Thursday, January 30, 2014

Delegitimization of Orphan Care



A couple months ago, I wrote a post in defense of the evangelical orphan care movement, despite my differing religious affiliation. I wrote that I didn’t see a problem with the orphan care movement.

But after watching the unrelenting media attacks on the orphan care movement, I DO see a problem now. And this is what it is:

You haven’t been fighting back.

There is a vocal, well-funded, radical left-wing delegitimization campaign against international adoption. International adoptions into this country have dropped by well over 60% in the past 10 years, despite millions of children living outside of parental or kinship care. At this rate, there will be virtually no opportunities to adopt kids who need families and they will be doomed to early death or, if they make it to their teenage years, human trafficking.

Read more.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gifted Garner Teen Embraces Both His Natural Talents and Challenge



The Johnson family is near and dear to my heart.  After having adopting their beautiful Georgian daughter Lela, she insisted nearly every day that they save meals, seats, toys, etc for Nika.... the Johnsons began to wonder if Nika was an imaginary friend.  Soon they learned that Nika was Lela's best friend from Tskhneti orphanage and they knew they had to return to bring him home too.  I had the honor to escort Nika from Tbilisi to Moscow and remember his cries for his beloved care-giver Zara.  It was emotionally gut wrenching to see how painful the separation was for him.  Today we are looking back and seeing the amazing, no, seemingly impossible achievement he has mastered.  Nika is a conqueror and together with his dear sister Lela, they are perfect examples of the importance of a permanent and loving family. 

Read more.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Webinar! Expert Advice on Your Top 5 Attachment Concerns

February 25, 2014 
7:00 PM Central
Q&A: 8:00 PM

Expert Advice on Your Top 5 Attachment Concerns 

Attachment is a process that can take time. Adoption often poses challenges to that process, leaving parents with concerns and questions.

If you're concerned about your child's attachment process with parents, siblings, or peers there are practical steps and ideas you can try at home right away. Or maybe you just want to know what's typical and what's adoption related.

Join Regina Kupecky as she discusses the Top 5 attachment concerns and what to do about them!

Practical ideas for the top 5 concerns she hears from parents including bonding to siblings, parents and peers as well as what's typical and what's not

Expert insights into attachment and attunement

Advice on connecting with your child throughout their development

Register Here!

Joint Council | (703) 535-8045 | |
117 South Saint Asaph Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NC COLPPA Membership Drive 2014

North Carolina families can find the highest standards of service to adoptive families by working with any member agency of these NC Coalition of Licensed and Private Adoption Agencies. 


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Webinar, Tomorrow! Inside the Adoption Circle

January 22nd, 2014

7:00 PM Central

Q&A: 8:00 PM

Webinar panel - an adopted person, a birth mom and an adoptive mom - reflects back on their own experiences with adoption and pose questions to each other giving adoptive parents insight into the thoughts and feelings of members of the adoption circle.

Sharing their personal stories, and asking challenging questions of each other, offers an understanding of different experiences to parents who may not be able to ask such questions in their own adoption relationships.

Our panel will also answer YOUR questions. Pose your question here.  

We Love Crazy Adoption People @ Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc



My dear friend Lisa, along with her family, is in Lithuania. They have adopted the adorable Asher and Annalise, 4 year old twins. Asher and Annalise join sibling Adeline and Alden. These friends are precious to us. We met them only a year ago through a mutual friend but it was an instant love connection. Our husbands get along; our kids want to marry one another. And we all love Jesus and adoption and pizza from Costco. (You, know, the trinity of important things…)

Anywhoozie, Lisa is about to come home and I’m just reupping my blog and I thought I’d reflect on our first few weeks home in order to help her. Most friends, though well meaning, have zero idea what it is like to bring an older child into your family through adoption. It is foreign and so those well meaning friends often do harm when they mean to help, or worse yet, do nothing at all. So here is my version of how to love an adoptive family.

First of all, read Jen Hatmaker’s How to Be the Village. Jen does an excellent job of setting the stage of what adoptive family’s go through after the big hoopla of the airport moment.

Read more.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Starting the New Year Off Right, Thanks To The Huff Family & Friends!


Spread the Word: Supporting Vulnerable Children at Home and Around the World

One of the smartest things we can do is invest in the future of our children, and that starts by making sure each one has a loving and permanent family. That’s why I’m proud to have secured many priorities to protect and support vulnerable children and foster youth at home and abroad in the latest government funding bill.

This bill contains priorities I’ve been working on during the last year including: streamlining scholarship information for foster youth, strengthening domestic adoption family recruitment, urging Guatemala to finalize stalled adoptions and reduce redundancy while improving the welfare of children internationally.

Show your support for this bill by sharing it on Facebook, Tweeting about it or forwarding this email to others.

As you know, adoption is an issue near and dear to my heart and I will continue to do everything I can to ensure every child has a permanent and loving family. Keep reading below to learn more about the important priories and funding I secured to help vulnerable children in this year's bill to fund the government.

If you have any questions about my work or this bill, please contact Libby Whitbeck or Whitney Reitz in my office.



Urge completion of transitional adoptions in Guatemala: After Guatemala suspended international adoptions in 2007, hundreds of children in the process of being adopted were denied homes.  For more than six years, the children involved have languished in institutions, while loving families have been prohibited from providing them with a nurturing home. To urge Guatemala to resolve this, we’ve suspended funding for the Guatemalan armed forces until we can verify that open adoption cases are resolved. I hope to send the message that these children cannot wait any longer to be connected with the loving families that they deserve

Enable more foster youth to find college scholarships: There are a number of barriers that all children face to earn a college degree, including paying for that degree. Congress has created specific scholarship opportunities for former foster children, but too many of these youth have no idea that such resources exist. A provision I authored will add a box on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to give students the ability to indicate that they are foster youth. Now, information on scholarships and grants will be shared directly with them.

Secured $4 million to support child-recruitment programs: Many states are unable to focus on recruiting adoptive families for children, particularly those who are considered hard to place because of age, disability or other barriers. In this bill, I created a new pilot grant to enable states to initiate intensive and exhaustive child-focused recruitment programs. These programs would focus on moving foster youth eligible for adoption into permanent families at a higher rate than traditional recruitment strategies.

Please contact Sen. Landrieu at the office nearest you.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Spread the Word: The Children in Families First Act is Gaining Momentum

The way Washington functions today, few people would guess that Senators Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer and Representatives Michele Bachmann and Trent Franks would co-sponsor and advocate for the same piece of legislation. But the five of us and a continuingly growing coalition of 45 other lawmakers believe that children should be raised in families.

The Children in Families First (CHIFF) Act will realign U.S. foreign assistance to prioritize children growing up in families; focus on protecting children by preserving, reunifying or creating families through kinship, domestic an d international adoption; and strengthen procedures to prevent abuse of children without families.

Today, an estimated 18-20 million children worldwide languish in institutions and uncounted millions more live on the streets. Our foreign aid helps many children, but not these. They are overlooked with tragic consequences: of those who survive childhood privation, abuse, and neglect, many eventually die on the streets or become criminals, drug addicts, victims of trafficking, and even terrorists. We must make change, now, and start to rescue these precious children, for their own sakes, but also because they are our future.

To learn more about the effort I am leading to provide these children with nurturing and permanent families, read the Associated Press story that appeared in newspapers across the country. Read the AP’s coverage here or below.

Use Facebook or Twitter to tell your friends and family about this legislation that will place children in caring families.




AP: Spurring foreign adoptions is goal of bipartisan bill in Congress

December 25, 2013

By David Crary

Amid partisan conflict in Congress, dozens of lawmakers from both parties — including staunch liberals and conservatives — have united behind a bill that supporters say addresses a heart-rending issue beyond politics: the millions of foreign children languishing in orphanages or otherwise at risk because they have no immediate family.

The bill would encourage more adoptions of foreign orphans, which have declined steadily in recent years, and reflects impatience with current policies overseen by the State Department.

"Every child needs and deserves to grow up in a family," says the bill's chief advocate, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. "While our foreign policy has done much to keep children alive and healthy, it has not prioritized this basic human right."

Titled the Children in Families First Act, the measure has been introduced in slightly different forms in both the Senate and House. Its co-sponsors range from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a hero of the Democratic left, to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., a favorite of tea party conservatives.

"It's not a slam dunk, but it is very possible," Landrieu said of the bill's chances. "We need voices from all parts of the political spectrum to make a change that many of us think is extremely important."

As of mid-December, the twin measures had 32 co-sponsors in the House and 17 in the Senate.

Landrieu, mother of two adopted children, hopes to keep building support for the bill with the goal of clearing committees in both chambers by spring.

However, some House Republicans are skeptical about creating more bureaucracy, and there is sentiment in the Obama administration that some key provisions of the bill are not needed.

"I think we've been pretty successful recently," said Susan Jacobs, the State Department's special adviser on children's issues. "We are proud of the work that we do to protect everyone involved in the adoption process — the birth families, the adopting families and of course the children."

Landrieu thinks differently, contending the government has been remiss in failing to establish an office that focuses on international child welfare. The bill would create a new bureau in the State Department assigned to work with non-governmental organizations and foreign countries to minimize the number of children without families — through family preservation and reunification, kinship care, and domestic and international adoption.

Under the legislation, the processing of international adoption cases would be assigned to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, while the U.S. Agency for International Development would become home to a center dedicated to implementing a 2012 plan to assist children in adversity.

There's no firm global count of children in orphanages, but they number in the millions. In Russia — which has banned adoptions by Americans — there are more than 650,000 children not in parental custody. In Kyrgyzstan — where foreign adoptions were disrupted for years due to corruption and political problems — orphanages are often ill-equipped, with limited specialized care for severely disabled children. In Haiti, where recovery from the 2010 earthquake has been slow, inspectors recently checked more than 700 orphanages, and said only 36 percent met minimum standards.

Much of the impetus for Landrieu's bill stems from shifting views about the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption. That treaty establishes ethical standards for international adoptions, which it says are an acceptable option after efforts have been made to have a child adopted in his or her home country.

The U.S. entered into the agreement in 2008 with strong support from Landrieu and other adoption advocates who hoped it would curtail fraud and corruption, and then lead to a boom in legitimate adoptions.

Instead, the decrease in foreign adoption by Americans — which started in 2005 — has continued. There were 8,668 such adoptions in 2012, down from 22,991 in 2004.

"When I helped to pass this treaty, it was everyone's hope that the number would go up — doubled, tripled, quadrupled," Landrieu said. "Instead it's down by 60 percent. That's the best evidence I have that what State Department has in place isn't working."

There are multiple reasons for the decline — including increases in domestic adoptions in China and South Korea, and suspensions imposed on several countries due to concerns about fraud and trafficking.

However, many supporters of Landrieu's bill believe the Hague convention has been applied too punitively, and that the State Department has been overcautious rather than working creatively to halt the decline. Several prominent supporters wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry on Dec. 18 asking that he investigate the matter.

The letter cites Cambodia as an example. The U.S. and other Western countries have banned adoptions from there since 2001 out of concern that the adoption business was rife with bribery and child-trafficking. Cambodia, which imposed its own ban in 2009, now says it has made needed reforms and is ready to resume international adoptions, but the State Department says the U.S. ban will remain in place because of continuing concerns about Cambodia's child-welfare system.

Since 2001, the letter said, "tens of thousands of children in Cambodia have had no chance at a permanent family." Many grow up or even die in institutional care, it said, while others end up on the streets or trafficked into the sex trade.

Chuck Johnson, CEO of the National Council for Adoption and one of the letter's signatories, cited Vietnam and Nepal as other countries where adoptions were suspended because of corruption and trafficking, and which now feel ready to resume them.

"The State Department has assumed the regulation of inter-country adoption with a lot of gusto, but with a void in terms of advocacy," Johnson said. "There are countries that want to work with the U.S., but we won't work with them."

Johnson said his organization, which represents dozens of adoption agencies, had enjoyed a positive relationship with the State Department in the past but is now bracing for a rupture over Landrieu's bill.

"We're putting the gloves on," he said. "Children's lives are at stake."

The State Department's Susan Jacobs said the U.S. was successfully using the Hague standards to bring about improvements in some overseas adoptions systems that have been plagued by corruption and child-trafficking. For example, she said a pilot project to resume some adoptions from Vietnam is expected to start within a few months.

"Diplomacy is a slow process and can often be frustrating to people," she said. "But I think we have a really good record."

Landrieu, however, is losing patience.

"Slow is not something that works well for children," she said. "There's no legitimate excuse for the U.S. dragging its feet when it comes to saying, 'Yes, children do belong in families.'"

The senator plans to confer about the bill in the coming weeks with Kerry, a former Senate colleague. "He and his team are very supportive of what we're doing," she said.

Among the outspoken supporters of Landrieu's bill is professor Elizabeth Bartholet, founder of the Child Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School.

The bill's basic message, she says, is "the U.S. government should change itself from being a negative force, with respect to children who need homes, to being a positive force."

The State Department, according to Bartholet, has been too preoccupied with its reputation, favoring suspensions of adoption when corruption or trafficking allegations arise and then taking its time resuming them at the cost of prolonging orphans' stays in institutions.

"Keeping a child in an institution is systematic abuse and neglect," Bartholet said. "The bill says we the United States should see inter-country adoption as one of the best options — it should not be the last resort."

Bartholet is among a number of the bill's supporters who see it as a repudiation of UNICEF, the U.N. children's agency. She contends that UNICEF views international adoption as an undesirable last resort and has suggested that Congress consider suspending funding to the agency until its stance changes.

The official website promoting Landrieu's bill also takes a swipe at the U.N. agency.

"The U.S. Government has effectively relinquished its policy role on international child welfare to UNICEF," the site says. "We need to retake control of U.S. foreign policy on this critical issue and lead the way in shifting the world's focus on to the importance of family for all children."

Asked about Landrieu's bill, UNICEF said it does not comment on pending legislation in U.N. member nations.

However, in recent public statements, UNICEF's chief of child protection, Susan Bissell, been emphatic on two points. She insists that UNICEF is not against international adoption, despite what some critics say. She also does not favor approaches that would prioritize international adoption over alternatives giving children permanent homes in their own country.

According to Landrieu's staff, the bill's proposals would cost about $60 million annually, with the money reallocated from existing foreign aid. About half would go to the USAID Center for Excellence and half to fund the new State Department bureau.

Some supporters of UNICEF and of U.S. efforts to combat the global AIDS epidemic fear those programs could lose some funding as part of the shift. Final decisions won't be made until and unless the bill advances.

Kathleen Strottman, executive director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, said she likes Landrieu's bill because of its scope — proposing a range of initiatives beyond adoption to help more of the millions of children worldwide living without a family.

"If the U.S. government is committed to reducing that number, this bill is the right strategy," Strottman said. "There's one perfect number — it must be as close to zero as we can get it."

Please contact Sen. Landrieu at the office nearest you.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Moms To Kids With Special Needs

I am Strong....Do I have a Choice? 

By Kavita Varma-White



For moms with special needs kids, the task of “doing it all” is an even more daunting one.

In addition to the normal stresses of parenting, they bear the emotional and often financial strain of being an advocate for a child who needs more. And many of the hundreds of women who wrote to Maria Shriver and TODAY say it’s the most exhausting challenge of all. 

This week, Shriver and TODAY are highlighting women's stories and their financial struggles in a series called #DoingItAll, culminating in a "help-a-thon" on TODAY Wednesday; in the meantime, TODAY Moms is asking moms to help each other with some of the most common challenges women face as they try to take care of everyone and everything in their lives.

Cindy Findling’s husband died, leaving her and her two children, one of whom has autism. Findling says that like others in her position, she struggles to find enough time and get enough help.

Read more.

Study Volunteers Needed: Bonding of Mothers to Children With Special Needs

School of Psychology, Fielding Graduate University

Volunteers Needed For Research Study About How Adoptive Mothers Create Their Emotional Bond With Their Child Who Has Special Health Care Needs.

70c5f341250c24734a47d2431dba50fd I am a doctoral student at Fielding Graduate University and am seeking volunteers to participate in my research study:

  • Mothers need to be 25 years of age and older, in an intact heterosexual marriage, with an adopted child with special health care needs who is between 3 and 8 years of age and who will have lived in the adoptive home at least one year.
  • Special health care needs: Developmental disabilities (such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) and/or chronic health conditions (such as congenital heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and asthma).
  • The study cannot include, unfortunately, adoptive mothers of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders or reactive attachment disorder.
    The time commitment would be approximately ninety minutes and the meeting would be arranged at the convenience of the participant. The volunteer’s confidentiality will be assured. The principal researcher of this study is April Fallon, Ph.D., Fielding Graduate University.

This research study has been reviewed and approved by the Fielding Graduate University Institutional Review Board. If you have any questions about the Fielding Institutional Review Board or Research Ethics review at Fielding, please contact Mike Meraz, Administrator, Institutional Review Board of Fielding Graduate University: or (805) 898-4033.

Interested mothers can contact Ileana Lindstrom, MA:

(410) 810-3916 or (410) 699-1161, or

How Smudge Came

by Nan Gregory

173dab77991394bfaa910ca4933d511c “You respond to the universal pet story before the illustrations show that Cindy is a young woman with Down’s syndrome. [This book] is remarkable in telling it as Cindy sees it. Lightburn’s realistic pictures in soft-tone colored pencil have the same beautiful sense of fragility, steadfastness, and connection.”—Booklist (starred review) 

This happens to be one of our very favorite books. Learn more.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Breaking Stalin's Nose

676db1fe99ea15701a89fcdcd7ca5c38 Sasha Zaichik has known the laws of the Soviet Young Pioneers since the age of six:

1. The Young Pioneer is devoted to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism.

2. A Young Pioneer is a reliable comrade and always acts according to conscience.

3. A Young Pioneer has a right to criticize shortcomings.

But now that it is finally time to join the Young Pioneers, the day Sasha has awaited for so long, everything seems to go awry. He breaks a classmate's glasses with a snowball. He accidentally damages a bust of Stalin in the school hallway.  And worst of all, his father, the best Communist he knows, was arrested just last night.

Learn more.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

ALERT: Ukrainian Post Placement Reports Now Due

Post Placement Special Notice:

Ukrainian Post Placement Reports Due the Third Week in January
Whether or not you adopted in Ukraine, Russia, or another Eastern European or Central Asian country, please read this important message about post placement reports. They are a fact of adoptive family life.  When we signed our adoption documents, we agreed to file these reports with our child's birth country, to provide information about the adjustment and progress of our children. Failure to do so is a violation of our adoption agreements.

There is another, equally important reason to file our post placement reports: they are one of the few tools that we adoptive parents can deploy to help keep inter-country adoption open.  When we file our reports - telling of our child's and our family's challenges and how we are working to overcome them - by sharing our children's triumphs, we provide the moderate voice of successful adoptive experience. When we don't, this balance is missing from the view birth countries have of our children and our families.  Without our voices, the tragic, but rare, instances of abuse, picked up and magnified by the media in the birth country and by U.S.  Media becomes their narrow and inaccurate view of American adoptive parents.  This should not be their only word of our children.

Ukrainian Post Placement Reports are due the third week in January.
Ukraine uses alternating report years for reports. Reporting Year 2014 is for those families who adopted Ukrainian children in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013. If you adopted in one of those's time to file! Please comply!

You can go to the Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption, Including Neighboring Countries (FRUA) website, for more specific information about Ukrainian post placement reports and where to pull reporting forms. Use this link:
FRUA's new winter issue of The Family Focus also provided great detail about the filing of post placement reports and their importance.

A Request for Each of Us to Do Our Part
This year, make it a point to file your reports about your children, no matter which country from which you adopted. If your child is from Russia, your reports can support the long term goal to re-open the doors of inter-country adoption in a country that is greatly divided over the care of its orphaned children.  For those who adopted in Ukraine, or are hoping to adopt, there is this stark reality: your FRUA chair has been told directly by the Ukrainian government that immediate improvements in American family's post placement reporting statistics will help keep the doors of inter-country adoption open for us. If those statistics do not improve this year, the government may well take steps limiting adoption to Americans.  I do not think that a single one of we adoptive parents, who value our children, want to be responsible for such a tragic step preventing other orphans and adoptive families from experiencing our joy.
Please, won't you please do this one thing for your child, and for all the families still waiting to adopt.

Thank you,
Jan Wondra
National FRUA Chair

Helping Kids Transition from Foster Care to Adoption


Highlights from May 9, 2012 Creating a Family radio show

helpingkidstransitionFoster care is tough on kids, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is easy to transition to adoption. What can you do to make this move easier. Our guests will be Kim Phagan-Hansel, editor of Fostering Families Today magazine and The Foster Parenting Toolbox; and Madeleine Krebs, Clinical Coordinator at the Center for Adoption Support and Education with over 35 years of experience providing psychotherapy for families with foster and adopted children.

  • Why are some children frightened or resistant to moving from foster care to an adoptive family?

  • What type of behaviors are typical of this transition period?
  • Is this transition easier if the child is being adopted by the foster family?
  • Are children being bounced around from one foster home to another as much now as in the past?
  • How can adoptive parents ease the transition with children adopted from the state or from orphanages abroad?
  • How can foster families ease the transition when they are adopting their foster children?
  • How can new adoptive parents reduce their expectations of themselves and of their children? Should they?
  • Is concurrent planning confusing for foster parents/foster families?
  • How to explain to a child why his foster parents do not want to adopt him?
  • Why is it important to talk positively about our child’s birth parents?
  • Should you talk positively about birth parents if they abused your child?
  • When adopting from foster care, how can you maintain an open relationship with your child’s birth family, biological grandparents, siblings, and foster family?
  • What questions should you ask the foster family when adopting a child they have fostered prior to the adoption?
  • What are some things to do the first night and days home when adopting from foster care?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

News from Georgia: Pilgrims seek wish fulfillment at monk's tomb

found by BBC Monitoring


_72128455_816205831532080_1510166605874236_12866311_n Father Gabriel - who died in 1995 and was later canonized - was rumored to have made the promise in a vision to a local nun, a story that spread through social media and word of mouth.

Two wishes would supposedly be granted to those who arrived at the tomb before Orthodox Christmas - which falls today.

Priests were quick to denounce the "vision", however. Hegumen Kirion Machaidze took to Facebook to accuse the visitors of "idol worship" and of treating Father Gabriel like a "genie".

Church leaders were finally forced to release a statement which declared "The notion that everyone will have all of their wishes granted cannot be true, as those requests which are pleasing to God and which are in line with the will of the Lord are fulfilled, not just any desire."

Read more

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

News from Georgia: Georgia's disabled 'locked in a box'

By Rayhan Demytrie
BBC News, Tbilisi



Georgia has become one of the first ex-Soviet republics to abolish state orphanages in favor of foster care. But disabled children continue to be marginalized and face the prospect of life-long isolation from society.

Vano (not his real name) is 18. He lies curled in the fetal position in his bed. He is thin and has the body of a 10-year old.

The only sign to show that he is alive is the grating sound he makes with his teeth.

"This is his life. This is all he does," says Eric Mathews, a researcher from the Washington-based group, Disability Rights International (DRI), sitting by Vano's side.

"The staff here told us that he has not left his bed except to get washed for five years. This bed is his home."

Vano has cerebral palsy. He is one of 22 children living in Kojori Institution for Children with Disabilities on the outskirts of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

Read more

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Thank you for your donation!

We can't do it without you!

Thank you to everyone who donated.

Our Waiting Child and Special Needs Grant Fund is filling up and it has everything to do with you!   We also received numerous donations for our other programs and cannot wait to put them to good use!

Special thanks to: Jason Bramblett, Viviane Martini, Norman and Lisa Garcia, Tonya Mershon, Sheila Johnson, Nancy Crews, Susan Derderian, Edward Kevorkian, Kristin Dadey, Sandra Buscarino, Kelly Huff, Christine Walters, Allan and Paulette Feeser, and last, but most definitely not least, Steve and Kelly Madden.


You can help out all year...

Whether it's time, services, or financial, every little bit helps! 

Share this email with your friends.




"In Bloom" Georgian Theatrical Release and Kickstarter Project Information

US Theatrical Premiere: IN BLOOM


Early nineties, in Tbilisi, the capital of the newly independent Georgia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The country is facing violence, war on the Black Sea coast (Abkhazia) and vigilante justice that plague society. But for Eka and Natia, fourteen-year-old inseparable friends, life just unfolds: in the street, at school, with friends or elder sisters who are already dealing with men’s dominance, early marriage and disillusioned love. For these two girls in bloom life just goes on...

The film is semi-autobiographical, based loosely on screenwriter and co-director Nana Ekvtimishvili's memories of her adolescence in early '90s Tbilisi. Critics have already given the film their strongest support, calling it a "tour de force" and "an enthralling work of cinema" (indiewire), as well as "a beautifully observed slice-of-life drama...built around radiant performances" (Hollywood Reporter). Variety has observed in re: the film that "Georgia is the new Romania." is astonishingly fluid, with numerous long takes moving to observe the action unfolding--a forbidden party of teenage girls; a kidnapping; the aftermath of a violent crime; a wedding dance, performed as much in mourning as in celebration.

Boys Rock!


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Georgian Program Announcement!

geo program announcement

Georgian Program News:

Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc is now accepting five applications for our Georgian program.  The children available for adoption will have moderate to severe special needs and range in age from 1 to 13 years.  Georgia is open and referrals are being made!

Minimal Financial Commitment:

The program has such promise that we are offering each family the opportunity to register their dossier for the cost of shipping and translations of their dossier $400.00 and Hopscotch agency application fee of $250.00.  Final Agency and International Service Fees will be due upon receipt of the Article 16 package is issued by the Georgian Social Service Agency.   This is a very affordable program.

Registration is Easy and Fast: The initial dossier submission does not require a I-800A approval to be registered with the Ministry of Health's Social Service Agency.  If you have a completed and approved home study for another country, speak with your home study agency about their ability to provide a new home study with a country change only.  You'll need a few other basic documents and you'll be set to register. 

Single Trip:

You'll make a single trip to start and complete your adoption from Georgia.  Expect to stay in Georgia approximately 15-21 days total!

Comfortable & Safe:

Georgians love Americans!  You'll be welcomed and treated with the greatest of hospitality.  The Georgian lifestyle is very comfortable and has wonderful food, culture, arts and nature to enjoy during your stay. 

Why Hopscotch?

Hopscotch has had a team in Georgia even before Hopscotch Adoptions existed.  We've been assisting children into families since 1995.   We have a wonderful attorney who is experienced, compassionate and well regarded by the Social Service Agency of Georgia, Georgian courts and the US Embassy.      

Getting Started: for more information on how to get started today.  *To qualify for this limited program offer, you must submit your dossier  within 60 days of application to Hopscotch.    I-800A approval NOT required for intial dossier submission

"I'm already in a program with another agency and the wait is unbearable like all other international programs.  Why would I want to consider registering a dossier with Georgia or start a concurrent adoption process?"

Start to Finish: Expect 9-10 months to complete an adoption from Georgia upon referral acceptance.  

"I had a dossier registered in Georgia many years ago with another agency.  Can I work with Hopscotch to begin an adoption with a dossier registered by another agency?"



We're Excited & Hope You Are Too!   

Robin Sizemore
Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc

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Moroccan Program for Healthy Children Under 3: Now Accepting New Applications!

















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Merry Christmas to Our Armenian Family and Friends 2014