Small steps...Taiwan journey

Small steps...Taiwan journey


This is the story of our lives, especially concerning adopting 3 siblings from Taiwan.

Monday, March 26, 2012

last minute details at home

February 27, 2012
Ugh…too many things to think about and plan and on top of that little issues that become big with the kids.  Sam and obsession with seeing a $750 lego set on craigslist, Emma barely interested in studying for biology test.  Those things alone aren’t a huge deal, but on top of a house turned upside down with having moved furniture, plans for the Taiwan trip with no real timeline, medical needs and plans, etc.  I know it can all get done; we’ve made significant progress on the house and readying the rooms for the little guys.  I’m shopping around for a few dressers.  The last few years of a bookshelf for Sam’s clothes has taught me that that does not work.

Since it's been close to a record snow year in Alaska, we're excited to see that "great yellow orb in the sky" as Tom calls it.  

Tickets have been bought.  Tom leaves on Monday and the kids and I leave Mar 12 to Seattle, then to Utah.  Some details are still to be determined, and we have a huge list of questions in to our agency re: travel details.
 Since the kids are going and we will only have 10-14 days advance notice of when to be there, we are going early.  ***This was a tough choice, but living in the Great White North means it’s costly to leave the state, and when you do leave, you make the most of it.  It means that there are no solid dates for picking up the little ones, and in reality, no guarantees.  Still court rulings and unknowns.

A huge bright spot:  I researched for awhile possibilities for volunteering in Taiwan.   I really did NOT want this to be a big vacation—more like a chance to learn a culture, share our time and energy in some useful purposeful way with others.   I guess I didn’t expect to find much in the way of need since it’s not a third world country, but I found some great options.  On a blog, there was a description of an English school outside Taipei that offers room and board in exchange for volunteering at their school.   Classes are offered after their regular school day.   That is my background… when I worked  in Maryland 15 yrs ago teaching English writing classes to ESL students at a community college.  I emailed the school and it looks like it will all work out perfectly.  They are excited to have an Alaskan family…the woman asked us to bring pictures etc.  She said when she thinks of Alaska, she thinks of husky dogs.  So, one more list to make…what would be fun to share with 7-12 yr old kids in English about Alaska?  Whoo hoo!!!

February 19, 2012
Next week is the adoption court hearing and then a first ruling and a final ruling after that.  Our agency caseworker thinks it will be April that we can pick them up.  All along, we felt that we wanted the kids to go with us-that perhaps the little ones will bond more easily with kids.  It would also be wonderful for them to experience the culture—see where their Taiwanese siblings came from.  I just think they’re old enough to get SO MUCH out of a trip like this, and because we home school, they can go with no problem.

I always knew this would be life changing, but the other night I was making my lists and I was struck—this is HUGE!  There is nothing more important than this time—making our home a place where three new children can be happy.   Anything else pales in comparison to me:  prioritizing home preparations for these kids.  It just so happens that it’s a little more involved for me because of my weakness in the area of cleaning/organizing.  But it’s okay; I am making headway—mentally, physically—recognizing practical things and big picture things.  I hope I can do what matters most.

February 14, 2012
Feeling a bit of stress and hoping to hold it together.  We got an email yesterday saying that a court hearing will be held next week, Feb 21.  Unfortunately, there was no other information in the email, so we’re not sure what that date means…how soon we will end up going to Taiwan, etc.  Tom is just itching to go.   So, he wants to leave in two weeks and I am freaking out a little bit.  There are MANY things to do to prepare, especially if this is the last weeks before we return with 3 new people in our family:  beds, space in rooms, pare down.  That’s just the physical…not to mention what to bring, documents, pre stuff for emma and sam (teeth, eyes), notes/gifts for people in Taiwan, where to stay etc, a cleanup of home.   It is a bit overwhelming but we are making headway in all recognizing the need for such change (ie less meat, more plant based diet, less or no milk). 

It also stresses me considerably to think of traveling indefinitely.  We really struggle (at least I do) to have peaceful interface when we travel; there are many unknowns and somehow we haven’t mastered that communication and understanding.  I do not want to go into picking up the kids feeling stressed and frustrated, but I can’t see how to avoid it.  Am I any further along in my growth or understanding? 

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