Monday 22nd January 2007

by benandbethany

Today is our 54th day in Taiwan. Our visitor visas are only good for 60 days so we had to get them renewed. Fortunately it didn’t cost any money. It did cost a lot of time though and finally after about 6 hours, spanning two days, we accomplished our mission and now have official permission to stay in Taiwan until March 30th.
Our conspicuous family got a lot of looks from the waiting room crowd at the visa center. To their credit, there really wasn’t anything more interesting in the austere, white walled room than two waiguoren with a local baobei. The first day we were there an older woman kept circling us, then finally asked us why Violet’s hair is black and ours isn’t. Today, I heard a half dozen lingyang‘s (adopted) followed by knowing nods.
When I’m out and alone with Violet I often get approached by locals whose first question is usually if Violet is a boy or a girl. This never ceases to surprise me since she is almost always decked out in pink (even though I really wanted to avoid the whole pink only wardrobe). I have heard about many parents in the US getting the same question about daughters in dresses so I know it is a global phenomenon. Anyway, after asking if she is my daughter, the strangers always make the comment “she must look like her father”. I go ahead and tell them that we are adopting Violet. The response is almost always “lucky baby” which I always follow with a “we’re the lucky ones”.
I still don’t know how I’m going to handle questions from the general public about our family when we are home. I do know that I will always honor Violet’s privacy regarding details of her birthfamily’s situation.
Above is video from our time yesterday at the Taichung Folklore Park. Rhonda was so nice to take us! It’s really beautiful and I recommend visiting it if you’re ever in the area. We’re rubbing the handles of a water filled bowl in a vain effort to try to get the water to jump. If anyone out there knows more about the bowl rubbing tradition, please shed some light on it for us!

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10 Responses to “Visitor Visas and Vibrating Vats”

  1. Becca says:

    Congrats on getting your visas, but your not going to be staying until March 30th. Chris and I will have to come and steal you and put Violet in my purse to take you back to the states. Looks like ya’ll are still having a wonderful time! Missing you three!

  2. katie bug says:

    hi! It looks so fun there I wish I could come and see you. I can’t wait to see Violet she looks so cute! See you soon!!!
    P.S. Uncle Keith wants to know how the grass skiing went? Will you be bring any skis home? We love and miss you, and can’t wait to see you home.

  3. Mechelle says:

    Here is the low down on the water bowl.
    Invented in China, possibly two and a half thousand years ago, the strange device known variously as a ‘Chinese Fish Basin’ or ‘Spouting Bowl’ is a heavy copper/bronze vessel, with two carrying handles welded on the top rim.
    Five sizes of Singing Fountain Bowl are made by one foundry in China – from 7 inches in diameter to nearly 2 feet in diameter. Current literature from the foundry claims that frequent play with their bowls will ‘improve your health, prolong your life, stimulate circulation of the blood and cause the muscles and joints in your body to relax’. So as well as being fun to watch, and indeed have a go yourself, they are even good for you!
    Glad to see you all are well and having fun.

  4. Abbey says:

    I’ve wondered how the locals reacted to Americans adopting children from Taiwan. It sounds like it’s more of a curiosity than anything else! I hope you guys can come home soon.

  5. Mom Nobles says:

    It sounds like they are playing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen in the background…

  6. Ann says:

    I love watching all the videos and reading all about your adventures there. I’m very curious about the “jumping water” so if you find out let us know. Do you know when you’ll be able to come home yet?

  7. val says:

    I’ve enjoyed your blog!
    We have twin daughters, 14 months old, adopted from St Lucy’s in Tainan.
    I got the boy comment ALL the time too.. I got their ears pierced! (Hasn’t happened again, and they don’t tug their ears anymore, either!)
    I hear the adoption comments as well.. our girls won’t be able to hide that fact even if they want to do so. I try to make it positive, with a reply like “We were blessed to be able to adopt our daughters from Taiwan.” If people DO ask personal questions, a reply like “Violet’s story is like that of so many other adopted children, her birth parents made the best decision they could for her, and for our family. If you decide to adopt a child yourself, your agency will reveal that child’s individual information to you, too.”
    I know, subtle as a bazooka. But it works. I’m adopted too.. and I generally feel o.k. giving bare bones info to people I don’t know well, but I realize my daughters may well feel differently.
    For me, it’s important to be a good “face” for adoption, but there is always that line to walk..

  8. Jenn says:

    Hey guys, Violet is so beautiful! I love keeping up with your blog. Those questions are always hard. Since we’ve moved from Tennessee to Indiana I feel like I get many more stares and looks. I try to just keep it positive like, “Yes, she’s my daughter”! I’ll continue to pray for you guys…hope you get to come home soon!

  9. Ben Wilder says:

    Wow, I heard you were in Taiwan for a long time! And Nashville feels different without you both!! Come back soon. I enjoy the videos. Love the music. I know Taiwan’s a different country, but I didnt know the people there walk backwards. Thats different. (reference Christmas video)
    Anyways, cute baby!! Wow! Definitely has Ben’s eyes. And Bethany’s hair. Nashville is going to love this little girl!! Cant wait to meet her… BW

  10. Kelly says:

    I saw a guy doing the water-bowl-jump-thing recently. Hehe…I cant remember anything about it, though, so I guess that doesn’t help much. Oh yeah, I think they called it a resonating bowl.

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