Sunday, November 30, 2014

NDNorth: A Precious Gem

Many of you have gotten to know and grown to adore our precious gem - our Ruby- at New Day North. She truly is a lovely little jewel. 

Ruby is about to celebrate her first birthday, but you wouldn't guess that she is so old when you see her for the first time. She is a tiny little one - weak and frail and so sick.

We worried about Ruby since the first time we met her, soon after her arrival to the orphanage earlier this Autumn. She suffers from GI issues and has trouble keeping anything down... it's a challenge to keep this lovely little lady nourished and strengthened but our nannies and the medical staff at the orphanage are working tirelessly (actually, they're really tired) to keep her stable. 

It's a miracle, really. Ruby is alive, she has managed to gain bits of weight here and there, and we have watched her personality unfold bit by bit. She babbles and she smiles. What more could we ask for?

Ruby has a long ways to go before she is strong and healthy. We don't know what's next for her, there are lots of questions and unknowns, but we do know one thing for sure.... She is loved. 

A ruby is a precious gem, and our Ruby is indeed the definition of her name. She is precious, valuable and worthy. Our hope and prayer is that she will know her worth and her preciousness... that she will know how much she is loved.

Ruby is available for sponsorship... click this link for more information.
Saturday, November 29, 2014

NDSouth: When Evelyn Came Home

In the beginning of October we shared with you the beginning of Evelyn's miracle, and as we asked you to continue hoping with us for the completion of that miracle, it was in the days following that we saw it come to fruition.

Evelyn was only here for two short days before she was whisked away to the hospital for emergency surgery...

...yet it was only a few days after we were told that the length of her stay in PICU was uncertain - as her pneumonia wasn't improving - that we received another phone call. Evelyn was getting better - better enough that a few short days after that call, we were able to bring her home.

 Of course, bringing her home had us a little nervous as she was still so weak and fragile from the weeks she'd spent in the hospital recovering both from surgery and battling pneumonia. As she came home with us, we were cautioned to keep a close check on her oxygen levels while also being warned that if she got pneumonia once more, then her lungs might not be strong enough to fight it again so soon.

Yet as we were concerned for Evelyn's health, and though we kept a close eye on it, we also began to focus on what we imagined was necessary for her emotional healing - love. After having spent weeks in PICU we knew our darling girl was desperate for the love that comes through being cuddled close or oohed and aahed over, and with each passing day, we could clearly see the transformation that was being brought about in her life.

From growing more attentive to becoming physically stronger to a decreasing amount of restlessness, we were able to witness the miracle of love in our darling girl's life, and as we saw it happening, she became healthier before our very own eyes.

We rejoiced when she began playing with toys on her own or when she found the strength to hold herself up once more, and the day when she finally cooed back in that quiet little voice of hers? On that day, we were overjoyed.

Less than a month before, she had been so sick...

...battling for her life...

...and a few short weeks after arriving home, she was playing, cooing away, and flashing a smile that lights up the playroom.

 We think love has had a pretty marvelous effect on Evelyn's life, wouldn't you agree? 

We thought you might, and so we thank you, for all the support, encouragement, and hope that you offered up on our darling Evelyn's behalf. Evelyn's life is only another testimony to the fact that love makes a difference.

Friday, November 28, 2014

In Memory of Esther

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Reasons to be Thankful

Thanksgiving is an American holiday, but in this little corner of China it is celebrated with great enthusiasm!  We love the chance to make turkey hats in preschool, to dress the kids up as little pilgrims and eat Karen’s amazing pumpkin pie.  And, of course, it’s the perfect time to remember the many, many things that we have to be thankful for.

We are thankful for our kids.  Each of them unique and precious, each with an amazing story to tell…

We are thankful for our amazing nannies.  We literally could not do what we do without them, they are the mamas, the caregivers, the heart of New Day Foster Home.

We are thankful for our foster families.  For the children that are medically able to move out of the foster home, a family atmosphere is just what they need in order to thrive until they join forever families.

We are thankful for our medical and therapy staff.  They do such an awesome job of taking care of our children with often complicated and serious medical conditions, and helping them to make progress.

We are thankful for our volunteers, for those who come to live and serve here, whether it is for one week, one year or anything in between.

We are thankful for all our donors and monthly sponsors, who make all of this possible.  This festive season there are many ways to support New Day Foster Home while doing your own shopping, check out our Amazon and Scarlet Threads links, and consider 'a gift that gives' for those hard-to-buy-for friends and relatives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

This week in preschool we were talking about being thankful, and the kids practiced saying 'thank you' in Chinese, English and sign language.  The result...?

A very special Thanksgiving message from the New Day kids to you!

NDSouth: Thanksgiving Hats

It's Thanksgiving for our American friends today, and because of that, we've been making some pretty adorable Thanksgiving related crafts in preschool. Of course, though we've made a few different things, we simply had to share the most adorable one of all with you!

It all started with measuring a band to fit around each of their heads. Noelle wasn't sure what to expect next, but as this seemed to be a promising fashion accessory,  she was pretty sure that this was going to be a fun craft from the very beginning.

Ada and Naomi were pretty excited about it too.

Chris, who was also the only boy in class that day, was a little concerned by how excited all of his classmates were.  However, we quickly reassured him that this was going to be a hat and not a hair bow.

Next came the feathers...

See Chris, it's definitely not a hair bow!

Yet with each addition to our Thanksgiving themed hat, our lovely ladies only grew more excited about the final product... 

 ...and with smiles like these, we had to snap a few pictures.

Of course, after a few more photos were snapped, it was time to add a face to our turkey creation. 

Noelle was thrilled when she finally got to try on her creation, 

Naomi was more than willing to strike a pose with her new hat,

Chris was still adorably hesitant with his enthusiasm,

and Ada, like the other girls, was pretty pleased with her hat.

 Of course, with such adorable kids to wear these fun hats, we had to take a group shot. Just look at all of these smiles. Even Chris decided that the hat wasn't so bad after all!

And what's the only thing more fun than making these hats? Wearing them for music time too! 

Isn't that right, Naomi?

Happy Thanksgiving from New Day South!
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Seth's Thanksgiving Corn

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Transformation Tuesday: Wayne

Wayne actually just left the care of New Day to join his forever family!  'Gotcha Day' was yesterday, and the wonderful transformation from orphan to son has already taken place. However, his amazing story is too good not to share one last time...The best transformation ever; from 'hopeless' to 'miraculously saved'.

The hospital in Wayne’s home province that had been treating him for pneumonia and meningitis sent him home to die. They said that his case was hopeless. One of thirty babies assigned to two nannies in a new orphanage, no one had ever been trained to feed Wayne, who was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. Aspiration must have led to infection and, because of the severity of his case, Wayne’s orphanage knew that he wouldn’t last long. But the orphanage chose not to give up so quickly. They contacted a foreign organization for help on Friday, November 2nd. A few phone calls later and our Formula Project Coordinator and PR staff, Wayne, received a message from his friend who had heard of the dying baby’s plight.

We were at full capacity, but because one of our children was in the hospital, we had an empty bed. Wayne relayed to us the message from his friend, “This little baby has been given up on. His special need is not so serious, but because of his situation and circumstances, he has no hope. He’s going to die unless we help.” Saying a desperate prayer for the little one’s safety, we called the orphanage and said, “If he’ll make it, send him.”

Early Sunday morning, November 4, 2012, baby Wayne was admitted into a hospital in Beijing with one of our nannies. He survived the long trip, but was running a fever. We called the hospital on Monday to ask about his condition, and were told that he was no longer running a fever and that his pneumonia had improved drastically. Although Wayne had previously been diagnosed with meningitis, the doctors here ruled it out, saying that he showed none of the symptoms. On Tuesday Wayne was doing great, and he was released from the hospital on Wednesday, totally healthy.

When we prayed that short, desperate prayer late Friday afternoon, we hoped only for survival. In His abundant grace, God gave us a miracle. He did the impossible. When Wayne in the office saw the smile on baby Wayne’s face after coming home from the hospital, there were tears in his eyes. The child that was given up on had been saved. The baby who was once lost in a sea of faces in an orphanage now has a name and a home and a hope. Wayne’s Chinese name means “victory.” The Father to the fatherless has already won a great and marvelous victory in little Wayne’s life. He has reminded us to believe in miracles.

Monday, November 24, 2014

From Our Village to Your Tree

'Tis the season when it's time to start pulling out the Christmas decorations and gearing up for the holiday season ahead.  This year, we are excited to announce a new and unique way to support New Day Foster Home this holiday season.  We are partnering with Scarlet Threads, and anything you purchase through our affiliate link on their site will earn New Day Foster Home a 20% commission.  Spend $20 and New Day Foster Home gets $4.  Spend $100 and we receive $20.  It's a simple way for you to do some Christmas shopping and help support our foster home at the same time. 

But it's more than that, too.  When you purchase products from Scarlet Threads, you are supporting the work of their partner artisans.  Everything Scarlet Threads produces is made right here in our little village of Qingyundian by some of our friends and neighbors.  Scarlet Threads pays the artisans a fair wage for their work, so you can feel good knowing that what you purchased wasn't made at the cost of someone else's well-being.  Deng makes beautiful handmade aprons like the one pictured above, and Lao Yan makes these amazing Christmas ornaments... twisting Chinese characters with meanings like Faith, Hope, Love, Gift, and Joy out of little pieces of colorful wire.  Our Foster Home Christmas trees are going to be decked out with some of his handiwork this year, and your tree can have some of the same touches of China.

In addition to paying their partner artisans fairly, Scarlet Threads gives back to adoption and orphan care related causes with the profits of their work.  They support adoptive families by providing a generous fundraising program with zero risk and have given several adoption grants to in-process families.  They've also partnered with us to meet various medical and surgical needs of children here at New Day. 

In short, it's a little company with a big heart that was started right here in New Day's hometown, and we're excited to be partnering with them this year.  We hope you enjoy doing some of your Christmas shopping at Scarlet Threads... just don't forget to use our affiliate link so that we can earn a 20% commission off anything you purchase!

{Where They Are Now} Adoption Awareness Month Special!

November is National Adoption Month in the US, so we thought we would join the celebration with something a little special…

The pictures that we post on Facebook announcing that a child “has left to join their forever family” are the last that you, our wonderful blog-followers and NDFH fans, get to see.  Which is as it should be, the children are not actual celebrities (well OK, Will is!), and sharing pictures is totally the privilege of their new parents.  Some families choose to share the link to their family blogs, while others don’t (or simply don’t have the time/energy to write a blog).

Today we are delighted to share with you just a few pictures of some amazing New Day graduates. A big thank you to all the families for sharing these precious snaps of their little (and not so little) miracles!

Shall we start with some still very familiar faces…?

Madelyn, adopted at the end of last month!

Nate, adopted in August.

Noah (with his big sister), adopted in July.

Maddox, also adopted in July.

Tessa Joy, adopted in May.

Stella, adopted in March.

Rachel, also adopted in March.

Maya, adopted in February.

Would you like to see some of the kiddos who joined their forever families last year?









Colton and Claire (adopted in 2012)



How about these sweet faces that left in 2012?



CJ (Jayce)






Kendra (Vivian)

For those of you whose New-Day-memories stretch even further back...

Daniel, adopted in 2011.

Vincent, adopted in 2011.

Jace (Robert), adopted in 2011.

Evangeline, adopted in 2011.

Lucy Kate, adopted in 2011.

Reagan, adopted in 2011.

Emma Lael (Addison), adopted in 2010.

Maria, adopted in 2010.

Evan (Forest), adopted in 2010.

Cooper, adopted in 2010.

Chloe (Elise), adopted in 2010.

Ruby, adopted in 2009.

Sophie, adopted in 2009.

Julia and her sister. Julia was adopted five years ago this month, in November 2009.

It makes us so happy to see these children looking so radiant and full of life.  The staff, nannies and foster families LOVE seeing pictures of fondly-remembered little ones, and exclaiming over how much they have grown.

All of them have amazing stories.  They had difficult beginnings, suffering the pain of loss and struggling through often terrifying medical conditions, but they all came through and now they are beloved sons and daughters.

Let's raise awareness of the wonder of adoption.  It's a long, difficult, expensive, painful process...and the beauty and joy that you see in these pictures is the result.