Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Therapy Tuesday: Isaac's Progress

Hi everyone! My name is Isaac and I am 2 years old.  Every afternoon I go upstairs to the therapy room for Occupational and Physical Therapy. This is my favorite time of the day because I love showing off my skills to my awesome therapists!

In my OT sessions I am working on my hand-eye coordination and training my brain to use the right side of my body more. This is hard for me but I wear a wrist strap and that helps a lot. 

I love using putty even though it can be very sticky! It always makes me giggle when I can stretch it to make a really long string!

Yvonne always encourages me and gives me a high five when I do something well! She makes my sessions fun and I don’t realise how hard I am working! 

In my PT sessions I am working on my strength and balance. In the past few weeks I have mastered standing all by myself and this made my therapists so proud! 

My therapists stretch my muscles everyday and sometimes this feels a little uncomfortable but I am thankful I have the activity board to distract me so I don’t notice it too much! 

I’m still working on my kicking skills but I practice almost everyday so I should be able to accomplish this skill very soon! 

I am so close to being able to walk independently! Everyday I can take a few more steps without falling over or wearing myself out! My therapist Zoe says that very soon I will master this skill! 

I better go back to Preschool now, my teacher will be wondering where I am! Thanks for stopping by to learn about my progress in therapy! 

This post was written by one of our volunteers, Ciara.
Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy for Hannah

Hannah has been waiting  a long time, but her wait is finally coming to an end...

We've heard from her orphanage, and she will soon be leaving to join her forever family!

She's been with us for more than six years (this is the 86th blog post that she has featured in!).  We know that so many of you that have visited New Day will have your own memories of sweet Hannah (or Lucy, as she was previously named).  We wanted to take this opportunity to look back and celebrate the progress that she has made, and to look forward to her new life as a daughter.

This is one of the first pictures that we have, from when Hannah arrived into our care.

It didn't take too long before we got to see that beautiful smile!

We witnessed her first steps...

...and took her out for walks (with her 'little sister' / sweet friend Rosie).

 What a privilege and a joy it has been to watch her grow!

And now the big news that we were so excited to share with her last year is finally going to become a reality.  It will be a huge adjustment for her, and a wrench for us to say goodbye, but it's such a wonderful thing.

She'll be no longer an orphan, and forever a daughter.  Hannah, we are SO happy for you!
Sunday, June 28, 2015

NDNorth: A 4-point Victory

Kristiana is amazing! She's so full of determination and is always eager to please. We are so proud of all of the progress that she has made lately. Kristiana has challenges to overcome, yes, but she wants to overcome all of her challenges. She wants to make progress (most of the time... sometimes she just wants to keep coloring).

With this kind of attitude, she's going to go far.

Wait - actually, she already has.

Just look at her...

When we first met Kristiana she was a little bit confused and a little bit scared. Everything was new, and we needed to gain her trust, help her know that our love for her would not change. 

Since then, during the twelve wonderful months she's been in our care, Kristiana has figured out how special she is. In case you doubted it. 

Crawling is a big deal, though. Kristiana can get around - she can roll and scoot and commando crawl across the room, dragging her legs behind her. But we know that 4-point crawling is a very important skill. It's something that will help her development in many different ways. So, recently, we've added crawling to the kid's daily schedule. 

We call it "race time" and Emerson usually wins. What's lacking in form is totally made up in determination to get to the cracker waiting for him at the finish line...

Emerson isn't quite up to getting up on all fours when he crawls, but Kristiana is, so that's what we encourage her to work on. It's really hard work, but with enough encouragement she's usually happy to try her best. 

Last week we captured a video of Kristiana showing her amazing new skills off. 

Watch it - she's amazing. She's come so far, and has such a bright future ahead of her! We hope that one day she will have a forever family of her own, cheerleaders who will share in her enthusiasm, and give her all of the encouragement she needs. Until then... we'll be here, cheering from the stands. 

Go, Kristiana, go!

Sponsor Kristiana!
Thursday, June 25, 2015

NDSouth: Laughter is Timeless

Laughter is the best medicine...

...our NDSouth children come to us very very sick...

...we care for them through their surgeries & recovery & therapies...

...but we are reminded that their little spirits need to be healed as well...

...and that is where laughter, play and lots and lots of cuddles come in...
(Anna is practicing her winking here!)

Proverbs 17:22, "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."

We love seeing their little bodies heal and grow stronger day by day but...

...we really get excited when we see JOY restored to their little hearts.

"Laughter is timeless, Imagination has no age, and Dreams are forever"
~Walt Disney

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Cuddles for Connie

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Therapy Tuesday: Robert's progress

**Ciara, one of our summer interns, has written this blog post about Robert in therapy. Ciara has been helping the therapy team this month.**

Hey everyone! My name is Robert and I am 2 years old. I live with a foster family in the local village but I come to New Day every weekday morning for Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy. I love getting to spend time with my therapists and I always try really hard to impress them!

Since I mastered how to crawl last year, I have been working hard on perfecting my walking. It can be hard at times as I like to walk super fast and end up stumbling into the arms of my therapist. Though, I am trying to walk slow and steady, I do think it’s more fun to run though!

I am almost able to stand up without any assistance and this makes my therapist very happy!

I love my OT sessions because I get to play with putty, knock blocks over and play on the activity board!

My ST sessions are the most fun! My therapist Lillian always makes them enjoyable, I am working on mimicking sounds and I love it when Lillian sings ‘Old Mac Donald’ to me so I can make the animal noises!

Doing 3 therapy sessions in a row can be tiring work so I get very excited to see my foster mom when she comes back to bring me home for lunch, my favorite! I think that’s her knocking on the door now, I better go! Bye bye! 

**Robert is waiting for a family to adopt him. His file is with WACAP, they are offering a $2000 grant towards his adoption. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Adam moves to backyard school

**Sarah, one of our summer interns, has written this blog post all about Adam's first week in the backyard school! Sarah is the backyard school English teacher this summer.**

Last week Adam advanced from preschool to the backyard school. He continues to shine and has absolutely blown me away with how independent he is. As his English teacher, I am given the opportunity to work with him on his colors, numbers, shapes, letters, fine motor skills, conversations, etc. He has already excelled since he has been in the backyard school.  He is quickly learning the English terms for several colors, letters, numbers, shapes, and common household items (i.e. plate, spoon, shoes…).  It is amazing to see how how much he has learned already.  

The first day that I got to work with Adam was beyond exciting! The afternoon was filled with outdoor water activities, and he demanded to participate in all of them. The games involved water balloon tosses, cups of water being raced from one bucket to another, and a water balloon fight finale. I pushed Adam around in his favorite tricycle as he threw water at everyone that we passed, following the action with the most infectious and joyous laughter.

Later that week all of the older children in the foster home got to go on a field trip to a massive, indoor playground (read all about our field trip here). This playground had slides as high as the ceiling, ball pits, obstacle courts, toys, miniature houses, and much more!  Adam had such a fun time there, and continued to prove just how adaptable he truly is. He would climb the stairs over and over, all by himself, so that he could go down the slides and insisted that I joined him every single time.

Adam is such a joy to have in the backyard school, and every morning he greets me with a smile. He is helpful, quick to learn, and tremendously playful! I cannot wait to see how much more he continues to grow while in the backyard school. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Father's Day

This coming Sunday is Father's Day, a special day for celebrating fatherhood and the influence that fathers have on their children.

Adam, our gardener, with Annabel and Charlotte. 
Unfortunately, through circumstances and situations beyond their own control, all of the children in our care are orphans; they are fatherless. Each child was abandoned, likely because of  their special needs. Our hearts break for all they have experienced, and we rejoice when we hear the news that one of our kids has been matched with their forever mom and dad, and will be adopted.

Hudson, with summer intern Rob, who was also here all last summer. 
While our children don't have fathers of their own, there are still important men in their lives. We have some great men working for New Day such as WangShu the foster family manager, Adam the gardener, and James the carpenter who is in charge of  maintenance around the foster home. We also have a few male long term volunteers, summer interns and short term volunteers who also play a special role in each child's life... whether it be rough play with the boys, or snuggles with the babies, the attention and love these men give is so important! As you can see, Our kids just adore these special guys.

Josiah, with long-term volunteer Guy. 
Today we gathered some of the male figures in our children's lives and got a group photo. Our hope and dream is for more men to get involved in orphan care and in caring for the fatherless. Who can you share this message with, which men can you inspire to care for orphans.

Some of the amazing men who are such great role models for our children. 
We'd like to wish all of the dads reading this post a very Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

NDSouth: A Behind the Scenes Look at a Forever Family Day

 We thought you might be curious what goes on behind the scenes here at New Day South when one (or two) of our children meet their Forever Families.

It all starts with a warm bath and picking out the perfect outfit,

...and as every girl knows, the outfit isn't complete without the perfect shoes.

Girls and their shoes.....what more can we say.

Everyone is so happy on such a special day, that we end up singing and dancing with our Ayis.

The last photo shoot on the Big Blue Couch before saying our good-byes.

Farewell kisses to our Ayis....

...and off we go!

Here we have arrived at the Civil Affairs Building. 
After one more outfit change we are ready to meet our Forever Families!

Meeting Forever Daddies and Mommies is so exciting isn't it Noelle!

Noelle and Margaret Joy in their Forever Mommies arms...

...a perfect ending to an extra special day.

We hope you enjoyed a peek behind the scenes at a Forever Family Day ~