The Sandcastle Girls

“Chris Bohjalian is at his very finest in this searing story of love and war. I was mesmerized from page one. Bravo!”
— Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

26 June, 2012

Dear Friends Who Read and Readers Who are Friends,

I hope your summers are off to a wondrous start. Certainly mine has been, enhanced by terrific new books from John Grisham (Calico Joe), John Irving (In One Person), and Maggie Shipstead (Seating Arrangements). And, of course, there are the new paperbacks of Maine (J. Courtney Sullivan) and The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern).

And thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey (E.L. James), people are no longer just reading in bed, they’re. . .

Never mind.

In any case, roughly three weeks from today my new novel, The Sandcastle Girls, arrives. I know in my heart this is the most important book I will ever write – and the most personal. Truly. I knew this when I was in Armenia and Lebanon earlier this year, with photos of my late father and grandparents on my iPhone for company.

The book is a love story set in the midst of the Armenian Genocide in the First World War, and it has three of my favorite fictional heroines I’ve ever spent time with in my work: 22-year-old Elizabeth Endicott, Mount Holyoke Class of 1915; Nevart, a doctor’s wife who has endured the worst the Syrian desert can offer; and Hatoun, a quiet, watchful, and intense little girl.

The early reviews have thrilled me:

“Bohjalian powerfully narrates an intricately nuanced romance with a complicated historical event at the forefront. With the centennial of the Armenian genocide fast approaching, this is not to be missed. Simply astounding.”
— Julie Kane, Library Journal (starred review)

“Bohjalian’s storytelling makes this a beautiful, frightening, and unforgettable read.”
— Publishers’ Weekly

“An unforgettable exposition of the still too-little-known facts of the Armenian genocide and its multigenerational consequences.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A powerful and moving story based on real events seldom discussed. It will leave you reeling.”
— Elizabeth Dickie, Booklist

“The Sandcastle Girls will remain ingrained in your consciousness.”
— Wendy Plotkin, The Armenian Weekly

You can learn more about the novel – and watch a :30 video trailer or read an excerpt — here

And, of course, you can preorder a copy at your local bookstore or from any of the online sources.

But I may also be coming to your city or town. Beginning in Los Angeles, California on July 16 and ending in Montpelier, Vermont on August 7, The Sandcastle Girls rock-and-roll book tour will be coming to 22 venues in 14 states. (Fear not: There will again be rock-and-roll t-shirts.)

Here is the link to a list of the book tour events.

I hope I see many of you at these appearances – and I hope with all my heart that you spend a part of your summer with The Sandcastle Girls.

All the best,
Chris B.

“The Sandcastle Girls is deft, layered, eye-opening, and riveting. I was deeply moved.”
— Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed


News From Morocco

Hopscotch family returns to the US with a beautiful baby boy today.  He is such a sweet baby and the family is so happy!  Thrilled for all of you!!!

Hopscotch Received Our Official Hague Accreditation Certificate Today!

Click here to view our Hague Accreditation Certificate.

Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc Announces Successful North Carolina Re-licensing

Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc announces our successful North Carolina re-licensing!  If you are a North Carolina or New York family in need of home study, post adoption or post placement services, we are here to help.  Thinking of building your family through adoption?  We would love to help you explore your many options.  Contact

Save The Adoption Tax Credit: An Update & Appeal

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Save The Adoption Tax Credit is one of the most urgent and important initiatives Joint Council will make in 2012.   We are actively participating in a number of initiatives designed to engage the US government in crafting policies favorable to families, children and intercountry adoption – the tax credit is at the top of the list.  Simply put – without reinstating the tax credit, many families finalizing in 2012 and all families finalizing in 2013 will lose over $13,000 in tax credits.  Obviously this will seriously impact the number of families willing and able to adopt children domestically, internationally or through the US Foster Care system.

Joint Council would like to thank its Partner organizations (listed below) who have signed on as members of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group.  While we are thrilled to have 46 of our Partners joining us, our goal is for 100% participation from our Partner base.  If your organization has not yet joined the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group or you believe your organization has but is not listed above, please contact  Shari Cohey at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute ( and become a member of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group today.  The only way the Tax Credit will be reinstated is if we join together as a community.

  • European Adoption Consultants, Inc
  • Bal Jagat – Children’s World Inc
  • Family Resource Center
  • Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc.
  • Angels’ Haven Outreach
  • Gladney Center for Adoption
  • Agape Adoptions
  • All Blessings International, Inc.
  • Michael S. Goldstein, Esq., LCSW
  • Children at Heart Adoption Services, Inc.
  • Bay Area Adoption Services
  • The Barker Foundation
  • Adoption Learning Partners
  • Sunny Ridge Family Center
  • Buckner International
  • Families Thru International Adoption
  • Children’s Home Society & Family Services
  • Lutheran Social Services of New England
  • Welcome House Adoption Program of Pearl S Buck International
  • Spence-Chapin
  • Journeys of the Heart Adoption Services
  • WACAP (World Association for Children and Parents)
  • Children’s Hope International
  • Wide Horizons For Children
  • Adoptive Parents Committee inc
  • Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc.
  • Dillon International, Inc.
  • Golden Cradle Adoption Services
  • Illien Adoptions International, Inc.
  • All God’s Children International
  • Dillon Southwest
  • Americans for International Aid and Adoption
  • Holt International Children’s Services
  • Bethany Christian Services
  • A Red Thread Adoption Services, Inc.
  • Across The World Adoptions
  • Miriam’s Promise
  • New Beginnings International Children’s and Family
  • The Cradle
  • Family Connections Christian Adoptions
  • MLJ Adoptions
  • Carolina Adoption Services, Inc
  • Adoption Associates, Inc.
  • Adoption STAR
  • European Adoption Consultants, Inc

Already joined the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group?  Here are some next steps…

  1. “Like” the Save the Adoption Tax Credit Facebook page and urge friends, family and constituents to “like” it as well.
  2. Contact your member of the House of Representatives to ask for co-sponsorship of HR 4373, the Making Adoption Affordable Act (and urge your friends, family and constituents to do so as well).  For talking points, click here.  Remember, you can find your rep at  A special thanks to our friends at the National Council for Adoption for the creation of the Adoption Tax Credit Advocacy Kit.
  3.  Add the “Save The Adoption Tax Credit” logo to your signature line (see image above).

Thank you all for your support of this important issue!


IAC 220 Results

The following referrals were issued in IAC Session 220 held on June 13, 2012.
Download the PDF here.

Happy Father’s Day!

Click to play.

Armenian Street Festive Guide

St. Nersess Armenian Seminary Annual Picnic (NY)

Date: Saturday, June 16
Time: 12pm-5pm
Location: St. Nersess Armenian Seminary
Address: 150 Stratton Rd, New Rochelle, NY, 10804

Armenian Youth Federation/ Eastern Region Annual Picnic (MA)

Date: Sunday, July 15
Time: 12pm-5pm
Location: Camp Haiastan
Address: 722 Summer St, Franklin, MA, 02038

3rd ACEC Kermesse Street Festival (MA)

Dates: July 20-21-22, 2012
Time: All day and late evening
Location: Armenian community at Armenian Cultural Educational Center (ACEC)
Address: 47 Nichols Ave, Watertown, MA 02472

Camp Haiastan Alumni Annual Picnic (MA)

Date: Sunday, July 29
Time: 12pm-5pm
Location: Camp Haiastan
Address: 722 Summer St, Franklin, MA, 02038

St Vartanantz Annual Picnic (MA)

Date: Sunday, August 5
Time: 12pm-5pm
Location: Camp Haiastan
Address: 722 Summer St, Franklin, MA, 02038

St Stephen’s Annual Picnic (MA)

Date: Sunday August 12
Time: 12pm-5pm
Location: Camp Haiastan
Address: 722 Summer St, Franklin, MA, 02038

Sayat Nova Annual Picnic (MA)

Date: Sunday, August 19
Time: 12pm-5pm
Location: Camp Haiastan
Address: 722 Summer St, Franklin, MA, 02038

New Britain Armenian Church Annual Picnic (CT)

Date: Sunday, August 19
Time: 12pm-5pm
Location: Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection
Address: 1910 Stanley St, New Britain, CT, 06053

Taste of Armenia (IL) 

Date: Sunday August 26, 2012
Time: Noon – 6:30PM
Location: St. James Armenian Church
Address: 816 Clark Street, Evanston, IL, 60201


Winning gold in every event and overall in the state of New Jersey! We are so proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Birth Country Travel: A Journey Back And A Journey Forward

A heritage journey is one of the most significant factors in the identity building process of internationally adoptive children.

So, what’s the journey all about?

  • What age is the best age?
  • How can families prepare?
  • How can you integrate service work if you’d like?
  • What role does “adoptee loyalty” play in the journey?
  • What are the pros and cons of group vs individual travel?
  • What adoption exploration is possible in country?
  • How do the kids react before, during and after the trip?
  • What role does FACEBOOK play in homeland journeys?


Questions welcome!


North Carolina Area Workshop

Where: Lake Lynn Community Center, 7921 Ray Road, Raleigh, NC 27613

When: Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm


Presented by: The Ties Program

Prioritize it ….plan to come!


Please RSVP by emailing your…


Date you will be attending:

Country(ies) of Interest:

Number of Attendees:

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