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.
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!
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.
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.
Topics: National Adoption Month
Giggles, excited screams, somersaults, and painted faces greeted two judges and an abundance of amazing volunteers at our Third Annual Gladney Adoption Day. November is recognized as National Adoption Month around the country, and Gladney hosted a Texas-sized celebration. Conference rooms were converted into court rooms, and our usually quiet campus became a festival of bounce houses, kid-friendly activities, fun food, and a surplus of photo opportunities.
Fall is here, and we are looking forward to the cooler weather and the opportunity to raise awareness during National Adoption Month! Vince Gill will be joining us for an intimate performance, celebrating in true southern style on the new stage of the Glass Cactus at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine.
To Our Gladney Family
As we enter the holiday season, it's nice to step back and reflect on all we are thankful for: family, friends, health, and the list goes on.
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.