Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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 was so amazing and inspiring. I wasn't expecting to hear from a Gladney Baby as well as Adoptive Parents, so I found that just incredibly awesome. The panel really gave me a new appreciation for these Birth Moms. What they go through is so difficult, and I don't think soceity gives them the credit they deserve. We should give more thanks to mothers who place their children for adoption because essentially they are giving something so beautiful and special up so that two strangers can be happy. That to me is just awesome.

As for my work with Colombia, it surprises me everyday how much more I really grow to love it. I was little nervous about my internship at first (and often still am just b/c I feel like sometimes I have no idea what the heck is going on), but I honestly am really really enjoying my time working with Colombia adoptions. Currently, I'm working on putting together Colombia's waiting children onto Gladney's new A Child to Love website. Basically, A Child to Love contains profiles of children in the international programs as well as the Texas Foster Care system who are available for adoption. Even though, I only have photographs and documents of these kids, I feel like i'm kind of getting attached to them :) They are all SO adorable (seriously some of them could be models), and I love reading about all their different personalities and stories. Hopefully, the website will be 100% complete and up n' running soon so we can help these children find their forever families.

I've had a decent amount of jobs over the past couple of years, and I can honestly say Gladney is the only place where I've ALWAYS left in a great mood and excited for when I get to go back. I love it here!!

-Meg Scamardo
Colombia Intern

Monday, February 25, 2013

Birth Parent Intern

Being a part of Gladney these past few months has been amazing! 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