Friday, January 20, 2017

Re-Aligning U.S. State Department Policy to Support Child Rights to Family

Source: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org

by Elizabeth Bartholet and Chuck Johnson

The current State Department has developed policies that have been disastrous for children languishing in institutions abroad. There are many millions of such children, some of them orphaned, some abandoned by or removed from their birth parents.

Most of these children have no likelihood of finding a family in their country of origin. International adoption provides their best prospect for a family, and the social science shows that such adoption works extremely well for children, helping repair damage done prior to adoption and enabling children adopted at early ages to thrive. By contrast the brain and social science shows that institutions cause mental, emotional and physical damage destructive of a child’s potential.

Despite this evidence, the State Department has joined with other forces to help shut down international adoption as a meaningful option for institutionalized children, bowing to claims that equate such adoption with first-world imperialism, child trafficking and cultural genocide. As a result, the number of children adopted into the U.S. has dropped by two-thirds since 2004.

Continue reading.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Who Are The Children Hopscotch Adoptions Serve?

While Father Christmas visited all the children of the world, these children may be some of the most beautiful and hope-filled children he visited. We happen to think so. Only, he could not yet bring the gift most wanted by all children… a forever family of their very own.

While many are touched by adoption, it is often forgotten that adopting a child is but only one way to help an orphaned child.

Of equal importance is your willingness to advocate for them by sharing positive adoption information, financially supporting others that are called and prepared to parent a child through adoption or simply   by being the friend, neighbor or family member that cheers an adoptive family on in their journey.
Make no mistake about this journey. The journey is difficult and long. The child waiting at the end of the family’s journey is worth every sacrifice necessary to bring them home.

Some of the faces in this video are home already, or soon to be, but most are still waiting.
Thanks for taking a moment to watch this video and share in their joy. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers that they too find their forever families.

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Click here to see video.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Are You Thinking About Summer Already?

Source: http://www.adoptioncouncil.org

By Erin Bayles and Sarah Alger

crazy%20wild%20summer%20ride%20team%20family%20adventure%202016 “The camps are a lot of fun for me because I grew up in a pretty small town where there was not a huge Asian population, so it was a very special experience to get together with so many other Asian kids who were also adopted.”
– Nora Burgess, reminiscing about her experiences at adoption culture camps
 

 

Introduction

After being adopted from China as an infant, Nora Burgess and her mother, Phebe, attended two different culture camps. When Nora was in preschool they attended a three-day camp in Maine, run by Families with Children from China, where they met other families with adopted children from China. Year later, they went to another camp held at a YMCA facility in Asheville, North Carolina. Nora recalled that the camps heightened her interest in Chinese culture, as “they covered so many different topics: dance, singing, calligraphy, traditional children’s games, cooking, speaking, etc.” One special memory stuck with her: the camp counselors would perform traditional Chinese stories and dances and encourage the children to join in. Her mother Phebe’s favorite memory was the closing ceremony, which included a Dragon parade and performances by the children.

Now twenty-one years old, Nora continues to learn about her Chinese heritage through her studies at college. Overall, she said, she was glad her mother went with her to the culture camps, as they offered extended resources on her birth culture and supplemented her family’s own exploration in a fun, memorable way.

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Hopscotch Adoptions ❤ Make-A-Wish North Texas chapter! Thank you for helping Abigail’s wish come true! Welcome Caroline!! We Love our Families!!

YOU wished for gifts this season. Abigail (adopted from an orphanage in Bulgaria) wished for a sister….her friend left behind in Bulgaria. Thanks to Make-A-Wish North Texas for bringing them together again! Story to come! WFAA-TV Demi Lovato you were the second wish!

Click here to see video.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Risks of Simultaneous Multiple Placements in Intercountry Adoption Practice

Source: www.adoptioncouncil.org

By Penny Collins, LMSW

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Introduction

Since the mid-1940s, the practice of adopting orphaned children internationally has experienced peaks as well as periods of decline, driven in part by public interest, world wars, changing regulations and oversight, and politics. Reaching its height in numbers in the early 2000s, with more than 20,000 children adopted from abroad each year, intercountry adoption has been on the decline since its peak in 2004. The number of annual adoptions into the United States dropped to 5,647 in 2015.1 With intercountry adoptions becoming more difficult to obtain, timelines for adoptive families lengthening, and the age range of available children widening, agencies are increasingly met with requests from families wanting to adopt more than one child at a time, adopt children who may be out of birth order with existing children, or adopt children close in age with existing children (often referred to as “artificial twinning”).

While some might look at the situation for many orphaned and institutionalized children and consider these simple, reasonable requests to grant, the reality is far more complex. Regardless of intent, adoption cannot benefit children when they do not thrive in their adoptive homes—and this sad outcome is doubly regrettable when contributing factors, such as the increased stress often caused by multiple unrelated child placements, could have been avoided.

This article seeks to examine the risks and implications of multiple simultaneous adoptions into one family, the ethics surrounding these decisions, and current best practices in this area.

Continue reading.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Make-A-Wish Grants First Ever Adoption Wish to Our Hopscotch Family: Abigail’s Wish Came True!

WITH AN UNPRECENTED WISH, A FAMILY IS MADE COMPLETE

Just in time for the holidays, Make-A-Wish® North Texas makes Abigail’s one true wish come true.

dde0e9d0cda1d53c099f21a084f18aa1 IRVING, TEXAS –– Make-A-Wish® is known for moving mountains to help fulfill the most heartfelt wishes for Wish Kids around the world. For Abigail, this was particularly true. Her wish is the first of its kind for Make-A-Wish and has been nearly two years in the making. It required stars aligning in a profoundly moving and certainly life-altering way.

Abigail was adopted from a Bulgarian orphanage by her parents Dorcas and Tony in 2013. She was 13 at the time and while she was obviously elated to join her new family in the United States, it was also bittersweet as she had to leave Caroline, her roommate and closest friend in the world, behind.

But that was not to be the end of their story. Diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis Abigail was granted a wish by Make-A-Wish North Texas. She deliberated only briefly. Would it be a trip to Hollywood or something else…something she had in mind with deep personal meaning? With her parents’ blessing, Abigail wished for them to adopt Caroline, still dreaming of a family. Make-A-Wish North Texas agreed to help facilitate and manage the logistics surrounding this most unusual wish. People around the world got involved to help, including the teams at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth and Hopscotch Adoptions.

Now, just in time for the holidays, Abigail’s wish is coming true. The girls will be reunited, now as sisters. Abigail summed up her feelings when she wrote, “Thank you God for telling me that I needed a sister!”
“How truly wonderful to be able to grant Abigail’s wish and at the same time make dreams come true for Caroline,” said Scotty Landry, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish North Texas. “This unique wish has been life-altering for all involved. We are honored to be able to help bring this family together for the holidays.”

“We were honored when the Grubaugh family chose Hopscotch to help bring their first daughter home from Bulgaria and when we were asked to be their placing agency for their second daughter, we were elated!” said Robin Sizemore, Executive Director of Hopscotch Adoptions,Inc. “We learned later on that their adoption was going to be realized through the support of Make-A-Wish North Texas chapter and that this was the first adoption, much less intercountry adoption, wish ever granted. The Make-A-Wish North Texas chapter is incredibly generous and truly listened to Abigail’s one true wish… to be the sister to her best friend left behind in Bulgaria. We cannot think of a more beautiful wish to be granted. We are ever grateful to everyone that generously supports Make-A-Wish, this is truly one of the most rewarding experiences for everyone involved.”

Update:
On December 21st, the family arrived in Dallas after a very long and exhausting day of travel. As Caroline stepped off the plane, she became a United States citizen and began her new life.

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Facebook:
After two years in the making, Abigail’s wish is now a reality! Click here for photos.

Live from DFW Airport for a heartwarming homecoming! We celebrate Abigail’s wish for her family to adopt her best friend from the same Bulgarian orphanage she was adopted from 3 years ago. Join us in welcoming this new family of 4 home!

Welcome home Abigail and Caroline! We wish everyone a very happy holiday season. We know this will be one to remember for this family!

About Make-A-Wish® North Texas
Make-A-Wish North Texas grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Since our inception in 1982, more than 9,500 wishes have been granted throughout the 161 counties we serve. Our goal is to be a unique part of the treatment process. With doctors providing the medicine, and Make-A-Wish supplying the magic, we strive to create miracles in the lives of some very extraordinary children. For more information on Make-A-Wish North Texas, please visit www.ntx.wish.org.