Adoption Agency Helps Family Feel Complete

By Ruth D. Anderson

bassetLisa and Ronnie Bassett had five children, but the family did not feel quite complete.

Because they had a 3-year-old, Chase, with Down syndrome, they decided to adopt another child with Down syndrome.

Lisa Bassett looked online for a local adoption agency that offers Down syndrome children.

She found Hopscotch Adoptions, a nonprofit, international adoption agency authorized in New York and licensed in North Carolina. It helps children in need of families become part of permanent, loving homes. On the Hopscotch website, Lisa Bassett found a picture of Davit, a little boy from Armenia, and knew she had found her child, she said.

Last February, Lisa and Ronnie Bassett went to the High Point office of Hopscotch Adoptions and started the process that took one year to complete.

“As soon as we walked into the office, everyone was so helpful,” Lisa Bassett said. “I just knew that this was the agency for us.”

Robin Sizemore, co-founder of Hopscotch, told the Bassett family that the child they saw on the website might not be available.

But Lisa Bassett said she knew in her heart that he was going to be with them.

Hopscotch facilitates the adoption of infants, toddlers and older children, as well as children with special needs.

It specializes in adoptions from the republics of Armenia and Georgia with new programs in Bulgaria, Ghana and Morocco. When children can no longer safely remain with their birth families or be adopted in their countries of birth, Hopscotch makes it possible for children to be placed internationally with adoptive parents who can provide a nurturing and stable family.

Hopscotch works closely with prospective adoptive families starting from the first visit, telephone call or email. Hopscotch helps families with paperwork and compliance issues.

Lisa and Ronnie Bassett went to Armenia for a week in October and met Davit at the orphanage.

Then Lisa Bassett went back for three weeks, with her mother and husband joining her later.

Hopscotch representatives met them at the airport with an interpreter and took them to an apartment. During these three weeks, they went to court, got a physical for Davit and arranged for his visa and passport. Hopscotch was present at each step in the process.

Throughout the year, Hopscotch prepared them to become adoptive parents. After they got home, Hopscotch provided post-adoption support by visiting at the house and following up with phone contacts.

The process, even when it goes well, is challenging and stressful, Lisa Bassett said, but Hopscotch provided understanding and support.

Davit, 21/2, has been in the Bassett family for six months. He and his brother Chase are “getting along like most brothers,” Lisa Bassett said.

“The Bassett family is just one example of the many terrific families we have had the privilege to work with,” said Sizemore, executive director at Hopscotch.

“Adoption should be entered into as a lifelong commitment.

“It’s one of the most intimate decisions and processes a family will ever make, and we don’t take this lightly. We want the best for these children, and they deserve no less.”

Sizemore has personally helped place more than 350 children into permanent and loving families.

Since its founding in 2006, Hopscotch has assisted more than 170 children.

“Not many people can say they really love their work, but all of us here at Hopscotch certainly do,” Sizemore said. “Seeing children join their families and coming home is the most powerful affirmation of what we do.”

Ruth D. Anderson is executive director of The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro and a member of the program committee of The Guilford Nonprofit Consortium.

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