Recently, I read about three women and the money that they spent on their unsuccessful political campaigns in the US. It turned out to be US$217 million. What an incredible waste! I found out too, that Obama raised US$500 million through microphilantropy, where many people gave small amounts and he spent it all on becoming the president of the US. When I looked at that amount my heart wept because I thought about the 143 million orphans that are estimated to be in the world and like winning the lottery, I thought of what I would do with that money to help those kids be adopted and to get surgeries. I thought of the adoption funds that I would create to allow the families a donation to allow them to defray the enormous cost of adopting. I would have enough money to continue helping like this for years. Reverend Billy Graham once said: "Show me your check book (credit card etc) and I will show you were your heart is."
I watched the movie Schindler's List many years ago. There were so many lessons from that movie, but one that stayed with me. Oscar Schindler who was by all accounts a womanizer, a gambler, an alcoholic and a member of the Nazi Party, but in those golden years he saved more than 1 200 Jewish people's lives, in giving everything he owned, even his wife's jewelry to help them. After that time, he was not to be successful again at anything and he faded into oblivion except to the people whom he saved and who never forgot him. He requested to be buried in Jerusalem because according to him: My children are there. The lesson to me was, you do not have to perfect to be able to do good deeds. If we waited for the perfect people to turn up, there would be no-one to do the work. So for me, in spite of my foibles, I get to save babies lives and in my own way I am writing my Amanda's List with each baby that comes to Starfish and some who do not. I might sound egotistical but true none the less.
I am so grateful for the chance that I have to be able to help the babies when they are so medically fragile such a critical stage of their lives. I am so grateful for the love that is poured out on them by the nannies and the volunteers. I love being the keeper of their hearts at such an important time and to teach the what it means to be loved and how they are to love back.
I am so grateful for all the donations that we receive and for the ability that it gives me to help a child in desperate need. We have had 124 babies at Starfish and they are all little teachers. I am so grateful for the lessons they have taught me and for the change they have brought into my life. I am grateful for the 52 families who have received our children and for offering them something that we could not do for them at Starfish, a family of their very own. There are more families going to have the blessings of having a Starfish baby in the future. This year we did a phenomenal 28 adoptions. More than the four previous years combined!
I am also so grateful to the volunteers who come to Starfish from far and wide and around the corner here in Xian, to offer up their time, talents and their love to the babies. Thank you for your service on behalf of the children. It really is a team effort which has such excellent results.
I am also so grateful for all the medical help we receive from skilled surgeons and medical staff, who with their training heal so many children. I cannot express my gratitude enough for what they do. We did 53 surgeries this year. Think of all the lives that have been impacted by that.
It has been the greatest honor of my life to be entrusted with the lives of these children . I love hearing how well the babies are doing and I love writing about what our adventures at Starfish.
My heart and my thoughts also go to the children who never got the chance to know the love of a family, the children who we were not able to heal. It is hard to accept that not everyone can be helped, in spite of your best efforts. These lessons of life are some of the hardest to learn and come to terms with. May I never forget them.
Thank you for your love and support of Starfish. We thank you for your generosity and concern for children you might never meet.