Friday, July 31, 2015

How Many People Does It Take To Give Eli A Haircut?

Eli's hair was getting a little crazy.  By the way, this is Eli's smile; it's quirky, but we love it.

It was haircut time, and Eli was not at all sure that he wanted to participate...

He looks a little apprehensive, doesn't he?  Amy tried to reassure him, but he still had concerns.

"You are going to use that thing on my hair?".

There were some tears, but Sarah came to the rescue with a lollipop.  Ben watched with great interest.

So how many people does it take to give Eli a haircut?  One to hold him still, one to hold the lollipop, one to wield the trimmers, and one to observe/give moral support!

The end result?  Very handsome and grown-up!  He may still look like a little baby, but Eli is actually almost 18 months.  He's just been a bit busy surviving with a serious heart condition and recovering from surgery.  Now he's ready for some more growing, and more having fun, AND he has a stylish new haircut.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

NDSouth: Come Laugh With Me

We go to great lengths to make laughter a part of every day here at New Day South... (Sophia, Ayi & Thad)

Our Ayis and Volunteers are the best at singing, dancing, playing and being super fun in the silliest sort of ways... (Hayden)

Along with providing great medical care for our children here, they work tirelessly to fill the children's day with Joy & Laughter... (Nina)

Because we all know a joyful spirit is medicine to the bones... (Zeke)

So come and visit us, and have a laughter filled day. (Ruth)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

NDNorth: Best Friends Forever

We have two very special little girls in our project, and they happen to be roomies. Ruby and Clara have both been through a lot, and it almost seems like they mutually understand their similar stories of hope and survival. 

Or maybe they appreciate each other's companionship... just because. 

In any case, watching them be together is simply too sweet.

Clara is usually the one to go looking for Ruby's hand whenever they are side by side on the floor. Ruby doesn't seem to mind.

What very precious little ladies you two are! 

You can sponsor Ruby and Clara monthly right here!

Wordless Wednesday: Josiah Relaxing

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Transformation Tuesday: Annabel

The last sentence of Annabel's bio on our website says that 'surgery is going to make a huge difference in her life and we can't wait to watch her miracle unfold'.

That was written almost exactly three years ago, and we really have watched the unfolding of her miracle.  You should read her Amazing Story if you haven't already; it's a good one!

She had a scary start; arriving into our care aged almost two months old, weighing less than 6 lbs, and needing urgent medical treatment.  She was in a serious condition and needed surgery that she was considered too frail to survive.

It truly was a miracle that she survived surgery that August, and recovered from it, despite a collapsed lung and extremely weak state.

At the end of September 2012, Annabel was released from the hospital and we finally got to meet her.  She was still very weak, but gradually gained weight and strength.  We got to see her sweet little smile...

From tiny, fragile baby to running/laughing/playing three-year-old; what a transformation!

Picking out our favorite photos for this blog post?  Not an easy task - Annabel is one seriously-photogenic little lady.

Annabel's story is another beautiful New Day story of hope and transformation, and we know that the rest of it is going to be even more beautiful.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Chris and Ben's 'Apple Faces'

Kids need to eat their fruit first, before they get more snacks.  This is the way things are, in the preschool at least.  The kids understand this.

On this particular day, the fruit on offer was apple.  Tasty, crunchy slices of apple.

Ben tasted a bite of the apple...and didn't really like the taste.

No fruit means no crackers and yogurt, so he knew he needed to eat it.

Look at that effort!

All done!  Well done, Ben.  Hopefully you will start to enjoy the taste of apple soon...

As you can see from this video, taken on a different day, Ben really isn't keen on apples.  With some encouragement, he's willing to eat them though!

Uh-oh, looks like we have another little guy not too happy about apples for snack-time.  Doesn't Chris have such sweet little facial expressions?

Don't worry, both boys got some snacks that they enjoyed right afterwards!
Sunday, July 26, 2015

Clara's Amazing Story

For such a little girl, Clara has always made a big impact on the people who care for her. Today, she is surprising everyone with her amazing strength and consistent progress. However, for most of her life, Clara has impressed people by how weak and fragile she was as she struggled to survive.

Clara entered the New Day North program in October of 2014. Only about five months old at the time and recently abandoned, Clara was seriously ill. She was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and multiple congenital heart defects. She was also very malnourished, only weighing about 8 ½ lbs, and her heart defects caused her to turn blue when she cried.

The next couple of months for Clara were quite difficult. While she needed to gain strength before transferring to a Beijing hospital for surgery, Clara was instead becoming even weaker. Continuously sick, she had to be admitted to the hospital multiple times for treatment. On one occasion, Clara’s condition became quite critical, and she was rushed to the local hospital in heart failure.

As many prayed for her, Clara’s situation finally stabilized enough for transfer to Beijing for evaluation by some of the top hospitals for pediatric heart surgery in the country. One by one, the doctors came back with the hard news. Even if Clara gained weight, heart surgery was going to be dangerous, and her chance of a good recovery was small. Clara had high pulmonary hypertension, so even if her heart was completely repaired, her lungs and the rest of her body would struggle to recover and support her little body.

Since heart surgery was her only hope, Clara was admitted on February 6, 2015 to one of the best Cardiology hospitals in Beijing, and had open-heart surgery the next week. The surgery was a success! Clara pulled through and surprised everyone with a good initial recovery from surgery. However, though her heart had been repaired, Clara’s little body was struggling. Within a few days after being discharged from the hospital, she went into respiratory distress and had to be put on oxygen, and readmitted into the hospital with severe complications.

The next two months were like a roller-coaster for Clara. As doctors and nurses continued to care for her, and people all over the world continued to pray, little Clara continued to fight to recover. After a week in the hospital, she had stabilized and was released – only to be back in the hospital again just ten days later. This time, Clara had pneumonia, as well as pleural effusions, abnormal amounts of fluid surrounding her lungs. Once again, Clara bounced back, and left the hospital on strict fluid restrictions. These measures helped Clara stay free of effusions and pneumonia, but also made it hard for her to gain weight.

Finally, after staying in Beijing for another month and remaining stable, although still quite thin, Clara returned to New Day North on May 12th. Clara weighed less than 11 lb on her first birthday, but she was full of life, able to play and interact and even roll around a bit.

Since her return, Clara’s nannies have cared carefully for her, and she has remained healthy without any medical emergencies. She is also finally gaining weight, despite still being on fluid restrictions. Within the first two months after returning from Beijing, she gained 2 ½ pounds and became more active and capable every day.

Little Clara continues to make a big impact on the people around her, surprising them both with her frailty, as well as her hope and determination. Her life is a miracle, and a beautiful picture of grace and transformation.

Although Clara's surgery has been successfully completed, it has not yet been fully funded. If you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation towards her account in celebration of her life, you can do so by clicking this link.
Friday, July 24, 2015

When Jack Met Josie

Do you remember when Ben met Olivia?  It was pretty cute.

It was recently Josie's turn to move downstairs to be with the big kids, and she also got a very warm welcome...

Jack had a very good look at the new arrival.  Yes, he still sucks his middle two fingers.  Yes, it is adorable.

Does she have soft skin, Jack?

A kiss!  Josie was a little surprised, but not too worried.

Jack wasn't the only one interested in the new arrival...

Alfred (from New Day North) also came over to say hello.  Can you handle all this admiration, Josie?

Josie grabbed hold of Alfred's face.  Jack couldn't bear to watch!

Better give her another kiss, Jack.  Alfred looks like he's watching and learning, doesn't he?  This is how we welcome new arrivals - with plenty of love and affection.
Thursday, July 23, 2015

NDSouth: Our Favorite Firsts this Week

We had some exciting 1st this week at New Day South, and we want to show them to you!

Here is our sweet Jade, showing us that she can sit (almost) all by herself!  
Way to go Jade!

Not to be undone, next we have Sophia who is enjoying her 'tummytime' 
.... this is the 1st step towards crawling ~ holding her head up.  
Great job Sophia!

Speaking of crawling, Zeke has discovered the faster way to crawl this week, on all fours.
Look out world, here he comes!

Of course one of the cutest firsts, Sadie is discovering her smile this week.

 This week the Ayis had fun teaching Hayden some jumping games,
he is jumping around the foster home now!

And last but not least, sweet Anna got to experiance a first with a new toy here.
Rocking a baby in a cradle.
What are great Mama you are Anna! 

"Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try" ~ Anonymous 
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Visiting Natalie