Monday, August 25, 2014



TWINSies!  Dawn Davenport gives us lots to think about when dreaming of parenting twins through adoption.

I received an email the other day asking about adopting “twins”. The would-be adoptive mom didn’t really care if the kids were actual twins, she was perfectly happy to create virtual twins through adoption.

I’ve always been fascinated by twins…wished I were a twin, always had twin baby dolls as a kid. We are thinking about adoption and want to adopt twins. Waiting for actual twins to adopt could take a while, so we have decided to adopt two kids the same age that need a home. I think it will be easier having kids the same age and they will have that twin bond. Twins are so cool. How do we adopt them?

Fascination with Twins

Our society is fascinated by twins. I get it. When I was a kid Hasbro came out with quintuplet dolls, and I begged for them every Christmas and birthday for years. I mean really, who doesn’t find pictures of two babies dressed in identical adorable outfits irresistible?

Read more.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

News from Armenia: Three families adopting from Hopscotch

News from Armenia: Three families adopting from Hopscotch Adoptions' Waiting Child Program received their Article 16 Packages this week!  Hoping for all the children to come home soon in the coming months.


News from Bulgaria

News from Bulgaria: Wishing our Hopscotch family a safe and successful registration trip.  Congrats!!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Reconnecting Siblings Separated by Foster Care System


By Rheana Murray

34f2d313864b256e2555ef169be217eb Brothers and sisters torn apart by foster care or adoption get to see each other for one glorious week every year, at a summer camp that aims to reconnect separated siblings.

For one counselor, the reunion was so touching she decided to take three campers home – permanently, so they would never be separated again.

Tammy Gerber, a realtor in Las Vegas, told ABC News she had no idea what she was getting herself into when she signed up to be a volunteer at Camp To Belong for a week in 2009, but had no doubts about starting a family when she met three inseparable siblings, two boys and one girl, who all lived in different foster care homes at the time.

Read more.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Dave Ramsey Edition - Affording Adoption

91a63c639669bb27304cfa00182ee578 Someone posted yesterday on the Creating a Family Facebook Support Group that they were just starting the adoption process and felt overwhelmed and defeated by the cost of adoption. We received a question for yesterday’s show from a couple that had spent all their savings on a failed IVF cycle and were now wondering how to afford another round. Yeah, no two ways about it, both adoption and infertility are expensive.

Adoptions can cost upwards of $30,000 and one IVF cycle can cost $15,000+, and most people don’t have that amount of cash sitting unused in a saving account. How in the world do people afford to adopt or pay for IVF? I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but one way is by old fashioned saving.

It May Not Be Flashy, But It Works

Saving money just sounds so darn boring, doesn’t it. It has no pizazz, but it does work. I have been a big fan of Dave Ramsey’s financial management approach for a long time. He lays out the how’s and why’s of creating a sound money plan for your family in such a direct and wise way.  You absolutely should listen to my interview with Chris Hogan, with Dave’s group, if you want to save money for any important goal (adoption, fertility treatment, a house, etc.), or if you want to get your spending under control. (Plus, Chris has a really great, and sexy, radio voice.)

Get On The Same Page

Chris gave lots of good advice on the show yesterday on getting control of your finances and starting to save money, but one of the things that resonated the most with me was his insistence that both husband and wife needed to be on the same page. Both partners need to agree on the goal and on the method for achieving it. He also suggested that both partners identify the “cost” of achieving this goal, as in lack of sleep, reduced time for vegging out, picking up the slack around the house, etc. He is so right about that!

There is no magic bullet for amassing $15-30,000+, but Chris gave lots of specific ideas for how to do it. Another good resource is Adopting Without Debt by Julie Gumm. It could just as easily have been titled “Fertility Treatment Without Debt” since the advice is almost equally relevant. We interviewed her on another Creating a Family show.

How did you pay for your fertility treatment or adoption?

P.S. It should be noted that foster care adoption cost almost nothing, and is a great way to create a family.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Moving Armenia

Thanks Haro Setian!


Moving Yerevan is an emotive response to the meeting of 47 dancers and the metropolis.

Too intuitive and almost impossible to clarify in formal terms, Moving Yerevan can be loosely described as playful filmmaking meets the hidden language of dance.

Yerevan is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. The history of it's people simply measured in millennia.

I encourage all to take a brief look at Armenian history before watching.

Filmed over 3 days and 3 nights against everyday life. The 7-minute film presents the capital of Armenia moving as one. I was lucky to have 47 of their best meet me in this time.

See Video.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

When UNICEF 'Kool-Aid' is Served at Your Next Dinner Party

We Love Katie Jay!


stork-baby-girl-thumb-200x149 Assisted reproductive technology is a multi-billion dollar industry. But no one ever questions the value or proposes that doctors start doing IVF for free. Sometimes people complain that insurance companies should cover the costs, but no one argues that the reproductive technology industry should not be allowed to profit off their work.

Why? Let’s imagine that starting tomorrow, doctors and everyone involved in the reproductive technology industry were no longer allowed to profit from their work. Not a single dime could be made. What would happen?

Read more.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Point of View.... Well Done

Man With Dwarfism Wears Hidden Camera to Show a Day From His Point of View


By Zain Meghji


New York is a big city, and the sheer size of it can be overwhelming for anyone. Now imagine what it feels like if you are a little person.

Jonathan Novick, 22, has achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism.

Sharing a definition of dwarfism, Novick says it is "the abnormal underdevelopment of the body characterized predominantly by extreme shortness of stature." He adds, "The term is dwarf or little person, one or the other is totally fine — just not midget ... not only is that incorrect, but it's incredibly offensive."

Novick came to New York City about a year ago. He made a short film about his experience and posted it to YouTube on Aug. 7. In less than a week, it's racked up more than 69,000 views.

He wanted to share this video so that instead of telling people about his condition and his life, he could start showing them.

Read more & See video.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Why We Didn't Change Our Adopted Child's Name

"I think this can apply to all of our internationally adopted kids. We kept the names of our children incorporated into their full names. Great article and thank you Erin!"


By Erin

valentine Whether to change an adopted child’s name is always a hot topic for adopters and adoptees. Some people are passionately for it, others passionately against it, and most somewhere in the middle. Over the years we have received many comments about our daughter’s name. Questions on how to pronounce her name… questions on how to spell her name… and before her adoption, questions on if we were going to change her name.

At this point I can’t imagine ever considering anything else. She IS Nariya. It suits her. But there was a point in the very beginning that we considered changing it.

I almost hate to say this now, but it’s the truth so here it is: I considered changing my daughter’s name because I was worried it sounded too black.

Read more.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Spending Money on Even One Adoption is Great for the World


By Katie Jay

2014-07-20-17.42.10-1024x768 There is a type of comment I regularly get on this blog from the anti-adoption nuts:

“The money you are spending to bring just one child out of her country could be used to build a clinic or school, fund a doctor, public health nurse, or teacher for a year, to improve the lives of everyone in the village. How is taking one child benefitting the thousands left behind?”

The question is whether adoptive families—who are a tiny, insignificant percentage of players in the global orphan crisis—who spend $30K for our adoption costs would be better to contribute to charities instead. Which begs the question: Would the world be a better place overall with that approach, even though the children who would have been adopted would die?

The answer is no. It’s not even a debate. Here’s why.

Read more.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Petition update – Governor Andrew Cuomo: NYS Should Fund Statewide Post Adoption Service

Aug 11, 2014 — After consultation with national adoption advocates and Senators that support the bill, Voice for Adoption is requesting individuals not call Senator Coburn’s office directly about this bill. There is concern that too many calls to Senator’s Coburn’s office may actually be counterproductive. Voice for Adoption and other adoption advocates will be working behind the scenes this August. If you want to visit with or call your Senator in their home office during the legislative summer break feel free to mention your support for HR 4980 but please do not mention Senator Coburn by name.

Click here to Read More & Promote this Petition

Webinar: Parenting Teens with FASD. Register Today!

NTI Upstream 2014 Webinar Series

Adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders 

Register Today. Space is Limited!
Webinar #4: 
Parenting the Adolescent with FASD

This session will offer first-hand experience of parenting an adolescent with FASD. The webinar, facilitated by Dr. Ira Chasnoff, will feature Carole Hurley, a single adoptive mother of two who is raising both an adolescent and a younger child with FASD. Information will include how she handles day-to-day struggles and where she goes to find assistance. This is an excellent opportunity to ask direct questions about raising children with FASD and to learn from her experience.

In 2013, Carole became the Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.  She is Chair of the State Bar Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, Chair of the Travis County Child Protective Services Board, and is a member of the Texas Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Prevention Task Force.  Her most important job, though, is being Kara and Emma Hurley's mom.

Register here:

Presented by Ira J. Chasnoff, MD and Carole Hurley

August 14, 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 #3: Sexual Development & Sexuality in Adolescents with FASD

FREE SHIPPING through August 8th, 2014
Buy Now

2014 Webinar #2: Adolescents with FASD: School and Academic Functioning
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2014 Webinar #1: Neurodevelopment in the Adolescent with FASD
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2013 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.).

Please visit for more information!

News from DRC: Rest In Peace, Ben Dillow

7c5c586f-aa56-4daa-9995-9de6862ef3bf Saturday, Benjamin Chase Dillow was laid to rest in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after a valiant battle for his life. His parents did what no parent should ever have to do. They arranged his funeral. They selected his casket and chose the scripture. Unfortunately, they did this all from their home in Kentucky.

They were separated from their son because they could not get an exit letter from the DRC government to bring their son home despite the fact he had been legally adopted and had his passport and visa to travel. Eleven months ago, DRC stopped issuing exit letters. Instead of raising their son, the Dillows were forced to watch his health deteriorate from afar and were helpless to intervene.

Ben Dillow died when he should have lived. His parents have written a letter addressed To Anyone That Will Listen:

In memory of our son Benjamin Chase Dillow

I write this letter imploring, pleading, no, begging that my son's death not be in vain. Benjamin deserved life, he deserved to be united with his family, but was denied that by the senseless suspension of exit permits. He was one of the many critically fragile children that have families waiting helplessly to bring them home.

Benjamin was critically ill but his doctors in the DRC knew and had stated that his health could be greatly improved with more advanced care offered in the US. His story could have been about the life of a young child that was given a chance, a hope of growing up with his brother and sister, a life of birthday parties, and first loves, graduations, memories with his loving family. But instead Ben's life ended because the DGM failed to see my son as a life. This orphaned boy was not worth the consideration to give him a chance at life. Benjamin's death should be a warning to the reality of this suspension.

When I look at the eyes of these other critically ill children, I see sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. These children have families that want to give them their home and hearts. We as parents want to hold our children, to comfort them while they are sick. We want to give them the care that they need and deserve, even if it's only to hold their hand during their last breath. My son passed away on August 4th at Mutumbo Hospital with his care taker by his side.

As my son took his last breaths, he cried for his "Mama". I cannot tell you the pain of not being by his side; the pain of being helpless to do anything. Please do not let this happen to another child. Give my son's death meaning! Give these children a chance! Give them life!

Through Tearful Eyes,
Morgan and Grace Dillow

Ben's death, and what is happening to hundreds of other kids, makes no sense. If you want to learn more about the crisis, and what we are doing to resolve the problem, click here.

Craig Juntunen

Founder, Both Ends Burning

Sunday, August 10, 2014

News From Armenia: The "Best Day Of Your Life" starts on Monday

News from Armenia: Congrats to our Hopscotch family traveling to Armenia to meet their beautiful child.  Registration week is unforgettable.  The "Best Day Of Your Life" starts on Monday.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Savvy Packing Tips - but #6 may get you booted off the plane.



Any good traveler knows that packing is an annoying yet crucial task. So to make your experience more effortless, Brittany Jones-Cooper presents the six weird household items to use the next time you pack.

1. Shower cap

When you’re packing, it’s ill-advised to put your dirty shoes next to your clean clothes. My problem is that I don’t own any shoe bags. I mean, who does? Either way, a shower cap can do the job. Just slide each of your shoes inside of a cap and you’re good to go. I usually have a shower cap or two lying around the house, and they’re also cheap to buy. Double bonus: If you’re staying at a hotel, they usually have them in the bathroom amenity kits.

2. Straws

Packing jewelry can be a pain in the you-know-what — especially necklaces. I tend to just throw them in the pocket of my makeup bag, and then when I take them out, they are in a tangled mess. That’s where a straw will come in handy. You simply take a straw, thread the necklace through, secure the clasp on the other end, and bam! — you’re tangle free.

Read More & See Video

Friday, August 8, 2014

Mosaic Festival in Greensboro, NC


VOLUNTEER OR JOIN THE FUN!  Church World Service (CWS) of Greensboro, NC will host a series of monthly multicultural events (MOSAIC FESTIVAL) throughout the summer and volunteers are needed. MOSAIC FESTIVAL:

Celebrating Diversity with Food, Music & Art in Downtown Greensboro is an annual event hosted by CWS Greensboro to bring people together across all cultures to celebrate diversity in our community.

Volunteers will help with setting up and closing down the event, serving drinks/refreshments, greeting/ticketing at the entrance, helping assist with our photo booth, and much more!

These are the following dates that MOSAIC FESTIVAL will take place in 2014: August 27th, and September 24th.

To volunteer, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Lori Lester at 336-617-0381 or

Adoption Alert: Ebola Outbreak in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone


August 8, 2014

Adoption Alert

Ebola Outbreak in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone

The Office of Children’s Issues understands that prospective adoptive parents may have questions and concerns about the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the West African nations of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. We want to ensure that you have current information on the crisis as it relates to your adoption cases.

Please be aware that local adoption authorities may close or limit their adoption processing as government resources are directed to addressing the Ebola outbreak.  Continued availability of services at our embassies is always dependent on local conditions but we will do our best to continue processing adoption cases as a priority. 

Currently, due to health and security concerns, the U.S. Embassy in Liberia modified its immigrant visa processing schedule.  Please consult the U.S. Embassy in Liberia’s website for the latest guidance.  If you have not yet completed a medical exam for your pending adoption case in Liberia, please contact for more information.   Immigrant visa processing for adoptions continues as usual at the U.S. Embassies in Sierra Leone and Senegal (for Guinea).

For specific inquiries, please contact the consular sections at the appropriate embassy:  For Liberia,; for Sierra Leone,; and for Guinea,  

Please also note that the Centers for Disease Control has issued Travel Warnings for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone advising against nonessential travel and has provided guidance to reduce the potential for spread of EVD.  These links are accessible on the Department’s Ebola Fact Sheet.  In addition, on August 7, the Department issued a Travel Warning for Liberia

The Department of State will continue to 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

Thursday, August 7, 2014

DRC Adoption “Suspension” Re-Victimizes Orphans



My heart keeps breaking every day since having to leave my daughter behind

What do you do when your youngest daughter wakes from her nap with terrified shrieks and sobbing?

What I did was run from the next room to pick her up and rock her, and tell her how much I love her.

What I did not do is tell her how I would always be there for her, and that I would never leave her. I couldn’t tell her these things because they’re not true.

Even after a few minutes of closeness, she clung to me so fiercely it felt like she was trying to crawl inside of me. She is terrified of being abandoned. Again.

Read more.

U.S. Secretary of State Meeting with Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President


Adoption Alert

August 5, 2014

Democratic Republic of the Congo

U.S. Secretary of State Meeting with Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President

On August 4, Secretary of State John Kerry met with DRC President Joseph Kabila to stress the urgency of lifting the suspension on the issuance of exit permits for Congolese adopted children.  Secretary Kerry strongly emphasized our humanitarian concern for the children and families affected by the suspension, and urged that children whose adoptions were completed in Congolese courts should be allowed to obtain exit permits and join their adoptive families in the United States. 

President Kabila did not provide any new information during the meeting regarding the DRC government’s policy to not review cases during the suspension.  President Kabila stated that the DRC adoption process has involved many inconsistencies in case processing and needs to be reformed.   

The Department of State deeply regrets that families continue to face an indefinite wait for exit permits.  We will continue to stress to the DRC government our concern for Congolese adopted children who are not able to obtain exit permits and stress our commitment to addressing the Congolese concerns about intercountry adoptions.  Our offers to provide technical expertise, and to bring a delegation of Congolese officials to the United States, remain on the table and will continue to be reiterated at every opportunity. 

Please direct questions related to this alert or a specific adoption from the DRC to the Department of State, 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

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bow Ties and BBQ: Only 5 DAYS Left to Register!


  • Kybele has recruited more than 220 volunteers to participate in medical training programs in 11 countries.  These professionals have come from over 70 different institutions worldwide with the vast majority traveling multiple times to volunteer their time and medical expertise.
  • Nearly 50% of these volunteers have come from North Carolina hospitals.
  • The work Kybele has done for the past 5 years in Accra, Ghana has significantly reduced both infant and maternal mortality in a leading regional hospital.
  • Kybele's work has been published dozens of times in national/international medical journals, books, and publications.
  • Our programs are making a TRUE DIFFERENCE in the lives of women and children in our program countries.  National medical protocols are being changed.  Lives are being saved.  Women are experiencing a more compassionate, safe, and successful childbirth experience.

Here is what you can do to support this effort....

If you are in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro/Raleigh/Durham area: 

Register for this event by August 10th.  We guarantee a great time. 

$60 for Adults  |  $35 for Medical Residents/Students  |  $20 for Children 12 & under

Click to learn more or to register.

If you are not in the local area - PLEASE consider making a donation on behalf of this event or become a member or monthly donor

Friday, August 1, 2014

New Webinar: Discipline and Attachment in Adoption

Discipline and Attachment in Adoption


Thursday, September 4 | 7:00 PM CT

Tired of Timeouts: Discipline, Attachment and the Adopted Child

Traditional methods of discipline are often ineffective for children who have experienced loss. Focusing on attachment while disciplining your child will help correct behavior and keep a strong connection with her. 

Join Dafna Lender, LCSW, Clinical Director of the Theraplay Institute, as she helps parents:

  • Understand common challenging behaviors adopted children may exhibit at each developmental stage
  • Discipline in a way that fosters learning and helps your child accept your guidance
  • Move away from rewards and threats of punishment