Our Final Day in Taiwan

We are back in our hotel rooms early today. We saw children at Cathwel this morning then they provided a wonderful lunch for us and we spent some time talking about our common goal of finding families for more children with the director and staff there.

Our time here is nearly over. Our hearts have been full of hope and our hearts have hurt, as the different children have come to meet our team. Each one of them is so amazing and deserving of every opportunity in life!

Today we got to see some familiar little faces. Milo had us all amazed as he deftly climbed up the rope ladder to the little fort. He is just starting to walk and we got to see a few wobbly steps! He is such a sharp little guy! Nancy banged blocks, he banged blocks. Nancy stacked blocks, he stacked blocks. And then he clapped for himself to celebrate his accomplishments.



We also got to meet some children we had not seen before...



We delivered care packages...




Gongzhan was trying to work, but Milo decided he needed some "help"...



We met 2 adorable brothers who were new to us...



And that was all in one morning!

Our time in Taiwan is nearly over, but our effort to find families for the children we met is just beginning.


New Day, New Children

Today was our first day visiting children at Cathwel Service. We kept up a good pace throughout the day, meeting with 17 children total. Nine of the children we had never met before – and 8 still have their profiles in the preparation stage. Let me introduce you to a few of the new kiddos we met…



Avril is an adorable almost 4 year old girl with CHD, along with some other medical needs. She had never climbed a rope ladder, but when we asked her to she overcame her fear and went all the way to the top unassisted!



9 year old Amelia, who has a repaired cleft lip and palate, was so excited when we pulled out the make-up bag. She picked out eyeshadow, blush, and nail polish for Erin to apply. When she was all made up she was sure to have her social worker tell Erin what an amazing job she had done. Amelia felt so pretty – which naturally is without the make-up!



And wait until you meet 11 month old Andy and 4 month old Auggie! Andy is on medication for seizures, which are now well controlled. He may have some additional medical needs. Andy was smiley, and his caregivers told us he will hum when he’s happy. He’s doing well developmentally, including crawling. 




Auggie has a malformed ear with hearing impairment. He is still so young that further testing is still needed. His motor and other developmental skills are on track. And he’s so adorable!


 We are eager to receive these children’s full files so we can learn more about each one! Today was a pretty exciting day!

Gondolas, Pandas, and Ice Cream

Day three of our trip is officially in the books, and what a day it was! 



We started our morning with a gondola ride all the way to the top of the mountains. There, we enjoyed the most amazing scenery that Taipei has to offer. 



The gondolas had glass floors!


Tucked away in a quiet little area, we enjoyed some the best tea leaf fried rice, bamboo shoots, candied strawberries and ice cream. 






We made our way back down the mountain and enjoyed a little time with the animals at the Taipei Zoo. The pandas were a huge hit! 




We took the metro back to our final destination, the underground mall. We did a little souvenir  shopping, and of course, we finished our day with ice cream. 



We are looking forward to getting back to the kiddos tomorrow, but also bottling up all the experiences we had today. 

A Day In The Life - In Photos

The crowded breakfast area in the hotel.

Breakfast!

Waiting for the metro.



Makeup time!

A sweet moment with a sweet baby boy!

The room where the child interviews happen.

Things may have gotten a bit competitive...

A quick cuddle in the middle of a busy day does the heart good!

Lunch time! I hope you like shrimp...

TONI time!

Meeting to talk about the children after we were finished seeing them.

A special drink order for each of us.

Sweet potato dessert after a delicious meal with the directors and some staff from ChungYi. 

Change Can Be Beautiful!

Today I witnessed some amazing changes in such a short period of time!





My first trip to Taiwan was with Superkids in November 2017.  Over these past 5 months, many children have been matched, and we got to see 5 of them today! We completed more testing and addressed any specific questions from their new families.  And we mostly had fun making glitter bottles, building lego sets and playing games.  The biggest change and best news is that these 5 will soon be united with their forever families!  

Erin wasn't the only one with a camera today!



On an individual level, I saw changes within so many of the children...
One had ALMOST learned to tie his shoes
Another sorted blocks by color that she was unable to do last visit
One really shy boy, now made eye contact with me, did some complex puzzles, and even gave me a few smiles.




I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings!  I have a hunch we are going to see some more big changes in some more of these little ones here in Taiwan.

Nancy taking a well-deserved rest after lunch.


-Nancy Dobson, PT

And We Are Off!

Be sure to follow our trip here on the blog. Like our Facebook page to be sure you don't miss any updates. And join our private Facebook group where we will post pictures and videos of children that we can't post publicly!


Help Us Help Children in the XinYu Orphanage in China!

In recent years, Superkids has been able to meet hundreds of children and provide additional information to prospective adoptive parents.  However, Superkids has a long history that includes other types of important child welfare support. 

Superkids started over 10 years ago as a humanitarian aid initiative.  In the early days, therapists and doctors traveled to China, Ethiopia, and Colombia to train caregivers, assist in providing therapies for children, and deliver expensive therapeutic devices. We now have an opportunity to again help to provide much needed therapeutic support to children in the XinYu orphanage in China.  We are hoping our Superkids followers will consider helping with this initiative.

Dr. Darla Wrage with a young boy from XinYu

 XinYu is an orphanage that Superkids has visited several times.  Even though one-to-one partnerships are no longer part of the China adoption landscape, Superkids is committed to maintaining our support of Xin Yu and continuing our relationship with them. XinYu is in a small, rural area and has fewer resources than other orphanages in big cities. But they have a desire to provide quality care, including therapeutic support for the children residing there.  

We have met so many children at XinYu who would benefit from an ongoing therapeutic regimen.  Children like SierraSebastianSophia, and Soleil who need developmental assistance to help them reach their full potential. Wouldn't it be amazing if Superkids could help to provide therapists not only for these children while they wait for their families, but also for the many other children who sadly will never find families. On-site therapeutic support can help children in the entire orphanage in a way that adoption cannot.



The initial goal of Superkids is to raise $10,000 to donate to Xin Yu.  This money will be used to hire three professionals:  2 therapists with occupational and physical therapy training and 1 teacher.  These professionals will visit Xin Yu regularly to work with the children.

If you would like to donate to the Xin Yu iniative, please contact Superkids@gladney.org.

Thank you in advance for helping in this way! We are excited to have this type of opportunity again.  We hope it leads to even more impactful ways to improve the lives of children living in orphanages!

The Deets #SKTaiwanApr18

It is time! We have reached that point of preparation where we start reminding ourselves that there are plenty of stores in Taiwan to buy all of the things we have forgotten. You know the stage...



I know you are all wondering about the glorious details of this trip.

We are thankful for our returning Superkids physical therapist, Nancy Dobson. We will miss her wonderful husband, Joe on this trip, but hope he can join us again in the fall.

Mary Chapman, our Taiwan caseworker, is also planning to go, which I know is exciting for the families she works with. She can hand deliver care packages and get all kinds of wonderful updates for matched families. That is exciting stuff!

Erin Martin, our photographer and social media manager is going again. She is the one who will be getting the pictures of matched children in the private Facebook group as quickly as possible, so families, watch closely!

We also have a caseworker from another agency, Amanda, joining us on this trip. We are excited to get to know her in person and share this experience with her and her significant other.

We are all flying from different areas in the US, but will meet up in the San Francisco airport and travel to Taiwan together. We leave on Saturday, April 21.

We will hit the ground running and spend Monday and Tuesday visiting children at ChungYi. On Wednesday we have a day for sight seeing and relaxing. Then Thursday and Friday we will go to Cathwell.

We plan to see between 50-60 children while there. We are seeing 14 matched children! When you consider the total number of adoptions from Taiwan in a year, 14 matches is huge and amazing! We are excited and humbled to be able to do this!

Now for the important piece of how to follow our trip {you know you want to!}.

We will be posting on the blog here daily, barring any technical difficulties.

You can follow us on Facebook by liking our page here. We will post updates throughout the day as we can. This is a public page and we have to abide by Taiwan's privacy laws in not posting pictures of children's full faces.

So... be sure to join our private Facebook group where we can post pictures and videos we can't post publicly. You will need to answer a couple of questions before we can add you, so be sure to do that and we will get you added! This is where matched families should watch for pictures of their children. We will do our best to post pictures from the orphanage!

Thank you all for your support as we go!

Oren

Oren will be 13 in just a few weeks, which means the time to find him a family is now!



Oren's file indicates that he has no known medical needs and that he is easy to get along with. he makes good grades in school and his teacher says he is good at independent study and is a very responsible student.

Oren lives in a foster family where he willingly pitches in with the household chores. He is independent with self care.



We are seeking an update on Oren, but we need a family to decide to move forward with him soon to avoid the need for expedition in order to complete his adoption before his 14th birthday.

Please contact us at superkids@gladney.org for more information. While there is not a specific grant attached to the adoption of Oren, we do have a support fund which we can use to assist families, do not hesitate to ask us about it!