Small steps...Taiwan journey

Small steps...Taiwan journey


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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

what we miss & what we gain

This started as a post on what we miss, and turned into...what we gain. These are the kids, Han-3 yrs, Lin-5 yrs, and Mei-Yun-4 yrs and if we can remember why we're here, all else is just periphery, right?
This week, Dada School got 2 more volunteers, a couple from Ireland. We figured 7 volunteers was overkill and wanted to clear out so the new couple could make friends with the kids more easily. Most of our outings thus far have been fairly locally, by train or through John and Ching’s transport and guidance.
We are in the north-Taoyuan County, light blue west of Taipei, and are headed to the beach in Kenting at the southern tip-light green. It was a classic travel day…too much time spent on trying to do the video chat with Han only to have it not work. We left later than we’d planned, took a train to a neighboring town, spent TOO long figuring out where the shuttle bus was to the High Speed Rail (HSR), and made it on finally.
HSR was super quick, considering we were going most of the length of the island. Once we got to Kaoshuing, we met a driver for the rest of the trip; that took about 5 broken English phone conversations (thank you for a phone to have the conversation on) to figure out where we were supposed to be. You forget all of the variables involved in finding locations and the attendant details that our lack of Chinese brings. And as a sidenote, even our fellow volunteer (who says he speaks Chinese at about a 6 year old level) pointed out that he knows very little of the written language, so he could potentially have nearly as much trouble as us.
Note: these are not complaints! But I thought it would be fun to highlight what we miss, now that we’ve been here 3 weeks and have gotten our feet plenty wet! Max is at the top of our list…especially for Sam and Tom. Each time the kids presented the power point on Alaska, Sam went on and on about Max. Even a relative stranger at church got to hear about the dog. Sam also misses cold weather—classic grass is greener, right? I miss ice cold water-that is not part of the culture. No drinks during meals either. I also miss showers that have a door, so that the entire floor of the bathroom doesn’t get wet. Yes, I am spoiled, I know.
And finally, since we have the proof…I was EMBARRASSINGLY happy at Costco last week. I had no idea Costco was in Taiwan, and loved just wandering around. But I know all of you women out there are with me on that one!
Emma misses “regular” bathroom stuff…like being able to put toilet paper down the toilet (which we can’t do in JhongLi)…and being in public places where there is no toilet paper and squat toilets, yes, I miss that too. She also misses your occasional meat based meal; needless to say, we can track down these things-it’s not that they don’t exist, just that they’re hard to find. So....bottom line is that we're all extra grateful for all that we have; it's good to get outside the proverbial comfort zone to see the good.


  1. What an amazing adventure you are having. Saying prayers for you and your family.

  2. WOW!! I am so proud of you guys!! You are so brave to venture out on your own. I completely understand the Costco feeling. I felt the exact same way in a large grocery store on our stay abroad. I didn't know that about myself until it happened. :)
    Seeing the beautiful faces of those children has got to make this all worth it. This experience will be absolutely the most memorable experience your family will have. And, the fact that you did it all together, as a family will create such a wonderful bond. You will have a shared experience that you can talk about for years to come, and since you were all there, you can reminisce together. It's like a study abroad and a mission tied up in one. Thank you for blogging so that the rest of us can feel a tiny part of it as well. :)

  3. thanks for all the wonderful thoughts wendy!! it's been good so far...emma went home and talked about how she feels more confident in certain ways. it's not always measurable, the changes that happen to us!