Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Free Webinar Q&A Discussing Feeding Issues

Adoptive Families will be presenting ”Adoption Expert Q&A Webinar: Love Me, Feed Me”, a free webinar and Q&A led by feeding expert Katja Rowell, M.D. on Feb. 7th from 1pm to 2pm EST. This webinar and Q&A will focus on feeding issues may adoptive children face when they come home. Participates will be able to ask questions specific to their child’s needs.

Click here to register for the webinar.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Announcing Wuhan CWI Reunion Tour!

The Wuhan Child Welfare Institute (CWI) located in Hubei, China has announced a subsidized Reunion Tour open to all children adopted through their institute. This unique opportunity for adopted children and their families will take place from July 10 through July 17, 2013 and includes sightseeing and cultural activities in Beijing and Wuhan. Optional extended tours to Xi’an or Shanghai are also available from July 17 through July 20.

China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) is granting, through CCCWA, $800 in fund support toward the in-China Reunion Tour fee for all Chinese adoptees attending the program. Subsidies are available for a maximum of 30 adoptive families.  For a full agenda and costs, please visit Applications will be available on this site at the beginning of February, 2013.

This opportunity is open to all families with children adopted from Wuhan CWI regardless of agency or facilitator.

Tours for all families with U.S. citizenship will be coordinated through Gladney China Heritage Tours, under the direction of Gongzhan Wu, Vice President and Managing Director of Gladney’s Asia Programs. In-China arrangements will be made by the Bridge of Love Adoption Service (BLAS) in Beijing.

If you have questions about the application process, please send your name and email address to

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chinese New Year Traditions

It is time to prepare for Chinese New Year! To say good bye to the year of the Dragon and pray for luck in the Year of the Snake, 4711. This year, the holiday begins on February 10th and continues for fifteen days, ending with the lantern festival on February 24th.
Also known as Chinese Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, this important holiday is celebrated around the globe starting with Chinese New Year's Eve, a day when Chinese families gather from near and far for their annual reunion dinner. Below, one Gladney family shares their Chinese New Year Traditions.

"New Year is the Chinese tradition that our family has completely embraced. We fill the house with flowers, pay all of our debts, clean out our closets. Then we go to Chinatown and eat dumplings at Joey's Shanghai. More than parades and the dragons, our Chinese New Year is a time to reflect and renew, and it does the trick year after year after year!"
- Tina B.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Philippines Program Announcement

Last summer, Gladney was licensed by the Philippines Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB) to place children for adoption. We are excited that as 2013 begins, we are able to begin accepting families into this program! We would like to invite parents open to adopting a waiting child through the Philippines' Special Home Finding program to learn more by contacting or on Gladney's website (click here for the Philippine's Program page).
For families interested in adopting from the Philippines, the first step is to complete the Adoption Information Sheet. Families may be considered for matching with a child after being approved through the home study process and submitting an adoption dossier for approval by ICAB.
At this time, Gladney's adoption program with the Philippines is a Waiting Child program. This means that the children available for adoption will be:
--Part of a sibling group; or
--Older (healthy or with a medical need); or
--Under age 7 with a medical need
We look forward to sharing the progress of this program in the months to come in this newsletter!
Additional Resources:
Rainbow Kids is a helpful resource to learn more about adopting waiting children through the Philippines.
The U.S. State Department has a web page with helpful information about the Philippines intercountry adoption process.

Friday, January 18, 2013

China Winter Tour

The China Winter Tour officially concluded on January 1 in Chengdu, China. We hope our China Blog readers enjoyed following the adventures through the wonderful writings and photos regularly submitted by Robin Reif and Gongzhan Wu.

The Panda and Happiness Groups outside CCCWA offices in Beijing

Whereas most members of the travel group continued on to Beijing and then home, a number of families took the opportunity to extend their trip to visit their child's Social Welfare Institute. We will be sure to continue to post any further reflections and photos we receive from these families or any of the travelers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quilt Project

Our quilt project continues! At the upcoming Chinese New Year Parties in Texas and New York, we plan to have supplies for the children to make additional squares.
We invite all Asia families to be involved in this project. If you are interested in making a square, please contact Pat Marcus at for instructions on how to participate.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Year's Greeting

We are excited about a New Year with many possibilities in 2013!

We are truly beginning to see the results of our advocacy efforts take root and grow! More and more families are learning about the children who are waiting for a family through word-of-mouth from Gladney families who are committed to sharing their stories with friends and families in hopes that others will explore adoption!

As we celebrate the start of a New Year on the Gregorian Calendar, we are also preparing for the Chinese New Year - the Year of the Snake. Many consider the Year of the Snake to be a year of transformation. For parents who will welcome their children home this year, that transformation will be especially wonderful as they watch their children bloom before their eyes. For the Gladney Asia Team, we expect to have great transformation this year as well.

We look forward to expansion of our Superkids Charity work with Patricia Marcus and other pediatric therapists. They not only bring life changing education to the children living in orphanages, but also bring these children to life by seeing beyond their profile information and conveying their observations to waiting families!

If we all considered just one more New Year's resolution -- To spread the word about the children who wait for families, . . . imagine the possibilities for each child who waits to be adopted, loved and celebrated!   

Happy New Year to All, from Gladney's Asia Staff!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Aid for Survivors of China Orphanage Fire

We were saddened to learn of a fire in a private orphanage in Henan, China which killed 6 children and a 20 year old man last Friday. Investigators determined that the fire was caused accidentally by children. To read more, click here.
orphanage fire
Gladney’s Vice President of Asia Programs, Gongzhan Wu, is currently in China and plans to visit with officials in Henan, next week. He would like to present humanitarian aid from Gladney Center and families, for the care of the children as they recover from this tragedy and transition to another orphanage. Gongzhan previously had the opportunity to meet the government officials and orphanage directors from this province in the United States during recent NCFA/CCCWA training tours.

If you would like to contribute to this effort, you can do so on Gladney’s website (click here). In the Designation field, please select “other” and type in “Henan Aid” in the “Other” box.

All donations, large or small will be greatly appreciated. Please email Wendy Stanley at with any questions.

Thank you in advance,
The Gladney Asia Program Staff

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Recently in China Adoption News

  • CCWA has matched families with LIDs through October 10, 2006.
  • CCCWA has reviewed dossiers with LIDs through April 30, 2012.
  • CCCWA has issued 4 Travel Approvals for Gladney families in December!
  • Three Gladney families travelled to China to adopt their children in November and December!
Congratulations to the Bobert, Honeyman and Mars families!!
Kaylee Bobert with Mom, Dad and Big Sister Sara!

Honeyman Family with son Jack and new daughter Lily!

Welcome Olivia!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

China Winter Tour - December 31

Robin Reif - December 31
Jin Li Street - Bobby, Sophie and the Lee Family 
Say "AHHH"
If you like to down foreign culture with a spoonful of sugar, look no further than JinLi Street. It’s the Chengdu equivalent of “olde” town sections of Stockholm, Paris or London. Predictably quaint with photo ops, souvenirs and snacks galore, it’s the perfect wind-down for our last day together. Time to solidify friendships without the distraction of aggressive schedules or absorbing new sites. Time just to hang.
Chuck and Grace
The Girls and Uncle Wu
Ruthie, Robin, Gongzhan
Tonight is time to say good-bye at a New Year’s celebration. We exchange contact information, make plans to reconnect in the States, take too many photos, hug our guides—Bobby, Vivian and Linn (who’s been with us throughout) give heartfelt thanks to “Uncle” Wu and Chuck Johnson.
Barb and Nina
Big and Little Sisters
Lisa and Zoey
Some of us dress up, shedding layers we’ve been wearing to keep warm all week. Everyone’s so much smaller and thinner than I’d thought.
Teens and tweens
At the party, the teen girls sing karaoke to maroon 5, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars. The tweens watch like anthropologists taking in gestures, attitude, style, speech and make-up in every detail. They’re learning a culture as foreign as the one they’ve experienced these last 8 days, but one more inevitable and inescapable; a culture they’re about to enter, like it or not: the world of American adolescence and young adulthood.

I’m grateful that on this trip, they’ve met inspiring and affectionate older sisters and brothers; kids who have the same complicated roots as they do and form the frontline of adopted Chinese children coming of age in America.

Robin and Sophie
And so, a few wishes for them as we end our trip and start the New Year: May they grow to maturity honoring and integrating the unique strands of influence that have made them who they are. May they love and enrich the country that adopted them. May they find strength in the families who’ve raised and cherished them. May they never forget their roots. May they (as my daughter would say) be awesome! I think they already are.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

China Winter Tour - December 30

Robin Reif - December 30

Curious about those night-crowing roosters (see Dec 28) . . . once back at the hotel, we look out the rear windows and find a scene of hardscrabble farms cut into the hillside. The landscape is rich in wintery greens and browns but bring the lens in closer and see open doors of unheated homes where people live in layers and refrigerate cabbages and meat on the back porch. In the morning, we hear blood-curdling screams and realize a pig is being slaughtered.
Ya'an Rear Window Scene
Later, on the road to Chengdu, a mega-tropolis of 14 million, Bobby tells us that several centuries back it was a ghost town due to war and famine and people from the North were forced here walking the six week journey, roped in a line with hands tied behind their backs. All this to explain that “please release my hands” is Sichuanese for "I need to go to the happy house" or toilet.

When we stop for lunch in a restaurant's private room, the teens ask for time alone without parents to talk about adoption, inviting the younger kids to join.
Mr. Wu shooing parents away
My 11-year-old glows at being included by older girls who seem so cool and untouchable. Their stories—some of abandonment at 4 and 5, some of orphanage stays until 8 or 9—are a revelation to her and I realize she thought that all Chinese children are adopted as infants. Clearly, my bad.
Preparing for foot message
Toward evening, many of us decide to try the famous local Chengdu foot massage, which turns out to be a full body experience. Let me say I would not recommend it to the faint of heart, nor tender of foot. My masseuse, a wee young thing, maybe 5 feet and 100 pounds giggled at my attempts to tough it out. I leave feeling like chicken paillard. Or maybe just chicken.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

China Winter Tour - Bifengxia Panda Base

Gongzhan Wu - December 28
On the way to Bifengxia Panda Base, it was snowing. The road was slippery. CWTers were ready to walk the last mile if the bus could not continue, but it finally moved again after the driver put on the snow shoes on all the eight tires of the buses. Yeh, we made it!
CWTers volunteered at the Bifengxia Panda Base. The job assignment was changed though. We had to shovel the snow and sweep the road in the Center instead of cleaning the panda cages.
CWTers feeding pandas apples and carrots. It's so cool!
CWT volunteers

China Winter Tour - December 29

Robin Reif - December 29
“Panda Day” . . . my daughter’s first words this morning. For the 8-to-12 set, this is IT, the moment they’ve been waiting for: “Panda-monia!” as Bobby, our guide, puts it.

Snow comes down hard as we start up the mountain to the Bifengxia Panda Reserve. We go at a crawl over the winding, icy roads and get whacked on the windshield by bamboo trees, freighted with snow. We stop mid-mountain to put chains on the wheels and then again for a terrified driver who narrowly misses a ravine while skidding downhill across a bend in the road.
At last, we arrive and suit up in volunteer coveralls. Looking like a squadron of astronauts, we get to work shoveling snow with large twig brooms, preparing the pandas’ lunch then feeding them carrots, apples and “cookies” made of fruit and bamboo powder.
But nothing compares with what comes next: holding the baby pandas. The best “yes” yet on this trip is “Yes, I’ll pay $170 so you can hold a baby panda, get your picture snapped and send it to your friends to make them jealous.” But “yes” it is and every kid (and grown up) who goes in to hold a baby, comes out over the moon with delight.
Returning to Ya’an, we stop in the ancient town of ShangLi. This, folks, is the China of National Geographic: picturesque and primitive, a place time and China's economic miracle forgot. It’s harsh village life as it was lived centuries back and continues to be. When Levi’s celebrated roll-up-your-sleeves workers in its recent “Go Forth” campaign, they should have chosen ShangLi over Braddock, Pennsylvania.
To watch them chop dried pork on the cold street or saw lumber by hand, sweep with twig brooms or sit outside unheated noodle shops at open fires chopping garlic for soup, is first, a gratitude check, then, cause to deeply question what I just spent on a panda photo. This, on the very day Party Chief Xi Jinping visits an impoverished region of Hebei province and calls for new resolve in achieving more balanced development. We say "Right on!".