November is National Adoption Month (NAM). This is an exciting month for us at Gladney and for the millions of American's who have been touched by adoption in some special way. My name is Jennifer and I am an adoptive mother and a staff member at Gladney so NAM has a very special meaning to me. This is a time when me and my family celebrate and offer extra gratitude for the brave decision our son's birth mother made to place him in our family. Her selfless love made our family complete and there is not a day goes by we do not think of her with love and respect.
Professionally, NAM provides an opportunity to not only celebrate adoption but also to combine our voices and our efforts to raise awareness for the mission of adoption. One of my very favorite events is somewhat new to Gladney. We just wrapped up Gladney's Adoption Day.
This is a very special day as we celebrate the adoption finalization of over 50 infants and children. I cannot begin to describe the excitement and elation surrounding such a meaningful day. Over 500 family and friends celebrated the completion of the adoption process. We created real life courtrooms complete with benches, flags, judges and so many other important details. It's magical!
As we were getting ready for this event, I took a walk around campus to soak in the details, think about the meaning of the day and to imagine how significantly this day will impact families for generations. During my walk, I went into one of the "courtrooms" Gladney is creating. I took out my phone and snapped the picture below. This simple photo brought tears to my eyes and made my heart sing. It has so much meaning. Here are just a few of the things that flashed through me.
- The judges benches were made with love and care by a long time employee. She worked nights and weekends to get them just right.
- The flag poles standing so tall and proud were ordered with care from a long time staff member who is also an adoptive mom.
- The teddy bears were donated by loving volunteers who wanted each child and their sibling to have a special treasure from the day.
- The Batmobile you see tucked by the side of the bench is a promise--a promise to a little boy or girl who is getting adopted from foster care that their childhood can begin....now!
- The sign hanging above the bench reading "Every Child Deserves a Loving and Caring Family" is Gladney's sincere belief and it's what makes each and every staff person work so hard and so passionately. We are working for the children because every child deserves a loving caring family.
Please join me in celebrating National Adoption Month and send us your photos that capture something meaningful to you and tell us why. Happy National Adoption Month!