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


Anonymous said...

So, so glad to receive a post on this blog, you guys, and looking forward to many more!! We are all thinking of you as you make this huge move.
Big hugs from Lloyd, Sharon, Erin and River!

marlies said...

Hey Jet and family!

Just want to wish you all te best in the south from the north ;-) If there's anything we can do, please let me know.

For now... good luck with al the preparations and woweee!!! to the great adventure and amazing new life you are heading for!
Amanda couldn't have wished for a better family to continue her work. I'm sure she's smiling somewhere above with a piece of nice chocolate in her mouth ;-)

Fatcat said...

What WONDERFUL news!!!! Welcome!

Lindsay said...

How beautiful to see Amanda's vision continuing, and with the family of one of the children she cared for. Good luck in your journey.