Friday, May 27, 2016

I Love You More Than I Care If You "Like" Me

Apparently this mom has been eaves dropping in on my house – my kids have heard this exact same speech from the beginning of time. I love them more than to care if they ‘like’ me. This is great.

See video.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

News from Georgia: Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown Visits Tbilisi, Georgia!


By Anthony Bourdain

Georgia's 'hangover soup' (CNN)I was late to Georgia.

My flight was stuck in Istanbul and we’d had only a small window to shoot in the off season resort city of Batumi, so a last minute substitute was called in.

Like John Shaft, he’s a complicated man.

Like Wolf Blitzer, he’s got the credentials and experience to tackle any subject.

Like Bambi, a struggling medical student, he WILL pole dance if no other employment options exist.

Read more.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Donations Needed for Armenian Children!

Health. In Armenia, the need is more than ever before.  Orphanages and other care facilities have asked for goods that we are sure can be obtained in large quantities from various vendors or non-profit clearinghouses that look to donate to charities, supporting impoverished children.  Urgently needed items include, diapers and other baby supplies; over the counter medications, new clothes/shoes/sneakers, athletic supplies, soap, food, and toys/games.

If they can be located and secured, the shipping point A to B can be organized at no expense to the donor, so don’t let that hold you back from making any offers or asking for any donations.  Can you or do you know of anyone that can be asked for support with these donations?  Donations would qualify for a tax deductible letter from the Society Orphan Armenian Relief, a registered 501c3 organization and friend to Hopscotch Adoption, Inc.

Contact us at and

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Nappies For Nork 2016 - Your Change to Make a "Change" in Armenia!


Nappies For Nork 2016

Last year, through the great generosity of many donors, we raised $12,000 for SOAR to purchase diapers for Nork orphanage in Yerevan.  For eleven months, thousands of diapers were delivered to the children living there, but the funds will run out after the final delivery this month.

Therefore, please join us in Nappies For Nork 2016, a collaboration of SOAR, Hopscotch Adoptions, and adoptive mom Viviane Martini whose son lived at Nork from early 2009 until summer 2011.

Learn more.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Making Hippotherapy Accessible in Armenia


By Katherine Berjikian

Its spring in Armenia, and the children at Kharberd Orphanage, just outside Yerevan, are excited because they can play with their old friend Dr. Sabba.

Dr. Sabba is an Armenian from the diaspora. He was born and raised in Lebanon, and came to Armenia five years ago. He’s a therapist at the orphanage and unfortunately can only work when it’s warm outside. The winter months are too cold to perform his specific kind of therapy. However, when he can work, the children get excited.

By the way, Dr. Sabba is a horse.

Read more.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bulgarian Adoptive Family Reunion T-shirts On Sale Now!!

All proceeds benefit the underwriting of the Bulgarian Adoptive Family Reunion.

Click here to order.

Shared Histories and Testimonies from Survivors of The Holocaust and Genocide



The USC Shoah Foundation was founded by Steven Spielberg after the completion of the movie, Schindler’s List.  The organization’s initial focus was to gather video testimony from Holocaust survivors. Hopscotch’s co-founder and board member, Brenda Smith,  was a part of the launch, interviewed approximately 100 survivors over a few years.  Brenda shared. “ it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life”.  The organization has since expanded the focus to include testimonies from survivors of genocide from across the globe, including Rwanda, Guatemala, Armenia, etc.  The link is to a piece about an Armenian man, survivor of the Armenian genocide. I’m so glad all of these testimonies and histories are being curated for our future generations.

Read more.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Inspiring Story: Twins Lost To One Another and Soon To Be Reunited!


By Colby Itkowitz


Lisa Lumpkins was scrolling Facebook when she first saw the photo. In her newsfeed, a group that identified older children in need of adoption had posted a picture of a teenage Chinese girl who looked strikingly like her own daughter.

The image bore into her mind and she couldn’t shake it. She thought maybe she was imagining the similarity. So she shared the post on her personal page and almost instantly close family and friends were messaging her: That girl looks a lot like Aubrey.

Read more.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Help! My Child's Certificate of Citizenship Has His First Name

Name Tag.

Did you know? Your child’s Certificate of Citizenship may have their original name from birth, a name that was possibly phonetically modified into an English version, or perhaps you have added a middle name since your arrival home.  If this is the case and you would like to have a Certificate of Citizenship issued with the child’s new legal name, correctly spelled or with a middle name added, you can request a name change and receive an amended Certificate of Citizenship.  

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Adoption Tax Credit – Big Event Coming up! Help make an impact!

NCFA has big news and we need your help! There are two events in Congress next week and our collective voices are so important.

On May 11 over 200 people from across the country will be advocating for the Adoption Tax Credit as part of RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day.

There will be a Member Day Hearing on Tax Legislation on Thursday, May 12, at 10:00 AM in the House Ways & Means Tax Policy Subcommittee. The hearing is a unique opportunity for House Members on both sides of the aisle to present their ideas to improve the tax code, and we want to make sure they know how important the ATC is to children in need of families.

In light of these two events taking place next week, we urge you to spread the word and contact your Representatives on May 9, 10 or 11 and ask them to:

1. Co-sponsor the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act (H.R. 2434/S. 950) and
2. Attend the Member Day Hearing on Tax Legislation and speak in support of making the ATC refundable.

(To find your Representative, go here: )

In other news, our bipartisan congressional briefing on Tax Day, April 18th, was a success! Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Representative Diane Black (R-TN) and Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) were honorary hosts. As Representative Black said in her remarks, “Families have room in their hearts to adopt, but they don’t always have room in their budget.”

012ab136d159ede55f44a0b04c6373c0 Adoptive mothers, Margaret Fink, Christine Brinker and Laura Hertenstein, shared moving stories about their adoption journeys and how the credit has impacted their families. The importance of a refundable credit is more apparent now than ever. 

“This credit made my family possible.” – Grace Brinker & mother, Christine, of Pennsylvania

Since our bipartisan briefing on April 18th, the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act, H.R. 2434, gained two new cosponsors!
  1. Rep. Tim Murpy (R-PA)
  2.  Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Thanks to your social media activity throughout April, our tweets had impressions—more than three times what we had in March. Of those 12,700 were from the week of the briefing. Our hashtags #passhr2434, #passS950 and #ATCStorm have now collectively made over 330,000 impressions!

Keep showing Congress how passionate you are about passing H.R. 2434/S.950 on behalf of children in need of families. There are nearly 108,000 children in U.S. foster care who are waiting to be adopted.

Warm Regards,

The ATC Working Group Executive Committee
American Academy of Adoption Attorneys
Adopt America Network
Christian Alliance for Orphans
Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (Secretariat)
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Donaldson Adoption Institute
National Council for Adoption
North American Council on Adoptable Children
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association
Voice for Adoption

News From Armenia: A loving son, a fun brother – a fulfilling life.


By Katie Martin


Some events in life are priceless such as weddings, graduations or births.

But for Christie Orta, an important life moment was a simple trip to the beach a couple of weeks ago.

“That one moment was worth more than every penny we paid and every tear that I cried, just to see him sitting in the ocean,” Christie said as she showed a video of her newly adopted son, Edgar, 4, playing in the surf.

“He was so excited he didn’t know what to do with himself,” she said. “He was flapping his arms so hard I’m surprised he didn’t fly away, he was just so excited.”

Since 2013 Christie and her husband, Raymundo Orta, have been working through the adoption process to bring Edgar, who has Down syndrome, home from Armenia. In February, they, along with their biological daughter, Laura, 9, officially became a family of four, bringing Edgar home to Savannah.

“I think he has completed our family in ways that we never thought he would. He’s made us a better family,” Christie said. “People have said he’s so blessed to be in a family now, but I think the opposite. We’re so blessed to have him.”

Read more.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

From Your Friends at Hopscotch: Happy Mother's Day!

Thinking of you this Mother’s Day and always. 


Your friends at Hopscotch Adoptions

Adoption Means Love:Triumph of the Heart by Michelle Madrid Branch


41AYF6KM75L Adoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heart is a powerful compilation of stories from people across the country and around the world, who have been personally touched by the miracle of adoption. The timely importance of this book cannot be overstated. Roughly 500,000 children are in U.S. are in foster care today. Millions more wait in orphanages around the world for their forever families. Each story, found within the pages of Adoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heart, reaches deep into the soul and compassionately uncovers the ribbons of truth that connect us all, Honestly and poignantly, the book celebrates the transformation and triumph that is adoption.

Learn more.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Before You Visit Your Social Security Office, Take This Document!


 Before You Visit Your Social Security Office, Take This Document! So many adoptive families trek all the way to their local social service office to obtain their child’s social security card and are often erroneously turned away. Print the Child’s Citizenship Act of 2000. In the event of a refusal to provide your child’s social security card, you can remind them of the Federal Laws that address your child’s rights as a new citizen of the USA.

The Child Citizenship Act of 2000

December 1, 2000

On October 30, 2000, President Clinton signed into law H.R. 2883, the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. The new law, Public Law 106-395, amends the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to permit foreign-born children-including adopted children -to acquire citizenship automatically if they meet certain requirements. It becomes effective on February 27, 2001.

To implement the new law, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is currently drafting interim regulations, which will be published in the Federal Register before the law’s effective date.

Which Children Automatically Become Citizens Under the New Law?

Beginning February 27, 2001, certain foreign-born children-including adopted children-currently residing permanently in the United States will acquire citizenship automatically. The term "child" is defined differently under immigration law for purposes of naturalization than for other immigration purposes, including adoption.
To be eligible, a child must meet the definition of "child" for naturalization purposes under immigration law (1) and must also meet the following requirements:
  • The child has at least one United States citizen parent (by birth or naturalization);
  • The child is under 18 years of age;
  • The child is currently residing permanently in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the United States citizen parent;
  • The child is a lawful permanent resident;

An adopted child meets the requirements applicable to adopted children under immigration law (2):
  • Acquiring citizenship automatically means citizenship acquired by law without the need to apply for citizenship.
  • A child who is currently under the age of 18 and has already met all of the above requirements will acquire citizenship automatically on February 27, 2001.
  • Otherwise, a child will acquire citizenship automatically on the date the child meets all of the above requirements.


Is the Law Retroactive? Is Automatic Citizenship Provided for Those Who Are 18 Years of Age or Older?

No. The new law is not retroactive. Individuals who are 18 years of age or older on February 27, 2001, do not qualify for citizenship under Public Law 106-395, even if they meet all other criteria. If they choose to become U.S. citizens, they must apply for naturalization and meet eligibility requirements that currently exist for adult lawful permanent residents.

Will Eligible Children Automatically Receive Proof of Citizenship-Such As Citizenship Certificates and Passports?

No. Proof of citizenship will not be automatically issued to eligible children. However, if proof of citizenship is desired, beginning February 27, 2001, parents of children who meet the conditions of the new law may apply for a certificate of citizenship for their child with INS and/or for a passport for their child with the Department of State.

What Will INS Do With Currently Pending Applications for Certificates of Citizenship?

For pending applications filed to recognize citizenship status already acquired, INS will continue to adjudicate such applications under the relevant law applicable to the case. For applications that required INS approval before an individual could be deemed a U.S. citizen, INS will adjudicate those cases under current law until February 27, 2001. On February 27, 2001, INS will adjudicate those cases under the new law and for applicants who automatically acquire citizenship as of the effective date, INS will issue certificates of citizenship reflecting the person’s citizenship as of that date.

Is Automatic Citizenship Provided for Children (Including Adopted Children) Born and Residing Outside the United States?


No. In order for a child born and residing outside the United States to acquire citizenship, the United States citizen parent must apply for naturalization on behalf of the child. The naturalization process for such a child cannot take place overseas. The child will need to be in the United States temporarily to complete naturalization processing and take the oath of allegiance.

To be eligible, a child must meet the definition of "child" for naturalization purposes under immigration law (3), and must also meet the following requirements:
  • The child has at least one U.S. citizen parent (by birth or naturalization);
  • The U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States for at least five years, at least two of which were after the age of 14-or the United States citizen parent has a citizen parent who has been physically present in the United States for at least five years, at least two of which were after the age of 14;
  • The child is under 18 years of age;
  • The child is residing outside the United States in the legal and physical custody of the United States citizen parent;
  • The child is temporarily present in the United States-having entered the United States lawfully and maintaining lawful status in the United States;
  • An adopted child meets the requirements applicable to adopted children under immigration law (4);

If the naturalization application is approved, the child must take the same oath of allegiance administered to adult naturalization applicants. If the child is too young to understand the oath, INS may waive the oath requirement.  

– INS –
1 Section 101(c) of the INA. The INA is on the INS Web site:
2 Section 101(b)(1) of the INA.
3 Section 101(c) of the INA.
4 Section 101(b)(1) of the INA.

The Amygdala and Stopping Fight or Flight at the Source by Donald Craig Peterson



What on earth is the amygdala? Most have no idea. Even less can say it.

Let’s start with the pronunciation. Amygdala contains four syllables with the accent on the second one. Remember to say “ah” three times. 


Now that I’ve made you look silly, let’s move onto the important message. The amygdala is a tiny yet powerful part of the brain – actually another bunch of neurons. Yet it plays a huge role in our emotions, particularly those related to survival.

That’s right – SURVIVAL.

Buried under the massive cortex, the amygdala is part of the lesser known limbic system which supports motivation, learning and memory. The amygdala – along with the hippocampus – determines which memories are accumulated and where those memories are stored in the brain.

Read more.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Supporting and Preserving Adoptive Families: Profiles of Publicly Funded Post-Adoption Services


Supporting-Preserving-Adoptive-Families-page-0-copy-87x113 Supporting and Preserving Adoptive Families: Profiles of Publicly Funded Post-Adoption Services: This publication, funded by The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, is part of the Institute’s national "Keeping the Promise" initiative. It provides the most extensive examination to date of what post-adoption services states are providing, who is eligible to receive them and how they are being funded.


Sharing Stories, Symptoms...Persons with Developmental Disabilities - Register now!

NC families can share this with their professional medical and clinical supports to be sure they are aware of this great opportunity.  The more they know, the more they can support your child and family’s needs.

Register early and save $20!
here to register.


For more information and to register for other Mental Health continuing education, click here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Promise: Truth From The Trenches of Adoption by Christen Shepherd and Lisa Highfield


product_thumbnail.php When Christen Shepherd adopted four children from foster care she jumped into the treacherous waters of raising traumatized children. Because of mammoth tantrums, explosive rages, destroyed rooms, and unending grief, the Shepherds enlisted the help of a Child and Youth Counsellor, Lisa Highfield. The Promise is a raw and compelling read. It offers insight into the behaviors of adopted and foster children, and gives hope to struggling parents who are at a loss after bringing wounded children into the family.
Learn more.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Couter


41JhKKJ3w-L._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_"Sunshine, you're my baby and I'm your only mother. You must mind the one taking care of you, but she's not your mama." Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, Ashley is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system.

Painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly become consumed by real-life horrors, where Ashley is juggled between caseworkers, shuffled from school to school, and forced to endure manipulative,humiliating treatment from a very abusive foster family. In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed - and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice.

Learn more.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Thank God I Was Adopted: Cause DNA is No Joke! by Pekitta Tynes, Janice Young


61-yjtnVrAL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_ Abandoned in a shot house and left without a birth certificate, I have lived my life UNKNOWN. Adopted into a wonderful family, I still desired to know what happened to my biological family. I searched for 35 years even when I had no idea who they were or who I was. Finally, through DNA testing, I found my biological father, mother and a host of other relatives. Through faith and a strong belief in a much higher power than myself, I thank God I was adopted!

Learn more.