Friday, October 12, 2012

Some news from Inter-country (finally!)

I have been meaning to write this blog for a while but have been caught up in a flurry of meetings, happy and sad events, reunions and mounds of files!

So, perhaps i'll begin by introducing myself. In May I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from Austin College, with majors in international relations and french. And yes, I am fully aware that Spanish is more practical in Texas. I have always felt a deep connection to giving back and work in the non-profit sector and have been an avid volunteer throughout my academic career. I have also always felt like there were so many global places to see and explore, my small home town could'nt contain my desire to travel and discover.

While my immediate family has lived in the Ft. Worth area for some time now, extended relatives are a long roadtrip away in northern Indiana. It is here, in Colt and Fighting Irish country, that three of my cousins became family through the loving decision made by each of their birthmothers.

All of these things combined, as well as a search for non-profits in the metroplex and the much appreciated help of Mary in HR, led me to my internship in the inter-country adoption department of the Ft. Worth campus at Gladney.

In the past two and a half months I feel like I have gained so much invaluable knowledge that has made me reflect, has made me grateful, and has left me continually impressed by the dedication of the caseworkers and the entire team that it takes to run the center smoothly. I'm sure this holds true in every department, but especially so in inter-country, the motto seems to be expect the unexpected. From the twists and turns experienced by the prospective adoptive parents during homestudies, dossier submission, USCIS approval, referral acceptance and travel arrangements, to financial realities that force us to confront the limits of a boundless desire to give more and do more. Perseverence is critical, as is a close relationship between team members and the ability to lighten the mood.  The process of inter-country adoption is involved, lengthy, and uncertain. I have developed so much respect for the patience and determination of the families choosing this path. You can see how committed everyone here is when a cubicle is full of smiling and "awwwww"-ing staff gather around a skype screen to see the placement of a cherub cheeked Colombian baby.

Due to the obvious limitations of inter-country, I was very interested to have the opportunity to shadow a domestic birthmother caseworker and see this facet of adoption. I'll preface this recap by saying that it was an unexpectedly emotionally gruelling day.  I found myself teary on the way home and teary now remembering it. On this particular day, two birthmothers had scheduled supervised visits with their little ones who were in transitional care while awaiting the finalization of their paperwork and placements. The first birthmother arrived with a small gift and entered the visiting room calmly. Her little one was swaddled comfortably in a blanket, just his petite head and dark combed over hair visible from his cocoon. The two spent a quiet couple hours together before it was time for a quick diaper change and goodbye for the day. Maybe I am biased because this is the first and only visit I have witnessed, but the unwavering strength, maturity and selflessness shown by this particular birthmother was truly commendable. You could feel the immense love she had for her little one and I was reassured that through her choice to place for adoption, both mother and child will continue to live the most fulfilling and rich lives imagineable.

So in conclusion, (if you have made it this far!), I feel so lucky to be a part of this team for the short time that I am. I have been so welcomed here, from breakfast with the President Mr. Frank Garrott, to inclusion on meetings and conference calls. This work is by no means easy, but it is undoubtedly necessary. Seeing the celebration on referral and placement days reminds everyone of the hope that carries us through the ups and downs of building families. Congrats Gladney on 125 years and best wishes for the next, I am glad to have been a (small) part of it.

Katie Heath

Intern in Inter-country adoption

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My time here...

My time at Gladney has gone by so quickly! I've loved being an intern for the transitional care and new beginnings programs! 2 of my favorite things I have done have been going on homestudies and going to a matching event in San Antonio. I love being able to interact with the families taking that first step towards adoption. It is so wonderful to hear what has led them to Gladney and their stories. I also enjoyed going to the matching event and getting to know the foster kids waiting to be adopted. It was definitely a great opportunity to see the kids and hang out with them.


One of my projects has been making the resource list on Portal easier to navigate so we can fully utilize the resources available to us.There are filters besides each category that make it easier to navigate a specific resource in a specific state, city, or type.


Thank you all for being so welcoming and helpful! This is such a wonderful environment to be able to work in. :-)


- Lindsey Patterson

Learn more about our New Beginnings program on our website: http://adoptionsbygladney.com/adoption/domestic/new-beginnings

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Making Infographics

For one of my projects this week, I had to learn how to make an info-graphic to show the process of adoption from the birth mothers perspective to post on Pinterest. It was a "learn as you go" process since I have never made an info-graphic. Through a lot of trial and error, I finally got a finished product and posted it  on pinterest! Take a look! http://pinterest.com/pin/105975397452365960/

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Making a Parent Profile

This past week I learned how to make a parent profile for couples looking to adopt from Gladney Center for Adoption. A parent profile is what goes online on http://pregnancyhotline.org/ and is under the tab "Parent Profiles". This is very exciting to learn how to do because you are making it possible for birth mothers to find their perfect home and family for their baby. The birth mother will look through the list of potential parents and decide which parents she wishes to speak to, and then the adoption process for the family begins! It makes me feel great knowing I am helping in the process of adoption for birth mothers as well as with couples looking for the perfect addition to their family!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Life as a Marketing Intern

I have loved every moment I have worked as an intern at Gladney. I only started interning here a few weeks ago and have already learned so much! One of the amazing things I get to do is make Facebook pages for couples who want to adopt through Gladney. I put their pictures they submit to us in an album and also put their letter to the birth mom in the captions to help them further their chances to be chosen as new parents! Another task that I do which is very fulfilling is making informational packets to send to men and women inquiring international adoption! I am always happy to make these packets because I know that these packets help these men and women decide on whether they really want to adopt and if they do want to adopt, where they will be adopting their child from. Working here at Gladney has been very fulfilling and know I will continue to love working here!
I recently joined Gladney as an intern.  I was given the opportunity to participate in Pathways training that is offered to the adopting parents.  I was extremely impressed by the information presented in the training.  Clearly an enormous amount of time and effort was invested in this presentation.  Gladney is providing invaluable tools to ensure success for these families.  As a parent myself I had many "lighbulb" moments that helped me see myself and my child in a new way.  Any parent would be lucky to have this type of information in their parenting toolbox.  Thank you Pathways team.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Beth Evans Shares Her Personal Adoption Story


Beth Evans is a social worker acting in a volunteer capacity to provide additional support to Gladney families during their adoption process in Taiwan. An Asian adoptee herself, Beth was raised in Michigan and has been living in Taipei since May, 2011.

Recently, Beth shared her personal adoption story which was published in "Centered on Taipei", an online magazine for the international community of Taiwan.

Click here to read Beth's article on page 20.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Joys of Checking My Email

There have been very few times in my life when I could say that checking my email was anything other than a chore to get through as quickly as possible. My time at Gladney has been one of them.

As a legal intern, I don't have as much client interaction as the social work interns. I was lucky enough to witness a relinquishment and subsequent placement of a baby girl with her new parents of my second day of work, but for the most part I've got my nose in the books preparing for our Hague re-accreditation.

Fortunately, for every papercut I've gotten in the process I've received at least two or three joyful emails recounting stories of parents united with the children they've been waiting for. Reading these updates (and often getting to see pictures of the happy families!) puts a smile on my face every time. It's a wonderful reminder of the important work Gladney does--and of which I am blessed to be a small part. So every morning when I get to the office, the first thing I do is check my email. I always know something good will be waiting for me!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Parent Profiles!

Creating parent profiles is one of the best parts of my job because I love learning about the families! Check out some of our awesome families online profiles!




Meghan and Matt
" Thank you for taking the time to read a little about us. We hope it gives you a glimpse of our life and who we are and will allow you to see all the love that we have to give a child. We believe there isn't just one way build a family. We know raising a happy family is the most important thing we will ever do. To us, being parents is a special gift that comes with tremendous responsibility."




Mike and Amy
"Hi! We are Mike and Amy, and we are honored that you are taking the time to get to know a little about us. We know we can’t fully relate to what you are going through, but we admire the courage, love and thoughtfulness you are putting into your decision. Please know that we are praying for wisdom and peace for you at this time. We hope this profile gives you a glimpse into who we are. Thanks for looking."





"Our Names are Steve and Gwen. We are very excited that you are taking the time to learn more about us as you develop your adoption plan. While we cannot imagine how hard this decision has been for you, please know that we admire your strength and love. Your child will grow up knowing of your strength and love by the life you have chosen for them in a nurturing house full of love, laughter, respect, and possibilities. We would love nothing more than the opportunity to welcome your child into our home."


"Hello, we are Jeff and Melissa. We feel so blessed that you are reading our profile. We hope through these words and pictures you discover a little more about our love, marriage and strong desire to become parents again through adoption. We know this must be a very trying time, but you are a strong and courageous individual to choose adoption. We believe our paths have crossed for a very special reason."






"Thank you for your interest in getting to know us. We are so excited and proud to be adopting for the second time. Our daughter Jenny joined our family through the miracle of adoption and we are so grateful for her birthparents -- and to you -- for being so selfless and loving in making an adoption plan."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


“Jesus loves me”:

Not all post placement visits go as smoothly as my first visit. I just returned from another post placement visit I went on with a co-worker of mine. She thought it would be a good learning experience for me to come along on this particular visit because she had known the family for a while and they have been through some tough times recently. Once we arrived we were introduced to their children, two of which were quite hyperactive and excitable. During the visit they did not listen to directions particularly well and made it difficult to proceed with the supervisory report because of the interruptions. I watched the parents as their children would interrupt and beckon for attention..  they were SO composed and patient with them! I was floored by their ability to calmly reprimand the children (maybe even provide them with a task for their child to focus on) and then continue seamlessly with our interview. It turned out that their children had sensory issues similar to ADHD or ADD, but what amazed me was the perfectly tailored parenting skills the mom and dad used when dealing with the children’s behavioral issues.  This is a great example of how no child is perfect ...but they can be perfectly matched.

A lot of parents may have not been as prepared to handle such a wily sibling group. Believe me, from an outside perspective the children may have seemed wild and unmanageable, but their parents were doing an outstanding job, and the love the children reciprocated for their parents was undeniable. As I was leaving, the little boy grabbed my hand and pulled me down to say something in my ear. He whispered, “Guess what… Jesus loves me” and had the biggest smile on his face, he hugged me and then ran off. How could anyone not love this kid? He was adorable! My favorite post placement visit yet.


Friday, April 13, 2012


Emergency cases:

In adoption, there are sometimes cases we hear about or are working on that require special attention and care from the Gladney social worker.  Since I have been an intern here, there have only been a couple that I have heard about; cases where the child may have experienced trauma prior to adoption or where the parents are truly struggling.

Unfortunately, it is not always the picture-perfect version of adoption that some parents may think of. Not all children are adopted from infancy, not all children are born with perfect health, some may even have had experienced some level of trauma before they were adopted. All of these possibilities are real, but just like in biological child birth, there is no such thing as a “perfect” baby… but it is the belief of Gladney that for every child there is a perfect match of adoptive parents, parents who will love the child in the way that nurtures them and accepts them.  And as long as parents are patient and accepting and loving of their child, they will be that perfect match for them.

It is important to remember, just like in biological birth, raising children takes WORK!

…but thankfully, Gladney is here to lend a hand! J

Monday, April 9, 2012


Talking About the Tough Stuff:

Adoption panel- I was asked to be on a birth-parent and adoptive-child birth panel on February 28th, called Talking about the Tough Stuff. Since I was adopted and am currently an intern at Gladney, they thought I could provide some insight to potential adoptive parents (AP’s) and answer questions they may have. I agreed to help out, it sounded like a fun experience and I was excited to share my story! The panel was intimidating at first. My family, along with two other families, were seated at the front of the Mabee conference hall as the adoptive parents asked us questions about our individual experiences with adoption.  The AP’s all asked very good and thoughtful questions, this was a very honest discussion. Talking about the tough stuff, means that in adoption sometimes there are challenging times and sometimes adopted children may have questions that are tough to answer…  This panel/ discussion helped AP’s prepare for those questions and to feel comfortable in answering them.  At times some AP’s who shared their thoughts became emotional when describing their situations and how they wanted children or how grateful they were for the adoption process.  Overall, it was a genuine and heartwarming talk, and I left feeling like my family and I offered something truly valuable to the adoptive parents who came and listened. I’m glad I got to be a part of it.

Friday, April 6, 2012



A Blessing and a Curse:

Pathways max capacity- Gladney offers an amazing training session that is designed to aid international adoptions for children 2 years-old and above, but really in my opinion all adoptive parents could learn from this training it’s so good!  I had no idea this training was so popular when I attended my first session, but apparently it reaches its max. capacity just about every month we have it and usually need to create a waitlist! This is just as much awesome news as it is stressful news. It is wonderful that Gladney’s Pathways training is requested by so many AP’s, however it makes things a little bit more complicated behind the scenes. The International and Family Services department is having to work super hard to try and keep up with the demand for more training sessions, while making sure the families that are in need of the training and a required get signed up in time. The department has no other real options but to create more dates for the training, which means more work, and less time to do it in! I am so impressed with this department’s ability to accommodate families’ needs.. that is a quality that not every adoption agency can offer.  Go Gladney!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


My first post placement visit, ALONE?!

Luckily, I was blessed with a wonderful family to do my first post placement report on. They had previously adopted through Gladney and had already been approved by other social workers, my only job was to evaluate and report how their most recent adoption was working out. In this kind of report we gauge the child’s attachment to the parent as well at the parent’s attachment to the child. It is important that during the first year there is a good deal of bonding that takes place (however, it is important to remember that all families are different and may bond at different rates—there is no single formula). In this particular case, the parents and child had bonded swiftly to each other. It was precious to watch how their new baby girl clung to her mother and made eye contact with her as often as possible. She was just as eager for her father’s attention as well, holding his hand and trying to play with him during the visit. It was endearing to watch the love that this family shared.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tornado Warning!!!!

Today was a VERY exciting day at work, mostly due to the crazy weather we had. Around lunch time we got word that there was some bad weather coming our way and not too long after we heard on the weather channel that Johnson County, directly south of us, has a large tornado and egg sized hail. If didn’t change directions, this storm was supposed to be headed north towards the Fort Worth and Arlington area, where the Gladney headquarters is located. From the windows outside our offices we watched the clouds began to get dark and the wind start to pick up. The weather channel changed from a Severe Weather Advisory to Tornado Warning and we were briefed on safety protocol in the event of a tornado. Thankfully it never came to that, but I feel very prepared now none the less! I’m glad to see how collected my co-workers were, no one was afraid, everyone carried on with their work as if there was no alarm (besides the occasional onlooker who wanted to peek out the window J)

We all made it through the storm though.

just another perilous life-threatening day at the office, it’s what we do

Friday, March 9, 2012


BLOG ENTRY #6: Home study ALONEEEE?!

It’s really kind of funny how I thought I’d never be able to do a post-placement visit on my own and literally three days later I get offered one. I am so excited!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


BLOG ENTRY #5: Supervised Post-placement Home Study

Today I got offered to chance to shadow a supervised post-placement visit with Amy Curtis, the department head of family services and international adoptions. We were to meet with a family who had already adopted a child and just needed a follow up visit. It is important to have a follow up visit after the adoption in order to make sure the family and child are adjusting well to each other. Amy did the majority of the talking as I watched the interview between her and this family. This was a great experience to see what all a social worker or case worker is looking for in adoptive parents, ‘child-centered logic’ being one of them. This is the method of thinking that puts the child’s needs at top priority across the board to make sure they are getting everything they need. Overall, this home study went very well. The family was kind, compassionate, and demonstrated a loving and gentle parenting style. I was excited to be able to come along, I was perfectly comfortable shadowing a visit, but I doubt I’d ever be able to do one by myself.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


BLOG ENTRY #4: Domestic Adoption Orientation

When I went to the domestic adoption orientation one of the first things we did was break into smaller groups, I had no idea that the process of adoption was so involved. The birthmothers get to pick who their babies will be adopted by, the parents have the ability to state a preference of who their birthmother could be, and they the match is overseen the whole time by a case worker who helps the matching process along. It is even recommended that the adoptive parents create a booklet to offer the birthmothers so that they can visually express who they are as a couple. And it was a truly unique experience to be able to hear from a birthmother herself, to understand the struggle she was going through. There were two who volunteered from the dorms at Gladney for this month’s panel and they were taking questions from the audience. They were asked many questions and volunteered their answers willingly, but the overall theme of their answers was that they were so grateful to Gladney for helping their babies find a good and loving home. That even though it was probably the hardest decision of their lives, they were at peace with it because they knew deep down it felt right. For someone who was adopted as a child and never really got to know her birthmother, it was really nice to hear.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


BLOG ENTRY #3: Settling In

This week I learned I am going to be working in Family Services with Camille. So that I would know more about the agency, we took a tour. Gladney is a large facility, the tour must have taken 30 minutes! But I was able to meet the majority of the staff, see all of the different departments (Family services, Domestic, International, New Beginnings, ABC, Post Adoption), and view the vault to learn about the involved filing systems.  Everyone has been so nice and welcoming here, I am very excited to begin work!

I was notified last week that there would be a conference on Thursday morning where all of the interns would have the opportunity to meet the President of Gladney, Frank Garrott. I may have been a bit nervous at first but after meeting everyone, I felt like I was really a part of the agency. The President Frank Garrott took a keen interest in learning who we all were and where we were coming from in our lives. He even told us a little bit about his own life and how he got to be the President of Gladney. It was a really good meeting, and to top it off we got bagels! J

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Garrott mentioned we may want to attend an orientation coming up. It was an orientation for domestic adoptions, and at the end of the orientation there would be a panel of birthmothers who had volunteered to speak about their situation and perspectives.  I jumped at the opportunity to hear a real-life story from a birthmother who is going through the adoption process, to hear her side of the whole thing and to get to learn her feelings.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Gladney Center for Adoption 2012 Service Awards

On Wednesday, February 22 I was fortunate enough to attend the 2012 Service Awards and Appreciation Luncheon. Since this is my first year at Gladney, this was my first time to attend. The luncheon was an amazing experience, and not just because it was catered by Joe T's. :) The day started with recognition of the fabulous Gladney volunteers. 26 men and women were recognized, myself included. After the volunteers, Tanya Houk presented the Transitional Care Parents. All of these families have the biggest hearts and are essential to the service that Gladney provides. Peggy Jones is a Transitional Care Parent who was honored for her 5+ years of service. She got behind the podium and told the room what being a Transitional Care Parent meant to her and how much she loves Gladney. Following Peggy's moving speech, Frank Garrott began presenting the Service Awards for the Gladney Employees. 6 people were honored for 5 years of service, 3 for 15 years of service and 1 for 20 years of service. All 10 of these employees have impacted many peoples lives and dedicated their time and energy to making Gladney successful. Judy Hayes was honored for her 20 years of service - You rock Judy!!


Emily Silva, Marketing Intern

Thursday, February 23, 2012


JORDAN ADAIR’s BLOG: I love my internship.

I am a graduate student from the University of Texas at Arlington where I am currently perusing my Master’s degree in the field of Social Work. For my degree, I am required to complete a total of 400 hours in a placement of my school’s choosing.  Honestly, I was skeptical at first about the “potluck-style” placement of my internship but once I learned I had the opportunity to work at Gladney Center for Adoption I was ecstatic. 

I felt an initial connection to this placement because adoption has had a huge part in my life. I was adopted by my parents when I was 6 days old from an agency in San Antonio and for as long as I can remember, I have heard from my family how beautiful and precious adoption is. I’ve heard it described as so many things; a miracle, a prayer answered, a blessing for adoptive parents (especially for those who may not be able to conceive children of their own) …and yet none of those words completely describe what it feels like to actually be one of those children who was so perfectly matched.

Even within the first week of working at Gladney I have learned that their reach extends so much further than just helping people like my mother and father become parents. Gladney also goes abroad to help children internationally from places all over the globe, they help finalize local/ private adoptions, and there is even a program called New Beginnings that helps children with disabilities find loving and caring families. Their NewBeginnings Program also works with foster Care, older kids, and children with medical needs New Beginnings. Gladney is an incredible organization, I feel so lucky to be placed here.

I have so much love and respect for the process of adoption. It holds a very special place in my heart. I can’t believe how much good Gladney does for families like mine ...and I am so thrilled to be a part of it! J

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pathways Training

Earlier this month we had International Pathways Training. This is a required training session to help prepare soon to be parents of children adopted internationally and between the ages of 2-16. The international program at Gladney is pretty amazing, they help children from all over the world find homes. I came away from Pathways with a better understanding of children and their needs and fears (especially children who have been through a tough experience in early childhood). I am not a mother and am not planning to become one any time soon, but after this training I felt prepared enough to!  The couples who came sat through the two-day training session full of activities, movie clips, professional speakers, child rearing techniques, and even left with a parenting tool box filled with more useful information. I was really lucky to start my internship when I did because I was able to attend the Pathways, I enjoyed it so much!

-Jordan Adair
Family Services Intern

Friday, February 17, 2012

Stylin' Profilin'

I spent all week creating online profiles for our hopeful adoptive parents. We use three different sites, Facebook, Pregnancy Hotline and Parent Profiles. On these profiles we post the parents stories and pictures for birthmothers to see. Katye Tankersley likes to call this "Stylin' Profilin'"! Creating parent profiles is definitely the best part of my job! I love creating them & learning about all of our awesome adoptive families!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I love my internship.

I am a graduate student from the University of Texas at Arlington where I am currently perusing my Master’s degree in the field of Social Work. For my degree, I am required to complete a total of 400 hours in a placement of my school’s choosing.  Honestly, I was skeptical at first about the “potluck-style” placement of my internship but once I learned I had the opportunity to work at GladneyCenter for Adoption I was ecstatic. 

I felt an initial connection to this placement because adoption has had a huge part in my life. I was adopted by my parents when I was 6 days old from an agency in San Antonio and for as long as I can remember, I have heard from my family how beautiful and precious adoption is. I’ve heard it described as so many things; a miracle, a prayer answered, a blessing for adoptive parents (especially for those who may not be able to conceive children of their own) …and yet none of those words completely describe what it feels like to actually be one of those children who was so perfectly matched.

Even within the first week of working at Gladney I have learned that their reach extends so much further than just helping people like my mother and father become parents. Gladney also goes abroad to help children internationally from places all over the globe, they help finalize local/ private adoptions, and there is even a program called New Beginnings that helps children with disabilities find loving and caring families. Their NewBeginnings Program also works with Foster Care, older kids, and children with medical needs. Gladney is an incredible organization, I feel so lucky to be placed here.

I have so much love and respect for the process of adoption. It holds a very special place in my heart. I can’t believe how much good Gladney does for families like mine ...and I am so thrilled to be a part of it! J

- Jordan Adair, Family Services Intern