Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Join Us!!!!! Hopscotch Adoptions Family Reunion 2017

It’s time for… Hopscotch’s 2017 Family Reunion!



Hi, Everyone,

The 2017 Hopscotch Reunion is less than seven weeks away.  Now’s the time to register.  Your registration form is attached and due, along with the per person reunion fee, on June 25, 2017.

The fee will cover a pizza party and dessert on Friday night, a catered al fresco breakfast at the park on Saturday morning, the rental of a canopy tent/tables and chairs to keep us shaded and comfortable at the reunion hub, as well as arts/crafts/activities for the children.  Depending on the number of attendees and final costs, the fee may stretch to cover a Sunday morning breakfast as well.

Hopscotch has generously sponsored a catered dinner at the park for Saturday evening.

Additional activities, such as a visit to the water playground at the park, boat/bike rentals, and a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo or other local attractions will be paid by individual families as they go.  If there’s interest to form a group for a Sunday outing, please let me know and I will gladly assist with the planning.

If you are flying to Cincinnati to attend the reunion, your closest airport is CVG.  You can also fly into DAY, SDF or IND.

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions,
Viviane

Viviane Martini, Family Coordinator and Advocate
Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc
Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Morocco, Serbia and Ukraine
Pre & Post-Adoption Services available to NY and NC residents
Ph: 336.899.0068

This year’s reunion will be hosted at Winton Woods, Cincinnati, Ohio!

A blog about camping at Winton Woods

2017 Family Reunion Registration Form – Register Now (Word Doc)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

3 Reasons Traditional Parenting Doesn’t Work with Kids from Trauma by Mike Berry

Source: http://www.rainbowkids.com

The following article was graciously shared, with permission, by Mike Berry from the blog Confessions of an Adoptive Parent

feat_smIf you’ve parented a child from a traumatic past for any length of time, you already know that traditional parenting techniques do not work. But, have you ever stopped to consider why, or what you could do differently?

Kristin and I both grew up in traditional households, with parents who used traditional techniques in raising us both. There were rules and restrictions, guidelines and boundaries. And if said rules, restrictions, guidelines and boundaries were crossed, BAM, consequences were enforced. No questions asked. From all accounts, these techniques worked. We both grew up to be responsible adults who knew the difference between right and wrong. But, we also never endured significant trauma as children.

Continue reading.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Post Adoption Depression: Causes and Prevention


$20.00 ********FREE TO HOPSCOTCH PLACING CLIENTS!!!!!
Post adoption depression and parent attachment disorder are surprisingly common and seldom talked about. After all, since you’ve tried so hard to become a parent, many adoptive parents are ashamed to admit that they are struggling.

REGISTER NOW

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Books on Toddler and Older Child Adoption for Adoptive Parents

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Source: https://creatingafamily.org


Toddler Adoption
Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best. Great information. The author was interviewed on the Creating a Family radio show.


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Adopting Older Children: A Practical Guide to Adopting and Parenting Children Over Age Four by Stephanie Bosco-Ruggiero, MA; Gloria Russo Wassell, MS, LMHC; and Victor Groza, PhD. – This is a wonderful resource full of practical and hopeful tips for parents who have adopted a child over age four from foster care or through international adoption. The adoption therapist authors do not gloss over potential problems, but they don’t exaggerate them either. Listen to our interview with them on the Creating a Family Radio Show- Parenting Older Adopted Kids: A Practical Guide.


Siblings in Adoption and Foster Care
Siblings in Adoption and Foster Care: Traumatic Separations and Honored Connections by Deborah N. Silverstein and Susan Livingston Smith – This book is a comprehensive resource on issues facing siblings during foster care or adoption – both biological and adopted.


Our Own: Adopting and Parenting the Older Child
Our Own: Adopting and Parenting the Older Child by Trish Maskew


Adopting the Older Child
Adopting the Older Child by Claudia L. Jewett- Written in 1979 but still relevant.


Adopting a Toddler: What Size Shoe Does She Wear?
Adopting a Toddler: What Size Shoes Does She Wear? by Denise Harris Hoppenhauer – Offers great insight and practical advice for those preparing to adopt a toddler.


Nurturing Adoptions
Nurturing Adoptions – Creating Resilience after Neglect and Trauma by Deborah Gray – Anything by Deborah Gray is great. On our show she said this book was primarily written for adoption professionals, but I think adoptive parents will find a lot of useful information as well.


The Connected Child
The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family by Karyn B. Purvis, David R. Cross, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine


Parenting Your Adopted Older Child
Parenting Your Adopted Older Child By Brenda McCreight – Good overview!


Another Place at the Table
Another Place at the Table by Kathy Harrison – I loved this book. It is the true life tale of one foster family and is very well written. I couldn’t put it down.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

5 Tips for Parenting Harder to Parent Adopted Kids

Source: https://creatingafamily.org
By Dawn Davenport

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Sometimes parenting feels like we are soaring. Everything is clicking—we get the kids out the door in the morning without a major tantrum and we’re no more than 10 minutes late, we are eating semi-nutritious meals most days, and the little darlings are in bed with a minimum of fuss and teeth more or less brushed most nights.

Then there are times when it feels like we are slugging it out in the trenches. Often it is one particular child that puts us there. Perhaps this child was adopted at an older age after experiencing trauma, or maybe she has brain damage  caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol or drugs, or maybe this child’s temperament is a really poor match for yours. Whatever the reason, some kids are simply more challenging to parent.

When you are in the trenches it’s hard to see a way out. It’s at those times that you need some “quick” tips and tricks to help you cope. Read over these tips every week until you start to climb your way out of the parenting depths.

Read more.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


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The Georgian Association in the United States
Requests the Pleasure of Your Company at Its Annual Reception
On Monday, June 12, 2017, at 5:30 – 7:30
At
Baker McKenzie
815 Connecticut Avenue, 20006
Washington, DC
Please RSVP to  georgianassociation@gmail.com
Georgian wines will be provided by Georgian Wine House

Friday, June 2, 2017

STONEWARE WITH THE CHARM OF THINGS IMPERFECT AND SIMPLE by Christian Royal

Source: https://www.christianroyalpottery.com

home_welcome_image_grandeTHE POTTERY – Christian Royal Pottery is high-fired stoneware that is handmade using slab-building techniques. The stoneware incorporates the natural splendor of leaves or the artistry of beautiful laces, which are shaped into flowing designs and functional forms. The making of stoneware involves numerous steps over several days. Each piece involves Christian and his assistants in a collaborative effort, following many sequential steps. While some of the pieces may be similar, none are identical due to the process. Handcrafting produces variations in size, shape, color saturation, depth of impression, and minor imperfections that give each piece part of its appeal. Thus, the studio adage: Stoneware With The Charm of Things Imperfect and Simple

THE POTTER – Christian Royal is a young man with Down syndrome who struggles with single words and has yet to grasp basic addition or time.  However, since his teen years, Christian has shown an interest in, and aptitude for, working with clay. Christian was unable to “do” school as other students did and began making pottery as part of his homeschooling program.  Since his first lesson with Kris Neal of Fire And Earth Pottery, pottery has increasingly become the  focus of his life.  Over the years, through many providential happenings, kind-hearted people have offered their expertise and help at just the right time for each step of what is now Christian Royal Pottery. Foremost are John and Jan Myers, professional potters, who inexplicably offered to teach Christian the methods and techniques they had developed over thirty years. They made this offer the first time we ever met them. A week later we had unpacked our bags in their home and were sitting in their studio as John began to instruct Christian.  John and Jan’s teaching of Christian enabled him to produce a style of pottery that captures simplicity and charm in its essence.

Continue reading.

Model With Down Syndrome Challenges Beauty Stereotypes: BORN DIFFERENT

Source: https://www.yahoo.com

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THE first model with Down Syndrome to front a beauty campaign is hoping to shake up the industry and prove that “beauty belongs to everybody.” Katie Meade is the first to admit that people with Down Syndrome, as well as other disabilities, are largely absent from the beauty and fashion industries – and she’s determined to change it. The 33-year-old made history last year when she became the first ever model with Down Syndrome to be the face of a beauty brand and her career – both as a model and as an ambassador for people with learning disabilities – continues to grow.

See video.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Christianity Today Reports on Tragic Guatemalan Orphanage Fire


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Christianity Today – March 2017 reported the following:
Earlier this month, a fire at an orphanage outside of Guatemala’s capital caught international attention. Forty children died of carbon monoxide poisoning and burns; the tragic event drew worldwide condemnation.

But the aftermath of the fire has given hope to those who work with the Central American country’s orphans. As the government turns to evangelicals for help, it seems the tragedy may spark the breakthrough many have been praying for.

In some ways, the tragic blaze—set intentionally by children locked in the overcrowded facility—was not unexpected by evangelical experts. In 2006, Orphan Outreach founder Mike Douris told the Guatemalan government that the orphanage’s design wasn’t a good idea.

The government went ahead and built it anyway—another link in a chain of wrong moves. For decades, Guatemala has had some of the worst child welfare practices on the planet.

In 2015, the country had the second-highest rate of child murders in the world. Of the crimes against children that get reported—including murder, rape, kidnapping—most go unpunished (88%). An estimated 2 in 5 children are malnourished. Among indigenous children, that rises to 4 in 5. Tales of overcrowding, abuse, and malnutrition leak out of orphanages like the one near the nation’s capital, Guatemala City, where dozens died in the recent fire.

The infamous orphanage, the Virgen de la AsunciĆ³n, was built for 400 children but housed about 750. Inside, orphans were physically and sexually abused by staff and by other children. There were complaints about water leaks and poor food quality. Only 3 of the 64 security cameras in the building were working.

The conditions resemble fellow public orphanages, which house about 1,200 children in Guatemala. At least three times as many live in private orphanages (about 4,000), but that’s still a small fraction of the 370,000 orphans that UNICEF estimates live in the country. Since Guatemala has no foster care system and very few domestic adoptions, virtually every child removed from a neglectful or abusive situation is sent to an orphanage. Many more live on the streets.

KEEP THE PROMISE 2017!

The Office of Children’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State has declared May 15th Post-Adoption Report Day. It’s an opportunity to highlight the importance that parents who have adopted through intercountry adoption keep their promises and submit post-adoption reports as they committed to during the adoption process.

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Here are 3 simple reasons NCFA believes Post-Adoption Reporting matters!
  1. You promised!
    As a part of the adoption process, you were entrusted with the care of your child and promised to share about their future experiences. While it is easy to forget about extra paperwork in the important work of caring for your children, we think keeping your promise to report back on the wellbeing of your child is critically important. 
  2. It’s a great opportunity for reflection.
    Post-adoption reports are a good time to do some reflection and assessment. Consider your reporting dates an opportunity, not an obligation.  You can review and celebrate progress and milestones. Take a moment to consider what types of support might help your child (and you!) to grow and thrive. And consider what your goals are for your child and your family between now and the next reporting date. It’s also a terrific time to touch base with your adoption agency or other adoption professionals if you need any support. For some countries, you’re required to connect with your agency at this time anyway. It’s a natural and convenient time to touch base about any questions, concerns, or supports your family might find valuable.
  3. You’re helping to support future adoptions.
    Post-adoption reports are one of the ways countries assess whether children are healthy, safe, and loved as a result of intercountry adoption. This information can be critical to deciding whether future children will have the option to join families through intercountry adoption or might otherwise languish in institutions or other impermanent situations.
So, what exactly is a post-adoption report? While the number and timing of reports required varies, generally the report’s goal is to discuss the child’s development and adjustment to a new family, home, and country. It’s important to pay special attention to the specific requirements in the country a child is adopted from. The type of information, how it should be assessed (through an agency or by parents themselves), and how it should be submitted can vary widely from country to country. Below, we’ve listed some basic information on several countries reporting requirements. If you have specific questions about what your reporting requirements are, we encourage you to reach out to your adoption service provider to learn more. Department of State also provides country specific information and can be contacted if you need more information.
Post-Adoption Report Requirements
We aren’t listing in detail all the country requirements, but wanted to give examples of some common countries of origin and their general guidelines, we’ve also linked through to more specific information at Department of State for each country. Of course, the best way to get information on what is required for your adoption is always to contact your adoption service provider and confirm what was required by the country at the time of your adoption and any other requirements the agency might have that you agreed to during the adoption process.

Bulgaria: 4 reports required. One every six months after adoption for first two years.

China: 6 reports required. Six months after adoption and at 1,2,3,4, and 5 years after adoption. First 3 reports must be prepared by the social workers who prepared the homestudy. Families may write last three reports themselves.

Colombia: 4 reports—signed by social worker—at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months from the date of the final court decree which is signed while the family is in Colombia.

Ethiopia: Post-adoption reports are required at 3, 6, and 12 months post-adoption. After the first year, reports must be filed yearly until child turns 18.

Haiti: 7 post-adoption reports are typically required. The first 4 must be completed with the adoption service provider at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after adoption. The last 3 reports at moths 36, 48, and 60 may be submitted directly to IBESR by adoptive parents.

India: Post-adoption reports are required quarterly in the first year after adoption, and twice a year during the 2nd year. They may be submitted online by the adoption service provider.

Kazakhstan: Post-adoption reports are required every six months for the first 3 years, and once a year until the child is 18. Reports are to be submitted to Kazakhstani diplomatic mission in the country of the child’s residence.

Philippines: During the first 6 months of custody the adoption service provider must conduct bi-monthly reports. After this period, adoptive parents should file a petition for adoption in U.S. court.

Russia: Russia requires children to be registered with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs before they leave Russia or with the Russian Embassy or Consulate upon arrive in the U.S. 4 post-adoption reports are required. The reports should be completed: (1) 5 months after adoption court order and submitted no later than the end of the 7th month, (2) 11 months after adoption court order and no later than then end of the 13th month, (3) 23 months after adoption court order and submitted no later than the end of the 25th month, and (4) 35 months after adoption court order and no later than then end of the 37th month.

Ukraine: Post-adoption reports are required annually for the first 3 years, and once every 3 years thereafter until the child is 18.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Attention Alabama Families: IAC Presents "Adoption Boot Camp" – June 3rd, 2017

The International Adoption Clinic at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham (AL) will be hosting a live seminar entitled “Adoption Boot Camp” on June 3rd, 2017 from 8:30am to 5:00pm in the Bradley Lecture Hall at Children’s Hospital.

The focus of Adoption Boot Camp will be on internationally and domestically adopted children or those children in the foster care setting. Discussed will be the awareness of medical, emotional, and developmental needs to expect once home.

While hosted on the same date, our domestic and international focused seminars are held separately so that the focus is on the specific needs of those families, whether adopting from the U.S. or another country. 

Please forward this flyer to any family going through the domestic/foster care or international adoption process OR families already home with their child who you feel would take great benefit from these topics.

The seminar is also opened to professionals within the field of adoption or who would like further education on these topics. CEUs will be available for both social workers and nurses. If you are a professional seeking to attend, please see the flyer noted “for professionals” flyer and pass along to others that will benefit from this educational seminar.

The deadline to register will be: May 20th, 2017

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.