"The Day We Met" Adoption Documentary In The Making


Hello Hopscotch Families,

I’d like to introduce you to Patricia Carrascal, an audiovisual producer from Argentina. At the moment Patricia is working on a documentary about adoption from around the world. She is searching for families to share their international adoption stories. 

If your family is in the beginning stages of adoption, Patricia would like to record your journey, step by step. Patricia is an adoptive mom and knows it’s a complicated process. Attached you’ll find a flyer with the documentary proposal in more detail.

If your family would like to participate, you can contact Patricia directly at patcarrascal@gmail.com

With encouragement,



Closure the Documentary: Transracial adoption complexities and the necessity for closure


A documentary about a trans-racial adoptee who finds her birth mother, and meets the rest of a family who didn’t know she existed, including her birth father.   A story about identity, the complexities of trans-racial adoption, and most importantly, CLOSURE.

See video.

Podcast Documentary on International Adoption-"Stuck"

e5306daeb83f5ec014c2e0365f8a55c7 All For You!!

If you are a Hopscotch Family, we have something great to share with you – for FREE! As a proud sponsor of Creating A Family website, our client families are provided FREE access to their vast library of radio podcasts. The library covers a vast range of adoption related topics that you will not find anywhere else. As a bonus, you can opt to receive educational credit hours and a certificate with a password issued to each of our clients – again, free to Hopscotch client families.

To access the adoption learning center on the Creating a Family website:

Hopscotch clients can access the adoption education courses by going to the learning center at http://www.creatingafamily.org/learning-center.html

Each individual will need to create an account with a username and password (see the blue link in the upper right hand corner of the webpage for creating a new account)

Once you have logged in with you individual username and password you’ll have access to listen to all the courses – for FREE!

As a sponsoring agency, our clients have access to the quiz/certificate option for each course.   You’ll just need to click on the quiz icon next to a particular course listing.  You’ll then be prompted for a course password that is unique to Hopscotch clients. You’ll need to contact Megan for your password to receive your certificate after completion of each podcast and quiz. Be sure to print your certificate after each podcast quiz.

Here’s a podcast sample:

Documentary on International Adoption-“Stuck”

An interview with Craig Juntunen, Founder of Both Ends Burning and Producer of a new documentary on International Adoption, Stuck, to talk about the ethics of international adoption and the delays. Highlights from this show.

Documentary Brings Light to the Science of Love

thedarkmatteroflove Attachment can be one of the more challenging aspects of adopting a child from an institution. Often these children experience trauma, profound loss, and have severe difficulties bonding with their adoptive parents. The Dark Matter of Love, a soon-to-be-released documentary, captivatingly documents the struggles the Diaz family faces as they try to connect with their Russian adopted children and make their family whole. Director Sarah McCarthy takes viewers on a visually stunning journey that follows 11-year-old Masha, and 5-year-old twins Marcel and Vadim, as they transition into family life with Claudio and Cheryl Diaz and their biological 14 year old daughter, Cami.

Sourced:NCFA Blog

Read more.

"On His Own Two Feet" is Accepted in the 39th Seattle International Film Festival!

Dear Families,

Natasha Shaginian-Needham, M.D. Announces: 

The documentary "On His Own Two Feet" has been accepted in the 39th Seattle International Film Festival!


If you are in the area and would like to see this film, it will be shown on Friday, May 24 at 1:00PM, SIFF Uptown Theater under the category ‘Ripped From The Headlines’.

I am happy that this screening will give the children with special needs another opportunity to share their stories.

Nominated for Best Short Documentary by DocMiami International Film Festival 2012, On His Own Two Feet became the Winner of the Audience Award and now continues to raise awareness about the kids with varies challenges.

Natasha Shaginian-Needham, M.D.
Executive Director and Co-Founder
Happy Families International Center, Inc.
Documentary Producer
Co-Founder of Artist Foundation in Russia www.fond-artist.ru
Co-Founder of Orphans Without Borders

“STUCK”—The Unnecessary Pains of International Adoption!

Stuck image 1The international adoption process pushes so many people away with inter-country politics, excessive costs and red tape, and sometimes even unnecessary rejection. Instead of pushing people away from adopting orphans, we primarily need to be pulling them closer together.

I recently made the Jewish case for promoting adoption and have previously shown the deep roots of this commitment. We need to create a much larger Jewish discourse about our role in responding to the global orphan crisis. The longer these children stay in orphanages the more risk of their suffering irreparable emotional, neurological, psychological, and educational damage.

stuck image 2I recently watched the must-see award-winning film, STUCK, by Both Ends Burning, which documents the struggles and rewards of international adoption. This very well done documentary follows the stories of four orphans from Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Haiti, and their heartbreaking struggles to make it home to their adoptive families.

The subjects of the documentary are just four examples of millions of children around the world who are stuck in a broken system, and the growing outcry in the international community is that every child must be granted the right to grow up in a loving family. We must become more aware and outraged by the incredible obstacles placed in the way of people who are only trying to become parents, and the children who desperately want to have a family. There are an estimated 17.9 children worldwide who have no living parents. This is probably a low estimate, as UNESCO data indicate that there are up to 150 million street children who spend their days in the streets of Latin America, India, Eastern Europe, and other areas. Some have families to return to at night, some have homes to sleep in, but millions literally live and sleep on the streets. In Latin America, they are called “los abandonados” (the abandoned ones), and many spend their days sniffing glue or paint thinner in an effort to get high and forget their hunger pangs. They are also subject to abuse by pedophiles and at risk of being intimidated and even murdered by the police, with little chance of obtaining justice. The idea that many of these children have families that can provide for them is a cruel exaggeration.

For years, liberal adoption policies allowed many Americans to have inter-country adoptions. The U. S. State Department reported that there were 233,934 total adoptions from 1999-2011, an average of about 18,000 a year. However, as the following list shows, the number of international adoptions has declined greatly in recent years.

  • 2002: 21,467
  • 2003: 21,654
  • 2004: 22,991
  • 2005: 22,734
  • 2006: 20,680
  • 2007: 19,608
  • 2008: 17,456
  • 2009: 12,744
  • 2010: 11,058
  • 2011: 9,319
  • 2012: 8,668

The following factors should be noted:

STUCK is a film designed to raise awareness—and inspire outrage—over the deplorable practices allowed in current international adoption. Politics, inefficiency, and apathy leave children trapped and uncared for in orphanages around the world while there are loving families eager and willing to adopt them.

I would encourage others to watch the film, to consider volunteering to be part of the STUCK team when the film comes to your city, sign the petition, join the National March for Orphans in Washington, DC, on May 17th. When we raise our voices and advocate the voices of millions of children, we can make great change.

skulener rebbe imageCounterintuitively the Skulener Rebbe taught that one should even show more care to an orphan than to their own children. The Rebbe stayed in Europe after World War II defying the Soviets to look after refugees and keep orphans in his home. On one cold night, he found an orphan on his floor crying without a blanket. He went and took the blanket off of his old child and gave it to the orphan child. His son understood but nonetheless the Skulener Rebbe said “My dear son, please understand. You have a father. You can at least warm yourself with that. That child has no one in the world; let him at least have a blanket.”

May we open our hearts to the orphans of the world crying out for homes and for love.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz is the Founder and President of Uri L’Tzedek, the Senior Rabbi at Kehilath Israel, the Founder and C.E.O. of The Shamayim V’Aretz Institute and is the author of “Jewish Ethics & Social Justice: A Guide for the 21st Century.” In 2012 and 2013, Newsweek named Rav Shmuly one of the top 50 rabbis in America.”

Source: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com

STUCK – The Documentary Film Tour and Movement

March 30, 2013
Hosted by Kelly Ellison

[Download MP3] [itunes] [Bookmark Episode]

Join us this week as Craig Juntunen, president and founder of Both Ends Burning a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving as a child welfare advocate and a passionate believer in international adoption visits with us about the national tour of the documentary film STUCK. Juntunen is the author of Both Ends Burning: My Story of Adopting Three Children from Haiti and the Executive Producer of film. Juntunen leads the campaign’s effort to build a social movement to enact real and lasting change for the world’s orphaned and abandoned children. Craig will share his personal story of how this movement became the center of his life and what you can do to join him in his efforts to make sure that every child has a family.

GIRL RISING: New Documentary

Watch the trailer – it’s awesome: http://10x10act.org/girl-rising/.

Girl Rising tells the stories of 9 girls from around the world who face – and overcome – unbelievable obstacles on the path toward getting an education. Each girl’s story was written by an author and is narrated by a cast of great actresses, including Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Alicia Keys, and others. The cinematography is stunning. 

Screening set for Monday April 22nd at 7:30pm at the Cinema 10 in Winston Salem, North Carolina (3424 Yadkinville Road). 

Want to come?  Tickets are sold in advance @: http://gathr.us/screening/2349.

A portion of Girl Rising ticket sales will help fund programs for girls.  Seeing the film literally makes an impact on girls’ lives and supports the global effort for girls’ education.

News From Armenia

Hopscotch loves how this organization is working towards changing the social responsibility and acceptance of children and adults with disabilities.  Armenia’s first group home is a great model of success for challenged adults!  This is a beautiful mini-documentary that respectfully portrays life for a small group of adults living together in Armenia’s first group home.

Out of Sight – Out of Mind from Natalie Bryant-Rizzieri on Vimeo.

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