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.