A Lot of Heart

Other people’s lives always seem far more interesting than our own. Last night I had dinner with a bunch of people who, if I hadn’t done one small favor, I would never have had the opportunity to meet. And I am so glad I did that favor because these people are pretty great people.

Backstory time! When I was working at the previous department (within the same organization I work in now), we always had a taxi driver we used to pick up foreign guests from the airport because he spoke some English. When I left the previous department and came to the current one, I continued to ask him to pick up our foreign speakers. I guess one day he heard me speak English pretty fluently with one of our guests, and soon after the taxi driver (who we shall call Bob) asked me for a favor. Although he spoke a bit and could read decently well in English, writing took him a long time, so he asked me to help him with e-mail correspondence with this couple from The Netherlands who were planning a visit to Taiwan in the summer with their kids and wanted Bob to be their tour guide. Apparently Bob does this trip-planning-tour-guide thing a lot for visitors from The Netherlands, so I figured why not. It’s just e-mailing, which takes all of about five minutes if not less per e-mail. Might as well use my English skills to help others, right? Heh.

Anyway, after a few back and forth e-mails to cement the plan for the summer, Bob told me their story. These families from The Netherlands come here because they adopted their children from Taiwan and wanted to show their kids where they came from and a little bit of their Taiwanese heritage. Apparently, there are quite a few Dutch families who adopt their children from orphanages here with some even adopting kids with physical impairments. Bob always described them as having a lot of “heart” (很有愛心) and love.

During the dinner last night, I finally got to meet the couple I had been e-mailing and their three kids, two who were adopted from Taiwan and one from Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, their English was pretty limited, so communication was on the difficult side. However, it was easy to tell that they were a very loving family and were excited to be visiting Taiwan. During the day, they had taken the Taiwan-adopted son to Hsinchu to visit the place where he had been found as a baby. It was kind of sad because no one knew where he had come from or who his biological parents were as he was found in front of a residential building. He doesn’t look very Taiwanese, but more like from Southeast Asia. I can’t imagine all the questions he has about his past, but regardless, he’s a pretty well-adjusted 14 year old. Very hyper and active and constantly asking Bob questions.

It was a very interesting and eye-opening experience. It’s great to know that there are these people with a lot of heart who come to Taiwan to adopt our orphans and give them a chance to be a part of a family.