Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Reflections

By April Uduhiri, Caseworker, Gladney Asia Program

As I reflect on the past year and ready myself for the hope and prospects of the year to come, I am reminded of how much I am blessed with.  I am lucky to share my life surrounded by special people; my husband, family and friends.   I am also fortunate that my work at Gladney Center is in line with my heartfelt passions.  I am grateful for being able to play a small role in helping to bring families into the lives of orphans who would otherwise face a bleak future.  Orphans with medical needs, especially visible issues, are considered outcasts in their own culture.  When they are adopted into a family, they experience acceptance and belonging that they would not have known otherwise.

My gratefulness extends far – from the officials in China whose motto is everything for children, to my co-workers and supervisors who make working for Gladney such a privilege.  And of course, to the ones doing the hard work, before and especially after the adoption – the adoptive parents!  Over and over again I am amazed at your hope, faith and strength of character as you place your family’s future in the hands of caregivers, social workers, immigration officers and foreign governments!  I am often encouraged through your emails and blog postings, and for this I am truly thankful.

I hope that when you gather with your family and friends over the holidays – either with your adopted little one(s) at your table for the first time, the 10th time, or simply in your hearts this year, that each and every one of you has a happy and blessed holiday season.
A wistful look from Jenna Lenig, as she enjoys her first wedding.
Jenna was adopted in November, 2010, from China.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Greetings

Home For the Holidays!
The Marran family joyously welcomed home their 2 year-old daughter, Maelin, from Taiwan with the completion of their adoption last week.
"We can show you the way!"

Charlotte Chieh Marran (age 7) and Noah Chen Marran (age 6) guide their sister Maelin Hsuan through Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

Best Wishes from the Gladney Asia Program Staff
for a hopeful, joyous, and peaceful holiday season
with your family.
Gongzhan Wu
Wendy Stanley
April Uduhiri
Lindsay Hatcher
Mary Chapman
Lydia Macci

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chinese New Year's Area Celebrations

Chinese New Year is on Monday, January 23, 2012. Over the next few weeks, as the holiday approaches, keep your eyes open for celebrations in your area. Numerous groups have parties, dinners, march in parades, etc.

Gladney Chinese New Year celebration information is now posted on the Gladney Family Association website (click here for the GFA Network Events calendar, then choose January 2012 in the drop down Date box).

Check your area's Families with Children from China website or local cultural organizations and museums for other New Year activities.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Connecting with your Child's Culture

Keeping a connection with your child's culture comes in many forms. There are the subtle, day to day activities like eating at local restaurants and visiting markets that specialize in traditional foods, or watching movies, reading books, and discussing current news events and politics that relate to your child's birth country.

A more formal connection can be established by enrolling in language and culture classes, or belonging to associations (Gladney Family Association, Families with Children from China or Organization of Chinese Americans) and local museums (Museum of Chinese Americans) that celebrate and teach the culture. These organizations are a wonderful resource for media materials, local activities and celebrations. They can also offer ideas, such as suggestions on how your child can celebrate Chinese New Year in school.

Staying connected with other adopted children, either from the child's travel group or children from the same country, is invaluable when it comes to solidifying the cultural connection. Meeting for social gatherings, going to local cultural fairs, attending officials' visits or sharing in holiday celebrations, give children the opportunity to have fun being together and share special moments.

For some adoptive families, traveling to the child's birth country for a heritage tour offers them an amazing way to see, hear and taste their birth country's culture first hand.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Celebrating the Gift of Giving in Non Material Ways

At this time of year, when gift giving is at the forefront of our thoughts, an increasing number of charitable minded people choose alternatives to traditional material gifts. Teaching children that there are options to material gifts can be a rewarding and eye opening opportunity. The gift of time in the form of service to others can be a heartwarming experience. Gathering items for orphanages and foundations in Asia or raising money so essential items can be purchased are examples of service projects that benefit others in a meaningful way.

Another option to traditional gift giving involves a donation made in someone else's honor. In lieu of giving a traditional gift, a monetary contribution is made, usually to a not-for-profit organization that has significant meaning to the person being honored. For Gladney adoptees, a contribution can be made to one of the many wonderful programs that help children in their birth country (click here).

Monday, December 19, 2011

Interview with Pat Marcus, volunteer with Gladney's Superkids Charity

Pat Marcus is a pediatric physical therapist in New York State. She has participated in several Superkids trips to Asia to work with children and caregivers in orphanages to enhance the lives of children with physical disabilities. Pat recently travelled in November with Superkids to China and Taiwan with Gongzhan Wu, Managing Director of Gladney Center for Adoption's Asia programs.

Pat Marcus and Edna Gladney in
front of Shanghai Children's Home

To read the full interview with Pat Marcus, click here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Recommended Vaccinations

As parents preparing for the adoption of a child, we often are very focused on the health of the child we will be adopting. However, it is important that we also take care of ourselves to make sure that we are protected from infection and disease.

The National Council for Adoption ( has alerted the adoption community of a recent recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics (APA) that family and close contacts should receive the Hepatitis A Vaccination. To read the full APA report click here.

Before your travel, consult with your doctor to discuss which vaccinations are appropriate for your travel plans. This will depend on your personal vaccination history, as well as the specific overseas region you will be travelling to. Some immunizations may need to be given in a series over a number of months, so plan ahead! A helpful article that provides guidance for adopting parents preparing for international travel can be found here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces

An important part of adopting is investigating all the areas in your life that will support your adoption. For many, the workplace is a wonderful resource of adoption benefits. Is your workplace on the 2011 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces list?

To see all the companies that made the list or for a toolkit to propose or establish adoption benefits in your workplace, visit the Dave Thomas website.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving - A time to give thanks for family and friends, health and happiness, our beautiful country and our freedom.

From the Gladney Asia Program Staff

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Free Course - We're Home! Now What?

  • Are you awaiting a referral?

  • Have you recently received a referral?

  • Have you adopted in the last 6 months?

Well, here is a FREE class that may help with issues new families face such as language, sleep, eating, discipline attachment and medical care.

During the month of November, Adoption Learning Partners is offering We’re Home! Now What! for FREE!

  1. To receive this course for free, click here to link to the registration page.

  2. Please enter your agency name during registration.

  3. When registration is complete, a coupon code will appear. Use this code at checkout.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ambassador Jacobs National Adoption Month Video

On November 3, 2011, Ambassador Susan Jacobs, Special Advisor for Children's Issues (CI) in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, spoke about intercountry adoptions in celebration of National Adoption Month 2011. Click here to access the video.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November is National Adoption Month!

National Adoption Month is a time to celebrate family and to bring about awareness that there are hundreds of thousands of children awaiting adoption. States, communities, and agencies hold events during the month to bring the need for families into public view.

Celebrate National Adoption Month with your family and friends by:
- learning how and why National Adoption month began (click here)
- participating in day to day activities (for ideas click here)
- supporting adoption organizations such as Gladney by joining in their 125 Anniversary celebration.
- attending an adoption conference in your area, such as the 31st Annual APC Adoption Conference on Sunday, November 20, 2011 in Brooklyn, NY. For more information about the conference, click here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Gongzhan Visits Asia Accompanied by Pat and Edna

Gongzhan Wu, the managing director of Gladney’s Asia programs, is travelling throughout the month of November to various cities in Asia. On the first leg of the trip, to Taiwan, Shanghai, and Harbin, he is accompanied by Pat Marcus, a pediatric physical therapist from New York. In Taiwan, Gongzhan had a chance to meet with the social welfare organizations through which Gladney’s adoptive placements occur. During his recent visit to Shanghai, it is rewarding to see that Gladney’s partnership with the Shanghai Children’s Home continues to strengthen, with Gladney providing training and consultation, as well as continuing to advocate for the adoption of older children. It is our hope that we can build similar partnerships in other areas of China, as well as in Taiwan.

This current trip is a wonderful opportunity for us to share Gladney’s long 125 year history of helping children find adoptive families. Bringing Edna Gladney along on the trip has been quite an experience! She seems to be agreeable with the arduous travel schedule – always smiling!

Gongzhan, Pat and Edna at JFK Airport

Edna, Gongzhan and Pat arrived safely in Taipei

For Gladney families who would like to participate in the fun of celebrating Gladney's 125th Anniversary – click here to learn how you can print “your own Edna”. Bring Edna along to interesting places, and post your photos to Gladney’s “Where’s Edna facebook page”.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

31st Annual APC Adoption Conference

Sunday, November 20, 2011 in Brooklyn, NY

The Adoptive Parent Committee (APC) annual conference serves to promote a better awareness and understanding of adoption and provide members with accurate information concerning adoption and parenting issues. Conference participants will have the opportunity to attend numerous informational sessions including a workshop conducted by Gladney's Asia Staff on "Adopting from Taiwan" from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.

For more information about the conference, click here.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Recently in Taiwan Adoption News

During the month of October we received several civil and final rulings. And thus, as Novemberunfolds before us we are busy planning for five families to travel to Taiwan to complete their adoptions to bring home their daughters and sons! Included with these families is one family who will be adopting a sibling set, two sisters, through the Chung Yi program.

Last month one family completed the adoption of their son and returned home to Illinois. Two more families adopting little boys are in Taiwan currently. In October, Gladney received 2 more boy referrals from New Hope - a baby boy under 6 months old with a minor special need, and this week, a referral of a healthy boy approximately one year old. We also received a referral through our Chung Yi program for a two year old boy. Last week Gladney submitted a dossier on behalf of a family adopting a litle girl through Cathwel and we currently have one family working on their dossier to adopt a baby girl from New Hope.

One of our families who returned home in September recently sent us an email and shared this photo and news:

Kobi took to us right away when we met and transitioned very easily to us. We met only his foster mother, who was very nice. She said that Kobi loves people and was an easy boy to take care of. The foster mother didn't cry at the transition - she smiled the whole time and made it go very smoothly.

Mr. Yeh was wonderful, although he makes you eat alot of stuff that is different! In other words, he doesn't take no for an answer on what you order! We eventually got used to the lax ways of the country, i.e., no car seats, kids on scooters, and even a small zipline that Travis and Kobi both did! Kobi slept 9 of the 12 hours on the flight from Taiwan to San Francisco.

Kobi is a very busy little boy! He loves daddy and says "da da" already. We are home getting adjusted and I'm so glad I have a little boy! -- Andrea and Travis (Illinois)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Taiwan Travel Webinar

A couple of weeks ago we held a Taiwan Travel Webinar. The webinar went through the exciting trip adoptive families take to Taiwan to meet and finalize the adoption of their child. Every aspect of the trip was discussed in detail to help prepare adoptive parents.

If you weren't able to attend the webinar, or if you need a refresher, click here to view a recording of the webinar.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Welcome Home Ming-Zong!

On August 18th, after nearly 2 years of waiting for the courts to process the case, Ming-Zong joined his forever family including- proud parents Mike and Erin, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins! Congratulations Mike and Erin and a BIG WELCOME HOME to Ming-Zong!

Ming-Zong with parents Erin and Mike
at the top of Taipei 101!

Welcome Baby Kai!

Gladney would like to congratulate proud parents Ryan and Amy on the addition of baby Kai! Kai joined the family on August 23, 2011 through the New Hope SWF program!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Welcome Baby Jonathan!

Chris and Karen are thrilled to have their 11 month old son Jonathan in their arms! Jonathan joined the family on Thursday August 18th!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Save the Date - Visitors from Shanghai!

We thought that our Taiwan families in the Dallas/Ft. Worth and NYC areas would be interested in attending the events discussed below as they will be a great way to meet other adoptive families in your area!

Gladney Center for Adoption is honored to host 5 officials from Shanghai next month! Representatives from the Shanghai Children’s Home (SCH) and local government will be travelling to the US to meet with agencies and families to learn more about the adoption process from the other side of the globe.

Gladney will hold two events, one in the Dallas/Fort Worth, TX area on Wednesday, Sept. 14th and another in NYC on Monday, Sept. 19th to welcome our visitors. The officials are also excited to mingle with families who have adopted from China, as well as families that are interested in adopting through Gladney’s Shanghai Children’s Home partnership program.

Director Gongzhan Wu and Asia Program Caseworker Lindsay Hatcher meet children from SCH’s foster care program.

Gongzhan and Lindsay outside of SCH with one of the social workers.

Additional information about the two events will be provided within the next week. We look forward to having many adoptive families join us in welcoming these special visitors.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Welcome Home!

It is with great joy that we welcome home our first placed New Hope Family!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Taiwan- Travel Webinar!

Join us for a one-hour webinar to learn more about Gladney's Taiwan program and the in-country travel process!

On this webinar we will discuss the Taiwan court process, hear from adoptive parents who have traveled to pick up their children, learn about what takes place from arrival in Taiwan to take off with your child- including meeting your child and what the AIT immigration apt. entails! In addition, several Gladney staff will join us for the webinar including Gladney's Asia director- Gongzhan Wu.

We hope all Gladney Taiwan families with referrals and those waiting for referrals will join us to learn more! In addition, families interested in learning more about Taiwan adoption are encouraged to join on the call!

Click HERE to register!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gladney Taiwan Program Webinar- July 27th!

Join us Wednesday July 27th, at 1 pm est. for an informational webinar about Gladney's Taiwan Programs! This webinar will focus on the process of adopting a child through Chung Yi, Cathwel and New Hope. In addition, we will share about program requirements, the history behind Gladney's Taiwan programs, discuss the current status of our three foundations, review the adoption legislation in Taiwan, discuss approximate wait times, and hear from Gladney’s VP and Asia Director Mr. Gongzhan Wu!

Register by clicking HERE!

We hope you will join us to learn more! Please pass this invitation along to friends and family members that may also be interested.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Hope Adoption Program- Upcoming Webinar Dates

Join us for an informational webinar about Gladney's New Hope Taiwan Program! This webinar will focus on the process of adopting a child through Gladney's New Hope infant program. We will share program requirements, history behind Gladney's Taiwan programs, approximate wait times, and details about how you can get started!

Click on the date below to register!

Please click HERE for Friday July 15, 2011 from 1-1:45 pm est. webinar registration link.

Wednesday July 27, 2011 from 1-1:45 pm **This session will now be a general Taiwan adoption informational session covering Gladney's Chung Yi, Cathwel, and New Hope adoption programs. Hear from Gladney's VP and Director of Asia Programs Mr. Gongzhan Wu. ***

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chung Yi and Cathwel Placement!

Another exciting day in Taiwan! We started our day meeting with Ms. Debbie Kao and Yuka, two representatives at Chung Yi. I was able to tour the baby home that was finished last summer and to say hi to a few of the children eating lunch! They were very interested in who I was and one little guy kept yelling auntie to me in Chinese.

In the afternoon we attended a meeting with newly united mother and daughter! Tori was so happy to see her mama and to be welcomed into the family by sister Tatum!

Today, I leave Taipei for Shanghai. I will have my memories, connection to the culture and history of Taiwan, continued and nurtured relationships but most importantly I leave with a stronger commitment to family and serving the children of Taiwan from this trip!

Yuka, Debbie Kao, Gongzhan Wu and Lindsay Hatcher

Mr. Yeh (representative) and Tori

Anne (social worker from Cathwel), Tatum, Mama Joyce, and Tori!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cathwel and New Hope Visits!

Greetings from Taipei Taiwan! I arrived late Saturday evening and our official business started early Monday morning with a visit to Cathwel Service and in the afternoon a visit with New Hope Social Welfare Foundation.

While at Cathwel, we met with adoption related staff including director, Sister Rosa. Below is a photo of Gongzhan and I with some of the Cathwel staff who provide adoption and birth parent services. I also took a quick tour of the center witnessing the care provided to the infant and toddlers and was able to see a few of the therapy and developmental stations that the center has to offer. It was nap time so I was only able to snap a quick picture of the little guy below who is matched with a Gladney family (he wasn't too interested in napping)!

New Hope Social Welfare foundation is located in Taichung, Taiwan, a city of about 2.3 million people just 2 hours outside of Taipei. Gongzhan and I took a tour of the three floor office and met for several hours with foundation, adoption and birth parent related staff members.

It was an honor to meet the individuals I work with on a daily basis furthering our relationship and commitment to serving children and families. I look forward to updating you more about my visits with foundtion staff when I return to the office the week of June 14th.

On Tuesday we visit Chung Yi Social Welfare Foundation and in the afternoon witness placement of a family with their child!

I hope to post more photos before my departure to Shanghai on Wednesday AM.

Blessings from Taipei!

Gongzhan Wu and Lindsay Hatcher with Cathwel staff.

Therapy room at Cathwel.

New Hope sign in placement room.Gladney representative Ms. Niu, Gongzhan Wu, Lindsay Hatcher

and New Hope adoption worker Yi-Ching.
Placement room at New Hope.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Welcome to the Family!

Six year old Aaron joins his forever family this week in Taipei, Taiwan.

He is joined by parents Matt and Anita and big sister Mei-Ling!

Congratulations to this wonderful new family!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Taiwan Infant/Toddler Adoption Options

We have exciting news in our Taiwan program –Gladney’s infant/toddler program is moving forward and accepting 20 families as we have begun a partnership with New Hope Social Welfare Foundation, a newly licensed foundation in Taiwan. This is an opportunity for families hoping to adopt infants and toddlers from an Asian country! Due to the long wait with other international adoption programs, dual tracking may be considered on a case by case basis.

Gladney estimates an approximate 8-14 month wait from home study completion/translation to child referral with the Taiwan New Hope program. Time frames are estimates as the program is a birth parent selection program. After referral it will take an additional 8 months to complete the Taiwan court process and then families will travel to Taiwan to met their child and complete the U.S. immigration processing.

Interested in learning more? Visit Gladney’s website at for program details and adoptive parent requirements. Families who request an online information packet and complete an information sheet will receive a follow up email or phone call by a Gladney staff member.

In the NYC area? Gladney’s NYC Office will be hosting two information sessions- on Wednesday, April 20th from 12 to 1 pm and Thursday, April 28th from 6 to 7 pm. Interested families should RSVP with

Monday, April 18, 2011

NY Families- Interested in Learning More About Taiwan Adoption?

Gladney is currently accepting approximately 20 applications for our Taiwan infant/toddler adoption program. Our New York office will hold two one-hour information sessions for families to learn more about the program. When: Wednesday, April 20th from 12 to 1 pm or Thursday, April 28th from 6 to 7 pm Where: Gladney NYC Office 363 7th Avenue (between 30th and 31st Street) 3rd Floor NY, NY 10001 Space is limited. Please RSVP to **For further program details and requirements, please visit our website at

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Gladney Center will be an exhibitor at the Ametz Adoption Conference this weekend. For families who are interested in learning about our Taiwan program, our Taiwan Program Coordinator will be at this conference. Taiwan offers families interested in adopting from Asia the opportunity to adopt children of all ages, including babies and toddlers. We would like to welcome an additional 20 families into our baby/toddler program and have openings for families to apply at this time. For families interested in dual tracking, Gladney will monitor progess so that there is at least one year between adoptive placements. ADOPTION and the FAMILY CONFERENCE Sunday, April 10, 9am-5pm The Conference Center 130 East 59th Street, NYC For more information go to:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Time Fun!!!

Alec enjoying a Spring day playing in the sand!

Alec wearing Poppa's boots!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What have the "M" sisters been up to?

Nearly 9 months ago, Mark and Ann along with a few family members traveled to Taiwan to pick up their 4 daughters from Taiwan! Looks like the "M" sisters are all settling in to family life with the help of their 3 big sisters, a nanny and two wonderful parents!