Friday, January 22, 2010

Gladney's ABC program

Today I spent most of my time researching how Gladney can improve the web presence of their ABC program. Gladney's ABC program helps place African American and biracial babies with families. In researcing this topic, I learned that there are far more biracial and African American babies who need homes than caucasion ones. Therefore, I think it is important that Gladney do increase the web presence of their ABC program to bring awareness to the availability and need of biracial and African American babies to be adopted.

Here's Gladney's ABC page on their website:

http://http//www.adoptionsbygladney.com/html/abc/index.php


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.

Lauren Hensarling

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Home away from home

Today is my second day here at Gladney (third if you count orientation last Friday), and I must say that I have learned more in these past two days than I have in a very long time. Everything from copier codes to where such-and-such room is located is swimming around in my head. Being 9 hours from home (which is Hattiesburg, MS) is extrememly hard for me since I have never lived more than 20 minutes from my family in my 23 years of life. However, I feel like I have another family here at Gladney! Everyone has welcomed me with open arms and has made me feel like I belong.
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

The Greatest Gift

This past Friday I attended the Domestic Adoption Orientation with adoptive parents who are anticipating adopting domestically. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to understand this side of the adoption process, learning about the application, the process, the creation of their "View Book" which is used by the birth moms to choose their child's family. Being new to the process, like the adoptive parents, I feel I got to experience a little bit of what they were experiencing: the emotions, the questions, the fears, and the worries.

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.

-Sheryl Roberts

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gladney and the Internet

I just finished my first week working with the Gladney Center. Even in the marketing department, where I do not personally interact with prospective adoptive parents or birth mothers, I am constantly amazed by how much Gladney has touched the lives of thousands. Walking around the office, almost everyone has numerous thank you letters posted on their walls and Christmas cards from familes they have helped make complete. It truly is a testament to the great work Gladney is doing!

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.

Lauren Hensarling

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's not Business, It's Personal

Well, it is the beginning of my second full week here at Gladney as an intern, and it has been wonderful! I think that my favorite part about being here, besides the free cake that randomly shows up in the break room, is the people that are here. I have felt continually supported by each person I come in contact with. Each time I ask a question, or look lost, I am anwered with a smiling face and a helpful attitude! So, thank you Gladney staff! :)

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.

-Sheryl Roberts

First Day at Gladney

I just finished my first day as a marketing intern for Gladney! My day consisted of touring the building (it will be interesting to see if I can find my way around on Wednesday) and getting acquainted with Gladney in general.

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!

Lauren Hensarling