The Gladney Center for Adoption recognized several organizations and individuals with its Blossoms Awards on April 4 at the 4 Eleven event venue in the Near Southside area of Fort Worth. This year, the Gladney Center also unveiled a bronze bust of the center’s namesake, Edna Gladney, by artist Linda Stinson.
The Blossoms Awards are named for the 1941 film Blossoms in the Dust, which told the story of Gladney, who advocated throughout her career for rights of orphans, unwanted children and unmarried mothers. She became superintendent of what was then Texas Children’s Home and Aid Society in Fort Worth in 1927 and directed the home until 1960. She died in 1961.
The Blossoms Awards were begun in 1964 and recognize advocacy, education, and collaboration.
This year’s Blossoms honorees are:
Frost — Outstanding Corporation in Adoption Advocacy.
National Council for Adoption — Outstanding Organization in Child Welfare. Chuck Johnson, president and CEO of NCFA, accepted the award.
Stephenson Family — Outstanding Family in Adoption Advocacy.
David Cross, Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University — Outstanding Educator.
Heidi Cox, general counsel and executive vice president, JD at Gladney Center for Adoption — Legislative Advocacy.
Gladney Family Association — Leslie Amend Award. Ashley Stern, GFA National Council president, accepted the award.
Stinson has art pieces in museums and hall of fame galleries throughout the United States. She began sculpting the statue of Gladney in the summer of 2018 after collecting many photos and reading Gladney’s life story.
The piece stands 5 feet, 3 inches tall, the same height as Edna Gladney. The pedestal contains a bronze base relief panel with 66 leaves, each leaf representing 150 babies that were adopted during Gladney’s time of service. Each leaf has a birthdate and baby’s name etched on it.