Annika

Annika is a darling 5 year old girl who giggles easily and is very talkative. She lives with a foster family and has learned so much since moving in with them. She has a younger foster sibling whom she loves very much. 



She feeds herself with a spoon and has a good appetite. She likes to play hide and seek with her foster mom and will hide in the closet and with for her mom to find her. She goes up and down steps by herself and likes to run. Sometimes she plays games outside with her foster family. She loves to wear colorful clothes and look beautiful. Sometimes in the morning when her mom is too busy to braid her hair, she tries to do it herself. 

Annika’s speech is difficult to understand though she talks a lot and is learning to speak in longer sentences. This is the only need listed in her file. 

She is such a cute little girl who sounds absolutely charming! Could she be the missing piece in your family? Please contact us at superkids@gladney.org for more information!

Andre {Taiwan}

Andre is a little 3 year old boy from Taiwan. He was an absolute joy to play with when we met him in April.



Andre has hearing impairment in one ear, but he is speaking in short sentences and he understands and follows simple instructions. He also has mild anemia.



We used words like enthusiastic and active to describe him. He stacked blocks and put a simple puzzle together for us. He did great with all of the running, jumping, climbing, and playing with the ball type of things we asked him to do.



Andre is a precious little guy who needs a family! Could that be you? Please contact mary.chapman@gladney.org for more information.



As always, be sure to join our private Taiwan Facebook group to see pictures and videos we can't share publicly!


Ami {Taiwan}

Ami is such a beautiful little girl who is well behaved and does well in school. She is attached to her foster family and helpful for her teacher at school.



Ami has no known medical needs. She is described as gentle, obedient, clever, and helpful by her foster mom. She was quiet and shy when we met her. They told us it takes her a little while to warm up to new people.

She easily did all the puzzles and tasks we asked her to do. She did addition, subtraction, multiplication and long division problems with ease. When asked she said her favorite subject in school is PE.

Ami is waiting for her family! Could she be your daughter? Please contact mary.chapman@gladney.org.

To see additional pictures and videos we cannot share publicly please join our private Facebook group here.

Rhett

Let's start this week out with introducing a darling 3 year old boy whom we are calling Rhett. His file indicates that his favorite things are playing outdoors in the sunshine and toys that make noise. Yep. Sounds like most 3 year old the world around.



Rhett has hemophilia. They need to be careful that he does not bump himself and therefore it sounds like they are limiting his opportunities in order to keep him safe, but Rhett needs to be able to live life like other 3 year olds. He needs a family who can help him lead a normal life.



Rhett is described as quiet and introverted and as having a ready smile. He was only 1 when his file was prepared, so we are asking for an update. At that time he was doing well developmentally. He was sitting independently and babbling, he would laugh very loudly when teased by his caregivers. I can't wait to see how he has progressed since then!

He has, it appears had an inter-cranial bleed for which he had surgery. There is not a lot of information about it, but again, hopefully we will learn more with an update.

Rhett needs a family. He needs to be able to live life to it's fullest even though he was born with hemophilia. He needs a family who can help him manage his condition and get him the medical care he needs. Could he be your son? Contact us at superkids@gladney.org for more information.

Look At Lester!

We posted about Lester back in December. He was so cute and doing so well then. You can see his post here.



Y'all. We just got an update. And he is amazing!! The progress he has made in 6 months is astounding. And the cuteness factor has increased exponentially.



Lester is 2 years. He runs, walks, and jumps. He attends pre-school at the orphanage and he follows the teachers' rules. He follows 2 step commands and likes to help the teacher maintain order in the classroom. He is speaking in short sentences and communicates his needs well. He can get his own cup to get a drink then put his cup back in the correct place.



He is outgoing and takes the initiative to go up and talk to people. He likes to help the other kids throw their garbage away.



This little guy is doing so well! He has hydrocephalus and has a shunt. He has therapy regularly. We have so many more cute videos of him that we are happy to share with interested families!

Lester needs a family! Could he be your son? Please contact us at superkids@gladney.org for more information. Somebody go snatch this baby up!

Anton {Taiwan}

Anton is a 2 year old little boy who loves to play on playground equipment such as slides and swings. He is a generally happy little boy and we loved spending time with him in April.




He seemed pretty quiet, but sweet and pleasant. He loved stacking blocks and knocking them over. He scribbled a little bit for us. He says a few clear words but mostly babbles.



He is somewhat delayed but has made great strides since re-locating to Jonah House a few months ago. He is a darling little boy and will bring so much joy to his family.




Anton needs a family! Could he be your son? Please contact mary.chapman@gladney.org for more information. And be sure to join our private Facebook group where we can show photos and videos that we cannot share publicly.

Summertime Fun - Kids Chopped

Our family enjoys cooking shows.  We usually watch them during dinner as we eat our feast expertly created by my wife, who is a chef.  Colleen and I loved cooking shows before we adopted, watching several seasons of ‘Top Chef’ and we passed that love of these show onto our kids, Rosielin (8 yrs. old) and YuYu (10 yrs. old).  From ‘The Great British Bake-off’ to ‘Zumbo’s Just Desserts’ and ‘Chopped’ we sit picnic style with our meal and try to figure out who will be eliminated and why and ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhhh’ at some of the amazing dishes these amateurs and professionals create.  


‘Chopped’ was a favorite because there were just so many seasons, so we have watched tons of these episodes and there are still so many more we must watch.  Our kids enjoy helping my wife with any cooking or baking for special occasions, so we have made jiaozi for Chinese New Year, cupcakes for birthdays, or just scones and cookies for company.  I have never been much of a cook, but my baking skills have increased ever since my wife and I started our catering company. 




One day, our kids were playing pretend restaurant on their own in our living room.  The idea hit me, I would create a ‘Chopped’ experience for the kids and immediately started looking up recipes that the kids could create.  I came across a spring quinoa salad that had strawberries, asparagus, garlic, peas, parsley, lemon juice, etc. and thought that would be perfect.  I mysteriously told Colleen that I had to go out and get some materials and headed out the door on my own secret mission.  After getting construction paper, tape, markers, and ingredients, I was ready to put all the pieces together for a fun family endeavor.  The girls had a wooden crate they used to store some of their toys, so first thing I did was to create the ‘Chopped’ basket complete with tape handles that they could open just like the show.  Next up, had to get the ingredients set up in the basket and around the kitchen as well as create a ‘KIDS Chopped’ sign.  All the while I was doing this, the kids were looking up with curiosity as to what I was doing as I was running up and down the stairs trying to keep my endeavor a secret as long as I could.  When I was finally ready, I presented the ‘KIDS Chopped’ show to them and their eyes lit up.  They couldn’t believe that they would be doing the same thing as their favorite show.  I videoed them as I played the Ted Allen part as host.  They had thirty minutes to create a dish from the ingredients provided.  I also provided a recipe for them to follow so they could learn about following directions, measurements, and teamwork while they were having fun creating the meal.  Chef YuYu and Sous Chef RosieLin worked well together as they scurried around the kitchen looking for items that were not a part of the basket.  As I counted down the final seconds, they rushed to get everything on their plate and finished in the nick of time.  Now came the tasting.  Colleen and I were the judges and we tasted their food and told them we needed to discuss it before coming up with a decision.  We put the food under a dish towel and told the kids that if their food was under the towel, then they were the winner, if there was nothing under it, then they did not win.   When it was revealed that the girls’ dish was the winner they squealed with delight.  But the big winner was us, as we saw them work together to create a dish and learn everything that goes along with it and feel proud of a job well done.  Colleen and I both enjoyed the salad so much that we decided to make it part of our sellable goods for farmer’s markets and retail sales.  We call it ‘Two Sisters Quinoa Salad’.


We still watch ‘Chopped’ at dinner and every once in awhile I break out our basket and we have another episode of ‘KIDS Chopped.’


Here is the recipe that they created.


Two Sisters Quinoa
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (or try speltberries, but note they are not GF)
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced into rounds or half moons
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced strawberries (optional)
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other sweetener)
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt & lots of pepper, to taste
  • lemon zest, for garnish

1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and place into a medium pot. Add 1.5 cups vegetable broth (or water) and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover with tight-fitting lid, and cook for 15-17 minutes, or until fluffy and all the water is absorbed. Fluff with fork, remove from heat, and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, grab a very large skillet or wok. Sauté the leek and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add in the asparagus and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender, but still a bit crisp. Stir in the strawberries (optional), peas, and parsley. Heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat.

3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, and 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt) to taste. Pour dressing onto skillet mixture and stir in the cooked quinoa. Season to taste with salt and pepper & enjoy! This would also be lovely with nuts or seeds sprinkled on top.
- Steve Willett, 2x Gladney dad

Hailey

Hailey is a darling little girl who was matched with a family until recently. They ended up deciding that they were not the best family for her, which was a brave and difficult decision. We always want to be sure that children are placed in the right family for them. That is child-centered advocacy.



All of this to say that sweet Hailey is in need of a family. She is 20 months old and currently lives in the Butterfly Home where she is absolutely adored. I had to laugh when we asked, back in February, if she was crawling and the response was that she was normally in someone's arms but they were trying to give her more opportunities to learn these skills.






She was born prematurely and has some delays related to that. We found out recently that she may have a chromosomal condition and we are seeking clarification on exactly what that is. We definitely need a family open to some unknowns, but she is so worthy of that risk!






She is rolling over now and learning to scoot. She doesn't say words yet, but she babbles. She is still delayed but has recently made great progress.



Would you like to know more about how to make Hailey your daughter? Contact us at superkids@gladney.org.

Remy

Are y'all ready to completely lose your hearts to a little just-turned 3 year-old boy on a Monday morning? Don't say I didn't warn you!

Meet Remy!



His medical need has been surgically repaired and we will be happy to talk to interested families about it. He seems like a healthy, happy little boy! We had his file reviewed by a doctor and it was a very positive review.



He walks, runs, and jumps. He communicates his needs well and knows the meaning of no. He likes to dance to music. He is very interactive and loves to laugh.

This sweet little guy needs a family of his own! Could he be your son? Please contact us at superkids@gladney.org for more information.

Ansley {Taiwan}

This is Ansley from Taiwan. She is almost 6 and is an active, happy little girl.



Watch and share her video then contact mary.chapman@gladney.org for more information!

Arthur {Taiwan}

Arthur was born in November 2017, and is one of the youngest children we’ve seen available for adoption from Taiwan! A family must have a current home study ready in order to be considered for matching to Arthur – and you must be ready to move forward quickly. We have Arthur’s profile for a family to review which includes medical information.

Arthur is reported to be rolling from front to back, lifting and holding his head up, reaching for objects, and vocalizing sounds. He also recognizes his caregivers, makes eye contact, and cries when a caregiver leaves.

Arthur had surgery shortly after birth for respiratory distress and mid-gut malrotation. He also has limb differences on his hands. He is currently wearing splints on his hands and receiving occupational therapy. It’s important to note that we receive birth family history for children from Taiwan, and Arthur’s file reports that there is a history of mental illness within Arthur’s immediate birth family.

If you would like to be considered for matching to Arthur, please email a copy of your current home study report to Mary Chapman at mary.chapman@gladney.org.

Oriel

Oriel just turned 8 and is a lovely little girl who sounds like she has a precious personality. She is described as quick-minded, extroverted, and imaginative.



She has a cleft lip and palate as well as a post operative heart condition (PDA). She struggled with weight gain and development as a baby until she had her heart surgery. Since then she has improved and is now doing very well.



She communicates well and, though not yet reading, enjoys picture books. She dresses herself and takes care of her self-care needs.

Her favorite toy is a stuffed animal. Her file mentions several times that she like s to play lahuoche with the other children. I am not familiar with this game, but if anyone is please comment and tell us about it!



Oriel needs a family! Could she be your daughter? Please contact us at superkids@gladney.org for more information.

Family Friday!


Kurt {Taiwan}

Kurt is a handsome 7 1/2 year boy who is reported to be popular in school. We will be posting a couple photos on our private Facebook group that we can’t post publicly - be sure to join! 



Kurt was asked if he wanted to be adopted and live in the US, and he said yes. After a beat, he asked the social worker if they spoke English in the US because he can’t speak English. After being assured he would have tools like picture cards to help him communicate he was excited about the possibility. 

Kurt is a good helper in his foster home, including to help with his younger foster brother. He has good interpersonal skills and gets along with his classmates. He sometimes gets upset when others criticize him and isn’t a fan of dark places. 



Kurt loves playing outside and running. He loves dumplings and cookies. Kurt sounds like a joyful, sweet boy. He has no medical needs. Could Kurt be your son? Please contact Mary Chapman at Mary.chapman@gladney.org to review Kurt’s profile. 

Kevin {Taiwan}

Kevin turned 4 years old in April and boy is he a cutie! We don’t have any photos that can be shared publicly but make sure to join our private Facebook group to see a couple.

Kevin sounds like an awesome little guy - he seems to have a silly, fun-loving personality. His foster mom reports that he is curious and persistent. He has good hand-eye coordination and likes being active. He enjoys throwing his toys in the air and trying to catch them - I’m seeing sports in his future! He has good verbal and communication skills, and can easily follow instructions. 

Kevin attends Preschool and enjoys going. He is reported to be a quick learner and very clever. He loves animals and playing outside. He interacts and connects well with others. 

Kevin has no medical needs. Could he be your son? Contact Mary Chapman at Mary.chapman@gladney.org to review Kevin’s profile. 

Christian

Meet Christian, a cute little 5 year old boy who likes to play outside, especially on the slide.



Christian has Down syndrome and post operative CHD. He loves cartoons and when the TV is on he tries to get his hands on the remote to try to find cartoons to watch. I mean seriously! How adorable is that?



He used to be somewhat listless, but has become much more energetic since having his heart surgery in 2015. He started walking soon after that and has really taken off developmentally since then.

He is not picky in what he eats and he likes a little chili pepper in his food.



This sweet little guy needs a family! He has a $4,000 grant through Gladney! Could he be your son? Please contact us at superkids@gladney.org for more information.


Ask The Experts... Father's Day Edition

What is your favorite thing about your dad?

That he plays "Chopped Kids" with us. (Steve creates cooking competitions for our kiddos) - Yu Yu Willett, age 10.

He plays flips and airplanes with me. - Andie Clements,  age 4

He lets me work with him. - Khloe Kennett- age 6

He takes me to gas stations and lets me get whatever junk food I want. - Charlotte, age 8

That he tells me I am beautiful and kisses me every night. - Eliana age 9

What is something funny your dad always does?

He makes funny faces sometimes, and his snoring is pretty funny. - Khloe Kennett, age 6

He played Christmas music all year long.

We saw our dad throwing away some shoes...that was really funny wasn’t it, Mom? (Sam (5) and Andie (4) Clements after watching their dad make a goodwill donation 

 He says we are going to have stinky sock soup for dinner! Yu Yu, age 10 and Rosielin, age 8

He farts! - 😂Charlotte age 8, from Wuwei, China.

He sings really loud in the shower. - Annika age 11

"It is not flesh and blood, but the heart which makes us fathers and sons." - Von Schiller


A Few Thoughts on Fatherhood

This year, my thoughts of fatherhood are intertwined with the concept of sonship. What does it mean to be a son (or daughter)? Being a father is about the relationship. The same is true for being a son. Just as my father’s relationship with me defines him as a father, my relationship with him is what makes me his son.



The relationships between us (as parents) and our children (as sons and daughters) are complex and multifaceted.  These are not one way relationships.  This can be particularly challenging for our adopted, step, and foster children because this relationship likely was not in place from our children’s first breath.  This week I have been taking time to reflect on the dynamics of the powerful and chosen relationship that is formed through adoption.



As adoptive parents, we had months, if not years, to prepare for our new relationship with our child.  But for many of our children, this relationship began the moment a caretaker or social worker introduced them to us.  This places an awesome opportunity, but also a great burden of responsibility, on us as parents, to guide our children in building healthy relationships with us.

Being a biological or genetic father does not automatically make you a parent to a child. This is not to diminish the importance of genetics and nature. Being a father is about the relationship, not the genes.



My father has been a wonderful role model for me. Was he the perfect father? He would be the first to admit that he was not. Is this a criticism? Of course not! There is no perfect earthly father. But he did his best (and still does) to provide for our family, set an example of a loving father, and show me and my brother the value of hard work.  Despite falling short of my father’s (and mother’s!) expectations on many occasions, I know my father’s love for me never wavered. My hope is that the love shown to me and the values instilled in my character will be passed down to my own children.



This post ended up being “deeper” than I had initially intended! If nothing else, at least this provided me the opportunity to express my feelings in writing about being a father and a child. I want to wish all the other dads out there a Happy Father’s Day.  We have a fantastic opportunity to impact the lives of our children.  I pray that we not only seize this opportunity, but relish and enjoy the fleeting time we have with our children.  May we set an example of fatherhood that will resonate for generations to come.

Written by Greg Cowan, a 2x Gladney dad and dad to 3 gorgeous children.

Summertime Fun Questions Series!

We are starting a new blog series featuring questions that we are asking families in our Gladney China families Facebook group. (Hang on Taiwan families! We have something fun planned for your kiddos this summer too!)

We spend so much time here on the blog advocating for children who need families. But the real focus is bringing families together. So over the summer we are going to be asking our families to ask their kids some questions and we will share their answers here.

We are also asking children to draw and/or color pictures for us to use on the blog. We are excited to shine a light on children this summer!



Today's question is:

Of all the things you are learning, what do you think will be the most useful when you are an adult?

And here are some of the answers:

 Learning to control myself and not be annoying to others.

Learning to do homework and draw is going to help her be a mom and have a baby.

English because it helps you communicate.

Reading, because then I can learn anything. 

Respecting so I won't get in too much trouble.

Learning about God's instructions.

Learning how to count money and pay the right amount for things and learning math!

To learn to be a good person and not say hateful words.

Thank you all for participating! There is a new question in the Facebook group for next week.  We have a pretty wise group of children, obviously!

Drawing credit goes to Brooklyn Heirl this week! Thank you, Brooklyn! 

A Father’s Day Thought - You Complete Me

The crew on my birthday

As I was putting my son to bed one night recently he asked me something to the effect, “Daddy why did you adopt me?”  If you have an adoption story you have likely heard or will hear this question many times.  I have answered this question before but this time I gave it a different thought.  See we had also just come off our third adoption and I kind of sensed the question is really more about why did you do this or need to do this?  

So I told my son as honestly as I could that we did not need to adopt him or his sisters to his surprise. As I explained, because when you need something it is more of an act of instinct, or survival so the satisfaction in the act is limited. No, when I thought about his question, I smiled and told him, “Buddy, I wanted you!” I chased after you with all the love of my heart for you and your sisters. All the long nights of paperwork, and worry.  All the driving around and chasing the next authentication or deadline, was not something I needed to do but I wanted to do. 

I wanted and chased after all my children as one who loves with reckless abandonment until that day when I had my children in my arms and peace settled into the deepest part of my soul.   That moment happened a year ago last Father’s day, after a long trip to bring home my precious daughter, we just happened to have Father’s day weekend as our first weekend home. As we sat around the table having lunch, an overwhelming feeling hit me and turned to my wife and said, “This is right, this is what we were meant to be as a family”.   

My little ones, my loves, you completed me that Father’s Day and every Father’s Day for all time.

- Written by a 3x Gladney dad, Dwight Richmond

Family Friday

We have matches to announce!! Congratulations to the excited families! We hope your paperwork goes smoothly and quickly!



Help us congratulate them by liking and sharing this post.

Andy {Taiwan}

Are you ready for some baby boy cuteness in your day. Prepare to lose your heart!



Meet Andy! He will celebrate his 1st birthday next week! Wouldn't a family be an amazing birthday gift for him?!



This sweet little guy is on medication for seizures and they appear to be well controlled.

He is crawling and can sit unassisted. He loved watching himself in the mirror and his expressions were so cute as he made himself laugh. He can pull to a stand with jus a little support.



He vocalizes but was not saying words when we met him in April. He responded to his name and laughed easily.



This baby needs a family! Please contact mary.chapman@gladney.org for more information. Don't forget to join our private Facebook group for pictures and videos we can't share publicly.

Leonard

Leonard's file was completed back in 2016 and he has been waiting for a family since then. He is  now 7 years old. We met him several times, the last time being in October 2016. He is such a handsome little guy! We have requested an update and will let you know when we get new pictures.



Leonard is a quiet, observant little guy. He has cerebral palsy and when we last met him he was learning to walk with a walker. He mostly got around by crawling. I can't wait to get an update and see how he has progressed!



He likes playing with cars and building with blocks. He can use his arms well for fine motor activities. He strings beads and likes to cut paper and draw. He is a great favorite among his teachers because he is so cheerful and compliant. He likes to please adults and smiles when they praise him.



This sweet little guy needs a family! Could he be your son? Please contact us at superkids@gladney.org for more information.