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All of the photos you see on the site are of our wonderful Gladney Families. A big thank you to our families for contributing to the site to show others the joy of adoption.

The Toys and Their Stories

Whether it's flying a dragon kite across the skies of China or revealing the secrets inside a Russian nesting doll, children all over the world have a special place in their hearts for toys. At Gladney, we have a special place in our hearts for children all over the world.

Program Story

ABC Alphabet building blocks were originally developed in 17th-century England. Today they are a standard toy found in homes across America. In 2003, ABC blocks were named one of America's toys of great educational significance by the National Toy Hall of Fame.

Agency Assisted The Teddy Bear is named after President Theodore Roosevelt. He was on a hunting trip in 1902 and refused to kill a black bear that was tied to a tree. This made national news, and a toy shop owner was inspired to make a stuffed baby bear that he named Teddy's Bear.

New Beginnings Trains and railroads played a huge part in America's economic history. Trains were a means of travel and were mostly used to transport goods all across the United States. Toy train sets vary from simple pull toys to elaborate mechanical sets that run on multiple tracks.

Bulgaria Bulgaria has a very rich tradition in woodcarving. Many Bulgarian children learn about their country's rich history through handcrafted toys.

China Kites can be traced back to the fifth century B.C. A famous kite maker, Kungshu P'an, made kites shaped like birds that could fly for up to three days.

Colombia Many toys in Colombia are made from found objects. This rag doll is made from vibrant fabric scraps found in traditional dress.

Ethiopia Many toys in Ethiopia are made by children from found objects. Western culture has influenced the creation of all kinds of toy trucks, boats and planes.

Honduras Honduran children play games that require little or no equipment. The Maromero (also known as the wooden acrobat) does flips and turns when the handles are squeezed.

Mexico The balero, or ball and cup, is a popular Latin American toy. The object of the game is to catch the ball inside the cup. While it seems an easy task, it can sometimes require many hours of practice to perfect the technique.

Nepal national board game is bagh chai, which literally means 'move (chal) the tigers (bagh)'. The game is played on a lined board with 25 intersecting points.

Philippines Adoption ProgramPhilippines Sipa, or kick volleyball, is the National sport of the Filipino people and is one of the most popular games in Southeast Asia. The player kicks a small round, wooden ball and tries to keep it in the air as long as possible. When playing with competitors the sipa is passed to the next player who must catch the sipa with his foot and continue kicking it.

Russia Matryoshka dolls were created in Russia in 1890. These nesting dolls are often designed to follow a particular theme, the most common being an ample woman and her children.

Rwanda Rwandan women make soft plush toys that are inspired by the majestic animals native to Africa. The African elephant is a unique creature that is continually threatened by poachers for its impressive ivory tusks. There have been many wildlife reserves established that have successfully helped to increase the elephant population.

Taiwan Glove puppetry in Taiwan takes many forms and is performed with greatest vitality. It can be seen everywhere: in government-sponsored cultural events, where traditional puppets are shown in ornamental wooden towers amid gongs and drums; in temple festivals, and even on television, which broadcasts puppet shows with elaborate stage settings, edited sound and lighting, special movements, and large puppets.

Gladney Family Services Dollhouses have a history spanning thousands of years. The earliest dollhouses were found in the tombs of ancient Egyptians. Dollhouses became very popular in America right after World War II and are still a popular toy for young girls.

Gladney Family Association Paper Doll Chains are a child’s version of Paper Cutting, an art form that dates back to Imperial China. Paper Cutting flourished in Europe in the 16th-18th centuries and was brought to the new world with the early American settlers.

Support Gladney For 130 years the Gladney Center for Adoption has been building families. With close to 30,000 combined domestic and international placements, Gladney has helped shape the stories of thousands of families while helping make our world and nation a better place as a result. Your generous gifts help women in crisis, educate our youth, create loving homes for children and support children in orphanages around the world. Each gift brightens the future for all of us..

Submit Your Photo and Story

We want to make it easy for you to share your stories with us and with other families who are going through this process. If you recently adopted from Gladney and would like to share your photos and stories, here are some story starters:

  • The first time I saw you . . .
  • Our placement day . . .
  • We chose Gladney because . . .
  • Our adoption journey . . .
  • Our roller coaster ride . . .
  • Not knowing what to expect . . .
  • Gladney helped us . . .
  • The trip home . . .

Please email those stories and photos to us at adoption@gladney.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

We accept all submissions. We may publish, at our discretion, any writings, video footage, recorded statements, photographs or other submitted materials but reserve the right to excerpt or edit materials in size or content. By submitting this material you grant the Gladney Center the right to use, publish and otherwise publicly display this material in the manner The Gladney Center chooses, including use in brochures and on the web.


Gladney Center for Adoption
6300 John Ryan Drive | Fort Worth, Texas 76132-4122

Headquarters: 817-922-6000   Pregnant?: 1-800-GLADNEY
International Adoptions: 1-800-INT-ADOP
Domestic Adoptions: 1-800-687-3097
Click here for more locations and contact info.