THE SEVENTH DIAMOND

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Kerri!

Happy Birthday to my good friend Kerri at 'The Monkey King'! Her special day was yesterday, so please go over and leave her some fun comments...

Welcome to the Saturday Morning Chat Group...



Good Morning Everyone and welcome to the Saturday Morning Chat Group! I hope you all are well!

I had a wonderful conversation with Amanda yesterday and she gave me quite a big of information about herself and Starfish. (What she could through IMing).
She told me that there was some damage from the earthquake to the Starfish home which is a 3 bedroom apartment. They are trying to get repairs done. She said it is mostly drywall repair and the carpet will need work. All of the babies now stay on the first floor. I told her all about the fundraiser and the auction. She told me to please thank everyone. She cannot see our blogs, they are blocked in China. She sent me an article that she wrote a little while ago, so if you want to know how she began Starfish, please read the post below.

I know that many of us are still very emotional about the earthquake. All I can say is please continue to pray. The stories coming out about the devastation are just overwhelming to me.

The auction still needs your support. Please look around your home and see what treasures you may have to donate. So far over $1000 has been raised, but each surgery costs approx. $3000. If you are unfamiliar with the auction, press the link on the upper right hand of my blog. Head on over there today and do a little shopping ; ) I just donated 3 dresses.

Sharon from 'And Bai Li Makes 3' is in China right now to bring her daughter Bailey home. Please pray for them and follow their journey.

Janet from 'Tuininga Treasures' is home from Africa with her two little ones. She is posting about their adoption experience, so if you would like to know what it's like to adopt from Africa, please visit their blog.

THE CHAT ROOM IS NOW CLOSED....HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Amanda's Story...The Beginning of Starfish



Tonight I had the privilege of talking to Amanda and I asked her how she started the Starfish Foster Home. She sent me this article that she wrote. She also wanted me to thank everyone who has donated. She told me that $6,000 has come in for surgeries. She is unable to see blogs, they are blocked in China. Her blog is updated by someone here in the United States. She is aware of the fundraiser and of the auction and she is very grateful for all of our support.



IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING

What would you do if a dream that seemed absolutely impossible suddenly came true with hardly any effort on your part? Your life as you know it will forever be altered and if you were to make this commitment it will be a decision that will commandeer the rest of the time that you are alive.

My impossible dream: Opening an orphanage in China. I had never considered that there was even the remotest possibility that as a foreigner, I would be granted permission to start. A casual conversation on the way home from the government orphanage, where I had been volunteering for the past six months, turned into the stunning news four days later that I could go ahead. Where were the piles of paperwork, the months of waiting and the endless visits to government offices? What had happened to the famous slow grind of bureaucracy? The speed at which this took place scared me and it took me a while to come to terms with what it all meant. A few months earlier I had asked to become a foster parent and was turned down flat. Now I was offered as many babies as I could handle. What a paradigm shift!

If I was a logical woman I would have made a run for it. I was about to accept a lucrative job offer in Korea which included a two year Masters degree. My heart, however, could not pass up this chance to make a difference in the life of a child. I threw all caution to the wind and without much preparation, I forged ahead. There was no time for very careful budgeting, cost analysis or professional looking grant proposals to philanthropic organizations. I was not going to let some small, tiny, insignificant detail like money stop me from passing up this golden opportunity, so I delved into my savings account. Tom Brokaw once said something along the lines of: Making money is easy, but making a difference is decidedly more difficult.

So here I am almost a month after the arrival of the babies, five girls and a boy. As you can well imagine the morning of Sept 13, 2005 was filled with much emotion. The learning curve has been steep, the experience exhausting and the benefits truly inspiring. Nothing compares with the fact that three of the girls, who were malnourished, underweight and expected to die, have had their lives saved. Not only that, but that they are thriving.

I am looking forward to our first adoption, which is going to be a bittersweet experience. I clearly understand my purpose in all of this. I am to be a provider, protector, defender and a record keeper for these defenseless children. I am to prepare them to be placed in the arms of a new mom and a dad. I hope that in the future, they will know that during this time of rejection and abandonment, they were also wanted, cared for and loved by many people who have put forth so much effort on their behalf. I think about meeting them years from now, knowing that they have grown up healthy, happy and have been blessed by love.

As I sit here at 3:55am, everyone is asleep which makes it a perfect time to write down some thoughts. I keep watch over them, accompanied by baby sounds: The snores, grunts, groans, sucking noises and the occasional cough.

I have become bolder in my dreams of the impossible and my expectations have been raised considerably. I dream of hundreds of children in a bi-lingual environment, family style housing, a school, an army of local and international volunteers and teachers, medical care, a website, a foundation and first rate special education facilities. I still harbor one huge secret dream, which I will continue to keep close to my heart. Maybe one of these days I will tell you that this too, has come true. I often see the slogan on billboards around China and I now know that it is true: Impossible is nothing.

I am off to the mundane tasks of having a baby, multiplied by six. The 24-hour-on-demand-bottle-delivery system, the never ending diapers and the mountains of laundry…..


Amanda de Lange


THIS AUCTION ITEM ABOVE IS CLOSING TONIGHT (FRIDAY) AND THE HIGH BID IS $50.00. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS, IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE WHO CAN OUTBID $50.00????


I can't tell you how happy I am that it's the weekend! Fridays are always fun at work and I'm looking forward to some great weather on Saturday and Sunday.

I donated 3 new dresses to Daleea's on-line auction for Starfish, so please go over and bid on them and consider donating something. You all know how passionate I am about the Starfish Foster Home and this auction is a lot of fun and as long as we keep donating and bidding, it will continue to bring in money for the surgeries that the Starfish babes need.

Have a fantastic day!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Update on my Grandmother...


Thank you everyone for your prayers and cards. They have brought a lot of happiness to my home. Yes Anonymous Blog Friend, I received your card and want to say thank you. Your love and friendship came shining through.
My Grandmother's first chemo treatment went very well. She suffered no side effects at all. So hopefully that will continue. She is shopping for scarves and a wig as she she knows she will soon lose her hair. But she is in very good spirits.

I found My Pay It Forward Gifts...


Chelley, Jill and Kelley...I found my 3 special little gifts for you and will be getting them in the mail over the next couple of days!

For anyone who hasn't done the pay it forward on their blog...it's a lot of fun, you can copy my post below if you want and join in!

A Good Time to Make A Donation...


I know that Half the Sky is doing what they can to help with the earthquake affected areas in China. I am sure that they will be needing donations.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Some Rony Wisdom...


By T. D. Jakes


There are people who can walk away from you.
And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk away from you: let them walk.

I don't want you to try to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. I mean hang up the phone.

When people can walk away from you, let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.

The Bible said that,"they came out from us that it might be made manifest that they were not for us. For had they been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us. [1 John 2:19]

People leave you because they are not joined to you. And if they are not joined to you, you can't make them stay.

Let them go.

And it doesn't mean that they are a bad person, it just means that their part in the story is over. And you've got to know when people's part in your story is over so that you don't keep trying to raise the dead. You've got to know when it's dead.

You've got to know when it's over.

Let me tell you something... I've got the gift of good-bye. It's the tenth spiritual gift, I believe in good-bye. It's not that I'm hateful, it's that I'm faithful, and I know whatever God means for me to have He'll give it to me. And if it takes too much sweat, I don't need it. Stop begging people to stay.

Let them go!!

If you are holding on to something that doesn't belong to you and was never intended for your life, then you need to......

LET IT GO!!!

If you are holding on to past hurts and pains .......

LET IT GO!!!

If someone can't treat you right, love you back, and see your worth.....

LET IT GO!!!

If someone has angered you .
LET IT GO!!!

If you are holding on to some thoughts of evil and revenge.....
LET IT GO!!!

If you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction......
LET IT GO!!!
If you are holding on to a job that no longer meets your needs or talents ......

LET IT GO!!!
If you have a bad attitude......

LET IT GO!!!

If you keep judging others to make yourself feel better.....

LET IT GO!!!
If you're stuck in the past and God is trying to take you to a new level in Him.....

LET IT GO!!!

If you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship.....

LET IT GO!!!

If you're feeling depressed and stressed ......

LET IT GO!!!

If there is a particular situation that you are so used to handling yourself and God is saying 'take your hands off of it,' then you need to......

LET IT GO!!!

Let the past be the past. Forget the former things. GOD is doing a new thing for 2008!!!

LET IT GO!!!

Get Right or Get Left. Think about it, and then.....
LET IT GO!!!
The Battle is the Lord's !

Note: Please feel free to "steal" this. As I mentioned one of my dearest (you know who you are) forwarded this to me. For me it was a reminder of those who are dear to me. We can't always fret about the ones who could've been. After all, they too need to put a little effort into the relationship.....

Quote for the Week...

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Earthquake and Updates from Waiting Families...


I wish that I could find some better maps showing the provinces clearly around the epicenter of the earthquake, but I haven't been able to find any better than these.
I am very concerned about the Starfish babes. They live in Xian which isn't far from Sichuan. I have sent an e-mail to Amanda, but I doubt that she will be able to get it. I don't know if she is still in Shanghai with Emily, or back in Xian.

*Update from April, the Starfish Babies are fine.
*April's Eliana should be fine.
*Kelly's Ella should be fine.
*Margaret's Graeme should be fine.
*Robin's Mia Hope should be fine.

*Sharon's Bailey should be fine.

If you are waiting for your child and they are in area that most likely has been affected by the earthquake and you would like to add them to the mother's prayer chain, please leave me a comment and I will post them with their photo for us all to pray for.
If you know that your baby is in a safer area, please leave a comment and let us know that too.

Pay It Forward...


Pay it Forward

Have you ever seen that movie? We have it and it is very good, with a very simple premise of just doing someone a favor without expecting anything in return, and if you would just "pay it forward" by returning the act of kindness and generosity, then it might be possible for a global outpouring of decency toward all mankind. A blogger that I follow decided to start her own "pay it forward" project and I am blessed to be the recipient of her generosity. Now it is my turn to pay it forward.

Debbie, I hope that you don't mind, but I am just copying this right off your blog :D
How does it work? Here are the rules: I will send a gift (of my choosing) to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this "PIF" exchange, and who make the same pledge on their own blog. The only thing you have to do in return is PAY IT FORWARD - on your own blog. So, if you want to get a goodies from me, and are willing to do the same via your blog, let me know! (Note that you'll need to give me your real (snail mail) address... which you can do by private email.) Just leave a comment and I will get with you. So, who's up for it?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!





Happy Mother's Day! I want you women to know that I consider each of you a Mom, even if you don't consider yourselves to be. When I signed the adoption papers for Sophia, on that day I declared myself to be a Mom, just as I did when I knew I was pregnant for each of the boys. It is an incredible gift to me to be able to know you and wait with you. You are some of the most amazing women I have ever met. I send you love and hope today.