Friday, May 25, 2012

Random Cuteness!

Mollie and Emma having some fun with older sister Shawna.

Emma and Elise pose for a picture with Emma's new dolly.

No, this wasn't taken in the wintertime.  It was taken just recently when they found these items and decided to put them on :)

Mollie and Emma peek out the 3-wheeled cart window when we stop to get an ice-cream!  I think they may be a little anxious to get that ice-cream, don't you?!

Holly and her dolly--she plays with it all the time!

Emma and Mollie do the "Chicken Dance" for us!

Elizabeth tickled about something or another.

Sweet little Hannah!

Elly--surprised by a picture, can you tell?!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's A Fashion Show!

It's that cool summer look by Mollie!

Emma is sporting the long elegant dress!

Hannah looks very nice in her more casual fun dress!

And Elly is modeling the business casual outfit that is a must for those hot summer days at work!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Field Trip of Our Own

Awhile  back we decided when the foster home took the Forever Home girls on a field trip, it'd be a great time for our family to go on one together as well.  This month our older girls decided they'd like to see a movie. Since we've been in China, we've never actually went to the movies.  They found one in English that was playing in Beijing during the day and was even in 3D so off to the theater we went after sending the Forever Home girls on their way.

We saw "The Avengers" and it was a pretty good movie, really good 3D!  While we didn't have time to do much else except eat a quick lunch, it was a great day and we all enjoyed ourselves.

Gotta have something to do on the long van ride, right?!

Back at New Day. Now all we have to do is wait for the other girls to return from their trip.  Didn't know it at the time, but there was no need to hurry as it was another 2 hours before they made it back.

We Have A Match!!

Today was an especially exciting day in the Forever Home!! We were able to share with Elly that she is now officially matched with adoptive parents.  She was very excited and happy!  She is not expected to leave until late fall or winter.  Until then........well we continue to love and cherish this special girl!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hannah's Growing Taller

My how you've grown Hannah!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Only Food In The World!

EVERY SINGLE MEAL we cook, Hannah comes up and asks if we're having baozi.  If you aren't familiar with this very popular Chinese treat, it is basically a bread stuffed with meat and veggies, just veggies, eggs, and/or a variety of things and then steamed rather than baked like most breads in America.  Hannah is simply CRAZY about baozi!!  I'm not sure she could ever have too much baozi!  We surely do not make it often enough as far as she's concerned :)  Honestly, I don't make it very often at all as it just takes some time--given there's down time in between, but still time.  We used to buy it every weekend and often had it for breakfast every Sunday morning as it was a quick and easy breakfast--also one that the kids loved--none more than Hannah though!  However, our baozi guy went out of business and though they have it in a couple of other places, we've found it not to be as tasty as previously so we stopped buying it.

Yesterday I told Hannah--when she asked again as always--that I was making her some baozi the next day.  Teasingly she said it was bu hao (not delicious) so I then told her the rest of us would eat it and she'd have to eat something else.  She's quite the teaser.  Knowing she'd have none of that, the next day when she returned from school and I had baozi on the table, I teasingly told it was for everyone else since she said it was bu hao chi!  Of course, she'd have none of that and quickly changed her tune!

Here you see her stuffing her face with baozi!  I surprised her with a picture :)

Then she decided to pose for another picture.  She was a very happy girl!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Does It Get Any Cuter Than This?!

Watching the older girls play basketball just before they were given their shot at it.

Mollie is pretty as a picture!

Emma looks lovely in her new dress!

Emma and Mollie enjoy the riding toys.

Then Mollie decides to get on the back and let Emma give her a ride around the yard.

Such a sweet picture Emma!

Elly pushes Mollie around the yard on one of New Day's trikes.

Emma and Mollie pose for a picture with all the pretty flowers.

Oh Emma, what a beautiful hat!

Mollie performs for us.

Enjoying some ice-cream on our way home from lunch Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Elated Elly

Though Elly came to us with just a deformed leg diagnosis, we later found out that she has mild cerebal palsy too.  She came to us here in hopes of getting her adopted and also in need of more physical therapy.  Upon arrival each child is evaluated and checked out by out doctors, nurses and physical therapists.  It was determined that Elly had the potential to walk if her leg muscles became stronger.  Elly dreamed of walking some day and given this information, well.........she took it and ran with it!  Elly is very motivated to walk and  thus is very ready and willing to exercise those leg muscles in hopes of walking some day.  We have seen so much improvement and she can now take several steps without the aid of her walker!  She is now able to get around in her walker much faster, now falls rarely, and is able to navigate more uneven terrain.  When she first arrived we had to carry her up our 6 flights of stairs, but now, by adding a step each day or so as tolerated, she can now go up and down all six flights on her own holding to the railing!  We continue to see amazing changes in her leg strength and look forward to the day she no longer needs her walker!!  

Here she is standing on her own without the aid of anything--something she could not do when she first arrived on December 7th.  She can balance like that for quite some time, even dancing with her upper body to music!

When Elly arrived here at the Forever Home and was assessed, we found her to be nearly on level with children her age--something we don't often see here.  She had been in the Half the Sky program in her home orphanage and it really showed!  Elly is very mature for her age and I often forget she is only 6 years old!

I know I say all our girls are happy--and they are--but some, like Elly, are happier than others.  Elly always has a smile on her face and has this giggle that is adorable and something we hear often.  Such a sweety!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Holly

Holly came to us on December 21th, just a few days before Christmas.  It has been exciting to see all the changes in her since.  People recently have been telling us how much they've seen her change and mature since she arrived.  It's always nice to hear such things and helps us.  It's often the people who don't see her on a daily basis that tell us of how much she's changed.  

Holly had lived her whole life (11 years) up until recently in an orphanage.  Life there is a struggle to survive and sometimes things become so ingrained in them that it often takes a bit of time to change their ways of thinking and doing things.  Though we know it was certainly necessary for their survival there, they have much to learn about life in a real family and that's what we do at the Forever Home.  Being in a real family helps transition them and prepare them for their forever families.  Though Holly doesn't yet have a forever family, and though her paperwork is not quite complete yet (but soon), we have been spreading the word and hoping that by the time her paperwork is done--she'll already have a family!  Some of you may not know, but Holly's adoption clock is ticking.  Once children reach the age of 14, they are no longer able to be adopted, but age out.  Although when we began the Forever Home, we planned to keep girls if they aged out, we all know it isn't the best plan for their lives.  The best thing is for them to find forever families and that is what we hope for all our girls.  IF they are not adopted, we will educate them and give them some type of career  that will help them survive (preferably thrive) in Chinese society. Help spread the word about Holly so she can be adopted by a loving family that can give her so much more than we possibly can--that is our hope for all these girls!!

Holly is a very sweet girl and loves affection--something I doubt she experienced much of before coming to us.  She'll make someone a wonderful daughter!  She is learning how much better life can be when you have a family who loves you.  Since coming to our home here, we often consider us as a transition home, the subject of adoption comes up a lot--generally daily or multiple times daily.  We talk about it a lot, especially with the girls who are already matched.  When Holly first came and we talked about the possibility of her getting an adoptive family of her very own someday, she was very resistant to the idea.  She told us this was much better than living in the orphanage and had no desire to leave.  Slowly though over time, we have begun to see her attitude about adoption change.  She has now realized and recognized the fact that having her very own forever family would be a wonderful thing. She now has a desire to be adopted by a loving family.  We know she has a hope and a future and look forward to seeing that played out in her life.

If you know a family interested in adopting Holly, share with them this website and contact our New Day director, Karen, for more details and instructions.

Holly gets a bubble wand gifted to her.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Monkey King Strikes Again!

Hannah and Elise enjoy some play time.  

If you are wondering what all that white stuff is on the ground, it's mao mao (or cotton)  from all the cotton wood trees here.  Each spring we get to enjoy a spring "snow" as we call it here that likes to play havoc on everyone's allergies!  This is what fell just overnight as New Day's gardener sweeps it all up every single day.  I'm sure he really has to love this time of year too!  It seriously looks like large snowflakes flying through the air.  It's dry enough if you gather it up, you can light it with a match and it will quickly burn up.  During this time, it gathers along the sides of walkways etc. as the wind blows it around.  It lasts anywhere from 2-4 weeks depending on the weather.  If it stays warm, the season is shorter--which is what all of us here hope for!

Sweet Hannah!!  Other than Elizabeth, whom we just finalized adopting her ourselves last August, Hannah has been in our home the longest.  She has been with us about 2 1/2 years now and we are going to miss her terribly when she leaves!  She has such a sweet, gentleness about her that we love so much.  She also is quite the joker and loves to play around. She's always playing jokes on someone :)

Here, I'm thinking maybe she's calling her family in the US.  Soon you'll get to meet them Hannah!  Though we don't yet have an exact date, we are thinking that they are coming about mid June to mid July.  

Here the Monkey King strikes again!  Check out her moves :0

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Littles

It seems as lately many people have referred to Emma and Mollie as "the littles."  I guess it fits as they are the littlest girls in our home.  Also recently they were blessed with some beautiful new clothes and hair accessories.  We have had a blast dressing them up these days in their adorable new outfits.

Emma is such the little sweetie!  She LOVES kisses and hugs and all the affection you can give.

While Mollie also loves affection, she's more of a girl on the move.  Here she's doing one of her and Emma's favorite activities--reading books!  They also love playing outside, blocks, oh and cooking--can't forget that one!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Enjoying The Nice Warm Weather

One day on the weekend we took the girls down to the square where all the socializing takes place here in our apartment complex.  It's also the best and biggest place for the girls to play since everywhere else seems to be a parking lot or a road.  The girls love to go there!

Elly gets a little tired after a bit and decides  to have a seat on her built-in walker/chair.  Mollie then takes the opportunity to have a little fun by giving her a ride around the square!  That makes both girls happy :)

Then a little later, Elly reciprocates by pushing Mollie as she uses the walker.  It didn't take long however for the other girls to join in by making a train.  They were quite the sight!

Bubbles is always a must when we go outside.  Recently Holly had received a gift of bubbles with a large bubble wand and it was the perfect opportunity to try it out!  It made great bubbles and all the girls enjoyed giving it a whirl!  Blow hard Elly!

Then there's the Chinese hacky sac. They always love doing that as well.

Hannah poses for a picture while doing some of the smaller bubbles.

Elizabeth brings a flute along--as that's the only place she can play it--outside!!  We have neighbors in our apartment building and with 8 girls in the house, well.........we already make enough noise without such things!  Someday we'll have a pingfang (a one story house) and they'll be able to do some of the things we just can't do inside right now :)

Uh, Hannah......I think you need to open your eyes to catch the ball!

Mollie tries out the big bubble wand.

Now that's what I call some BIG bubbles!!

Looks like Holly has the hang of those big bubbles too!