Tuesday, April 26, 2011

China: better late than never

So I wasn't such a faithful blogger in China. This was partially because we were pretty busy and also because China isn't super keen on blogs. I was lucky to have access to a vpn/remote access sort of thing at the Starfish House, but blogger still didn't work 100% of the time using the vpn. Now I am left with the dilemma...do I start where I left off or just summarize the whole expedition?

I guess I will start by giving the rundown of our time at the Starfish House since Rachel and I both have agreed that this was the highlight of our three weeks, hands down. The last 3 months at the Kang house have been full of preparing all sorts of goodies (mainly sheets and pillow cases) for the sweeties of the starfish house. We ended up with almost 100 sheets and a little less than ninety pillowcases. I can't express enough how prepratory this project was, as I saw Rachel go from being giddy about our impending travels to being truly invested in helping the babies at the starfish house. She went from talking about which hotel to stay at to asking if we could just cancel the rest of our trip and stay at the starfish house the whole time. It was amazing, watching her float around the foster home, finding ways to help and really working like crazy the whole time we were there. She spent the majority of her time in the isolation room, which is where the new babies stay until Amanda feels they are ready to join the rest of the munchkins. This is not necessarily the easiest place to be (even though we would all love to hold sweet tiny babies all day) because some of the babies require a little more care, some of the babies (cough, cough...Luke...) are harder to get food down and some the babies are more likely to spit up all of their food back on you. Outside the isolation room, time is easily spent playing with the toddlers of the starfish house who are anxious to have some one on one time with anyone who walks by. Inside the isolation room, the time flies by as you get one baby asleep only to have another one (or three) crying or needing a diaper change. Think octuplets with special needs. :) Oh, how quickly you become attached to those sweet little babies!

A couple of weeks before we arrived, Amanda had received a couple batches of babies, making the isolation room nice and full. Over the next week or so I thought I would tell a little about each of the isolation room babies as those are the ones we spent the most time with. I'll start tomorrow with one of my favorites, Coco....for reals this time.

It didn't take Rachel long to decide that she wants to make another trip back to the starfish house. This time, she wants to raise enough money to pay for a few surgeries and her trip. (and, of course, she wants to stay a little longer.) She started off talking about going a few times a year, but I talked her down to a goal of once a year. I think what really fed her passion was seeing the full spectrum of babies, starting with the ones who were coming to the house malnourished and needing care, babies healthy and awaiting their surgeries, babies who had already received their surgeries and the ones who were moving on to their new families. What it really boils down to is that we are both inspired by the amazing things that are going on at the starfish house and the sacrifices that are being made by volunteers all over the world, but especially the sacrifices made by Amanda to make sure that these children get to not only be loved and placed in families, but that they also receive the medical help that they need to get healthy.


Anonymous said...

What an amazing learning and growing experience. Maybe one day I will be able to go there. Sounds like you were angels on earth.

Emily said...

You continually amaze me. Thanks for sharing your amazing life-journey with all of us! :)

Linda Tunnell said...

can't wait to hear about it all! Who's the little boy?

Kenny and Jennifer said...

I love to hear Rachel's goals!! you have one awesome daughter!

Bridget said...

I am so looking forward to hearing more about your trip. I love what an impact it has made on Rachel...and probably the rest of your family, as well. You may not be able to leave without one or two more next time.