Saturday, May 31, 2014

Doing GREAT things in Ghana together!!!

News from Ghana: Dr. Medge Owen and our partner Percy Gogoe - so great to see you together! Doing GREAT things in Ghana together!!!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

OUR Government Was Wrong!

Will they admit it?

BEB_WhiteTextdbf915 I encourage you to join us on Tuesday, June 3rd, for our most interesting and provocative stakeholder call to date.

This stakeholder call will mark the announcement and public release of our Nepal report, documenting the harmful actions of our own government and the consequences that resulted to innocent children and their adoptive families.

In conjunction with the release of this report, we are also requesting the removal of the suspension of adoptions from Nepal.

We will also provide an update on the latest developments in DRC.  Our collective voice on behalf of the children stuck by the DRC suspension is beginning to produce results. This week, 15 of these children are being allowed to go home to their families. Thank you for your assistance in helping to make this happen.

But there are many more children still stuck in DRC, and we are not giving up on them. We have a lot more work to do for these children to come home.

Please join us on Tuesday for another important step in our journey.


Tuesday • June 3 • 1:00 PM EST

Phone number: 1-866-576-7975
Access code: 366574

Together, our voices are making a difference for these children.

Craig Juntunen

Founder, Both Ends Burning

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sexual Development & Sexuality in Adolescents with FASD

NTI Upstream 2014 Webinar Series

Adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders 

Webinar #3: Sexual  Development & Sexuality in Adolescents with FASD

Physical and emotional sexual development is a complicated process for any adolescent. Those with FASD experience enhanced and significant difficulties when developing sexually. The information provided in this webinar will explain how physical sexual development and emotional development mesh in the adolescent with FASD. This segment will explain strategies for managing emerging sexuality in adolescents with FASD.

Register here:

Presented by Ira J. Chasnoff, MD and Jenae Holtz, LMFT
June 5, 2014, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CDT
Q & A 2:00-2:15 p.m. CDT

Price: $19.99

Brought to you by:
NTI Logo

Now Available on DVD

2014 Webinar #2: Adolescents with FASD: School and 

Academic Functioning
Free Shipping - Buy Now

2014 Webinar #1: Neurodevelopment in the Adolescent with FASD
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2013 Webinar Series
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2012 Webinar Series
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About the NTI Upstream 2014 Webinar Series 

The 2014 NTI Upstream webinar series, Adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, will explore various facets of physical and emotional development of adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). The series will include in-depth explanation of how FASD adolescents' basic neurobehavioral deficits - neurocognitive, self-regulation, and adaptive behaviors - are demonstrated in behavior. The development of youth with FASD will be compared to the expression of "normal" adolescent development (social, search for independence, consequences of behavior, executive function, etc.).

Friday, May 23, 2014

News from Armenia: I 'mustache' you

Noah%20Registration%20Pic%20RV%20Mosaic%20 News from Armenia: I 'mustache' you to wait until I am home to reveal my name and identity please.  Until then... you should know that I am really adorable and you'll fall in love with me instantly.  My charms are irresistible. Just saying...

NC Home Study Service

NC Home Study, Post Placement & Adoption Reports, Family Assessments for Hosting, ICPC Supervision & Reports for all NC and NY residents. Contact us at: or 336-899-0068


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Action Alert: Save the Adoption Tax Credit - Final Grassroots Message

Please see the final action alert of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group's Grassroots Campaign:

Grassroots Advocacy Campaign

Calls to Action: Use this last week of the Grassroots Campaign to check and see which Members of Congress have become cosponsors of S.1056 and H.R.2144. Use this opportunity to send those members a quick note in appreciation of their support. Tell them how important this credit is to your family and how much you appreciate their fighting to protect it.(View a sample thank you.)

In honor of Mother’s Day, send a final message to your own Members of Congress about the importance of parenthood through adoption. If you are comfortable, consider including pictures of your family to help bring the issue alive for the Members of Congress and their staff. As a reminder, here is a tool to easily personalize and automatically send a letter to your three Members of Congress.

You can find contact information for your two Senators and one Representative at and

If your members of Congress respond, please share their responses with us at

For more advocacy tips, visit

Adoption Notice: Adoption Processing in Armenia


Reminder: Adoption Processing in Armenia

May 12, 2014

This Adoption Alert is a follow up to the Alert of March 13, 2014

The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan has received reports that prospective adoptive parents are being given misleading information about the adoption process in Armenia.  Specifically, there may be misleading information as to who is authorized to provide adoption services and which children are eligible for intercountry adoption.  

Please note that Armenian law does not authorize professional facilitators, adoption agencies, or attorneys to provide adoption services in Armenia; it allows prospective adoptive parents and adoption service providers to grant a power of attorney to an individual to handle most aspects of the adoption process on their behalf.  These individuals can only provide limited legal services and complete the process in Armenia through direct contact with the Ministry of Justice.

Contact information for the adoption authority and the U.S. Embassy in Armenia is listed below:


The Ministry of Justice
41A Halabyan Street
Yerevan, Armenia

Tel: 374-10-319-093

The Department of State will provide updated information on as it becomes available.  If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States.  Email inquiries may be directed to

Adoption Notice: Universal Accreditation Act (UAA)


May 12, 2014

Universal Accreditation Act (UAA):  The Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues and the Department of Homeland Security’s US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will hold UAA Update and Training Sessions for Adoption Service Providers (ASPs) on May 20th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time and for Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) on May 22nd, at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

As announced in our notice of April 11, 2014, the Department and USCIS will provide UAA Update and Training sessions in anticipation of the UAA’s effective date of July 14th of this year.  Separate UAA Update and Training dates have been set aside for ASPs (May 20th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time) and PAPs (May 22nd at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time).  The Council on Accreditation, the national accrediting entity, will also participate in the training to discuss the impact of the UAA on accreditation/approval and what to do if things go wrong with supervised or other providers assisting the primary provider in an intercountry adoption case. 


Topics for the UAA Update and Training include

  • Grandfathering under the UAA;
  • Home study requirements;
  • UAA and the accreditation regulations;
  • What to do when things go wrong with domestic and foreign supervised providers;
  • Independent adoptions;
  • Primary provider rules;
  • What to do if part of the case occurred before the effective date and part after;
  • How to work in countries that do not permit U.S. accredited agencies to provide services there; and
  • Some country specific guidance. 

We have drawn heavily on the questions submitted by both ASPs and PAPs for these meetings and will invite submission of additional questions during the Update and Training as time permits.   


How to Join the Sessions: 

Session for Adoption Service Providers:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 2:00 -3:30 p.m., Eastern Time

Dial-in information:  1-888-363-4749, Access code:  6276702#


Session for Prospective Adoptive Parents:

Thursday, May 22, 2014, 3:30 -5:00 p.m., Eastern Time

Dial-in information:  1-888-363-4749, Access code:  6276702#

Please join us for these UAA Update and Training Sessions. 

No RSVP required.

Monday, May 12, 2014

There Are No Words.... and it happens every day. Every day.


Amid Outrageous Demands to Bring Sick Children Home, US State Department Keeps Their Cool

1965046_10100309213281211_241057525_n I am 16 months into a high risk pregnancy.

So I go about my life, doing small things every day to advocate for my child. I am not the newbie who got hysterical one year ago, in a roomful of hopeful parents waiting like me, some waiting much longer. Today, I can’t sit around all the time thinking about the awful reality that my child is trapped in. I have learned that with international adoptions, frustration and powerlessness becomes everyone’s new normal.

But sometimes the reality of what we adoptive parents face breaks through.

Read more.

Meeting Your Child & Travel


By Madeleine Melcher

ready_for_travel595 Exciting and, I am sure, heartbreaking at the same time, many families who are adopting Internationally are required to visit the country the child resides in at least once before bringing their child home on a subsequent visit. There is no doubt in my mind that many parents want to take special items with them for that first visit. But what can you take for your child on that first visit, knowing they will not yet be joining you for the trip home? Can you use your phone or laptop to preserve and share those memories? For answers to these questions, I reached out to Robin Sizemore of Hopscotch Adoptions to make the most of what you take for your child.

Read more.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

We are thinking of you this Mother's Day and Always...

Your friends at Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc.

Hopscotch Newsletter - May 2014

In This Issue

Quick Links


Still waiting....

The Waiting Child Program is the fastest growing program that Hopscotch Adoptions offers.  Unlike the typical track, time to placement usually takes less than a year from dossier submission.  Most of these children are Special Needs or older. We strongly urge you to check out these kids, regardless of the path you are taking. You never know who will grab your heart.

For more information on this program, contact Heather or go to the Waiting Child page and fill out the Privacy Declaration at the bottom of the page.



It's almost summer time and we hope your family will be taking advantage of this great weather after our unexpectedly long winter! 

You've received our first ever on-line newsletter and we hope you'll find it useful in getting relevant and supportive information and education articles more frequently.   

Families reported that they loved our full spread newsletter, but we found most families preferred less content and more frequency to better fit their busy lifestyles.   We call this newsletter 'fun sized'.   


Education Spotlight:

Creating a Family

Education is one of the most valuable aspects of your adoption journey. To quote the public service announcements of the 80's, "The more you know..." Creating a Family and Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc. have collaborated to allow our families access to a wealth of information through podcasts.

You can access the courses at

Any Hopscotch family can access the website.  In order to set up an account, contact Megan or Michelle.  They will be glad to set you up.

Small but Beautiful:

The Reality of Family


A Bulgarian Princess Comes to Texas

by: Dorcas L. Grubaugh

On August 16, 2013 we drove to Roman, Bulgaria to pick up our sweet daughter.  She was 12 years old at the time, soon to turn 13.  We were adopting a teenager!  We were not sure what to expect, except we had been told to not have any expectations of her whatsoever, just accept her as she was.  Of course, as in many things, this was easier said than done.  We were prepared for teenage things, and we had read all the assigned books and taken the required pre-adoption class credits.  But truly, we weren't very well prepared at all.  Perhaps it was because this was our first child.  Maybe adoptive parents that already have other children in the home feel the transition goes more smoothly.  For us, it was a rocky first month or so.

We discovered that Abigail didn't really know what to expect either.  She was disappointed th at we didn't live next to celebrities.  She said our house was small ... but beautiful, she quickly added.  And that is as it should be, because our sweet girl is also small but beautiful.  And she wishes we had other kids for her to play with, and was sad that our family is small ("we are only three" she says).  But she says we are crazy ... and beautiful.  She has a wonderful sense of humor.  Everything is crazy to her.  That's her word for silly, I think.  So that has pretty much defined our life over the past four months.  Crazy beautiful.  Abigail loves to take photographs.  I think we have more photographic documentation of the last four months of our life than the last four years since Tony and I got married.  You really have to be "on" because you never know when the camera is pointing your way! 

She sings in the kid's choir at church.  She is in an international newcomer school in our school district, which is specifically for children that come to the district with very little English language.  Now her English has progressed beautifully.  She has not learned too many complex words yet, but we can understand each other.  We only struggled for about a month with getting our point across.

The things we've learned so far:  A sleepy child cannot communicate
clearly ... ever.  

No matter how close dinner was to bedtime, there still must be a snack beside her bed available. 

She needs to be told that she is loved and beautiful a LOT!  I mean a whole 

lot.  She asks all the time if we love her, and just about as often if we think she is beautiful.  We talked to some people who work with the kids in Bulgaria and found that the kids had a really nasty form of teasing each other there.  So we are working to reinforce positive words t

o overcome the negative words she heard from some peers.

The American school day is longer by several hours than the Bulgarian school day.  This has been hard on our daughter who feels like the week just doesn't have enough time for other fun stuff she wants to do.  And we don't even have her in any extra-curricular activities yet! 

We've also learned that adjusting to a new family member is more than language, or getting along, it is giving up more of our time than we knew we had, giving up sleep, giving up everything else we wanted to do with our day ... for our new family, for this precious child who needed a home.  How does adoption affect a family? It goes into the very center of it and wrenches out every last selfish strand of your soul and bares it before you.  What you do with the moment of deciding to be selfless or selfish varies with each passing day, but you are fully aware that you are making a choice.  This is the reality of adoption ... you are choosing to make the life of another the priority over self.  And in the end, you discover that that is okay, because your family may be small, but it is beautiful.


Re-adoption in the United States:

I finalized before I came home, why should I re-adopt?

You just got off the plane with birth certificate and visa in hand. You're tired and, if you are lucky, the child you waited for so long to bring home, is sleeping in your arms.  We're done, your jet-lagged brain crows, 

No more paperwork!

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there's just a little more paperwork you should do. You need to re-adopt in the US.  Otherwise, that precious cargo you fought so long and hard for will have her work cut out for her in the future and so will you.

The goal of re-adoption in the US is to make sure you and your child will have access to the same paperwork most US citizens take for granted.  First and foremost, by re-adopting you will have a domestic Adoption Decree and Birth Certificate issued in a form that is accepted in all domestic courts and recognized by American institutions.  From kindergarten to college and beyond, you will be asked for this paperwork.  If you think the DMV is difficult now, imagine trying to get a license with a Bulgarian adoption decree. 

If you have changed the name of your child after coming home, you have to re-adopt and re-apply to USCIS for a new Certificate of Citizenship to establish the revision.  Most visas and certificates bear the child's name followed by the father's first and last name and, surprisingly, most families really don't want their little girl going through life with the middle name Gilmer.  I could be wrong, Gilmer is a very pretty name in some circles.

Re-adoption also guarantees your child's right to inheritance in every state.  No one wants to think that far down the road but this little change at the beginning can make all the difference at the end.  Not all states recognize the validity of foreign adoption decrees in all legal cases and, if there is ever a question as to whether your child is eligible to receive an inheritance or other legal benefits, the re-adoption provides a domestic record of the child's legal status.

Finally,  the "Accuracy for Adoptees Act," requires that a Federal Certificate of Citizenship for a child born outside of the United States reflect the child's name and date of birth as indicated on a State court order or State vital records document issued by the child's State of residence after the child has been adopted in that State. This means you will be able to change your child's date of birth to reflect his true age. 

We all hate paperwork and you have obviously done way more than your share but take these last steps.  You won't regret it!

Introducing New Programs...


Serbia has just implemented Hague Treaty for Intercountry Adoption as of April 1, 2014.  If you are open to adopting children with moderate to non-correctable speci

al needs, you'll find that Serbia is one of the most economical options to bring a child home. 

The process for learning more about the waiting children requires a letter of introduction to be submitted to the Ministry requesting approval and additional information.  Hopscotch provides the letter template and once it is completed, interested families would return the letter to Hopscotch and it will be submitted on your behalf.   There is no financial obligation for inquiry with the Ministry and our assistance with your letter of introduction.  

If you are interested in learning more about Serbia's waiting children,  visit us on our Waiting Child page or contact us at, and we can provide a letter of introduction template to help you get started.


Hopscotch is proud to announce our new program in Ukraine.  Though the country is undergoing tremendous civil strife, children are still coming to the US via Hosting programs and finding forever families.  Hopscotch is working with excellent partners .  Contact us to learn if Ukraine is right for your family.   If you are interested in hosting, need a family assessment, home study or update to your home study in NC or NY, we can help

So, how did you like it?  Let us hear from you and if you like this new format.  Expect to see more from us sooner rather than later, if so.  

Our next edition will include important information regarding the ramifications of the Universal Accreditation Act and a new story from a Hopscotch family that has had great success and benefited from an open (intercountry) adoption. 

Until then, 

Robin E. Sizemore

Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc

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Have a story to share? Send it and a few photos to Michelle or Megan and we'll get you in future newsletter.