Monday, February 22, 2010

Social Media, Bookmarks

Today I kind of played catchup, but in the process I encountered some interesting projects that Gladney is working on.

First, I signed Gladney up for Gowalla.com and Foursquare.com. If you do not know anything about these websites (as I was) they essentially are forums for you to visit locales in your city and give tips or reviews of them. It is really interesting and they are utilized mainly though mobile devices, a medium that is growing faster than the Internet did in the early 90s. So, if you love your iPhone apps, download the Gowalla and Foursquare apps and go visit the Visitor's Center and the Gladney Center for Adoption!

Now moving in a different direction, I also began working on a project to turn artwork made for Gladney's book covers into bookmarks. These bookmarks would be left at various outreach events at schools, etc. The current artwork is a really unique piece of grafitti that was made especially with Gladney in mind. It is made up of words that embody Gladney, such as "Pregnancy Hotline" "Choices" "Adoption Rocks" etc.

What words would you put in a piece of grafitti to describe Gladney? Let me know!

Lauren

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Training at Gladney

Lately I have been working on getting together a training for the staff of Gladney and some of our partnering agencies (through the DFW Interagency Adoption Council). We have been working with The Parenting Center to set up the training for February 25.

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!)

-Sheryl Roberts

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Learning about international adoption

Updating the country and culture links for each country Gladney works with always fascinates me. I love learning about the histories, geographies and cultural traditions that each country holds.

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!

http://www.adoptionsbygladney.com/html/china/culture.php

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!

Lauren Hensarling

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Next Steps finds jobs for our birth mothers on LinkedIn!

Nancy and I had a meeting this morning with Beth Cox about creating a LinkedIn account to help birth mothers find jobs. Beth works with the Next Steps program, which assists birth mothers with life after they give birth. She is constantly in the process of looking for part-time jobs for girls living in the dorm as well as more permanent jobs for girls that have moved out.

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!

Lauren Hensarling

PS: You can also connect with me on LinkedIn!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gladney International Adoption Programs

Today I spent my time working on projects related to Gladney's international adoption programs. Currently, Gladney helps match families with children from countries such as China, Nepal, Bulgaria, Rwanda and Mexico, to name a few. Gladney uses toys that are specific to each region to symbolize their knowledge of the region, and give prospective parents a small taste of the culture and everyday lives of children living overseas.

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!

Lauren Hensarling