Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Our Starfish

The Story of the Starfish, by Loren Eisley:

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, "What are you doing?"
The youth replied, "Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die."
"Son," the man said, "don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can't make a difference!"
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, "I made a difference for that one."

Today we were able to take Michael and visit the orphanage where he has spent the past seven years. We visited the orphanage last year with Jacob, and that is how we met Michael. However, we didn’t get to spend much time with the other children last year. This year was different. The orphanage was very kind and invited us to spend a couple of hours with the children in Michael’s class and in the toddler class. I wish that I could share that experience with everyone. It is one that James and I will treasure forever. There is something incredibly humbling about being surrounded by these special little people. It is sacred ground and you know that you are with some of God’s most important little spirits. Although nothing can replace a loving home, the orphanage staff has done a wonderful job caring for these little people and it shows in the children’s behavior and demeanor. They were very quick to give us hugs and kisses and were extremely fascinated with our cameras. Michael’s class had even made a sign to welcome us.  It was an absolutely precious time. We are so grateful that we got to meet all of his little friends and get a small glimpse into his life for the past seven years…a life that we sadly were not able to be a part of.

As we left the orphanage, I was grateful for the time that we had spent with these children but also felt disheartened and overwhelmed. There are so many starfish throughout the world that need to be saved. I firmly believe that many, if not all, of these children have a forever family that is meant to find them and bring them home. Each child is waiting for a mother and father who can make the difference in their life. The orphanage staff asked us not to post photos of the children on the internet, but said that we could show them to friends who might be looking for their starfish. So, if you are having feelings or promptings that perhaps you have a little starfish of your own to find, we would love to show you photos and stories of some beautiful starfish that we have seen on a beach in Hangzhou, China.

The following pictures were taken on the exact spot that we met our precious son 15 months earlier. (You can view some pictures of that event in our first post "Meeting Our Son".)

This is the sign that Michael's class made on the chalk board to welcome us...

And this is Michael leaving the orphanage for the very last time...


  1. JENN!!!! I cant even see the pictures clearly now because I am blubbering like a baby! You are the CUTEST most sincere and loving person in the world! I love the starfish story and i LOVE the last picture where Michael is leaving hand in hand with his dad ready to begin his new life. You are all incredible people. I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E!!

  2. Oh, he just looks like such a sweetheart. Lucky you! So excited for your family!