Monday, April 24, 2017

A Cultural Lesson

The Superkids team spent day 4 of this Taiwan trip at Chungyi Social Welfare Foundation. When it was close to lunch time, we learned that we will have lunch at Chungyi. A beautifully designed flower printed lunch box was laid down at the front of each seat. Along with the lunch boxes, there were three big fruit bowls, one for grapes, one for guava, and the last one is sliced pineapples.




While we were still waiting for the last child evaluation in the morning to complete, we were all standing there around the table. Jokingly, some young Chungyi social workers asked us if we knew  the meaning of pineapple in Taiwan. Several of us said we don’t know, but Janel, a Superkids volunteer, said that in Hawaii, pineapple means “welcome.” She was expecting it means the same thing in Taiwan. Vina, a young Chungli staff member continued, “pineapples in local dialect in Taiwan means PROSPERITY. So we social workers do not eat it at all.” That statement puzzled me, and other Superkids volunteers as well. What? Your social workers don’t like being PROSPEROUS? Isn’t it that being prosperous is a goal that many people pursue? I looked around and found my colleagues eagerly waiting to learn why Chungyi social workers turn down prosperity.

The girls were giggling, naturally as they noticed the puzzled looks on our faces, so they went on to explain.



“Prosperity is a good thing, but social workers, as case workers, do not want to be “prosperous.” To them, being prosperous means the increase of case numbers, hence work load. Giggling young social workers even pointed one of Jane, a colleague of theirs, saying that the last time when she had pineapple, the next day, she got two new cases from Penghu Island.  Everyone began laughing. Penghu is one of the 64 islands from the Taiwan strait. This means she had to travel to that island when there is a need. That means hardships.

Erin was quick in thinking. She said you all should have pineapple. Prosperity, when it comes to inter-country adoption, is a positive thing. We would like to see more and more children going to families through adoption! So, let’s try pineapples. Several plastic forks were extended, immediately.    

-written by Gongzhan Wu (program director)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Day 4 Superkids in Taiwan

Our last day in Taiwan is over. It was another good day. It was a fun mixture of seeing children we know and are advocating for, children we have never met, and children who are matched.



This morning we met some great, funny boys that I wish everyone could meet in person. This little guy was so polite asking for a second set of Legos. And he certainly enjoyed them!



We also met some young matched children. They are so sweet! I know their families are anxiously waiting for photos and videos! I promise, we are working hard to get them to you. It will be top priority when we get home.



Then in the afternoon we got to see both Daisy and Darby. Oh my, such cuteness! Daisy is quiet and shy while Darby is outgoing and silly. Both are so precious! Guess which one is in the picture below?



We also gave care packages to sisters who will be going home soon. Giving care packages is a wonderful part of what we do!



Tomorrow morning we head to the airport early. Next week will be busy as we process all of the material we have gathered!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Day 3 Superkids in Taiwan

{Just a reminder that we are not allowed to post full face photos per Taiwan's guidelines. }

Today was a very busy day! We spent the day at Chung Yi, our other partner agency, and visited with 16 children. Some of the kids we’ve met before, this is the first time we’re meeting some of them, and some are actually matched with families already! It’s always extra special when we can see the matched children and ask specific questions their families (their forever families!) thoughtful came up with and are curious about. We even got to give an early birthday present to one awesome girl!

We met Denver and Dallas for the second time – what amazing brothers! Each boy has a very distinct personality. They would bring so much fun energy and happiness to a family! Dallas struck a very “cool boy” pose with his sunglasses for us, while Denver gave a sweet smile and quietly went back to his Legos. When asked how he would describe himself, Dallas said he was like a ninja turtle!



We also saw Dixie again. It took her a little while to warm up but once she felt a little more comfortable she was talkative and even recited a Taiwanese poem she has memorized. When I asked her what made her happy she said sneezing!

10 year old Danica was shy and quiet at first, but she was proud of the self-portrait we asked her to draw. She has a super cute, sweet smile. When asked what her favorite color was she quickly responded “yellow!” in English!

We will be seeing even more kiddos tomorrow! Remember to follow along on the Facebook page for more photos and videos from the day!


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Day 2 Superkids in Taiwan

We spent our day at Cathwel again today. The morning was spent seeing children and in the afternoon  we spent time visiting with and sharing a presentation with the social workers and staff there.

We saw this bridge from the restaurant where we ate lunch

Let me tell you about a few of the children we met. Anthony was so very sweet! He aced all of the developmental stuff we did with him and had the cutest little grin while doing it. Then he kept coming over to share little treats with us, marshmallows and little cakes. The staff said he is always very generous. What a precious boy!



He had a little friend there too who was just as cute. He had so much fun doing all of the running, jumping, and ball throwing!



The thing that just amazes me about this place and these children is how very much the staff cares about them. They want to be sure we know everything there is to know about each child. They want them to find loving forever homes. And it shows in the children! They are thriving. Don't get me wrong, this is an institution, and an institution is not a family, but they are doing what they can to minimize the effects of being in that setting.





Their care and concern was evident again in the afternoon sharing time. They listened carefully (Don't ask about the jet lagged American ladies who couldn't understand a word of the presentation. We were thankful for the lady who saw how tired we were and offered us coffee!)  And the discussions continued after the presentation was over. Even when it was well past the time that we had planned for. It was so encouraging to see such a thoughtful group in charge of these little ones.

Learning a little about the history of Gladney

Tomorrow we head to ChungYi. Thank you for following and supporting our trip. We are so hopeful that more and more children will find there families as a result of us being here!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Day 1 Superkids in Taiwan

What a day! We are staying in a lovely location with a beautiful view. When I got up this morning and looked outside as it was just getting light, I just knew the day was going to be a good one.



And it was! We met the sweetest brothers right away this morning Mel & Milton. They are amazing! They are polite, they do well in school. They are smart and sweet and funny. They get along well with each other. And they need a family.



Soon after we met little Mia followed by so many other precious children! There were the precious brother and sister, the little boy with strabismus who needed an eye patch who brought us each a little treat before he left, Micah who came into the room ready to show us all how adorable he is, and so many other cuties!






We walked to a little market street near Cathwel for lunch. They specialize in stinky tofu. Oh my! The whole street wreaked of tofu. But we found a little restaurant with delicious food options (we all opted out of the tofu).



And tonight we went to the night market. We tried some interesting food and walked along enjoying the sounds, smells, and sights of Taiwan.


Tomorrow we go back to Cathwel. We can't wait to meet tomorrow's children!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Gloria!

We have met Gloria several times, the last time being in October of last year. I was so excited when I got the news that we finally have her file. I can't wait to see this sweet little one come home!



Gloria is 3 years old. She has a skin condition called ichthyosis. She needs the medical care that will make her life more comfortable that she will receive in a family!

Gloria is described as a curious little girl. When we saw her in October she was walking independently, stacking blocks, and could kick a ball around the room.



She was sitting on her caregiver's lap while we spoke with the caregiver. There was another little one in the room who was crying and little Gloria just kept watching the little one with such concern on her face. It was very sweet!

Gloria's file does indicate that she may have some developmental delays. She is not yet very verbal, but she does seem to understand what is said to her. She follows simple instructions. And she is beginning to speak more.



We have met little Gloria multiple times and would be happy to speak with you about her! Please contact us at superkids@gladney.org for more information.

New Files {And Eddie}

What do you do when you are just getting ready to leave for a trip to Taiwan and you get new files from China

You quickly schedule a couple of extra blog posts to introduce a few of the new children!

Meet Eddie!



Eddie is 2 years old. And as cute as a little button! He has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome. His file states, "he is active and lively, he likes listening to children's songs very much" It also indicates that he likes to dance to the music! Can you even imagine this little cutie dancing to music?! {Swoon...}

Eddie crawls and stands independently, he is taking steps and very close to walking! He stacks blocks and bangs them together. He feeds himself finger foods. He likes toys that light up and make noise.



Eddie lives in a group foster home which Superkids visited the last time we were in China. It seems to be a place where children receive more individualized attention than is normally seen in an orphanage setting.

Eddie has a $4,000 grant through Gladney! Please contact us at superkids@gladney.org for more information.