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.
As I reflect on the past year and look ahead to the future, I want you to know your support matters. I’m writing on behalf of women, children, and families who feel grateful for you during this season. Although they do not know you, I do, and I want to share this message of appreciation with you: Thank you for choosing to get involved with Gladney and giving towards our mission (and towards their lives).
“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!
The Gladney Center for Adoption Acquires Adoption.com
This will expand Gladney’s reach to vast national and international audiences and enhance Adoption.com’s role as a trusted and safe resource for the adoption community.
Gladney Press Release
The impact of giving
Whether you are a Gladney client or donor, we want to hear how those within the Gladney Community have changed your life! We are going to create a video to show the generational and community level impact of adoption and how every one of you plays a part.
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.
Gladney has been placing children from foster care for many years. In October 2018, the Gladney Center Board of Directors voted to further advance Gladney’s focus and mission by creating a task force to grow and improve adoptions from foster care. The purpose of the task force is “to create a sustainable and replicable model that places every adoptable child waiting in Texas foster care.” The members of the task force include Gladney board members, Gladney parents who adopted children from foster care, and Gladney staff, with input from outside experts in relevant fields. Gladney board member Roger Metz serves as the chair of the task force. This group begins its exciting and strategic work this month.
In preparation for the creation of the task force and its work, Gladney staff spent the summer and fall researching questions and issues affecting foster care and pulling data, information, and anecdotal evidence regarding children in foster care who are waiting for adoption. Gladney staff will continue to work closely with Our Community Our Kids in Fort Worth, in order to identify children who need adoptive homes much earlier in their legal process than in the past. Our staff are also communicating with Child Protective Services and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers from around the state who are advocating for children throughout the legal process. In addition, Gladney has begun to open lines of communication with agencies across the United States who are screening, educating, training, and offering supportive services to prospective families who want to adopt children from foster care.
The task force will begin to assess what would be the highest and best use of Gladney’s strengths and what Gladney’s primary role should be in meeting the needs of these waiting children. They will approach the issues from three directions: impacting external systems to serve children and families; constructing the best internal systems to create scalability; and ensuring long-term sustainability. Once the initial work is started, the task force will work to create strategies for success, set objectives with clear measurable goals, and provide input and evaluate Gladney’s progress against the strategies’ short, intermediate, and long-term goals and desired outcomes.
Gladney’s mission is Creating Bright Futures Through Adoption. With the work of Gladney’s board, committed staff, engaged volunteers, and collaborative partners, we hope to impact the futures of thousands of children who are waiting in foster care for a forever family, because every one of these children deserves a loving and caring family.
I have had the opportunity to serve Gladney for portions of the last three decades. I began as a Financial Consultant, helping to organize the Gladney Fund in the early 1990s. I fell in love with the organization and its mission to build “Bright Futures Through Adoption.” As a young wife and mother myself, I was immersed in the culture of families and children, the broader “Gladney Family.” It has been my privilege to have been a part of this family and to see the positive impact an adoption agency in Fort Worth, Texas, has had on birth mothers, children, adoptive families, our country, and the world.