Saturday, August 03, 2013

Gladney Teen Service Trip in Colombia - Day 5

We had a fun day today seeing more of Bogotá. Started off with a great trip for mountain climbing or biking. Super fun!

Beth Whitacre and I both conquered a Colombian mountain face.

Then we had a quick lunch and it was back on the bus to the Salt Cathedral. Very beautiful and a marvel. We even had an added treat of getting to see the two Gladney families currently in Colombia taking placement of their children through Gladney's Colombia Adoption Program. It was wonderful getting to visit with them and meet their kids. 

Part of the tour we actually got to mine for salt.  Hard work!  I would not have been a successful miner. After the salt cathedral we headed back to the hotel for dinner. The traditional Colombian soup is GREAT! 

Now it is off to bed, we are leaving for the airport at 6 am. See ya Monday :-)

Angie Parish

Intake Specialist| Eastern Europe and Latin America

Friday, August 02, 2013

Gladney Teen Service Trip in Colombia - Day 4

Today was super fun. We started off in our classrooms and made crafts.  No "lessons" today. Then we went out for snack/recess time. The kids were all wanting to make more of the lacing craft Beth brought.  They stood in line and we each had a part in the craft, cutting laces, getting the lacing started or just keeping the kids entertained while they waited. After that we headed back to our classes.  

Beth and I surprised our classes with a dance party. We started off with the chicken dance! The kids loved it and so did the teachers. Next we did the cupid shuffle and the macarena (sp?). Then they did a Colombian dance for us it was all so fun.The teachers even commented that usually the kids would be acting up but they were all into it and well behaved. Word got out about our party and the orphanage staff began to stand at the window watching us dance.  They had a great laugh I am sure.

After the dance party we headed to lunch for pizza.  Today one of  the orphanage girls came up and told us "thanks for the pizza'.  Juanita from the orphanage said this is the only time they get pizza.  Once a year,when we come.  To think I was thinking pizza again.  She brought me back to reality. Thanks for pizza anytime ...

After lunch we had a presentation for the kids. They did several dances and dressed in Colombian ponchos and skirts.  It was great.  Then they asked us to perform the chicken dance with them so we did.
This was followed by some moving words from Frank Garrott, Gladney's President, about how we love being with the kids and love Colombia.  

Then it was free play time with the kids until it was time to go.We did get to go to the baby room today and play with them for a bit. Very fun.They are so adorable.

Time to go. The kids ran out of their classrooms and met us with hugs and kisses. It was an emotional time for our kids and for the orphanage kids.  Some were crying, asking us not to leave.  All I could do was give extra hugs and get on the bus.  The ride was quiet.  

Angie Parish
Intake Specialist| Eastern Europe and Latin America

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Gladney Teen Service Trip in Colombia - Day 3

Today began a little rough ...we were given a new driver who wasn't sure what hotel we were at.  He went to the wrong one so he arrived to pick us up and hour late.

After we got to the orphanage we immediately went to our classrooms and got to "teaching".   Today my class did tissue paper fish and then we did a USA puzzle. The kids really enjoyed both but especially the puzzle. They were asking what state we were each from and then pointing to it; asking how to say it etc. 

Lunch was interesting for the teens...white rice (they all loved), a salad of tomatoes, corn and beans and some potatoes with a ranch/alfredo like sauce, and think a pork chop ...with some kind of sauce. Of course I loved it all but the teens seemed a little wary. 

After lunch we went out side to play for the afternoon. Today I brought nail polish.  I think I painted 12-13 sets of nails and some toes.  Beth Whitacre, Intercountry Adoption Caseworker, had her lacing craft which was a big hit and then of course there is always soccer and basketball going on.  Our snack was chocolate chip cookies form the on-site bakery and apples along with some wonderful Colombian coffee. 

Tonight we are headed to Pizza Hut for dinner and then back to the hotel for some needed rest.  The kids at orphanage are full on and want total attention understandably . . .  lots of hugs and a few kisses too. One little guy told me I was a clown -- Joe Smith had to translate for me. It was so fun playing with him on his roller blades, chasing him, spinning him, etc. 

When we leave they all ask are you coming tomorrow. It will be hard to tell them tomorrow is goodbye. REALLY HARD!

Angie Parish
Intake Specialist| Eastern Europe and Latin America

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Gladney Teen Service Trip in Colombia - Day 2

Today we were able to use the money raised by our Gladney babies to provide shoes for the kids at the orphanage we are visiting. What a sight!  ALL the kids in the cafeteria waiting to get a new pair of shoes. They were very excited and so were we! Our Gladney Babies each got a box of shoes and called out a name then that child would come up and the Gladney Baby would hep them with their shoe swap.

It took almost 2 hours to get it all done.  It was worth the time. Then we had another wonderful snack form the bakery -- sort of a bagel with jelly on the inside and juice.  We were also given a tour of the full campus. We went to the preschool area, sleeping quarters for the kids and the bakery. We were also shown a small "store " where the kids of the orphanage get to "buy" things with points they earn for good behavior and academics.

After the tour we went to work in our classrooms.  Today was less academic and more fun with coloring  and paint.  In my first grade classroom we made straw rockets! They were a big hit! Then it was lunch time followed by an afternoon of futbol, basketball, bubbles and such. They even had  a tent we put up to play in.

Tonight we dined at the Corall a good hamburger place and then went to see the new Hugh Jackman movie Wolverine.  Now it's off for some needed rest,  so we can do it all again tomorrow!

Angie Parish
Intake Specialist| Eastern Europe and Latin America

Adoption Stories by Gladney - We are a Gladney Family

Our life-changing decision to adopt our children began in late 2007.  Waiting over four years for a placement is very trying and lonely, but the support, frequent status calls and updates from Gladney helped keep us informed and sane.   Read the entire story at:  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Gladney Teen Service Trip in Colombia - Day 1

The kids met us at the gate with American and Colombian flags.  They were lined up on either side of the road.  It was great to see and I was so glad I had a front row seat.

We all got out and immediately of the vans and the kids started hugging us and wanting us to play with them. We were quickly shown our classrooms and then we got to work. Today's lessons focused on geography and the state of Texas.  Each class had a short lesson on either the state of Texas  -- just recognizing the shape or learning about some of the state's icons. Another lesson was about the U.S, map.  

Break time was a snack of cookies and yogurt as well as some playtime. After that we returned to the classes for fun crafts that we brought. The first grade teacher, Patricia, was wonderful.  Our class did pipe cleaner art and she and the kids loved it. Then we gave a gift of books that we had brought form Texas with the help of Gladney co-workers. 

Patricia loved them and counted out in English with her class the number of books that I brought. It was great! 

Then off to lunch in the cafeteria with the kids. The food was very yummy.  Following lunch we had free play. Gladney brought Frisbees, jump ropes and chalk. The Gladney teens on the trip and the adults all played.

We concluded our first day with a line dance party with the kids --  soooo fun!  I am looking forward to tomorrow we are going to have a great time!

Angie Parish
Intake Specialist| Eastern Europe and Latin America

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Questions about Older Child Adoption

Greetings, this is Angie. Getting to talk with our Colombia placed families always makes my heart smile. Kids of all ages deserve a family. Let us know what questions you have about older child or sibling group adoptions in Colombia.  Email me at  Can't wait to answer your questions!

Photo: Greetings, this is Angie. Getting to talk with our Colombia placed families always makes my heart smile. Kids of all ages deserve a family. Let us know what questions you have about older child or sibling group adoptions in Colombia.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mother of 5 From Colombia Radio Interview

(Click photo to hear interview)

The interview starts out in Spanish but hang in there because it's translated.  
Visit Gladney's Colombia Adoption section for more information on adopting from Colombia.  Also, check out Gladney's A Child to Love website for Colombian children waiting for a forever family.  Are you that family?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Bringing Hope and a Future

Gladney Center for Adoption's Colombia program has a lot going on!

  • Through our regular Colombia Adoption Program, several families are traveling this month to meet their children face-to-face for the first time and go through the adoption process in-country.  
  • Many children have been adding to Gladney's waiting child website - A Child to Love.  
  • Through Gladney's Hope Exchange Program, families have an exciting opportunity to brighten the life of a child living in an orphanage, and experience the culture first hand!  
  • In July, Gladney adoptees will travel with staff to Colombia for a Service Trip.  They will work and play with children living in an orphanage in Bogota, Colombia.  They will also be providing shoes for these beautiful children.
You can help our adoptees raise humanitarian aid funds for their service project by purchasing coffee, tea, or special drinks from the Gladney Ground To Cup coffee store!

How will you get involved?

Monday, April 15, 2013

One Dad's Perspective on Adopting

Gladney's Hope Exchange Program is all about find that one perfect family for that one beautiful child.  While this Camp will be held in Colombia in the Summer of 2014, Gladney has had great success with other camps held in the United States.

Read this dad's story on how they adopted their son from one of Gladney's Bright Future Camps several years ago.  This story was recently published in the Fort Worth Business Press.

Find out more about Gladney's Hope Exchange Program!  Maybe you'll be able to say that this is 'The best thing I have ever done'.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Waiting Children

Right here in the US, and in the countries we work with, there are children waiting to be adopted. At Gladney we are committed to helping find stable, loving homes for as many of these children as possible. Because to us they are not just children waiting to be adopted, each one is special and unique; each one is A Child to Love.

Start your adoption journey by checking out the Adoptable Children on A Child to Love or by creating an account today. Your account will give you access to the many waiting children in Colombia just dreaming of a family to call their own.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

US to Colombia to US

Based on Gladney’s successful US based Bright Futures Camp,the Hope Exchange Camp offers a fun-filled week of camp activities including sightseeing and the opportunity for children awaiting adoption to spend time with a loving prospective adoptive family. Being in Colombia offers some additional benefits to both parents and children. 
By going to Colombia, families can spend more time with their child before placement and have the opportunity to experience Colombian culture first hand –- both of these experiences will help build a strong foundation and bond. Additionally, because the children remain on familiar turf, they experience less culture shock and feel more at ease with prospective parents.
What an exciting opportunity to brighten the life of a child living in an orphanage, and experience the culture first hand!
For planning purposes, families must have submitted their application by February 1, 2014. There is a lot to do, but Gladney has experts to guide you through every step of the process. The first step is to get more information about the camp by contacting Judy Hayes via email or 432.563.3344.  Don't miss this unique opportunity!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Welcome to Gladney's New Colombia Adoption Intern

Every semester Gladney is blessed to have wonderful interns working with us.  They are full of passion and eager to learn about the adoption process.

This semester, we are pleased to welcome Meg into the Colombia adoption program.  Take a look at what she has to say about her first week at Gladney - Day in the Life of a Gladney Intern.