Thursday, August 11, 2011

First Days

I am a second year student at the University of Texas Arlington getting my master's in social work. I heard about Gladney from fellow peers and one of my professors who used to work here as a caseworker for domestic adoptions. My heart and strengths are working with and for children and they all had wonderful things to say about this organization. I knew this is where I wanted to come Intern. I started on Monday and every experience has been wonderful. I am working with Grace in Family Services and learning all the ends and outs about paperwork and post-adoption requirements for international adoptions.
On my first day I was blessed to be able to meet a family who had just come back home from adopting internationally. They brought their new little boy up to Glandey for everyone to meet. It is so good to see the real life effects of what everyone does here. They were so happy and proud of their new son. It was very inspiring.
Also, I was able to go to my first employee meeting this morning. It was great to see slide shows and hear about trips to Costa Rica and Honduras. Both trips visited orphanages and connected with kids who needed adopted and the advocates in those countries who partner with us to make that happen.
It stirs my heart to see all these people working together to help children and families in need. But more importantly, is the staff's attitudes and encouragement to each other. I have been here four days and still have not heard a single negative word about their work or the organization. And that has not happened at any other place I have worked. I know it is a hard job and at times their are frustrations, but thank you for staying so positive and encouraging.
I am so excited for my next four months and will keep an update on everything I get to learn!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Last day at Gladney!

Oh no! Today is my last day at Gladney. Recruitment and school are starting along with a whole bunch of other new things! So today, unfortunately, I will be leaving. :( I really enjoyed my internship here and I learned a lot. I am really thankful for the opportunity I was given here and how useful I felt while I was here. And on my last day at Gladney I had the wonderful opportunity to say goodbye to Parent Profiles. I think we've parted on good terms; I managed to upload almost everything I needed! And I was even invited to sit in on a brainstorming activity for a new social networking group that we want to get up and running for birth moms. So Goodbye Gladney and Thank You. :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Last Week at Gladney

Hello All!
Unfortunately this is my last week at Gladney. I start recruitment next week and then school starts on August 22. Today Nancy gave me a birthday card which was really sweet of her! I turned 21 yesterday. And I also did a ton of work on Gladney parent profiles. We had some edits to make on one profile and it took a while to get everything right. Other than that I finished doing keywords for some pictures in this one file I've been working on for a couple of days. I added some other Gladney adoptive parents as friends for one of our newer couples on facebook. I never realized how much of a slacker I looked like when I'm on facebook all the time (haha) but I am actually supposed to be doing that! I fixed the fiasco from friday when I accidently made profiles before we had their e-mails up and runnnig! Glad that's all taken care of. I'm really sad to leave on Wednesday but I am really excited to start my last semester of college. As always, I've enjoyed my day as an intern...until Wednesday!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday at Gladney

Hello... today has definitely been one of those days. I forgot my code to get in the building and started work on facebook and parent profiles for adoptive couples and I completely forgot to set up their email so the confirmations went nowhere :( But it is actively being fixed and will be fine in no time! And since I was all alone upstairs today things were very quiet. I cleaned up some posters on the walls so we can bring them down. I worked on some Gladney Parent Profiles which I managed to not mess up!! Thank goodness. Then I helped keyword some of our photos from special events we've done. Well the weekend is upon us, and my birthday (which is sunday!!) will be here very soon so I'm really excited. Once again, enjoyed my day at Gladney today!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nancy is back!

Finally back to a normal schedule here at Gladney. It's really nice to have everything back to the way it was. EXCEPT now we're moving downstairs! Unfortunately I'm not going yet so I'll be stuck up on the second floor until next week. That's ok though because today Nancy gave me Photoshop and InDesign. Wohoo! Only the best programs ever! I can't wait to use them. Today I did mostly facebook update stuff for adoptive parents and did a lot of editing on birth mom stories so we can use them for calendars and stuff in the future. Well, until friday...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Finally Back at Gladney!

Wow...it's been a while! I went on vacation and now Nancy is on vacation so I haven't been here in a while. It feels good to be back and I'm glad I have a few more weeks at Gladney before I go back to school! Today I took it easy and just helped out Katye. We sent out an introduction video to potential adoptive parents. We went through keywords for Gladney pictures and made sure they all had some. I didn't get to do much else since I had 147 e-mails in my inbox! That's what happens when you go away for two weeks. It took me almost 45 minutes to go through them all. Anways...until next time :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Good Day

Today I made a new quiz to put on the information website for pregnant women. I had a lot of fun editing the content and arranging it to fit our purposes. I like doing things that are like making websites. Its really quite interesting and its amazing how many people online create these services for you to use so easily. After I finished the quiz, I worked on parent profiles for gladney and for another website we use frequently. Now I'm off to spend time with my family that is in town this week!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Editing Websites

Today I followed up on the website content I overlooked on Wednesday. Some of the suggestions I made needed more information or needed to be more specific so I researched what was missing. On the website for educating pregnant teens about adoption, there are worksheets available to help pregnant women understand the costs that are going to come with pregnancy and when their babies are born. I researched all these costs and put them together in an easily accessible table format so that women could see what they are really getting in to. We changed one of the worksheets and made it more effective. And last but not least, I had to go in and write down which links would work better linking to specific sites to our Gladney website. After a productive day, I am now off for the weekend! :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's been a while...

Today is my first day back in over a week! Friday and Monday we were off for the Fourth of July holiday, which was excellent if I may say so myself. Lots of family time and some fun on the lake! Unfortunately I had to miss last wednesday too, because of an unexpected car breakdown. Luckily it was only a dead battery but for a girl who doesn't know squat about cars it felt like that was the end of Henry! :( (Yes, I name my car). But he is now back in full commission. Today has been good. I looked over a website educating young teens about pregnancy and their options. It was actually quite resourceful and I just made sure everything was in working condition and that the information was easy to find. For the rest of today I have been working on Gladney Parent Profiles and Parent Profiles.com. Until Friday...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Interesting Day

Today I finalized the format of some tasks I was assigned last week. Then, I was able to work on Parent Profiles and do more than just input pictures finally! I organized the BM letter and put in their pictures to accompany it. I also added in their favorites. After working with Parent Profiles, I needed to use Family Builder and now I've been able to get more familiar with that program! All in all, a nice productive day! Until Wednesday...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Research, Research, Research

Today I continued my research on Russian adoptions. I spent the majority of the day doing that since there are over 30 accredited agencies, including Gladney. Katye (another marketing employee) and I figured out how to mail videos today! It took us a couple of tries because we forgot a step and we weren't sure which program to select on the postage stamp machine but Katye figured it out eventually. Success. Anyways...keeping things interesting over here at Gladney. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lots of Things to do Today

Today was interesting because I did a lot of different tasks. I researched other companies who are celebrating their 125th anniversary just like Gladney is. It was surprising to see which companies had also been around for so long. Then I added in some things to the inventory sheet that needed to be updated. My supervisor is out of town so she left me some tasks to do, so I worked on that for a bit. I am researching accredited agencies who work with Russia on international adoptions. I created a facebook profile for a new couple interested in adoption and edited another couple's profile. I was finally able to work on Parentprofiles.com, which I've been waiting to do, but I only had time to insert their pictures. Maybe next time...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Staying Productive

Today was a short, yet busy day. I finally finished all the content word documents I had to do to help with changing the website! Yay! After that I searched for free directories to help out another Gladney Center with some PR. And now everyone knows who to email when the supplies are out downstairs! Then I was going to work on parent profiles, but unfortunately we had a small assignment come up. So I didn't get to try it out, but I did get to put together an article and its photos into a cute layout for an event tomorrow. Next week hopefully I'll have time to get acquainted with parent profiles and I'm looking forward to the projects that I've already received to work on. Now it's time for me to go for the weekend...as always, I enjoy my time at Gladney!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Website Work!

Today I went through the Gladney websites and saved all the content on each link to our services so that we can get it ready to "spiff" up. All the original sites are still up and running though if anyone would like to check it out! I myself didn't realize how many countries Gladney works with and I'm learning more about domestic programs also.

Ps. I got an A on the first test in my summer course :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Busy Busy

Today at Gladney, I was able to do a lot of things. We went downstairs and took inventory of all the materials under the marketing department. I typed up all the materials in a spread sheet so we can stay organized from now on! Then I finally turned in the powerpoint templates and birth mom packet covers I had been working on. Hope they like 'em! I made a facebook profile for potential parents which was probably the most fun and now I'm organizing some materials. So far, this internship is proving to be pretty interesting. That's all for now :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Learning the Ropes

Today is my second day interning at Gladney! I continued to work on templates for powerpoint presentations and created a few options for birth mother introduction packets. I also met with another marketing staff member. She trained me to make profiles for potential adoptive parents for the website. I look forward to helping with these profiles; it seems like it's going to be a lot of fun! Another thing I did was familiarize myself with the new website and made sure that things are running smoothly.

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Day

Today is my first day at Gladney as a marketing intern! So far, I've been introduced to a lot of new programs and I'm already working on templates for powerpoints and introduction packets for birth mothers. These new templates will match up with the new website for birth mothers. I can't wait to start working on other things this summer and I know this is going to be a great experience.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Special Visit!

It's so exciting to have the new Honduras Adoption Program here at Gladney! We've spent a lot of time learning about Honduras (history, culture, geography, adoption environment, and much more!) and trying to find a toy to represent the country.


This weekend Gladney is hosting the Director of Child Welfare, Maria Suyapa Nunez, and Secretary General, Ivonne Torres from the Instituto Hondureño de la Niñez y la Familia (IHNFA). The IHNFA is a department of the Honduras Federal Government dedicated to the protection and welfare of Honduran children. The purpose of the officials' visit is to observe the adoption process in the United States, to meet Gladney's professional adoption staff and adoptive families. Gladney is hosting a lunch on Saturday with the officals and some Gladney families. We will let you know all about their visit!

Katye & Amanda

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

News about Adoption Grants:

There is a new free resource available for adoptive families. Resources4Adoption.com is a comprehensive source for aspiring adoptive families. It is designed based on real experience, research and interviews to remove financial barriers so loving families’ adoptive dreams can come true!

Adoptive Families can download a comprehensive, up-to-date FREE Financial Resources Chart that contains detailed information on over 40 adoption grants.

Resources4adoption.com has made the commitment to adoptive families to keep their financial resource information as current as possible. They do the research so you don’t have to.

Monday, January 31, 2011

New Look, Same Gladney

Hey everyone!
So, this past week I was busy researching other adoption agencies. Not because I was looking for a new place to work, but because I was checking out what they looked like. What do I mean? Well, Gladney is going to revamp their website. We have been comparing our old website to other agencies to see what look and feel people are attracted to most.
My question to you is: what do you like the most when visiting a website? An attractive color scheme? Ease of navigation? More pictures? Streamline buttons and a contemporary design? What do you like and dislike about some of our competitors?
Take a look:
American World Adoption
American Adoptions
Adoption ARK
Adoption Network
All God's Children
Look at one, or look at them all, but we would really appreciate any or all of your feedback!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Teen Moms

I hope everyone had a great Holiday and a Happy New Year! I sure did. Now I'm back to work helping the Outreach department get prepared for another year filled with adoptions and happy families!

Yesterday while I was waiting for my computer to load a video from the Today show popped up and caught my attention. It is a video describing a school in Memphis, Tennessee that has 90 pregnany teens. The reporter goes on to say that one out of every five girls at the school has either had a baby or is pregnant. It couldn't but make me wonder how many of those girls, who are 16 and 17 years old, had ever considered adoption. For many girls that age it is difficult and near impossible to attend school while raising a child.

Unfortunately, Gladney does not have a current caseworker working in Tennessee that could help the school by educating their students on adoption. But, check out the video for yourself!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Power of One

It is amazing to see the impact one individual can have on his or her peers and a community.  Recently, Kaitlyn, a high school senior, was required to complete a year-long project including a research paper. She wrote her paper about why she believes adoption is a better choice than abortion. She said it is not only better for the children, but also for the adoptive parents and birth parents. She wants to raise money for the Gladney Center for Adoption and make a donation to the Gift of Family Annual Campaign. She plans to sell t-shirts that promote adoption and host a Zumba class. She said she wants to do these things because supports a wonderful cause. She also felt it was a way to help her peers realize "that adoption is a better option than abortion, which is definitely relevant for teenagers now and will be for years to come."

What have you been doing to make a difference? We would love to hear your stories!