July 14, 2012
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Amanda de Lange, 51, born March 12, 1961 in South Africa, returned to her Heavenly Father at 10:48 a.m. CST, Saturday, July 14, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Amanda left this Earthly life with her favorite songs and hymns filling the air, and more than a dozen friends at her side – some who have known her from the beginning of Starfish in 2005; close friends in Nashville and loving parents of adopted Chinese children; and dear friends from her church family who have helped care for her the last few months in the United States. It was a beautiful, serene setting in which to bid our Amanda farewell. She was never alone; words of love and appreciation were showered upon her; messages from friends were shared with her; she was able to say farewell to her family by phone; friends prayed with and for her; gentle fingers caressed her head; and cool cloths, foot and hand rubs were plentiful – her signature, beautiful nails a soft pink.
Amanda was enveloped in love as she left, and we have no doubt, wrapped in the arms of Heavenly Father with an even greater love as she arrived. So fitting for a woman who selflessly shared her passion and energy nurturing vulnerable orphans, restoring them to health, and preparing them for the loving arms of their new parents and forever families.
As the Founder and Executive Director of Starfish Children’s Service, operating the Starfish Foster Home in Xi’an, China, Amanda accomplished an incredible, loving feat in just seven short years. While she was in the hospital last week, Amanda reflected: “168 babies, nearly 250 surgeries, and 81 adoptions – that pretty much sums up my life!” There is so much humility in that one phrase – and even more impact. Eighty-one Starfishes with their forever families, and so many more ready for their turn, thanks to Amanda and the incredible Starfish team and volunteers.
Amanda also reflected, “I was blessed beyond measure to be given the opportunity to found and direct Starfish. I love that I took the opportunity when it was presented. God was good to me. My work has been a testimony of God’s love for the kids.”
Amanda also shared one of her favorite scriptures, Romans 8:28 from the New Testament: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Amanda certainly loved God and showed it through her actions, and she felt called to serve China’s special needs orphans. She embodied this verse in her work.
We will update the blog as the plans are finalized for the memorial service and celebration of her life so that all who desire will be able to travel to Nashville, Tennessee and share in the joy of remembering Amanda. The date for this is August 4, 2012. (One hint I can give you: per Amanda, no one is to wear black, and there will be chocolate!)
There are also plans being made for a post-memorial celebration in Salt Lake City, Utah. The tentative dates being set aside for this are Sept. 13 or 14, 2012.
In the meantime, please contact Sherri Farr at 615-260-8640 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Please continue to send your stories and photos to StoriesofStarfish@gmail.com and if you’re her friend on Facebook, please continue to post messages there.
Thank you, dear friends, for your love and care for Amanda. While gone from our sight, her legacy and spirit will be with us forever.