Sitting in church this past Sunday our associate pastor was delivering a message taken from the movie Frozen 2. I’ll admit that it took me about two years to see the first Frozen and I have yet to see the second, however I did YouTube what she was talking about. In the movie there is a song that Anna (Kristin Bell) sings called The Next Right Thing. Even though I haven't seen the movie, this resonated with me because the message seemed to be about overcoming adversity or tackling big problems by doing The Next Right Thing.
“There’s no place like home for the holidays,” the classic line by Perry Como that sets the tone for the holiday season (I bet you just sang it in your head). Home means fun holiday memories, I’m sure a few laughs, and maybe even a few tears. We all have our home for the holiday traditions. Who is hosting the festivities at their house? What will we bring? Who will be there? All of these make the season great!
I joined Gladney on April 1, 2008 (April Fool’s Day–appropriate!) as the Chief Development Officer. The agency was in transition at that time, as the development team had just been relocated from the Gladney Fund to the Gladney Center. I later began working with different departments throughout the organization and eventually became the Chief Operating Officer. Eighteen months ago, I took the reins as President and CEO. I have worked in the nonprofit world for the past 24 years, and I’m continually amazed by the generosity of our society. I have learned over the years that people are motivated to make a real impact. It has been my job to tell the story and show how a person’s support can change lives. At Gladney, we have the privilege of doing that every day.
Topics: Gladney Leadership
Although it’s still cold outside (depending on the day here in Texas!), IT’S SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION TIME!! This year’s Gladney Camp Forge will be held July 28th – August 3rd in Granbury, Texas. This week-long overnight camp for Gladney kids age 7--16 will be a blast. My 10 year old son is going this year and he is so excited! Parents if you are looking for a great way for your Gladney baby to connect with others and have a super fun time, Camp Forge is it! Registration is now open: https://iamgladney.org/campforge
Dear Gladney Family,
For 132 years, Gladney’s mission has been Creating Bright Futures Through Adoption. During the last few decades, we have seen many changes in the adoption world: international adoption reaching a peak of placements into the U.S. in 2004 and then on a steady decline to this day; domestic infant adoption continuing to be the backbone of our organization, but every day providing new challenges as to how we introduce the option of adoption to an expectant mother; and the need for raising awareness for placing children from foster care continues to grow at a rapid rate. At the core, our mission has remained the same and is reflected in every aspect of our organization, from programming to our wonderful campus; a setting that has provided memories of comfort and joy to so many of our families and children over the years and will continue to do so for generations to come.
However, as our world evolves, we must evolve, too! A few weeks ago, we hosted the Gladney Center board on campus. We concluded our Monday meeting with a deep discussion on the use of our residential home. Over the last decade, the need for the residential home for expectant mothers has declined, and we have been able to serve these clients in their home communities in an equally effective way. Over the past 6 months, we have been evaluating different opportunities for the home and ultimately determined the greatest need in our community is housing for teen and pre-teen girls who are currently living in foster care. Beginning in April, we will open our doors to meet this need in conjunction with Our Community Our Kids (OCOK), the foster placement contract holder in this region of Texas. During this year-long pilot project, we will house up to 15 female youth who are currently in foster care, available for adoption, basic to moderate level of care, and actively seeking adoption. Our success will be measured in many ways, but a primary one will be adoptive placement for the youth. Following the first year, we will evaluate the potential to grow the program to 30 youth (the max capacity of the home). Let me stress that adoption is the ultimate goal, but in the event we can’t find a forever family for each youth, providing teenage normalcy, preparation for life after foster care, and support for healing from their past trauma will be key areas of focus. As more details are finalized, we will share them, but for now, please know a tremendous amount of work has gone into making this decision. I’m confident we will be successful in year one and for many years to come.
This move does not diminish our focus on domestic infant or international adoptions; however, this is a big step for Gladney and a departure from our recent history. For the past 70+ years, we have operated a maternity home on our campus – this is the end of an era. It’s also a return to our roots. We began our story 132 years ago by bringing vulnerable, neglected, and abandoned youth into our home. This step will widen the impact Gladney will have on children and families across Texas and beyond because every child deserves a loving and caring family, and every means every.
Gladney Dad, President, & CEO
Gladney Center for Adoption
This past weekend at Gladney's January Board Meeting, we celebrated the career of Ellen Wilson, Gladney's CFO for 19 years.
I hope you are all enjoying the holidays! A fun story I thought I’d share. Back in 1999, Gladney celebrated our 25,000th adoption by buying a $25,000 bond as a scholarship for the child when they reach college age. Well it happened!
To Our Gladney Family
As we enter the holiday season, it's nice to step back and reflect on all we are thankful for: family, friends, health, and the list goes on.