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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Visit to Cathwel

Thanks to all of our prayer warriors, Sophia settled down last night and slept well.  This morning we allowed her to wake up slowly, as is her custom.  She sleeps fairly late, and today it didn't really matter.  She didn't want her bottle this morning, although in hindsight, having used a new bottle, I don't think she could really get the thick stuff that she drinks out of the bottle.  But she didn't complain.  She did eat a little egg, rice porridge, and mashed banana at breakfast, but still not a lot of anything.  She definitely needs more practice with solid, even soft solid, foods.

Around 11 a.m. we headed out the door to visit Cathwel and the Jonah House.  Cathwel is the organization here in Taiwan that our agency uses for Taiwanese adoptions.  They are a Catholic organization, and we have been very pleased with what our experience with them.  Our social worker suggested that we come down to visit today, and I'm so glad we did.  We took some extra diapers and other gifts for the workers and children, and spent about three hours in one of their play rooms which allowed Sophia to run around and play.  It was SO nice to see her playing.  It really gave me hope and settled my nerves some about how she will react when we get home.  I think she is bored in the hotel a lot of the time.  (Can't say that I blame her!)

We were able to see the baby room at the Jonah house with all of the cribs and the sleeping babies (it was nap time).  Upstairs the older toddlers were also sleeping, but one little guy woke up early and came to join us in the play room.  If I understood correctly, he is 20 months old and has cerebral palsy as a result of his birth mom's drug and alcohol abuse while pregnant.  Interestingly, the caregiver left him in there with us so I was able to interact with him and play with him and hold him.  He seemed to love the attention!  Sophia was not very interested with him, but she didn't seem to mind him.  Later, one of the therapists came in and showed us how she was teaching him to crawl.  Dave and I commented later that it felt as though we were watching a commercial for this little guy...he sure was a cutie, though!

I know that a lot of people think about little girls when they think about adopting, especially from Asia.  But the majority of the children at Cathwel right now, ages 0-3, are boys.  We were told that next year the laws in Taiwan are changing regarding adoption because the Taiwanese birthrate is at an all time low, and the government wants to keep its citizens.  But many Taiwanese do not want to adopt children with special needs, so Cathwel expects that special needs kiddos will be very much available going forward.  Could there be room in your heart and home?

We left Cathwel about 2:30, right before a good, old fashioned thunderstorm.  Cathwel is located in a suburb of Taipei that is sort of in the mountains a bit...so beautiful.  We enjoyed our taxi ride there and back.  Now Sophia is napping and Dave and I are vegging.  We might try to venture out tonight...we'll see what the weather holds.  Last night we got Chinese take out...thought you might enjoy that photo.  It still makes me laugh to get Chinese takeout in Taiwan!

We have been able to change our flight to Saturday, so tomorrow, Friday, will be our last full day in Taiwan.  We have our AIT appointment at 9 a.m. our time.  We will probably visit the original Din Tai Fung restaurant for lunch, as it is right near AIT, and then hang out downtown while waiting to pick up Sophia's visa.  We plan on inviting our social worker to join us...she has been wonderful and we are so thankful for her!

Thank you so much for your prayers and words of encouragement after yesterday's post.  I found this quote in an article on the Empowered to Connect website today and it really resonated with me:

"As an adoptive dad, like all adoptive parents, my tendency is to focus on the miracle, blessing and joy of adoption – and rightfully so. These are the undeniably beautiful realities of the adoption journey. But they do not negate the equally unavoidable reality that there is no adoption without loss and pain. Adoption is at the same time born from and a response to hurt, loss and sorrow."

While the bulk of the article was pertaining to his adopted son's grief and loss, I think that most adoptive parents realize that there is grief and loss in their own lives in some way as well through this process.  I so appreciate my adoptive parent friends who have honestly shared their hurts and hopes with me these last 48 hours.  I also am so appreciative of all of my family and friends who have been praying us through this journey...some for the last three years!  Dave and I told Sophia today that she is one prayed over little girl--God has big plans for her!

With continued gratitude...

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stephanie garcia said...

I think this is my new favorite picture of Sophia - I love her smile!! And melt my heart, I have told Pedro that I would love to adopt a little boy from Asia (of course you know his standard answer, LOL.) Praying for you!!

Rachel Lynn said...

I'm so thankful for God's work and strength in your lives! It's so exciting that God is bringing Sophia home!

Anonymous said...

Hope your AIT appointment goes well - enjoy Din Tai Fung! So glad your little girl is getting a little more settled, and you are doing better.