We are excited to introduce Jonny! Jonny was born in 2017 and is 5 years old.
18 years ago, a child was left at Gladney’s door. I remember the day like it was yesterday. After what must have been a scary, traumatic birth, a brave woman swaddled her infant son, placed him in a crib manufactured from a box, and brought him to Gladney. We know she was watching over him to ensure he was safe and found, as several Gladney staff saw a car quickly drive off when they found the baby. It was clear the delivery did not take place in a medical facility, and the initial medical evaluation identified the signs of a difficult home birth.
We are excited to introduce siblings Jaqueline (age 8), Jayla (age 6), Janelle (age 5), and Janessa (age 3)!
The siblings do not have any diagnosed medical conditions. We have the full profiles for families to review who meet Taiwan's adoption qualifications.
November is a time for reflection, thanksgiving, and National Adoption Month! As we gather around the table reflecting on what we are thankful for, I am especially grateful for relationships that formed over my time with Gladney- both professionally and those with families. Over the years, I have had the ability to watch families grow -- individuals becoming parents and children growing into their teen and early adult years!
In this month that honors the gift of adoption, we must pause to also honor, and to thank, the courageous birth parents who make the difficult decision to voluntarily place their children for adoption. Difficult, not only because someone else will be raising the children they love, but also because too many in our society make birth parents out to be victims. When done well, with licensed, ethical professionals, adoption can be an empowering decision, that opens a new life for the birth parents in addition to new possibilities for these cherished children.
Heart Galleries are a community engagement initiative that uses professional portraits of children in foster care to help connect with families interested in adopting children. Each photo in the Gallery captures a child's spirit, bringing to life their wonderful personalities in ways that words cannot. Every child deserves a loving and caring family.
The crackle of a camp fire, the smell of s’mores, fun and games, crafts, and lifelong friendships comes to mind when I think of summer camp. This past summer, I had the opportunity to meet an amazing group of kids through Gladney’s Camp Forge and spend quality time with 4 girls as their counselor. The girls in my cabin embraced the “camp life” and had a great time participating in various activities offered, especially pool time. Nothing beats the Texas heat other than a cool dip in a pool! By the end of camp, several of the girls built friendships with one another and were already talking about when they could see each other again. Watching each of the girls bloom and grow over the week was the highlight of my week.
The week long camp was a chance for Gladney adoptees to come together, have fun and build friendships. Children placed through our Domestic Program, International Program, and New Beginning Program were represented at camp. Even though the campers came from a wide range of backgrounds, each have the shared bond of adoption.
Throughout National Adoption Month, I reflect on the importance of supporting adoptees with building their adoption community and how camp is a great option for families. The dedicated time and space for adoptees to meet other adoptees is important, and I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in such an incredible program.
As I think about National Adoption Month, my mind always goes to the children who are waiting. For the children in Taiwan, they have often been removed from their birth families at no fault of their own, or their birth families made the difficult choice to place them for adoption due to their medical or special needs. A huge part of our job at Gladney is to shine a light on these children to find them a loving and caring family.
To find the family who is the best fit for each child, we must advocate for them – and that means we must get to know each individual child. You can only learn so much about a child by reading their profile provided by their birth country. Through Gladney’s Superkids program, we try to learn what is special and unique about each child. The best way to do this is to meet the child in person. We get to talk to them one-on-one, we get to hear their sweet laughter, we get to see them show off their amazing athletic talents or their incredible puzzle-solving skills. You can learn so much about a child by just spending a few moments with them and allowing for their personality to shine through.