Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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 signing a piece of paper would affect me. It was a very matter-of-fact, non-emotional process, yet I noticed the poor guy's hand would not stop shaking the whole time. I couldn't help but wonder what was going through his mind right now. He just signed away his right to his own flesh and blood forever. I could only image what an overwhelming range of emotions from relief to fear to selfishness to sadness must have been consuming him. And I came to the conclusion that no matter what his feelings or reasons may be, he was ultimately committing an act of Love. His actions ultimately allowed the opportunity for his child to be unconditionally loved and provided for by their own Forever Family.

Everyone always talks about how God has a funny way of working sometimes, and in this moment, I was reminded of His ability to transform "mistakes" into beautiful miracles. It was a short experience that maybe some people wouldn't think anything of, but I found it truly awesome and thought provoking. It reminded me what a truly beautiful place Gladney is. The process of adoption is anything but easy, but Gladney demonstrates how the good truly outweighs all the bad. I am seriously so lucky to be able to work at Gladney, and I am so thankful for every single precious moment.

-Meg Scamardo
Colombia Intern

Monday, June 17, 2013

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 part in visiting some of these families with our Counselors and experience the post-adoption services we provide first hand.

I am so glad to be an intern at Gladney and I know that my experience will be one to remember! It has been my goal since I began my graduate studies to intern at Gladney and now that it has become reality, I feel blessed beyond measure for this wonderful opportunity. From day one I felt an overwhelming sense of community and family here and I am so happy to be a part of what God is accomplishing through this amazing agency.

Caitlyn Ussery | Family Services Program Intern