Grandpa Dao is tall is stature, and kind in demeanor. If you get a chance to walk down the North hallway of Rainbows' Kids' Point, you will find him in Classroom 5. Grandpa Dao has dedicated his time and efforts as a Foster Grandparent with Rainbows for 15 years. With hands patiently held behind his back, Grandpa Dao can be seen protectively standing over ths class of toddlers as they eat their morning breakfast, ready to help in case there is a spill or a finished dirty plate to retrieve.
Grandpa Dao has three daughters, and two sons. Two of his daughters make their living working in nail salons, and the other, as an accountant. As for his sons, one is a pharmacist, while the other works as a computer programmer. Grandpa Dao sponsored each of them to come to the United States gradually, as he was the first in his family to immigrate in 1993 at 61 years old. He tells me since coming to Wichita, he has visited Vietnam four times, the last time, 2008, to bring one of his sons and his family to the US.
“I wanted all of us to be together,” Grandpa Dao said. When I asked Grandpa if he would like to live in Vietnam at any point again, he laughed and politely said no, explaining to me that he dislikes the current way the country is run. “I will remember Vietnam the way I want to, the Vietnam before,” he shared. His time there was spent growing up, serving in the military, doing carpentry and raising his family.
Now, Grandpa Dao is happy to be away. He is content with being in Wichita, with his wife and family close by. He enjoys working as a Foster Grandparent at Rainbows, watching the kids play, interact with one another, and have fun. On the weekends, his own children and grandchildren get together, eat dinner, and simply enjoy each others’ company. He says he is able to speak Vietnamese with all his grandchildren, their parents having enforced Vietnamese only be spoken in their homes. Grandpa Dao is very proud of this fact, and hopes that his grandchildren are able to retain at least this part of their culture, and remember where they came from. For him, he said he definitely won’t ever forget. He is thankful that he can work as a Foster Grandparent, and only occasionally spends his time revisiting the past in his daydreams.
A Dedicated Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent
Thank you for making a difference in the lives of the children of Rainbows over the years!