Friday, July 30, 2010

It's Off to Work We Go...

Mike McMahon laughed at us sitting in our cubicle this morning all diligently working away. Paige, Katye, and I have been working hard on Parent Profiles, creating templates and writing columns for a new newsletter. Today, with the help of Nancy, I finished the article about the Heritage Service Trip to Russia. I really enjoyed getting to research and read all about the group that got to experience that amazing opportunity to learn about their backgrounds. Also, you should check out the printable version that has a nice quote from an adoptive parent and a beautiful template that Katye made.
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.

My Last Day at Gladney

Unfortunately the summer has come to a close. While I'm excited to see my family again I'm going to really miss Gladney and everyone here in the office. This has been by far my best internship experience and I will use what I have learned here to hopefully launch into a career in the field. I hope to have the chance to return to Gladney after finishing school.

Thank you for such a wonderful summer and for everything you do for families and children!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Adoption Day :)

Today I had the chance to go to Adoption Day at the Fort Worth courthouse. It was so exciting, heartwarming and emotional. In Texas, once a prospective adoptive family has been approved to adopt and has taken placement of a baby (after the birthmother relinquishes), the family is under a supervisory period for six months before they can finalize the adoption with a judge. During that six month supervisory period, the baby (or child) comes to live with the family but the adoptive parents have not yet established firm legal parenting rights. Once the six month period is over, the parents must go to court to finalize the adoption with a judge. They may do so any day they would like, but many families choose to wait until Adoption Day which takes place once a month at the Fort Worth courthouse.

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.

Adoption Day

Hi, I'm Grace the new Marketing intern at Gladney. Recently I have been helping out with the organizing and researching for the Strategic Plan for the next two years. I have been graphing data and scouring through statistics in order to support Gladney's plan of action for the next couple of year.
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

Constant Contact

I am quickly becoming an expert in Constant Contact after building several templates, sending e-mail blasts and problem solving to figure out how to make Constant Contact work effectively for Gladney. I have continued promoting the International Adoption Webinar using Constant Contact and Facebook - if you haven't had a chance to watch it be sure to check it out and share it with friends! The webinar is a great tool to learn more about International Adoption and specific information about the countries Gladney works with.

Here's a list of some of my other recent projects:
  • Formatting a brochure for birth mothers about the Christian perspective on adoption

  • Creating PowerPoint templates

  • Creating InDesign templates for newsletters, Parent Profiles, etc.

  • Planning Orphan Sunday (which is Nov 7th!) with the other marketing interns

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pei Wei's Cookies4Kids

Today Gladney had a very nice reception to thank Pei Wei restaurants for their generous contribution to Gladney’s humanitarian efforts around the world. In May, Pei Wei launched a fundraising effort to support Gladney’s work with children worldwide. Today’s reception was a wonderful way to recognize the kindness and impact of their contribution.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I can't believe another week has gone by already! I was able to go as a witness for a relinquishment last week. It was a really great opportunity to get a clearer picture of the whole process of adoption and understand more about Gladney. I had no idea what a relinquishment was going to be like, but it seemed to go smoothly and the birth parents appeared confident in their decision to choose adoption.

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

Another week has flown by at Gladney! I can't believe how fast the summer goes. My research project for Heidi Bruegel Cox is finally taking form. Today I looked at the costs to society of a child being adopted from foster care. The costs include adoption tax benefits, adoption assistance (both non-recurring and recurring), Medicaid eligability and exemption from public college tuition. These financial incentives are an important element in finding homes for children in foster care!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Long Overdue

I must admitt I have been lacking in the blogging department, only because I have been so busy keeping up with all my duties here at Gladney. In the time that I have been here I have almost mastered the process of setting up Parent Profiles for parents looking to adopt. Facebook is a piece of cake, because lets face it I'm a college student. AdoptionsbyGladney is a different set up, because simple enough. But ParentProfiles.com is where I have a lot of questions. Anything from how to get the profile started to am I scanning the right papers to file. But at the end of the day I'm pretty confident that I did everything right.

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.

International Adoption Webinar Available!

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!