Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Autumn Moon Festival

The Autumn Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn or Mooncake Festival, is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar. This year, it will fall on September 30th. With the moon at its fullest and brightest, it is an ideal time to celebrate the abundance of the summer's harvest.
Gladney familes brought handmade lanterns to the September 2010 NYC harbor cruise with delegates from the CCCWA.
The Festival is one of the most important holidays in China and other Asian countries. It is a time for farmers to celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season and for family and friends to gather for reunions. When the full moon rises, they watch the moon, eat moon cakes, and sing moon poems. Brightly lit animal and fruit lanterns are often paraded around by children.
According to a folk tale, mooncakes are eaten during the Festival in commemoration of the successful overthrow of Mongol rulers in the 14th century. Group gatherings had been banned, so, the Chinese inserted messages in mooncakes of their plans to attack the Mongols on the night of the Autumn Moon Festival.
Fun celebration ideas for children include: reading stories related to the Mid-Autumn Festival about Chang'e, the Goddess of the Moon and the Jade Rabbit, making paper lanterns (click here for instructions), and eating mooncakes.
For the October Asia Program Newsletter, we would like to feature stories and/or photos from our families celebrating the Autumn Moon festival. Please send contributions to Lydia at

Monday, August 27, 2012

Adoptive ParentTrainings: On-line and In-Person

Education and training are an important part of the international adoption process. Although no parent can anticipate every issue they may encounter, beginning to prepare even before the adoption is complete will make for a much more successful transition to parenthood. All families adopting through Gladney's international adoption programs are required to complete a minimum of 10 hours of training, the content of which meets the standards of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. Information on registering for this training is provided to adoptive parents in the "Gladney Approval Packet" once the home study has been completed. Gladney also offers a live 2 day workshop called "Pathways" which is required for all families planning to adopt a child over the age of 2. Your caseworker can provide you with more information on both training series.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Our Featured Photo

This month's featured photo was taken at the Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou, China.
Each month we enjoy selecting photos taken in Asia for our newsletter. We invite our familes to share their landscape photos, taken during their adoption or heritage trips. Beginning this month, we will be placing the monthly featured photo in our blogs. Please email Lydia if you have a photo you would like to have featured.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gladney Family Cheers on Friends in Dragon Boat Race

On Saturday, August 4th, a New York Gladney family cheered on friends who crewed a dragon boat representing their school district's Special Education PTA (SEPTA).
The Dragons on the Hudson races, held annually during the Peekskill Celebration, hosts Cancer Awareness teams in the morning and local organization teams in the afternoon. The SEPTA team, who rowed together last year for the first time, won their race in record time!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Visitors!

In the Gladney Asia Program office, we have enjoyed some drop-in visits from families who have been in the New York area for summer vacations. It has really been fun to reconnect after months and years have passed since the completion of their adoptions. It is a very special day when we have the chance to share stories and smiles together! Brian and Mary Moy, who completed two adoptions from Taiwan in 2009 and 2012, were enjoying an anniversary get away in NYC without the kids, who they left home in Michigan! While in the office, they shared a great family photo with me, taken this past Father's Day - looks like Grandpa has his hands full!
On left, adopted through Gladney's Taiwan program, Marissa (2012) and Evan (2009)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gongzhan Wu - NYer of the Week

We are very excited to announce that Gladney's own Gongzhan Wu was featured in a segment of "NYer of the Week," which runs on NY1 weekly and also online.

The show profiles New York's unsung heroes, who, through their careers or their volunteer activities, are making a positive difference on the world around them. Gongzhan was recognized for the difference he has made in the lives of hundreds of children and their parents through his dedication to helping orphans in China find a permanent family.
Click here to view the show. 
Gongzhan with 7 1/2 year old You You who
was recently matched with a Gladney family.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Taiwan Program Update

Last month Gongzhan Wu, VP & Managing Director- Asia Programs, spent time in Asia.  While in Taiwan he was able to meet with the three social welfare organizations through which Gladney places children for international adoption.  All three organizations report that they are continuing their programs in compliance with the New Child and Youth Welfare Act which became effective June 1, 2012.  One organization that Gladney works with highlights the main features of the legislation as follows:

1.      Prior to June 1st, approximately 90% of the adoptions in court were private adoptions.  Since June 1st, except for relative adoptions, all adoption cases need to be evaluated by adoption agencies prior to application to the court.

2.      All adoption agencies are required to follow the law giving priority to domestic adoptive families. The information of children will be listed on a nationwide platform for domestic matching for approximately 45-70 days. Hence, the possibilities of domestic matching for healthy children will increase.

3.      In regard to the new laws governing administration and management of adoption programs and services, agencies are now finishing a process of accreditation and will also seek renewals of their licenses under the new law.

There are currently eight organizations licensed by the Taiwanese government to provide adoption placement services.  Gladney’s three partner organizations:  New Hope, Chung Yi, and Cathwel Services, are among the eight.  Each licensed organization has been undergoing an accreditation process, the results of which are expected later in August.   The organizations will also need to become re-licensed under the new child welfare laws and the results of this process will be made available later in the Fall.

Prior to the new Child and Youth Welfare Legislation, most domestic adoptions were done independently and casually. Now, the government is working hard to create more oversight for domestic adoptions including background checks and assessments for prospective adoptive parents as well as requiring pre-adoptive training and post-placement supervision.  The prioritization on domestic adoption opportunities for the children will impact the number of international adoptions.  We expect that wait times for U.S. parents desiring to adopt very young children with no identified health issues will increase as many of these children will be adopted domestically. 

During Gongzhan’s meetings while in Taiwan, across the board all organizations emphasized they are working diligently and being very conscientious about providing adoption services in compliance with the new guidelines.  Noted below are program updates for each individual organization as of August, 2012:

Chung Yi Social Welfare Foundation (“Chung Yi”),will continue to proceed with both domestic and international adoption services for children of all ages, both healthy and with special medical needs.  Our most recent referral from Chung Yi was a sibling group of twin toddler boys.  The children in care of Chung Yi are from both voluntary parental relinquishment as well as government custody cases.  In addition to providing adoption placement services, Chung Yi is also licensed to run a group residential care facility which will undergo a site visit for re-licensing in the upcoming months.  Currently Gladney has several wonderful children we would like to find families for and Chung Yi has agreed to give a priority to families working with Gladney while we place a special emphasis on reaching out into the adoption community to find families.  To increase the opportunities for adoption for these children we will be working with an adoption –informed psychologist to present a webinar this Fall, to help educate parents on how to interpret some of the cognitive and social assessment information provided in the profiles.  Please visit to see summary information of the children.  Information about the upcoming webinar will also be posted here.  Please contact for more information about applying to this program.

New Hope Adoption Center (“New Hope”) now offers a variety of domestic adoption services including education, parent training, and home studies for families interested in pursuing domestic adoption. Their services have received positive responses from domestic clients. As New Hope becomes more established in domestic adoption, more of their referrals will be placed with domestic families.  New Hope remains committed to continuing its international adoption program and will continue working with biological parent/s desiring to make a voluntary adoption plan.  New Hope has also begun assisting in the placement of children for adoption who have been referred from government agencies.  This new source of referrals will broaden the range of children available for adoption through the program to include children of all ages, and also sibling groups.  New Hope Adoption center is part of a larger organization:  New Hope Social Welfare Foundation (NHSWF).  NHSWF underwent its site visit for re-licensing recently.  New Hope does not maintain a residential care license, children who are part of their adoption program will either be cared for by licensed foster care families or remain in county government care and custody.  On occasion, children may remain with their biological parents until placement with their adoptive parents – for example New Hope is working to place two babies with down syndrome and the plan is for both babies to remain in their biological families until placement.  Gladney is currently accepting applications from parents interested in adopting children of all ages through New Hope.  Please contact for more information about applying to this program.

Catholic Welfare Services (“Cathwel”), is a multi-service social welfare organization.  Prior to the new legislation, their adoption focus was to mainly find international adoptive families for children with medical needs.  Cathwel will now begin providing domestic adoption services for the first time.  Jonah House is Cathwel’s program that provides group residential care for some of the children being placed for adoption.  Jonah House will be undergoing a site visit in the near future for re-licensing.  Gladney continues to accept applications from families open to adopting children of all ages with medical needs.   Cathwel staff will be visiting the United States in October, 2012 and are looking forward to visiting with some of the children who have been adopted through their organization.  Please email if you are interested in learning more about the gatherings being planned in the NY/NJ/CT area as well as Fort Worth, Texas.  Gladney will host Cathwel staff at our main campus location in Fort Worth Texas during their U.S. visit. 

This year, and for years to come, we look forward to helping many more Taiwanese children find permanent and loving families.  Gladney remains committed to maintaining its adoption program in Taiwan, and we hope that parents will continue to consider adopting from Taiwan as an option for building their families.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Announcing China Winter Tour

National Council For Adoption (NCFA) and China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) Announces "Celebrating Culture and Experiencing China" Winter Tour

December 23, 2012 - January 1, 2013

In cooperation with the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA), National Council For Adoption (NCFA) is delighted to announce the “Celebrating Culture and Experiencing China” Winter Tour from December 23, 2012 – January 1, 2013. Unlike previous trips, in which only children participated, this year’s cultural experience will be open to children who were adopted from China, adoptive parents, and siblings.

The trip will begin with a four-day tour of Beijing, during which participants will have the opportunity to experience the vibrant and colorful culture of China’s capital city. From there, tour participants will travel to several cities throughout China, including Xi’an, Chengdu, and ShangLi. Among other activities, participants will visit the Great Wall, feed and clean panda bears at the BiFengXia Panda Center, and experience enriching local cultural activities. Visit to view the full itinerary here.

All children who were adopted from China are invited to attend. Also invited are their adoptive parents and siblings; however, parents and siblings are not required to accompany the adopted child. Chaperones will be provided for unaccompanied children. Adopted children attend for free. The cost is $1,799 for adults and $1,499 for children under 12 and covers all routine in-country expenses.All participants, including adopted children, are responsible for travel expenses to and from China.

Applications will be made available soon. All inquiries at this time should be directed to Gongzhan Wu, project coordinator, at or Vicki Allgaier at

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gladney Family Cheers on Friends in Dragon Boat Race

On Saturday, August 4th, a New York Gladney family cheered on friends who crewed a dragon boat representing their school district’s Special Education PTA (SEPTA).
The Dragons on the Hudson races, held annually during the Peekskill Celebration, hosts Cancer Awareness teams in the morning and local organization teams in the afternoon. The SEPTA team, who rowed together last year for the first time, won their race in record time!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cultural Connections: Sister Cities – Suzhou, China and Portland, Oregon

Three summers ago our family took a Gladney China Heritage Tour. During our trip, we visited Suzhou, a historic, fabled city outside Shanghai, famous for its traditional gardens.
2009 Suzhou, China
This summer, we took a three week tour of the U.S. West Coast, including a visit with my brother near Portland, Oregon. During our day in the city of Portland, he surprised us with a stop at Lan Su Chinese Garden in the Old Chinatown section of the city! This amazing, beautiful garden, which was planned and designed by artisans from Suzhou, was exciting to see and a wonderful cultural connection for the girls; here was a piece of China in the U.S.!
2012 Portland, Oregon