Thursday, December 9, 2010
Gladney has created a new program called "Healthy for Life" which will help families create lifestyles that promote healthy eating, physical activity, and overall well being. Gladney is thrilled to collaborate on this initiative with expert nutritionists Tammy and Elysse Lakatos, also known as the "Nutrition Twins." The mission is to provide families with information that will empower them to make healthy food choices at home, in their communities, and in life. Through our information, webinars, and seminars, we will provide nutrition education for both parents and children so that the entire family has the tools they need to live healthier, happier lives. For more information visit our website.
If you want to keep updated with the exciting things happening at Gladney be sure to 'like' our facebook page.
It is hard to believe 2011 is just around the corner, but I am looking forward to starting new projects and all the excitement that comes with the new year! Happy Holidays :)
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I spent some time in Photoshop today removing the background behind an adorable little girl. I always appreciate the time I get to spend using the programs I've learned in school to help Gladney.
Recently, I've been reminded of the encouraging environment at Gladney. E-mails about placements always thank everyone involved and anytime exciting news is shared, several positive responses follow. The best part is that this encouragement isn't seasonal! Appreciation, excitement and joy can be seen at Gladney all 12 months of the year.
Gladney Center for Adoption helps create forever families for many and has a very loving family of its own.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
For more information throughout the holidays be sure to visit Gladney's facebook page. We will keep you updated on ways to give back, National Adoption Month tips, exciting news, and fun at the office (like Waffles this morning!).
We have also been voting on Holiday Traditions cards. Check out some pictures of entries shown below.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Text NAM to 43648 to receive ideas on how to get involved. Msg & data rates may apply. Text HELP for help, STOP to stop.
Visit Gladney's facebook page and click on the NAM tab to see more tips as the month goes on!
- NAM Activity #1: In election times, learn candidates' views on issues realted to adoption and child welfare. Make your views known to the candidates.
- NAM Activity #2: Encourage your social network to join the various Gladney pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
- NAM Activity # 3: Have local government issue proclamation recognizing "November as National Adoption Month" http://ht.ly/33hk9
- NAM Activity #4: Contact PTA President to see if you can present a program on Adoption in November. http://ht.ly/33iGZ
- NAM Activity #5: Deliver Gladney Hotline cards & other outreach materials to Jr. High & High School teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians to distribute. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like materials.
Big projects for me over the last few weeks have included consolidating contacts for the New York office, working on a postcard, and learning about different events taking place for NAM.
Coming in once a week is a little crazy so I am really looking forward to being able to come to Gladney more often starting in January!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Recently, I have had the experience to read stories, e-mails, and powerpoints in order to reformat them into articles. But, these are no small stories. The staff at Gladney is so well-rounded and diverse that I have been reading a range of subjects from child psychological development to the adverse effects the rain has on adoption in Ethiopia.
One of the other articles I worked on was about how to cope with the emotions from infertility. It's about how to answer questions your friends and family may confront you with. The articles are all very interesting, and I'm not saying that because I wrote them, the articles are helpful at any stage of adoption you may be at. It is important for us all to be aware of other factors that may not effect us directly. For example, the article on infertility may help you empathize with a friend experiencing this change in life, or the article about Ethiopia may help you realize the drastic weather conditions these children have to live in.
Learning is a skill that truly helps us grow as individuals. Now is it time for you to grow?
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Be sure to check out the Gladney facebook page for relevant information and opportunities to get involved with Gladney. Each country has a facebook page, so be sure to 'like' those and receive updates! Here are links to the different pages: Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nepal, Russia, Rwanda, Taiwan.
Last week I spent time archiving photos. This will speed up the search for photos that Gladney employees have taken during trips to various countries and any pictures of Gladney families and kids. The process has taken some time because there are so many pictures, but it will make a huge difference when trying to locate that perfect picture!
The interns are still working on the Orphan Sunday event, trying to get things finalized since November is drawing closer. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about this in the coming weeks!
I am so glad to be back at Gladney and I can't wait to see what fun projects I'll be working on this Fall.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Something I've noticed is everyone at Gladney really appreciates the interns. They are so happy that we are here and able to help them out, we even had a breakfast so the interns could get to know Frank Garrott (the President and CEO of Gladney). It seems to me that everyone really loves working at Gladney, it's not just something they do everyday but it is something they really care about. Interning at Gladney has been a really great experience and I would definitely recommend it!
Friday, July 30, 2010
The article covering the Teen trip to Mexico to volunteer at and orphanage should be up soon! But as for now, check out their Facebook post!
Now I'm going to research different ways we can improve our Parent Profiles to make them more appealing for birthmothers.
Thank you for such a wonderful summer and for everything you do for families and children!
Friday, July 23, 2010
The courtroom was decorated with balloons and stuffed animals and about twenty families gathered with their children, friends and relatives to finalize the adoption. Rather than feeling like a sober courtroom, it felt like a large family reunion with parents doting over their children. One by one each family (parents, children, extended family and friends) was invited in front of the judge to finalize their adoption papers. Then the excited new parents and child got to take a family photo with the judge holding the baby (or child). Each newly adopted child and his or her siblings left with a balloon and stuffed animals. It was potentially the happiest occasion to ever take place in court.
Every family was so beautiful and the occasion so wonderful, but I was particularly touched by the adoption of a sibling group of three African American girls. The girls appeared to be about ages 12, 9 and 7. It was so exciting to see them enter a forever family and I couldn’t help but think about how today has changed the course of their lives forever in a way that will allow them to grow together and reach their potential with the love and support of their parents.
However, through sitting all day in a cubicle by myself I have really enjoyed to opportunity to learn (as cliche as that sounds). One of the most interesting and disturbing facts I have recently discovered is the emergence of Ulipristal Acetate, or UPA, in the United States. UPA was created in Europe and has passed in 2009 with flying colors as the new emergency contraception for women. This new drug, named EllaOne by HRA Pharma, allows women 120 hours (5 days) for emergency contraception to take the pill after unprotected intercourse. Research has shown a decrease in the chance of pregnancy compared to the well-known Plan B in the United States and could possibly be distributed as an over-the-counter drug. Although the FDA has not approved EllaOne for US manufacturing, the advisory board for the FDA has passed the drug, signifying a positive approval for the drug in the near future. While this may sound like a new savior for confused teens not wanting a child, this new drug has potential to alter how many children are put up for adoption each year. In the eyes of Gladney and adoptive parents this drug is scary for the future generations of adoping children.
Today I went to a domestic adoption orientation. At the orientation I could see that these people going through the process of adoption are embarking on a selfless journey. It amazes me how complete strangers could gain my full respect with their attendance to learn about adoption with the hope of improving a child's life as well as their own.
I look forward to learning more about Gladney and the employees here because it is evident walking around how committed the employees are to making families happy.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Here's a list of some of my other recent projects:
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Here is a look at some projects I have been working on:
- New PowerPoint templates for International Programs - which include the country specific toy on the slides - a great idea we got from Angie!
- Connecting Facebook and Blogger
- Archiving photos in order to make pictures easier to find
- Updating the Birth Mother color pallate with some fun new colors!
Next week I will attend an Orientation for Adoptive Parents so check back to hear about how it goes!
Friday, July 9, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I also just finished cleaning out the file cabinet, and threw away all the papers from couples who have finshed their adoption process. It went from a sea of white from over flowing papers, to black deep empty hole. After this chore I realized how many couples we have successfully helped start a family, and that was only a small portion of Gladney.
This is the beginning of my second week as an Intern in the Marketing Department at Gladney. Recently, I have been working on an e-mail to announce the International Adoption Webinar. The e-mail was sent to anyone interested in international adoption so they can visit the site and watch the informative and educational webinar.
The webinar includes:
- Country background
- Updated information
- Countries separated by region
- Information available at your convenience
Visit http://bit.ly/cpT3lp to see the new webinar.
In addition to working on spreading the word about the webinar, I posted notes on facebook with FAQ specific to the different countries. Check out the facebook pages using the links below!
Monday, June 28, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Another Gladney tradition is getting a group together to go out to lunch for each employee’s birthday. Today, Gladney’s president, Frank Garrott joined us for lunch. I love the relaxed atmosphere that exists across departments and across rank. Everyone is here to support each other and to work toward bringing children into loving families.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Yesterday I had the chance to serve as a witness to a potential birthfather signing a waiver. It was interesting to learn how that process goes. The birthparent caseworker first talks to him about the adoption process in general and what her role and Gladney’s role is in this case. He is then asked if he would like to see the profile of the adoptive family that the birthmother has chosen. He is also invited to receive pictures and letters throughout the baby’s childhood. Then the caseworker goes over his and his family’s medical and psychological histories. That way, the adoptive family will be able to provide the child’s doctors with insight into the child’s biological medical history. Finally, he is sworn into oath by the caseworker (who is a notary public) and reviews the waiver for accuracy and asks any questions he has. He signs the waiver in front of two witnesses and it is notarized.
Following witnessing a birthfather sign his waiver, I got to observe a birthmother sign her relinquishment documents. In this case, her deposition was taken by a court reporter and she was also sworn into oath. She was reassured that she does not have to go through with this relinquishment today and may wait or choose to parent. She is asked if she has friend and family support in her adoption plan and asked if she chose to parent would she have support in that decision as well. The birthmother provides a written statement as to why she believes that the adoption plan is in the best interest of the baby and finally signs the relinquishment documents. It was a very emotion-filled event. It was wonderful to see what a thoughtful and bright young lady she is.
Friday, June 11, 2010
It was also interesting to hear Frank Garrott (Gladney’s President and CEO) give an update on where Gladney stands financially this month. He talked about development plans as well as a future endowment campaign. It will be exciting to see how Gladney grows.
Monday, June 7, 2010
I also had the oppurtunity to read though the Style Guide and Reference packet. This packet shows how different images and templates are evaluated and placed together.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Families also touched upon the difficulty they had receiving responses from CPS on their inquiries about adopting children. One woman testifying about her journey to adopt a child from CPS said that she contacted caseworkers on over 30 children who were available to adopt and whom she wanted to adopt. She only heard back on half of the inquiries and often the response came 2-4 months later in the form of an automated response. Many of the children she reached out to try to adopt remained listed on TARE (the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange). Though they needed a family that she was willing to provide, they remained unplaced.
Another theme brought up in testimony was the treatment of sibling groups in foster care. DFPS makes every effort to keep siblings together in foster and adoptive placements – a priority with good intentions, which in many cases is an appropriate course of action. However, families revealed cases in which separating siblings may have been in the best interests of the children and keeping them together prevents each from healing and becoming adopted. A family who fostered two brothers – a five year-old and seven year-old – petitioned to adopt the five year-old. The children’s psychologists had recommended that the children be placed in different homes so that each may heal in a safe environment. The seven year-old posed a physical danger to his younger brother who lived in fear of his older brother. Despite the recommendations to have the siblings separated and the availability of an adoptive placement for the younger sibling, CPS insisted on keeping the siblings together which is delaying or preventing permanency for each child.
The meeting brought to attention many barriers to adopting from foster care. Later this year, the Adoption Review Committee will put forth suggestions to overcome these barriers and move children into permanency more quickly.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The best part of my experience thus far was attending Adoptive Parent Orientation. It was amazing! Couples came to learn about the next steps in the adoption process and have all their questions answered. It was wonderful to hear from three birth-moms about their journeys - they are all so sweet, bright and thoughtful.
My big project for the summer is researching the cost associated with state adoptions and with children leaving the foster care system. I have spent the first half of this week looking into the costs associated with future homelessness of youth who age out of foster care - it is astounding!
Monday, May 24, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
You're All That I Call My Own
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Let's face it, the internet has become a vital part of our everyday life. Fortunately Gladney recognizes this trend and is offering our families a chance to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity.
Friday, March 26, 2010
An interesting story on transracial adoption, "Transracial Adoptions in Oklahoma Mean Rewards and Challenges" features some of Gladney's own speaking out on behalf of transracial adoption. Intern Allie Reed also found some interesting articles that provide pros and cons to adoption, as well as tips for families that are transracial.
Below are some interesting things I have learned through my research on the issue:
The first recorded adoption of an African-American child by a white family took place in Minnesota in 1948.
Sorry, I am a history major so I had to throw in at least one historical fact! Now on to more interesting things:
The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 treats all Native American lands as if they were separate countries within the United States. As a result, in most cases the consent of the birthparents alone is not enough to adopt a child—you must also obtain the consent of the tribe.
In 1994 and again in 1996, the federal government passed laws that forbade racial consideration as the sole reason to deny a prospective adopter a chance to adopt a child of another race.
Reserch has shown that children adopted transracially have a strong self-esteem and a positive sense of their identity. However, adoptee Phil Bertelsen made a documentary about his experience growing up in a multi-racial family and his search for where he belonged.
All in all, both sides of the debate have valid points on the part of transracial adoption. Take a look at some of the articles and think about it. Transracial adoption is clearly not going away and neither is the debate.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I have absolutley loved this project! As one of the coordinators, I have been able to go through all of the pictures that are sent in and watch these kinds grow up, in a matter of seconds...and boy have they grown! Some of them are now atheletes, some are dancers, and some are over 6 feet tall (as I am only 5 feet, this amazes me). But they are all adorable!
I wanted you to be able to experience this with me. So, please enjoy these pictures of these sibblings from Pskov! :)
This daughter loves her new family! (7 months)
Celebrating their first Mardi Gras! (19 mo.)
DISNEYWORLD!!! (7 years...see they just grew up 5 years!)
I think this one is my favorite! Can anyone relate? Caption from their mom: This is their normal state. My son is looking innocent, my daughter is outraged. (9 years.)
The cheerleader, the football player, and the dog (10 years old...and being a Baylor Bear myself, I post this one only because the men's team won in Louisiana last week!)
At the beach last summer (age 12)
I hope you enjoyed these pictures! I can't wait to see the books all finished!
Now, go and take your own walk down memory lane with your own family! Now is always a good time to get out the photo albums...and a box of Kleenex.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The favorite parts of my visit though, were when the little boy or girl would run up to their mommy or daddy and ask to climb in their lap and give them a big hug and a kiss! It was so sweet watching this family interact with one another in such a loving and caring way. Knowing that these precious little ones, whose mother had died before they were a year old, would not have this much freedom and affection if they were still in Ethiopia made it all the more beautiful.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Please join me in casting your vote for this talented women!
Monday, February 22, 2010
What words would you put in a piece of grafitti to describe Gladney? Let me know!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
As we were looking through the list of trainings that The Parenting Center offered one stuck out to us, in particular. This was titled, "Helping Children Deal with Stress and Feelings," and we felt that this training would be beneficial for most of the social workers that would be in attendance. The training is all about recognizing and responding appropriately to the positive and negative feelings of the children of today and the stresses they face. In particular, learning this information would be helpful to pass along to the families and children they work with on a day to day basis.
I was especially intrigued by this title because it is not one that is taught on very frequently, yet is crucial to parents understanding their children and what they are going through, and helping the children to understand their feelings.
So, if you are a Gladney staff member, I would highly recommend carving out some time on February 25 from 10-12 to come and listen to the training...we would love to see you there! (And if you need more incentive you will recieve free CEUs!)
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
For parents who have successfully participated in international adoption, there is no better resource than Gladney for adoption advice on how to teach your child about their unique culture! The country and culture links on Gladney's international adoption pages showcase the holidays that each individual country celebrates.
China's country and culture page is below, and look they just finished celebrating the Chinese New Year!
It is important to teach your children about their special heritage and culture. Gladney's website is just one of the many resources that the Gladney Center offers for parents seeking adoption advice!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Luckily, Gladney has a wide circle of friends, so reach out to Beth if you know of any job opportunites for our birth mothers or have any advice to aid her in helping out the girls.
Connect with her on LinkedIn and join the Gladney group while you are there!
PS: You can also connect with me on LinkedIn!
Monday, February 1, 2010
I researched prospective toys for Costa Rica, and found out that while children there enjoy participating in outdoor sports such as soccer and baseball, they also like to play with a "trompo" which is a combination of a spinning top and yo-yo. The tops are typically made out of wood and are often hand painted in vivid colors and patterns.
After researching Costa Rica, I worked on adding more information to each country's "Country and Culture" page on Gladney's website. I really enjoyed reading about each country and learning about their heritage. I know very little about African countries so I especially enjoyed reading about their history and culture. Some nations have a population made up of people who speak over 80 different languages!
Click here to view the Country and Culture page for Rwanda. Let me know what you found interesting about Rwanda's culture!
Friday, January 22, 2010
Here's Gladney's ABC page on their website:
Overall, I thought it would be a great idea for Gladney to provide links for biracial and African American moms to search for prospective parents who want to adopt from the ABC program so that they could more easily find a match and good family for their baby. Hopefully, making the ABC program more accessible will influence prospective adoptive parents to choose to adopt an African American or biracial baby, and give mothers the opportunity to find the perfect parents for her baby.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
On my first actual day as an intern, I watched a placement. The birth mother handed her child over to the adoptive parents. The courage and love that it took for that birth mom to give her child to another family was overwhelming. Her love was completely selfless, and the looks on the adoptive parents' faces will stick with me long past my internship. Being a part of this whole process is so rewarding and I look forward to experiencing many great things during my time here at Gladney!!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
One of the most interesting thoughts I am coming away with, is this: the birth parents are giving the adoptive parents the greatest gift they will ever receive. I'm sure many people have had that thought before, however, not being a parent myself, this idea was so novel. This got me to thinking of how brave and courageous these birth mothers are. They are choosing to give up parts of their life (comfort, security, time, schooling, living a normal life) for 9 months of their life, so that their child will have a better life. They choose to lay aside their lives for 9 months, so their child may have life.
I do want to thank these women today. Their courage and sacrifice is not recognized enough, and because of their bravery, a child gets the opportunity to live. Humans have the ability to achieve significant amounts of greatness...and who knows what greatness that life has in store.
Friday, January 15, 2010
I have been working all week on creating profiles of prosepective adoptive parents to post on Gladney's website.
I am a huge advocate of using the Internet and social media to connect with others because I really do think it is a powerful and accessible way to reach people.I think that the parent profiles are a great tool for Gladney to accomplish its goals and provide prospective birth mothers and adoptive parents with their happy ending. I loved creating the parent profiles because they really do illustrate the love that prospective parents have for their significant other, and hope to give to a child of their own. In creating the parent profiles I can only hope that prospective birth mothers will be able to find a loving family for their child, and prospective adoptive parents will be able to complete their family.
Monday, January 11, 2010
As I am typing this, I am overhearing a conversation with a caseworker and one of their clients, and the caseworker is getting to tell the family that they will be able to travel to visit a child in the next month! On the phone the mother started crying at the thought of, possibly , seeing their new baby in a month...and then I started crying as I recognized how special and personal this work is. What is done here touches lives, not only the families lives, but the staff's (and intern's) as well! That family will be changed from today on, despite whether or not they are able to take that little baby home.
This is just one of MANY stories that happen here each week. I am so thankful to have been a part, even if it was only in eavesdropping, of that family's story, and a part of the Gladney family, for this time.
I loved reading the informational brochures for prospective adoptive parents and birth mothers. I especially enjoyed about reading about international adoptions because I learned a little about each country as well as their adoption requirements.
I can't wait to begin working on projects for Gladney!