Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: So Loved

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

All About...James

James has only been with us since the week before Christmas, and we haven't had too much chance to let you get to know him.  Here is what Abby, his preschool teacher, has to say about him:

The first thing you might notice about James is his award winning smile.

You'll see how he loves to play with just about anything. From racing cars to toppling blocks they all bring smiles and giggles to his face.

You'll notice how kind and compassionate he can be to his little 'siblings.'  He shares toys with them and will bring them a new toy if they don't have anything.

You'll witness him having fun and learning in preschool. How he loves crafts, story time, music, and of course snack time.

You'll see how hard he works in physical therapy strengthening his muscles while working on standing and walking.

Maybe you'll catch of glimpse of him being wild and crazy with some of the older kids, or perhaps you'll see his softer, sensitive side cuddling with one of his nannies or volunteers.

You'll probably see just how determined he is and how he can accomplish just about anything he puts his mind to.

If you spend much time at all around James I'm pretty sure you will soon have a smile on your face as big as his. But you'll also notice that James needs more.

He needs a mom that will cuddle with him and always be there waiting with a big hug. He needs a dad who isn't afraid to get on the floor and play with him. 

He needs a family that will tell him everyday just how loved and special he is. He needs a family who will notice each and every smile and dry each and every tear.

When James' forever family finds him we will miss seeing his bright smiling face every day, but we will be smiling even bigger because we know a forever family is the very best place for him to be.

We have heard that James' file is currently on the shared list.  He was previously listed with WACAP as 'Miquel' and they had a $4,000 grant towards the cost of his adoption - if a family chooses to use WACAP to pursue James' adoption they will honor this grant.
Monday, March 28, 2016

Our Amazing Staff: The Most Popular Person?

The kids love their nannies, the big kids adore their preschool teachers and our photographer can get a lovely smile, but guess who the children are always happy to see...

Cora, the Foster Home cook!

Cora has been working here at New Day Foster Home since 2001.  As her bio says, "Cora is gentle and kind-hearted and enjoys singing and dancing.  She says her greatest happiness comes from playing with the kids".

Mostly, Cora is busy preparing meals, but she does escape the kitchen and spend time with the kids whenever she can.

Cora is associated in the children's minds with the delicious, nourishing food that she brings them, but it's clear that it's something more that makes them like her so much.

Someone once said that "cooking is love made visible", and it also seems to be true that food that is made with love tastes better somehow.  

We're so thankful for Cora; for the good food that she prepares and serves, and for her love for the children that it nourishes.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter 2016

NDNorth: Social Butterfly

Recently, Rina's personality has been blossoming. She's a quiet girl, but we've been finding that she just loves a crowd!

This past Monday, our Occupational Therapist friend Eva came for a day and we brought a bit of an entourage to glean from her wealth of knowledge of how to care for these special kiddos. Rina was enjoying all the action and flashing smiles all day long!

All ready for your nap, Miss Rina?

Sometimes there were goofy faces...

Sometimes huge grins...

Even work was fun!

Rina has already experienced a huge transformation in her little life and we are so excited to watch it continue! You're a light, and we love you, Rina!
Friday, March 25, 2016

A Special Visitor And A New Kid

Here at New Day Foster Home we regularly welcome visitors who come as short-term volunteers. This month though, we had the privilege of welcoming a very special volunteer; a New Day graduate, visiting China with her parents.  Meet twelve-year-old Janai, adopted in 2007, pictured standing underneath a photograph of herself as a toddler, still on display in our playroom!

Janai's mom explained that they had arranged the trip to help Janai begin to discover where she had come from and learn about her life before she joined their family;  "Janai has said to us that she feels like she knows other people better than she knows herself; she needed to come and see people that knew her before I knew her".

Janai lived at New Day for three-and-a-half years, and even though it's been such a long time since she left, she is fondly remembered by many of the staff.  The first morning  here, as soon as Amy (Foster Home Manager) walked into the room and saw her, she exclaimed "Ai Xin!" (Janai's Chinese name) and rushed over to give her a hug.

We asked Janai what it was like to have 'strangers' recognizing her, and she said that it was "kinda weird, it was cool seeing my picture and it's cool that they recognize me".  The nannies remembered her lively and crazy personality, and were able to tell some stories about the mischief that she used to get up to here.

Janai was excellent with the little ones in the playroom.  Freddy took a real liking to her, and she formed a special bond with Rosie.

It's beautiful to see what a tender and compassionate young lady mischievous little Ai Xin has grown into.  Janai said that she really liked playing with the kids, and wished that they were spending the whole of their time in China at New Day (they were heading off to visit her birth city next).

Speaking of 'kids', Janai was given a special task while she was here...picking a name for a new arrival!

Our nanny goat, Bella (far left, the dad, Zeke, is on the right), gave birth to the cutest little kid last weekend.  Janai named her 'Smore', which we think suits her perfectly!

Smore took a liking to Janai too!

Gan Lu has been taking lots of cute pictures of the little ones meeting Smore, but we thought you might like to see Tom meeting her (under the watchful eye of mama Bella!).

We're so glad that Janai was able to visit, and to know how loved she was here.  We hope that it has given her a valuable insight into the early years of her life, and we're sure that she will go on to do great things in the years that are to come.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Beautiful Natalie

Monday, March 21, 2016

World Down Syndrome Day 2016

Did you know that World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on 3/21 to symbolize a third copy of the 21st chromosome in people with Down syndrome?

We are delighted to join people around the world today in celebrating the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.  Presenting our current three chromosomally-enhanced cuties...

For the first time ever, Nathan, Ava and Tim did a photo-shoot together.

It wasn't easy, as Ava and Tim both need help sitting up.

Nathan was every so sweet with the little ones though.  Good job, Nathan!

It's not easy to pick a favorite shot, but this one does show Tim's rather splendid belly, and Ava looking a little concerned about it...

Tim really has grown delightfully chubby, with a light-up-the-room smile. 

His foster-mama clearly adores him, as does everyone else who is lucky enough to meet him.

Ava is getting to be such a grown-up girl now, with her own ideas about which hairbands she wants (or doesn't want) to wear.

Looks like life in the downstairs playroom is suiting you, Ava!

And sweet, precious Nathan...

We're so glad that we get to be family for Nathan (and Tim & Ava) for now, and it's SUCH a joy to know them, but we long for them to go to join forever families of their own some day soon.  

If you are interested in adopting a child with Down sydrome, this post is great.
Sunday, March 20, 2016

NDNorth: Hope for Parents

Recently, our team at New Day North has had some exciting opportunities to network with some Chinese projects in Inner Mongolia that are providing support to parents who have children with special needs.  Developing these connections is helping us explore resources for us to learn more as we provide care for orphans with special needs.  In addition, we see promising possibilities to facilitate more help being provided to Chinese families who might adopt children with special needs, and for more birth-families to keep their children with special needs.  It seems that many of the children in the orphanage could still be with their biological families if only their parents had been provided with the encouragement, support, and resources they had needed when they learned that their child had special needs.

Last week, a few of us were able to take an exploratory trip to Xilinhaote (a city in Inner Mongolia). We visited three different special education schools in the area. The schools all varied greatly in size, availability of trained staff, resources, and the ages and needs of the students they served. But all of the schools expressed a need for more training.

One of the highlights from our trip was being able to participate in one of the school’s parent training sessions and provide some training on how to facilitate communication with children who are non-verbal. It was so encouraging to see these parents who were so eager to learn and support one another. We ate lunch with many of the moms after the training session and they shared many stories of the challenges that they face as parents of children with special needs. Many of the moms (with tears in their eyes) thanked the school for giving them hope.

It was so encouraging to see how this school was meeting parents' needs and helping them to care for their children! But, there are many parents who are left without this kind of training and emotional support. We are still in the beginning stages of learning how, as we provide care for orphans, we can facilitate encouragement for parents with children who have special needs, but we hope that we can grow in supporting these parents more and more!
Friday, March 18, 2016

Admiring Adia's Gifts

Adia received a package from some of her sponsors, and eagerly unpacked the box in preschool.

New clothes, including shoes and a necklace!  Adia, you look so grown-up.

Adia checked out her new look in the mirror.

'What do you think, does the necklace look good with this sweater?'

There was another shirt to try.  Are you feeling Adia's excitement?

Stereotypically, boys are not very interested in the trying-on of new clothes.  However, Adia had quite the admiring audience!

Jesse was especially complimentary.  He kept saying "hǎokàn", which means "good looking", and is exactly what everyone wants to hear when they try on new clothes!

Eventually he was overcome by her loveliness and had to run over and give her a big hug.

So Adia received a double-dose of love; a special package from her sponsors, and lots of admiration from her classmates!