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Friday, December 26, 2008

The History of Taiwan

Have you ever heard of the Island of Formosa? How about the Republic of China? Both of these names refer to the same place...Taiwan. The name "Island of Formosa" actually means "Beautiful Island" and was given to Taiwan in the late 1500's by a Dutch explorer, who was the first Westerner to view the beauty of this country. Since then, for the last 400 years, Taiwan has been occupied by a variety of nations, including various European countries, Japan, and China. Currently, advocates for "One China" call Taiwan the "Republic of China" (ROC) and claim her as part of China, but many Taiwanese call their country the "Republic of Taiwan" and claim independence from China. Needless to say, this has led to a variety of political issues on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, which links the South China Sea with the East China Sea, and separates the Mainland from Taiwan. According to Wikipedia, "following World War II, the Republic of China, under the Kuomintang (KMT) became the governing polity on Taiwan. In 1949, after losing control of mainland China following the Chinese civil war, the ROC government under the KMT withdrew to Taiwan and Chiang Kai-shek declared martial law. Japan formally renounced all territorial rights to Taiwan in 1952 in the San Francisco Peace Treaty. The KMT ruled Taiwan as a single-party state for forty years, until democratic reforms were mandated during the final year of authoritarian rule under Chiang Ching-kuo. The reforms were promulgated under Chiang's successor, Lee Teng-hui, which culminated in the first ever direct presidential election in 1996. In 2000, Chen Shui-bian was elected the president, becoming the first non-KMT president on Taiwan. The 2008 election of President Ma Ying-jeou marked the second peaceful transfer of power, this time back to the KMT." For a great analysis of this year's historic election and how it affects US foreign policy read this article. For a nationalist Taiwanese perspective on this and other current events in Taiwan, visit http://www.taiwandc.org/. We look forward to sharing with our daughter Sophia the interesting history of her birth country, and how her people have faced many challenges over the years, yet have always moved forward for the betterment of their society.

Hope you enjoyed the history lesson!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sidebar Changes

If you don't scroll down the page on this blog very often, you may not have noticed some interesting changes (at least to me!) that I have made in my sidebar. I have found, via my blog searching and reading, various websites of interest regarding Taiwanese culture and such, which I have listed and linked below. There are also some that are more general to Chinese culture and language, but that still pertains to Taiwan. One of these days I'll do a history lesson post to explain what happened and is happening between the Mainland and Taiwan, but that will have to wait until after Christmas! If you are interested in seeing a lot of GREAT photos from Taiwan, visit Journey to Taiwan for Hannah Claire which is the blog of a couple adopting their first child from Taiwan. They arrived this past weekend and are doing some sightseeing before picking up their daughter. It has whetted my appetite for our trip someday!

Thanks for sharing in our journey!

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Long Story Short

We have changed our goal from adopting from Mainland China to adopting from Taiwan. Why? A variety of reasons: paperwork issues, government regs, financial issues, timing...put most importantly, we feel a peace about this change and know that God is in control. We have many Chinese friends who are actually Taiwanese, and we are excited to think that Sophia will be from their country. We are still considering a special needs placement at this point, so that hasn't changed. Once we get approved by our new agency (our former agency did not work in Taiwan), the process could move fairly quickly, so we are excited about that.

We praise God for supplying the $1500 we needed for our home study. It is still not completely done, and we need to wait until we are approved by our new agency before we can get the home study approved. Which brings us to our next financial need...we need the agency fee of $5500 before we can move forward with this agency and our home study. This is a procedure that our new agency has implemented recently because some people have never paid for their agency services after the agency put in a lot of time and effort on their behalf. Please pray for us to be patient and wait for God's timing on this. We know He is in control!

The program director for Taiwan with our agency (located in Kansas, by the way!) actually lives right down the road from us...how cool is that! We are looking forward to meeting her and her family soon. She has two adopted daughters, one of whom was adopted from Taiwan. We know that none of this was just "coincidence" and we are excited about how God will continue to lead us in the days and months ahead.

Thanks for your continued prayers on Sophia's behalf!

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Adoption Update

I haven't posted much on here lately because not much has been happening on the adoption front. Right now we are in a waiting pattern for our home study to be completed. We have run into some glitches with wording (it has to meet the Hague Covention criteria) and clearances (apparently we need clearances from every state we have lived in since we were 18...for me it's just PA, but Dave needs several...one would think the federal clearance would cover that, but...). So, we are doing what we can to move that process along, and still trusting God for the funds to cover it. We are still about $500 short of the necessary $1500 for the home study. But we haven't had to pay for it yet, so there's still time for God to work. I am also working on getting all of the cookbook recipes typed so that we can begin that fundraiser. I'm excited about how that's going to turn out. Thanks for checking in and keeping us in your thoughts and prayers!

Taking it one step at a time...

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