New Day...part of our hearts reside here

We may physically reside in North Carolina, but part of my heart has been here, at New Day Foster Home since we met Daniel here in 2011.  

This is a place that provides new hope and, especially for many critically ill children, a new chance at life.  There will never be enough words for me to express just how grateful I am to this place because that is just what they provided my boy.  This nanny, Rachel, was the one that helped nurse Daniel to a healthy enough state to have his open heart surgery and she stayed with him around the clock while he was hospitalized for a month in preparation for, during and post surgery.  When she saw him through the glass windows of the playroom she leapt to her feet in joy.

Word quickly spread through the home this morning while we took a quick tour that one of their graduates was in the building.

Every room we passed by brought out another nanny or two who clearly were overjoyed to see one of their former charges so strong and healthy.

They all commented on how tall he has gotten, said that his eyes haven't changed a bit, and were thrilled to hear that he's so active in so many sports.  We had prepared Daniel for his celebrity status and he took it well though he began to get a bit overwhelmed by the excitement he stirred by the end of our time.

can you find toddler daniel?

A quick stop in the staff provided the reminder that while kids graduate as adoptees, they are always on the hearts of those that cared for them.

We also stopped by the preschool room.  The only bummer of coming on the weekend is that we didn't get to see the room in action...of couse my five made enough noise to be an entire preschool class on their own.

Daniel bounced from toy area to toy area, claiming he remembered some of the sets.  Sarah confirmed that his favorite thing to play with during his time there was the trains.  Maybe he really does remember...

And then finally it was time for the most exciting part of our visit.  Anna and Joseph had insisted that we come to see them at their home.  It's been six years since he lived with them yet it was clear that he is still constantly in their hearts.

As an unexpected surprise, Anna had prepared a feast for us to enjoy. There were six dishes plus more rice than even Caleb could put away.  We enjoyed crispy pork, cold ham, eggplant, cabbage, potatoes and a vegetable that is very locally grown that no one knew an English name for.  Each was fresh and delicious and so, SO much better than any Chinese food we can get in the states.  When we thanked her for our meal Anna insisted that we come back again someday so she could fix us another one.  I agreed on the condition that she would allow me to cook beside her so I could learn the tasty ways she prepared the vegetables.

We stayed about four hours in their living room area...playing with their current foster son, chatting via interpreter, and just enjoying being together.

So here we are, two families from opposite sides of the world, forever tied together for the love of a little boy...

I pray this visit together will not be our last.


Melissa said...

Oh what a special time for you all. Shed lots of tears reading this...what a gift you all have. Thankful for New Day and the love they have given Daniel, you all, and so many other children.

Laurie said...

That last picture made me cry- how incredibly awesome to spend time with the loving people who cared for your child- I can't even imagine!

Anonymous said...

The more I read the more tears that fell! What a glorious gift they gave to your son and eventually to you guys!!!! And what a blessing you are to your children to have chosen to love them so and give them the gift of such a spectacular family and now a future!!! Such an awesome adventure you guys are on as a family...can't wait to see what the future brings!

Melissa Fulton

Catherine said...

Absolutely beautiful! This made me tear up in the very best way! Such a blessing you were to Daniel's nannies in the orphanage and his foster family in taking him to visit them. They pour their hearts into our children and so few of us get to say 'Thank you!' Thank you for taking the time to do this and to bridge the gap for so many of us who do not have the opportunity to return to China.