It has been a wild time over here at Starfish.
First, let me share a video with you.
or if you are in China: http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/FVXfiREyNM8/
Carlotta took our Christmas pictures and then she made a video of them. Five minutes of Starfish babies at their cutest.
Second, my Christmas presents arrived in a bundle of five. The Siew Sisters, our returning Australian volunteer family, and I went to the orphanage and instead of getting one we came home with four. Three boys and a girl. The boys Harrison, Emerson and Marcus went into the hospital soon after they got here and received some great care and are now recovering well. We hope to have them home soon. Sally, who has spina bifida will be going to the hospital soon for her surgery. At the same time Dr Siew saw a baby with cataracts, and after I made some arrangements, we got Chloe and I flew with her to Shanghai. She is staying with a foster family in Shanghai and will go to the hospital in a few hours to prepare for her surgery which will be on Thursday China time. So I am now the proud mom of 55 kids, the crazy proud mom. I have to say that Starfish is rocking on its foundation!
Third, on Christmas day we had a very unexpected adoption. The day before while I was grocery shopping I got a call to tell me that Teresa was getting adopted to a Chinese family that very same afternoon. I was not at home and so they delayed it to Christmas Day. It was a really weird adoption because for the first time all the nannies were there to meet the family. They are from Beijing and there are some things I cannot explain. Teresa was the baby that was abandoned at a garbage dump. A really beautiful child, who had surgery in Shanghai with Dr Larareff recently. Soon after Christmas we got word that we will have another two adoptions before the end of January, and both the kids are from Yulin orphanage. Cailean will be first and he is going to Holland, our third baby there. He has an older brother and sister. The next adoption a few days later will be Heather. She is the oldest child at Starfish and she will be going to Virginia and will have two older brothers and a sister. We are preparing them as much as we can for their new families.
Fourth, I saw an open apartment on the first floor and I decided that the price was right and that we could use another space for the kids. Soon after we got the perfect handyman in Christian, a volunteer from the UK, who has been helping us so much. We are almost ready to move the babies in. I hope we will get that done before Christian leaves for his next adventure. He is traveling around the world, while he works and in our case volunteers. I have had a lot of fun shopping ( bought 15 cribs at once) I will be sending some pictures soon.
Fifth, my new years resolution: I want to work everyday at finding a hospital for us to do surgeries. I have been struggling with this for 14 months and I still have not found a place in Xian.
Finally, we are going into surgery mode again. I am sending 5 babies to Operation Smile for surgery in Hangzhou, and we have to do another seven heart surgeries for Dr Li also in Hangzhou, and there are another few surgeries I am trying to arrange. The second group of spina bifida babies are in Hong Kong and they will have surgery this coming Saturday. I am going to try and get as much done as I can before Chinese New Year which falls on February 14th this year.
I am so grateful that is spite of the chaos that reigns at Starfish, the children are being helped and loved. I guess I could have an orderly foster home where there is peace and quiet, but if it is at the expense of not helping some really fragile babies than I choose the chaos. We are also gearing up for a lot of volunteers who will be coming for the winter vacation in China. I am so grateful for your support and for the encouragement I receive from you.
Life, Love and Laughter with a heavy touch of insanity,
Starfish Children's Services
US Tax Number: 20-4682916
At Starfish, we have taken care of 105 children to date, arranged more than 66 surgeries and had 24 international adoptions , so our little starfishes live all over the globe: the US, Netherlands, Norway and Spain and our latest adoption was to a local adoption to Beijing. We currently have 55 babies under the age of 4 at two foster homes.