Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Announcing the National Adoption League!

Image1 If you are a Hopscotch Adoption family – even better news.  Hopscotch Adoptions is a National Council For Adoption Member and thus anyone we refer to the National Adoption League can use the promo code MEMBER10 to receive 10% off their first year’s membership. Act fast! This promotional code will only be valid through October 31st.

Download Flyer (PDF)

It's Coming... ‪#‎WorldAdoptionDay‬!


Sexual Abuse Prior to Placement Webinar

Advice for Adoptive Parents

43 Wednesday, October 15, 2014
7:00PM Central
Q&A: 8:00PM

It is a terribly sad reality that children adopted internationally or through foster care may have suffered sexual abuse.

Join Mary Jo Bennett as she provides insight to parents on:

  • Recognizing signs of past abuse in your child
  • How to respond if you suspect or know abuse happened
  • Protecting the child you are welcoming home and other children in the home
  • How to talk to your child about sexual rules or norms in their new home

Sign up today

Monday, September 29, 2014

Maybe Orphanages Aren't So Bad After All, Study Says

Source: http://time.com/3194832/orphanage-study/

By Belinda Luscombe

“In the U.S. there is a movement to see long-term residential care as detrimental to all children..."

Author of biggest study to date says the institutions have been unfairly stigmatized


Orphanages, as we all know from Charles Dickens, studies of kids from former Eastern Bloc countries and the musical Annie, are bad for children. Except, as a few studies are now beginning to find, when they’re not. The latest study looked at children from five not-so-wealthy countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa over the course of three years and found that being in an institution did not necessarily make them much worse off.

Read more.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Check Out This Video

This video is dedicated to MattyB's little sister Sarah Grace who was born with Down Syndrome. Sarah is the most beautiful girl in the world and she is an absolute joy to everyone's life she has impacted.

See Video.


Love In The Time of Kindergarten.

Source: http://callmefluffy.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/22/

By Khatia Esartia

797743a0c557af962cec9e4e1648bca3 In 1984 I spent one year behind bars of a Kindergarten. To say that I hated it is an understatement. I was marginalized as one of the ‘republic’ kids and my teacher plainly hated me and made us take naps every day. I don’t mean like curled up on a mat with a pillow under your head and a blanket to cover you type of naps. I am talking about strip down to your underwear in front of everyone, change into pajamas in front of everyone, and get into your bed and sleep on command for two hours. I did everything I could to get out of those naps. I lied to my teachers about my dad having to come pick me up before nap time. I involved my mother, my grandparents, imaginary relatives. Basically I ran through the family tree before I too was shoved into the ‘nap’ room. It wasn’t the nudity I was so scared off, it was the other little overdeveloped girls (who has boobs at age of 6????) who would point at my flat chest and laugh.

Read more.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Grants for Medical Reviews!!!!

Source: http://www.sparrow-fund.org/

sp "The adoption process can be a wild ride. It can be a time of great emotional swings—fear, excitement, grief, joy—that can make it difficult to always know the right next step for your family. Many of us have found support from the adoption community, a tight-knit group, historically ready to support other families in the adoption process. Though this support is very helpful, support from professionals who can come along side of us and prepare us in ways that we would not be able to ourselves is crucial.

We believe that the family is responsible to be as well prepared as possible for the major life change that adoption brings. One of the most significant ways you can prepare yourselves is to bring in medical professionals to work with you to understand what it means to bring a child out of an institution or foster home and transition him or her into a permanent home. Furthermore, when you review an available child’s paperwork or receive a referral, this child you have dreamed about is no longer a dream but is an actual child…perhaps your child. These professionals provide valuable insight during this process regarding what needs the child has and how to best care for him or her and help to prepare you to be the parents to that specific child. We want to encourage adoptive families to seek out a medical organization offering comprehensive support, a program that includes more than a quick review of some paperwork and a summary email or phone call, but rather an organization that (a) works with you pre-referral, (b) helps you work through any and all medical info provided when you first receive or are considering a referral, and (c) offers post-placement support.

Using a service like this is costly on top of an already expensive adoption process, especially since medical insurance will not cover these costs because the child is not an official dependant. However, it is an invaluable service that can bring real clarity when it is most needed. It is also where we come in. We find this service so important that we want to provide a way for families to enroll in these programs who otherwise would not be able to handle the expense. If you believe you would qualify, we encourage you to apply for a grant. If you do not think you would qualify but understand the benefit of these programs, we encourage you to partner with us and donate so others have the opportunity to take advantage of this service.

Basic Application Process:

  • Find a medical organization that offers this type of service
  • Determine if you need help paying for this service
  • Fill out The Sparrow Fund application. Click here to download the form.
  • Gather additional documents:
  • Copy of your initial home study and any subsequent updates
  • Copy of your most recent pay stub(s)
  • Letter from your adoption agency. Click here for a sample.
  • Copy of the application to the medical review service provider (if applicable)

Mail all the documents to:
The Sparrow Fund
Attn: Application Review
124 3rd Ave
Phoenixville, PA 19460

We will only accept applications from January through October. Any application received in November or December will not be reviewed until January.

The Sparrow Fund will review the application and determine if you qualify for the grant
and contact you as soon as possible."


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Grandmas are PRICELESS!

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/25/kevin-droniak-grandma-videos_n_5710447.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592


Grandmas are PRICELESS! Just imagining my Kelley and his Meemaw. Hilarious.

Droniak and his grandma's rise to viral stardom began about two years ago when the 17-year-old, wanting to share his firecracker of a granny and her priceless wisdom with the world, decided to set up a camera in his grandma’s car to capture their conversations.

See videos.

Monday, September 22, 2014

I Heart Armenia.

Source: http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/blogs/pamperspakhlava/2014/09/03/i-heart-armenia/

By Beth Shepherd

If you are not following Beth Shepherd's blog - fix that.


When summer turns to fall, my heart longs for Armenia. I made four trips to Armenia in the fall, and when the air begins to feel crisp and leaves on the trees trim their edges with gold and red, I reminisce: Vines laden with ripe grapes drape trellises outside people’s homes, hills are dry and brown and the mountains feel moodier as clouds start to enshroud their peaks.

Read more.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Do You Speak English?

Source: https://www.yahoo.com/travel/worst-things-americans-say-on-c1409797717625.html

By Yahoo Travel Editors

We already know this... don't we?


When we travel, we are, by definition, out of place. But the things Americans say when we travel (especially overseas) sometimes highlight just how out of place we are — and not in a good way. The natural biases we’ve formed at home can come out in the worst, although unintentional, ways.

So to help you prevent an international outbreak of foot-in-mouth disease, here are the Worst Things Americans Say on Vacation.

See Slideshow.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Birth mothers and birthday thoughts from Madeleine Melcher. Excellent!

Source: http://www.ourjourneytoyouadoption.com/1/archives/09-2013/1.html

By Madeleine Melcher

To My Own BIRTHmother on my BIRTHday...

So here I sit with my coffee, it is September 17th and the cool fall air has just begun emerging in the mornings--my favorite time of year.  A little quiet time when I can collect my thoughts before my sweet darlings get up for school.  It is my birthday.  My thoughts go to all the birthdays before this one, filled with special cakes made by my mom, gifts that I loved, parties with friends and the little train tray my mom would bring to our beds on our birthday ~filled with a special birthday breakfast as she cheerfully came in to sing.  But there is one other person I think of on my birthday…someone I do not even know.  Someone that had a lot to do with the actual day I was born, but who I have never carried on a real conversation with~  my own birthmother.

Read more.

Friday, September 19, 2014

If Only 7%


When you see it in those terms you have to scratch your head and wonder why do we still have orphans and why do we still have so many waiting families - Encouraging everyone to give this some thought.

Today, the Lord to show each of His followers that we can each do something!

Visit Lifesong.org

Thursday, September 18, 2014

It's Your Second Chance to Enjoy Georgian Culture, Food, Music and Art.

a46c956ff0f82cf325d8b3ca18ef80f5 It's Your Second Chance to Enjoy Georgian Culture, Food, Music and Art: Russian, Georgian, American Food ~ International Fall Festival hosted by Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church in Roswell, GA Saturday, September 20th 11:00-5:30p & Sunday, September 21st 11:30-5:00pm

NAMI Piedmont Tri-County Walk for 1 in 4

Source: http://www.razoo.com/story/Ericka-Kauer-Fundraising-For-Nami-Piedmont-Tri-County-Walk-For-1-In-4

Adoptive families really know the value of accessing mental health services and support. Here's a great chance to support that for families in your own community.


Did you know that 1 in 5 children are affected by mental illness in a given year? Your support matters to our family and many, many others!

We knew from almost the very start that our daughter, Ava, was different from other kids. As time went on, her struggles became more pronounced. After years of evaluations, she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and a mild Intellectual Disability at age 9. Her increasingly isolating behaviors threatened to tear our family apart. We were truly a family in crisis. It was then that we found NAMI. At the NAMI Piedmont Tri-County, Family to Family course, we started to understand the challenges Ava faces every minute of every day. The education we received at NAMI Family to Family and NAMI Basics has been life changing. As a result of attending NAMI support groups, we have learned to become better advocates for Ava in the school setting as well as in the community. The caring and generous nature of the many NAMI Piedmont Tri-County volunteers we have met has provided much needed emotional as well as educational support to us.

Read more.

5 of the World’s Most Beautiful Alphabets... and Why You’ll Never Learn to Read Them

Source: http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/5-beautiful-endangered-alphabets/

By Felipe Sant'Ana Pereira


Since the birth of the alphabet in the Near East around 2000 BC, endless writing systems from different languages and cultures have thrived and perished. The classic example is Egyptian, a highly developed civilization whose legacy remains the form of a famous hieroglyphic writing system…which we’ve never been able to fully decipher.

Over the last 2,500 years, the Latin alphabet has become so popular it’s swept away writing systems of peoples once dominated by the Romans. However, more than two billion people still write in other formats, and a few of them display an impressive handmade beauty.

Read more.

Monday, September 15, 2014

News from Serbia: Celebrating our first TWO families' referral match and acceptances.

News from Serbia: Celebrating our first TWO families' referral match and acceptances.  Both families should be traveling soon to bring their children home.  Congrats Hopscotch Families!


Sexual Abuse Prior to Placement - Advice for Adoptive Parents

Source: http://www.adoptionlearningpartners.org/catalog/webinars/sexual-abuse-prior-to-placement.cfm



Advice for Adoptive Parents

Live Webinar

October 15, 2014
7:00PM Central
Q&A: 8:00PM

It is a terribly sad reality that children adopted internationally or through foster care may have suffered sexual abuse.

Join Mary Jo Barrett as she provides insight to parents on:

  • Recognizing signs of past abuse in your child
  • How to respond if you suspect or know abuse happened
  • Protecting the child you are welcoming home and other children in the home
  • How to talk to your child about sexual rules or norms in their new home

Read more.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Finding Your Brilliance

Source: http://callmefluffy.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/must-be-a-genius/

Must be a Genius


Someone once asked me how was it that I decided to become an artist.
Well, to be honest, there just wasn’t anything else I was good at.
When I was growing up, many a millennia ago,  parents did not want to believe their children were talentless fools. They searched and prodded their child’s brain to find at least one flicker of something resembling brilliance in any professional field such as arts, sports, science and so on.

It really was my own fault. I too was wrapped up in this idea, and I was sure I was a genius in waiting, or hiding, or whatever. I was convinced I was the real deal!
And thus started my misadventures in arts, sports and other thingies.


Source: https://www.facebook.com/lifesongfororphans?ref=stream

2 Keep the #AdoptionSelfie's coming! (enter yours by Monday night for a chance for a free t-shirt!)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Another Fabulous Blog Post by Katie Jay!

U.S. State Department Covers Up Smear Campaign Against Families Adopting From Ethiopia

Source: http://childrendeservefamilies.com/u-s-state-department-covers-smear-campaign-families-adopting-ethiopia/


Look at four thousand of anything and you’re bound to turn up a bad apple. Or egg. Or fraudulent adoption.

Except looking didn’t find one–not one out of 4000, even though the U.S. State Department wanted and needed to find one.

In January of 2011, a joint team from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of State reviewed 4,000 consecutive adoptions from Ethiopia, looking for evidence that fraud was prevalent in Ethiopian adoptions. The State Department needed evidence to back up a smear campaign they had begun to wage against Ethiopian adoptions. But after a field investigation and an extensive, careful analysis, the team found that not one single case among those 4,000 was fraudulent.

Read more.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nobody Comes - True Adoption Story - Review Copy

Nobody Comes by Anthony Cleary

!cid_ii_1485617064f702a8Attached are the first five chapters of Nobody Comes, the story of a British Judge who went to Romania in the early 1990s – at the time that all the terrible news arrived of the way Romanian orphans were being treated – and against all the odds managed to successfully adopt a child.

Read a synopsis (PDF)

Here is how he recently described the experience in his own words:


The book can be bought here:

Paperback and ebook:

Amazon.co.uk (29/30 Five Star reviews)


Apple iBookstore

Another Brilliant Blog by Katie Jay

Another Brilliant Blog by Katie Jay @ https://twitter.com/katiejayesq

Source: http://childrendeservefamilies.com/international-adoption-restrictions-modernization-backlash/


True adoption–assuming legal responsibility for a child as if that child had been born of you–bestows rights to the child, and rights but also responsibilities upon the parent. True adoption makes an adopted child equal to all the other children in the house. True adoption protects children with the right of inheritance, government benefits, and a great number of safeguards.

Read more.

ALERT USCIS FEE INCREASE: Increases will significantly impact I-600 and I-800 cases

USCIS Fee increase ds-260 revised USCIS FEE INCREASE: Increases will significantly impact I-600 and I-800 cases.  Effective September 12, 2014, the new Filing Petition for Visa will be $720.  The new Visa Processing fee will increase to $325.00.  


Notice: Immigrant visa application processing fees are tiered, as shown below, based on the visa category you apply for.

Every visa applicant must pay the visa application processing fee for the visa category being applied for.

Description of Service and Fee Amount (All fees = $ in US currency)

Filing an Immigrant Visa Petition (When collected by U.S. Embassies and Consulates for USCIS. Fees subject to change.)

Immigrant petition for relative (I-130): $420

Orphan (intercountry adoption) immediate relative petition  (I-600, I-800): $720

Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fees (non-refundable, per person)

Immediate relative and family preference applications (processed on the basis of an approved I-130, I-600 or I-800 petition): $325

Monday, September 8, 2014

What every little girls needs to know... How to be treated by their future dates

Click here to see the video.


Provide Your Message of Family to Child Welfare Officials Around the World

World%20family%20day%202014 Child welfare officials from more than 20 countries will be attending our Global Symposium on Child Permanency this November.

Both Ends Burning is bringing these countries together to address a single topic: How do we get these kids the permanent loving families they deserve?

There has never been a global forum devoted to this topic.

Nor has there ever been an international effort focused on getting kids into families.

Both Ends Burning is committed to starting this effort, and we are doing so beginning with our symposium in November. While many have inquired about attending, this is intended to be a working session, and unfortunately the format is not conducive to public participation

However, you can share your message with these officials by helping us create a FAMILY AROUND THE WORLD video that we will show our guests during the symposium. This short film, showcasing a wide range of diverse families, will be an emotional visual experience of how people from around the world describe what “being a part of a family” means.

Please click here  to submit your family's message for the "Family Around The World" video. You can either send us a photo of your family with a written quote about how you describe family, or create a short video of your family sharing what family means to you.

Your participation will further our efforts to advocate for "getting kids into families" as a core value of every child welfare program.

Plus, with your help, this could be a really cool video we could share all over the world!

Craig Juntunen
Founder, Both Ends Burning

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Family Dinners May Help Kids Cope With Cyberbullying

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/family-dinners-may-help-kids-cope-cyberbullying-213435983.html

By Kathryn Doyle

Cyberbullying NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Like victims of face-to-face bullying, kids who experience internet bullying are vulnerable to mental health and substance use problems – but spending more time communicating with their parents may help protect them from these harmful consequences, a new study suggests.

For example, the researchers found, regular family dinners seemed to help kids cope with online bullying. But they say talk time with parents in cars or other settings can also help protect against the effects of cyberbullying.

Read more.

Last Chance to Register: Tired of Timeouts Webinar

Webinar Series for Adoptive Families

TOMORROW NIGHT: 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 not working? Wondering how to effectively discipline your child?
Parents of adopted children - children who have experienced loss - often need to consider alternative ways to discipline their children. 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

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Creating Trauma-Informed Classrooms

NCFA Releases Adoption Advocate No. 75 | Creating Trauma-Informed Classrooms

With another school year beginning, it is important for teachers and school administrators to understand the impact of trauma, abuse, neglect, and other risk factors in a child's history that can affect his or her ability to learn and feel safe and connected in the classroom. In the September 2014 issue of NCFA's Adoption Advocate, co-authors Casey Call, Karyn Purvis, Sheri R. Parris, and David Cross share the results from different schools employing Trust-Based Relationship Intervention® (TBRI®), and emphasize the power of safe, nurturing relationships in the classroom—particularly for children from "hard places."

Read more: http://www.adoptioncouncil.org/files/large/4b9294d4e0fc351