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Monday, June 13, 2011

What A Day! Part One

I'm not even sure how to begin processing the events of yesterday, here in Taichung, Taiwan.  For posterity (and especially for Sophia) I want to chronicle the days happenings, but if it's a bit random and rambling, please forgive me!

I couldn't sleep Sunday night very well.  We had had issues with the alarm not going off at the right time the day before, and I was half afraid we wouldn't get up on time and would miss meeting our orphanage contact at the train station on time, but I was also very unsure of the days events and what was going to happen, so sleep was elusive.  I eventually got out of bed around 5 a.m. and got myself ready.  We were able to leave two pieces of luggage at our hotel in Taipei, but the piece we brought to Taichung was our largest, and was quite heavy.  It contained all of our foster family gifts, clothes and toys for Sophia, and all of our clothes and necessities for three days away.

We weren't sure we were going to eat breakfast at the hotel as they hadn't given us our tickets for that day.  I thought maybe since it was our check-out day you didn't get to eat, but as it turned out, the receptionist handed them to us as we came down to inquire about where to leave our luggage.  So we quickly ate, checked out, and were on our way.  We had received instructions to meet our orphanage contact, Bernadette, at the 3 East entrance to Taipei Main Station.  The taxi driver dropped us off on the west side, so we walked through the station and waited at the correct entrance.  We had no idea who we were waiting for, but a little after 8:30 a.m. a woman came toward us smiling.  Bernadette has been a social worker with Cathwel for two years now, but worked for the hospital as a medical social worker prior to Cathwel.  Her English is pretty good, although I have to strain to understand sometimes.  She had already purchased our tickets, so we went to the waiting area.  She told us that we were going to meet Sophia upon arriving in Taichung.  We were going to go to the "Foundation" building and meet her foster parents and kind of hang out for awhile so that Sophia could get used to us.  From there, we would play it by ear, depending on how Sophia adjusted to us.

We didn't have to wait long for the train.  I am so impressed at the transportation system in Taiwan!  We rode the HSR--High Speed Rail--to Taichung.  The whole trip took less than an hour.  On the train, Bernadette gave me a document that Cathwel had translated that was basically a questionnaire that the foster mother had answered regarding Sophia and some of her needs and routines.  It was quite thorough, as all of the foster mother's reports have been.  Bernadette commented several times on that fact, because it was a lot to translate each month.  However, it showed how much the foster mother loved Sophia.  At the end of this document it says:

"At last we want to tell you:  Our family are very grateful of you, and respect your loving heart and courage, to willing to give our Sophia a happily and joyous life and future.  Me (FM) and FF are very sad, but when we think of your attention love and care for her and all the lovely presents you have sent for her, all in which moved us and make us resting assure.  All our family is wishing your family always health and happiness!"

I could tell it was going to be quite a day!

More to come...
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1 comment:

stephanie garcia said...

I'm on pins and needles to hear the rest!!!