Isabel is going back to China.....and now we are home

Isabel is going back to China.....and now we are home
we will be here until all our kids have a family of their own

Friday, December 12, 2008

Home for Christmas.......

To all those who are with their families this Christmas, and for those who will be, maybe next year and for those precious babies
now safe in the arms of Jesus we will be thinking of you and still praying. For Amanda and Brittany and Patrick and Cindy and Kay
and Louise and the many Nannies and volunteers ......and for all the adopting parents and their children, the lovely brothers and sisters, you are included.

Merry Christmas to all. Peace and love.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It is a very small world....

I just happened to come across a blog today that send a shiver down my spine and thrilled me to my toes. As I was looking at the next group traveling I linked to a family going in January and there was the lovely Miss Rebecca's sweet face. Sounds like she hit the jack pot after a very long wait and she has a beautiful brother and sister and parents who can't wait to have her home.

I am ashamed I had so little faith and doubted she would get a home because she is one of the oldest kids at Starfish. She does and it's a dousey. I will post an old photo.

She was so cute cuddling her "baby" and liked to help her nanny fold laundry.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I am so excited........11

Rachel is adopted. Her name is Nora now and she will be living just an hour from Olivia in the Netherlands.

Here are photos of her with her Mum and Dad and big brother Robyn. I am thrilled.

That makes half of our original bunch left, leaving only eleven to find homes with their families.....and there are four more matched, meaning seven to go. Amazing. So that is why I am so excited tonight. To have all those children where
they were always meant to be is beyond my wildest dreams. Pray hard for the seven please.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rachel is next.........

..........but no idea of when. Hope it is soon because I am so wanting another adoption to happen so another child can step forward.

Monday, October 27, 2008

October 26th.......

My Dad died in 1982 and yesterday my Mother died. Today I feel like an orphan, even though I have sisters and a brother and a family of my own. Still I am very sad. Last night I had to say goodbye to my Mum, but I know my Daddy was there to take her hand again and one day I will see them both. She was a wonderful Mum and I loved her very much. He was an amazing man and I loved him too.

Please spare a little prayer for them both and for me and my family.

Call your parents and tell them you love them or better yet, go see them and give them a big, long hug.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Olivia (now Mei Lu) and her family.....

Information and photo of the happy new family was posted yesterday. I added the photo under "12 to go" so scroll
down to see. It is always helpful for the transition when there are other children involved especially since these kids come from
a foster home where they are constantly surrounded by so many other kids in a confined space, day and night. As well as many nannies and visitors and volunteers. It must be quite an adjustment to get used to quiet. It must be lovely to have one on one time with a Mummy or a Daddy or a brand new sister. Bliss. Bless her sweet little heart.

Of our original 21 died, and since March, there has been one adoption a month........hence 12 to go.
With four possible upcoming adoptions in the works I am feeling optimistic.

When those 12 all have homes I will shut down this blog and feel happy all our little friends are right where they were meant to
be. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Asking for prayers.......

Beautiful Lily.....Isabel's special friend. For a family of her very own.

Sweet baby special one. For a family and health.

Tomorrow is Anthony's heart surgery. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be just fine and he has the most wonderful support of a loving Mom and Daddy and a whole bunch of sweet brothers right by his side. We are all sending healing prayers your way Anthony.


Such a kind heart and a cheeky face. Loved him.

I just don't want to forget them.

One more down.....twelve to go....

Olivia should be with her FAMILY now. No news but it will be thrilling to hear when it comes!!!
This family is also from the Netherlands. Olivia was a quiet one but very sweet. I am so happy for her and her family.
In the eight months since we left Starfish we have seen eight children go home. That is pretty good and we know there will be more!!!
The boo boo was from an altercation with the playground equipment. Kids!!! Ya' gotta love 'em.

Friday, October 10, 2008

November...just around the corner...

November is National Adoption Month.
Here is a great fundraiser for Starfish Foster Home and a lovely gift or
keepsake for adoptive Mom's and daughters and any one else who is stylin'
or just plain cool.

Please check it out!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Prayers for Anthony please.......

He is having his surgery this month and any prayers will be appreciated. He is such a special little guy. I have permission to publish his family blog if you have time to read it...............also Megan's. Wish there were more. I put them to your left under blogs......I think. Enjoy. If anyone else comes across news of Starfish we would love to read it.

Little gems......

I save up these little pictures and notes so I have something......any small thing to put here to keep us going.
This is the ever beautiful Megan......formerly known as Jasmine......and her equally sweet sister Carly. There is no need to say they are doing well. A picture surely is worth a thousand words.

Any other news from Starfish I have gotten second hand. Sounds like the summer was busy with many new babies, a couple who have gone on to a better place, some surgeries and lots of volunteers who are there to help in any way they can. Their hearts are for the children that's for sure. I believe some of the children are still in line for adoption and both kids and parents are waiting. Just waiting. Rarely hear of the nannies. Wonder how they are getting on? From photos I have seen I know after the earthquake the children were downstairs in the larger apartment of the two occupied by Starfish. It was kept for volunteers and for other purposes. Newer photos seem to indicate that the residents, staff and volunteers are all back up in the smaller apartment again on the fifth floor. It is three bedrooms, one for Amanda and functions as an office also and the two others are full of cribs. Small kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a living room/dining area and that is it.

We wish we could just drop in for an afternoon and play and cuddle our little friends. I can't think about all the new ones who have come and gone since we were there just six short months ago. Just don't want to go there. Or the older kids coming up on three years old now.

I trying to gather strength for our trip to Hope in March.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hoping for more news soon....

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all

Emily Dickinson

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Anthony continues to do well.....

I will ask his Mom for permission to link to their blog. Basically lots of tests to evaluate his ticker and then a whole lot of dental work and an upcoming surgery on Oct 22. He is in great hands from a surgical stand point and definitely lucked out on the family front. Adorable brothers and amazing Mom and Dad. Keep them in your prayers please.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New feature......

Heard about the new blogger feature called "followers". If you come here regularly you too can become a follower and you will receive updates automatically. Click to the left. That way you can tag along until all of the friends we met at Starfish find a home.
That is as long as we will be here. When all of the original 21 are with their forever families I will have our blog published to a book and Isabel will have it forever. Maybe it will be an heirloom for she and her family yet to be. Maybe it will lead her back to China again.

I also hope you will follow Grace & Beth as they travel back to China for their chance to volunteer and to visit the land of their birth. It will happen in beginning February 27th 2009 when we leave home for the airport. See the link to the left. It will be a totally different experience because we are going to a different foster home in a different city. My hope is that this trip is just as meaningful to them as Isabel's was to her.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bon voyage.....

On Friday two families right here in our community are leaving for China to meet their new daughters.

One is a sweet 13 year old girl. How I wish there were more of those older child adoptions. Imagine how that young lady is feeling this weekend. What must she be thinking? How brave to take such a leap of faith and yet she gave her permission for this adoption and is fully aware of what is happening. How special are her parents to do this? She will have two little brothers who are also pretty amazing boys. I am praying for a smooth transition for this family. I can't wait to meet her.

The other baby is coming into a family that has wanted her for a very long time. They have loved her before they met her and she is coming home to what I am sure will be a very special life too. Her parents are over the moon crazy happy and it feels me with joy to just see that.

We welcome these children with open arms and hearts full of love.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lucky thirteen.....

Gabriel is with his family in Xi'An. He has sisters and brothers and what a happy bunch they look. Amanda reports that 5 more children have been matched but no news yet on when they go home. That leaves eight to go. What a joyous day that will be when the last of our 21 is united with their families. Of course, our prayers will still be with all the ones who continue to wait.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tiny bits of news.....

Emailed Amanda......the Starfish director... to ask about Lily and Caitlyn. Lily was Isabel's little sidekick and she would have liked nothing better than to have brought her home with us and been her Jie Jie (big sister). Lily had spina bifida and surgery before we were at Starfish. She had mobility issues and was able to stand but not yet walking. Still not sure what her status is but Amanda says they are getting her fitted for a brace or braces. Caitlyn was the smallest and frailest little Starfish. She was a very poor eater and I tried to hold her and feed her to assure myself she was getting enough. Amanda says she is putting on weight, but not how much. Sadly she also said they think she is blind. Gabriel was to be adopted on the 31st of August but so far no news of that.
Please continue to pray for these children. Jade and Rebecca must be three by now or close to it and no forever family in sight.
We will continue to hope.

My girls have resumed school and today Beth came home with a fire in her belly for a new project the class is considering. This year they want to support a worthy cause and do some fundraising for it. I gave her some information I had on New Hope Foster Home where we are going in March........see our site in sidebar "return to China 2009".. We looked at their webpage and she will take in the brochure I gave her and peruse the website with her classmates and do a little presentation. That would be great!!!

Here is a sweet photo taken recently of Rebecca (L) and Jade (R) by one of the nannies. So adorable.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Where are you Global Girl???

Got a comment from a girl who volunteered at a foster home in China but her blog is just for invited guests. Can I read it please?
Email me. I would love to hear your story.

I have an update but little time. Hang in there and drop by later.

We are getting ready for school and to welcome fall.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This was a very good week.......

I had emails from Louise, the British volunteer, we met at Starfish; from our Brittany; from
the ever inspirational New Yorkers Pat and Cindy, who we spent too little time with in China.
All good news.

 We got to celebrate our friends referral of a long awaited precious daughter from Jiangxi where our beautiful Beth was born, and to see so many other families get similar happy news on their blogs. Each photo of each darling little face was like a miracle happening right before our eyes.

There were updates on several of "our" kids from their sweet Mothers who are kind enough to share with us because they know how we love and care about this special group of children. They know their children are going to be in our prayers always.

So it was a special week with all of these things adding up to a real thrill!!
We can't wait to hear more good news.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Special mention......sweet Mary Anne.... of the fab four


Received a nice long update from Carrie on Anthony. He is doing so well as evidenced by the happy pictures of he and his Daddy and brothers playing on a beach, on summer vacation. It is obvious from his Mother's writing that he is surrounded by love and thriving. There is surgery for his heart disease in his future but I am sure that will be a small blip on his life's journey. We are keeping him in our prayers and if you could offer up the same I am sure it would be appreciated.

Also some further pictures of Megan and her sweet sister Carly and her lovely Mom and Dad....also all doing beautifully together.

Now I am ready for some more adoptions. What about you?

I am so happy for our friends here in town who finally received the referral, after three long years, for their precious Mary Anne. They are leaving in  5 weeks and will be united with her on September 22nd. Another incredible love story.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

ONE FOUR........14....

Read it and weep.

Do these people not look happy
Thanks be to God. Another one has found his home and his forever family.

Friday, August 1, 2008

How sweet it is....

I think it is just wonderful when I get updated pictures of  "our kids". How generous and caring of their parents to realize that we just want to know they are happy and doing well and loved. It is how we dreamed their lives would be when we played with them and cuddled them in China. They were so innocent and trusting and so in need of a family to do for them what is being done now.
So thanks for sharing you wonderful people. Here is Megan and her sweet sister Carly.

And of course, the infamous and loved little Cailean.........still at Starfish.  A healthy and strong
boy now, just learning to walk. Amanda and all her supporters have done that for him by the grace of God. It is a good thing and we continue to pray that his life will unfold as planned and 
that he too will find a family of his very own. He was born a good natured and happy little soul and I see no signs of that changing.

We are making great headway on plans for our 2009 trip..........hop over to that blog and update yourselves. Getting pretty excited!! would love to hear any comments you have to make and thanks for keeping the faith with us.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bad friend and another adoption...

I just haven't had a moment to phone Brittany yet. The time that I usually chose is dinner time and if we are off schedule when we are done it is usually too late Eastern time to phone. I did email and I will phone. To be continued.....

Starfish reporting that Nathaniel will be adopted this Sunday. He will be called Will and his home will be the great USA. Hope to get a photo and find a blog. To be continued......

Heard from Megan's Mum. She is doing well and more! Beautiful pictures also sent. She and her sister are a sweet pair. To be continued....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Brittany called us!!!!!!!

We missed her!!!!!!!! Out shopping. we will phone tomorrow and I will update everyone.
We are happy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Return to China 2009...

As I have said, we will keep this blog going until all the wee Starfish we knew and loved are with their very own family. Until they are all adopted. This is a very optimistic stance but we are praying God will work more miracles for these most precious little children and families who would welcome them and love them forever.

But now we begin another journey. It is Grace and Beth's turn to go, once again back to where they began and where our family was forged. So begins the Return to China 2009 saga. ( We are so very excited and invite you to follow along. 

It was just by chance Isabel began to write some of this blog and I am so glad she did. It was in these posts I found out so much of how she really felt. She got so much positive and complimentary feedback it was totally amazing.  This time I will encourage both girls to blog as well. It is such a good way to preserve the memories.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Anthony is looking so good....

The very gracious, thoughtful and kind Carrie sent us an update on Anthony. He is well settled and doing just fine, thank you very much. Hope to hear about Megan  from her Mom soon too.

I am praying more adoptions are on the horizon but not too much news from Starfish these days.
Dog days of summer I guess. So want families to come and get their children but it is painfully slow.

Our news is that I am returning to Beijing to volunteer again at another foster home much to Isabel's regret. My youngest two Beth and Grace will come this time. Come along for the journey.
Address is in our links section.......also our family blog contact info.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fifteen...... moving on down......

Jeannie and her Mom, Dad and big brother. Going home and look at everyones face. It says it all for me. I am happy tonight.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Jeannie's adoption.....

Sweet Jeannie was united with her Norwegian family on the 29th but no news yet from Amanda on how it went. Are we 15 left now? I hope so. Lots of others have had their paper work done but no news on further progress. Keep checking in folks and pray that all of our little friends find homes and families to love and nurture them. It is simply taking too long but I have to remember His will not mine.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

More adoptions in the works...

We have news that Jeannie will be adopted June 29th into a family from Norway!!
Happy days........that leaves 15 and we hear two more will follow soon........13...........
so we are getting closer to seeing our little ones  all in forever families. What a miracle
if each and every one we knew got to experience the joy and love of a home and family.

There's our boy....

Check out Anthony (far right) and his beautiful brothers. Four sweethearts. We are so happy for him. His lovely Mother has promised to keep us updated and I think that is so generous and kind of her. Anthony is blessed as are his family. TBTG.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Heard from her Mom and things are going well. She looks so happy. Thrilled to see where she is living and how she fits right in where she was meant to be.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

It is so quiet...

Here is sweet Lily with her family. It does my heart good imagining how her days are spent now. Still our little Twinkle girl.

It is three months almost since we came home from China. It seems like a distant memory and yet 3 months is such a short time. I wish I had a crystal ball to gaze into every now and then. To see the kids and know they are doing well. Amanda is not writing much in her blog and has been away from the home for quite some time since we left. Our contact with Brittany and Louise has been minimal and Pat and Cindy are no doubt busy as well. It makes the connection we all had for that brief moment in time bittersweet. But such is life and we will continue to follow the little ones we knew as long as we can and as long as it takes. 

Friday, June 6, 2008

I wish there was more to tell you...

I would love to post pictures of Megan and her new family and Anthony and his new family. Especially I would so like to post pretty photos of any of the sixteen remaining Starfish and their forever families, but I can not because there are none....for now. I hear whisperings of some to come but just not now.

Of course, now there are even more children residing at the foster home on the fifth floor in Xi'an, but we don't know them and so don't have the same connection that we had with
 "our kids". 

I am just going to have to learn to be patient here.......not an easy thing for me. Meanwhile I busy myself planning our trip for next year. Trying to decide where to go and how we can be of best service and praying for all those without families of their own all over the world today.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman...

I don't think there is anyone in the Chinese adoption community who hasn't cried at his video or heard the lyrics and music of "When love takes you in". It is on so many blogs! Well. folks this man and his family surely need your prayers today. Their 5 year old baby girl Maria Sue was accidently run over and killed yesterday. My heart goes out to them in their terrible grief.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

There are lots of ways to help...

More Groups Helping Children

If you're still looking for an organization that will touch your heart, perhaps one on this list of charities will speak to you. I cannot personally endorse them  but will, as I hope you do, investigate them all before I chose which ones are right for our family.

A Child's Right (Clean drinking water for children around the world)
A Mother's Love (Surgeries, nanny programs, etc)
Angel Covers (Impacting angels in orphanages worldwide)
Bring Me Hope (Camps, mentor relationships, & pgms for orphans)
Blue Sky Healing Home (Special needs orphanage outside of Beijing)
Children's Bridge (Hohhot, Yan'an, Yangxin, Wanzai, & Xiushan)
Children's Hope (Sponsorships and other pgms around the world)
China Care Foundation (Sponsorship for the most at-risk children)
CCAI (Foster care, their own orphanages, & other excellent pgms)
FTIA (Foster programs in Hunan & Zhanjiang)
Fuling Kids Intl (Helping children in the Fuling SWI)
Fujian Kids (Helping children in Fujian Province orphanages)
Grace and Hope for Children (Foster care programs throughout China)
Half the Sky (Sponsorships, big sisters program, schools) *stellar reputation
Holt International (Sponsorship in many countries)
Harmony Outreach (Foster care, surgery, adoption)
Love Without Boundaries (Education, foster care, surgeries, etc.)* well known for their work
Mission Trip to Kenya (My friend Jen is going to Kenya to help orphans)
New Day Foster Home (Foster programs, education, surgeries, Beijing)
New Hope Foundation (Surgeries for the sickest orphanage children)*personal experience doing some work with Shaohannah's Hope 
The LOOK Project (Love and care for older children in orphanages)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Things are getting better in China...

About Danielle.......God's will not mine....I have given it up to Him.

On reading my blogs this morning I am comforted.

Half the Sky is doing such a good job there in the orphanages and with the foster parent program and in their work with the Chinese government. Not to mention the earthquake help! Go to their web site and do some research, see some photos and read some of the first person reports.  (see links)

I am seeing such a change in the photos posted by parents waiting to travel to China. With their referrals they get several pictures and then are able to communicate with the caregivers and ask questions and send packages and get updates....even, in one case a Birthday cake. Wow. The surroundings are looking so much less drab and institutional, and the staff look happy as do the children. I know that this is not always the case but it is a step in the right direction and I get a sense that the government is making an effort to improve the care of these orphans.

When we first adopted back in 1996 we received one tiny passport size photo that was 6 months old. It was a very serious business then! I wouldn't have had a clue about contacting the SWI. So that is progress folks. We aren't any where close to where we should be but things are improving.

It also does my heart good to see the older children being adopted. There are so many wonderful kids waiting for a home and so few who are chosen. After the earthquake their numbers are sure to grow.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Opened a newsletter from Amanda at Starfish today and after happily reading for several minutes found mention that Danielle .......our little pixie girl......had died. All it said was she passed in her sleep one month ago!!  I was shocked beyond belief and don't know how I will tell Isabel. What hurts is that she was matched and had parents who would have come for her and taken her home and gotten her medical care she may have needed. Don't know what to say just now.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Today Jasmine became Megan....

Jasmine/Megan met her forever family today and there is more happiness in our house.

 We are praying for a smooth transition but she was a very cautious little girl and with new people it took her some time to warm up. She has a new sister which will really  help her being used to a house full of kids. Such a beautiful and sweet kid. I am going to ask the parents when they come home if we may post a photo of the new family... for now we are just full of joy for everyone involved.

That leaves 17 of our original 21 to go!!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thanks Brooke...

I got an email from a new friend today. Her name is Brooke and she is 12 and she and her Mom and Aunt spent a week in early April at Starfish. She linked us up to her blog and I have just read it and was so happy to see more photos of our old young  friends. (will check if I can pass on her link) I want to know lots more about Brooke and her family and have a million questions.  Isabel will be over the moon when she gets home from school!! She still misses the children so much.

Sadly they to had the sad experience of one of the babies dying. This is disturbing to me.
I will need to think and pray about it for a while.

Bite on the bum...

Yep!! Remember my little tirade about the frivolous things in life and how we rich North Americans like to spend money on silly things like hot tub rentals for parties and fancy clothes and expensive postage when 35,000 children a day die of hunger and 4500 a day die of AIDS in Africa? Yesterday Grace went off to her track meet after school and decided to climb a big old rusty fence........and promptly fell off it slicing her right hand up pretty darn good!! We were in the ER department for 5 or so hours and she got her first experience with stitches. She is in bed now fast asleep after getting home around 2am. Tomorrow at 8am we are off to see a plastic surgeon and I am praying there is no nerve or tendon et cetera damage which will require more invasive action. 

What I know for sure is the party is cancelled. A) because she cannot get her hand wet and it is too soon after the injury to risk it by trying a rubber glove or such like, and, B) she really would be limited in game playing or interacting with her friends. ( here is a little girl who loves her karate and does about three dozen cart wheels a day just for fun). So that was God's way of bringing home how things can change in a blink of an eye and that we should be thankful that we live in a country where such good medical care is available and where our children are surrounded by a loving, caring community. Grace was taken care of the instant she hurt herself by three of her lovely teachers and some Doctor friends and her sister and classmates. 

Since her Vancouver family is coming on Saturday ( Uncle Ian & Aunt Rosemary et al) for the long weekend we will still have a lovely celebration of being together and cousin Emily will be with her girls!!! Yeah!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pray for the people in China...

A massive earthquake has hit China and the epicentre was a mere hour or two outside of Chengdu which holds such happy memories for Isabel and I. I can only imagine how devastating it must have been and of all the suffering and grief the people are enduring now.

 I emailed Amanda who is still in Shanghai with Emily and she said all the children are fine but were outside of the Home and that there was some damage to the building. That is all I know.
I am thankful the kids and the nannies and all our friends there are okay.

Our prayers are for the injured and their families and for the those who have lost their homes and loved ones. We pray that help will be there for any and all who need it. My heart goes out to them.

I am sad today...

We rented a hot tub for Grace's 11th birthday party coming up this Saturday.  The kids were beside themselves with happiness. As I watched them set it up yesterday and saw the excited faces of my children I couldn't help but think of many other children in the world. 
Those without food and clean water, and a sound roof over their heads. Dressed in rags and cold of body and of spirit. Living without hope or joy. Never a hug or a kind word. Struggling just to get through each day.

Since we came back from China it is becoming clearer everyday that those children are luckier in so many ways than the poorest of the poor who now reside in Africa.  Now that China's economy is booming and people are becoming better able to provide for their children fewer will be given up and those left in orphanages will be fostered which is the trend. The SN will hopefully continue to be adopted and those severely disabled will be better cared for than before.

What saddens me so is that we think what these orphans need is lots of clothes and cute shoes and headbands. Photo ops of holidays that aren't celebrated in their Easter and Christmas. The effort put forth for those is simply confusing for the children. Scrapbooks that cost many dollars that could be eliminated, redirecting the cash to medical/surgical care, not to mention the time spent on them which would be better used just holding a baby or playing with a toddler or teaching the older children. Best of all would be putting all that time, effort and money into making adoption happen quicker, whether domestic or international, so they have a home and parents who love and care for them and who will build those memories with them.

 The best foster home in the world cannot make up for family. At least the children have bed and shelter and food. Thank God..... for the nannies who care for them; who have families of their own yet spend 12 hour days with these little ones and do grow to love them as best they can. It isn't always an easy job; to the volunteers who give money and time and so much "stuff" and who leave their own homes to travel with the babies and care for them after their surgeries and serve on Boards and paint and change diapers and........I am hoping everyone gets the picture. And I am sorry for going on......if I could sum it up in just a few words I would. 

It makes no sense to me to spend nearly $1000 on shipping cartons of new clothing, which again costs hundreds and hundreds of dollars, to a country where most of those items came from when that money could feed countless orphans in Africa or pay for surgery or support a good charity that uses the money in a thoughtful and productive way.

For me and my family I am going to try and cut back on the things like hot tubs and the like and try to teach my girls that toonie parties can still be fun. Half of the money for the birthday girl and half to a good cause of their choice and hopefuly involving children. We will continue to bankroll our 3 foster children through World Vision, where we are sure the money we send reaches the orphans.  We will try to volunteer in our community and I will take my two youngest back to China next March break to volunteer at The Hope Foster Home near Beijing.

While I am at it also ....we don't give goody bags either........we are helping Mother Earth by cutting back on plastic consumption and the money goes elsewhere too. It is the parents who feel they are not good enough if they don't carry on this tradition who insist on it. The kids could care less and just have fun with their friends!!!

Now stepping down from the soapbox..........for now. 

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Anthony is with his Mom and Daddy...

Follow the link for some great photos of Anthony (aka Benjamin) with his forever family and his Mommy and Daddy. I am so happy for him and am sending a big cyper hug. He is the sweetest boy with such a kind heart. I so remember bed time at Starfish and him handing out the bottles to the other kids. Can't wait to see him with his THREE brothers.........he will be thrilled. What a lucky family to have been blessed with this child.  (journey to china 2008)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Our friend Brittany...

Brittany has moved on from Starfish and is spending time with her boyfriend  before going to Guangzhou to visit family until the end of June. She will travel back to the USA then to prepare for medical school. I cannot say enough about Brittany. Without her we would have had an entirely different experience in China. She did so much for Isabel and I from helping us navigate the grocery store to booking our trip to Chengdu and even flying down there with us to see the giant Pandas. She was our interpreter and our guide and became our friend. She was a tremendous roll model for Isabel and they really "got" each other and one was as silly as the other at times. So thank you Brittany and good luck at school. We have no doubt you will do well.
Enjoy your free time. All those hours of waiting when the babies were at the hospital for tests and you had to interpret were made easier by your soft spoken and gentle handling of difficult situations. You will be missed at Starfish, no doubt.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Someone is traveling...

Benjamin (see photo below under Apr 13 post)....soon to be Anthony.... will be meeting his new Mom and Dad this weekend!!!!! They have been waiting to bring him home since last August for heavens sake!! He is going to be one happy little guy especially once he hits the USA and meets his three brothers. I forgot to ask his Mom if I could share her blog so I can't link you up but I surely will do that when I can. So please say a prayer for a safe journey and a smooth transition for this family. 
Now we wait for Gabriel, Jasmine and Danielle's families to come and take them home.
One down and 19 to go.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Morning reads...

My morning routine is to take a coffee back to bed and read the newspaper and then I read my favourite blogs on my laptop. These are mostly families en route or in China to receive their children. This is a recent thing as I thought I was long past following these trips. We know a couple who are slowly but surely inching toward getting their referral and I began following the monthly announcements of what dates were coming up. These were linked to the blogs and I was hooked. I also have a colleague who is adopting a sibling group from Ethiopia.........same thing! The situation with Chinese adoption is so agonizingly slow now......about 3-5 years I think they are saying.....that many are turning to Africa where it is a year from beginning to end for the whole process approximately.  God knows there are enough orphans in the world that where we go doesn't matter. That these kids get a home and family does so very much. Hence my previous get people thinking.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Think about it and then we'll talk.....

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Happy news....

Danielle, our sweet pixie girl, has a family!! We are so happy for her and them. Also hear Jasmine and Benjamin will soon be going home to and also  Gabriel. That leaves 16 children from the group we came to know and love who we will continue to wait with and pray for until their forever families come for them. We will wait as they do and keep you posted.
All is well at home and spring is slowly creeping in. Isabel did her presentation at school. Everyone loved the pandas and the kids from Starfish. Some did not understand that Patrick had been a living human being put here for a purpose. They simply saw a baby who did not look like a baby but a wizened little old man and that made some of them laugh, which broke my heart. 
They just don't understand.

(pictures are Gabriel, Benjamin, Jasmine and then Danielle....all waiting)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Two weeks home...

It seems we were in China a vast amount of time ago.....and yet it was only two weeks!!!  I cannot believe how busy I have been since then. No wonder we become so immersed in our lives we forget everything else going on around us. As well as going back to work and caring for the house and the girls I have been organizing all of the trip photos. Not only here on the blog, but making DVD's with music. I am quite proud of them because they look great! 
Isabel is going to do a presentation at school. She still needs to talk about everything she saw and did in China so she can process it all. Next week after school we are hoping to meet with a friend who has been to Starfish and can feel the same connection to the place and the children we do. Sharing is good. 
To facilitate that I have made a generic travel DVD, a DVD about Starfish and the children, and one just on our amazing Panda trip. For good measure I have made 3 for friends interested in specific children. That is 6 in total. Gotta love the new technology.
I am also caught up in the new referrals for adoption on "the china adopt talk site". Last week I read that if only 7% of Christians adopted there would be no orphans. Mind boggling.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

and our lovable little Dian Dian....

 means "tiny"........but tiny terror would be more appropriate. He raced everywhere and was always nicking food or treats from residents at Sims Cozy Guesthouse in Sichuan, not far from Tibet.  In this case a fish from the pond, which I think was dead already. Yuck!!!! Sim is from Singapore and he and his wife and 2 children ran Sim's, a wonderful hostel where a room could be had for $15 a night with double bed, TV and free DVD's, internet and private bathroom....and a darn good restaurant. Would love to have stayed longer because it was much prettier than Shaanxi. Met people here from all over the world. Lots of older kids backpacking to Tibet who were turned away because of the troubles and rioting there now.


Obviously...the instantly recognizable and beautiful giant Pandas.  Being a conservationist I refused to pay a $150 fee to hold a Panda and so we reenacted it!!!

                 ........and the much less known
                Red Pandas.......we were actually just a very short distance away from
                these lovely bears and the reserve was well run and cared for, peaceful and tranquil.