Chicken Soup with Egg and Lemon (Chikhirtma)


img_4914crop The Georgian palate gravitates toward tart flavors in all sorts of dishes, and soups are no exception. This elegant chicken soup takes its tang from lemon juice (or, alternatively, vinegar). It appears creamy due to the addition of eggs, but it contains no dairy. The hint of cinnamon adds a touch of sweet perfume, but the flavor remains delicately savory.

I like to serve this soup as a first course before a vegetarian entrée, or as a meal in itself with a thick slice of grainy bread and a mixed green salad.

Serves 4-6

1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts at room temperature
7-8 cups water or chicken stock
2 Tbsp. butter or oil
1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Juice of one lemon*
2 eggs, beaten
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh herbs to garnish (any mix of cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, basil, dill, mint)

*Tip: Roll the lemon around on the counter, pressing down on it hard with the palm of your hand, before slicing it in half and juicing it. This softens the membranes inside the lemon and will allow you to squeeze more juice out of it.

  1. Place the chicken breasts in a pot and pour the water or stock over them. Bring the liquid to a simmer (not a boil) and maintain it there until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the chicken and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Reserve the strained broth. Use your fingers to shred the chicken into bite-size pieces.
  2. In the large pot, cook the onion in butter or oil until soft, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the flour, salt, coriander, and cinnamon over the onions, stirring well to combine. Add the strained broth to the onions and bring to a simmer.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the beaten eggs and lemon juice with 1 cup of the warmed broth, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from clumping. Add the egg mixture to the soup, stirring as you pour. Add the chicken pieces back to the soup and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  4. To serve, ladle the soup into shallow bowls, grind a bit of black pepper over each and top with chopped herbs.

Serving suggestion: if you like a garlicky soup or are trying to ward off a cold, add 3-5 cloves of minced garlic to the soup when you add the chicken pieces back in towards the end.


Celebrating Bulgaria Adoptive Families Reunion 2014


Bulgarian Recipes from the 2014 Potluck

Our reunion potluck is always made extra special by the dishes contributed by our native Bulgarian friends.  One of my favorite parts of the reunion each year is hearing some of our older Bulgarian kiddos get really excited about eating food they used to enjoy in their birth country.  If you want to make these treats for your family throughout the year, here are the recipes shared by Dani G. and Anna G.

Cucumber soup ("Tarator") – serves 8-12 (unless born in Bulgaria, then fewer 🙂

1 big container of yoghurt (organic varieties & Greek Gods taste more like yoghurt in Bulgaria)

1 long/European cucumber (diced or grated)

1-2 tbs olive or sunflower oil

1-2 cloves garlic, minced (may substitute with garlic powder)

12 oz water (add more if you prefer rarer soup)

1-2 tbs dill (fresh is better)

1 tbs grated walnuts or pecans

salt to taste

Serve chilled.
There is a salad version of the soup with the same ingredients as above minus water, however, the yoghurt is strained in a cheesecloth for a few hours and the cucumber may be substituted for diced pickle ("Snejanka").
Pastry ("Banitsa") – recipe from Anna

1 pack FILO dough

4 eggs  + 1 1/2 cups of milk mixed

Feta cheese

Layer 2-3 sheets of FILO, sprinkle w crumbled cheese, fold into a roll and place in a pan, then repeat with more FILO, more cheese until FILO is over. Cut in small squares, spill over the milk and eggs mix, bake at 425 for 45min. Alternative fillings are a mix of cheese and spinach/diced leeks or grated pumpkin mixed with sugar. Old Bulgarian women do not use Filo dough but spread the dough, which is made of water, salt and flour with a rolling pin until almost transparent (idea for next year’s activities!)

Peppers Burek ("Chushki Byurek")

4 big red peppers grilled well from all sides and peeled

2 cups Bulgarian feta cheese

2 tbs unsalted butter (optional)

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 tbs dill

1/4 ts or less black pepper

other spices if desired

3 eggs &

5 tbs flour

Mix the cheese, butter, garlic, dill and black pepper. Fill the red peppers with the mix. Cover with the eggs & flour and fry.

Lazy casserole version (adjust quantities to fit pan) – instead of baking fresh peppers, buy fire Roasted Yellow & Red Baked from Trader Joe’s (or another brand that does nor contain vinegar). Layer of eggs/flour, layer of peppers, layer of cheese mix, another layer of peppers and top with eggs/flour. Bake until there is a nice golden crust on top.


1 pack FILLO dough

1 cup melted unsalted butter (or coconut/olive/etc oil)

9 oz walnuts

1 tbs cinnamon

1 1/2 lbs sugar/brown sugar

1 lemon

20 fl oz water

Coat a pan with the butter. Two layout options: 1) layer 2/3 of the FILLO dough in the pan, cover with the walnuts and cinnamon and put the rest of the FILLO dough on top, then cut into 2×2" squares; 2) take several sheets of fillo dough, spread some of the walnuts and cinnamon on top and fold the FILLO dough into a roll, then repeat with the remaining ingredients until the pan is full. Bake on medium heat until golden. Boil the sugar and water for 2 minutes, then add the juice of the lemon. Cover the baked fillo with the sugar syrup. Leave in the fridge for a night.

You don’t know when my birthday is?

Webinar Series for Adoptive Families: Talking about adoption

TUESDAY July 8 7:00 PM CT

Tackling Tough Adoption Talks

Talking to your child about adoption can be joyful…and sometimes difficult. Your child has questions you can’t always answer, some details you do have may be tough for her to hear, or she just may not want to talk about it. But talking, even about the tough stuff, is an essential part of what adopted kids need from their parents.

Learn from an expert
Join Jayne Schooler, adoptive parent, author and educator, for great tips on how to tackle tough talks when:

· Kids don’t want to talk

· Siblings have different stories and different available information

· You’re not sure of the answers

Insight from an adopted person
Jayne will be joined by Carmen Knight who was adopted internationally. Carmen will give real life examples of how her parents incorporated adoption into her life – even when it wasn’t an easy task.

Goodyear Family & SOAR Make Dreams Come True!

Zipzac%20Chair Thank you to the Goodyear family and SOAR for making dreams come true! The Goodyear family recently returned from visiting their child and saw the need first hand for mobility and took on the personal project to see the children have access to these amazing chairs. SOAR stepped in and will be shipping them in July at no charge – via UAF! We TRULY have the best families and the best kids ever! Thank you!!!!!

CHIFF Momentum is Growing… Watch This Video!

The momentum is building for CHIFF! In the last 24 hours, over 1,500 people have signed the petition and hundreds more have ‘Liked’ CHIFF on Facebook. Let’s keep sharing the petition and the need for this life changing bill.

Below is a video explaining CHIFF. Feel free to share it as you continue to share with your contacts throughout the week. Together, we can make a huge impact!

Let’s keep the momentum going! Keep spreading the word about CHIFF and together we can change the future for children who need our help.

Click here to see video.


The Role of Attachment in Infancy on Later Mental and Physical Health Outcomes

Click here to see video.


Support CHIFF—Children In Families First


The safest place for a child is in the loving arms of a parent. Children without a family are at higher risk for trafficking, forced labor, and abuse. Learn how you can help. Support CHIFF Children In Families First at #SupportCHIFF

Join us for AFG’s Trip to Georgia October 2-15, 2014

Dear Friends,

We are very excited about this trip, which was specially arranged for AFG by Ia Tabagari of Living Roots, who is a local expert with years of experience sharing a passion for Georgian culture, wines and cuisine    

Travel with AFG’s Executive Directors in Georgia this fall to see a beautiful country firsthand and visit our innovative projects, eat delicious food and taste the finest Georgian wines. We have arranged a tour from October 2 – 15, 2014. Please join us!

For more information click on the link below for a PDF brochure of the trip:

Email Marusya Chavchavadze at to reserve your seat on the trip.

The Itinerary

Oct. 02 Thursday: Depart from USA

Oct. 03 Friday: Arrive in Tbilisi. Full day in Tbilisi

Oct. 04 Saturday: Tbilisi to Sighnaghi

Oct. 05 Sunday: Sighnaghi to Telavi

Oct. 06 Monday: Kakheti area

Oct. 07 Tuesday: Kakheti to Tbilisi

Oct. 08 Wednesday: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Nikozi – Kutaisi

Oct. 09 Thursday: Kutaisi to Svaneti region

Oct. 10 Friday: Svaneti area

Oct. 11 Saturday: Svaneti area

Oct. 12 Sunday: Svaneti to Tbilisi

Oct. 13 Monday: Tbilisi to Kazbegi

Oct. 14 Tuesday: Kazbegi to Tbilisi

Oct. 15 Wednesday: Departure from Tbilisi

Please consider a gift today to support AFG’s successful, life changing projects.

Thank you so much for your generous support of AFG projects that are giving hope to traumatized people facing great difficulty.


Marusya Chavchavadze and Lena Kiladze

Adoption Tax Credit Grassroots Campaign: Thank You!


Grassroots Advocacy Campaign


Special Thanks to…

You! Recently, the final message was sent in the Adoption Tax Credit Grassroots Advocacy Campaign. We want to give a special thanks to each of you for your participation over the last several weeks.

We’re grateful for your diligent efforts to share stories, messages, and advocacy tools with your communities. Your efforts are making a great difference for children and families. During this campaign, another new Senator and many new Representatives joined S. 1056 and H.R. 2144, thanks to your efforts. There are now a total of 27 Members of Congress that have signed on in support! Further, many more Members and their staff have been educated by their constituents about the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act and how very important the credit is to them and to their loved ones!

What a great start – and it wouldn’t have happened without you. Your voice and the many voices in your community make a big difference! We’re grateful for every voice that spoke out for this important cause. Don’t stop now! We encourage you to keep up the good work and to keep an eye out for more opportunities to engage policymakers on this issue, and with the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group in the future.

Please feel free to reach out to us with questions or ideas anytime at


The Adoption Tax Credit Working Group

The Adoption Tax Credit Working Group’s Executive Committee:

American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, Adopt America Network, Christian Alliance for Orphans,

Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (Secretariat), Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption,

Donaldson Adoption Institute, Joint Council on International Children’s Services,

National Council For Adoption, North American Council on Adoptable Children,

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, ShowHope, and Voice for Adoption.

Adoption Notice: UAA Transition Case Guidance and Example Cases


UAA Transition Case Guidance and Example Cases


This notice provides a link to new UAA transition case guidance for cases begun before the effective date of the UAA – July 14, 2014 – and completed on or after the effective date. 

Topics include guidance on

  • Cases that are UAA grandfathered;
  • Primary provider requirements in IR-3 cases that are not UAA grandfathered in which no adoption services were provided on or after July 14, 2014;
  • Providing adoption services on or after July 14, 2014, in an IR-3 or IR-4 case that is not UAA grandfathered; and provides
  • Seven UAA transition example cases laying out case scenarios and application of the UAA transition guidance to each case. 
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