine, for the time that you spent entertaining, encouraging and loving Selah.

You may not be able to come spend your Summer here like Catherine did, but there are other ways that you can be involved in changing the lives of children like Selah.  Now that she has transferred from New Day South, Selah needs sponsors to help cover the costs of her daily care.  Also, we have a big bill from her heart surgery Would you like to be part of Selah's miracle?