December 2017

CHINA AND TAIWAN PROGRAM NEWSLETTER
Gifts of the Season!

During the holidays we want to stop and reflect on one (or two!) of the most precious gifts that we have been given - our children.  

 
 
    
 
 
Welcome Home!

Congratulations to these families who are now home with their children!


The Anderson family met up with Gongzhan Wu in China as they finalized their adoption!


Carlos and Jenny were thrilled to bring their son home to NJ last month!


The Elrod's welcomed home 3 yr old Eli from Taiwan!

Three year old twins, Callen and Cara, joined the Buhman family!

Congratulations!
China and Taiwan 
 
December brings it's own gifts for our families in the China and Taiwan programs!

CHINA Program Update:   Since our last newsletter, 4 families in the program have received Letter Seeking Confirmations (LSC) and 4 families have received Travel Approvals (TA) and are planning their trips!

Currently, we have many families in China adopting their children!!  Five families are adopting from every corner of the country, from Shanghai to Jiangxi Province, as well as Zhejiang and Hunan provinces.  

TAIWAN Program Update:  We currently have 5 families matched to children, and 5 families with pending matches to waiting children! family will be traveling to attend their court hearing this month. 

If you haven't already, don't forget to join our private Facebook group where we share photos and videos of waiting children from Taiwan!

Adoption News
Save the Adoption Tax Credit!  

During congressional discussions, the Adoption Tax Credit was in danger of being eliminated as part of the House Budget proposal. Gladney, along with many other adoption agencies and individual families,  National Council For Adoption, American Academy of Adoption and Reproductive Attorneys and many, many other groups joined efforts to fight to retain the Adoption Tax Credit. Although the budget has not been finalized, at this point, the House Ways and Means Committee has put the ATC back as a r etained credit! This was a tremendous group effort, and we hope the ATC remains safe from additional cuts or maneuvering as the budget works its way through the legislative process. The Senate had already shown a commitment to retaining the credit, and we are so happy to see the House join with the Senate in preserving this important credit for children and families.

Thanks to all of you who helped by posting our notices and contacting your congressional leaders. You helped make this happen!

Keep checking our web site for the most up-to-date information as well as  http://adoptiontaxcredit.org.

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A Great Day at the APC Conference!
by Wendy Stanley
  
Sunday, November 19th Gladney staff spent the day at the 37 th annual APC adoption conference in NYC.  The conference was great (as it always is) - but each year I like it for a different reason.  My top 3 reasons for loving this year's conference are:
  

1. Meeting smart and compassionate adoption professionals from various agencies, such as Terri Karafin from USCIS.  Terri's supervisory attention has helped process some of our more challenging cases.
 

2. Unexpectedly re-connecting with an adoptive mom I worked with 15 years ago!  Her son is now attending college, and I felt a surge of pride as she showed me his picture on her phone.  I can only imagine how she must feel!


3.  Meeting a couple that recently applied to Gladney's China program.  They have a move to Chicago planned - but in the meantime, we will make the most out of our work together in NYC over the next few months.


 


 

  
Seeing people face to face makes such a difference - it reminds us of the shared community we are in - but also of the very individual connections we have that make up our lives.   I hope everyone has the chance to attend adoption events in their local area to celebrate and learn from each other.
ADOPT ME!
We have been thinking about Holly and Lee a lot recently, wondering about them. . . What is important to them? What can they do? What can't they do?  What do they LIKE to do?  We also worry about them.  What family will stand in the gap for them? What family will take a risk and commit their love and protection to them forever? Who will help them see and experience this amazing world?
 
I met Holly last year, although an accident has caused her to lose the ability to walk, her potential is boundless, and I would love to tell interested parents more about her.  wendy.stanley@gladney.org   I hope to meet Lee one day (our Superkids team met him in 2016).  We have many videos that show what's he's been up too lately, but the BIG question is.... What will he be up to when he is 8, 10, 12. . .?  Please contact Lindsay.hatcher@gladney.org for more information about Lee.

-Wendy
Director, Asia program Social Services 
 
Click an image below to read more about Holly and Lee
Holly, almost 10

Lee, age 6.5


  Holly and Lee have been named recipients of generous grants from the One Less Orphan Foundation.  
Superkids
Fall 2017 Taiwan Trip!
 
The Superkids team made their way to Taiwan and back last month, leaving pieces of their hearts with the children that they met.  
The team this fall included Gongzhan Wu, Mary Chapman, Erin Martin, Michelle Snyder, Nancy Dobson and Joe Meixl.  This trip was the biggest Taiwan Superkids visit yet!  About 70 children were seen between Gladney's two partner organizations - Chung Yi and Cathwel Services. The kids ranged from younger toddlers to 13 year olds, and while some were familiar faces, many children were meeting the team for the first time!
 
A typical day on a Taiwan Superkids trip begins with meeting caregivers and kids and starting to get to know them.  Mary leads the intake process by asking questions to the caregivers and older children who can tell us about themselves.  We learn fun little details about their likes and dislikes, who their friends are, favorite subjects in school and their strengths.  One older boy shared his desire to become a "chef of Japanese cuisine"! 
 
After some basic information is gathered, Nancy, who is an experienced pediatric Physical Therapist and repeat Superkids volunteer, spends time with them to screen for their physical abilities.Kids are asked to go through a series of activities that display gross and fine motor skills as well as give a trained PT insight about neurological functioning.  Most often this is done with a smile as she asks the children to do something that probably seems silly to them!  Nancy noted that  the hardest part is that it is virtually impossible to keep the foster parents from "helping" the kids and giving them the "answers" - they want the kiddos to succeed and show off what they can do!
 
Often kids are waiting for their turn with Nancy and that's where Joe and Michelle step in - this is one of the best parts of the trip - getting to know the children!  
Michelle has been on three trips with Superkids to Taiwan and in her words "Taiwan has my heart... it is like a second home!"  Michelle and Joe use fun activities and  games to glean more about the children's personalities and find unique details that we can share to really bring them alive to perspective adoptive parents when the trip is through.  Everyone suspected that "Papa Joe" would be a hit with the kids, and it was proven early on!  So many children enjoyed playing with him, even sitting in his lap and sharing his lunch.  It was especially endearing to see how much the older boys really came alive when Joe was showing them how to kick or stop a ball.  So much fun!
 
And while this is going on, Erin is snapping away, photo after photo!  Taiwan trips require a lot of effort in this area since Taiwan laws prohibit us from sharing full-faced photos of the children publicly.  Erin works hard to get adorable pictures that are "share-able" for our advocacy efforts, but the real gems are the pictures where you can look directly into each child's eyes and see their desire to connect.  These amazing pictures ARE available for families to see in our private Taiwan Advocacy Facebook Group - please check it out!
 
Of course, without Gongzhan's leadership, Superkids would merely be a great idea instead of the powerful and successful advocacy initiative that it is.  He orchestrates the entire visit and this time incorporated an amazing day of sight-seeing at the renowned Yehliu Geopark so the team could witness some unbelievable scenery!  As always, we are grateful for the privilege to meet and learn from these amazing children - to advocate for them, and to give them a platform for their own voices to be heard.
Upcoming Events


GFA Events are a fun way to connect with other adoptive families during the holidays!  There have been some great celebrations this month! At the time of this newsletter - one final celebration left: 

Gingerbread cookies good enough to eat!

12/16:  San Antonio, TX  Holiday Party


Click  HERE  for for a calendar of events happening this month and in the New Year!

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UPCOMING TRAININGS:

2018  Gladney Pathways Training at Gladney's Fort Worth, TX campus:

January 11-12
March 29-30
May 31-June 1
July 26-27


Gladney Center  is proud to also offer free trainings for adoptive parents and professionals through Gladney University!  

Check out our Facebook page for event information!