Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Announcing The New AdoptTogether.org



AdoptTogether has officially partnered with Pure Charity to become:
ADOPTTOGETHER powered by Pure Charity
 
Their new partnership will be official this Wednesday, April 26.
 
All of your basic questions & answers about their new partnership is featured below, but feel free to email Sueann@adopttogether.org with any further questions!

We are so EXCITED!

Here's to a brighter future for all AdoptTogether families, and greater strides towards the vision of a world with a family for every child!
 
Five Changes You May Notice on the New AdoptTogether.org
 
1. A New Look
AdoptTogether.org is going to look far different than before. Essentially, it will have all the same functionality with an upgraded look and feel to make donating and creating a profile just as easy as before. NOTE: All preexisting family profile information and donation history will automatically be transferred to the new site.


2. A Transition Period
Real talk, whenever a website gets a massive overhaul like the one AdoptTogether has gone through, you can expect the occasional hiccup. Things you may notice could be anything from a broken link, a few grammatical errors, and a slight delay in data being transferred over from the old to the new site. For instance, profile changes and donations made after Friday 4/21 will be reflected on the new site by the end of this week. If you have already received an AdoptTogether Grant, it will appear on your Grant Dashboard within the next two weeks.


3. The Grant Submission Process
AdoptTogether.org now features a Grant Request Portal for families to quickly and easily request their funds raised through AdoptTogether. This process is one of the fundamental services AdoptTogether provides families, and it just got a whole lot more efficient!


4. New Tools For Your Profile   
AdoptTogether profiles will now come with a variety of upgraded features, which include an enhanced ability to track your donor activity, view your Grant Request status and history, display a geotag showing the region where you’re adopting from, and upload videos to keep your network informed and engaged with your family's progress!


5. Resources
To aide families in the adoption process, the AdoptTogether team has collected and created over 80 resources full of information about everything from "How to Start the Adoption Process," to "What You Need to Know the First Day Your Child Comes Home." We hope these new resources will be a valuable asset to families for years to come!

If you still have any questions about the new partnership please email Sueann@adopttogether.org.

Cheers!
Hank
CEO & Founder | AdoptTogether

Friday, April 21, 2017

Adoption Alert—Suspension of Adoptions from Ethiopia

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On April 21, an official from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women and Children (MOWA) informed U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa that it is suspending its processing of intercountry adoption cases, effective immediately. The U.S. Department of State does not yet know how long this suspension will last. The Office of Children’s Issues and the Embassy are working with MOWA to seek more information on the terms of the suspension. We will urge MOWA to complete processing of cases that were in progress prior to this suspension.

If you have questions about your pending case, please contact your Adoption Service Provider. You may also write to ConsAdoptionAddis@state.gov if you have questions about an adoption-related visa application or immigrant petition. You may copy the Office of Children’s Issues at Adoption@state.gov on your email to the Embassy if you wish.

Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information on intercountry adoption in Ethiopia.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New Contact Information for the National Benefit Center

Dear Adoption Community,

We would like to share the following information we received from the National Benefits Center:
Effective today, the National Benefits Center will consolidate our public email boxes into one box.

We will only use NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov and have deactivated NBC.Hague@uscis.dhs.gov.

We are in the process of updating our contact information on https://www.uscis.gov/adoption/uscis-adoption-contact-information.

In the meantime, messages received to the NBC.Hague mailbox will be automatically redirected to the NBC.Adoptions mailbox through a system ‘rule’ for one year, expiring on May 1, 2018.

We would appreciate your assistance in directing your staff and our customers to NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov going forward. Our contact telephone number remains the same (877-424-8374).

Sincerely,

The Office of Children’s Issues
Official  UNCLASSIFIED

Friday, April 14, 2017

New Intercountry Adoption Statistics Continue Decline: Now available

Annual Report on Intercountry Adoptions Narrative

The 2016 Annual Report on Intercountry Adoption, as required by Section 104 of the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000, provides data and other information on intercountry adoptions to and from the United States from October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016. The report is released after a thorough review of the available data to ensure the information is accurate. In addition to the actual data, this review includes a summary of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Children’s Issues, Adoption Division’s efforts for the fiscal year.

Continue reading (PDF)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Save Adoptions — Phase II

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Dear families,

Less than 5 months ago, we were facing the imposition of new regulations from the Department of State which would have raised the cost of adoptions for our client families, created financial and operational obstacles for our agencies and guaranteed the continued decline in intercountry adoptions.
Eighty-eight agencies and other adoption service providers stepped up and signed an open letter to the Department of State urging that these proposed regulations be withdrawn.  In addition, almost 28,000 adoption supporters joined us and signed our Petition to the Department of State.  On April 4th, our collective voices were heard and the proposed regulations were withdrawn.

Whether you supported our efforts or not, we urge you to continue to fight the attack on intercountry adoptions.  We have tasked our SaveAdoptions.org web site to continue the fight.  For the next 4-6 weeks, we will be highlighting the travesty in Nepal.  Whether you have, or would like to adopt from Nepal, or maybe you just care about suffering children, you can’t be happy about the blanket suspension of adoptions from Nepal which has been in place for over 6 years, despite no proof of the fraudulent documentation alleged by USCIS.

First, take a look at the updated www.saveadoptions.org web site.  Second, please use your mailing lists to urge your family and friends to sign the plea to lift the Nepal suspension.  We had 27,949 signatures before updating the web site, so we will know how many adoption supporters sign on for this next phase of intercountry adoption support.  Your signature will Support the Cause of Nepalese orphans. If you have already signed the original petition, know that this is a new petition and your signature is vital. 

Thank you for considering this important issue and getting involved.  (Share, re-tweet, or send an email)

"The Day We Met" Adoption Documentary In The Making

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Hello Hopscotch Families,

I’d like to introduce you to Patricia Carrascal, an audiovisual producer from Argentina. At the moment Patricia is working on a documentary about adoption from around the world. She is searching for families to share their international adoption stories. 

If your family is in the beginning stages of adoption, Patricia would like to record your journey, step by step. Patricia is an adoptive mom and knows it’s a complicated process. Attached you’ll find a flyer with the documentary proposal in more detail.

If your family would like to participate, you can contact Patricia directly at patcarrascal@gmail.com

With encouragement,
Robin

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF FLYER.

Armenian Potluck for NC and SC Families

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Armenian Potluck

Saturday, April 22, 2017
5:00 pm

First Southern Methodist Church,
2017 Fork Shoals Rd.
(Near the I-185 Southern connector tollroad.)
Greenville, SC

Please bring:
Meat dish
Salad or dessert
Beverage

RSVP Kathy Chorbajian 864-269-3533

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Are Time-Outs Helpful or Harmful to Young Children? by Claire Lerner

Source: www.zerotothree.org

Jan 14, 2016

By Claire Lerner

a3d2d602-8b32-4234-9117-fa5388f2a80f-smallWhat’s a parent to do when one of the most commonly used tools for discipline is called into question?

A number of recent articles in popular media that denounce the use of time-outs have sent many parents, understandably, into a tailspin. Critics believe that instead of helping children calm down, time-outs have the opposite effect—causing children to become even more distressed and “dysregulated,” or out of control. Further, children can become so overwhelmed by the disruption in their relationship with their parent during time-out (and by the shame they feel for being “bad”) that their emotional upset increases and their likelihood of learning from the experience decreases. But all of these negative outcomes assume that time-out is approached with anger, shaming, and harshness by the parent. When implemented this way—as punishment—time-out can no doubt be detrimental to the child.

Continue reading.

The Past Is Present: The Impact of Your Childhood Experiences on How You Parent Today

Source: www.zerotothree.org

By Claire Lerner

Feb 29, 2016

This article encourages parents to reflect on experiences they had growing up in order to make conscious decisions about what practices they want to repeat, and not repeat, with their own children.

-------------------------------------

1f8889c2-74a5-42b1-9bdf-b7bba002388e-smallHow many times have you opened your mouth to say something and heard your parents’ words come out? You’re not alone. Most parents have had this experience. It helps you see how deeply you are influenced by your childhood experiences and why it’s so important to become aware of how they shape your approach to parenting today.

Just as you are your child’s first teacher, your parents were yours. Things they said and did, their way of being and relating to you and others, laid the foundation for many of your beliefs, values, attitudes, and parenting practices. Few parents, if any, had a lesson plan in mind. The transfer of information mostly took place through everyday interactions. You tuned in to the subtle and not-so-subtle messages they sent, which influenced how you thought about yourself and the world around you.

Continue reading.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Decoding Your Child's Behavior

decoding-2At some point all parents face behavioral challenges with their children. Adopted children have often had unfortunate experiences that may increase misbehavior and make traditional discipline techniques ineffective. Join Phyllis Booth, Founder of Theraplay®, and Mandy Jones, LCSW, JD, certified Theraplay® therapist at the Center for Lifelong Adoption Support, as they provide an empathetic understanding of why negative behaviors occur and discuss tools, techniques and activities that parents can use to tame temper tantrums and create positive relationships.
Topics will include:
  • Differences adopted children face in childhood and how that affects behavior
  • Behavioral and self-regulation issues both at home and in school
  • What parents can do to curb negative behaviors
  • How parents can create happy, connected family relationships
Continue reading.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Eating Asia: Drinking Food at the Deserters’ Market in Tbilisi, Georgia

Source: http://eatingasia.typepad.com

Side note: In my 21 years’ experience and love affair with Georgia and Georgians, I have never experienced anything like this write shared.  I take that back…. Once, when I was lost with a dead phone battery, a female shop keeper was super rude when I asked to use her phone… but the hair salon next door, more than made up for her shocking rudeness. He took my predicament personally and assisted me with the kindness of a big brother and delivered me safely home.  Otherwise, every encounter with Georgians have been nothing but Southern hospitality on steroids, full of charm and profound generosity.  I’m sharing this article for the food and photography illustration, only. 

——————

scenes from Dezerti market, Tblisi, GeorgiaIt is not the best wine I’ve drunk since arriving in Tbilisi the week before, not even close. Lightly effervescent, with a distinctly sour edge. Also, it is 10 AM, and I’m not a morning drinker. Not so the men clustered around Dave and I, watching with keen interest our every sip, our every nibble from the dishes on the counter in front of us. One shortish fellow with a stubbled head and double chin breathes alcoholic fumes on my cheek, then leans back on his heels and smiles, swaying like a Weeble.

I don’t know what to make of him, or of this mid-morning liquor-fueled scene in the near-dark of Dezertiri Market’s rear recesses. And that pretty much describes my state of mind for most of our short time in Georgia. We’d come from eastern Turkey, a place of big smiles, bigger welcomes, outsized hospitality. In eastern Turkey turning down invites to tea, to lunch, to dinner, to a night or five on the spare bed or couch of a perfect stranger has become normal. In Tbilisi, people smile …. or scowl. Shopkeepers are gracious … or rude. Trying to smooth the way with a nicety uttered in (my mangled) Georgian are met with a thumbs-up …. or a cluck of the tongue, a roll of the eyes and a shake of the head. They love you or are annoyed by you (some seem to despise you), these Georgians, and it is near  impossible to predict which it will be. But here, in Dezertiri’s boozy back room, we are most decidedly welcome.

Continue reading.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Have You Heard? Some NC Counties Offer Free Post Adoption Services!

Today we had the great pleasure of meeting the Child Wellbeing and Success Coach Team.  If you live in Ashe, Alleghany, Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Watauga or Wilkes county, you can access their services for FREE!  They are funded with a grant from the state of North Carolina and are one of only five agencies in the Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (QIC-AG).  Be sure to visit and like their Facebook page regardless if you reside in any of these counties or our state.  The agency posts great resources and videos for all families to utilize for free!  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Upcoming NC Trauma Workshop with Kids Group in April!

a325e9cb065710099d167501ddb471a6This group is open to children who are adopted and their caregivers. 

Due to limited space, registration is required. 

To register or for more information, please contact  Katie Linn at katie.linn@duke.edu or 919-385-0703.

Thursdays, starting April 27 – June 22, 2017 5:30pm-8:00pm

Dinner is provided and then the separate child and parent groups will begin. 

Raleigh Vineyard Church
6894 Litchford Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

Workshop Sessions Description 

What children will get:
This Interactive workshop for children ages 7-17 is part support, part education and designed for children who have been adopted. This workshop will allow children to:
· Connect with other children in adoptive families
· Learn skills and tools to cope with strong feelings
· Build comfort and confidence in talking about adoption both with their family members and others
· Have FUN!

What parents will get:
Parents will participate in the Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma workshop. This workshop gives caregivers the opportunity to:
· Connect with other adoptive parents to share resources
· Learn how a child’s prior experiences can impact their behaviors
· Explore ways to enhance their strengths as a parent
· Share and learn new skills to influence their child’s behaviors and attitudes

Download the PDF flier.

Adoption Notice: Obtaining Citizenship or Documenting Acquired Citizenship for Adopted Children – – March 2017

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March 15, 2017

The Office of Children’s Issues has received a high number of inquiries about whether individuals adopted through the intercountry process have acquired U.S. citizenship and how to go about documenting U.S. citizenship, if acquired. Claims to acquisition of citizenship cannot be pre-adjudicated, and the Office of Children’s Issues has no role in the adjudication process. Information is available on the Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) web pages and may be helpful resources.

Continue reading.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

In Armenia, ‘What Do You Want to Be?’ Is Asked in Infancy – NYTimes.com

Source: www.nytimes.com

By Bryant Rousseau

Children in Armenia start thinking about their careers at a very young age — around six months or so.

When an infant’s first tooth arrives, typically in four to seven months, a celebration takes place known variously as the “agra hadig” or “atam hatik.”

As part of the ritual, objects symbolizing different professions are arrayed in front of a child: a microphone for an entertainer, a stethoscope for a doctor, scissors for a tailor or money for a banker. Whichever object the baby chooses first is thought to be a sign of where the child’s professional aptitude lies.

Continue reading.

Monday, March 13, 2017

You're Invited: NAFA's Gala Hosts the Author and Inspiration for the Oscar-Nominated Film "Lion", March 30, 2017

Blaming The Parents Of Children With Special Needs

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

By Shawna Wingert, Contributor



Since the day my first baby was born, I have felt responsible for my children’s differences.

Not responsible in the “I’m the momma so I need to help my child” kinda way (although I certainly feel that too).

Responsible in the “Why do you let him sleep with you instead of in the crib, eat the ice cream instead of the meat, allow him to make the mess, help him in the bathroom when he is almost ten” kinda way.

I have been blamed, at one point or another, for every single one of my boys’ differences. Moreover, as we have received diagnosis after diagnosis, I find the blame comes even more frequently now ― not less.

Continue reading.

Adorable Down Syndrome Baby Gets A Modeling Job With OshKosh B’gosh


https://www.facebook.com/yahoonews/videos/10154826244339714/

Click here to watch the video.

After a modeling agency snubbed this adorable baby's photos because he has Down syndrome, people around the world reacted.

And now he's got a job with OshKosh B'gosh!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Adoption Notice – Poland Restructure of International Adoption Process

unnamedDear Adoption Community,

Adoption Notice: Poland – Restructure of international adoption process on March 6, 2017

“The Government of Poland is revising its policies on intercountry adoptions under the Hague Adoption Convention. Poland has indicated its intent to prioritize domestic adoptions, except in the case of intercountry adoptions of siblings related to children already adopted through intercountry adoption, intrafamily adoptions, and adoptions by Polish citizens living abroad. It is unclear how these intended changes will impact intercountry adoptions from Poland sought by U.S. citizen families that are already in process, but in cases in which referrals have not yet been received, parents may see extended delays. The actual impact and form of these changes is still to be determined, and we will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.”

Friday, March 3, 2017

Adoption Notice – Adoptions from Ghana after March 2, 2017

On January 1, 2017, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) entered into force for Ghana. After reviewing Ghana’s Amended Children’s Act of 2016, and confirming the establishment of Ghana’s Central Authority, the United States has determined that it will now be able to issue Hague Adoption Certificates for adoptions from Ghana. Consular officers will verify on a case-by-case basis that an intercountry adoption can proceed in accordance with the Convention, as well as with U.S. laws and U.S. obligations.

The Department of State cautions U.S. prospective adoptive parents that there may be delays in the adoption process while Ghana works to implement its new adoption laws, regulations, and procedures. Prospective adoptive parents initiating an intercountry adoption on or after January 1, 2017, should work closely with their U.S. accredited adoption service provider (ASP) to ensure they complete all necessary steps under Ghana’s adoption process in accordance with Ghanaian and U.S. laws.  

Continue reading.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Race, Culture and Adoption Class Offered by Adoption Support Alliance

“Race, Culture and Adoption” class offered by Adoption Support Alliance.  Saturday, March 11th from 1 - 3 pm at Christ Central Church/ 658 Center in Charlotte.  The cost is $50 per person and $60 per couple.  The course provides your family with 2 educational credit hours.

If your family is considering or has adopted transracially or transculturally, this is a wonderful opportunity.  Visit their webpage to register today!

To register visit www.adoptionsupportalliance.org

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2 of 24 These Crusader Knights Answered The Call: Loyalty and Guts!

Source: wearethemighty.com



The country known as Georgia derives its name – “Gurgan,” the land of the wolves – from the Persian word for the “frightening and heroic people of that territory.”

Heroic doesn’t even begin to fully describe the Georgians. This fact was evident at the outset of World War I when a troop of crusader knights – in full Medieval armor – marched right up to the governor’s house in the Georgian capital, then called Tiflis (modern-day Tbilisi).
“Where’s the war?” They asked. “We hear there’s a war.”

Continue reading.





Sunday, February 5, 2017

Talking to Adopted Children About Birth Parents and Families of Origin: How to Answer the “Hard Questions” by Rhonda Jarema, MA

Source: http://www.adoptioncouncil.org/

By Rhonda Jarema

Introduction

7620090_orig_thumbOver the years, I’ve had a number of parents question me about what they should say to their child when that child asks about his or her biological parents. Adoptive families may have been provided with varying amounts of information, from an extensive background that includes APGAR scores to just a birthdate. Sometimes there is a vague family history, or the child might even have some memories of their birth family if placed as an older child. Most families have something in between: usually a very basic history of parental death, abandonment, voluntary placement, or removal from parental care. This leaves a hole that is often difficult for both child and parents, as they attempt to fill in the blanks from the past.

It is the responsibility of adoption professionals to try to guide the parents in this area. Adoptive parents often expect that professionals have some hidden store of information that was not provided with the referral, or that the information expanded while in the file and will provide the magical answers to their child’s questions. Sometimes parents become anxious when they receive questions from their child about their past prior to adoption. It is important for parents to give information appropriate to the child’s level of development; offering all the specifics at a young age may increase anxiety for all involved.

Just as it is important to share the information the parent has on the child’s family, so it is important not to fill in blanks when the answer really isn’t known. Sometimes the adoptive parent may not have any information, and the answer might be “I’m sorry, but I don’t know.” Another option would be to ask the child, “What do you think?” As a parent, these are not always easy discussions, but they are important to have.

Continue reading.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Adoption Alert: Uganda’s Residency and Fostering Requirement 02/02/2017

ugandaflagimage1 As reported in our June 2016 Adoption Notice, the Children Act Amendments of 2016 require non-Ugandan prospective adoptive parents to spend one year living in Uganda fostering the child(ren) they intend to adopt. It has come to the attention of the

Department of State that in an effort to fulfill that requirement, some adoption service providers (ASPs) may be arranging for Ugandan residents to foster children on behalf of U.S. prospective adoptive parents. We urge prospective adoptive parents to carefully consider the following information before considering using “proxy fostering.”

Officials from Uganda’s Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development (MGLSD), which has authority over Uganda’s adoption process, have told the State Department they are still in the process of drafting regulations to define how the Children Act amendments will be implemented. Therefore, there is limited information available about Uganda’s adoption requirements, and no assurance that the Ugandan government will accept proxy fostering as a way to fulfill the one-year residence and fostering requirement for adoption. Moreover, the MGLSD has verbally informed Embassy Kampala that its current intention is for the regulations to require prospective adoptive parents to physically reside in Uganda and foster their adoptive children there for a period of 12 months.

If you have questions about this notice, please contact the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues via email at adoption@state.gov.  Please continue to monitor our website for updates on adoptions in Uganda.

Adoption Notice Regarding Impact of January 27 Executive Order 01/01/2017

world The Office of Children’s Issues has received inquiries about the January 27, 2017 Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals, and how it may impact intercountry adoptions involving children from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
 
Travelers, including adopted children, who are nationals of one of these countries, are not permitted to enter the United States or be issued an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa for 90 days, beginning January 27, 2017.
 
The Executive Order provides that “the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.” We are working closely with the Department of Homeland Security to identify exceptions to this Executive Order that are in the national interest.
 
We will update adoption.state.gov as more information becomes available. Please contact adoption@state.gov with inquiries related to specific intercountry adoptions already in process.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Re-Aligning U.S. State Department Policy to Support Child Rights to Family

Source: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org

by Elizabeth Bartholet and Chuck Johnson

The current State Department has developed policies that have been disastrous for children languishing in institutions abroad. There are many millions of such children, some of them orphaned, some abandoned by or removed from their birth parents.

Most of these children have no likelihood of finding a family in their country of origin. International adoption provides their best prospect for a family, and the social science shows that such adoption works extremely well for children, helping repair damage done prior to adoption and enabling children adopted at early ages to thrive. By contrast the brain and social science shows that institutions cause mental, emotional and physical damage destructive of a child’s potential.

Despite this evidence, the State Department has joined with other forces to help shut down international adoption as a meaningful option for institutionalized children, bowing to claims that equate such adoption with first-world imperialism, child trafficking and cultural genocide. As a result, the number of children adopted into the U.S. has dropped by two-thirds since 2004.

Continue reading.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Who Are The Children Hopscotch Adoptions Serve?

While Father Christmas visited all the children of the world, these children may be some of the most beautiful and hope-filled children he visited. We happen to think so. Only, he could not yet bring the gift most wanted by all children… a forever family of their very own.

While many are touched by adoption, it is often forgotten that adopting a child is but only one way to help an orphaned child.

Of equal importance is your willingness to advocate for them by sharing positive adoption information, financially supporting others that are called and prepared to parent a child through adoption or simply   by being the friend, neighbor or family member that cheers an adoptive family on in their journey.
Make no mistake about this journey. The journey is difficult and long. The child waiting at the end of the family’s journey is worth every sacrifice necessary to bring them home.

Some of the faces in this video are home already, or soon to be, but most are still waiting.
Thanks for taking a moment to watch this video and share in their joy. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers that they too find their forever families.

father-christmas

Click here to see video.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Are You Thinking About Summer Already?

Source: http://www.adoptioncouncil.org

By Erin Bayles and Sarah Alger

crazy%20wild%20summer%20ride%20team%20family%20adventure%202016 “The camps are a lot of fun for me because I grew up in a pretty small town where there was not a huge Asian population, so it was a very special experience to get together with so many other Asian kids who were also adopted.”
– Nora Burgess, reminiscing about her experiences at adoption culture camps
 

 

Introduction

After being adopted from China as an infant, Nora Burgess and her mother, Phebe, attended two different culture camps. When Nora was in preschool they attended a three-day camp in Maine, run by Families with Children from China, where they met other families with adopted children from China. Year later, they went to another camp held at a YMCA facility in Asheville, North Carolina. Nora recalled that the camps heightened her interest in Chinese culture, as “they covered so many different topics: dance, singing, calligraphy, traditional children’s games, cooking, speaking, etc.” One special memory stuck with her: the camp counselors would perform traditional Chinese stories and dances and encourage the children to join in. Her mother Phebe’s favorite memory was the closing ceremony, which included a Dragon parade and performances by the children.

Now twenty-one years old, Nora continues to learn about her Chinese heritage through her studies at college. Overall, she said, she was glad her mother went with her to the culture camps, as they offered extended resources on her birth culture and supplemented her family’s own exploration in a fun, memorable way.

Continue reading.

Hopscotch Adoptions ❤ Make-A-Wish North Texas chapter! Thank you for helping Abigail’s wish come true! Welcome Caroline!! We Love our Families!!

YOU wished for gifts this season. Abigail (adopted from an orphanage in Bulgaria) wished for a sister….her friend left behind in Bulgaria. Thanks to Make-A-Wish North Texas for bringing them together again! Story to come! WFAA-TV Demi Lovato you were the second wish!

Click here to see video.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Risks of Simultaneous Multiple Placements in Intercountry Adoption Practice

Source: www.adoptioncouncil.org

By Penny Collins, LMSW

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Introduction

Since the mid-1940s, the practice of adopting orphaned children internationally has experienced peaks as well as periods of decline, driven in part by public interest, world wars, changing regulations and oversight, and politics. Reaching its height in numbers in the early 2000s, with more than 20,000 children adopted from abroad each year, intercountry adoption has been on the decline since its peak in 2004. The number of annual adoptions into the United States dropped to 5,647 in 2015.1 With intercountry adoptions becoming more difficult to obtain, timelines for adoptive families lengthening, and the age range of available children widening, agencies are increasingly met with requests from families wanting to adopt more than one child at a time, adopt children who may be out of birth order with existing children, or adopt children close in age with existing children (often referred to as “artificial twinning”).

While some might look at the situation for many orphaned and institutionalized children and consider these simple, reasonable requests to grant, the reality is far more complex. Regardless of intent, adoption cannot benefit children when they do not thrive in their adoptive homes—and this sad outcome is doubly regrettable when contributing factors, such as the increased stress often caused by multiple unrelated child placements, could have been avoided.

This article seeks to examine the risks and implications of multiple simultaneous adoptions into one family, the ethics surrounding these decisions, and current best practices in this area.

Continue reading.