Friday, March 26, 2010

Transracial Adoption

Recently I have been researching transracial adoption for Gladney's website. It is an extremely interesting subject because people are very divided over the issue. Some argue that children adopted transracially miss out on learning about and experiencing their culture and heritage. Others argue that children adopted transracially have a loving family and welcoming home, something they might not have received had they been forced to wait in foster care to be adopted by a family of the same race.

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.

Lauren

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

As a part of the Heritage trip that Gladney is taking this summer to Russia, we have been collecting pictures from all Russia families who have adopted from Russia, since the conception of the program. With these pictures we are going to create scrapbooks to send to each of the regions to see how their "little ones" have grown up into beautiful young men and women who are living happy and healthy lives.

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.
-Sheryl

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Reminder...

This morning I was reminded why what we do here at Gladney is so wonderful. I was able to join one of our Family Services Social Workers on a Post Placement visit with a family who adopted 2 children from Ethiopia. We went out to the family's house and were able to visit with the parents and the cutest 2 year old little boy and girl you have ever seen. Seeing them running around their house so joyful and carefree made me want to run around with them...but I, of course, remained professional and stayed in my chair.

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.

-Sheryl

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vote for Former Gladney Intern

One of Gladney's former marketing interns, Whitney Williams, has been named as "America's Coolest College Start-ups 2010."  While interning at Gladney, Whitney stepped into the role of the Community Center Coordinator role while staff was on maternity leave.  She was invaluable during this time and used her skills and knowledge in such a professional manner.

Please join me in casting your vote for this talented women!