Thursday, April 30, 2015

NDSouth: Introducing our Newest Additions

Our family here in the South has recently grown!

Introducing Sadie!

...and Jade

..and last but not least, beautiful Ruth.

We are looking forward to seeing these 3 precious baby girls grow and develop here at New Day South under the loving care of our Staff here.

Welcome girls, you are deeply loved & adored already.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Handsome Hudson

NDNorth: Speech Therapy Time!

A group of speech therapists came to visit a few weeks ago! We absolutely love having experienced therapists train us and help us work with the children. Leon wasn't so sure about speech therapy though.... "I'm too young to talk!" he fussed. "But not too young to babble!" Allison reminded him.

If speech therapy involves a big green ball, Emerson would like to begin right now.

The therapists helped teach our nannies how to do an activity time in our playrooms. The babies had a great time. 

Then we brought the activity time into the bigger kid's room... having fun, Timothy? (note Luke sitting next to Timothy? He had so much fun that he came into the big room for a second activity!)

Part of the circle time included a blowing game. Freddy figured out how to close his lips and blow the tissue sitting on his nanny's hand, and had her in stitches because he just looked so adorable..

At the end of the therapist's time with us, they had the nannies lead circle time themselves. Tanna Ayi used to be a kindergarten teacher, and she did and incredible job!

Want a little peek into our circle time? Here's "If You're Happy and you Know It" in Chinese! We're still figuring out how to do an activity time with so many children, but with a leader like Tanna Ayi, it's sure to get better and better!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Transformation Tuesday: Zoe

Can you recognize this little girl?  I know, the title of this blog post rather gives the game's Zoe!

Zoe came to New Day at the end of 2012, when she was almost five years old.  Before that she had lived in an orphanage for three years, since she was about two years old. Heartbreak, heart disease, and a lack of the love that she desperately needed had caused severe delays in her development.

You can read Zoe's Amazing Story, the story of her transformation from the effects of psychosocial deprivation to a happy, growing girl.  When she arrived, she had only recently learnt to walk and was very small for her age.  She grew 9cm (3.5 inches) in her first six months with us!  This is what she looks like now:

Did you see the pictures of her recent photo-shoot with her classs-mate, Hannah?

She's a talented and enthusiastic performer (do you remember when Zoe opened the Chinese New Year show?), and a willing helper.

Zoe has seen a lot of her friends and class-mates, and her beloved foster-sister Julianna, leave to join their forever families.  We're so glad that her turn will be coming soon.  We'll miss our amazing Zoe, but we'll be so happy about her next beautiful transformation; from orphan to daughter.
Monday, April 27, 2015

Connie’s Amazing Story

“The condition for a miracle is difficulty, however the condition for a great miracle is not difficulty, but impossibility.” – Angus Buchan

‘No hope’.  This is what Connie’s doctor said, in English, to Karen.  The tumor that was growing in Connie’s kidney had become so large that it was pressing on her other organs and causing internal bleeding.  The hospital had hoped to be able to do chemotherapy to try to shrink the tumor first before operating, but it was too late for that.  Connie needed a miracle, and soon.

One-year-old Connie had arrived into New Day’s care just two weeks earlier, on March 26, only nine days after she had been found at the gate of her local orphanage.  Her abdomen was very swollen from the large growth in her kidney, and she had needed a blood transfusion before she traveled so that she would be stable enough to survive the journey.  We hoped that chemotherapy would be able to shrink the tumor before she had surgery; just three days after she arrived, however, she began to bleed.  We took her in to the hospital, and could see that she was in a lot of pain.

A blood test showed that her blood platelet levels were dangerously low, so low that it is amazing that she survived.  She needed to be admitted to the ICU, but there was no bed available so they gave her a blood transfusion and kept her in the emergency room for observation. When the doctor examined her the next day, he kept on saying how serious her condition was; she needed to be stable enough for chemotherapy and surgery in order to have a chance of surviving.  All they could do was continue giving her blood transfusions.

Then Connie vomited blood, and there was still no bed available for her in the ICU.  It was at this point that the doctor told Karen that there was ‘no hope’.  We knew that her impossible situation was a condition for a great miracle!  Yet we had to make a difficult decision – to do another blood transfusion, or bring her back to New Day and just hold her?  Eventually we were able to make contact with the surgeon who had successfully operated on another New Day child with the same kind of tumor, and she was willing to attempt a surgery, even though she warned that it would be very high risk.  Connie was moved to the surgical ward.

Connie was in such good hands.  The medical team decided not to attempt to remove the tumor at this stage because she was too unstable, and instead performed a less risky procedure to cut off the blood supply to the kidney where the tumor was growing.  This was urgently needed because the tumor was growing so fast, increasing by 2 cm in just two days. The surgery went well, and Connie was eventually transferred to the ICU after a long wait in the operating room because a bed was still not available.  At this point it was a miracle that Connie was still alive, when the doctor that had examined her earlier had warned us that she would probably not survive the day, but she still urgently needed to have the tumor removed.  They were not able to take her off the ventilator because the tumor was making it hard for her to breathe.  Surgery was scheduled, but blood tests showed that she had an infection and her platelet count was too low.

Through the Easter weekend, which happened to coincide with a Chinese holiday, Connie remained on the ventilator in the ICU, stable but sometimes running a low fever.  On Wednesday 8 April, Connie went into the operating room and underwent a three-and-a-half hour surgery to remove the 1.2 kg tumor.  It was successful; they saw that the massive tumor had ruptured, which is what had been causing her internal bleeding.  After almost a week, Connie was finally able to come off the ventilator, and a few days later she was transferred out of the ICU onto a regular ward.

Connie still has a long road of recovery ahead of her, and has started chemotherapy.  But she is alive, and her life is already proof of what can happen when we refuse to accept ‘no hope’ as a prognosis.
Sunday, April 26, 2015

NDNorth: Ruby's Big Day

About one week ago, our little Ruby went on an adventure. Ruby, her nanny Zhang Ayi, and the orphanage's doctor took the long car ride from the orphanage to Beijing to admit Ruby into the hospital. Ever since Ruby arrived at the orphanage, she has struggled with GI issues. Our nannies and the orphanage's medical staff have been working tirelessly to help her stabilize and gain weight, and we've had small successes, but for the most part Ruby has remained stable and without much improvement. 

The whole team had come to the conclusion that Ruby needed to be seen by doctors in Beijing, and that surgery might be her next option. She was admitted into the hospital Wednesday afternoon, and seen by the doctor almost immediately. After assessing her, the doctor scheduled some tests first thing the next morning. 

Ruby wasn't allowed to eat for four hours before her test, and then the doctors wanted her to wait until a few more hours after the test to eat. For someone who struggles with keeping food down, Ruby sure has a fantastic appetite, and so the fact that she managed to make it through the seven-hour fast without eating anybody was pretty heroic. 

She even had a good attitude about it. Mostly. At about the six-hour mark, an attending doctor came in to check on Ruby and see how she was doing. He walked over to her bed and looked down at her.

"Wow, what a cute baby!" he commented. Ruby looked up at him, hunger in her eyes, "You look tasty..." she seemed to say.

The doctor dangled his stethoscope in front of her face, "Look at this, cute baby, is it fun?" he said while trying to entertain her. "I'm going to eat you..." Ruby's eyes gleamed.

She licked her lips, staring up at the doctor hungrily. He seemed quite calm, despite having such a ravenous little one so near, and commented again at how adorable she was. We couldn't keep from chuckling at the hungry faces Ruby made while looking at the doctor. She's a little character for sure!

Ruby's nanny from our project up in Inner Mongolia traveled down with her to stay at the hospital during the first night, and then hand off care duties to a nanny from New Day Beijing. Zhang Ayi is one of our shift leaders, and is a sweet woman with two sons of her own. Ruby knows who her nannies are, and is so comfortable with them around. We're sure that she's doing well with the nannies from Beijing as well... as long as she isn't famished, Ruby is quite sweet. 

The doctors observed Ruby over Thursday and Friday, and determined by Friday afternoon that she needed to have surgery. All of the things that the nannies have been trying with Ruby over the last few months have been exactly what they needed to do, and because of that Ruby was stable and healthy enough to have her much-needed surgery. After hearing her medical history, Ruby's surgeon was concerned that she would not be healthy enough to have surgery, but he was pleased upon meeting her to see how well she looked. Bravo, nannies!

Princess Ruby had her surgery Saturday morning. The operation was supposed to take about two hours, but because of how tiny she is, it took five. Everything went well, and we look forward to watching our little gem gain weight and grow big and strong.

Update: Ruby was released from the hospital on Friday! She's not quite herself yet, but we hope that she will soon be smiley and growing and full of life.

You can contribute to her medical expenses here:
Friday, April 24, 2015

An Exciting New Video!

We love sharing photographs and videos of our amazing kids.  We hope that they show you something of their precious personalities and the progress that they are making.  It's an extra-special treat for us to share with you...a new video that  will give you a real glimpse into the Foster Home and backyard.

Cute babies, beautiful Spring blossoms, freshly baked cookies - this video has it all!

A big 'thank you' to Ally, a recent volunteer, who has blessed us with her photography and video-editing skills.  As you can see, Olivia is in awe...
Thursday, April 23, 2015

NDSouth: A Glimpse into a Day of Learning

We do a lot of learning here at New Day South.

Here is a small glimpse into one of our days... we are learning to use a shape sorter.

And now lets peek into our Babies playroom...

Everyone loves music time!

A drum big enough for both Thad and Evelyn! 

Smile for the Camera!

Even Grady is learning to drum!

Nina and Evelyn are learning how to use our new piano.

We are growing future Scholars here at New Day South!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Housewarming Party: You are invited!

Dear Friends,

It is with great joy, some jitters, and a lot of smiles that we invite you to the official and virtual housewarming party for New Day North's newest project. That's right, our work is expanding again!

An apartment in the city of Hohhot, Inner Mongolia has been rented. The painters finished up their work last week and we're busily cleaning as I type this. The place is empty and ready, ready for cribs and storage cabinets and floor mats and fire extinguishers and all of the other essentials needed to successfully care for children.

Exciting stuff, isn't it?

Starting now, right now, we're hosting a little Housewarming Party for the new place, and you are invited! Yes, all of you.

What's that? You'd like to know what you can bring?

I'm so glad that you asked.

We need practical things (like rent), safety related items (fire extinguishers, etc.), basics (cribs!) and educational-related items (a stander, therapy ball, etc.).

To make it simple, there is a list of what we need below. We've calculated the estimated cost of each item, doing our best to get accurate numbers. Some of these items, such as rent and paint, have already been purchased, thus our recorded costs are accurate. Other costs are based off of the current average price for each particular item, and then rounded up a bit to help with shipping fees.

Because shipping is so expensive, and being good stewards of our funds is our #1 priority right now, we will be purchasing as much as we can domestically. I wish that it was reasonable in an economical and practical way for you to actually go shopping for these items, but it's not. Rest assured! We will make sure to get pictures of the particular item that you "bring" so that you can feel like you actually did bring it.

And now, with that all out of the way, here's our "Wish List"

The Basics
  • Rent, $492/month. We need 12 months. (2/12 sponsored)
  • Paint, $201/room. We have four rooms that need to be painted. (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Foam Mats, $1.3/each. (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Cribs, $115/each. (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Wardrobe, $50 each. (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Storage bins, $13 each. (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Toy shelves, $62 each.  (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Changing table, $50 (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Chest of drawers, $98 (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Medicine cabinet, $90 (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Clothing Hamper, $10 (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Security Cameras, $80 each (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Oxygen machine, $262 (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • CO detector, $21 (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Smoke alarms, $33 each.  (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Washing machine, $656 ((FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Air conditioner/space heater, $819 (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Fire Extinguisher, $8 (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Water dispenser, $17 (FULLY SPONSORED)
  • Desk, $66 each. (1/4 sponsored)
  • Printer, $100 (0/1 sponsored)
  • Internet, $180/year (0/1 sponsored)

"Bring" something by making a donation HERE (click the 'donate' button next to New Day North Fund), and then send Hannah an e-mail to let her know what you've brought so that we can update our list.

The party is about to start, and we cannot wait to see you there

Wordless Wednesday: Nelson and the Amazing Technicolor Blanket

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Therapy Tuesday: Gideon's Speech Therapy Session

The reason that Gideon (and Josiah) came to New Day Foster Home back in December was so that they would be able to have some good Speech Therapy and maximize the benefit from their BAHA hearing aids.

Gideon is now living with a local foster family, but he comes to New Day every weekday for Speech Therapy and preschool.  We thought you might like a peek at how he's getting on...

Lillian, our Speech Therapist, is doing such a good job helping him with both speaking and signing.

Look at that intense concentration on forming the sounds!  We are so proud of how hard he's working and of the progress that he is making.

Would you like to see a little video?  Gideon asks for the water, and then gets to drink some!

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Day With Levi

We've already posted about the strawberry-picking part of our recent field-trip, but thought you might enjoying seeing some other parts of the day through the eyes of one of the happiest little boys ever.

Bus rides are so much fun - Levi was ready to go!

We stopped to explore a nearby park, which had some animals, pretty gardens, and a playground. Levi enjoyed going down the slide with his buddy, charming a lady...

...and going down the slide again.

And again.  Slides are awesome, right Levi?

Levi also thought that lunch was pretty awesome.  He needed a little help with eating, and his buddy was happy to feed him.

He thanked her with yet another incredible smile!

Days out are fun, but getting home is pretty good too.  This picture gives a beautiful insight into Levi's sweet nature - it looks like he might have caught his infectious smiles from his foster mama, doesn't it?