This past week has been made up of forms, forms, and more forms. Don't get me wrong, I love paperwork and filing, it is what I am good at. Even so, finding the right forms to request a child abuse clearance in not easy when the state alters requirements every six months without notice. As a result of a sudden change, I uncovered a policy issue that can only be described as bad.
When I heard through Texas Christian University that the Gladney Center for Adoption had a potential internship opportunity, I was curious to find out how they serve children. During my internship so far, I have learned Gladney keeps the best interest of the children in mind. I am so honored and grateful for this journey of serving here. I have observed genuine, caring individuals in every department, from Donor Relations to Marketing. From driving in the entrance and parking my car to walking the walls of Gladney, I have seen messages that symbolize the heart and passion of Gladney’s staff for the children they serve:
Last week, the AdoptED team gave a presentation for a Gladney University event to inform parents, teachers, administrators, and other professionals about our AdoptED School Program. The presentation was packed with information and gave attendees a chance to see how the team is informing high schoolers about adoption.
Last week was full of adventure, paperwork, and phone calls – but Friday was a day to remember. I want to show you all how my day was on Friday. It was a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. So here is a look into a busy day as a Domestic Adoptive Parent caseworker masters level intern:
Sitting here at my desk at the same adoption organization my parents came to is so surreal. Being a Social Work intern at Gladney right now is so special because it allows me to connect with where my new life with my family began. As a future social worker, my goal is to help others on their adoption journeys and support all members of the adoption triad. I just finished a big personal project of mine which was publishing my book called Through Adopted Eyes: A Collection of Memoirs from Adoptees – which includes my own thoughts and perspective on adoption as a Russian adoptee. The book also includes the emotional and amazing stories of 50 other adoptees and talks about the best and worst things about being an adoptee and what adoptees wish others knew. These adoptees of all different ages have differing backgrounds, perspectives, and adoptee insight.
This internship has been so much more than I ever expected! I first heard about Gladney after I started the MSW program at the University of Texas at Arlington. When the opportunity presented itself to apply for an internship here I jumped at it, but I was not holding my breath on being one of the few lucky ones to be selected. Then, the much-anticipated e-mail came in…” you have been accepted as an intern at the Gladney Center for Adoption”. Intern at Gladney?! Me?! I felt like my eyes were deceiving me! I remember calling my mom to tell her and then quickly assuring both of us that it was too good to be true. I am so glad that statement was wrong!
A Day in the Life of a Gladney Intern
My connection with Gladney began two years ago when one of my classes required that I do volunteer work for a non-profit organization. While volunteering I learned they needed a driver for the expectant moms living in the dorm so I decided to apply. Over the last two years I developed an appreciation for the culture and commitment Gladney has to help those in need. I wanted to understand other ways that Gladney positively impacts lives and so I decided to do my Internship with them.
I love to say that I’m from Fort Worth, Texas, even though I only lived here for two weeks after I was born. Another thing I love to tell people is that I was found in a newspaper. This one always throws people off and then I have to explain that my parents placed an ad in various newspapers stating that they were looking to adopt, and that I wasn’t actually found wrapped up in the newspaper. After speaking, briefly, with different birth mothers and birth fathers, my dad spoke with my birth mother who was willing to travel to Texas to finish out her pregnancy and place her baby (me) for adoption. At this point neither my birth parents nor adoptive parents knew if they would be matched with one another or with other families, BUT… they ended up being matched and now I have one giant family.
Day in the Life of a Gladney Intern
Hello there, I’m Taylor Caressimo and I’m currently interning with Gladney in the New Beginnings adoption department, where we connect loving families with children who are in foster care to find them their forever homes.
Hi! My name is Shelly Kalina and I am currently interning in the Domestic Infant Adoption Program working with Adoptive Parents under the awesome supervision of Courtney Kearney. So far, I love it here at Gladney! There is such a wonderful work atmosphere that is a great blend of challenges, fun, efficiency, and teamwork that feels like family.