Support For Families With Children With Special Needs in Taiwan

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, etc.!
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.

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