Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Update on the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2015!

"Last Wednesday, the ATCWG Executive Committee co-hosted a congressional briefing with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) on the Adoption Tax Credit. Senators Casey and Blunt announced the reintroduction of the bipartisan Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2015 (S. 950). Please contact congressional offices with which you have relationships to share the exciting co-sponsorship opportunity! "

Here are the things you can do to support S.950:

  • Reach out to any relationships you may have asking members to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation
  • Share the Press Release on Facebook
  • Retweet this

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hopscotch Newsletter for April 2015

In This Issue...

Quick Links

Still waiting....

The Waiting Child Program is the fastest growing program that Hopscotch Adoptions offers.  Unlike the typical track, time to placement usually takes less than a year from dossier submission.  Most of these children are Special Needs or older. We strongly urge you to check out these kids, regardless of the path you are taking. You never know who will grab your heart.

For more information on this program, contact Natasha or go to the Waiting Child page and fill out the Privacy Declaration at the bottom of the page.

Welcome Home!

***Armenia Program News***

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


Who is excited for a Hopscotch Reunion???

When: August 5-7, 2015
Where: Riverhead, New York
Who can attend: ALL Hopscotch families

Hyatt Place East End (Primary Hotel)
Hilton Garden Inn

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

Please book your room NOW to lock in that rate!

Tentative Schedule:

August 5, 2015
Morning: Breakfast together at the hotel
Day: Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center *group rate will be applied
Night: Dinner together

August 6, 2015
Morning: Breakfast together at the hotel
Day: Beach Day!!
Evening: Clambake and Barbecue Picnic

August 7, 2015
Morning: Breakfast together at the hotel
Day: Your choice! Your family can participate in the many activities that Riverhead offers!

Program Spotlight!


Hopscotch's Executive Director, Robin Sizemore, traveled to Guyana in October 2014 where she met with Guyanese officials, US Embassy staff, orphanages and attorneys. She had a very positive experience and is very excited about this new program.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Married or Single Women Applicants
  • Applicants Age: 25-65 years old
  • Trips: 2 trips are required (1st trip: 5-7 days; 2nd trip: 3 weeks)

Children available for adoption are usually between 12 months and 15 years old. There are children that are generally healthy in relation to institutional care. There are also children with minor to non-correctable special needs available for adoption.

If you are interested in learning more about our Guyana program, please contact Natasha Beavers.

Before You Go...

Always consult with your primary doctor well before making a trip abroad and reference the  Center for Disease Control (CDC) for any specific precautions for the destination you'll be traveling too.  Your doctor will make sure you have all of the appropriate vaccinations and medications relevant to your trip and length of time you'll be away.

Be sure to always keep your medications in the prescription bottle at all times during travel and always keep your medications in your travel carry-on.   Sometimes your doctor and your insurance company will allow extra dosages based on your trip length, but ask in advance or during your travel medical appointment.   Keep your personal doctor's contact information, medication lists or letter from your doctor if you need any special accommodations and insurance information in your carry-on luggage.    

Some families utilize the services of an International Medical Travel clinic, but most likely your doctor and the CDC can cover your needs.  You'll want to also check the Visa page for your country destination to be sure you're not caught without proper documentation if required for entry.   You can find the correlating embassy by visiting the country page on the Department of State's Intercountry Adoption website. 

If you  or your child will have any specific medical needs or mobility issues, it's good to communicate with your airline in advance of ticket purchase to be sure you can be accommodated safely.  Some airlines have restrictions on the level of medical fragility they will permit to board.  It's best to check and get it in writing between your doctor and the airline if possible.  Know your passenger rights on inter country flights as well as domestic flights.

Don't forget travel insurance!  Travel insurance, health and life policies.  Are they up to date? Another level of security is your home owners policy.  Be sure to check the policy, because in many cases if you have anything broken or destroyed while traveling, your home owners insurance may cover the loss.   If you have a medical emergency, be sure you call your provider to get authorization in advance.  Call your insurance provider before you leave to be sure you understand the limits of your coverage. 

Before a family travels abroad to bring their child home, they have usually had a consult with an  InternationalĂ‚  Medical Adoption Specialist that assists families in evaluating the child's health and needs.  This doctor will already be familiar with your child's specific needs and may be able to make recommendations for specific medications or care your child may need while abroad or during travel.  Evaluations and consultations can be from $250-$850 and offer an array of amenities that can fit every family's needs or budget.  Look for the doctor that can review your child's information ongoing as you get updates, that will make specific requests for screenings, tests etc to help you better understand your child's developmental progress while waiting, and of course, be available during and after you return home to see your child's medical and developmental  goals are being met.  Some clinics will even Skype with you during your child's medical evaluation while abroad.  The clinics can be a wealth of resources and are worth every penny. 

While you are in country, you can also avail yourself of the embassy panel physician.  You can find the list of embassy approved physicians on the US embassy website for the country you are in.  Again, check with your insurance provider to be sure your visit is covered for reimbursement when you return home.    Save all of your receipts, prescriptions and notes.  Your regular doctor will want to follow up on the treatment.

And of course, always check for travel warnings for the countries you would be traveling or transiting through.   You'll want to be sure to register with the US embassy for emergency events, evacuations or terror threats.  

We always value our families' feedback. Please tell us what you want in the next newsletter! We would love for our families to share their adoption stories! Please contact Michelle Moreau with any feedback or if you would like to write an article for a future newsletter.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Save The Date. AFG Event on June 4 in NYC

Save The Date! June 4

AFG Benefit and Cocktail Reception at the Ukrainian Institute in NYC (located in the historic Fletcher-Sinclair mansion on Fifth Avenue) on June 4, 2014. An extraordinary evening with Georgian wine and hor d'oeuvres, a musical performance and an art auction! Event Tickets will be available online soon and another email will be sent when they are available. Proceeds from this event will benefit AFG's humanitarian aid projects in Georgia.


Where & When

Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 E 79th St, New York, NY 10075

This event would not be possible without the support of the Ukrainian Institute of America, Pheasant's Tears Wines, Oda House Restaurant and Dita Naylor-Leyland



If you would like to help sponsor this event, we would welcome your kind generosity.

American Friends of Georgia, Inc. is a U.S. non-profit, non-political 501(c)(3) public charity with tax exempt status.

The organization's mission is to provide practical humanitarian assistance to the peoples of Georgia in order to improve educational, economic, social, medical and environmental conditions.

Thank you for your support !


Marusya Chavchavadze

Monday, April 13, 2015

Book review from our Hopscotch family

SandcastleGirls3 Book review from our Hopscotch family: "Last night I finished reading "The Sandcastle Girls" by Chris Bohjalian. What an excellent, moving book. I wanted to keep reading, yet at the same time, the depictions of the Genocide were so horrific (and sadly, accurate), that I wanted to stop. An Armenian friend of mine made the following comment about this book, "It's really important for people to understand the depth of why Armenians feel so strongly about keeping their heritage alive." —RK

Nappies Collection a Huge Success!

Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR)

1060 First Avenue, Suite 400, King of Prussia, PA 19406
Office: 610.213.3452   Fax: 610.229.5168 
Email:   Web:

Nappies Collection a Resounding Success!

The Nappies for Nork fundraiser, organized and coordinated by Viviane Martini, was a giant success.  In just two weeks, $11,000 was raised to provide diapers for the children at Nork Orphanage.  From giving three dollars to keep a child dry for a single day to four figure donations, so many opened their hearts to make a difference, one clean bottom at a time.

To everyone who contributed (whether cash toward diapers or items for the raffle) and who spread the word, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  When Viviane sat at her desk three weeks ago looking for a way to help, she hoped to raise $1,000.  Now, around 38,000 diapers will be available for these precious children. 

What do 38,000 diapers look like?  Well, a folded Pampers is about 1/2 inch thick, so 38,000 of them stack to approximately 1,500 feet, which is how far you'd walk to get from Yerevan's Cascade Complex to the Opera House.

Details and pictures of the diaper delivery we will available beginning early May.  Given the level of generosity, the diaper distribution will be expanded to Mari Izmirlyan Orphanage.  Viviane's son Rex was adopted from Nork, but some of the children who lived at Nork with Rex have since moved to Mari Izmirlyan, so her love stretches to this orphanage.  Mari Izmirlyan serves many children with medical and developmental special needs, some of whom continue to require diapers well past their sixth birthdays.

Again, thank you to everyone who was inspired by Viviane to help in this special endeavor.  Your generosity and support exceeded our wildest dreams!