FALL 2016
It seems it's always (and never!*!) a great time to travel!
In this newsletter, we highlight Taiwan heritage tours - In time to inspire some summer 2017 vacation plans. 

"You don't stumble upon your heritage. It's there, just waiting to be explored and shared.
-Robbie Robertson

The Eagle family on their 2016 heritage tour.

Belated Welcome Home Wishes!!

Welcome home, Musser family!

The Jones family welcomes KyLynn!

The David family welcomes Nate!

The Lynch family!

Little Naomi Kelly with her new family!

4 little Duncan boys!

The Charles-Murser family welcomes Robert!

Mesa Nordquist with her new family!

The Roberts family!

The Cosgrove family on adoption day!

The Radney family

The Welch family
The Summers Family


Time has marched by from spring through summer and now well into Fall.  Each week and month were full! It seems that so much has been going on that we have not been able to publish our newsletter.  But, in the spirit of catching up (regardless of neglected communication of the past), I figure we have to start somewhere! 
As many of you have read, Gladney Center's China program was swept up in the CCCWA's initiative this summer to focus on the several hundred children on the Shared List that have not yet been adopted.   Read here for more information.  Since July, staff and Superkids volunteers have reviewed over three hundred shared list child profiles and posted summaries to Rainbowkids.com.  This was an important start for the initiative - having these children become "known" to more potential families.  In late summer, Gladney started planning trips to China to see if we could use our Superkids model as a way to see as many of the shared list children as possible in order to update their files with recent photos and helpful developmental information.  In October, almost 150 shared list children were seen by Superkids volunteers in the provinces of Jiangxi, and Anhui.  In two weeks, a final team of volunteers will be leaving for Guizhou. 
I hadn't been to China in almost 7 years, but last month I made a really special week long trip to Jiangxi to help lead a Superkids team.  After that week I joined veteran Superkids volunteers to spend a week working at our one-to-one partnership orphanages.  I am now back at my usual place, my desk, but with a mind full.  I have to stop and pause at that accidental phrase I just wrote --  "mind full", as opposed to mindful --    yes, a mind full of images, thoughts, faces, processes, needs, smiles, laughs.  This will be what will guide my efforts at Gladney in the upcoming months. 
I do hope that we will continue to catch up with a second newsletter to follow this month that will put us back on track with updates and news.      
--Wendy Stanley, LMSW
Director, Gladney Asia Program Social Services

Program Update:    
23 month old Douglas is still waiting to be matched
At the end of the summer two siblings were united with their parents! The children  - a little boy age 4 and a little girl age 3, were welcomed by a big brother and sister.   This family had previously adopted through our partner agency Cathwel Service and were blessed again to add to their family with Cathwel's help. 

We have submitted several families for consideration for matching to waiting children recently. Two families have been approved for matches by our partner Chung Yi, and we are just waiting for confirmation from the local government who are the children's legal guardians. 

There are many waiting children ready to be matched with their forever families - remember, families only need a home study in order to be matched with waiting children from Taiwan! If you'd like more information on the Taiwan program, or any of the waiting children, please contact Taiwan Program Caseworker, Mary Chapman, at mary.chapman@gladney.org. 


Click the images to read stories about children from our China and Taiwan programs!  
Gladney Moments
Two families share a little about their heritage trips to Taiwan below:

The Eagle Family 
We are the Eagle family. John, Karen, Evan and Nola. Evan and Nola were both adopted from Taiwan. Evan in 2009 and Nola in 2011. We were very fortunate to have Gladney take on our adoption cases when our original agency had to close.Our original trips to get both Evan and Nola were both amazing experiences. Gladney and the local agencies (TWCA and New Hope) in Taiwan made our trips to pick up our kids amazing. 

This past summer we decided to take Evan (now 7) and Nola (now 6) back to Taiwan and then to China to experience their heritage and culture. We spent the first 7 days in Taipei and the last 8 days in China. Our stay in Taipei was wonderful, as the kids were excited to see new things each day. The weather was pretty hot and humid, fortunately we are used to it as we live in Florida. We visited some of the same sites we toured on our adoption journeys, as well as some new sites. We visited the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei 101, Taipei Zoo, Making Gondola, Shilin Night Market, Shifen Waterfall and Old Street, Longshan Temple, Snake Alley Night Market, Martyr's Shrine, Guandu Temple, Tamsui, Northeast Coast, Gold Museum, Chiefun Old Street, and went to a local baseball game.

The highlight of our trip was seeing Mr. Yeh again. He took great care of us the
last few days of our trip, just like he did on our adoption journeys. He got us to try some foods that we would not have tried on our own. The kids really bonded with Mr. Yeh again. Even with the language barrier, it's amazing how much love and warmth we feel when he's with us. We were sad to leave, but will return again some day with the kids.

The Rydholm Family
Our daughter Willa (8) was adopted from Taiwan as an infant, and our daughter Jia (11) was adopted from China at a year old. We had been planning a heritage trip for years and this summer was finally the right time to do it! We started our trip in Taipei, Taiwan where we enjoyed visiting the popular attractions (Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei 101, Longshan Temple, Snake Alley...) and ate a lot of great food! We had soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung, a cutesy meal at Hello Kitty Café, mango shaved ice, and smoothies at a cat caf é where felines join you at your table.
We appreciated the natural side of Taiwan as well. We rode the gondola in beautiful Wulai, and went to the beach in Kenting. We also visited Jiufen and Shifen, where we decorated sky lanterns and sent our best wishes for Taiwan up to the clouds! 
The highlight, of course, was when Willa met her birth family. They were the main reason for the trip and we were so glad Willa was able to spend time with them.
We then went to China for the remainder of our trip. The journey was life-changing for all of us, especially for the girls. They both discovered more about who they are, formed lasting relationships, and hopefully developed a love for their homelands along the way.