Whether you are already home with your child(ren) from Taiwan, waiting for your child(ren) to come home from Taiwan, or awaiting a referral from Taiwan, you're in the right place!!!

TAIWAN R.O.C.ks was a dream in 2010, and a reality in 2011! In 2010, Jules left a comment on Lisa C.'s blog, which Tiffanie responded to, which turned into an e-mail chain with the addition of Lisa R. That e-mail chain was all about a reunion for Taiwan families. Four blogging Mamas who each have a child born in Taiwan turned that circle of comments and e-mails into this. . .TAIWAN R.O.C.ks (Reuniting Our Children for Kinship and Support).

If you missed the first event, be sure not to miss the SECOND ANNUAL TAIWAN R.O.C.ks Event!!! Hope to see you there. Mark your calendars!

July 27th-29th, 2012 in CHICAGO!!

Your Taiwan R.O.C.ks Team,

Lisa C. (Tyler's Mom) - 2012 Team Lead
Jules (Hayden's Mom)

Lisa R. (Paige's Mom)
Tiffanie (Gracyn's Mom)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Time to register to blow into the windy city!!

Okay it is time to start preparing to BLOW into the windy city for Taiwan ROCks Chicago 2012.

You have booked your room and now it is time to register for all of the fun!!  Just follow the link and it will take you straight to where you need to register.  Just remember you need to register all littles and all big people.....age is based on the date of the event and it doesn't matter what your age.....we need to know EVERYONE that is coming to play with us in the windy city.



we will post more info regarding all of the weekend's events once we have finalized everything. 

We are only 3 months away!!  YIPPEE.  Registration will close June 29, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Welcome to the Windy City 2012

Gracious, it has been a while since I have actively posted to a blog! I have missed it! :)
How tickled I am tonight to share the details of our selected Hotel venue for Taiwan ROCks 2012:
Where: the beautiful Embassy Suites Chicago-Downtown/Lakefront
When: (this is old news but important LOL ) July 27th - 29th, 2012
How?: Planes Trains & Automobiles :)
No really, how? By calling 1-800-HILTONS OR clicking the link below which will take you right to our Group's room block website.http://http://embassysuites.hilton.com/en/es/groups/personalized/C/CHIREES-TRR-20120727/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG
What you need?
Group Name: Taiwan-Rocks Family Reunion
Group Code: TRR
We have secured rates starting at $209.00 for our families with rates applying both 2 nights prior and 2 nights following our reunion weekend. (based on Hotel availability)
Amenities and the "Wow" factor: :)
*Free hot made to order breakfast each day. This is huge in downtown Chicago where even bagels and juice can cost $25 for a family of 4!
*Nightly Manager's Cocktail Hour: complimentary cocktails, sodas and light snacks! Yum!
*Indoor Pool/Exercise Facility
AND so much more!
Where exactly?.... Oh yes.......less than 2 blocks from the fabulous Millennium Park and under a 5 minute walk to Navy Pier and Lake Michigan Beachfront ~ not to mention all kinds of places in between!
What else?? LOTS!! Chicago is home to 2 major baseball teams ( Go Cubs!), the stunning Shedd Aquarium/Oceanarium, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Museum of Science and Industry, the Chicago Art Institute, the second largest Chinatown in the U.S. and of course.......the Miracle Mile, first class shopping at Water Tower Place and American Girl! :)
Who?? All of you!!! All of our fellow (and most fabulous!) Taiwan adoptive families!!
We SO hope to see you all there!!!!
P.S. Registration will open this Spring but please head over to secure your rooms anytime!
Your Taiwan ROCks Planning Team

Monday, August 22, 2011

ROCks Reflections by Sarah

When thinking about what Taiwan R.O.C.ks means to me, I get a little weepy. Well, people who have already met me in person know that it doesn’t take much to flood my eyes with tears and get the mascara running. [Jules, I really didn’t mean to make you cry at Saturday night’s dinner! The idea of writing a wish for my daughter and releasing it on a balloon just got to me. How does one think of just a few sentences to put on a note card for all of the things we wish for our child?] Through the occasional tears on the keyboard, I’d like to tell you why this reunion is important for me, and why I think it’s important for my daughter’s identity as a Taiwanese American adoptee.

While waiting to be matched with our daughter, I read everything I could about other Taiwan adoption journeys… especially everything I could about adopting from the baby home where our child would live. I wanted to read about how the children were cared for, what the referral rate was like lately, how quickly were families going through court, where were families staying in Taiwan, and what were they doing to learn more about this beautiful place and the friendly people there. Because of my interest, hobby, OBSESSION… whatever you what to call it, I learned a lot about Taiwan and “met” a lot of people online. I fawned over their referral photos and checked their bogs to see if they got their monthly updates yet. I really hate to admit that I selfishly cried over one family’s beautiful referral photos. I had been waiting longer than our timeline projected, got a little nutsy, and it even turned to jealousy. I’m quite ashamed to admit that, but I’m trying to be real here about how I felt at that time. And then… one night… checking my email over and over and over praying that I’d get e-mail from our adoption coordinator… it came! Our referral email with info and photos of the biggest blessing I’ve ever been granted, a teeny tiny preemie in Taiwan, and we fell in love.

When our somewhat monthly updates came, I savored each and every photo. But, something else was even better than photos. Some families saw my child in Taiwan before I had ever seen her in person. A few saw her through a window and watched her for me. One friend saw my little Ching-Ling even before our referral and told me later that my daughter was the tiniest baby she had ever seen, no bigger than a ruler. I still cry when I think of yet another mama telling me that she got to hold my daughter for 20-30 minutes, and that my daughter shared at least a thousand facial expressions with her. These were my confirmation at my child was doing well and she was being loved. These mamas are special to me because they knew my daughter even before I did. I treasure the descriptions that they’ve shared with me.

I connected with a lot of Taiwan adoptive families even before I became a mother. Meeting these people in person makes the special connection that we have even more real. Most people in one’s ring of family and local friends don’t understand the fear that you had at AIT wondering what if something is wrong with your paperwork that won’t allow you to bring home your child. Only a few will understand how you feel when yet another person at Walmart asks, “Where is he from? How much did she cost? Can’t you have your own?” and all of the other comments that you’d really not like to deal with when the kids are asking for candy in the check-out line. It’s freeing to feel normal, surrounded by people that GET YOU and have had similar life experiences.


And then… there’s my little lantern. My Hannah, the little light of life. Here’s how I see Taiwan R.O.C.ks for my daughter. This reunion allows her to see that there are a whole bunch of kids just like her. They lived in Taiwan under many different circumstances where they were not able to be parented by their first parents. They were all adopted, most now living in multiracial families, and all will have losses in their life because of the situations that they were born into. By spending time together, they can make friends, feel like they fit in with a group of other families that look like theirs, and look forward to seeing other Taiwanese American adoptees year after year at this event.

Hannah has been hesitant to talk about her adoption experience at this age. It may come from a lack of vocabulary at age three and a half, or she may not realize these wounds or want to expose them quite yet. We’re working on this, and I hope that she will open up with time as we bring up adoption topics in everyday life and as her expressive vocabulary grows so she can tell me how she feels when she’s ready to. We’re making progress by talking about “the baby house,” and she likes to name and look at photos of the other children that lived at the baby house with her in Taiwan. Now that she’s actually met several children in person as a preschooler that she lived with as an infant, Hannah readily includes them in our conversations about the baby house and what children she knows that are Taiwanese American just like her. When we’d meet kids at Taiwan R.O.C.ks that lived in Hannah’s baby house I would pick her up and whisper into her ear, “That’s Becky. She’s a little older than you, but she lived at the baby house with you in Taiwan.” Then I’d watch my daughter’s face for understanding. It’s like a little light goes on inside and you can see it in her expression. She gets it. Becky’s just like her. “And then she come home to her mommy and daddy?” “Yes, baby. And then she came home to live with her forever mommy and daddy.”


There’s this duo, Allie and Hannah. We’ve blessed that we get to visit with Allie and her family with play-dates about every other month. We don’t live very close, but close enough that we can arrange day long play-dates. Allie is determined, so stinkin’ smart, and has a huge vocabulary to tell you what she wants, when she wants, how she wants it, and in what color. Hannah is pretty shy, very slow to warm up to new people, is a follower, likes to play dress up, is warm, loving, likes to be silly like her Daddy, and loooooooves her Allie. To quote Hannah last month, “I miss Allie. She’s my friend. I love her.” Allie loves Hannah right back, and calls Hannah, “MY TAIWAN SISTER” and doesn’t want to share Hannah with her brothers. The girls had a fabulous time together at Taiwan R.O.C.ks! We had sticker and play-doh parties in Miss Lora and Allie’s room, the girls splashed at the water park together, and played chase around tables and hid under tables in a hotel ballroom with a group of preschoolers for over an hour. These unplanned play times were pure joy. It was so easy just to sit back and let them play, or get really involved with helping the really little ones peel stickers off of sticker sheets! Hannah had her first sleepover at Taiwan R.O.C.ks, as well. I gave in when Hannah said, “I want to sleep with Allie,” and Allie’s mommy was pleased with the idea of a slumber party in her room.


I asked my husband Kevin if he had anything that he’s like to say about Taiwan R.O.C.ks, and he replied, “No, I’m not good at stuff like that.” But… this man I love is sure good with little kids! I have to share this example that had me tickled. Hannah wanted to look around the hotel and I wanted her out of my hair for a little bit. I told Daddy that he could take the girls for a walk, and could get them a snack. After checking with the mamas to make sure that snacks were okay and they had no food allergies, Kevin was released into the hotel with three little girls at his side. Twenty minutes later he returns with three little girls licking three HUGE ICE CREAM CONES! Only a daddy would choose to manage three nicely dressed little girls with drippy sticky ice cream cones in a nice hotel! He had little girls crawling over him all weekend, giving shoulder rides and lots of hugs. Kevin was in his element. It’s a good thing that Taiwan R.O.C.ks is only planned for once a year. If we spent more time together, my husband might want four kids instead of one or two!


We’ve been blessed to meet so many Taiwan adoptive families, and I hope to see you again AND meet more of you next year in Chicago!

Mom to Hannah & awaiting #2
Find Sarah blogging at My Little Lantern

Sunday, August 7, 2011

T minus 120 hours and counting

Ft. Mackenzie

120 hours from now we will have 24 families getting settled here in the great, hot state of Texas and enjoy a weekend of friendship.  91 people on Friday night at our pizza party and 76 for the whole weekend!!  It has been a year of planning, years of dreaming and now it is down to 120 hours until R.O.C.ks.
I can't wait to see everyone:)
 For those families coming, you might want to take a minute and look at some of the family blogs we have on the sidebar to familiarize yourself with some of the families you might not know. 

We are down to the final details of prepping for your arrival, we hope everyone enjoys themselves and looks forward to coming each year to spend some time with your very special friends!!! I think we are going to have a great time!!!

See you soon

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Don't You HEART these??

If you're registered to attend the very first Taiwan ROCks Reunion, yay for you!! Each registrant gets a shirt of their choice at no additional cost!

If you're unable to attend, don't worry!!! You can still get one of these fabulous shirts, or two or three, for just $12 a piece plus $2 for S/H.

White Tee: "Boxy-T" Gilden brand available in size 2T to 6XL
Ladies' Red Tee: "Athletic cut/bit tapered" Gilden brand available in size XS to 3XL
Ladies' Red Fitted Tee: "Ribbed" available in size XS-2XL (runs small!)

Submit your order to: jrockaway1@gmail.com, by July 25th
E-mail Subject Line: (Your Last Name + T-Shirt ORDER)
In body of e-mail: Include quantity, style, size

Rocks Family T-Shirt Order
1 Fitted Red Tee, Size Small
1 White Tee, Size L
1 White Tee, Size 2T

Where applicable, shipping and payment will be worked out directly with Jules per order received.





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Monday, June 27, 2011

Don't forget those photos!!! Count down has begun. . .

Congratulations if you've already registered to attend the first-ever TAIWAN ROCks Family Reunion!!! It's not too late to join in the fun.

For those of y'all comin' to TEXAS, don't forget to submit your photos for the slide show to Lisa R., at: leeesar@aol.com

Please submit 4 to 5 photos, please date and label them:
Referral Picture
Gotcha Day Picture
Current Day Picture
Family picture

Can't wait to see all of those Taiwan CUTIES!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Should Know Better (Part II)

Could it be possible that surrounding our kids with others who loosely resemble them actually do more harm than good? “Don’t be silly!” many would retort. “There’s everything to gain and nothing to lose.”

I would like to believe that those people are right. However, my own experiences make me stop and ponder. If we do place our boys in the local public school, we would be putting adopted William in an environment in which he would be surrounded by Asian kids who are mostly children of immigrants, if not immigrants themselves. The same kids who might help him feel more comfortable with his ethnicity may also be the same ones who might give him the greatest grief about his heritage and how he might choose to express it.

In my 36 years, I have found that it is sometimes the 1st and 2nd generation Asian-Americans who hold the narrowest view of what Asians should or shouldn’t be. They can sometimes be quick to make their opinions known. On multiple occasions, I have been given a hard time about my sorry Mandarin (“How come you Chinese but you no speak Chinese?”), my Caucasian boyfriend-turned-husband (“Hey, Judy, do you know what a Twinkie is?”), or my choice to join Christian groups in college that weren’t Asian-specific (whatever happened to the apostle Paul’s declaration that “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”?).


Don’t get me wrong: I’ve had countless positive interactions with Asians, too. Not all are back-biting, self-loathing critics. However, my less-than-pleasant encounters have given me cause to think about our differences and the friction that may ensue as far as my children are concerned. While William is technically a first generation American (or 1.5 generation as some may classify him), his upbringing will probably be more similar to that of a 3rd generation Asian-American. His experience won’t be marked by the rigid adherence to old-world mores and the cultural groping-about-in-the-dark that characterize many 1st generation Asian-Americans, particularly those who moved to America as adults. It will lack the one-foot-in-the-West, one-foot-in-the-East dichotomy that many 2nd generation Americans, myself included, feel. Rather, like many 3rd generation Asian-Americans, I imagine William’s outlook will be more traditionally Western, that he will feel less tormented about picking and choosing which cultural expressions he wishes to retain or forego.

As such, he could very well have a harder time relating to his 1st and 2nd generation Asian-American peers. Whether those kids recognize it or not, there is an invisible bond that joins them. They can laugh at jokes like this, understanding the humor on a surface level that would engage anyone, regardless of race. Yet, they can also appreciate the immigrant frugalista mentality that gives the picture an added layer of humor because they’ve likely experienced it firsthand in their own family. They can read something like this and roll their eyeballs with everyone else at the harshness of the father’s response. However, they’re less prone to charge the father with emotional abuse because they can probably relate to the uncanny mix of severity and love, of sacrifice and good intentions that prompted his words. Chances are, lists of commonalities like this will have them wiping away tears from laughing so hard.


As the adopted child of a 2nd generation Taiwanese-American whose ways are more traditionally Western than Eastern, the deeper humor may well be lost on William. Sure, he’ll pick up a traditional mannerism or two from being around me, things that will naturally transmit with little effort on my part. For better or worse, he can already spot a sample cart at Costco from 100 feet away and maneuver his way toward it like a guided missile. As he gets older, nothing will thrill him like scoring a good bargain via multiple discounts and sad puppy-pleading for an additional price cut because the item is slightly stained. He will learn to honor his elders (though I won’t threaten to disown him if he puts me in a nursing home). He will learn from early on that he represents not only himself but every Asian because frankly, the world is watching, because there are enough ignorant people out there who’d sooner impute the crimes of a single Asian person upon the entire race. And whether it’s an Asian value or not, he will learn the value of a strong work ethic and not making excuses for himself (though if he breaks his arm, he will not force himself to operate on a patient the next day as my father did). Still, in the end, William’s cultural education will be one diluted by my own upbringing, filtered through my personal assessments of what did or didn’t work. As a result, he just might not be laughing as hard as his 1st and 2nd generation Asian peers.

Will a potential inability to relate innately to others of his heritage be just another thing he lost when he was placed for adoption? Only a fool would think he could return to Taiwan one day and be able to “disappear” among the native crowds. My own mother, who spent her first 20 years growing up there, can be easily spotted for a tourist when she returns to visit. Time and distance have an uncanny way of altering one’s mannerisms, style, and general outlook. Even here in the great melting pot of America, William could just as well have a hard time blending in with his non-adopted Asian peers. It would seem that the very act of adoption has wedged him between a rock and hard place when it comes to being fully accepted by people of his own heritage.


Perhaps it’s the worrier in me that fears this conundrum will one day be my son’s. For all I know, there are many international adoptees who go about their lives without wondering whether they’d fit in on either side of the ocean. Perhaps they live in communities that hold looser views of what people of their race “should” and “shouldn’t” be. Or, perhaps they experience antagonism but have the inner confidence to not be shaken by it. In William’s case, I’m hoping for the former scenario but will willingly accept the latter.

Like most parents, adoptive or not, I have resolved to do the best I can to raise my son to be happy and healthy, both inwardly and outwardly. I want so much to make William’s life one that is free of pain, but I know that this is just not possible on this side of heaven. Humans are imperfect beings capable of hurting one another deeply. Knowing that, what can I, as a concerned parent, do to prepare my son to deal with potential opposition from those of his own race? I could teach him to use chopsticks and speak Mandarin so he might “blend in” better with his Asian peers. (I’d argue that there is strong value in having our adopted Taiwanese and Chinese children learn these things.) But I also realize that such outward expressions can only go so far.

In the end, I know that it is the inward lessons that will have the greatest impact. Thus, I am endeavoring to teach my son how to forgive, to have a sense of humor in the face of adversity, and most of all, to place his self-worth in something far beyond his ethnicity and his ability to adhere to someone else’s notions of how to express it. For my husband and I, as Christian parents, this means teaching William that he is so precious that God himself would lay down his own life in order to live out eternity with him. Our child has worth because he is immeasurably worthwhile to his heavenly creator. To root his self-esteem in anything on earth, ephemeral as those things certainly are, would only lead to an endless cycle of disillusionment and bitterness. And isn’t there enough race-related anger in the world already?

These are not easy lessons to apprehend. As an adult, I find myself constantly struggling to learn and re-learn them. But if both William and I can have teachable hearts and learn that we have significance because of Who loves us and not because of the heritage into which we’ve been born, we might slowly but surely find ourselves knowing just a little better each day.

Written by Judy, Mom to Andrew and William