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Showing posts from 2013

I Am Gladney Pittsburgh

I have been at Gladney for 3.5 academic semesters now and with my last semester half way over, now is a good time to share some reflections.

In starting my internship at Gladney I knew very little about adoption and practice. I had read quite a bit, followed news stories, watched lots of movies and TV specials, but I was very disconnected from the practice. Fortunately I connected with the Pittsburgh PA worker, Cheryl Parkhil, who has been more than generous in sharing the adoption world with me. I have done Home Studies, Post Placements, worked with Birth Mothers and even been to Texas to see our work and meet staff.
I was really inspired by what I saw in Texas. Gladney truly is a wonderful organization, focused on the best service delivery and a continued goal of hope.

I know now more than ever than I want to stay in this field as a professional. I want to experience the highs and lows of working with people at all stages of this highly emotional process. Connecting with people, und…

My Farewells to Interning and Tying it All Together

Today I walked into my cubicle--my second one--I have been in two cubicles this semester--in between International and Marketing--and low and behold there was a present on my desk.  Now, I should tell you about me--I have been told stoic is a good adjective for myself.  I do not become emotional easily.  Actually--hardley ever.  I found myself close to tears several times, starting with that present today.

I have interned both semester for Gladney--as a student obtaining a BSW from UTA--that meant 240 hours per semester--one Spring and one Summer for me.  This has been a stressful, fun and memorable ride for me.  I believe that most important reason is because I, too, was a Gladney Birth Mother.  It was nine years ago, but I remember the first time walking back in to the doors, and just completely busting out into tears--thankfully, I had this wonderful woman (who is still with Gladney) talk to me and completely make me feel better.

There are so many stories--ones from the amazing Te…

Unexpected Precious Moments

After interning at Gladney for almost 6 months, I can honestly say my favorite thing about working here is always being surprised by what will happen the next day. There are some days that are very typical office days; I have my to-do list; I get it done, and I go home always with a smile on my face and excited to come back the next day. Then there are days where things happen that really do surprise me! For example, this past Thursday I had walked over to Beth's cube to chat with her about tasks she need my help with. Not 30 seconds after we had finished discussing what she needed, she asked me if I could quickly run down to reception to be a witness to a birth father relinquishing his parental rights. I of course ran to help with whatever was needed.

While I had always planned on witnessing relinquishment at some point during my time in Gladney, I always had thought when I had the opportunity to do so it would be through a birth mother. I was shocked at how much seeing one man …

Family Services Intern

Hi! My name is Caitlyn and I am the current intern for Family Services in Fort Worth and will be here through December. I am a social work graduate student at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) working towards becoming a LMSW. I will also graduate in December.

Family Services provides post-adoption support for families who have adopted internationally. Some of our services include: parent education and training, home study services, counseling and support resources. As the Family Services intern I have had the opportunity to learn about the services we provide and review follow-up reports from our adoptive families. So far, I have spent a lot of time with Uncle Ricoh (our trusty copier/printer) and sending these reports to the country where the children were adopted (Ethiopia, Taiwan, Russia). I love reading up on how the children are adjusting and thriving with their family in the U.S. and I especially love seeing pictures of their sweet faces! Soon I will be able to take par…

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

As a current MSW student at the University of Pittsburgh, I have been doing my internship with Cheryl Parkhill up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania! As I had such an amazing first year experience, I jumped at the chance to stay on for another year to complete my Concentration field placement. So Cheryl and I have just begun round two and I am excited about the potential these next two semesters hold. Last year I learned a lot about Home Studies and Post Placements and was able to interact with families involved in adoptions through China, Ethipoia, Bulgaria and Colombia. I also was able to develop my Doula skills as I was present at one of our birth mother's deliveries! As I am currently working to get DONA certified to be a Doula, this was a welcome experience. This semester we will focus more on Birth Parent Services as I assist Cheryl with developing and facilitating a birth parent support group. This is something that is virtually nonexistent in Pittsburgh so we are hopeful for a pos…

Being the "Adoption Guide"

As the marekting intern, I gert to experience all sides of Gladney. This week I have been helping out with a youtube video that shows potential birth parents their options as far as where to live during their adoption process. I had a lot of fun mixed with a little stress making the video, but I hope the video will shine some light on living options to birth mothers and also let them know how much Gladney cares about them.
Here's the video!

Life as an Intern for New Beginnings and Transitional Care

I have had an amazing experience as an intern. Tanya and Holly are beyond amazing and they help me learn something new each day. From the very first day that I got here, I have been diving head first into many new and exciting things. I have gone on home studies and I've gotten a chance to hold babies and care for them. I have worked on a resource list and I have also started doing a lot of work for Gladney in general. I love it and it is a wonderful place to work.

Marketing Intern

As a marketing intern I have had many experiences dealing with forever families and one that really  stuck out to me was a children's book I got to read and write a report about. Here is my review of this amazingly touching story that is not only good for families of adoption, but just families in general.


“On The Far Side of Poplar Pond” provides a wonderful insight for children and adults into the world of adoption and how some people view it. Written by Anjanette Walchshauser, her picture book brings to life an encouraging story of a forever family and the joy adoption can bring. As an adoptive mother herself Anjanette explains appropriate ways to openly talk about adoption with others who may not understand it.

Learning More and More Everyday :)

When I first applied to Gladney, I remember the biggest appeal was ALL the different opportunities it seemed to offer. I can remember at orientation finding almost every department appealing and wishing I had time to experience all of them. Well, I don't think that's actually possible, BUT I am finding myself taking advantage of all the opportunities at Gladney has to offer. Last Thursday, I got to attend Pathways Training, which was amazing! It was so exciting to me to see adoptive parents up close and personal and to put faces to some names i've heard mentioned in meetings or seen on documents i've scanned many times. It showed me no only why but who all the small, tedious little tasks I do behind a computer are for. I loved seeing couples interact and being able to observe the certain dynamics among adoptive parents. It was so much fun, and I learned so much!! Not to mention the free food was excellent :) On Monday, I also got to attend the Birth Parent Panel, which…

Birth Parent Intern

Being a part of Gladney these past few months has beenamazing! Adoption has always been close to my heart, but after being here at Gladney - my heart was expanded. Knowing that I am helping others, who cannot have a child on their own, start a family is so rewarding.

Currently, I am an intern working in Birth Parent Services for Gladney. Every day that I work here is different. Some days are consumed :)with paperwork, some are filled with exciting adventures to see Birth Mothers, and some are spent learning new things. Overall, this experience has taught me so much about myself, and the social work profession as a whole.

I plan on attending Baylor in their MSW program in the fall. Working with Gladney has helped me to become more prepared for graduate school, as well as giving me a positive perspective about adoption and social work. I just love being here!

- Jessica Blaylock
Birth Parent Services Intern

Hello from the Colombia Intern :)

Hey y'all! My name is Meg. I'm currently working on getting my Bachelor's degree in Social Work at the University of Texas in Arlington, and this semester i'm interning at Gladney in the Colombia department. I've loved every single person and duty i've been given so far - including all my quality time i've spent with the scanner :) I'm really excitedto be working at Gladney because it seems like such a positive environment full of wonderful people who are doing great things with their life. I can't wait to see what the rest of the semester holds.