Saturday, February 28, 2015

What Does It Mean To Be Black & Why Parents Should Care?


bfeec56c-c83e-4ce9-8317-a827f805272eThe guest on today’s Creating a Family show, Dr. Marlene Fine, related the following incident in a dialogue on race and ethnicity that she was facilitating. The participants were divided into groups of two and given an exercise to work through. Afterwards, a white participant paired with another white participant commented that race had not come up once in her group discussion. She concluded that race simply wasn’t and didn’t need to be a central element in most people’s lives. Dr. Fine turned to a black participant paired with another black man, who said they did talk about race when discussion the exercise. He went further to say that he thought about race every single day and talked about race every single day.

Read more.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

10 Things Adult Trans-racial Adoptees Want You To Know



  1. Love your kids with your whole heart. Love may not be everything, but it is a great step in the right direction.
  2. Let your children know that you are always open to talking about adoption and race by bringing these topics up periodically. Look for opportunities in your everyday life where race or genetics or adoption comes up naturally.
  3. Every so often, check in with your child to see what they are experiencing with adoption and with transracial adoption. Don’t assume they will tell you on their own even if you are receptive to the conversation.
  4. It is easier if you adopt more than one child of color. Having someone else in the family of your race makes life easier.
  5. Hang out with other mixed race families. Your children need to see that there are other families that look like theirs. It is all the better if some of these families are also adoptive families.

Read more.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

FIVE Facts We Must Teach Our Black Kids. Add your thoughts and ideas - share with us.



The real experts on adoption are the people who have lived the experience—adoptees. What do young adult transracial adoptees say are the most important things white parents must teach their black kids to keep them safe in this racial world we live in?

Whenever we hear a case such as the killing of Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown (or the local cases of police violence against young black men that never make the national news) every parent of a black son wonders what they can do to make certain that their child doesn’t become a statistic. White parents of African American children have the added disadvantage of teaching their children about a situation they likely haven’t experienced.

For example, on a recent Creating a Family radio show on Interracial Adoptive Parenting: White Parents with Brown Children, the guest said many black parents know that in order to get their driver’s license their children, especially their sons, must not only know the basics of how to drive a car, change a tire, and avoid other crazy drivers, they must also understand what it means to DWB (Drive While Black). As parents they have the added responsibility of making sure their sons can control their temper and stay respectful and safe even in situations that seem/are very unfair.

On a Creating a Family show with a panel of young adult African American and Haitian American adoptees, I asked what their parents did to prepare them to live safely in today’s world and what they would recommend for this current generation of transracial adoptive parents and children. They gave the following five suggestions.

Read more.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Distorting the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) - Katie Jay's guest blogger, Johnston Moore


The boys with a picture of their ancestor, Chief White Cloud.

This is a guest blog post from Johnston Moore. Johnston Moore and his wife Terri have been married 26 years and have adopted seven children from the Los Angeles County foster care system. After a career in Hollywood, John co-founded and now serves as Executive Director of Home Forever. John writes extensively and speaks at numerous churches and conferences about foster care and adoption, and he strongly believes that children, traumatized or not, need stability and permanence far more than some manufactured phantom connection to a culture that was never theirs.

Last December, Attorney General Eric Holder announced a new DOJ initiative aimed at promoting compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a 1978 federal law passed in response to the “wholesale removal” of Native American children from their families. Tribes were rightly concerned at the time that many Indian children were removed from their families by non-Indian social workers unfamiliar with tribal child-rearing practices and placed in non-Indian foster and adoptive homes away from Indian Country, where many were forced to assimilate into the majority culture, losing connection to the tribal life and customs in which they had been raised. Tribes and Indian families suffered greatly too, as they saw many of their younger members taken away.

In his announcement, Holder pledged to “ensure that the next generation of great tribal leaders can grow up in homes that are not only safe and loving, but also suffused with the proud traditions of Indian cultures.” In that statement, Holder demonstrates an alarming level of naiveté regarding ICWA, and the ways it is impacting children today.

Read more.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Children Are Waiting: Every Child Is Worthy of a Permanent Family

Eman - I will rise by Chris Tomlin

This video was shot while visiting our son for the first son in Ghana. I simply can't explain what that moment was like. This moment happened on the 2nd or 3rd day. We were sitting in the orphanage and the children starting to sing.

Click here to watch the video.


Friday, February 20, 2015

News from Armenia: US Citizens are no longer required to obtain a visa for entry to Armenia!

visa%20armenia%202015 News from Armenia: US Citizens are no longer required to obtain a visa for entry to Armenia! Hopscotch Adoptions' Armenian Travel Guide has been updated to reflect this change.  If you have been notified of impending travel prior to April 30, be sure to ask for the updated guide.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across A Lifetime


By Nadine Burke Harris

Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.

Read more.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Anything You Can Do.... I Can Too!

See video.


Mothers of children with Down syndrome Survey

Taylor%20 Hello!

My name is Amanda Smith. I am conducting a survey of biological and adoptive mothers of children with Down syndrome for my dissertation. I have been more successful in receiving responses from biological mothers. I am trying to now reach more mothers who have adopted.

Overall, the purpose of this research is to understand the feelings and experiences of being a mother in general and being a mother to a child with Down syndrome. The survey will take no longer than 5 minutes. The first page of the survey is a welcome letter that will inform those who click on the link that their information is confidential and the survey is anonymous.  If you would forward on this link to my survey to any support groups or parent groups you may have, I would be incredibly grateful. If anyone completes the survey and would like more information  or would like to share about their experiences, please don't hesitate to send them my email address.

Mothers of children with Down syndrome Survey

Hello! As a caregiver of a child with Down syndrome you know firsthand the trials and successes you feel as a parent and for your child. Being a mother gives you experiences that are identical to no one else.


Thank you for your time!

Amanda A Smith, Ed.S.

Friday, February 13, 2015

News from ALL of Your Hopscotch Friends Around The World: We love you!

It's About Time...

Jamie Brewer becomes New York Fashion Week’s first runway model with Down syndrome


By Victoria Taylor


"American Horror Story" actress Jamie Brewer became the first model with Down syndrome to walk the New York Fashion Week runway Thursday when she appeared in Carrie Hammer's show.

"Young girls and even young women … (see me) and say, 'Hey, if she can do it so can I,’" the 30-year-old advocate told "Today" Wednesday. "It's a true inspiration being a role model for any young women to (encourage them) in being who they are and showing who they are."

Brewer's barrier-breaking catwalk appearance is part of Hammer's "Role Models Not Runway Models" campaign.

Her runway look was inspired by the hit FX show, Hammer said.

Read more.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How Will You Pay for Your Adoption? Congratulations to the Valenzuela family.

Congratulations to the Valenzuela family.  The site,, has financially supported so many Hopscotch Adoption families.  The next round of grant applications deadline is drawing near - April 17,2015. This organization supports ALL families of ALL faiths.  Make application today!


News from Bulgaria: Bulgarian Bro-Love! Welcome Home Hopscotch Family!!! January 2015


News from Serbia: Hopscotch's FIRST Serbia Program Family Is Home!!!! Congrats!!!!


News from Serbia: Hopscotch Adoption's Second Serbian Program Adoption! Beautiful children are waiting for families.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Here's To Leo and His Dad. Changing The World For The Better!


By Nicole Pelletiere


When Samuel Forrest of Armenia heard a baby crying from outside his wife's hospital room, he knew his life would change forever.

Not only had he become a father, but he would soon receive some unexpected news about his newborn son.

"This pediatrician walks out of the room with a little bundle -- that was Leo," Forrest said. "She had his face covered up and hospital authorities wouldn't let me see him or my wife. When the doctor came out, he said 'there’s a real problem with your son.'

Read more.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hopscotch Reunion Announcement for 2015 Is For Everyone. Present and Former Client Families Too!

Hopscotch Adoptions is excited to announce the Summer 2015 Reunion!

This year will include all of our families, regardless of which country you adopted from or intend to adopt from. This is the place to make new friends or reconnect with one another and have a lot of family fun! Its going to be a blast! Won't you join us? 

Please go to this survey link to let us know if you think you will be able to make it.

We look forward to seeing everyone!
~Hopscotch Team

Local Attractions & Events Under Consideration

Your family could also extend your visit to New York before or after the reunion to tour and explore the Big Apple! 

Hotel Options in Riverhead, New York

Hyatt and Hilton Hotels have each reserved a block of 40 rooms at a rate of $189.00 for August 5-6 and  $325 for August 7th. 

More Information To Follow!

As Long As It's Healthy.... But What If It's Not?


By Sarah Watts

n-COUPLE-HOLDING-HANDS-large570 Six months into our pregnancy with Henry, after our bombshell diagnosis of spina bifida, Lou and I would make regular treks up to Park Ridge to see our Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist, who kept us abreast on how the baby was doing in utero. Since I'm ridiculously extroverted and I adore small talk, I started chatting up the receptionist as we were filling out some paperwork, post-appointment (Lou, his usual introvert self, was probably silently willing me to stop talking). At this point, we had already been told by two separate doctors that Henry would be totally paralyzed from the waist down.

We started talking about her kids -- three girls! -- and I asked her if she preferred girls, or if she might try for a boy. We both quickly agreed that the baby's sex wasn't really that important -- boy or girl, they were blessings.

"Oh, I like girls, but it doesn't matter to me!" she exclaimed. "You know, as long as they're healthy and running around!"

Read more.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hogwarts Adoption Support Forum and Blog - Very Interesting

Support Forum and Blog. 


What is Hogwarts Adoption?

  • A way for parents (especially foster/adoptive) to engage with kids in their care and start conversations about difficult situations
  • An opportunity for parents (especially foster/adoptive) to talk with other parents in the same situation, find support, and discover resources
  • A safe place – foster/adoptive families will be encouraged; we understand that many families in these situations are being asked to deal with events they are not necessarily equipped to handle

Learn more.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Black & White in Adoption

Your first black friend should not be your adopted child....


By Danielle C. Belton


Does love know no color?

The ad campaign for Kevin Costner’s new film Black or White definitely supports that idea, pushing the hashtag #LoveKnowsNoColor while promoting the transracial custody drama.

Black or White pits a child’s white maternal grandfather (Costner) against her black paternal grandmother (played by Octavia Spencer) in a legal battle for custody. Think Losing Isaiah meets The Blind Side, dealing with the matter of white parents raising black or biracial children. In both those films, as in Black or White, the main focus seems to be on the adults in the room, fighting over the future and well-being of a child of color. But what of the children put in this situation, raised by white families?

The Root talked to three transracial adoptees, all adopted by white families in the 1970s, about their experiences and views on transracial adoption, as well as Costner’s new film. While all three appreciated the love and foundation their families provided, a common theme evolved: In a racially polarized society, children of color cannot be raised devoid of their history and culture. All three agreed that white families who adopt children of color need to abandon the naivete of colorblindness and deal with the racial reality their black and brown children face.

Here are their stories.

Read more.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Adoption Talk: Keeping It Going

If you can't remember the last time adoption came up at home, it's time to bring it up. 


by Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall


“How will I talk to my child about adoption?”

This is a question every parent asks himself or herself. Even as your new baby takes her first steps, you wonder if you’ll be ready when the questions come. Soon you realize that your child is simply your child, not your “adopted” child, and it becomes difficult even to imagine an adoption talk.

But you’ll have this conversation, not just once, but over time, offering more information as your child matures. Sometimes its coming will take you by surprise, launched by the query of a curious child. Sometimes you’ll see an opening and take it, offering the chance to talk if the feelings fit. The key here is comfort, to create an atmosphere of openness and warmth in which both parent and child feel free to approach a hard topic.

Read more.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

New Webinar: Attachment-focused Parenting

Featuring Dr. Dan Hughes, renowned attachment expert

Attachment-focused Parenting: Create a PLACE with your Children

Thursday, February 5th
7-8:30pm CST



Don't miss Dr. Dan Hughes as he speaks about attachment-focused parenting!

Secure parent-child attachments are essential to healthy child development, but often adoption can present challenges to the process.

World renowned attachment expert Dr. Dan Hughes shares family-centered strategies using the PLACE framework (Playfulness, Love, Acceptance, Curiosity, Empathy). These strategies will help you learn how to connect to your child as a toddler, tween and teen and maintain a secure attachment relationship.

Topics covered:

  • Advice on connecting with your child through their development
  • Expert insights into attachment and attunement
  • Information on finding professional support and resources

Have you heard about Adoption Parenting Pathways?

Adoption Parenting Pathways is the perfect way for adoptive families to find local resources online.

January Featured Webinar

Adoption and Classroom Success: Beyond The Basics. Only $10!