Friday, August 03, 2012

Have You Turned In Your Latest Post Placement Report?

As as reminder, post placement reports are due at three months, six months, and twelve months after placement, and continue annually thereafter. If you have questions or need assistance with your post placement reports, please contact our International Family Services Department.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Monthly Suggested Trainings!

Each month we are going to offer a suggested topic of focus for additional preparation before bringing your child(ren) home from Africa.  We hope these extra resources will help you take one topic at a time and fully prepare your family for adoption, your child's transition, and incorporating African culture into your home.
January - Learn about hair and skin care for your African child
February - Learn about African food and culture
March - Stay current on African news, politics, or country events

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mommy’s Heart Went POP!

Christina Kyllonen (Director of Development, 4-more) and Peter Greer (President, HOPE International) have teamed up to write a children’s story specifically for multiracial families who have been formed through adoption. Our hope is that this book, Mommy’s Heart Went POP!, will help encourage and equip families in their adoption and post-adoption journey.

Adopted children are often referred to as ‘heart-born children’ and with this in mind, the reader watches the mommy’s heart grow bigger and bigger as she prepares to bring her child home. One of our early reviewers commented that this book helps to "bring greater understanding to the depth of love that was reserved for that child by the parent."

Once this book has launched, all proceeds from book sales will go towards adoption grants and orphan care through the Ruby Myles fund, a newly developing branch of 4-more. We think that it is very fitting that a book about adoption be used as a tool to bring more children home to their forever families.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

You are Invited! Coffee Event Benefiting Gladney - Fri. October 15, 2010

Dear Dallas – Fort Worth Gladney Families,

We like to keep you up-to-date on things happening around the Metroplex that are benefitting Gladney – and if you love coffee, you’ll love this. Next month we are honored to partner with Chef’s 4 Kids (our friends who brought us the Pei Wei cookie sale) and Well Coffee to host a BYOM (bring your own mug) event on Friday, October 15th at 8pm at Southside on Lamar in Dallas.

Well Coffee is a part of a Co-Op of roasters from around the U.S. that has been developed to establish direct trade relationships with coffee farms in developing nations from around the world. Through direct trade, they are able to come alongside humanitarian organizations that are already on the grounds in these coffee regions doing great work to better the lives of people there.

The coffee from this event will be coming from the Dominion Trading Company, a direct trade coffee importer that seeks to empower Ethiopian farmers by providing them with improved market access and increased income.

The proceeds from this exciting event will benefit Chef’s 4 Kids and The Gladney Center for Adoption.

Please click the link below for more information and to register:

You won’t want to miss the impressive evening planned including humanitarian aid, coffee, gifts, delectable sweets, networking and music!

Thank you for your continued support

Friday, May 07, 2010

Cookies4Kids and the Gladney Center for Adoption: Changing the World One Cookie at a Time!

Last October, 2009, Chef Eric Justice, Director of Culinary Operations for Pei Wei Asian Diner(that's Eric in the picture with these boys from the Kolfe Boys Orphanage), attended the Gladney Cup Golf Tournament. During the Gala, a Gladney humanitarian aid video was shown and he was inspired to create a new non-profit organization called Cookies4Kids to benefit orphans throughout the world.

In early December, Eric set up a meeting with several of us from Gladney and presented his idea of creating a non profit where chefs can use their culinary skills to help kids throughout the world. We at Gladney were excited about the possibilities and encouraged Eric to move forward. I already had a trip planned to Ethiopia with a team of pediatric heart specialists from Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, TX, so I invited Eric along and he accepted.

Eric has traveled the world tasting food and gathering ideas for the recipes he develops for Pei Wei, so he is a seasoned traveler. One of the reasons for Eric to travel with me was to introduce him to the orphaned and vulnerable children of Ethiopia that live in the government run orphanages and to see the projects Gladney and our donors have supported over the past several years. What the trip did for Eric was to ignite even more, the passion to help these children without a voice. Since Eric was staying at one of the guest houses that families adopting through Gladney use, it was also beneficial for Eric to actually witness families being introduced to their adopted child. He was able to see that having a family to love is a wonderful thing, but because of the enormity of the orphan crisis in Ethiopia less than .004% of the kids would be able to experience the love of a family.

Cookies4Kids’ first project features a decadent double chocolate chunk oatmeal cookie that is being sold in Pei Wei restaurants in Texas and Arizona May 3 through May 16. All proceeds from the cookies will benefit the Gladney Center for Adoption’s humanitarian aid efforts. Now go out and buy a cookie and help a kid.


Saturday, May 01, 2010

Pei Wei + Gladney = Cookies

For a limited time (May 3-16), all Pei Wei restaurants in AZ and TX will be selling Cookies4Kids (Double Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie for $1.00). All proceeds from this promotion will benefit Gladney’s humanitarian aid efforts around the world.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cook Children's cardiac team helps 32 patients in Ethiopia

Scott Brown is now back in the U.S. after an amazing adventure in Ethiopia.  One part of that adventure was serving as the catalyst between the Cook's Childrens doctors and the Ethiopian government to make this mission possible. Please spread this story on your social media sites.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Mekelle here we come …

Belay is at the guest house at 4:45 am with two Gladney social workers and four of our caregivers as we head to the airport. We arrive in Mekelle after our one hour flight and are met by Kaleb (kaa-leb) and Guerre (gur-ray) who run the care center supported by Gladney. We head to the hotel to check in and then to a small “hole in the wall” cafĂ© that has this specialty called Fana. It is a popular place with a line waiting to get in, so we wait our turn, then are ushered in and share the tables with the locals. Fana is an interesting concoction where they bring you three rolls that you tear into small pieces in a bowl with a number on it (you have to remember your number in order to get it back). Belay said the waiters will tear up the bread for me, but looking at their hands I realized my hands were a bit cleaner. When finished tearing up the rolls, you give your bowl and tell the waiter your number and he takes it back to the kitchen for the cooks to toast the bread, put scrambled eggs on it and bring it back to your table. In his hands, he also has a small bowl of hot peppers, onion, tomatoes, and garlic and another bowl of yogurt. You then tell him if you want everything on the bread and eggs, which I did, and he combines it together and stands at your table tossing it all with a spoon. I see the owner going around with a spoon telling the diners they look like they are full and need some help to finish their meal, and then he scoops his spoon in their bowl taking a big bite. This is done so the diners hurry up and eat to free the tables. I am eating as fast as I can, all the time imagining the owner dipping his spoon into my bowl. We get out of there without the owners spoon touching our food, whew!

We head off to the care center to visit the caregivers and kids. It is a very clean, well run center and the children there are precious. I get some time to talk to Kaleb and Guerre and find out more about what Gladney is doing in this community. We have sponsored a mothers-to-mothers group program where 18 women living with HIV/AIDS offer assistance to other women living with AIDS to help cook, clean and care for their babies, through our funding we have also reunited 51 street children with their families and continue to meet with the families to follow up.

We end up at our hotel to watch a soccer game with Arsenal taking on Manchester United (think Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins). The hotel lobby is packed with several TV’s on and there is nowhere to sit.  We are told to go to an auditorium across the street where there are about 20 people watching so we join them. Final score 3 – 1 Man U.


Buttermilk Biscuits …

As I step out of my room, the smell of biscuits and eggs surround me. Chef Eric is cooking breakfast for us and I cannot wait. Marta, one of the workers at the guest house senses that so she brings me a glass of mango juice with two fluffy biscuits and butter. Eric said those were his “test batch” and I thought they passed the test. With the altitude being 7,000 feet, no measuring cups, different ingredients than what you get in the U.S., I was surprised at how he managed to get them to bake just like home. We waited on Belay and then sat down to fresh coffee, buttermilk biscuits, butter (of course), cherry and strawberry jam and scrambled eggs with fresh rosemary, parsley, and goat cheese. One word – awesome!

We then leave to pick up the medical team at the Ghion Hotel. As I said, they have been working night and day and so after working this morning, they are going to visit our foster care centers and do some shopping. A few have already left for their return to Fort Worth, but we pick up 19 of them and need three vans for our outing. We head first to the Gladney Foster Care Centers and I really had to keep my eye on several of them because I do believe if given the chance, they would sneak a few of these kids out with them.

We then leave to go to the Kechene Girls shop. This is the shop Belay set up for the girls who aged out of Kechene to sell the products they make, as well as other products they buy wholesale and then sell in this shop. The items that the team bought mean so much to the support of these young women. We then went to some other shops for more shopping, then to Island Breeze for a burger before Dr. Vincent Tam and Dr. Teresa Holland had to catch their flight. The rest of the team leave Sunday evening, so they will be getting up tomorrow to make the trek to Entoto Mountain.

Belay takes me back to the guest house so I can pack and get up at 4:00 am for my flight to Mekelle. Belay’s day is not over yet, though as he goes to the hospital to check on Tsega, the little boy from Kechene and another child who was admitted today for pneumonia.

So it’s off to bed…


The village elders decide the cost of 8 cows…

Today, Joseph had to travel back to the village where his vehicle hit and killed the one cow and injured seven others. The proceedings started out in the morning and I inquired several times during the day to see what was decided. It is interesting that he is responsible, since we were diving within the speed limit, on a public road and the herd was crossing at night without any visual warning. But when you think about it, we are the trespassers, building a road right through their pastures and their livelihood.

I was supposed to go to Nazret to visit the cattle ranch that Gladney set up for 10 of the young men who aged out of the Kolfe Boys Orphanage, but after the incident last night and being gone 16 hours, I just couldn’t bring myself to it. Eric, Susan, Melanie and I go with Belay to the Gladney Foster Care Centers to visit the children and caregivers. It is hard to leave, but we pull away to head for lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant, the East Dragon. I hope I didn’t build it up to my guests too much, but I wanted Chef Eric to experience Chinese food in Ethiopia. It just sounds strange, doesn’t it? I think he enjoyed it, I know I did.

As we are eating, I get a call from Joseph and the elders decide he should pay 9,000 birr (around $850 USD) for the cattle, but since they slaughtered 7 of them, they give him 2,000 birr back. As he is driving back from the elder meeting with his friend, they drive by the scene of the accident where the dead cow still lays. Several vultures are there feasting on the carcass when one of the vultures flies up and strikes their windshield, totally smashing it. As he is telling me, he just seems defeated. He will find out tomorrow the cost of the damage to his vehicle in which the insurance expired two days before. I failed to mention that he is also still making payments on the vehicle.

After our meal, we are off to the government run orphanages and start with Kolfe Boys. When we arrive, the boys gather around and take us around their home. We see several familiar faces, the ones that most families want to support because they are so outgoing, but that is why we need to have our general scholarship fund because there are others who are very shy, but have such great potential. To highlight one of those boys, I want to introduce you to Daniel. Daniel is very small in stature, probably about 5’2” and always in the background when I would visit. I would try to talk to him, but either because his English was not very good or he didn’t understand my Texas accent, he just would not say much. He was one of the young men we sent to cooking school. They all studied very hard and passed the course and Daniel was one of the boys we saw working this morning at the Gladney Foster Care Center who is cooking for the children in our care. He came up to me with the biggest smile looking the part in his chef jacket. Gladney and our donors have changed another life. I love my job!

We leave the boys and head to Kechene Girls Orphanage where I end up in the infant room holding a crying baby, trying to comfort her. As I am walking around the room noticing many of the beds doubled up with babies, I notice a little guy who is very sick and lethargic. I am trying to ask the caregiver if he has been seen by a doctor when Belay walks in. I can’t tell you how worried I was for this sick baby. Belay asked the director and she said they didn’t have the money to take him to the hospital, so Belay, Eric, Susan, Tsega (the baby), his caregiver and I head off to the hospital. There is no one in the waiting room, but we continue to wait for over an hour. I later find out that the doctor was on her way in a taxi. If you are wondering why a hospital would not have a physician there 24 hours as day, it is because that is the reality as the doctor shortage continues to impact this country. After several tries, they finally get an IV of glucose and antibiotics pumping into his little body. As we leave the hospital, I am once again reminded of how Belay’s days are planned out, but many times take a totally different path. Did I mention flexibility is the key to sanity here?


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Off to Gunchire and Kidmia…

I am up early as we are planning to leave for Gunchire around 7:30 am. Aschalew is very prompt as he, Abel (an employee of Kidmia) and Joseph (our driver) arrive on time. We head for the Ghion to pick up Melanie Tam and then we are off, … we are off, I said we are…. waiting in traffic for about 45 minutes just to get out of Addis. Joseph is driving a 4 wheel drive to navigate the roads once we get about 2 hours outside of the city when we hit the 1 ½ hours of dirt roads to get to our destination. This is all fine and good, but no air conditioning, which means the windows down, which means sitting in exhaust as you wait. Oh well, it is only a distant memory now, cough, cough, hack, spit.

Since we are on the road for so long, we get to learn more about our fellow travelers. Joseph is early 30’s with a new baby boy that is 6 months old, Abel is late 20’s who is single, and Aschalew is a charismatic mid to late 30’s with a wife, Hirut and 4 year old son, Fikir. We enjoy our ride as we dodge sheep, goats, dogs, donkeys, people, taxis, trucks, it feels like we are part of a video game trying to not hit or be hit by anything. We finally arrive at the Kidmia Mahiber Transitional Care Center and are greeted by Tesfaye, the Director. He shows us around the beautiful 12 acre grounds; the tract of land where they had just harvested the wheat, the chicken coup with 30 or so chickens, the two cows, the horse for the cart which is used to make trips to the village… it is all pretty amazing. The most amazing thing though was seeing the children and how well they are doing. Aschalew was telling me that the local government is very pleased with the work that Kidmia is doing and really like the concept, because there are none other in the southern region like it. It is a holistic ministry whose purpose is to transition the children into their birth families by providing a sustainable means to raise them (giving chickens or sheep to raise so they can be sold and the proceeds used to feed, clothe and care for their children). If the biological families are deceased, then a local family from the church will step forward to adopt the child using the same sustainability model. The third option is international adoption (through a agency other than Gladney, of course, because that would not look appropriate with my involvement in both). And lastly, to improve the conditions of their home so that when they do stay there, they are loved, nutured, well cared for, etc.

We spent too much time there, but it was hard to leave. We got on the road and it started getting dark. Remember those objects I mentioned we were dodging on our way there? Well this is what happened:


Yes, we hit a herd of cattle around 7:00 pm. It was a miracle no one was hurt, but the damage was one dead cow and 7 other injured. This was in the middle of the countryside, cell coverage in and out, local villagers coming out of the woodwork – total pandemonium. There were two boys herding the cattle and I think they saw the vehicle coming so they tried to rush them across the highway. Joseph was driving very safely around 45 mph, otherwise it could have been more serious. Joseph, thought he might have hit the boys and literally got sick on the side of the road. The local militia finally showed up about the time Solomon and Belay came to pick us all up. The vehicle was impounded, and we were finally on our way home three hours later. What a close call, I slept the best since I have been here that night.

More to come….


Friday, January 29, 2010


I am up this morning working while the internet and power is on, you never know when it will go out so you work while you have the chance. I have a lunch meeting with Abiy, one of Gladney employees who started out with us in the beginning of this program. He is a very hard working, dedicated employee and I appreciate him and what he has helped us get accomplished here.

He takes me back to the office and I meet with Anbes, Gladney’s Humanitarian Aid Director, and Yemamu, the young man who helps him. Anbes is telling me that we have 65 more orphans who need assistance in our scholarship program, which will come to another $5,000 per month that he has asked me to try to raise. Anbes also has several other projects that he is going to write a proposal to submit to me about a bread/injera making business. He hopes to send several of the orphans to pastry school and upon graduation, set up this business to sell to the Gladney Foster Care Centers as well as the three government run orphanages.

We leave the office for a quick walk across the street and behind an alley to a hairdressing shop run by one of the Kechene girls. It is a small shop with 4 chairs, but it is bustling with clients. She has 4 workers working for her and Gladney just bought additional equipment so she could expand her clientele. One of the stipulations we put on her by providing the equipment is that she can only hire Kechene girls to work for her. There is a new retail/office building being built and she already has negotiated for space in it. Another example of the potential of these older orphans who are ageing out of the orphanages. Sadly, most end up on the streets.

I have a very pleasant dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant with Aschalew, Hirut – his wife, and Fikir – his 4 year old son. They drive me back to the guest house and I am off to bed.


Back in Addis…

Surprisingly, I slept through much of the music last night as I caught a break around 10 minutes until 11:00 pm when there was complete silence. I didn’t know if I was dreaming or not, until the music started back up 10 minutes later at midnight – SNAP, as my daughter Yordee would say (I think this is her way of really saying the “S word” without really coming out and saying it, although I will come clean with you and admit, I was really thinking the hard core “S word”).

I was up at 4:00 am to get ready for the flight back home. As I opened the bathroom door (remember, that smell I told you about yesterday?), it really got me going. Maybe there’s something to this putrid aroma as I was ready in no time flat.

We drove back to the orphanage to pick up the most beautiful little girl named Maria to take her back to Addis with us. We then made it to the airport only to have our flight postponed. I was told that because of the Ethiopian airline crash that crashed in Beirut the day before, that Ethiopian Air was being extremely cautious, thus the delay. We left about an hour and a half later and arrived in Addis driving straight to the office for the weekly staff meeting.

There were still families in town who were leaving that evening, so we met them for lunch at the Island Grill. No you may think I said “Island”, but I really said “Is-Land”. That’s right “is” before “land”. A friend of mine and I were trying to find this place a week ago and I realized I was saying the name all wrong, so no one knew what I was talking about. I had the best burger I have ever had in all of my entire visits to Ethiopia. This was not the meatloaf burgers that Ethiopians like to serve, it was a double decker, with a soft bun (another non-trademark of an Ethiopian burger), with BBQ sauce, bacon and jalapenos. I could tell you more, but I now realize this does not have the significance to you as it does me so let’s move on.

I left there for a meeting with Aschalew (Addis Director of Kidmia) @ 2:00, Pastor Tsadiku (a converted Muslim extremist) @ 3:00; Zahara (one of Gladney’s incredible social worker) @ 4:00, go with Belay to see Trhas (another one of Gladney’s incredible social workers who just had little Lidete) around 5:30, then to meet the Cook Children’s medical team for pizza. They have been so busy while they have been here that I really haven’t gotten to spend much time with them. Melanie Tam, wife of Dr. Vincent Tam, will be going to Gunchire with me tomorrow morning so that is 7 hours on the road that she and I can visit.

More to come…


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gondor trip

It has been several days since I updated this blog, partly because of internet access but mostly because I have been going day and night without much time to write.

I had one of those sleepless nights where you keep looking at the clock and like 5 minutes has gone by since the last time you peeked. I just knew I was going to oversleep, but I didn’t. I just got up 30 minutes before I had to and started getting ready.

Belay and I left the house a little before 4:00 am to go pick up Faskia, Seme and Aschalew for the flight. It was an uneventful one and we arrived a little after 9:00 am. We went to check into our hotel and then to the orphanage we support which was about 40 minutes away. The orphanage was well run and the kids looked great. There were vegetable gardens, milk cows, training in woodworking and sheet metal as well as beekeeping. The products they make are used first for the orphanage itself and then any excess is sold to the public. We spent most of the day there, then went back to our hotel around 3:00 to freshen up and then tour the Gondor castles and have dinner.

The castles were beautiful and the history behind them is astonishing. When we finished the tour we went to a restaurant at the top of hill with an incredible view of the city. I think the altitude took away my appetite, so I just had my Ambo and Coke (and no, Ambo is not whisky it is sparkling water). As the others were finishing up their meal, I noticed Cameroon and Egypt were playing in the African Cup so I went in to watch the last 40 minutes or so of the game. Belay and the others were soon behind me. It was a close game and ended 3 – 1 in favor of Egypt with Ahmed Hassan from Egypt scoring three times including the only goal scored for his opponents.

We then drove back to our hotel and as I checked into my room, I realized that my windows were next to a bar which was playing music at around 100 decibels, about the sound of a normal American rock band. All this after the previous sleepless night, I wonder aloud – WHY ARE THE SLEEP GODS MOCKING ME!!!

That little distraction seemed miniscule when I walked into my bathroom and was hit with the raw sewage smell that we visitors to 1 star hotels know all too well. I held my breath as I quickly brushed my teeth, then went off to bed to the blaring sound of traditional Ethiopian music, ahhhhhh….zzzzzzz.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Adventure in Ethiopia

I am feeling much better, but still stayed in bed until 9:00. Joanna was on her way to church so she decided to leave a little early and I would drive us to the guesthouse where several of our families are staying. I decided to drive and before I pulled out of the drive, Travis told me to watch out for the corner of the raised porch. While pulling out, you have to get as close to the porch as possible making a very sharp turn after you pass it to get the vehicle out. I did this and was very focused on not hitting the porch, but Travis did not mention the out building behind the house so I backed right into it. Fortunately, there was no damage other than a small mark on the building and one on the bumper.

I got to the guesthouse and then we left to meet Belay, three of the caregivers and about 15 of the older kids from our foster care at Bongo’s. This is an arcade with several rides and games in the Edna Mall. I was so surprised to see how well behaved the kids were and how well they care for each other. The kids had a great time and “bought” watches, pencils, bracelets and other items with the tickets they won. Afterward, Belay bought the kids ice cream cones. It was a Kodak moment to be sure.

I then went with Eric and Susan to visit Kolfe Boy’s Orphanage. I called John, one of the young men from the orphanage, to make sure he would be there. We arrived and went immediately to the dirt field to see the boys play football (our soccer). We toured the orphanage and got to talk with many of the boys as they practiced their English. As we were leaving, one of the boys had his finger in the door as it closed. The only way we knew it was in the door was seeing the finger inside the car. He didn’t scream, flinch, grimace – nothing. We tried to get Beki, our driver, to ask him to let us take him to the hospital because it had broken the skin at the nail, and he replied, “they are our guests, why would I make them do that?” Susan and Eric went to the pharmacy to get antiseptic and band-aids and they'll meet back up with Anbes tomorrow to make sure he is fine.

Off to Gondor tomorrow, wake up call at 3:00 am so off to bed.


Saturday, January 23, 2010


I wondered why I was so tired the night before; it was because I had the beginning stages of food poisoning! I haven’t said much about the water being off several days a week, but it so happened that the water was off. Travis and Joanna have a tank that holds extra water, but when it is out you have no water at all. You never know when it will come back on, so you conserve as much as you can by not flushing the toilet, taking a shower, or washing your hands, etc.

I stayed in bed for about 18 hours, but then decided to wash my hair and bathe. The water was still off and so I had to do this with a cold bucket of water. Needless to say it was a quick bath. I stayed in bed sleeping most of the time until 7:00 when Beki, one of the drivers, picked me up to go to the airport to pick up Eric and Susan. Eric is the Executive Chef for Pei Wei and was at the Gladney Gala and the Gladney Cup in New York last October. He was so moved by the humanitarian aid Gladney does, he flew from his home office in Arizona to Fort Worth to meet with us. I told him about this trip and asked if he would like to come, so here he is.

I got back to my room at 10:00 and went straight to bed.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday in Ethiopia

I met with the Addis director of Kidmia, Aschalew early this morning, and then went over to sit in on a birth family meeting with one of our adoptive families. Those meeting help to give closure to the birth families and allow the adoptive parents the opportunity to ask questions about their child’s background, but are so emotional.

I then walked over to the Kidmia office and Aschalew and I went to pick up Dr. Siu for a quick lunch, since Dr. Siu had a lecture to give in an hour. I then caught a taxi to Kolfe Boy’s Orphanage to meet up with the families. So much has been done there since my first visit about three years ago. I don’t think families realize how bad the conditions were before. What was really encouraging was walking into the resource library and seeing the boys using the Rosetta Stone English programs and the computers we bought. It was good to see all the boys, especially John, who is now at Addis Ababa University. He is such an intelligent young man and has so much potential. We then went to Kebebe Tsehay Orphanage where I was able to see Yordanos, the little boy who has cerebral palsy and is deaf and blind as well. Gladney had a couple of physical therapists from Duke University come and train Alex, a young man I met several years ago. Gladney hired Alex to work with Yordanos and the results have been incredible. This was a boy who stayed in his bed nearly 24 hours a day because the caregivers did not have the time to see about him. He is now sitting up and eating by himself and his hands and feet are nearly straight.

Our final stop was Kechene Girl’s Orphanage. During the visit I told Belay that I only remembered a handful of girls there. He reminded me that Gladney had placed over 60 girls, so the ones I previously knew now had families in the U.S. I was able to visit with Sophia, the director who previously was the director at Kebebe Tsehay orphanage. She is a very special lady who loves the kids in her care so much.

Belay and I then went to pick up Dr. Siu for a nice dinner, then I was home and straight to bed.


Day 5 in Ethiopia

Dinner last night with the families was a real eye opener for me. Not only does Gladney have quality families, they can do the eskista pretty well too. I think Travis has been practicing this dance in the mirror along with his Michael Jackson moves. He was pretty good! (Future traveling families – note to self, start practicing!)

I have to tell you a story Travis told me after we witnessed a car accident today. As both drivers got out of the car to view the damage, I asked Travis what would probably transpire.  He told me of his accident where his back tire clipped the front bumper of a lady’s car while he thought she was stopped as he was turning onto the street in front of our office (but really she ran into his SUV).  If you dawdle too long and someone doesn’t offer resolution in the form of money to pay for the damages of the other person’s car, the police come, chalk the tires, take their time, and then the whole thing ends up going to court. This happened in this case and so Travis, using Emamu as his translator, went to court. Before going, Travis asked Belay what he thought would happen in court and Belay told him that he would probably have to pay something like $40 or $50 USD. They get to court and after a long drawn out proceeding, Travis does end up having to pay some ridiculous amount. As they were walking out, he asked Emamu what the prosecutor and judge were saying all that time and Ememu proceeds to tell him that the judge was threatening to send him to prison for one year! I don’t think Travis will ever trust Belay again.

I really have been joking and telling you about Travis and his accidents, and I am feeling real bad about that - honestly he really is a very cautious driver. For those of you who have been to Addis, you never know when someone stops their car in the middle of the highway right in front of you or a pedestrian walks out in front of you without looking or decides to make a three point u-turn right in front of you.  What I like the most is when the truckers put those big rocks on the highway when their truck is broken down (similar to what we do with flares or cones, only more dangerous if you hit one).

Since I feel guilty about what I have secretly been telling you, because no one here in Ethiopia (including Travis) has access to blogs, I came clean with my writings to Travis last night.  He pulled the “I did have a brain tumor” line, so I should cut him some slack. I had to agree with him on that one.

Today is Friday and I am meeting with Aschalew, the Addis Director of Kidmia (see a really cool video at Kidmia is an organization that a group of Gladney dads and myself are on the board. I am looking forward to finally getting to visit with him in person. I am then going to sit in on a birth mother interview with Fasika, one of Gladney’s caseworkers and in the afternoon, I will be going with the families to visit the three government run orphanages Gladney and our donors help support.

As far as the saga of Odee, you know that Ambien I brought with me to help me sleep?… ‘nouf said.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Selam no

Selam no - (the standard greeting in Ethiopia inquiring if you are at peace),

It was really special seeing all the children Wednesday (yesterday) with their families at the coffee ceremony then at lunch. A total of 11 families are here picking up their children. We started the day driving to foster care center #1 and by around 10:15 or so all families were present. This is the time the “special mothers” (a term used for the primary caregiver of the children in our care) get to say their goodbyes to the children being placed with their families. The families are able to tour the care centers also, as they are within walking distance of each other, and see the bed that their child actually slept in while in our care. It is pretty emotional for some of the families, knowing that when they received the referral call, their child was being loved on by the caregivers in the very room they are standing.

A fact that many of you might be aware - many of Gladney’s caregivers are orphans themselves who grew up at Kechene, the government run girls orphanage. They receive training by our nurses on staff and have such a special bond with the children in their care, because they too are orphans and can empathize with these children.

We then left the care center to have lunch together at Top View restaurant. The time the families spend together is the start of lifelong friendships for many, and they seemed to enjoy themselves as they waited for their meals to arrive. We finished the meal and the families departed for shopping, touring the city, or just going back to their guesthouses for rest.

Belay and I then went to the Mother Teresa HIV/AIDS orphanage to meet Sister Marila the Mother Superior who has recently taken that position there. She is very compassionate about the children in her care and wants the best for them. Gladney has placed several children from this particular orphanage and the other Sisters of Charity orphanage at Sidist Kilo (a location in Addis) and I wanted to re-establish and continue our relationship with this special place.

We returned to the office around 5:30 pm and waited for Dr. Siu to call saying he was finished for the day and ready to go to dinner. Dr. Siu has been working really long hours at the Black Lion Hospital, training the two cardiologists there and consulting with patients. He told Belay that the children he has been seeing are so patient and calm while they endure the long wait for their exam. He said he has to continually adjust his western mindset to not keep the patient waiting long - although there are so many things beyond his control. It is inevitable for them to wait because the cardiac echo machines break down, patients present with much more complicated conditions than expected, etc., etc.

Dr. Siu finally called close to 7:00 pm and we headed out to have dinner, and then home around 10:00 pm for a night of rest. This week I am staying at Travis and Joanna’s home and am thankful for their hospitality, although I am about to take their dog, Odee, to the farm if you know what I mean. I don’t know how he timed it, but I am sure it was really funny to him as he would bark like crazy, wait until I would just fall to sleep then go crazy barking again. This happened ALL NIGHT LONG……. I think Joanna had the same night because she asked me if I heard Odee last night too. She finally got up and went outside in the middle of the night, only for him to stop barking (I just know he was snickering to himself).

This morning, Thursday, we went with the families to the Holy Trinity Church and Belay gave us a guided tour. This is the church where the memorial to Belay’s father and 59 other government and military leaders were executed during the beginning of the Derg occupation. As I was listening to Belay, it made me so much more appreciative of what a humble and faithful man he is and how thankful Gladney is to have him as our representative in Ethiopia.

Belay and I then went for a quick lunch so we could make the 1:00 Embassy appointment with all the families who are having their child’s visa interview. We all arrived at the appointed time and then about an hour later another group of families arrived from another agency. Boy was I glad that wasn’t the Gladney group. They had to move their appointments until today because the Embassy closed for Timket the day they were supposed to have their interviews. I made the comment that it really was pretty calm with all those families and children waiting in that hot room for so long. I just love how the government works. BTW – sometimes I can be a little sarcastic if you can’t tell. We finished up a little after 3:00 pm and headed back to the office to work until the 8:00 pm Ethiopian dinner and traditional dance show tonight with all the families. I can’t wait to see Belay get up to dance tonight!

More to come tomorrow…

P.S. – Travis and Joanna, if you read the part about taking Odee to the farm – just kidding :) He and I are getting to be very good friends, especially the night he somehow managed to open my door in the middle of the night and join me for a night's rest.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scott Brown Reporting from Ethiopia

I arrived in Addis last Sunday and flew in with Dr. Benjamin Siu, the cardiologist from Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth who is heading this first of many trips by the cardiology department at Cook. The rest of the team will arrive on Saturday, 22 in all.

We flew on the same flight with a Gladney couple here to pick up their child. Travis Norwood, Gladney's Ethiopia Incountry Representative, picked us up at the airport and no sooner had we gotten home, we turned around and went back to the airport to pick up another 5 couples who were picking up their children.

On Monday, we had an early start to go to the foster care centers and unite several children to their forever parents. I spent the afternoon with Belay Tafesse, Gladney Incountry Representative, and around 5:00 pm we stepped outside to see the main street full of thousands of people celebrating Timket, which is a celebration of the baptism of Jesus. There were men carrying red carpet on wooden carriers who would run ahead of the replica of the Ark of the Covenant, lay the carpet down on the street, run back with the empty carrier to roll and pick up the carpet that the Ark had crossed, and run it back in front of the procession. There were groups of people wearing the same color t-shirts that Belay said could have been in Bible study groups together or some other group, probably from a church. At times, the throng of people would stop in the street, clap their hands and the women would dance in a circle all the time singing their praises to God. Words cannot really capture it all. We were told that on Tuesday, the actual day of Timket, many of the roads would be blocked off, so Travis and I headed out early Tuesday morning to place two more children with their families. That part of my job never gets old and I am thankful for the opportunity I have to be involved in the very small way to see families join with their children.

Since I went through the three day hassle of getting my driver’s license last April (not because I wanted to draw out that process, it just takes that long to wait in the lines and go to the different offices to get everything done), Travis decided it was time for me to show him my skills on the Addis roads. A little known fact:  there are more traffic accidents and deaths by vehicle per capital in Addis than anywhere in the world. I am sure the Ethiopia tourism department doesn’t put that in their travel brochures. I did well, no close calls and didn't hit anyone. If you haven't been to Addis yet, you need to ask Travis how many kids and dogs he hit in his first three months of driving here. I think he may have set a record.

Speaking of Travis, I have to say that he is a master at juggling schedules and I know how hard everyone here, as well as in Gladney's Fort Worth office works, but I am in awe of how he keeps everything coordinated. Not sure if anyone back home really thinks about it, but the whole Ethiopian team works 7 days a week many times as well as holidays so families can have the opportunity to adopt. In fact, Travis was at the airport twice Sunday (there till around 10:00 pm) three times Monday and once Tuesday as well as making sure the families get their children when they decide they want to take placement. It was pretty remarkable to see him in action. I mention Travis because he is the one I have spent most of the last few days with, but Joanna Norwood, Jana and Michael Funderburk are right there in step with Travis. I know we have an incredible team in Fort Worth because I see them at work every day, but the last few days has reminded me that we have such dedicated people here in Addis from Belay, Joanna, Travis, Michael and Jana to all the caregivers, attorneys, doctor, social workers, etc....

I now feel like I am making this post into a book so I will start to close. Tomorrow will be an exciting day as all 10 families will gather at one of the foster homes to enjoy the coffee ceremony, then off to Top View for lunch. I am looking forward to seeing all the children with their families tomorrow.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Calling All Artists!

Have a little artist in your home? Here's their chance to make their mark. Knowing that children have endless visions of sugar plums and candy canes, Gladney is looking to its "babies" to design its annual holiday card. Budding artists can submit cover art, the inside verse . . . or both!

Entry form.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Gladney Family Association in Florida

We are thrilled to announce that we have just officially established a South Florida GLADNEY FAMILY ASSOCIATION! This is a very exciting time and we would love to have you as a member.

Participating in the South Florida GFA is a wonderful way to meet other adoptive families, share your experiences throughout the different stages of adoption and have fun! As you are well aware, adoption touches all aspects of family life. That is why GFA membership may include grandparents, adult adoptees, friends (adoptive families through other agencies) or members of the community who are supporters of adoption. We are planning our Kick-Off event on Saturday, August 29th (location & time TBA) so please SAVE THE DATE! The dues to join are only $40 per year and the next dues will not be collected until January 1st, 2011, so if you sign up now, you will receive 18 months for the price of 12! You will then be included in every quarterly event we are planning this year as well as the South Florida GFA directory. Once you sign up, we will contact you personally to share more information about our Gladney Family Association. Don't hesitate to contact us directly if you have any questions!

We are looking forward to meeting you personally in the near future.

Join today!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

SuperKids in Ethiopia

Gladney is so excited that Kelly Mortellite and Keely O'Dell will be volunteering their time this summer in Ethiopia as part of SuperKids. Both Kelly and Keely are physical therapists who have a passion for helping children!

Follow their journey through their blog.

Join the SuperKids cause!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Gladney Center for Adoption's Ethiopian Medical Mission Trip

The Gladney Center for Adoption and doctors from Cook Children's Hospital traveled to Ethiopia to provide medical care to children living in orphanages. Watch this heartwarming adventure. For more information about how you can help children, please log onto

View the video!

Monday, May 04, 2009

2009 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces List

Each year, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption announces a list of employers with the best adoption benefits in the nation. Rankings are based on the amount of financial reimbursement and paid leave for employees who adopt. Honorees include the top 100, the top ten by size and the top five in each industry.

America's Top Ten

1 Wendy's International, Inc.
2 Citizen's Financial Group, Inc. / RBS Americas
3-TIE Liquidnet
3-TIE LSI Corporation
3-TIE United Business Media LLC (UBM)
6 Subaru of America, Inc.
7. Bowen Engineering Corporation
8. Timberland
9. Barilla America
10. Time Inc.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fort Worth doctors, adoption agency team up in Ethiopia

Adoption officials say they see a new trend emerging. "Before, families adopted to grow their families," Lanter said. "With Ethiopia, a lot of churches have gotten involved, and many feel called to adopt through this country to help these people. People are now adopting for a new reason — for a humanitarian reason."

read more digg story

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Procedures to Immigration Visa

Gladney has received information from the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia about new procedures related to immigration visa processing which will affect adoption agencies who are currently working in Ethiopia. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) wants to ensure that immigrants coming into the United States do not have active tuberculosis (TB). Therefore, all children adopted from Ethiopia (or any other country) by Americans must be screened for active TB, and any children who have active TB must complete 6 months of medical treatment prior to being issued a U.S. visa by the U.S. Embassy.

Gladney’s procedure has been and will continue to be for children to be seen by Gladney’s full-time pediatrician prior to referral. If a child is displaying symptoms of TB, the child’s condition is further evaluated by the pediatrician in order to determine if the child has active TB. If a child has active TB, the child begins 6 months of medical treatment, and Gladney waits to refer the child until after that treatment is completed.

Please click on this link to review the information from the U.S. Embassy regarding the new procedures related to active TB:

Based on this information from the U.S. Embassy and Gladney’s procedures, it is Gladney’s understanding that this change will not cause delays for our adoptive parents. If we are made aware of information indicating the probability of delays in immigration visa processing, we would notify all adoptive parents in the Ethiopia Program in order to keep you updated.

In addition to this change in procedures related to TB, the U.S. Embassy announced a new schedule for adoption agencies’ Embassy appointments (the interviews that adoptive parents complete at the U.S. Embassy while in Ethiopia). Previously, each adoption agency had one scheduled Embassy interview day per week (Gladney’s Embassy interviews were every Wednesday), and the U.S. Embassy could process a maximum of 10 children’s visas per agency per week (totaling a maximum of 40-50 children’s visas per agency per month, depending on if a month has 4 or 5 weeks). According to the U.S. Embassy’s new schedule, each adoption agency now has one scheduled Embassy interview day every other week (Gladney’s Embassy interviews are now every other Wednesday), and the U.S. Embassy will process a maximum of 10 children’s visas per agency every other week (totaling a maximum of 20-30 children’s visas per agency per month, depending on if a month has 4 or 5 weeks).

Based on this information, Gladney’s in-country staff will be evaluating the number of adoptive families that they can reasonably host at a time (coordinating drivers, facilitating birth parent/relative meetings, coordinating cultural activities, and trying to make the trip as positive an experience as possible for adoptive families). Previously, adoptive parents traveled 2-4 weeks after their adoptions were finalized by the courts in Ethiopia (depending upon the day of the week that families’ adoptions are finalized, the # of families who are approved in court at any given time, the # of families that the Embassy can process at a time, and the # of families that our in-country staff can reasonably host at a time). The time period in between the court date and families’ travel dates is required for our in-country representatives to obtain the court decree from the courts, your child’s Ethiopian birth certificate, your child’s Ethiopian passport, and a U.S. Embassy appointment. Based on the U.S. Embassy’s new schedule, we expect that adoptive parents will typically travel 2-5 weeks after their adoptions are finalized by the courts in Ethiopia (again depending on the factors listed above). We will continue to keep adoptive parents updated on current time frames on the monthly conference calls.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Frank Garrott's Travel Journal

Frank Garrott, Gladney's Chief Operating Officer (COO), is on a journey to Rwanda, Ethiopia and Nepal. Frank is traveling with Scott Brown, Gladney's Executive Vice President, and Tom DiFilipo, President and CEO of JCICS. Their agenda includes a number of meetings with key officials in each country to encourage an openness in intercountry adoption as well as visiting orphanages. While out of the country, Frank will be reporting on his journey.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Meet Gladney's Ethiopia In-Country Facilitators

Ethiopia Meet & Greet
Gladney Center for Adoption

Date: March 20, 2008

Time: 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. (Come & Go)
Location: Gladney Center for Adoption
363 Seventh Ave, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10001

Please come and meet Gladney's In-Country Facilitators, Ryan & Abby Brown

RSVP: 888-811-3406 or
Gladney Center for Adoption
363 Seventh Ave, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10001

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bright Futures Camp - Ethiopia

Open Your Hearts and Homes!

It is Gladney's hope that the annual "Bright Futures Camp" will increase awareness for the need for international adoptive parents and help children around the world. The mission of the camp is to build positive awareness of international adoption and increase awareness of the many more children in orphanages needing permanent homes.If you are interested in making a difference in a child's life, please check out

Friday, October 19, 2007

Somali - Eritrean tension

There have been reports coming out of Ethiopia concerning the Somali - Eritrean tension. Remember that Ethiopia is about twice the size of Texas and that most of these incidents are taking place in the outer districts (near the border) and are being provoked by non Ethiopian citizens. Also remember our media is in the business of sensationalizing events in order to whet the appetite of the American public, after all when was the last time you saw something positive about an African country?

Scott Brown, our Executive Vice President is traveling to Ethiopia the end of October for nearly three weeks and will be traveling to Gunchire which is about 3 ½ hours southwest of Addis. Also remember that Gladney has an American couple on staff in Addis who have been stationed there since November 9, 2006 and another American couple traveling the middle of November, 2007 to assist you with your travels and adoption. Gladney does not feel any hesitancy in those couples fulfilling their duties in Ethiopia at this point. This is not to say that things can’t or won’t change, but we see no reason to be alarmed at this point. The State Department has a website to inform interested parties of situations occurring in-country. At this writing, Ethiopia is not even on the list. If you would like to monitor the State Department site for information, go to .

As a Gladney family, please rest assured you will be kept informed of circumstances which may affect your travel, your adoption or the well being of your child through information we obtain from our “feet on the ground” in-country and through our friends in the U.S. government.

For the orphans of Ethiopia,
The Ethiopian Program Team

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Just $75 bucks!

A pair of shoes. A round of cocktails. An evening at the movies.

It’s so easy to blow through $75, but did you realize you could actually give another human being the gift of hope, mobility and freedom?

The company of one of Gladney's families adopting from Ethiopia was offered the special opportunity to write and produce a 60 second commercial for a non-profit group called the Wheelchair Foundation. This incredible organization provides FREE, high quality wheelchairs to people around the world who've lost use of their legs but are simply too poor to even purchase a wheelchair. Imagine, in today's day and age, over 100 million people worldwide literally crawling on the ground to get from one place to the other. Shocking, but sadly, quite true.

This new commercial will be airing on TV and the hope is it will make it's way across the internet (so please feel free to post on your blogs and spread the word. If you can’t get this to play, we have it on You Tube). There are so many ways to give to others, but what we love about this organization is how one gift of just $75 will give another person a lifetime of mobility -- something we so easily take for granted. (And if money is tight, you can do payments as low as $7.50 a month!)

THIS SPECIFIC COMMERCIAL is tagged with a unique 800# (800 584-0796) that will track and ensure ANY DONATIONS via this specific 800# will provide free wheelchairs specially for those in need in ETHIOPIA. So PLEASE call the number once you watch the commercial and buy someone a wheelchair. Make sure you order from the 800# so we can track how many chairs go specifically to Ethiopia. If you order from the website, you'll still be donating to a wonderful cause, but your donation won't necessarily be earmarked for Ethiopia.

Over the coming weeks you can get updates on Drew and Carey's blog to reflect how many wheelchairs for Ethiopia have been generated to date.

Watch the video!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Young Ethiopians Looking for Hope in America

Read the article published in Hood County News, Granbury, TX on August 1, 2007.

Young Ethiopians Looking for Hope in America

Friday, August 03, 2007

An Important Message From the CDC

Over the past month the CDC has received several reports of cases of Hepatitis A associated with recent adoptions from Ethiopia. Hepatitis A is caused by the Hepatitis A virus and is spread in feces. Children will generally not show symptoms but can easily spread the disease to others. The condition is generally more serious in adults and has been documented in a number of recent adoptees and their new family members.

This situation has served to highlight the range of travel related health issues families need to consider associated with all international adoptions. Anyone traveling to pick up the child should visit a health-care provider or travel medicine specialist as soon as travel is considered to ensure that all routine vaccinations are up to date and to obtain pre-travel advice tailored to their own medical history. Health consultations should also be considered for any additional family members not traveling as well as caretakers to ensure that they too are up to date on relevant immunizations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has several resources available to the public that may be of assistance to you as potential adoptive parents.

  • Travelers’ Health Website contains a wealth of information on health issues pertaining to international travel including information on destination countries, recommendations regarding immunizations, and Travel Notices such as the one recently posted regarding hepatitis associated with adoptions from Ethiopia ( ).
  • Health Information for International Travel 2008 ( aka The Yellow Book), is a compilation of CDC recommendations and general information tailored to travelers. It includes sections that specifically discuss international adoption ( as well as traveling with children. The Yellow Book is available on line as part of the Travelers’ Health website and in hard copy.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ethiopia and Coffee

It is said that coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia over 1000 years ago. The story goes that an Ethiopian shepard named Kaldi noticed that when his sheep ate red “cherries” from a certain green plant that the sheep would become hyper active. He tried the “cherries” himself and found that he received the same effect. The coffee beans were later developed into a drink, and it has been enjoyed in Ethiopia ever since. Nowadays many people drink coffee, in one form or another, on a daily basis. One of the more popular drinks is a Machiatto; about half coffee, half steamed milk, with sugar added. Many households in Ethiopia have daily coffee ceremonies where neighbors gather to socialize and enjoy hand-roasted coffee and popcorn together.

Whether you are a coffee connisseur or not a big fan, tasting Ethiopian coffee is a must and an important part of the cultural experience while in Ethiopia.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Immediate Needs for Orphanages and Foster Care Facilities in Ethiopia

Please have the items you purchase shipped to:

Ethiopia Adoption Program

Gladney Center for Adoption

6300 John Ryan Drive

Fort Worth, TX 76132-4122

  1. Huggies Baby Shaped Diapers Club Case - Size 1 or 2: $34.99 each (no tax or shipping on Use Referral Code: THCE5959 and get $2.00 off the order.
  2. Pamper Baby Fresh Wipes; 616 count; $18.99 (no tax or shipping on
  3. Nestle Good Start Essentials; 25.7 oz. can (case of 6 cans); $77.96 per case (no tax or shipping on
  4. A + D Original Ointment, Diaper Rash and All-Purpose Skincare Formula; 1 lb.; $9.49 on
  5. Purell Hand Sanitizer NXT Refill, 1000ml Item # 2156-08EA $10.95 ea.

Letters 1-4 are of highest importance!

Our Bright Futures registry at Target includes the items above as well as additional items for our foster care facility and Bright Futures Camp kids. All items will be shipped to the Gladney Center.

Link to Registry:

Friday, May 11, 2007

Stuffed With Hugs: Hugs Sweet Hugs!

Gladney Center for Adoption, through the Joint Council on International Children's Services is proud to join with Build-A-Bear Workshop to make bears for children in need of a loving family and to celebrate adoption around the world. We hope to see you on May 19th!

More Information

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Gladney received this thank you from the Ministry of Women's Affairs in Ethiopia for our financial contribution to the recent flood victims in Ethiopia.

P.S. If you look at the date, don't be surprised because it is still 1999 in Ethiopia. They have their millennium celebration on September 11th at which time they will be in the year 2000.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bright Futures Camp 2007

Exciting things are happening this year with Gladney's Bright Futures Camp! We're having three simultaneous camps from July 1 - July 15, 2007. The camps will be in Smithtown, NY, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, and Brenham, TX.

Thirty precious children will have the opportunity of traveling from an Ethiopian orphanage and spending 14 fun-filled days with prospective adoptive families. They range in age from 7 - 11 years old. All of the children have been medically cleared by a U.S. Embassy approved doctor.

If you are interested in sponsoring/adopting one of the children, please fill out the Information Sheet located at

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Listen to the Audio Journal of the Phil Krause Family

On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, FamilyLife Today will air a special "audio journal" of FamilyLife Today's editor, Phil Krause's family as God leads them to adopt two children in Ethiopia. The Krause's were a pioneer family for Gladney. So before or after the turkey, gather the family to listen in and be blessed.

FamilyLife Today Audio

Monday, November 20, 2006

BBC World and BBC Prime

BBC World and BBC Prime will broadcast a program on the current interest in Ethiopian adoptions by U.S. families. Gladney was the only adoption agency the BBC chose for this program. Ryan and Abby Brown, Gladney's Ethiopian In-Country Facilitators, were interviewed today in Addis Ababa by the film crew at Kechene Children's Home, one of the government run orphanages. Another Gladney family, Todd and Darlene Voskuil will be interviewed tomorrow and again on Wednesday when they fly back home. The segment is expected to be aired this Friday evening, November 24th, so if your cable or satellite service carries either one of these stations, please tune in. You might also be able to catch audio portion of the program on BBC World Service or NPR as they will be airing during the next few weeks.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Arrrival in Addis

Our group arrived in Addis very late Monday evening, but had an early Tuesday morning meeting scheduled with a Gladney parent that has lived in Ethiopia over the last 20 years. She and her husband bring such a deep understanding of the culture, political, economic and social fabric of this country. Her husband is a Veterinarian that specializes in camels if you can believe that. His travels take him all over the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. When asked about the current warnings being issued, they say it is the same as in the U.S., if something did happen they want to cover their backs, but they have no concrete evidence that anything is going to occur. They also say that Addis is so far from the border and that the Ethiopian army is the largest in Africa, so for any one group or country to invade would be next to impossible. Please rest assured that all is quiet here.

The weather is beautiful, in the mid 70's and even a little hot at mid-day. Nights are much cooler and Monica and I sleep with a heater since our house is not well insulated.

Gladney's Transitional Care Center is something to be proud of. The children get so much attention and are really getting "fattened up." We held and prayed for each infant at the center and know you all are ready for your journey to end. The staff- to-child ratio is very evident when you walk into the rooms. Know that each child is loved and cared for immensely.

Good news is coming on Kathleen's replacement and you should hear about very soon if you haven't heard already. Ryan, Abby and Enoch get here tonight and will hit the ground running to see that your Gladney adoption experience is the best it can be.

All is well here so I will sign off now.

Blessings on each and every one,

Friday, October 27, 2006

Gladney in the News

The following is a link to the story that ran on the 10 p.m. newscast, Thursday, October 26, on WFAA Channel 8. The story features Scott, Ryan, Abby & Enoch Brown:

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Adoption Assistants

We are very happy to announce that Ryan and Abby Brown have been hired as Gladney employees to assist our Ethiopia program. They will be In-Country Facilitators for Gladney and are leaving for Ethiopia the middle of November. They will both be available by Gladney email. We are so excited to have them on board assisting our efforts in Ethiopia and wish them well!

Their primary goals will be to: (1) Increase awareness and interest in Gladney's Ethiopian adoption program, (2) Serve Gladney's adoptive families before and during travel for placement of their child(ren) and (3) Provide care to orphans in Ethiopia.

From Abby and Ryan: Gladney is committed to the orphaned children of Ethiopia. Do you realize that at the current rate of adoption, only .03% of Ethiopian orphans will be adopted by all families in every country in the world? Because of those staggering statistics, Gladney has asked us to tutor and teach English to the older children so they can have a better chance at being adopted or will have the skills to become gainfully employed when they age-out of the orphanage.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ethiopia Bright Futures Camp

Sunday, September 03, 2006
Mekdes - Available 10 year old girl

Our family hosted a ten year old girl named Mekdes. We were impressed by the level of commitment and care that the personnel at Gladney demonstrated in organizing and executing the 2006 Bright Futures Camp. The staff at Gladney made every effort to prepare the families with the information and insight needed to make the hosting experience a positive one for all concerned. Our entire family has been profoundly touched and inspired by the goodness and compassion of all the wonderful people we have met during the camp. This has been a life-changing experience for our three daughters and ourselves, and one we will never forget.
Mekdes is a shy, bright and strong-willed child. She likes to be called “Ka-CHOO”, which means “skinny” in Amharic. She enjoys physical activities including soccer, running and tag. She likes many types of music and plays well with others. She demonstrates great determination in all that she does. This is evident in her teaching herself to swim in our backyard pool in less than two days time. Mekdes is opinionated and knows what she does and does not like. She understands more English than she speaks and is more comfortable speaking in her native language. Mekdes enjoys being the center of attention. When interested in something she is focused and exhibits strong resolve. Mekdes can be moody and sometimes has to be asked more than once to do something. She is very independent, self-reliant and helpful if asked. Mekdes is a special child who has tremendous potential. We pray that she finds the right forever family to love and be loved.
Please see

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Here's An Easy Way You Can Give

1800Diapers offers cheaper prices for Pampers, Huggies, other diapers, wipes and formula than Wal-mart and Target. And they deliver to your door for FREE with NO sales tax. There's no catch.

On top of that, both you and Gladney can get even CHEAPER prices. If you sign up (either through or calling 1-800-DIAPERS) and give them our email address or Referral Code, you get an extra $2 credit off your first order and Gladney will get a $1 credit EVERY time you order.

This credit will assist us in purchasing diapers for babies in our Transitional Care as well as babies in the orphanages we work with.

Email Address:
Referral Code: THCE5959

Check it out--go to To get your extra $2 credit, make sure you give them our email address or Referral Code WHEN you are signing up.

Thanks for your help!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Summer Camp kids at a pizza party at the Sheraton

Belay, Gladney's In-country Facilitator and Brianna, an orphanage volunteer, were teaching the kids table manners, so they took the kids to the Sheraton for pizza. What a treat for them.

Don’t the boys look great in their jackets and the girls with their hair fixed?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Can You Help?

In the entire world, there is but one priceless commodity that ensures the world's future . . . children. Gladney feels it is important to promote the well being of children and to make their lives better in the process.

When the children attending the Bright Futures Camp - Ethiopia return to their home country in September, they are able to take two bags filled with humanitarian aid back with them. You can help by:

-Purchasing items through Target gift registry
-Purchasing gift card through the Gladney Boutique
-Writing a check made payable to Gladney Center for Adoption (in the memo, designate BFC-Ethiopia)

These donations will provide the needed supplies listed below:

-Infant formula
-Diaper rash ointment
-Baby wipes

Thank you for helping make a difference in a child's life!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Humanitarian Aid Made Easy

There is now an easy way that you can provide humanitarian aid to the Ethiopian orphanages. Gladney has teamed up with Target's Baby Registry. You can purchase the humanitarian aid online and the items will be sent home with the Bright Futures Campers to their respective orphanages. The Registry is under Gladney Ethiopia. To view the list, please click here.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Open Your Heart & Home - Bright Futures Camp - Ethiopia

There are millions of children living in orphanages around the globe. These children will likely never experience the love and nurturing that a forever family can provide. It is Gladney's hope that the annual "Bright Futures Camp" will increase awareness for the need for international adoptive parents and help children around the world. The mission of the camp is to build positive awareness of international adoption and increase awareness of the many more children in orphanages needing permanent homes.

Gladney's Bright Futures Camp - Ethiopia is scheduled for August 2006 in Long Island, NY.
The Gladney Center for Adoption is looking for families to fill various roles during these children's visit to the United States.

Sign Up Today!If you are interested in participating in the camp, please complete a brief Information Sheet that gives you an opportunity to share information about your family.
There are many other ways to become involved in the camp. Help Gladney create bright futures through adoption!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Phil and Christy - Ethiopia

Our hearts are full of joy and gratitude at all that God has done for us. During our trip to Ethiopia, the girls, Christy, and I started memorizing Psalm 139. I was struck by verse three, where David prays, "You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways." The thought that God Himself is searching out our path for us is comforting. We never would have expected to be adopting two precious babies from Ethiopia, but the path that He searched out for us included exactly that.

All our paperwork went very smoothly...a tribute to much diligent work on the part of our adoption agency, the Gladney Center for Adoption. Probably the most difficult aspect of the trip was the trip itself: many long hours on airplanes and in airports. But God gave grace there, too. We stayed healthy the whole time, we fell in love with the people and culture of Ethiopia, and (best of all) we now have two added blessings in our family: Abraham Kirubel and Grace Anne Hermela. Kirubel and Hermela were their given names, which we decided to keep as middle names. The picture was taken the day we picked up Gracie and Abe. The lady in the middle is the director of Abe's orphanage. It was encouraging to see how much they loved the children they care for.