Hopscotch Adoptions ❤ Make-A-Wish North Texas chapter! Thank you for helping Abigail’s wish come true! Welcome Caroline!! We Love our Families!!

YOU wished for gifts this season. Abigail (adopted from an orphanage in Bulgaria) wished for a sister….her friend left behind in Bulgaria. Thanks to Make-A-Wish North Texas for bringing them together again! Story to come! WFAA-TV Demi Lovato you were the second wish!

Click here to see video.

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Past Still Haunts Bulgaria’s Disabled Children by Maria Milkova

Source: www.balkaninsight.com

By Maria Milkova

Milkova_1 
Tsonka and Tenyo Tenevi with their daughter Teodora, six years after they were reunited under a programme to move disabled children out of isolated state institutions. Photo: Maria Milkova.

The residential home was new, the rooms clean and airy. But the lift to the second-floor bedrooms had not been working for months, so the children spent nights sleeping in their wheelchairs or on the sofa.

There were toys, too, but it was the television on the wall that captivated the children, while at the table, an elderly carer briefly, clumsily, held a child by the hair to keep her head steady as she fed her.

The carer was not rough or abusive. But there it was, in her untrained hand, in the broken elevator and the boredom, a reminder of the recent past, a period Bulgaria is trying to leave behind.

The house, in the Benkovski suburb of the capital Sofia, was one of almost 150 built in Bulgaria over the past six years to house up to 12 disabled children each, replacing the isolated, over-crowded and under-funded state institutions where such children were once held far from the wary eye of society.

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Somewhere A Child is Waiting for You!

Child.

News from Bulgaria: BOOM!!! Another Boy Finds His Family

BOOM!!! Another Boy Finds His Forever Family.  Welcoming home our Hopscotch family and one very handsome young man from Bulgaria!

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Hopscotch Extends Our Deepest Condolences to the Quesenberry Family

Posted with permission of Natalie Hampton Quesenberry

635931996081468428-image1 For those that may not have heard through the adoption community, a wonderful Hopscotch family lost a devoted husband and father while in Bulgaria recently.  What should have been a joyous trip to bring home two very sweet boys they longed for, the unthinkable happened in Eric’s sudden passing.  The family was left without life insurance or a will and are struggling to provide the much needed stability to a newly transformed and vulnerable family.  Natalie, Eric’s wife of 24 years, is now navigating the infinitely complicated process of managing Eric’s estate, getting through the day to day life with two additional new children with special needs and planning Eric’s memorial and burial service – all while in the depths of grief.  Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers as they grieve and find a new normal for their family.  In the event you feel led to support them further, you can do so at YouCaring.com

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News from Bulgaria

News from Bulgaria: Wishing our Hopscotch family a safe and successful registration trip.  Congrats!!

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Celebrating Bulgaria Adoptive Families Reunion 2014

Source: http://bulgarianadopteesreunion.blogspot.com/2014/06/bulgarian-recipes-from-2014-potuck.html

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.

Baklava

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.

News from Bulgaria: Registration Trip!

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Hopscotch Newsletter – May 2014

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 Heather or go to the Waiting Child page and fill out the Privacy Declaration at the bottom of the page.

Greetings!

It’s almost summer time and we hope your family will be taking advantage of this great weather after our unexpectedly long winter! 

You’ve received our first ever on-line newsletter and we hope you’ll find it useful in getting relevant and supportive information and education articles more frequently.  

Families reported that they loved our full spread newsletter, but we found most families preferred less content and more frequency to better fit their busy lifestyles.   We call this newsletter ‘fun sized’.  

Education Spotlight:

Creating a Family

Education is one of the most valuable aspects of your adoption journey. To quote the public service announcements of the 80’s, "The more you know…" Creating a Family and Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc. have collaborated to allow our families access to a wealth of information through podcasts.

You can access the courses at http://www.creatingafamily.org/learning-center.html

Any Hopscotch family can access the website.  In order to set up an account, contact Megan or Michelle.  They will be glad to set you up.

Small but Beautiful:

The Reality of Family

A Bulgarian Princess Comes to Texas

by: Dorcas L. Grubaugh

On August 16, 2013 we drove to Roman, Bulgaria to pick up our sweet daughter.  She was 12 years old at the time, soon to turn 13.  We were adopting a teenager!  We were not sure what to expect, except we had been told to not have any expectations of her whatsoever, just accept her as she was.  Of course, as in many things, this was easier said than done.  We were prepared for teenage things, and we had read all the assigned books and taken the required pre-adoption class credits.  But truly, we weren’t very well prepared at all.  Perhaps it was because this was our first child.  Maybe adoptive parents that already have other children in the home feel the transition goes more smoothly.  For us, it was a rocky first month or so.

We discovered that Abigail didn’t really know what to expect either.  She was disappointed th at we didn’t live next to celebrities.  She said our house was small … but beautiful, she quickly added.  And that is as it should be, because our sweet girl is also small but beautiful.  And she wishes we had other kids for her to play with, and was sad that our family is small ("we are only three" she says).  But she says we are crazy … and beautiful.  She has a wonderful sense of humor.  Everything is crazy to her.  That’s her word for silly, I think.  So that has pretty much defined our life over the past four months.  Crazy beautiful.  Abigail loves to take photographs.  I think we have more photographic documentation of the last four months of our life than the last four years since Tony and I got married.  You really have to be "on" because you never know when the camera is pointing your way!

She sings in the kid’s choir at church.  She is in an international newcomer school in our school district, which is specifically for children that come to the district with very little English language.  Now her English has progressed beautifully.  She has not learned too many complex words yet, but we can understand each other.  We only struggled for about a month with getting our point across.

The things we’ve learned so far:  A sleepy child cannot communicate
clearly … ever. 

No matter how close dinner was to bedtime, there still must be a snack beside her bed available.

She needs to be told that she is loved and beautiful a LOT!  I mean a whole

lot.  She asks all the time if we love her, and just about as often if we think she is beautiful.  We talked to some people who work with the kids in Bulgaria and found that the kids had a really nasty form of teasing each other there.  So we are working to reinforce positive words t

o overcome the negative words she heard from some peers.

The American school day is longer by several hours than the Bulgarian school day.  This has been hard on our daughter who feels like the week just doesn’t have enough time for other fun stuff she wants to do.  And we don’t even have her in any extra-curricular activities yet!

We’ve also learned that adjusting to a new family member is more than language, or getting along, it is giving up more of our time than we knew we had, giving up sleep, giving up everything else we wanted to do with our day … for our new family, for this precious child who needed a home.  How does adoption affect a family? It goes into the very center of it and wrenches out every last selfish strand of your soul and bares it before you.  What you do with the moment of deciding to be selfless or selfish varies with each passing day, but you are fully aware that you are making a choice.  This is the reality of adoption … you are choosing to make the life of another the priority over self.  And in the end, you discover that that is okay, because your family may be small, but it is beautiful.

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Re-adoption in the United States:

I finalized before I came home, why should I re-adopt?

You just got off the plane with birth certificate and visa in hand. You’re tired and, if you are lucky, the child you waited for so long to bring home, is sleeping in your arms.  We’re done, your jet-lagged brain crows,

No more paperwork!

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s just a little more paperwork you should do. You need to re-adopt in the US.  Otherwise, that precious cargo you fought so long and hard for will have her work cut out for her in the future and so will you.

The goal of re-adoption in the US is to make sure you and your child will have access to the same paperwork most US citizens take for granted.  First and foremost, by re-adopting you will have a domestic Adoption Decree and Birth Certificate issued in a form that is accepted in all domestic courts and recognized by American institutions.  From kindergarten to college and beyond, you will be asked for this paperwork.  If you think the DMV is difficult now, imagine trying to get a license with a Bulgarian adoption decree.

If you have changed the name of your child after coming home, you have to re-adopt and re-apply to USCIS for a new Certificate of Citizenship to establish the revision.  Most visas and certificates bear the child’s name followed by the father’s first and last name and, surprisingly, most families really don’t want their little girl going through life with the middle name Gilmer.  I could be wrong, Gilmer is a very pretty name in some circles.

Re-adoption also guarantees your child’s right to inheritance in every state.  No one wants to think that far down the road but this little change at the beginning can make all the difference at the end.  Not all states recognize the validity of foreign adoption decrees in all legal cases and, if there is ever a question as to whether your child is eligible to receive an inheritance or other legal benefits, the re-adoption provides a domestic record of the child’s legal status.

Finally,  the "Accuracy for Adoptees Act," requires that a Federal Certificate of Citizenship for a child born outside of the United States reflect the child’s name and date of birth as indicated on a State court order or State vital records document issued by the child’s State of residence after the child has been adopted in that State. This means you will be able to change your child’s date of birth to reflect his true age.

We all hate paperwork and you have obviously done way more than your share but take these last steps.  You won’t regret it!

Introducing New Programs…

Serbia

Serbia has just implemented Hague Treaty for Intercountry Adoption as of April 1, 2014.  If you are open to adopting children with moderate to non-correctable speci

al needs, you’ll find that Serbia is one of the most economical options to bring a child home. 

The process for learning more about the waiting children requires a letter of introduction to be submitted to the Ministry requesting approval and additional information.  Hopscotch provides the letter template and once it is completed, interested families would return the letter to Hopscotch and it will be submitted on your behalf.   There is no financial obligation for inquiry with the Ministry and our assistance with your letter of introduction. 

If you are interested in learning more about Serbia’s waiting children,  visit us on our Waiting Child page or contact us at serbia@hopscotchadoptions.org, and we can provide a letter of introduction template to help you get started.

Ukraine

Hopscotch is proud to announce our new program in Ukraine.  Though the country is undergoing tremendous civil strife, children are still coming to the US via Hosting programs and finding forever families.  Hopscotch is working with excellent partners .  Contact us to learn if Ukraine is right for your family.   If you are interested in hosting, need a family assessment, home study or update to your home study in NC or NY, we can help.

So, how did you like it?  Let us hear from you and if you like this new format.  Expect to see more from us sooner rather than later, if so. 

Our next edition will include important information regarding the ramifications of the Universal Accreditation Act and a new story from a Hopscotch family that has had great success and benefited from an open (intercountry) adoption.

Until then,

Robin E. Sizemore

Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc

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Have a story to share? Send it and a few photos to Michelle or Megan and we’ll get you in future newsletter.

Easter In Bulgaria

Bulgarian Easter Traditions

Easter%20Bulgaria%20Pic%20%20jpeg%202014By PaylessBG.com

Easter is a Christian holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ class from the dead three days after his crucifixion on Good Friday. Easter also class marks the end of the Lent. A symbol of the Resurrection is the egg out of class which a bird hatches.

Easter is the time of springtime festivals, a time to welcome back the class tulips, the crocuses and the daffodils. It is also the holiest day in the class Christian calendar (followed by Christmas) and is recognized as a legal class holiday in most countries with a significant Christian tradition.

The Bulgarian Easter traditions are a variation of traditional Orthodox class Easter traditions. Here in Bulgaria, egg cracking is good for more than just class eating the egg. The bright red colored egg is the symbol of Easter for the class Orthodox Christians all over the world. The traditional Orthodox Paschal class greeting is: "Christ has risen!" The answer is: "Indeed He has risen". This class is the greeting during 40 days after Pascha. Also, the greeting is exchanged class during the ritual tapping of the eggs which is explained below. The first class egg is always painted red to symbolize the blood of Christ and should be put class aside – either to be buried in the fields to ensure fertility or kept in the class home to bring good luck. On Easter Sunday married couples traditionally class visit the best man at their wedding and have roast lamb for lunch. class The Christian tradition of the red egg custom is connected with a specific class legend. Mary Magdalene, whom Jesus had cured from all the evil spirits class within her, was the first one to see Jesus rise from the dead and she went class around the world to spread the happy news. She reached Rome and Emperor class Tiberius’s palace. According to the tradition, everyone visiting him was class supposed to carry a gift to the Emperor. The rich people were carrying class expensive gifts while the poor ones offered whatever they could afford. Mary class Magdalene took an egg to Tiberius’s palace and handed it to the Emperor with class the following greeting:"Christ has risen from the dead!" The Emperor could class not believe what he heard and responded: "How could anyone ever rise from class the dead?! It is as impossible as that white egg to turn red right now!"class While Tiberius was talking, the egg in Mary Magdalene’s hands started class changing its color until it finally became bright red. The Easter greeting class ever since has remained "Christ has risen from the dead" and Christians all class over the world color eggs in red (and various other colors) for Easter to class celebrate their belief in the resurrection.

The bright red colored egg is the symbol of Easter for the Orthodox class Christians all over the world. It is tradition that the eggs are colored on class Holy Thursday after the Divine Liturgy. The eldest woman in the house has class the privilege of dying the eggs.

The Easter breads are a worldwide Orthodox tradition as well. These are big class or small and decorated. The bread is called "kolache" or "kozunak". One of class these Easter breads may be specially decorated with one or more (but always class an odd number) of the red-colored eggs. This bread is taken to church on class Saturday evening. The church bells begin to ring just before midnight,class calling Orthodox Christians to worship. At midnight, a special sequence of class services takes place: Midnight Office, Rush Procession, Matins and Divine class Liturgy. These are the services of Great and Holy Pascha (Velikden).class Following the service, the clergy blesses the breads and eggs brought by the class people and they return with them to their homes. The eggs are cracked after class the midnight service and during the next days. One egg is cracked on the glass wall of the church, and this is the first egg eaten after the long Great class Fast. The ritual of tapping the eggs takes place just before the Easter class lunch begins. Each person will select his or her egg. Then the people in class turn exchange the Easter greeting ("Christ has risen!" / "Indeed He has class Risen") 3 times before tapping their egg against the eggs of others.

The person who ends up with the last unbroken egg is believed to have a year class of good luck.

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