Maybe Orphanages Aren’t So Bad After All, Study Says


By Belinda Luscombe

“In the U.S. there is a movement to see long-term residential care as detrimental to all children…"

Author of biggest study to date says the institutions have been unfairly stigmatized


Orphanages, as we all know from Charles Dickens, studies of kids from former Eastern Bloc countries and the musical Annie, are bad for children. Except, as a few studies are now beginning to find, when they’re not. The latest study looked at children from five not-so-wealthy countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa over the course of three years and found that being in an institution did not necessarily make them much worse off.

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Hopscotch kind of treat? – YOU visiting US!

Hopscotch kind of treat? – YOU visiting US!


Check Out This Video

This video is dedicated to MattyB’s little sister Sarah Grace who was born with Down Syndrome. Sarah is the most beautiful girl in the world and she is an absolute joy to everyone’s life she has impacted.

See Video.


Love In The Time of Kindergarten.


By Khatia Esartia

797743a0c557af962cec9e4e1648bca3 In 1984 I spent one year behind bars of a Kindergarten. To say that I hated it is an understatement. I was marginalized as one of the ‘republic’ kids and my teacher plainly hated me and made us take naps every day. I don’t mean like curled up on a mat with a pillow under your head and a blanket to cover you type of naps. I am talking about strip down to your underwear in front of everyone, change into pajamas in front of everyone, and get into your bed and sleep on command for two hours. I did everything I could to get out of those naps. I lied to my teachers about my dad having to come pick me up before nap time. I involved my mother, my grandparents, imaginary relatives. Basically I ran through the family tree before I too was shoved into the ‘nap’ room. It wasn’t the nudity I was so scared off, it was the other little overdeveloped girls (who has boobs at age of 6????) who would point at my flat chest and laugh.

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Get ready, set, go!


Grants for Medical Reviews!!!!


sp "The adoption process can be a wild ride. It can be a time of great emotional swings—fear, excitement, grief, joy—that can make it difficult to always know the right next step for your family. Many of us have found support from the adoption community, a tight-knit group, historically ready to support other families in the adoption process. Though this support is very helpful, support from professionals who can come along side of us and prepare us in ways that we would not be able to ourselves is crucial.

We believe that the family is responsible to be as well prepared as possible for the major life change that adoption brings. One of the most significant ways you can prepare yourselves is to bring in medical professionals to work with you to understand what it means to bring a child out of an institution or foster home and transition him or her into a permanent home. Furthermore, when you review an available child’s paperwork or receive a referral, this child you have dreamed about is no longer a dream but is an actual child…perhaps your child. These professionals provide valuable insight during this process regarding what needs the child has and how to best care for him or her and help to prepare you to be the parents to that specific child. We want to encourage adoptive families to seek out a medical organization offering comprehensive support, a program that includes more than a quick review of some paperwork and a summary email or phone call, but rather an organization that (a) works with you pre-referral, (b) helps you work through any and all medical info provided when you first receive or are considering a referral, and (c) offers post-placement support.

Using a service like this is costly on top of an already expensive adoption process, especially since medical insurance will not cover these costs because the child is not an official dependant. However, it is an invaluable service that can bring real clarity when it is most needed. It is also where we come in. We find this service so important that we want to provide a way for families to enroll in these programs who otherwise would not be able to handle the expense. If you believe you would qualify, we encourage you to apply for a grant. If you do not think you would qualify but understand the benefit of these programs, we encourage you to partner with us and donate so others have the opportunity to take advantage of this service.

Basic Application Process:

  • Find a medical organization that offers this type of service
  • Determine if you need help paying for this service
  • Fill out The Sparrow Fund application. Click here to download the form.
  • Gather additional documents:
  • Copy of your initial home study and any subsequent updates
  • Copy of your most recent pay stub(s)
  • Letter from your adoption agency. Click here for a sample.
  • Copy of the application to the medical review service provider (if applicable)

Mail all the documents to:
The Sparrow Fund
Attn: Application Review
124 3rd Ave
Phoenixville, PA 19460

We will only accept applications from January through October. Any application received in November or December will not be reviewed until January.

The Sparrow Fund will review the application and determine if you qualify for the grant
and contact you as soon as possible."

Grandmas are PRICELESS!



Grandmas are PRICELESS! Just imagining my Kelley and his Meemaw. Hilarious.

Droniak and his grandma’s rise to viral stardom began about two years ago when the 17-year-old, wanting to share his firecracker of a granny and her priceless wisdom with the world, decided to set up a camera in his grandma’s car to capture their conversations.

See videos.

I Heart Armenia.


By Beth Shepherd

If you are not following Beth Shepherd’s blog – fix that.


When summer turns to fall, my heart longs for Armenia. I made four trips to Armenia in the fall, and when the air begins to feel crisp and leaves on the trees trim their edges with gold and red, I reminisce: Vines laden with ripe grapes drape trellises outside people’s homes, hills are dry and brown and the mountains feel moodier as clouds start to enshroud their peaks.

Read more.

Do You Speak English?


By Yahoo Travel Editors

We already know this… don’t we?


When we travel, we are, by definition, out of place. But the things Americans say when we travel (especially overseas) sometimes highlight just how out of place we are — and not in a good way. The natural biases we’ve formed at home can come out in the worst, although unintentional, ways.

So to help you prevent an international outbreak of foot-in-mouth disease, here are the Worst Things Americans Say on Vacation.

See Slideshow.

Birth mothers and birthday thoughts from Madeleine Melcher. Excellent!


By Madeleine Melcher

To My Own BIRTHmother on my BIRTHday…

So here I sit with my coffee, it is September 17th and the cool fall air has just begun emerging in the mornings–my favorite time of year.  A little quiet time when I can collect my thoughts before my sweet darlings get up for school.  It is my birthday.  My thoughts go to all the birthdays before this one, filled with special cakes made by my mom, gifts that I loved, parties with friends and the little train tray my mom would bring to our beds on our birthday ~filled with a special birthday breakfast as she cheerfully came in to sing.  But there is one other person I think of on my birthday…someone I do not even know.  Someone that had a lot to do with the actual day I was born, but who I have never carried on a real conversation with~  my own birthmother.

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