It seems God knew long before me that Jack was going to be my son.
In June 2009, I travelled to Xi'An to adopt my daughter, Brighton Faith. She is from a very rural area in ShaanXi province called Yan'An. I visited there in 2008 when I went to take Brighton a walker to help her learn to ambulate. She had a very severe club foot then as well as spina bifida. Since I had already been to see her SWI, I did not feel it was necessary to travel 4 hours to visit again. So, we found ourselves in Xi'An with time on our hands.
During my waiting weeks for Brighton, I had agreed to deliver some boxes to Starfish Foster Home. I took one with me on the plane and checked it as a bag. Upon arriving, I mailed it to Starfish so I did not have to lug it all over Beijing while I visited with my "Chinese sister" Angela. The box arrived before I did in Xi'An.
I had all the contact numbers for Amanda DeLange, who is the founder of the home and a very active momma to 50 kids she fosters. I called and made arrangements to visit and see what Starfish was all about.
I was excited to go see the kids and look into how I could help Amanda with her needs for the children.
Angela, Brighton, and I went to Starfish by taxi in the morning and arrived at the gated apartment community.
We found the right apartment building and headed up by elevator to the apartment. As the doors opened, I gazed into the hallway and saw two four seater strollers and many other toddler play things. Amanda was at the door seeing out a group of Australian phyisicans. She has world wide connections and this is how she saves so many tiny lives.
After hugs and greetings we were ushered inside to be asked to take off our shoes and have a look around.
It was June and stinkin' hot outside---the apartment did not have AC so the windows were open and the babies and nannies were glowing with perspiration. There were truly babies "wall to wall". Nannies sat with babies in their arms smiling a welcome to me.
I made the rounds to see each child as Brighton wimpered from her stroller. She was having no parts of getting out....the stroller was her ticket out with mommy. This apartment had a wide range of ages represented and I was just amazed at how well the children got along and how organized the home was -- especially with the number of people and children in there day to day.
The children were certainly being cared for in a loving environment which is not the case in most orphanage situations! These little lives were being shaped by their nannies. They were being given security and love and this is what makes for a healthy child...and a healthy bonding/attachment experience when they are adopted.
As we were getting ready to leave the home, I asked Amanda what we could do for her and her babies.
(I was expecting her to ask for material things or fundraising.....) She looked behind me and caught eyes with a handsome little guy. I turned my head to see who she was looking at and found a small boy with a very large head. He was being cradled by his nanny. His gaze caught up in her eyes. Amanda simply stated: