German Parents travel with their Taiwanese adoptive children back to their country of birth
Taking your adoptive children back to their birthplace Taiwan 

Michael and Fee are a German couple that adopted the six and a half year old Luna in August 2011, and the four and a half year old Lilly in July 2015 from Taiwan. Since then, the family travels to Taiwan every year. This is very exceptional, as most couples who adopted from Taiwan do not return to the country of birth of their children. They want to share their experience of the trips and reunion with other adoptive families.

In July 2013 we took Luna back to Taiwan for the first time. At that time she had already lived in Germany for two years. During our stay we attended Chinese language classes at the Chinese Culture University. Before our trip, a German social worker told us “If you are confident that you can help your children overcome the pain of having to leave Taiwan for a second time without suffering with them, then you can take your children to visit Taiwan.” With the believe and hope that we were able to do just that, we decided bring Luna back to the place where she lived two years ago and reunite with our Taiwanese friends. 

I2011, when we adopted Luna, she could not speak a single word of German and, similarly, we were unable to speak one word of Chinese. Nevertheless, after two years living in Germany (in 2013) she became fluent German and was able to share with us her story and share with us everything that happened  two years ago, when we picked her up. This was a particularly touching. 

After we adopted our smallest daughter Lilly, we visited Taiwan just eight months later. We decided to return to Taiwan during that time not only because Luna was given the chance to meet her biological father for the first time, but also because our Lilly wanted to visit her old orphanage in Taiwan to eat chocolate and cakes with the other children. 

Before visiting Lilly´s orphanage in Tao-Yuan we were both very worried and excited because she was very sad and reluctant to leave Taiwan when we adopted her eight months earlier. We did not know whether she would be able to overcome the pain of leaving  her birthplace for a second time. We were very relieved when everything went very smoothly and without problems. At the orphanage Lilly was very shy at first, but after a short while she started to play with the social workers and the other kids. She even shared her chocolate rabbit, a special chocolate that is traditionally eaten in Germany during Easter, with the other children.

When we returned to Germany Lilly was a lot more calm. She seemed more happy and content. As her adoptive parents we were very happy to see how secure she felt returning to our home in Germany and to continue her life under our protection and care. 
We take our children back to Taiwan, because we want our children to maintain a close relationship with their country of birth, the language, as well as the people and the culture. We also visit Taiwan because it is a place that has provided us with many beautiful memories and where we have established many wonderful friendships. 

Many friends have asked us “What will you do if your children do not want to return to Germany after visiting Taiwan?” We  answered them “Then we will tell them that we are glad to see that they like their country of birth so much, but that they must live with us in Germany first until they grow up and are able to make their own decisions.”

If other adoptive parents are also considering taking their children to visit Taiwan, our advice is first and foremost that they must be confident that their children can overcome the pain of leaving Taiwan for the second time. Furthermore, they must be sure that they share a good relationship with their children, and that the adoptive parents must appreciate and enjoy Taiwan as a country. If taking your children back to Taiwan becomes a sacrifice or a nuisance, then there is no point in going. 

Fee & Michael, 
July 2017, Taiwan 


To meet old friends
2nd Domestic Adoptive Family Gathering, 2016

Article by Joyce Chiu/Translation by Judy

I have learned a lesson after the gathering.  On October 29, 2016, Cathwel Service held the 2nd Gathering for domestic adoptive families.  I have joined the domestic adoption team since 2016.  On that day, I heard the voice from those adoptive parents, and learned the new definition of adoption from them.

A new start after the process of adoption

When adoptive parents decide to adopt a child, they go into a long process of preparation, waiting, and mental fighting. They have to be prepared and re-prepared, to live with the unknown, to tug with trust, and to wait for many uncontrolled things happened on that stage.  After going through all these, the completion of adoptive process tends to be focused as an important milestone.  Life focus will be back to the child and family as soon as the administrative procedure requirements are completed.  Adoptive parents find out that the whole family needs to start to live together. This realization soon comes along with many issues: such as the child needs full attention, challenges from the child start emerging, parents are unable to take care of all the things at the same time…etc.  Adoptive parents now realize that the whole family is going to live together for the rest of their lives…..

Life will definitely be changed, and parents need to be self-prepared after the adoption process.  Since the gathering day, I have learned a philosophy of life from adoptive parents: “adjust to live change and be responsible for a life and make it more complete.”  Human life is such a wonder. We need strong arms to support ourselves and our family, while at the same time we need to face limits with soft and adjustable attitude.

We are going to meet old friends !  
An adoptive mother shared with us when her child asked her, “Where are we going tomorrow?”  she answered: “We are going to meet old friends.”  To me, she must be an experienced and comfortable mother so that she can use such beautiful words to define the meaning of this gathering.

On that day, some children came into the restaurant, looked around everything with glittering eyes, and couldn’t wait to explore every corner. Some stayed beside or behind their parents, and peeped on people and things in front of them. Some children held the hands of their parents and interacted with our staff with their big eyes. I was moved by these natural scenes.

Children, like all kinds of flower, need to be nourished in the loving environment.  Life leads life. The impact is shown very clearly here even though these parents might have gone through various hardships along the way.

On that day, some parents came to meet their old friends; some were happy to have their free time; and some were glad to find that there were so many families like them. What’s worth mentioning is that many parents have concern that they have limited time to accompany their children in their lives. Their children will need companions. Hence, they look forward to this kind of meeting and contact, because it is important to let these children know that they are not alone. We should treasure and keep in mind the moods and worries of these parents. 

Look forward to next meeting
Children are teachers to those adoptive parents, while adoptive families are my teachers. What I learned from adoptive parents is that they are facing a real life with modest attitude in their hearts, and the self-confident reflects through their eyes as being parents.  It does not matter what we are now since every relationship can be established and accomplished through the exchange of mind and mutual respect. These parents are parents for the first time, so as these children are children for the first time.  Everybody must teach and learn from each other along the process!

Many thanks to these children, parents of these children, and my colleagues at this gathering.  See you next time!