Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Armfuls of Cute

NDNorth: Look what I can do!

“Come see! Come and look at what Kristiana is doing!”

What is that you’re up to, Kristiana? Can you put the ring on the peg?

How about grabbing the biggest one? Which one comes next?

Did you catch it? Kristiana is multi-tasking! It was just last month that we introduced Kristiana to sitting independently on a stool, and it wasn’t easy to begin with. Just look at her now- no hands!

Kristiana has been working very hard and finding out step by step just how much she can do. We know it takes a lot of effort… how does she make it look like such fun?!  

For an overdose on excitement and cheers and the most stunning smiles you have probably ever seen… watch Kristiana in motion!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Transformation Tuesday: Elliot

Did you know that Olivia's Transformation Tuesday post was seen on Facebook by more than 22,000 people, and the blog was read by over a thousand?  It was a pretty amazing transformation, and we’re happy that so many were inspired and encouraged by hearing her story and seeing the progression of pictures.

Not all of our transformations are that dramatic though.  Sometimes today doesn’t look that different from the arrival pictures, and there is no edge-of-your-seat surgery story.

The dramatic stories gain the attention, but the not-so-dramatic stories can be just as beautiful.

Elliot was abandoned at the baby hatch of his local orphanage, a ‘safe place’ for families to anonymously leave children.  He was three months old.  The note left with him said that his family was unable to provide treatment for his heart disease.  The picture above was sent to us by his orphanage, and taken around the time that he first came into their care, while the first picture (with the pink hat!) was from the day that he arrived here at New Day.

Elliot remained at the orphanage for seven months, before coming to New Day Foster Home at the end of last year.  Less than a month after he arrived, he was able to have his heart surgery and then move out to live with a local foster family.  His foster-parents love and care for him excellently, and he has Hope for a foster-sister.

We're so glad that Elliot was able to have the surgery that he needed.  That his birth-parents had to leave him in a baby hatch for him to be able to get it is a heart-breaking tragedy, but that tragedy is in the process of being transformed into something beautiful.  Elliot is matched with his forever family, and he will be meeting them soon!

Monday, September 28, 2015


We have another new arrival!  Introducing Henry...he is six months old and was born with a GI issue. Hannah and Jake, two of our volunteers who picked out his new English name, have written about their hopes for Henry:

"Our sweet new baby arrived on Tuesday!  We are so excited that he is here with us.  Even though his first start at life was hard and trying, we know that he will grow and overcome any obstacles in his way.  I am confident of quick healing in this sweet boy, and know that he will be a great addition to the New Day family.  Soon he will be running, playing and laughing with all the other children here.  We are so thankful to have him!"

"I'm so excited to get to know this new little boy named Henry. He's going to be so loved  here at New Day. I can't wait for all the opportunities to spend time with him and get to know his sweet little personality. Being here at New Day will be so good for his growth, I can already see it!"

Sunday, September 27, 2015

NDNorth: Two turn Two!

September is a busy month of birthdays for us! Rina turned 2 on the 14th, and Timothy turned 2 on the 15th! This is the second birthday party we've had for these two (read about the first one here!) and the idea was the same... cake, candles, and some new clothes.

Singing for Timothy...

Uncle Brian helps Rina blow out her candles...

A picture of the "twins" together! They weren't sold on the idea...

Timothy says, "Thank you!" for his new clothes! He's looking more and more grown up these days. 

Rina and her new clothes... with Clara wishing she could have more cake in the background. 

Happy birthday, little ones! We're so proud of how far you've come, and can't wait to see what this next year holds. 

Hopefully more cake, right, Timothy?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Our Sweet Violet

Whoever picked out Violet's name (her English name, you can read about names here ) chose well. Violets bloom in the shade, and are described as 'beautiful innocent bystanders of nature's woodland paths'.

Violet moved out to live with her foster family not long after her arrival here (which was more than three years ago, how time has flown) so we have never had that much opportunity to get to know her.  She isn't a noisy or attention-grabbing child.

She is certainly blooming though, and she has a delicate beauty that pictures can't quite do justice to. Sometimes videos capture it better...

Violet's turn to hold the card for the Weather Song - don't miss her cute little "yes" at the end!

Violet adores her preschool teacher, Abby, and you get to hear her sweet little giggle when they play.

Like a flower, Violet brightens our days.  We hope these short videos of her have brightened yours!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

NDSouth: Hayden's Favorite Place

Hayden is just like any boy his age, he loves to be outside.

And here at New Day South, we have a play structure right outside our front door!

So almost every day, Hayden gets so excited just after naptime...

...because he knows what's next in his fun filled day.

Running, and hiding with our Ayis and volunteers at the play structure of course.

We love to see the joy on his face when he is outside playing.

He is getting more and more confident climbing up and down the stairs!

Climbing up the slide!  What a minute Hayden I think you're supposed to slide DOWN the slide not up?

Wow, this rope tunnel sure looks tricky, but not for Hayden!

Oh Hayden you and your Ayi are so silly!

Hayden you must be tired working so hard at the park today...

Take a rest and let us give you a ride this time.

Hayden loves his time outside, and we love to play with him ~

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: I Spy...Hudson!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Therapy Tuesday: Hard-Working Isaac

A lot of hard work goes on up in our therapy room.  Don't tell the kids, but there is also a lot of therapy 'work' disguised as play going on outside of the therapy room too!

Isaac has regular therapy to address the weakness on one side of body (the result of a neurological issue).  One of our volunteers wrote a post about his therapy progress back in June, and this little guy works so hard that we thought that he was due an update post.

His therapists say that Isaac really tries hard to use his weaker side, which is very encouraging.  The hand brace he wears is to encourage a correct thumb position, and it really helps him.

He LOVES doing 'little boy things', like riding trikes and being outdoors.

A big high-five, thumbs-up and a round-of-applause to you, Isaac!  Keep up the hard work, you're making progress.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Elliot JR: Everything You Wanted To Know*

Elliot JR arrived back in June, and was able to move out to live with a local foster family almost immediately.  This has meant that we haven't seen him very often, which is why we haven't been able to share many photos with you.

Good news!  He came for a visit last week, and Gan Lu got some precious pictures...

Someone was especially excited to meet Elliot JR again - Emma, amazing assistant to our Volunteer Coordinator.  He holds a special place in her heart because she was the one given the honor of picking an English name for him when he first arrived.

Speaking of which, "what's with the 'JR'?" you may be wondering.  Well, he was named Elliot first, but then we heard that Ian had also given the name Elliot, by the forever family that he has been matched with.  Hopefully the 'JR' will avoid too much confusion!

Another question that you may be wondering about is 'when will Elliot JR be having his first ENT surgery?'.  Good question.  He was also born with a heart condition, and had surgery back in April (before he came to New Day), so we've been waiting for him to recover fully from that first.  The good news is that he had a check-up recently and was found to have healed really well, so we can go ahead and schedule his ENT surgery soon.

One more question you may be bursting to ask...'what's with the pink sleeper?'!
In the West people just have to know the sex of a baby or young child at first glance, and pink is pretty strictly for girls only, but here in China this isn't so much the case.  Our foster-parents and nannies will quite often dress the children in what we would consider to be 'opposite gender' clothes, but in the greater scheme of things, it's not really a big deal.

We're pretty sure that it doesn't matter to Elliot JR one bit whether he is wearing a blue sleeper with a puppy on it, or a pink one with a bunny on it.  What matters is that he has a mama to love him and care for him.  Not just any mama, but a mama super-experienced in caring for little ones with smiles like his.

*Hopefully this post has answered 'all' your questions, but do ask if you have more!