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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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!
Rep. Tim Murpy (R-PA)
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.
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
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
“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.”
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.
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
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
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
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: http://www.ins.usdoj.gov.
2 Section 101(b)(1) of the INA.
3 Section 101(c) of the INA.
4 Section 101(b)(1) of the INA.
What on earth is the amygdala? Most have no idea. Even less can say it.
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.
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.
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.
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
Register early and save $20! Click here to register.
For more information and to register for other Mental Health continuing education, click here.
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.
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.
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!