This old Fort Worth house was built in 1905 & began as the first home of the Gladney Center for Adoption. A Methodist minister named I.Z.T. Morris was creating Forth Worth as a destination of hope for orphaned children through the Texas Children's Home & Aid Society. The first Superintendent of the Texas Children's Home was Edney Gladney for whom the agency would be renamed to The Edney Gladney Home in her honor in 1941.
Edna Gladney was made famous by her argument on removing the stigma of illegitimacy from birth records before the Legislature. It made Texas the first state in the Southwest to legally remove the stigma of illegitimacy from birth records. She later would argue that adopted children should have the same inheritance rights as biological children.
The Gladney Center & its selfless people are known for the many paths that have been blazed as a direct result of their passion for purpose. From a 1-800-GLADNEY which was the first such crisis hotline in the country to charter membership in the National Council for Adoption (organized to promote agency adoptions) to the establishment within the Texas Legislature enactment of its Voluntary Registry Law & the creation of its own Voluntary Registry.
What would the walls of this old house have to say? My first thought goes to likely thousands of stories of love, persistence, sacrifice, passion for purpose / vision of "better" by those associated with Pastor Morris & Edna Gladney & strong need for connection. But that would only be half the legacy that lived on here, wouldn't it? There are equally very many stories that would be told from the hearts of all those who were the mothers & their children who sought life & who took refuge here. These are powerful words, too; survival, love, selflessness, desperate need for choice, of sadness but also of hope, & yes, strong need for connection. To me, it is also a legacy of His many miracles happening right before us every day, clearly in plain sight, & of the living testimony of His love for all of us regardless of circumstance.
Mine has always been a love of this old house from an aesthetic perspective as I walk so often in my neighborhood. I want to never be blind to beauty all around me every day. Today, however, as I poised my camera to capture the image the people who live there came outside to visit with me! At first, I reassured them of my harmless intentions & that never do I make money from any images I create, definitely nothing like that, but it might make it to my blog? Soon I realized they only wanted to share the story of their gorgeous old house! They are so proud of its legacy & its prominence in the neighborhood. They shared with me, too, some of their plans to continue remodeling inside which is full of murals. I was even offered to come back & they will give me a tour inside! WOW! I definitely got the idea that I am not even close to the first one to stop & admire this old house.
I couldn't wait to search to really learn some of the rich history which I've shared above.
Today, Gladney's is an international adoption program continuing its rich legacy as path blazers.
Call To Action:
1. Spend just an hour this week looking for / reflecting on the beauty all around you in your own neighborhood. What catches your attention & why?
2. What are 3-4 words that best describe the stories you envision?
3. How do you contribute to the stories & the legacies that live there?
Try these same 1, 2, 3 steps within your workplace. Share the stories with others.