Friday, March 30, 2012

Gladney's Guang Ming Star!

Xin Xin 1
Xin Xin, age 7
"Xin Xin is a sweet girl who I met at the foster care station in Shanghai. She enjoys bike riding and reading. She also likes to play with Barbies and enjoys pretty clothes as well. She likes school and Art is her favorite class. She was mature for her age and answered all my questions, pausing for thought to give the best response. She also told me she liked to go into Shanghai for the peach blossom festival. When I asked her what she liked to read, she was reading a book that answered questions about why things happen, this one was about science facts. Xin Xin is a sweet, pretty girl who is anxious to learn English and find a forever family."
~ Pat Marcus, Pediatric Physical Therapist

Videos from Pat's visit with Xin Xin are also available!
Xin Xin 2 Xin Xin 3
Xin Xin enjoying the playground!
** Gladney is looking for a family for Xin Xin who has a Log-In Date (LID) with China to move forward quickly! Please contact April Uduhiri at for more information. **

Xin Xin is one of several great kids waiting for a forever family! For more information about Gladney's China Waiting Child program please contact Asia Program Caseworker, April Uduhiri or visit our blog for more information.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Joint Council on International Children's Services

36th Annual Child Welfare Symposium

Every year the Symposium brings together 200+ professionals who share the common goals of ensuring that children live, thrive in a permanent, safe and loving family. This year's symposium will be held in New York City, April 16-18. Gladney Center is a sponsor of this year's symposium and Gladney President and CEO Frank Garrott sits on the board of directors of the Joint Council on International Children's Services. To learn more, please visit

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pathways Group Training

April Uduhiri, Asia Program Caseworker

Gladney Center for Adoption has a philosophy and commitment of "Families for Life" - providing supportive services to families throughout all stages of the adoption process and beyond. As the face of international adoption has changed over the past several years, Gladney's adoptive parent training has also evolved to better support and equip parents to meet the needs of their children and families. As a result, Pathways group training was implemented by Gladney's Family Services department in January 2011 for families adopting children over the age of two.

This past month I travelled from NYC to Gladney's main campus in Fort Worth, TX to participate in the two day training. Going in, my expectations for the training were already pretty high based on the positive feedback I had heard from families and staff who had previously attended Pathways. I knew I would be in for two days of good information that I hoped would enrich my work with adoptive families. What I didn't expect was that halfway through the first day, I was already blown away by the depth of knowledge and compassion of the presenters (my fellow Gladney co-workers and friends!) and I quickly found my perspective shifting from participating as a social work professional to listening from the context of my own personal life and family! The training covered many important topics, including children's "brain power", sensory needs, attachment and parenting techniques, but we also were challenged to think beyond that into our own family histories and attachment styles to know ourselves (and our triggers!) better. We were encouraged to play with "fidgets" during the presentations and actively participate in couple and group activities to experience what was being taught in a hands on manner. I think everyone who attended really appreciated hearing from been-there-done-that adoptive parents who had struggled with the unique needs of their kids and their honesty and openness really added to the depth of the training. After having gone through the two days, I can't imagine adopting a child without having this important training!

Lastly, being at the Texas campus is always a great reminder to me of the rich history that Gladney carries and of the work that so many have done over the past 125 years to bring children and families together. I am so proud to be part of an organization that supports families and serves children in need like Gladney.

One of our families adopting from China recently attended the training and wrote:
"Pathways Training was really good!! The combination of the great training along with being in the same room with people adopting from China as well as other countries made it a wonderful time. We made some friendships that I think will last a long time. Paula was an excellent teacher and so were Bethany and Heather. We left wondering how people could adopt without going through that kind of training first and felt very privileged to have been able to be a part of it. It also gave us a much bigger picture of Gladney and a greater appreciation for all that the center does."

Karen Rapp, South Carolina (adopting a 3 year old from China)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Recently in Taiwan Adoption News

The month of February saw two families return home with their children from Taiwan. Both families have adopted previously and everyone is doing quite well! Since our last newsletter, we are excited to announce a new baby girl referral for a family in the New Hope program! We also received a civil ruling in February for a family adopting a baby boy through New Hope. We are awaiting news of a civil ruling for one of our families in the Cathwel program.

The new child welfare legislation in Taiwan will result in all non-relative adoptions being processed through organizations licensed to do adoptions. The implementation date of the legislation is set for July 1, 2012. Currently there are ten organizations who are able to process adoptions under the new law. Cathwel, Chung Yi, and New Hope are all licensed organizations. New Hope has recently discussed with Gladney the possibility of sibling groups being available for adoption through their organization.

A new brother for Austin!
We survived and now our family is four!! Austin is quite a handsome little guy! New Hope is wonderful! We were very impressed with the program, the people working there, and their efficient manner! For more from the Skinner Family, who have now completed two Taiwan adoptions, click here to link to Gladney's Taiwan Blog.                                              -Jill, Ian, Alec, and Austin Skinner

A picture of Alec and Austin, it sums up the whole day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Brothers at Play

Alec is loving having his new little brother, Austin, home from Taiwan!  But he is ready for him to start being able to play big-boy games, he recently asked mom "When will he be big enough to actually do things?". 

Well, Austin is definitely big enough to play in the dirt with Alec!  Here he is after a play session one recent reported that the bath water was black once she was done bathing these two!

Monday, March 19, 2012

China Heritage Tours - Adoption Papers Required for Travel

Whether you are thinking of a taking a Heritage Tour within the next year or ten years from now, it is important to know that a number of the documents received during your adoption are required for your return trip. Among the documents you will need to provide copies of are the entire Adoption Certificate Booklet and the Red Book (showing name change) for each adopted Chinese child who is travelling. If these documents do not show name change, a copy of a legal document with the name change is required. When applying for your Chinese travel visas, you will need to send your child's Chinese passport and copies of the parents' passports with the travel visas from prior trips to China. For more information about these requirements, or about planning a customized China Heritage tour for your family, please visit our website

IMPORTANT TIP: If you are just returning home from your adoption trip to China, please photocopy these documents and send to Gladney for inclusion in your paper file. Then place the originals in a very safe place such as your bank safe deposit box.

Fisherman with his Cormorant in Yangshuo, China

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lifelong Friends and Sisters

Adopting a daughter from China in 1999 has been a huge blessing for us. Not only did we get the child we had dreamed of, but the families we traveled with have become our extended family. My daughter Georgia calls the other girls her "Chinese sisters." Luckily, a number of the families live nearby.
Georgia (right) with some of her "Chinese sisters" Jessica, Allyson and Chloe

Our most recent get together was in January. While preparing for the party, we decided we would try making dumplings with everyone, which I had only recently learned is a regular Chinese New Year tradition for families to make together! One of my daughter's babysitters (who is French) is an excellent cook and introduced us to two terrific dumpling recipes. Two of the girls' families made the dumpling dough, and brought their grandparents along to the dumpling party. We sat around the table stuffing the dough with pork and vegetable fillings. The dumplings were delicious and we hope to have started a new tradition to add to our collection of traditions. But mostly, just being with the other families is what we liked best. Being with each other gives strength to the girls and builds their lifelong relationship as friends and "sisters". Staying connected and being a part of each other's lives also creates an extended family of generations of adults, all who have watched the girls grow up.
-Pamela, Georgia and Jim Kahn
Our new tradition of making dumplings together

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Frank Garrott's Blogs and Tweets about his "Event"ful trip to New York

NCFA Honored by Ringing the Opening Bell at NASDAQ
On Thursday, March 1st, Gladney President, Frank Garrott tweeted: "Will be joining a group this a.m. to ring the opening bell at the NASDAQ exchange at 9:30 EST. May be on a business channel. 10 secs of fame." The group he was referring to was a team representing the National Council For Adoption (NCFA) who were being honored at the exchange. His tweet the following day, "Want to point out that on the day I was part of a team that rung the opening bell at the NASDAQ exchange, it reached a 12-year high." Click here for an informative video link to the NASDAQ opening and an introduction of NCFA.
Gladney's President Among Panelists at Center for Adoption Policy Conference
On Friday, March 2nd, at the 9th Annual Center for Adoption Policy Conference, Gladney Center President and CEO, Frank Garrott, was among the featured panelists who discussed what they believed would be the most effective actions required now in international adoption policy, programs and practice. In his blog, Frank wrote about the upcoming event and his excitement about having the opportunity to speak. This year's conference held at NYU's Law School, entitled "International Adoption: The Evolving Terrain", was co-sponsored by the Center for Adoption Policy, Harvard Law School's Child Advocacy Program, and the Diane Abbey Law Center for Children and Families at New York Law School. Gladney Asia Program Staff were also in attendance.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gongzhan Wu Honored for 15 years of Service with Gladney

On Wednesday, February 22nd, The Gladney Center honored the dedication of its staff, volunteers, and transitional care families at the 18th Annual Service Awards luncheon. Among those honored was VP and Managing Director of the Asia Program, Gongzhan Wu, who has been committed throughout his 15 years with Gladney to developing and sustaining adoption programs in various countries throughout Asia. At the luncheon, Gongzhan shared that the most rewarding part of his service with Gladney has been seeing the children grow and flourish in their families through each passing year.

Scott Brown, Gongzhan Wu, and Frank Garrott at Service Award Luncheon

Friday, March 9, 2012

Gladney's Guang Ming Star!

You You, age 7
"You You is a smart sweet boy. He was proud and confident when he told me he achieved top marks in school. He wore his bright yellow school uniform when he came to meet me. He enjoys making jokes and making all the adults laugh. Since I could not understand the jokes he drew pictures and quizzed me on what each picture was. His thumb is missing bones and his forearm is shortened but he is comfortable and confident with his body and uses his hand and arm well. He demonstrated a crane pose for me. He was comfortable with asking me why I wanted any bit of information. His favorite activities were drawing, painting and YoYo. He told me he does not like to eat too much because he worries his tummy will explode. He is really an amazing boy who demonstrated his great sense of humor and maturity and confidence well beyond his age."
~ Pat Marcus, Pediatric Physical Therapist
You You practicing his crane pose and stringing beads.
Pat and You You in Shanghai Children's Home foster care center.
Pat visited Shanghai Children's Home and met with many children, including You You this past November as part of Superkids Charity. You can hear more from Pat about her recent experience in China here.

You You is one of several great kids waiting for a forever family! For more information about Gladney's China Waiting Child program please contact Asia Program Caseworker, April Uduhiri at for more information.
Gladney Center for Adoption
光 明 Guang Ming/Waiting Child Program
The Chinese characters, Guang ("light" or "bright") and Ming ("bright", "clear") together portray the meaning of a bright future and are also used to refer to someone who is promising and who has great potential. We feel these words capture the essence of our mission at Gladney and our hopes for the children.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Recently in Taiwan Adoption News

In January, five families in the New Hope program completed their adoptions! We also received three referrals over the past month -- A toddler girl in the Chung Yi program, and two baby boys in the New Hope program!
Michael and Dad
"Come on Dad! Let's go home!"
Michael with his dad, John, as they check out of the Howard Hotel in Taipei in
mid-January on route home to New Jersey, just in time for Gladney's Chinese New Year Party.
January 1st, 2012, was the effective date of the new Taiwan Child Welfare legislation passed on November 11, 2012. The implementation date of the legislation was announced to be July 1, 2012. At this time, no additional information has been announced by the Child Welfare Bureau in Taiwan regarding how the priority of domestic adoption placements within Taiwan will be implemented. Gladney will continue to monitor the legislation in Taiwan and will keep families in the program updated on any new information that impacts international adoption.
Beth Evens
Beth Evans
Many families who have travelled to Taiwan over the past few months have been able to meet Beth Evans. Beth is a social worker and acting in a volunteer capacity to provide additional support to families during their adoption process in Taiwan. Beth is an Asian adoptee herself and was raised in Michigan. She has been living in Taipei since May, 2011. Beth earned her Master's in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

We are pleased that many families have enjoyed the assistance that Beth provides, in addition to the logistical and transportation services provided by Mr. Yeh during the week-long trip to Taiwan. Upon a family arriving in Taipei, Beth will call them to make sure they are settling in without problem, and will review the week's itinerary. During the course of each family's trip, Beth is available to meet and spend time with them. Please don't hesitate to let her know if you need anything during your stay in Taiwan!
Kobi Schroll, now home 4 months, proudly wears his Chinese New Year outfit - a gift from Mr. Yeh!