getting ready for taiwan

Wow, there’s a lot of noise in my head right now! As I attempt to de-stress from what seemed like an extraordinarily long day at work, a list a mile long of things I’d like to get done before I leave for Taiwan is buzzing around. First there’s the packing. I’ve never liked packing and typically wait until the last possible minute to throw stuff into my suitcase. This trip takes a little more planning, however. My sister from Taiwan emailed me and informed me that a cold front is to be expected and to bring gloves, scarf, heavy coat, etc. I’ve looked at the weather forecast and it looks like rain as well, so I’ll toss in an umbrella. Then there’s the laundry to get done so that I actually have stuff to throw, I mean pack neatly, into my suitcase. I’ve also been on the hunt looking for things “Arizonian” to bring to my family in Taiwan. After work, I stopped by the farmer’s market near our house. I love the farmer’s market and always enjoy the live music, which makes looking at all the vendors’ exhibits so much more festive. The 35- foot tumbleweed Christmas tree in the center of downtown and giant snowflakes strewn between the street lights were still on display. It reminded me that it was just Christmas Eve that I learned that we’d found my birth family.

Then there’s the mom in me that worries about my daughter and husband and how they’ll fair while I’m gone. Having a teenage daughter is always an adventure, and I’m wondering how my husband will handle the responsibility of playing “taxi cab” while I’m gone. I’ll pray that he has lots of patience. Lots. Every once in a while, a wave of panic hits as I realize that I’ll be away for two weeks out of the country. I think the longest I’ve been away from my family is ten days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled beyond words that I’m meeting my birth family in just three days! It’s a dream finally realized, and I’m so excited about the plans my sister has already made for us, for the whole family. I just tend to be a worry wart.

Despite all of my little worries, I know that going to Taiwan to meet my biological family is going to be an amazing, life-changing event. I look back at my life and never dreamed that this day would happen. For so long, I lived my life without giving thought to the mother and father who gave me up,  to the country that I was born in, to the culture I left behind . It was a very distant reality that I chose to push far away. When my adoptive mom passed away and I found my adoption papers, it was like she was bringing that distant reality to the very forefront of my life. Even though she was gone, in her own way she was somehow bridging the gap between the culture I grew up in and that of my birth heritage. I believe she and dad would be happy and at peace with this journey I’m on.

So, I will finish some more laundry tonight and try to get to bed early for a change. The excitement of my trip and everything else has kept me up too late. Packing can wait a little while longer. The day I leave for Taiwan will be here soon, two more days to be exact. Imagine that.

3 thoughts on “getting ready for taiwan

  1. anewmoon123

    MJ, I am getting just as excited as you. I am going to have to de-stress along with you. Again, keep us posted as you make all the exciting memories of a lifetime within the next two weeks. Safe travel, Dear One. xo

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  2. Gerald

    Oh, how exciting! Your daughter will be fine – she might even be glad to be daddy’s sole focus for once! I just hope you don’t raise your expectations too high — as much as it is life-changing, you will still be you. There will be many huge culture barriers, some that you may be able to cross, and some that you just won’t — two weeks just isn’t enough time to cover a lifetime! — but I wish you the best!

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  3. kelley

    This is SO amazing and that you will be there WITH family during the biggest HOLIDAY! I was there in 2007 for CNY- it’s very interesting. Buy a set of new clothes… TRIM your hair, Gifts are always loved- even thinking something of our states if not Ariona… DC or just plain ol’ USA! A sports team perhaps? A baseball cap (so American!) GET ready TO FIGHT over paying food BILLS (just to save face- tho WHEN you are the guest of relatives THEY REQUEST to pick up your whole bill for the entire trip- YES seems crazy- we had to sneak a bill away THEN the next day the relatives said they were bringing us out to dinner AGAIN to pay us back- couldn’t WIN!)

    Enjoy every moment- the food is great and inexpensive. It can get pretty raw there and rain non stop. Thinking umbrellas are very inexpensive there… so are clothes so LEAVE room in your SUITCASE to BRING clothes back (just remember how many items we buy that say made in CHina- or that matter Taiwan) WHY pack much!! 🙂

    Hoping Tien can someday connect my daughter to her birthmother. At age 5 she does say lets just call her. Too bad she doesn’t realize the complexity to that simple request!

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