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, 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

Friday, May 20, 2011


You are cordially invited:

What? Taiwan R.O.C.ks 2011

When? August 12 - 14 2011

Where? Great Wolf Lodge Resort & Waterpark Grapevine, Texas

Why? :) To celebrate these amazing Taiwan Tots & their blessed families; to visit with old friends ( and those that feel just like old friends, despite not having met (yet) IRL ) and of course to make new ones! To create something unique and special for our little ones ( and ourselves ) for years to come!

Who? All of you ~ all of our Taiwan families, in any stage of the adoptive process! Big kids, little kids.....small families & large ones too!

How?? Just a click away!!! (below)


***Edit to Add: Please remember to register all family members that are attending! Thank you!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Should Know Better (Part I)

The following was written and shared with us by William's mother Judy.  Judy blogs at Anatomy of a Family.

Should Know Better

Consider this: a few years ago, a friend told me about a situation at his workplace involving one of his employees. She had come to him complaining about her salary, feeling she was owed more for the effort she had put forth. Eventually, she tendered her resignation, claiming she had been the victim of gender and racial discrimination. However, as my friend told it, her history of performance simply didn't rival that of her higher paid co-workers. Try as he did, he could not think of an instance in which he might have spoken to or treated her in a demeaning way. The employee herself failed to offer up any specific examples of bias on his part.

While I can’t assume to know what happened - after all, we’re all flawed individuals capable of anything and everything - I was upset when I heard the story. The idea that my friend might discriminate in such ways made me want to shake my head in disbelief. In the 15 years that I have known him, he has gone out of his way to treat women equitably and honorably. His circle of friends includes many people of different ethnicities. His family circle includes a child adopted from Asia. Of all the people to accuse of gender or racial discrimination, he would be the last person who’d come to mind.

My incredulity skyrocketed when my friend mentioned that the employee is Asian-American. That a person of Asian heritage would lodge such loaded charges and be guilty of lackluster performance, as my friend told it, stunned me. “She should know better!” I wanted to protest. True, faultless job execution and relentless work ethics aren’t virtues unique to Asians alone. However, they are qualities towards which many of them are raised to aspire. And it’s quite true that Asians can sometimes be the worst at speaking up for themselves when wronged, perhaps fearing they’ll rock the Confucian all-for-one, one-for-all boat. But to levy such loaded and (presumably) empty charges smacked of a degree of entitlement and a lack of self-awareness that I – and no doubt other Asians – would consider embarrassing to the race as a whole.

Then, my friend happened to mention something: the employee in question was trans-racially adopted. Suddenly, a light went off in my head. Aha! All made sense now. The woman didn't have traditional Asian parents to inculcate the ages-old lessons in her. Her non-Asian parents probably never smacked her across the mouth the one time she dared to talk back to them, didn’t guilt her with stories of how they shared a ball of rice between them each night to pay for her school tuition, didn’t raise her to cringe when she read stories like this because she knew that this would inevitably ensue.

Her adoptive status suddenly exonerated her from hypocritical expectations I didn't realize I had held of Asians up until that point. I suddenly became aware of a double standard at work in my heart. For many years I have bemoaned the fact that many non-Asians expect me to speak fluent Mandarin and read the language, to be an expert on Chinese and Taiwanese culture, to be a demure and passive female with bound feet, or to be a 10th degree black belt in karate with a sixth sense. And yet, despite my own list of grievances, I found myself demanding that this woman be “Asian” in ways that I had personally defined. Shame on me! If others’ stereotyped expectations bother me as much as they do, I should have had enough sense to recognize the same faulty thinking at work in myself. I should know firsthand the yearning to live a life free of the mantle of race and its concomitant associations, to simply be human. I should have known better.

Sadly, I’m aware that I’m not the only Asian person in the world guilty of this hypocrisy. My own self-deception makes me wonder how my two boys will fare as they face a lifetime of interactions with other Asians. Will some of those Asians be their harshest critics? Or have times truly changed? Perhaps today’s kids more accepting. Even if they are, I don’t for a moment pretend to think that my older, biological son is exempt from racial expectations since he is Eurasian. Being biracial can come with its own particular set of obstacles. But for my younger son, adopted from Taiwan, I foresee potential challenges already. The world is a hard enough place for adoptees, particularly internationally adopted ones who may feel out of place in both their adoptive countries and their native lands. They don’t need people of their own heritage, the same people who should be the most supportive of them, to offer further resistance, either inwardly felt or outwardly expressed.

The possibility of such adversity has been weighing on my mind as my husband and I consider schooling decisions for our two boys. Andrew, our 7 year-old son, now attends a small private Christian school with strong academics and a diverse student body. Minority students form the 60% majority of his grade. His friends are Latino, Caucasian, and African-American. Unfortunately, there are very few Asians in his school. It’s a regrettable statistic, but I’m not overly concerned. As an introvert who thrives in smaller crowds, whose life doesn’t revolved around athletics, and whose partial heritage is substantially represented by the school’s 40% Caucasian population, Andrew would probably be well-served by staying there.

But enter 3 year-old William. Social William. Athletic William. Bright William. Adopted William. So much of the school district to which we’ve recently moved seems to be a good fit for him. True, he would lose out on the quality Christian education and the diversity that attracted us to Andrew’s school. But the impact of the district’s almost 8% Asian student population (higher than the 4.8% Asian population in all of America according to the 2010 census) cannot be overlooked. I can’t help but wonder what being surrounded by other children of Asian descent might do for him.

Having been shuttled in and out of various public and private schools in which I and sometimes another student comprised the entire Asian population, I know firsthand the strain of being the odd one out. It’s speculative, of course, but perhaps my 13 year-old self might have been more at ease with the looks God saw fit to give me. Perhaps I wouldn’t have stood before the mirror pulling wide the ends of my eyes and tugging at the tip of my nose, wondering if I’d be more attractive if my features were more traditionally Western. For William, for whom the world suggests at every turn that he’s less valid, just not the same because he is adopted, looking like many of the kids around him could have a powerful effect.

Or, it might not.

Monday, April 18, 2011

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Taiwan Adoption

I think most of you in the Taiwan Adoption Community know the name, Jackie, right? Jackie is Mom to Lucy. I remember it like yesterday. Watching every second of video that Jackie shared while visiting Lucy in Taiwan. Watching her hold her baby girl, crying tears of joy, and then sharing in the most heart-wrenching goodbye. Eventually Jackie returned to SLC to bring Lucy home forever. I personally lived, and Survived Taiwan Lucy , and am thankful for Jackie and the adoption community as a whole, for the opportunity to learn, laugh, and cry. Enjoy reading what Jackie has to share. . .

Jackie blogs at The Silver Whining.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Taiwan Adoption
Mother’s Day 2007 I think the first time I had brought up the subject of adopting a daughter was probably on our second or third date, years before we actually got married or had the boys. But lately, adoption had become a regular topic of discussion.

Could we really do it? Did we really want to parent three kids? I think both Jeff and I were on the fence.

But it was that Mothers Day 2007, that we jumped onto the adoption side of that fence - committing to finding our daughter and bringing her home. Jeff had wrapped a silver picture frame, adorned with three hearts to symbolize three children. Smiling photos of Jacob and Brady filled two of the slots. In the third, just three little words told me he was ready to become a father for the third time.

"Reserved for Lucy”
It’s been four years since that Mothers Day and over two and a half since our Lucy came home and changed our lives forever. But while memories of the adoption process may fade, (the most excruciating, emotional and exhilarating journey I’ve ever experienced), I will never be able to forget how it transformed me in ways I could never imagine.

You can love someone you have never met We sat on an uncomfortable futon in a small office waiting to hear about the little girl who could potentially be our daughter. Jeff and I decided to wait until we had all of the information before seeing her photo, we wanted to keep our heads on straight and our thinking logical (whatever that means). Hanging on every word, we couldn’t help but discuss the strong and spunky 7 month old like she was our little girl -- because she was. It was at that moment that her health, safety and well-being completely took over my world, even though we wouldn’t have her home for a full year after that.

Patience can not be defined I thought waiting that full year tested my patience, but I had no clue. It was the months (maybe even years) after my baby came home that has highlighted every insecurity, pushed every button and made me question my ability as a mom and woman. All the books and blogs in the world can’t prepare you for a child who wants no part of you... or a toddler who resembles a teenager more than a baby. I’ve never experienced another time in my life that has taught me so much, helping me to become stronger and making me much more aware of my triggers and responses to stressful situations.

You can feel a part of a culture you don’t belong to I can’t even begin to explain the love I feel for the country that gave my family one of its most precious gifts. The two trips I took (one to visit my daughter during the wait) were life-changing. Whenever I meet someone from Taiwan, you’d think I had grown up there -- there’s such a connection for me. Although I’ve had my share of looks when my curiosity takes over and I don’t have Lucy with me. My overzealous fascination and love for Taiwan could possibly seem a bit odd out of context. (My apologies to that woman in the grocery store.)

People talk. Get over it. Adopting internationally can often make perfectly reasonable people say stupid things. Ask someone with an adopted child and you may hear tales of ignorance, racism and outright insanity. At first, you may feel the urge to educate everyone you’ve ever met. But that will (and should) wear off. There will come a time when you realize that some people just say dumb things -- let it roll off your back. But there will always be those times you can’t help but stand up and school ‘em. Go for it. Just be warned, it may still fall on deaf ears or bring out even more stupidity. If you haven’t experienced this, trust me -- you will.

Did I mention loving someone you’ve never met? The most unexpected reward I think I received during our Taiwan adoption was the friends I’ve made. When I thought I couldn’t take another minute of waiting, there were Taiwan adoption blogs and groups that kept me sane -- even if only temporarily. The support the Taiwan adoption community offered was incredibly touching -- the chance to take photos or deliver a gift to a child when I was in Taiwan or have another parent confirm that my baby girl was doing okay while they were there picking up their own child... there was a camaraderie between us all and an understanding of where each of us was in the process.

But above even that, I feel so blessed to have met the strong, sassy mamas that have unexpectedly become lifelong friends, becoming an extension of my own family. Trying to imagine the wait... those first months at home... or the questions and challenges ahead without those ladies... actually, I can’t even imagine it. Who knew when we set out to bring home one little girl, I would surround myself with a group of grownup girls who would also change my life for the better.

What have you learned from Taiwan adoption?

Please feel free to share in the comments section, leave a link to a post you may have already written, or join us on FB!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Getting To Know You!

"This all started with a dream I had about Hayden playing in a room with about 30 other kids, except they were all from Taiwan and had all been adopted and Hayden said to me, "Mommy, these are all my friends and they are just like me!".....
That dream happened long before we traveled to Taiwan to pick up Hayden. I never forgot that dream and I think that dream was rooted in the friendships that I made both while waiting and along the way, as I became very close to the 2 families awaiting referrals both in front and behind us. ( Lisa R. and Heather) Sharing the common bond of having originally been waiting in line with China and then later supporting one another through the ups and downs ( and there were a lot of them!) of International Adoption forged a strong network of friendship. We talked about how we couldn't wait for the day we stood together in the same room watching our 3 precious girls play with one another and how they would always be Taiwan sisters. I literally longed for that day and in October 2009 it finally became a reality when we spent a weekend together in New York, becoming one of the best weekends of my life. I love Lisa R. and Heather and man oh man, do I LOVE their girls! After that weekend I knew I would do whatever it took for our families to maintain these close ties.

We have been so blessed by the sheer number of families we have established friendships with.....each of them having grown their families in the same special way as our own. I sometimes forget that I have not actually hugged them in person........soon to change!

So I made a comment on my dear friend Lisa C.'s blog ( Tyler and Hayden share the special bond of having been Foster Siblings and if their Mama's have any say in it, will be taking one another to each other's proms one day. *smile*) and Tiffanie joined in that conversation. One thing led to another and you all know what happens when blogging adoptive Mamas dream up something BIG......something that seems almost impossible....... yep, they dive into that paperwork! So here we are 8 months away from making this dream a reality and wishing every Taiwan adoptive family could join us for our reunion weekend. And on that weekend I think there will be lots of smiles, laughter and VERY happy tears. Friendships will be made and friendships will be solidified. I dream that it will turn into something big....something no one will ever wish to miss.

And that dream of mine from 2 1/2 years ago.........well I know that our daughter is going to look up at me and say," look at all my friends..........they are just like me."

Jules & Hayden January 2011

We are the Rockaways and live in the DFW area. David and I have been together for almost 19 years and married for 14. I have two awesome stepchildren Taylor, 26 and Connor, 23. David runs a small specialty finance company in the Dallas area and I have been a flight attendant for Delta Airlines for 20 years; I am currently getting ready to return to active flying status, and will be commuting to JFK for international flying. 
Hayden Magee ( 28 months ) had been a dream long in the making for us and she came home to our family April 20th, 2009 at 7 1/2 months. She is the absolute joy in our hearts and is such a sweet, loud, smart, funny, loving little girl with a really BIG vocabulary! I have no idea what we did with our time before she came into our lives but I sure know there hasn't been a dull moment since! We are blessed beyond measure by this little house of power.
This dream of having everyone at the same place and at the same time is actually becoming a reality right before my eyes. I am so overwhelmed by emotions when I see how excited everyone is to get together, reconnect or meet for the first time (IRL). I just can't believe we have families traveling from all over the U.S. (hello Hawaii!!!) to be together for this kinship we have through our amazing children. Thank you everyone for being a part of something so BIG!!
Our journey to our beautiful daughter Paige was one filled with many bumps. We started as a China family, tried a couple months of advertising for domestic adoption and then wound up in Taiwan.
My husband John and I were high school sweethearts and have been married for almost 29 years. Our son Kyle is 20 years old and a Junior in college studying to be a journalist. Our son Coleton is 10 and is an amazing 5th grader whose interests range from playing String Bass to playing just about every sport there is! Then there is our Paige.....our Taiwan beauty.
She completed our family on August 6th, 2009 and just turned 2 this past November. Paige has brought so much joy and happiness to us all. We have made so many friends along the way.......friends that started out on blogs, emails or voices on the phone. Friends we will have forever. Friends that our daughter will have forever. I am so excited to be a part of this Taiwan Rocks event and am looking forward to meeting and getting to know all of you!
My name is Tiffanie and my DH and I have been blessed with 3 sweet peas. We have a son who is almost 6, a daughter who is 4 1/2 and another daughter just over a year old. We ventured on the adoption journey back in 2006 and logged in with China. We started a concurrent adoption and began paper-chasing for Taiwan in early 2007. We were originally waiting for an infant but our agency had just began a toddler program and we expressed our interest. In November of 2007 we received the referral for our then 15-month old daughter Gracyn. She came home in September of 2008 just after her 2nd birthday. The friends I've made along the way and the support through the blogging community.....on-line chat groups...the friends on the other end of instant messaging while I was in Taiwan and scared out of my mind...blog comments received...phone messages and a flowing email inbox before, during and throughout our journey...these are just some of the reasons why reuniting with other children who were born in Taiwan is important to me. The opportunity to stay connected with the beautiful families of those very children. My adoption experience, "the journey" definitely grew my faith and my circle of friends. Taiwan came to life by the connection of a blog, a few comments and an email. Selfishly as a result I hope that I will have the opportunity to meet more of you and those cyber hugs will become real hugs; that the many "profiles" I consider bloggy pals will become names, faces and friends. It is your name and your face I want to know. It is my wish that the journey...your journey, my journey...our journey continues. That our Taiwan connection and Reuniting Our Children for Kinship and Support is embraced and celebrated for years to come.
My name is Lisa C. (DH Scott) and I am the happy Mama of 2 children, both through the miracle of adoption. We adopted our beautiful daughter Lauren in April of 2003 at 7 mos. of age from Kazakhstan. Several years later we embarked on our second adoption journey, this time to bring our precious Little Man, Tyler home from Taiwan. (February, 2009 at 7 months of age) Both of our children were and are an answered prayer and I am forever grateful for the privilege and joy of being their Mama. Both of our journeys were quite different, each one unique and each one life changing; but one common thread throughout has been the connections we have made through this incredibly warm, supportive and diverse adoption community. Connections forged through blog comments, emails, chat boards, phone conversations and visits.....connections that have become cherished friendships.
Last summer our family had the wonderful opportunity to attend a weekend long Kazakhstan adoptive families reunion with over 80 families attending from all around the U.S. and Canada. It was a chance to visit with old friends and to create new ones; and more significantly, it was something tangible and important for our daughter.....a connection to other children born in Kazakhstan and to other families forged much like our own, but on a much grander scale than anything else previously attended. We came together in celebration and in a collective effort to fund raise for those angels left behind. In a word, it was incredible. At about the same time an email thread prompted by (of all things!) a blog post was being bumped around by a few of us and a crazy, goofy and oh so wonderful notion was born!
A reunion ~ Taiwan ROCks ~ but this time for our Taiwan families. A weekend of celebration, fellowship, fundraising, friendship (both old and new) undisguised joy and community. Connecting our children, born a world away and connecting the forever families they created. How amazing it would be (and will be!) to watch these beautiful children grow and flourish with one another year after year . To watch friendships made and friendships grow both this year and beyond.....at age 2 or 3.......at age 5, 6 then 7! As tweens and beyond, confident and grounded, greeting old friends with hugs and high fives ( or whatever a "cool" greeting looks like by then!), effortlessly easy within the foundation that begins this August. For our Tyler... ...for the 3 Taiwan beauties featured above......and for all of your amazing sons and daughters. And honestly? For all of us Mamas and Dads too!
I hope to see (and finally meet!) you all in Texas this summer; our family is beyond excited and beyond thankful for the unwavering enthusiasm and support of our co-planners and each of you!