Ethan's Thanksgiving

From New Day's Scrapbook..."For most of our children, this was their first Thanksgiving. We had such a wonderful time today, enjoying a feast of food and counting our many blessings. (There are 55 right now, to be exact!) In addition to stuffing ourselves, we continued with the yearly tradition of teaching the children how to make mashed potatoes. We're so thankful for each one of our children... and thankful to all who are involved in the NDFH community -- making celebrations like this possible."
I am so thankful that Ethan, Robert and all of the other children have New Day! The love that is shared there on a daily basis is amazing! Check out their website for all of the cute pics!

Ethan was the Govenor and thoroughly enjoyed his turkey leg!

Robert enjoyed being an indian!

Thanksgiving Day

We spent Thanksgiving Day at my sister's farm with about 60 people (we had nametags). Everyone brought something different and there was no shortage of food. The kids all had a great time playing on this beautiful day that we had so very much to be thankful for!

Cameron & Maloy

Madeline, Mike & Michael

Thankfully this jumping took place BEFORE dinner!

Our beautiful children...can't wait for next Thanksgiving when their little brother is here!

Granny Di, Mike, Karen & Pam Dad & Me

Notice the line of adults in the back waiting to eat...and the kids already chowing down!

My Thanksgiving Helpers

Michael, Madeline & Cameron are all going through Confirmation this year. One of their service projects was to shop for local families. They were paired up with a partner, given a list, how many were in the family and an amount they could spend...then sent off! It was so awesome to see almost 50 kids walking around Publix, comparing prices, finding "buy one/get one", and being so excited at the amount of food they got to feed a family of 6 or 8 with less than $100. After Cameron's second trip around the store, she said "Grocery shopping is exhausting!".
Tell me about it!

Getting some help from Momma Sandra.

Alex & Cameron...neither one knew what margarine was...we call it butter!

Jessie & Michael...he got lucky since she knows how to shop!
Madeline took charge of her list!

Gabi, Felicia & Cameron...checking out the coupons.

Mike & Madeline dropping it off at the Church.

Kathryn, Madeline & Cameron...in the car to deliver.


Gators vs South Carolina Game

Mom and RC haven't been to a Gator Game since the early 90's. Not sure the game was that exciting, but we still had fun! Go Gators!

Cameron, Maloy, Madeline & Michael

Cameron & Felicia's Campout

We got home from Gator Growl around midnight and Felicia was waiting at our house for a campout in the backyard. I was SO tired and not in the mood to figure out how to put up the tent she had FINALLY borrowed from her boyfriend. (Who knew it would take dating Gabe to find someone who owned a tent?) I went inside and left them to it. When I came out, they had it spread on the basketball court (concrete). Needless to say, I had to help. Their attitudes were CAN DO and they were laughing the entire time. Here's the finished product the next morning and sleeping beauty 1 and 2 . They said it was SO cold!

Happy 17th Maloy

Maloy turned 17 on October 16th. This is my miracle child who survived against all odds. She was born at 1 lb. 5 1/2 ounces and spent the first 4 months of her life in the NICU. They gave her a 50 % chance of living. This stubborn child chose to live and she does that everyday. I used to sit in her nursery and pray to just bring her home, no matter what was wrong with her. I can never thank God enough for allowing me to do just that. She walks to her own tune and doesn't know a stranger. She's 5 feet tall and weighs about 90 lbs. She got a car FINALLY for her birthday and I have to tell you that watching her drive away is one of life's scariest moments for me. I'm making her wash it too...which I think her and Elizabeth enjoyed thoroughly
She had a birthday lunch with friends at BJ's, a birthday dinner at her Grandma's while her Great-Grandpa was in town, and dinner at our house with Lizzie and Gia before Gator Growl. Happy 17th Sweet Angel!
Four Generations
Lizzie, Maloy, Gia and Gucci

Lizzie & Maloy washing each other instead of the car.


We got APPROVED!!!!

Oh my Gosh....walked in the door and had a fedex that we got our Letter of Seeking Confirmation! I started crying and first called Mike, then Erin. She told me to PLEASE update my blog so everyone knows that we ARE still bringing Ethan home. I have had 7 ready to go, but trying to get them all perfect and in order. Well forget it...they are all posted and not in order and I still have more to do, but wanted to let you all know that Ethan is ours! Love you all!


Ethan's Room

So that no one had to give up their bedroom, we gave up our study! I should have taken a complete "before" picture, but I didn't remember until the painter was on his way. So the desk and bookshelves are left, and the room is just waiting to be painted yellow...Ethan's favorite color! Dad got the desk and we got bunkbeds! I have been given so many things...books, toys, motorized cars, clothes...you name it, I've got friends that have passed it along! Now we just need Ethan!

Dossier To China...YEA!

FINALLY...all of our paperwork is ready to go to China! What a time consuming process...get it done, certify it, authenticate it, screw it up and do it again! :) Thank the Lord for Erin...she is my Go To Guru for Adoptions! We were logged in on 9/28, so now we wait! Pray they approve us soon!

First Day of School

First Day Of School...Jessica, Cameron, Felicia, Ryan and Maloy. I cannot believe how time flies! Cameron is starting her Sophomore year and Maloy is a Junior!

Beach 2010

Our annual beach trip before school starts....I am always so looking forward to this relaxing time! Madeline was at Sailing Camp in North Carolina and Michael was with his friend in Myrtle Beach...so Maloy brought her friend Hannah, and Cameron's boyfriend's family came for the week. Here are the girl's in the car...ready to get there!

Cameron LOVED playing with the kids...she kept asking when Ethan was coming so she can dig with him!

We celebrated Victor's sister Isa's 9th birthday on Tuesday. Emma (my neice) was her birthday surprise guest. There was a lot of pot-banging, which I'm sure the neighbor's loved, and some yummy flank steak. We all had a great time!

Cameron and Victor...too bad they don't look that good in a bathing suit!

Hannah, Cameron and Maloy

I have a picture of the girl's walking to the beach EVERY year since they were 2 and 4. Of course, when I say "Time for the beach picture!" They're like "Come on mom this is SO embarrashing!" But they do it. This year, they shocked me and held hands!


Ethan's Updates

This is our sweet boy getting his hearing checked. Apparently, they got candy when they were finished. Ethan attempted to go back a couple more times...for the candy!

JULY 2010

Ethan is 3 Years 4 Months Old.
Ethan is a ray of sunshine and he is a handsome boy. He likes to smile and help other children. Ethan loves to go to his classes. During class he likes to draw pictures and listen to the music. Ethan has a very strong hands-on ability. He can find his own clothes and dress himself. He is willing to help his mother do housework. He helps clean the desk and bed, and he helps Robert wash his face and clothes. These things are what he likes.

This was a rainy day in Beijing, which Ethan loves!


Ethan is 3 Years 5 Months Old.
Ethan’s nanny wrote this update:
Recently Ethan has grown fast, getting much taller and heavier. His classes in the morning are tightly arranged. After the one-to-one teacher’s English class, Ethan goes to the bigger classroom to join the other children. Ethan likes learning English, and has kept many English words in mind with a good memory. He loves his English teacher. Every morning when he sees the teacher, he happily says hello spontaneously. Ethan is a grown-up boy now, sensible and well-behaved. Ethan loves helping the nannies to do some simple household duties, such as tidying beds and cleaning tables, and he helps out every day. Ethan is close to Robert, and often helps him to get dressed. They help each other, just like twin brothers.

At New Day, it's the time of year when all the local grape arbors are bursting with sweet, juicy fruit! They take all the little ones to pick grapes... considering how many we bring home, it's hard to believe they probably eat more than they pick! It was a fun morning, and they'll be enjoying the "fruit" of their labor for quite a few days!


Ethan is 3 Years 6 Months Old.
Ethan is a handsome little boy loved by everyone. He has a great personality, laughs a lot and is very active. Ethan’s hands-on skills are very impressive, he is a very independent young man. He can dress and un-dress himself, and even put on his shoes! He does very well to make sure he puts the shoes on the correct feet too. Ethan can also go to toilet, flush it and put things back to the way they were. Ethan now loves going to pre-school, and he has greatly improved in his class. He cooperates well with the teacher and sings spontaneously during music class. He adds his own moves and has fun during the session! It’s a joy to see how Ethan is developing and his unique personality.

Some of the staff members gave the kids rides on their scooters. Apparently, Ethan wasn't afraid at all. Wait until he gets a lift on Grandma and Papa's Harley's.


Ethan is 3 years 7 months Old.

Ethan is a lovely boy with a joyful personality. He is well liked by anyone who meets him! Ethan is determined and serious about anything that he does, whether it be drawing or putting together puzzles. Ethan enjoys attending school. He has a wonderful memory, and has been learning new English words quickly. He uses them often and I am so impressed by his accomplishments! He is also becoming more and more independent. Ethan is my little helper. He follows me as I work and helps me clean his room and the dining table. Ethan wants to be a self-reliant boy, and also offers to help the other children. He is polite, and always says “Goodbye” to visitors as they leave. Recently, I asked Ethan to hand me a pen off the table. He brought it to me, and I said, “Thank you!” Ethan responded to me by saying, “Don’t thank me. It’s my pleasure.” Oh, this touched my heart and made me so proud! Ethan is a true gentleman!

Meet Ethan's Best Friend Robert

Robert was born on October 9, 2006. He was abandoned at the gate of a local orphanage on March 9, 2007. When his birth parents couldn't be located, they admitted him into the hospital and diagnosed him with severe heart defect. He has already received 2 heart surgeries to repair his defect, and needs a third surgery. The organization that paid for his first two surgeries is no longer able to care for him. Due to his extensive medical needs, his home orphanage asked New Day to take him while he waits for his third surgery. He arrived on March 11, 2010. Robert is a strong-willed little boy who sometimes gets upset if he doesn't get his own way, but he loves to be praised and he's able to understand and communicate with adults.

August Update...

Robert is a bright and energetic boy who loves talking and laughing. He loves to talk to all the nannies. He has a good appetite which has helped him become healthier and healthier. He is also almost completely potty trained!
Robert loves going to preschool. He enjoys learning English, building with blocks, drawing pictures, and getting exercise. Robert also has a great memory. He remembers a lot of English words, when it’s time to exercise, and when it s time to go back to class. Robert especially enjoys playing with Ethan and Shaun. He often looks for toys to give to Shaun to make him happy. Robert likes to help the nannies to do some simple chores. When he is praised, he is very proud of himself!

September Update..

Robert is a very energetic and helpful little boy! Every day he helps the cooking nanny bring the food to the table and hands out the bibs, and he also helps find shoe covers and open doors for people. He loves to talk to whoever he can- and he asks lots of questions: “Do we have class today?”, “Is the teacher coming?”, “Where’s the nanny?”, “Is it time for class?”. He never runs out of questions to ask!
Robert is developing well also. He can dress and undress himself, and do lots of other little things. He loves to eat and is not a picky eater at all!

October Update...Robert loves to interact with his nanny- chatting with her and laughing with her often. He enjoys getting praise, and when he does he is very happy. Robert works hard in his therapies. He used to eat only with his right hand because his left hand was weak. However, now he is able to use it for many different things, and can open it up with help.
Robert is very self-reliant. He can put on his own pants, socks, and shoes by himself. He even can do it quickly. He also has a great memory. He loves to listen to stories from his nanny and truly enjoys going to class to learn English. He is a very happy boy.

Robert turned 4 on October 9th....Check out the pictures on New Day of him making his birthday wish! http://www.newdaycreations.com/foster/album/bday1010/pic.html

Robert wants a family...but he NEEDS a third heart surgery! I cannot even begin to imagine what this would cost in the United States, however, in Beijing, the cost is $10,000. If you would like to help pay for this or help sponsor Robert in anyway, please go to http://www.newdaycreations.com/foster/index.html and click on HOW TO HELP.

Tax-deductible donations to the medical/surgical fund can be made by check or on-line through PayPal. If you would like your contribution to go towards a specific child’s medical expenses, please e-mail us at foster@newdaycreations.com. Otherwise, your contribution will go where it’s most needed.

Thank you for anything you are able to do! Love, Tonya

Cameron turns 15

Cameron turned 15 on July 18th! We had the family over for dinner and of course cake! Every year when they were little, I would make a special cake depending on what they were into. Hawaiian with flowers for the luau party, a gator cheerleader, and then there was Shamu...the grey blob! This year...I got off easy...chocolate cake! Yummy!

Cameron and her Grandma above and Granny Di below!

Cameron and Victor!

My niece, Taylor, was in town from New York and got to spend some time with her cousins!