Friday, April 04, 2014

Happy Easter from Starfish!

They're back!  Precious Easter pictures of the babies.  This was one of Amanda's favorite times!



Jet Tjarks
Starfish Fosterhome

Dream it, Live it, Love it

Friday, March 21, 2014

Meet Rosie!

Just after we arrived in China we were asked if we would consider fostering a six-year old girl.

Though it was not the age we expected we couldn't say no; this girl really needed it!

So.... meet Rosie!!

Rosie is soooo excited everytime she sees we have another outfit for her in the morning. She absolutely sqeals with joy!

She definitely needs lots of love and hugs. She's also slowly learning to play with the wooden blocks that we have and not only throw them. Right now we're concentrating on letting her gain some weight because she really needs to pack on the pounds.

She's a funny, outgoing and happy girl; we're so happy she's with us!


Dream it, Live it, Love it

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

And Then There Was LUCY

Suddenly we got the request to take a little girl home with us. Norah named her Lucy and she is a beauty!!!

We were not quite ready yet; but said yes immediately.

 So, after another VERY busy day she is now in her crib with pj's on and listening to sleepy music. 

Our great adventure has truly begun; the first little Starfish has arrived!!!


"Dream it, Live it, Love it."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Pictures of the FIRST Starfish Baby Adopted

I recently received some lovely pictures from Laura Joan's family.  Laura Joan was one of Amanda's first six babies she had placed in her arms. Laura Joan was also the first Starfish baby to be adopted into her forever family.  How beautiful she is!


"and to this ONE, I will make a difference…"

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy Halloween from Starfish Alums!!

This year we have some fun alumni Halloween photos to share.  Amanda would have LOVED these! She always enjoyed "then and now" photos.  It was so much fun making them!

With many thanks for our Starfish families for sending their Halloween photos,

Jet Tjarks

Saturday, November 02, 2013

A New Outlook with an Old Friend of STARFISH

We are still here!
It has been too long since a post on Amanda's blog....but behind the scenes there has been so much going on!
We are happy to share with everyone that Starfish Foster Home is here to stay!!! 
Not in Xi’an though; due to uncontrollable circumstances it will not be possible to continue our efforts there.
However, we have identified a location in Southeast China that is welcoming us with open arms---part of a network of foster homes that has proven it's success over the years by the sheer number of children it has helped.  We are grateful to be joining this network as we continue Starfish's mission to make a positive difference in children's lives.

It’s a dream come true to be able to live in China and run Starfish Foster Home!!! Let me introduce ourselves:

We are Henk and Jet Tjarks from the Netherlands. We have a 9 year old son, Robin and a 7 year old daughter, Norah. They were both adopted from China.
We travelled a lot before we adopted our children, and we enjoyed experiencing other cultures and meeting different people.
Our first time travelling to China was in 2001. We totally loved it! In 2006 we went to China again to adopt our son Robin from Guangxi province. We found out about Starfish Foster Home in 2008, while we were matched and waiting for our daughter Norah. Searching the internet for information about the Xi’an SWI, we inadvertently found Norah’s photo on the Starfish blog. Her name at Starfish was Rachel.
We were so excited she was being loved so much and got such excellent care!! Norah’s adoption was the beginning of our friendship with Amanda de Lange.

Amanda visited The Netherlands a year an a half after Norah’s adoption and spent a few days at our house.
She still had this amazing bond with our litle girl that was proof of the love that was between them.
In 2011, we actually visited Starfish Foster Home in Xi’an and stayed there for ten days. This was an experience we will never forget. We promised Amanda we would visit again, but sadly that was not to be.... we still miss her dearly....
When this opportunity to continue Amanda’s work came along we knew this was our chance to make Amanda’s wish come true:

To make sure Starfish Foster Home continues and to "make a difference" for the children in need in China.
The path for re-establishing Starfish on new soil is moving forward with an ever increasing pace. We have sold our home in the Netherlands and will soon relocate to Starfish in China.  The first steps will be to quickly set up the foster home and to start receiving babies. The foster home network which we belong to already has a lineup of babies waiting for us! How exciting is that?!
The layout of Starfish will be much like Amanda's original set up - babies who will receive close individualized attention, care ,and love in an apartment-style foster home. One apartment will serve as the Starfish office, with neighboring apartments serving as the babies' homes. The nanny-baby ratio will remain high as the babies often come to us very medically fragile.

We will try to post on this blog frequently to let you know what is happening. The next post (coming soon!) will be a Halloween special!

To honour Amanda I’m ending my first blogpost with: 
 “Live, love and laughter...”

Jet Tjarks

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Reminder about Amanda's Memorial September 22, 2012

September 22, 2012
Amanda De Lange Memorial/Open House
Open House: 4:30 pm- 6:30 pm
Memorial Service Time: 7:00 pm
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
1988 W. 11400 S. South Jordan, Utah 84095
Life celebration: 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Memorial Service: 7:00 pm
Light refreshment will be served.
Children welcome.
Please try not to wear black. (Amanda’s request)
Come Celebrate Amanda’s amazing life and legacy!

We will be celebrating Amanda’s life with an OPEN HOUSE from 4:30pm-6:30pm.
This will include video commemorations of Amanda’s life, displays, and light refreshment. Amanda’s friends will have the chance to meet one another and reflect on her amazing legacy. The memorial service will begin in the chapel at 7:00 p.m. under the direction of Bishop Jeff Beckman. The service will include music, prayers, remarks about Amanda’s life and her love of the Savior.
Children are absolutely welcome and encouraged to attend both of these events held in the LDS Church which is family friendly and has a mother’s room, changing tables in the restrooms, etc. If you can join us, please respond by EVITE or email Stephanie Barbee or Ali Johnson. or Please come!

Travel Information for Salt Lake City, Utah

If flying, the Salt Lake City International airport code is “SLC” with airline carriers Jet Blue, Delta Airlines, South West, American Airlines, United, US Airways, and Frontier Airlines. There is plenty of ground transportation available right at the airport: cabs, rental cars, and Trax rail system.
South Jordan is roughly 25 minutes from the airport and is easily accessible from I-15 going south.
Here are a couple of HOTELS we can suggest which are close to the chapel.

Holiday Inn Express:
10680 South Automall Drive Sandy, Ut 804070
Hotel Front Desk 1-801-495-1317

CountryYard Marriott
Sandy-Salt Lake City 10701 S. Holiday Park Dr. Sandy, Utah 84070 USA Phone:

Hilton Garden Inn Salt Lake City/Sandy
277 West Sego Lily Drive, Sandy, Utah, 84070, USA
TEL: 1-801-352-9400

10722 S 300 W, Interstate 15 Exit 293 or 292, South Jordan, UT 84095-4077 
US Phone: 1-801-553-8888

In Lieu of Flowers/Memorial Contributions
In Lieu of Flowers:
It was Amanda’s hope that instead of flowers, those who wish to remember her would make a contribution in her memory to Starfish Children’s Services. You may do this either going to the website

Clicking on the orange “Donate Now” box at the top to make a donation online. You will be able to indicate that your donation is “in memory of” Amanda. Or, you may send a check to Starfish Children’s Services, attn: Patrick McLaughlin, Board Chair, 6 West 122nd street, New York, NY 10027. Make checks payable to the “Starfish Children’s Services” and indicate “ in memory of Amanda.”

As Amanda would sign
“Live, Laugh, Love”