Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October Happenings

Things at Starfish have been rocking lately. It has been so busy so I am going to give some short little updates about what is happening here.
We now have two girls who are three years old: Rebecca and Jade. They are so different from each other. Rebecca is such a mom. She just loves to cuddle, feed and love the babies like she sees us do. She is much more of a tomboy. Jade on the other hand is our girly girl. She is throwing tantrums when she cannot wear she "piao paio" (comes from Piao Liang which means beautiful) clothes she likes. She also loved her hair to be done up all pretty and Rebecca does not care much about it. Rebecca has got the most beautiful curls. Jade did surprise me the other day by saying her second English word after banana: Flower. I speak to them in English and they watch Teletubbies and Wiggles in English but I have not had one of them actually say anything. I have read that this is common in a situation where there are two languages.

The surgeries with Dr Lazareff and his team went so well. A few days after Chase, the nine year old boy was released from the hospital, I got a call from the orphanage to tell me that he had feeling in his bowels and he was not wearing his diapers anymore. He was the boy who had two botched surgeries and so he had to wear diapers. That was such good news. Chase also went into the foster care which was also wonderful news. Thank you so much to Dr Bao and all the staff from SCMC for taking on such a big group of kids. Thank you to to Baobei foundation and all the volunteers in Shanghai who helped the nannies and the babies so much.

Soon after I got back from Shanghai I left for Yunnan. I agree to help Jeannie Butler and her foundation to build a bathroom in an orphanage about 3 hours outside of Kunming. It was so interesting. I was surprised to see some woman with bound feet. I thought that was a thing of the past but these women were relatively young. There are many minorities who live in this area and I just loved the blankets they wrap their children with. They carry them on their backs and the embroidery is done by hand and they are so beautiful. I had a great time and I surprised even myself. I thought we would not be able to communicate, but it turned out to be no problem. We got the workers to start and I have to go back to buy the last things before we can finish the whole thing. We are also going to repaint and I have the task of redoing a room which is now a classroom, but which will become a living room. I am channeling my creative side. I am not yet sure what I am going to do because here is so little to work with. While we were in Shanghai this past weekend I also went to Ikea and bought some new duvets and covers for the children. Last night as I lay in bed in Xian I thought I should have bough some more plain colored fleece blankets. Next time............

They got a new baby and I took one of my all time favorite photos. This was one of the older girls who took care of his so tenderly. You can see her holding him. I was so moved because she just laid the love on thick. I have heard many stories of how they children form their own families inside the orphanage. It really moved me so much because how we look for people to love us all the time. I often wonder if it would be better to look for other people to love, with this girl setting such a great example.

After I came back from Yunnan I went back to Shanghai for a fundraiser. The American Woman's Club had a Carpets and Cocktails event. I learned to much about Persian Carpets. The carpets were gorgeous and they got sold at at such bargains. Genuine works of art that you can walk on. Edmund and Shukor flew the carpets in from Singapore and then auctioned them off. The unique things about the two of them, is that they travel to all these areas and buy the carpets from the people who make them and they have a personal story about almost all of the carpets. Edmund and Shukor said the brought the ugly carpets. The carpets are not always symmetrical because they are woven from memory. Often they are not straight because the nomads move so when they start again so the carpets are a little crooked. They then gave 10% to Starfish. You can look at their website:

In the next few days we are going to have another adoption, Olivia's family are coming to get her. She will be going to the Netherlands. At the end of the month Gena and her foundation ( are traveling to China with surgeons and staff from the NY Presbyterian Hospital as well as Columbia University. We will be taking Hosea to have his mouth repaired and a baby that just arrived last week...Thomas. More about him on our next blog.
I just learned that Emily's parasitic twin is back and she will need some more surgery.
On the cuteness factor Breanna is over the top in my book. She is calling me by name. She says mama but she called me "manda" as clear as day. It stopped me dead in my tracks today. She is just a little over one year old.
Never a dull moment.

Life, Love and Laughter,

Starfish Foster Home

New Website:
Cell Phone: 1348.812.4847

Blessed are those who can give without remembering and who can receive

without forgetting.

p.s. the last two pictures are of Faith & Thomas getting their first baths.

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