Friday, May 5, 2017

Thank you, Gladney, for giving me the opportunity to pursue my passion each day.

During my first semester at North Texas, a Gladney employee came to my class and talked to us about Gladney and the mission that this agency strives for. Hearing about all the excellent work that this agency does, I knew that one day my dream was to be an adoption social worker. Three years fly by and I am ready to be in a field placement. When thinking about my preferences for field, I only saw being an adoption caseworker as a dream, something that I would get to later in life. When my professor offered Gladney as a field placement, I knew that it was meant to be and that Gladney would be an experience that I would remember for the rest of my life. Let me tell you, it has met every expectation since day one. (Day one consisted of holding a baby 😊)

This semester, I was in the New Beginnings Department which facilitates state foster care adoption.  Little did I know how much this department would change my life forever.  Not only did I get to observe adoptions, I got to advocate and help children find their forever home. The New Beginnings staff has welcomed me with open arms and helped me understand more of the adoption process. Before coming to Gladney, I did not realize how many children in the foster care system are waiting to be adopted. Instantly, I fell in love with advocating and working with the NB’s team to find these children a forever home. I became more aware of how trauma can have a negative impact on a child’s development. With that, I learned how crucial the role of a broker is in the social work profession.

In just one week, I will graduate with my Bachelor of Social Work Degree from the University of North Texas. In August, I will be attending Texas Christian University to pursue my Masters of Social Work Degree. Because of the guidance and encouragement from Gladney, I am confident that I have been taught social work skills that I will be able to use in the future. Thank you, Gladney, for giving me the opportunity to pursue my passion each day. Today is the last day of my internship at Gladney and I would not change anything about my experience here. Because of Gladney, I will forever be an advocate for adoption.

Madison Harper,

New Beginnings Intern, Spring 2017 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Where to begin?

Hello all,

My name is Emily Jowers. I am a Senior at the University of North Texas. I will be graduating in May with a Bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family studies with an emphasis in Intervention and Administration. I first heard about Gladney about two years ago when my school advisor casually invited me to sit in on a presentation from an adoption center in the area. "What have I got to lose, I'll go." I thought, naively, to myself. Little did I know that this seemingly silly 70 minute class would (as dramatic as it sounds) change my life. Emily Moorehead was the presenter and I left that class feeling inspired and giddy and truly excited about what my future career could look like. Ever since then I have been in love and continue to fall in love with Gladney and all they do.

There really are not enough good things that I could say about my time so far here at Gladney. Since the moment I was notified about being accepted into the internship program I have been welcomed with open arms. Every staff member has so much knowledge and wisdom to offer. I have not, for a second, felt like an intern. I am entrusted with so many tasks and assignments, I truly feel like I am an employee. Not to mention all the free food (a college kid's gotta eat right?) ☺

My time here has not only been an amazing learning experience and informative, but it was good for me to see that what I have chosen to do for the rest of my life is exactly what I wanted. This field fulfills me in more ways than one. This company has inspired me and has set the bar so high that I have such high hopes and expectations for my career will look like.

I will miss this place more than I can put into words. The people I have met, the lives I saw changed, the employees that took part in mentoring me, all of it. I would not change or alter my experience here at The Gladney Center for Adoption.

I will be leaving here forever changed!

Thank you Gladney!

Much Love,
Emily Jowers ❤

Learn more about Interning at Gladney

Friday, March 24, 2017

How to Make the Most of Your Time at Gladney

As a Gladney intern with the Next Steps program I came in wanting to know about all things Gladney as soon as I could learn. There are so many facets to Gladney that I quickly realized this would take time. I started this process by attending whatever trainings I was allowed. This included Domestic Orientation, Pathway’s, New Hire Orientation, and legal training. After attending these trainings I was able to put a lot more of the pieces together of the puzzle that is Gladney. While still many pieces were missing in the “1000” piece puzzle, I was determined to turn over all the pieces and see where they go.  When I created my learning contract at the beginning of the semester I took risks to make myself branch out, because if it is part of the contract, I have to complete it, right? As a high functioning introvert I knew it would take this to make me try new things and meet new people. Since I had to meet certain criteria on my contract, I began networking with people in different departments to shadow them for a time. This was fantastic. While it was a little anxiety producing, it brought out so much information about so many topics that I didn’t even realize. With Gladney being so large you may wonder how I did this.

This is where I am going to tell you how to maximize your time at Gladney. It is simple. Eat lunch in the Commons.  How easy is that! You can bring your lunch or grab something and come back. I recommend getting there around 12. This is when the largest number of people tend to eat their lunch. Why is this so great you might ask? When in the lunchroom you meet people from all departments. Meal times are always times of fellowship with families, and this is no different. You not only hear about jobs, but also about families, hobbies, and what people are binge watching too. Building these relationships at meal time makes it much easier to ask questions about specific jobs, or favors for shadowing opportunities. It is relaxing; everyone is on the same ground. It is hard to not feel intimidated at Gladney because I almost never hear negative things about people or the work being done, which makes it difficult to ask for things (at least for me), but in the lunch room I have always felt welcomed and there is always a place at the table and a warm inviting smile.
MSW Intern for Next Steps & Post Adoption

Learn more about Interning at Gladney

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Dream Come True!

Have you ever had a moment that you thought was insignificant, but it ended up shaping your life and career in a way you never anticipated? That’s how this dream all started! I was thirteen years old, and a group of children from a Russian orphanage traveled to the United States for a summer camp. These precious children were hosted by families interested in adopting them, loving them and giving them a bright future! Many families adopted, and during that time, I witnessed some of the most authentic, selfless sacrifices and love I could ever imagine. My heart broke that day for the fatherless.
Fast forward a few years… okay maybe more like ten, I began passionately pursuing a career in Social Work, knowing my emphasis was going toward children and families. Though I knew there was a need for social workers in CPS, I dreamed of being in an adoption agency. In 2014, my parents were empty nesters and felt called to foster. We were placed with a sweet eight month old boy, who never left our care! Our hearts grew as our family expanded. In May of 2016 he became a part of our family forever through the gift of adoption. I have an older sister who is 28, I am 26, my younger sister is 25 and now we have a 3 year old, who is an uncle to my 2 year old niece! Our family is unique, and has a slightly humorous story to tell, but we would not have it any other way! He brings joy and is a total delight to our life! 

Adoption to me is just that, it’s a gift! It is sacrificial, selfless and beautiful.

Here I am, living out my dream! I am interning full time at The Gladney Center for Adoption with the privilege of working with expecting mothers living in the dorm! It gives me an entirely beautiful perspective on the bravery, love, sacrifice and gift that is adoption. I consider it a joy to walk through a season of sacrifice with these amazing women, and forever will be changed by knowing them.

Gladney has provided an environment of comfort for these women walking through their pregnancy and has embraced them where they are at! I am grateful for the small percentage of time I get with them, and daily remind them “You are Brave"! I hope that they will continue to remain brave in their life and know that they have made a decision that is life-giving to another family that is so ready to create their family!

-Residential Dorm Intern
Lauren Marburger

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Kiki! A New Beginnings Intern at Gladney!

Hey Gladney friends and family!

My name is Kiki and I am a new intern at Gladney in the New Beginnings Program! I am a Human Development and Family Sciences major at UNT and will be graduating this upcoming May! I have been interning here at Gladney for a little over a month now and I am absolutely loving my time here so much! I think what makes the Gladney internship the best internship out there, is that I am truly seen and treated as apart of the team!

I went into this semester thinking that no matter where my internship would be, that I would do nothing more than go on coffee runs and make copies. I was SO wrong because I had no idea that I would be so fortunate enough to be an intern at Gladney. Being a Gladney intern is just like being a actual employee here. Silly but true, I actually got a desk and a computer my first day and that blew ME away!

My mentor and I are a match made in heaven! We are both very alike and think the same way, so we work so well together and HR did an awesome job placing me with her and in the New Beginnings Program. She really took her time out of her very busy schedule to make time to walk me through the office setting at Gladney and it helped so much.

My second week at Gladney my mentor asked if I was comfortable enough to assist a family with the transition of having adopted children in the home along with their biological children. The adopted children come from a series of hard backgrounds and the transition can be hard, which it is for this family. Every week since I started at Gladney, I get to spend a few hours each week in their home in their daily activities. I truly enjoy being an extension of Gladney to this family who are clients.

I absolutely love and appreciate that Gladney allows me to assist families, but what I love most about this amazing organization is that their love and support does not end after placement or finalization for families. If a family needs any kind of assistance or support even after finalization, Gladney will always do whatever they can to assist a Gladney family, and that is something that means a lot to me to be working for this awesome organization!

Until next time,

New Beginnings Intern-Kiki C.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Georgia Roadblock

Georgia Roadblock

This past week has been made up of forms, forms, and more forms. Don'g get me wrong, I love paperwork and filing, it is what I am good at. Even so, finding the right forms to request a child abuse clearance in not easy when the state alters requirements every six months without notice. As a result of a sudden change, I uncovered a policy issue that can only be described as bad.

Georgia has been on my mind constantly and not in a good way. I discovered that as of July1, 2016 there is no longer a "direct method by which a private child welfare agency can obtain CPS information for private foster and adoptive families" (GADFCS, 2016). This poses as issue for Hague regulations which requires child abuse clearance from every state in which an adoptive parent has resided. With nothing but frustration, I continue to look for a solution to this policy issue and still do not see one. This hurdle has been a major roadblock in the way of preparing family's documents and it continues to be one. I have called every number the state of Georgia will release to find information but each one has led me to another dead end. Georgia may be glad it's on my mind but I want it out of my mind.

After talking with Beth, the intercountry adoption caseworker, she emailed the National Council for Adoption (NCFA) intercountry group to see if anyone has encountered the same problem. As it turns out, there are many individuals facing the same obstacle but there has been no success so far with obtaining the clearance. 

What I have learned from this experience is the value of using your resources and co-workers. Even though I did not receive the  answer I was hoping for, I discovered that I am not the only one struggling with this new policy. I have also learned that giving up is never the answer. For now, I will continue to search for a solution and will not give up until I find one. Even with this recent trial, I know that International Adoption is where I am meant to be and I hope to work toward changing this policy so that my job can be simplified in the future.

By: Alex Gideon
International Adoption Colombia Intern

      It was only appropriate to use the Georgia font for this post.
      Only one peach was harmed in the making of this blog (my snack).

If you have any questions about adoption, know someone facing an unplanned pregnancy, are considering adoption yourself, or just want to get involved and/or educated on the subject, please don’t hesitate to contact Gladney. We would love to talk to you!

Find out how you can become a Gladney intern or volunteer here. We currently have Fall 2016 internship openings in Human Services as well openings in IT, and Marketing.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Hi, I'm Alex

A Few Weeks In

      Hi, my name is Alex and i'm learning the ropes of International Adoption from Colombia. I am a Senior at Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!) getting my undergrad degree in Social Work with a minor in Child Development. I fell in love with the idea of working in foster care and adoptions when my brother and sister-in-law decided to foster three children not too long ago. So far I have been able to see some exciting things here at Gladney and I am thrilled I get to share my experiences with you. 

During my first few weeks here I have learned what and Apostille is and how to request one (even from Canada!), shadowed a New Beginnings home visit and Attended new employee orientation, domestic infant adoption orientation and pathways Training. I have gained so much knowledge just from these few events and this is not even the full list of what I have completed.

One accomplishment I am most proud of would be learning how to get a document authenticated in Canada. This may not sound like the most glorious assignment, but it was an adventure none the less. Canada does not comply with the Hague Convention so getting a document Apostilled is not an easy task. This road block led me to a million different websites trying to find a Canadian courier who would take a document to the foreign affairs office in Ontario Canada. Now, as a brand new intern I was already confused about the Apostille process and on top of that I had to learn what a courier was and how to find one. After days and hours of searching, I found the golden number, I called Canada and Shawn picked up. Shawn told me, "Oh it's easy aye," and the rest is history. The document is currently on its way back to the Gladney Center with a seal of authentication.

One of my more recent experiences here at Gladney would be attending Pathways Training. Unfortunately, because of of school, I was only able to attend the second day of training. Even with only experiencing half of the training, I feel as though I have a better sense of the traumatic backgrounds of the children we serve. The biggest concern of bringing home a child with a traumatic background would be to make sure they feel safe in the home and with the people around them. One concept that stuck with me through the training would be that this process of felt safety in a child can take a long time. I think that this training was more than beneficial for me to see as an intern because it gave me insight to a part of the adoption process I don't often get to see in my department.

So far, I wouldn't change my placement here at Gladney for anything. I am given new opportunities and experiences every day that I spend here. Since I have been here, I have yet to meet a Gladney staff member I do not enjoy being around. I can truly say I feel welcomed into to Gladney family and I cannot wait to see what these next two semesters (and beyond) have in store for me!

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If you have any questions about adoption, know someone facing an unplanned pregnancy, are considering adoption yourself, or just want to get involved and/or educated on the subject, please don’t hesitate to contact Gladney. We would love to talk to you!

Find out how you can become a Gladney intern or volunteer here. We currently have Fall 2016 internship openings in Human Services as well openings in IT, and Marketing.