The End of the World

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I’m unclear about this. Is the world ending later today (12.12.12) or on 12.21.12?  I might handle my time differently if I have just 9 more hours as opposed to 9 more days.

On the other hand, if I wake up on the morning of 12.22.12 and the world is intact, I still want to have the mindset of “numbering my days” as the psalmist encourages. Somehow, I don’t think the One who suggests we number our days is paying much attention to the Mayan calendar. 

My Platform

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ok, I may be entering the race a little late, but here’s my platform:

1.       Bipartisanship – At least 30% of the Cabinet should come from the opposition party. Neither party has a monopoly on the best qualified people.

2.       Electoral College – Get rid of it. Popular vote wins. Current system – Iowa and New Hampshire decide who gets nominated. Florida and Ohio decide who wins. There are people in 46 other states who should have a say.

3.       Term Limits – Would shift the goal from maintaining power to actually governing and problem-solving.

4.       Political Conventions – More like coronations. Do away with them. What a colossal waste of money. And speaking of waste, stop all the extravagance around the inauguration. A Bible, a right hand, the Chief Justice and a camera should be enough.

5.       State of the Union Speeches – Tell the truth. “Some things are going well; some things are not”. They should tell us the “state of the union” and not be commercials for the party in power.
Do you agree or not?

Gladney Staff Celebration

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Today was our monthly staff meeting and since our fiscal year ended August 31, we used the staff meeting as an opportunity to celebrate the fact that Gladney played a role in 387 children of all ages finding permanent, loving families.
In what some might consider typical Texas fashion, we celebrated in 2 ways: first by acknowledging that our blessings come from God and therefore giving honor to Him. For some reason, He chooses to use us as His hands and feet. So the other part of the celebration was a champagne toast to our dedicated and passionate staff. A heartfelt WELL DONE to the entire Gladney team for a wonderful year!

Performance Reviews

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gladney is going through our annual performance review process. It brings to mind 2 reviews that I received earlier in my career. One was "good job...., but one thing to work on is leave shorter messages on voicemail". Interesting that that's the part of the review that stuck with me 20 years later. And I DO leave shorter messages. The other review that I recall well was 2 words - "Quietly relentless". Even though it was short and sweet, that review meant a lot. That boss understood me and how I went about my work, had an appreciation for it, and expressed it with an economy of words.

Remembering 9/11

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where were you on 9/11? I was at PwC's office in Stamford, CT about to walk to the train station to go to an 11:00a.m. meeting in lower Manhattan. I recall that 5 colleagues from other PwC offices were on the planes.

Feeling Old

Monday, July 30, 2012

The only time I feel old is when I am filling out something online and go to the drop-down box for my year of birth. It seems to take quite a while to scroll down that far.

Colombia 2012 Teen Service Trip

Monday, July 16, 2012

It’s an understatement to say that 21 Gladney teens and 4 intrepid adult volunteers “left it all on the field.” We departed Bogota yesterday – exhausted, but exhilarated. The teens pulled an all-nighter the night before we left partly because it’s becoming a tradition and partly because it’s an ideal opportunity to process a very emotional week. Unless you’re the Tin Man before he receives his heart, when you spend a week at an orphanage, you genuinely connect with individual children. You bring images of these children back home with you in your mind’s eye. The images linger and that’s good! And you naturally wonder about their futures. Some will find families; some won’t. Some will thrive; some won’t. And the governments of the world will continue to pay lipservice to “the best interests of the child” while consigning most of these children to a life of desperation. It doesn’t have to be that way. At Gladney, we’re working to change that.


Friday, May 18, 2012

You probably think this post is about “Dream big” or “Follow your dreams”. It’s not. It’s about a ridiculous dream I had last night. If there are any Josephs or Daniels reading this, please help me here. I dreamed that I was at the inauguration of the Russian President. It happened to be Gorbachev. Not sure if I was invited, but it didn’t seem to matter. Security was lax and it was a very casual affair – a hundred or so folding chairs on a lawn. Gorbachev was speaking, but nobody was paying attention and he didn’t seem to mind. I was wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt which didn’t seem to bother anyone except this harsh Japanese guard who took me to a room to be interrogated. When I got to the room, there were 7 young Russians, say, in their 20’s. They weren’t friendly, but they weren’t rude. They flipped on a movie and the 8 of us watched it and I woke up.

CAFO and Saddleback

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I just returned from the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) Summit at Saddleback Church in Los Angeles. It was great to see many friends in the adoption and orphan care community. It was also a time of personal reflection and refreshment. What a privilege to worship God at Saddleback with thousands of others who share a passion for the cause of the orphan. I’ve had the opportunity to worship in this country from L.A. to Manhattan; from Minneapolis to my home church in Austin. And around the world - from Voronezh, Russia to Suzhou, China; from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to London, England. Everywhere, I experience a unity of spirit and purpose. And what is worship? It’s more than singing. It’s more than occupying a seat in a building on Saturday or Sunday morning. I believe worship is designed to reinforce our position of humility before God and to reignite our passion for service. In the first chapter of Isaiah, we read that God hates ritualistic, check-the-box worship. Instead, He says: “Learn to do good; seek justice; help the oppressed; defend the cause of the orphan.” These are words to savor.

Center for Adoption Policy

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Co-sponsored by Harvard Law School and the New York Law School, the Center for Adoption Policy is holding its Ninth Annual Adoption Conference tomorrow at the NY Law School. The theme is “International Adoption: The Evolving Terrain”. I’ve been invited by Harvard Law Professor Betsy Bartholet to join her panel on the topic “Where Do We Go Now”. I’m excited to be a part as I do have a few observations about where international adoption is headed unless we collaboratively instigate significant changes and I have some thoughts on what those changes might entail. I am humbled to be included with those on this and the other 3 panels. Most of the panelists have several initials after their name, a Dr. in front of it, and are well-published. I have a Mr. before my name and my publishing credentials include this blog and my twitter account.

Title Change

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I have decided to change my title, although I’m not sure that Gladney’s by-laws allow me to do that. I recently saw a letter signed by one of our stalwart volunteers. After her name, she put “Event Chair” and “Adoptive Mom”. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So from now on, my title will be “President” and “Adoptive Dad”. Better still, the other way around.

State of the City

Friday, February 24, 2012

How refreshing and unusual to hear a political leader say “this is going well; this is not; here are our challenges; by the way, my predecessors did a fine job”. Straightforward, balanced, no blame – this was Mayor Betsy Price’s “State of the City” address (actually Q&A) in Fort Worth yesterday before an audience of 1400 at the Convention Center. Why can our local leaders be statesmanlike, but our national leaders can’t?