In This Issue
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.
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'.
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 http://www.creatingafamily.org/learning-center.html
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Robin E. Sizemore
Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc