Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year!

Kathryn and Sarah had a lot of fun trying out their new saucer in the snow when we had our blizzard the weekend before Christmas! Mom had fun snapping photos:-) We wish all families a wonderful, healthy and prosperous 2010! May everyone's dreams and goals be realized this next year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Fun!

Whitney enjoyed seeing Santa and asking for some special toys. We also had a wonderful time during our annual trip to see The Nutcracker!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Holidays From James, Kathryn and Sarah!!!

Kathryn and Sarah would like to present you with these cookies and wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Holidays From Megan!!!

And Happy Holiday Season from us at the Gladney Blog! Here is Megan in her holiday finery, sent by her proud mommy, Kris!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Shop at Barnes and Noble this weekend and help Gladney!!!

Barnes & Noble Book Sales to Benefit Gladney

Dear Gladney Friends,

Anyone making a purchase at ANY Barnes & Noble store on Nov. 28-29 can mention promotion code 1007 6420 prior to checking out in the store or café and a portion of the proceeds will go to The Gladney Center for Adoption.

Please let any interested family, friends, and neighbors know!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are Kathryn and Sarah in Prospect Park last weekend riding Marshmallow the Pony at a friend's birthday party.We have had unusually mild weather here in NYC and the park was in its fall glory! Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Barnes & Noble Book Sales to Benefit Gladney

Dear Gladney Friends,

Anyone making a purchase at ANY Barnes & Noble store on Nov. 28-29 can mention promotion code 1007 6420 prior to checking out in the store or café and a portion of the proceeds will go to The Gladney Center for Adoption.

Please let any interested family, friends, and neighbors know!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gladney Educational Training: Transcultural Adoption

Dear Families,

This is a reminder about the next FREE online streaming of one of Gladney’s Educational Trainings. The subject is Transcultural Adoption and will count as your Elective Course. This will be the last streaming of the year.

Date/Time: Thursday, November 19th @ 8:00pm EST/7:00 pm CST

RSVP by going to http://www.adoptionsbygladney.com/html/services/fs_calendar.php.

You will receive an email reminder that sends you to http://www.gladney.org/joinus the day of the training. Once there, you will need to download the quiz to complete after the training and send to your caseworker for credit.

This is streaming not mandatory but if you have not completed your Elective Course we recommend that you take this opportunity to do so.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Whitney Celebrates Halloween

After having tea with one of her favorite characters in Disney World, Whitney decides to dress up as Alice in Wonderland for Halloween!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Ann Is Pretty In Pink for Halloween!!!

Isn't she so lovely and elegant?

Please keep sending in the Halloween photos to sbrueckel@gmail.com or lebonchien@aol.com!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Katie Has A Funtastic Halloween!!!

And these photos from her mom Monica prove it! Note that all 3 girls have the same mermaid costume. No, they did not plan it!

We would love to see more Halloween pictures--please send to either lebonchien@aol.com or sbrueckel@gmail.com. Hope everyone had a great Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Whitney Visits Disney World!

We had a wonderful family vacation to Disney World. Whitney especially loved the princesses and we had a photo opportunity with each one! She wore her Ariel costume for the Magic Kingdom's Halloween bash.

Happy Halloween!!!

We would love to have photos of your children in their costumes to publish on the blog! Please send to either lebonchien@aol.com or sbrueckel@gmail.com. Thanks and Happy Halloween to all!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Journey to Megan!

Mom Kris writes:

In May 2005 after a very difficult year, we decided to begin the journey to bring our daughter home from China. About 8 years earlier, we knew that we would adopt from China after hearing a woman's story about her life as an orphan in what we thought was China. (We just recently found out she's not from China at all!!!) When we started the journey, we fully expected to have our daughter home for Christmas 2006. But, that was not what was meant to be as we started the journey when the wait began extending. No one had ANY idea at the time that we would have to wait almost 3 years to bring our daughter home.

Finally, in February 2008, we saw our most precious Megan MeiLin. She is from Hunan province and was almost 11 months old when she was placed in our arms March 31, 2008. She was very small and almost infant like. She was very behind her peers and unable to sit up, roll over or stand. But, she had a smile that made us know she was ours from the start! She was the only baby at the Civil Affairs office who wasn't crying, and who, in fact, giggled at our silliness to see her beautiful smile. She's now 2 1/2 and caught up with her peers and, in fact, has surpassed them in many areas. She's just a joy. When we were just beginning our wait, a dear friend with 2 daughters from China told me that we will wait until our daughter is ready. It helped me throughout the wait to know that our daughter was not ready for us, but we were waiting for her whenever she was ready. She was born about 2 years AFTER we made the decision to begin our adoption journey. We had to wait because she was not ready for us in 2005, 2006 or 2007. We cannot imagine our life without Megan. And we are so grateful that we waited so long for her...she was worth every minute of waiting and tear of frustration!


The two pictures are Megan being handed to her overjoyed parents by the assistant director of her SWI, and Megan taken this month in her Halloween themed- finery!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Debbie and Robin's Adoption Journey!

We were first contacted about adopting our daughter, Hannah, the day after we submitted our initial application to Gladney. Gladney knew of a little 4 year old girl with hand/feet deformities listed as “older child in waiting; special needs.” Being a nurse, would I consider adopting her? In my total naivety to adoption, I explained that my husband and I would let Gladney know our answer in the next month if she was not adopted. The last words I heard from the caseworker were “she won’t be adopted.” The next day I called Gladney and asked for the little girl's picture. Ten months and a lot of prayer later we were holding our beautiful little girl in our arms; the same beautiful little girl listed as “special needs.” From the moment we met her, we knew that Hannah belonged with us, and we belonged to her. We’ve never looked back because that little girl was the perfect child for us. Now three years later, Hannah is thriving and enjoying the first grade. She required two corrective surgeries after we returned home but recovered well. Hannah is bright and enjoys interacting with others. Her favorite activities include reading books, playing chase, and swimming.

A year after we returned home with Hannah, we were ready to start “the paper chase” again. Gladney contacted us about our son, Caleb, soon after we submitted our second application. This time the agency told us about a 2 year old little boy with an unknown congenital heart defect which had been surgically repaired in China. My husband and I were ecstatic about the prospect of adopting a little boy. Could we really be lucky enough to be matched with a second child that we felt was just perfect for us again? The paperwork with the CCAA took a bit longer with Caleb’s adoption, but, when we finally traveled this past June to be united with our son, we soon discovered that the answer to our question was a resounding “YES” !!!

Caleb really just seemed to go with the flow from the moment we met him and he tucked and rolled like a trooper during our travels in China, blending right in with our little family. In terms of his follow up medical care, Caleb simply needs to have yearly exams by a pediatric cardiologist. Both Hannah and Caleb were slightly iron deficient when we first adopted them; but both recovered with diets rich in iron. Like his big sister, Caleb is bright and inquisitive. He really enjoys interacting with others. Caleb is now attending a really great Pre-K program. He loves to chase Hannah, play with building blocks; and swim.

Now, it is as though we can’t remember being without either child. It turns out both have always been in our hearts.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Re-Adoption and Registration Seminar

Please Join Us for a Re-Adoption and Registration Seminar!

Where: Gladney’s New York Office

363 Seventh Avenue, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10001

When: Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Time: 6:00pm

We are very excited to announce that Gladney’s New York Office will be hosting an evening with adoption attorney, Rebecca Mendel on October 21, 2009. Ms. Mendel will be speaking about the importance of registering your child's foreign adoption decree and re-adoption. We encourage you to attend what will surely be a very informative night!

Rebecca L. Mendel, Esq. is a partner in the New York City firm, Rosin Steinhagen Mendel, where she specializes in adoption law, and handles domestic independent/private adoptions, step-parent adoptions, second-parent adoptions, re-adoptions, private agency adoption and foster care adoption matters.

Rebecca Mendel has lectured about adoption at numerous organizations and is a fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.

As space is limited, please RSVP to Kaitlin Brophy at kaitlin.brophy@gladney.org by October 7, 2009 if you plan to attend.


The Gladney Center for Adoption and the NY Area GFA

Whitney's New Puppy!

Whitney is very excited to introduce our new Shetland Sheepdog puppy, Sally. She is four months old and a furry bundle of fun!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Columbus Day Weekend Day In The Park

I managed to get some rare photos of all three kids together today in the park. The weather was cloudy--great for pictures!--and cool, but James, Kathryn and Sarah had a blast in the playground, rolling down the grassy hill, and collecting the colorful leaves. The leaves are just starting to turn here in Brooklyn. Hope everyone has had a great start to the school year and is enjoying the autumn! Please send your text and photos to sbrueckel@gmail.com or lebonchien@aol.com and we will publish them on the blog! Halloween is coming up. Hint, hint. :)

Have a great long weekend, everyone!

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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Adah shows off her new dress!!!

Adorable Adah is waiting in China for her family, who cannot wait to go get her!! They sent a dress for her recently and here she is holding a photo of her new sister, also wearing the same dress! How cute is she???

Sunday, September 06, 2009

End Of Summer Playdate!

Whitney and Sarah and their moms, Beth Anne and Stephanie got together to enjoy the wonderful frog exhibit at the Museum of Natural History! "Frogs: A Chorus of Song" was great,and we even saw Chinese gliding frogs! (The green frog in the picture!). The girls topped off their playdate with a delicious mac and cheese lunch followed by rainbow ices. Our girls always have so much fun together and the moms always have a lot to talk about! We look forward to more fun playdates in the near future.

Whitney and Sarah (and her sister Kathryn) both start pre-K very soon! Everyone is getting so big!:-)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yanyan's Year

Our wonderful au pair Yanyan, from Kunming, China, left last night to pursue studies at a university in the San Fracisco Bay Area. Although we wholeheartedly support her goals and dreams, the tears were flowing freely in our house as we said goodbye! We have had a fantastic year with Yanyan. She was a terrific caregiver, mainly to Kathryn and Sarah, but also to big brother James out of school hours. And it was a great experience to share her culture and language with her! She taught the girls some Chinese, and gave all of us more insights to Chinese culture and customs.

We highly recommend the au pair program and I would be happy to talk with anyone about it in more detail! Feel free to contact me at sbrueckel@gmail.com. This flexible childcare situation has worked out really well for our family, and we will welcome a new au pair in September.

We love you and will miss you very much, Yanyan!

Watch Yanyan's beautiful farewell video, which she generously agreed to let me post on the blog, here. (Our calico Pyewacket and big gray cat Greystoke are featured along with our children)!