The Laurel Project

The Laurel ProjectWith the summer slowly approaching, many parents and their children are beginning to think of how they would like to spend their summer. The opportunities and possibilities are endless!  Last month at Gladney’s Chinese New year party in NYC – we were honored to be joined by Mei-Yin Ng who has been teaching Chinese dance and language classes in the New York City area for almost 20 years. Many children adopted from China have enjoyed being students of Mei-Yin through her organization, the Laurel Project. The Laurel Project is offers a 2-week program in August that will use Manhattan’s Chinatown as their stomping ground for a day filled with exploring and learning basic conversational Mandarin, shopping, cooking, dancing, arts and crafts. What a great jewel of a program!

If you know of any cultural enrichment programs in your area please contact us so that we can feature it in one of our upcoming newsletters. The more you know the more you grow!

“Find Me” – An Adoption Documentary

Find MeGlobal Story 2 Films has just finished an exciting documentary project that explores a fuller picture of adoption through the lives of three families adopting special needs children from China. The film seeks to challenge assumptions about China, its people, and the children living in orphanages in a way that brings informed compassion to the narratives of these children’s lives.

The documentary will be screened at various locations in the upcoming months.

Upcoming showing:

Saturday April 25, 2015, 10:00am

Ambler Theater, Ambler, PA

For more information, check out the website.

Waiting Child – Marcus

philippine-flagMarcus is an 8 year old boy who has been living in an orphanage since the age of 3.  He is described by his caregivers as happy, affectionate and helpful.  Marcus enjoys playing soccer and basketball with his friends.  He is currently in the third grade and his favorite subject in school is math. Marcus gets along well with his peers and is said to be very loving towards them. Marcus is developing normally and has no medical or special needs.

For more information on Marcus, please contact Asia Programs Caseworker, Mary Chapman at

A Gladney Tradition

Our fearless leader, Gongzhan, talking to the Lion!

Our fearless leader, Gongzhan, talking to the Lion!

Chinese New Year at Gladney is truly a family tradition. Through the years (almost 20 and counting!) Gongzhan Wu, VP & Managing Director of Gladney’s Asia Adoption Programs has welcomed adoptive families to celebrate the New Year in a traditional and festive manner.  Almost all of the celebrations have taken place at a large banquet restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown – with Jing Fong restaurant being the venue of choice. In many ways it really does feel like “coming home.” All of the adults – whether staff, parents, or friends – see the children grow each year and get the chance to catch up by hearing so many encouraging stories of growth and accomplishments. Not everyone makes it each year – but that’s OK; we all know there will be a next year to enjoy the lion dance, the performers, and, of course, the food. The stage at Jing Fong restaurant is what the children remember – it’s where they create crafts, participate in workshops, play with old friends and make new friends too. This year’s celebration we welcomed a new lion dance troupe made up of students from Columbia University. They were fantastic! We are already looking forward to next year.  Thank you everyone for continuing to share this holiday with us all.

Waiting Child – Felix


Felix is an active 10 year old boy who is ready to find his forever family.  Felix is currently in the 4th grade at school and he gets good grades.  He is adventurous, outgoing, playful and lively.  He gets along well with both adults and his peers at school and in the orphanage.  He enjoys playing with Legos, riding a bike, playing video games and playing ball games.  He has actively participated in the English lessons proved by volunteers.

Along with an older half brother, he has been in care since he was two years old.  Due to adoptive parent illness, Felix and his brother had an adoption fall through before being placed with the family and this has crushed his heart.  He has seen many of his friends leave with their forever families and asks when it will be his turn.

Felix has shown some attention deficit issues and hyper activity. He has been prescribed one pill of Ritalin daily and has shown improvement.

To learn more about Felix, please be in touch with Asia Programs Caseworker, Mary Chapman, at

China Service Trip 2015

CSTThis month caseworker Mary Chapman shares her personal experience of volunteering oversees with Gladney:

“Last summer I travelled to China for the first time as a team member on Gladney’s Service Trip.  It was an amazing experience – from exploring China’s history and culture, to volunteering for several days in an orphanage in Chengdu.  The orphanage we visited cared for 700 children of all ages, many with special needs, across two campuses.  Our team spent three full days in the orphanage and I can say with confidence that it was a life changing experience for all of us.  We saw many of the same children each day and enjoyed participating in different activities with them – arts and crafts, music class, dance performances, and outside play.  Even though none of the children spoke English, and none of us spoke Mandarin, it didn’t matter – we were playing, laughing and having fun together.  The children were getting individual attention that they just can’t get on a daily basis, even though they are very well taken care of.  As you can see from this picture of me and my new friend – we all could see – and feel! –  the joy radiating from their sweet faces.  I will always hold a special place in my heart for the children I met last summer.  Even though we spent such a short time together, I know that it was meaningful for all of us.”

For more information and an application for our July 2015 service trip, please contact

Superkids Update!

SuperkidsThe aim of Superkids is simple: to bridge the gap between adoptive parents on one side of the globe and children in need on the other side. We have seen time and time again that parents feel more connected to the process of adopting when they are connected to a specific special child.

It also makes our work that much more enjoyable when we get the privilege of meeting these precious children, advocating for them, watching families fall in love with them, and hoping along side our families through all the anticipation and worry as their new journey begins.

Our child-centered approach to adoption would not work if we did not have such amazing families loving these children from the first moment they hear their story or see their picture. We are so inspired by our families. We see them as advocates and as partners in our mission to give children the homes they deserve. So here’s to the families– in all their shapes and forms– may you be blessed and may your homes be filled with immeasurable love through each step on your wild and precious journey.

Check out the Superkids blog where our next Superkids trip was recently announced!


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