Hopeland, an organization that finds better ways to keep children in families, and the Gladney Center for Adoption, which has been creating bright futures through adoption for more than 130 years, are excited to be partnering together to celebrate National Adoption Month. In this year of all years, we are faced with a crucial moment to highlight everyone who works to ensure every child has a safe, loving home.
This partnership between Hopeland and Gladney thrives on our mutually beneficial work. Hopeland recognizes the importance of adoption as part of the continuum of care for children and is therefore pleased to be working with Gladney. Gladney’s mission is supported by a belief that every child deserves a loving and caring family, and every means every. For Gladney, every child includes a healthy baby, a medically fragile infant, or a toddler being placed for adoption by their birth mother. Every child includes a child who has experienced loss, abuse, or neglect and is waiting in state foster care or an international orphanage. Every child needs a place to call home and people to call family. Forever.
Using Hopeland’s megaphone to increase awareness of the importance of every child having the chance to grow up in a safe, loving family and Gladney’s position as a national leader in adoption, placing 33,000 children with adoptive families since 1887, we can together inform and empower the next generation of adoption advocates to share our stories and to share their own.
Hopeland was founded by Deborra-lee Furness, an internationally acclaimed actress and passionate advocate for vulnerable and abandoned children. Deborra-lee previously founded National Adoption Awareness Week and Adopt Change in Australia. She has been honored by Joint Council USA, Congressional Coalition on Adoption, with the 2017 United Nations Women for Peace Leadership Award, the Tribeca Film Festival Disruptors Award, and most recently the EPIQ Women’s Advocacy Award.
Deborra-lee and her husband Hugh adopted their two children, in the video below she tells us that her “journey started out in Australia, when my husband and I went to adopt...and found it incredibly hard to get through the system.”
Talking about the process of adoption, Deborra-lee continues: “We adopted our children in America and I would go back to Australia and so many people would come up to me and say we’d love to adopt but it’s just too hard - and I thought: that is not right, I know how many kids would benefit from having a loving home.” You can learn more about her moving story and how it inspired her activism here on Wednesday, November 11th at 7 pm CST.
It is this story that led Deborra-lee to become an advocate for families worldwide: “I did not set out to be an activist, I did not set out to do anything, it was a knee-jerk reaction to me that spoke to an injustice.”
It is the injustice that not every child has a safe, loving family that Hopeland and Gladney are working together to resolve and there is no better time than during National Adoption Month. As we know from Deborra-lee’s story, adoption rocks! It can be an incredible force for good that improves the lives of children, adoptive families, and birth parents; but it also rocks the foundation of your home and requires preparation, training, and support for a lifetime. This is why it’s so important that advocates and facilitators work together to ensure successful long-term outcomes for children and families.
Mark Melson, Gladney President, CEO, and Adoptive Dad leads with the understanding that “ensuring children are in loving and safe homes takes more than one person or organization – it takes all of us. Partnering alongside Deborra-lee and our friends at Hopeland brings the voices of those in need to the forefront during times of uncertainty.”
We hope you will remember Deborra-lee’s inspiration - she tells us that we all “can relate to what it feels like to be alone, to be vulnerable,” and, “knowing what that feels like has to give you an understanding of what it would be for a child that has no one here to tell them that they know they are precious.”
It is for these children who are waiting and need to know the love of forever families that Hopeland and Gladney are working together this month. You can find more information about Hopeland’s mission and their work on their website - we hope you can learn about and share their important work.