Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Where to begin?

Hello all,

My name is Emily Jowers. I am a Senior at the University of North Texas. I will be graduating in May with a Bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family studies with an emphasis in Intervention and Administration. I first heard about Gladney about two years ago when my school advisor casually invited me to sit in on a presentation from an adoption center in the area. "What have I got to lose, I'll go." I thought, naively, to myself. Little did I know that this seemingly silly 70 minute class would (as dramatic as it sounds) change my life. Emily Moorehead was the presenter and I left that class feeling inspired and giddy and truly excited about what my future career could look like. Ever since then I have been in love and continue to fall in love with Gladney and all they do.

There really are not enough good things that I could say about my time so far here at Gladney. Since the moment I was notified about being accepted into the internship program I have been welcomed with open arms. Every staff member has so much knowledge and wisdom to offer. I have not, for a second, felt like an intern. I am entrusted with so many tasks and assignments, I truly feel like I am an employee. Not to mention all the free food (a college kid's gotta eat right?) ☺

My time here has not only been an amazing learning experience and informative, but it was good for me to see that what I have chosen to do for the rest of my life is exactly what I wanted. This field fulfills me in more ways than one. This company has inspired me and has set the bar so high that I have such high hopes and expectations for my career will look like.

I will miss this place more than I can put into words. The people I have met, the lives I saw changed, the employees that took part in mentoring me, all of it. I would not change or alter my experience here at The Gladney Center for Adoption.

I will be leaving here forever changed!

Thank you Gladney!

Much Love,
Emily Jowers ❤

Learn more about Interning at Gladney

Friday, March 24, 2017

How to Make the Most of Your Time at Gladney

As a Gladney intern with the Next Steps program I came in wanting to know about all things Gladney as soon as I could learn. There are so many facets to Gladney that I quickly realized this would take time. I started this process by attending whatever trainings I was allowed. This included Domestic Orientation, Pathway’s, New Hire Orientation, and legal training. After attending these trainings I was able to put a lot more of the pieces together of the puzzle that is Gladney. While still many pieces were missing in the “1000” piece puzzle, I was determined to turn over all the pieces and see where they go.  When I created my learning contract at the beginning of the semester I took risks to make myself branch out, because if it is part of the contract, I have to complete it, right? As a high functioning introvert I knew it would take this to make me try new things and meet new people. Since I had to meet certain criteria on my contract, I began networking with people in different departments to shadow them for a time. This was fantastic. While it was a little anxiety producing, it brought out so much information about so many topics that I didn’t even realize. With Gladney being so large you may wonder how I did this.

This is where I am going to tell you how to maximize your time at Gladney. It is simple. Eat lunch in the Commons.  How easy is that! You can bring your lunch or grab something and come back. I recommend getting there around 12. This is when the largest number of people tend to eat their lunch. Why is this so great you might ask? When in the lunchroom you meet people from all departments. Meal times are always times of fellowship with families, and this is no different. You not only hear about jobs, but also about families, hobbies, and what people are binge watching too. Building these relationships at meal time makes it much easier to ask questions about specific jobs, or favors for shadowing opportunities. It is relaxing; everyone is on the same ground. It is hard to not feel intimidated at Gladney because I almost never hear negative things about people or the work being done, which makes it difficult to ask for things (at least for me), but in the lunch room I have always felt welcomed and there is always a place at the table and a warm inviting smile.
MSW Intern for Next Steps & Post Adoption

Learn more about Interning at Gladney

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Dream Come True!

Have you ever had a moment that you thought was insignificant, but it ended up shaping your life and career in a way you never anticipated? That’s how this dream all started! I was thirteen years old, and a group of children from a Russian orphanage traveled to the United States for a summer camp. These precious children were hosted by families interested in adopting them, loving them and giving them a bright future! Many families adopted, and during that time, I witnessed some of the most authentic, selfless sacrifices and love I could ever imagine. My heart broke that day for the fatherless.
Fast forward a few years… okay maybe more like ten, I began passionately pursuing a career in Social Work, knowing my emphasis was going toward children and families. Though I knew there was a need for social workers in CPS, I dreamed of being in an adoption agency. In 2014, my parents were empty nesters and felt called to foster. We were placed with a sweet eight month old boy, who never left our care! Our hearts grew as our family expanded. In May of 2016 he became a part of our family forever through the gift of adoption. I have an older sister who is 28, I am 26, my younger sister is 25 and now we have a 3 year old, who is an uncle to my 2 year old niece! Our family is unique, and has a slightly humorous story to tell, but we would not have it any other way! He brings joy and is a total delight to our life! 

Adoption to me is just that, it’s a gift! It is sacrificial, selfless and beautiful.

Here I am, living out my dream! I am interning full time at The Gladney Center for Adoption with the privilege of working with expecting mothers living in the dorm! It gives me an entirely beautiful perspective on the bravery, love, sacrifice and gift that is adoption. I consider it a joy to walk through a season of sacrifice with these amazing women, and forever will be changed by knowing them.

Gladney has provided an environment of comfort for these women walking through their pregnancy and has embraced them where they are at! I am grateful for the small percentage of time I get with them, and daily remind them “You are Brave"! I hope that they will continue to remain brave in their life and know that they have made a decision that is life-giving to another family that is so ready to create their family!

-Residential Dorm Intern
Lauren Marburger