Count of Chicks for Children

God's Plan For Us

This is our journey - God's incredible plan for our lives. When we followed the moving of the Holy Spirit, He opened the windows of Heaven and poured out upon us blessings we never dreamed of! Indescribable joy!

" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, October 16, 2015

Happy Birthday to Nini- Surviving a Difficult Beginning

Today we celebrate Nini's 8th birthday. I wanted to share a little about her early years. A friend of mine texted me about a post she had found while looking at Half the Sky's facebook site. They are an organization in China that cares for orphans. I eagerly went to the posts, and what I read broke my heart, and helped explain parts of Nini's difficult life. These post are from December of 2012 (we adopted Nini in May 2013). The last post is from her foster parents perspective.

A HOLIDAY TALE FROM HALF THE SKY - The story of Nini, Part 1

Four years ago, on a wintry day, a baby girl was bundled up and abandoned on a quiet street in Harbin, a city in China's far north.  The temperature outside was 20 below.  When the police brought her to the orphanage, the baby, about 6 months old, was near frozen and barely alive.
The orphanage staff discovered that the child also had hydrocephalus -- more commonly known as water-on-the-brain.  Her head was swollen to almost twice normal size.  She received no medical treatment.  She was placed in a crib in a room with all the other babies who had special needs.  She was given food and kept clean.  That was it.  She never left her bed.  Sometimes children like this would survive.  Often they would not.  Maybe it was just as well.  What future could there be for a child nobody wanted?
Later that year, Half the Sky established a Children's Center at the Harbin Institution. Little NiNi -- for that was the name they gave her -- was assigned a Nanny. And even though everyone assumed that NiNi was retarded and unable to learn, Nanny Wang followed her Half the Sky training and treated NiNi like her very own child.
Nanny Wang wrote:  "When I first met NiNi, she stared at me with her big eyes and was afraid.  She did not want me to touch her.  When I played games with her, she would not play because she was afraid of me."

A HOLIDAY TALE FROM HALF THE SKY - The story of Nini, Part 2

Little NiNi, a child born with hydrocephalus, came to the Harbin orphanage before Half the Sky began its programs.  She was left alone in her bed for days on end.  She languished.
But happily, a few months later, Half the Sky arrived, and NiNi entered our Infant Nurture Program.
"Over time," her HTS nanny said, "I noticed that she would touch the toys with her hands.  Then after some more time, she let me hold her."

With her nanny's patient efforts, NiNi learned to sit up, then to walk a bit.  She began to smile, but there was a sadness about her.

When she was finally ready to enter our Half the Sky Preschool, her new teacher asked if there would possibly be a place for NiNi in the Family Village.  There was!  Her new mother said:  "When I first saw NiNi, she could not speak or walk steadily.  She would sit for a long time, her eyes glazed over.  My husband and I were determined to do our best to help our child get well no matter how hard it would be."

A HOLIDAY TALE FROM HALF THE SKY - The story of Nini, Part 3

Half the Sky's Family Village exists to give children who have lost the love of family a second chance at a happy childhood. Little NiNi's parents dearly wanted their new daughter to thrive.
"We played games and did our best to make NiNi feel like one of the family," her mama said. "I kissed and hugged her whenever we were together. I read stories and sang songs to her to make her smile. Gradually she began to smile at us. Her eyes began to shine. She opened her mouth to speak, from word to words, and then to sentences. Her teacher and nanny are surprised to see her progress. They say, 'Is this really NiNi? I did not recognize her!' But the best change is that NiNi is beginning to have her own thoughts and ideas and she dares to say them out. Every night when my husband comes home, she says, 'I miss you, Baba.'
"NiNi has become more and more adorable. She has made big steps in every way. As her mother, I am so proud. All I have done is worthwhile. I love her so much."
NiNi was never a throwaway child -- a child with no potential, a life not worth saving. No child is. What NiNi found was inside her all along. She just needed somebody to love her. And every child is worth loving.
In this holiday season, thank you for helping NiNi, and children like her, find her second chance.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Meimei's Mama

Mama, mama, mama

With no exaggeration, it is said over a hundred times a day.

It rolls off her tongue all day long.
Whether she needs anything or not.
Whether she is standing beside me, sitting in my lap, or in the other room playing with her sisters.
Sometimes it is yelled- when I am in a different area of the house and she is trying to find me. Sometimes it is whispered in my ear when she wraps her little arms around me.
Rarely she says it because she wants something.
I like to think it is because she finally has what she has wanted- a mama (and a baba).
She has waited 6 years for parents to call her own.
Meimei was in foster care for a large part of her young life, but her foster parents were older and she called them grandmother and grandfather.
Now she has a mama of her own and she is trying to make up for lost time.
So she calls my name all day long and it is now often followed by "I love you" -in English no less.

It is a beautiful thing for this mama to hear!!!!

(In all fairness, I must say it was baba that got her to say 'I love you' first, and I have no doubt if he was home with her all day that 'baba' would be said more often than mama)