I did a search on my own site and was surprised nothing came up! I was sure I'd posted about Taiwan Sunshine. If I have already, I certainly didn't do a good job of it.
Taiwan Sunshine is founded and coordinated by a very active member of the Taiwan expat community. I was going to write my own view of their life, but why bother when I use the summary on their own site, with permission of course! (I'll get it tomorrow...)
Welcome to our website! We are really excited to announce that we
just received our final government approval for the registration of
Taiwan Sunshine. That makes us 100% official and we can start renting,
paying bills, giving Taiwanese tax-deductible receipts for donations,
Read on if you want to know our story!
A few years ago, God gave us a little girl. Our daughter was born
pre-mature, underweight, but REALLY cute. At that time we were living
in China. That first fall and winter, we were surprised by how often
she got sick and how “floppy” she was. And — she sounded just like a
little kitten when she cried. After a very serious illness in the
spring, three medical evacuations – quite the story in itself – we
finally were able to get a diagnosis: 5p- also known as Cri-du-Chat
Syndrome, also known as Cat’s Cry Syndrome, also known as LeJeune’s
Syndrome, also known as “We don’t have any idea what you are talking
about!” Needless to say, we started to do lot of research and found
that our daughter would be mentally and physically disabled for the rest
of her life.
We did decide to go back to China at that time, but only on a year to
year basis. We knew that God wanted us to be there and that he would
give us the strength and resources that we would need. And that is
exactly what happened. We had two more wonderful years there. At that
time, though, it became very clear that we needed to move to a country
that had better medical and therapy resources. After a short search, we
moved to Taipei, Taiwan. The medical facilities, resources, therapies
were great and our daughter improved so much!
As we were living in Taiwan, though, we realized that there were many
other families with special needs children that seemed very lost and
hopeless. In Taiwan, it is still often seen as an embarrassment or
shame to have children that are not ‘perfect.’ We were able to have
great conversations with other parents and realized that there was a
void that we could fill! Because we have a special needs child
ourselves, there is an automatic ‘heart to heart’ connection. We could
relate to them, encourage them, cry with them, learn with them, and, most importantly, tell them about the HOPE that we have.
We shared this vision with some of our very good friends and
together, we decided to form a legal not-for-profit association. This
would allow us to work more easily with schools, hospitals, and other
government organizations. We would be able to give tax-deductible
receipts in Taiwan. Since our Taiwan Sunshine relies on the generous
financial support of others, this was so important. Now, our dream is
finally a reality!
Oh, one more thing — why does our website say ‘fearfully and
wonderfully made?’ This actually comes from a poem in the Bible, from
the book of Psalms. In this section, the poet says, ‘I praise you
because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I
know that full well.’ He is talking about how God already knew him and
made him fearfully and wonderfully. In other words, he is not a
mistake, an accident, a ‘sloppy’ thing! God did not run out time when
he was making him! We believe that this is true for all of us. God
made each of us fearfully and wonderfully. That includes our kids, no
matter what kind of ‘disability’ they have!
We hope that through Taiwan Sunshine, there will be such a radical
shift in Taiwan’s culture to understand that each of these kids is
valuable – not because of what they can contribute, but because they
were made by God – with a specific purpose that only they can
accomplish. We hope that Taiwan Sunshine will communicate that sense of
HOPE with every family we come in contact with.
If you are not Christian, don't be put off by the religious aspect of the introduction. I have never felt any pressure from MaDonna or her family to believe anything they do. I think the key notion is HOPE for every family.
You can also find Taiwan Sunshine on Facebook. They list current activities there.