To help honor National Adoption Awareness Month, Scoochie & Skiddles has partnered with Hindi’s Libraries, a globally recognized literacy non-profit based out of NY, to conduct a month-long book drive. We are collecting books that feature stories about adoption, families, or that have inclusive and diverse themes. The books will then be donated to partner organizations that are committed to strengthening families and those touched by adoption.
You can help by making a new book purchase from our Amazon Charity Wishlist (the Amazon Wishlist will provide you the option to ship to Hindi’s Libraries). For every Scoochie & Skiddles book purchased through the Amazon Wishlist, I will match that donation with another book. That doubles the impact of your donation! Together, we hope to donate 1,000+ books.
If you’d like to help in other ways, we would benefit from you spreading the word about the campaign. Post information about our book drive on your social media accounts and use the hashtag #Authors4Adoption. You can get more information about the book drive, including our organizational beneficiaries, by visiting the Scoochie & Skiddles Authors4Adoption page (or by visiting https://tinyurl.com/adoptionmonth ).
One of the reasons I began writing was to bring greater representation of inclusive and diverse families, like mine, to children’s literature. I am so happy to be participating in this campaign that will also help to bring more diverse and inclusive family-themed books to children across the country. I thank you in advance for your support in this effort.
I had the wonderful privilege to submit a guest blog related to our family's experience with adoption on Laura's Books and Blogs. I hope telling our story helps to inspire others to also tell theirs. We all have such interesting and amazing stories that are worthy of being told.
I am thrilled to share that "Scoochie's Adoption Story" has won its third award - the Purple Dragonfly Award sponsored by Story Monsters, LLC. Story Monsters is dedicated to bringing new children's literature to tens of thousands amazing educators and librarians across the country. It is an incredible honor to be recognized by this organization, especially during a time when LGBTQ+ families are feeling threatened by divisive political decisions.
As Pride Month comes to a close, I am super proud to have been able to represent LGBTQ parents this month through two distinct features.
CBS Philly Prime Time News Feature
My family's story was featured on the local Philadelphia affiliate of CBS News on Tuesday, June 28. Brandon Goldner, the reporter, and the rest of the CBS crew were wonderful and we were thrilled with how the piece turned out. Of course, our oldest daughter - the muse for the character, Scoochie - emerged as the star. We'd have it no other way. :)
Gay Parent Magazine Feature Article
Our family's story was also a featured story for the July/August issue of Gay Parent Magazine. The magazine has been a leader in LGBTQ parenting resources since 1988 and has a significant reader base. It is an honor to be included in their magazine and we hope our story inspires other families to also share their story.
On this Mother’s Day weekend, we wanted to take a moment to express our deepest love and appreciation to all the moms and important women in our family and in yours. You are the family heroes, sounding boards, shoulders to cry on and pillars of strength. You give selflessly and unconditionally, and we are all better because of your influence in our lives. For families, like Scoochie’s, we are also deeply grateful for birth moms who provide the gift of family for others. And for those who are no longer with us, they are certainly not forgotten - their impact and legacy remain a dominant force that is visible in large and small ways every day.
For those with small children, remember that the Scoochie & Skiddles website provides a Coloring Pages section. These coloring pages are FREE to download and may be the perfect activity to distract your littles just long enough for a few moments of quiet solitude. 😊❤
Whatever you weekend holds in store, we hope you are uplifted in knowing that you are deeply loved.
I am pleased to share I have officially launched the "Friends' Favorites" page of our website. This page is dedicated to showcasing the wonderful work of various children's authors. The goal of the page is to create a community of authors who collectively promote the page to bring greater exposure to all our work. I had one author express deep gratitude for this effort, sharing, "My challenge is marketing! Writing is easy compared to that." With a collective effort and maybe a little bit of luck, we'll all get some extra eyes on our work that we are so very proud of. It's an honor to be part of this creative and dedicated community.
Given that April is Autism Awareness month, I wanted to bring special attention to Kayla Monville. She is the author of Rock with Me, Autism Inspired I Love You Book. As a mother of two children with autism, this book is deeply personal to her. I get that feeling - Scoochie's Adoption Story has that same deep personal connection for me. According to Kayla, "Rock with Me, Autism Inspired I Love You Book is the first board book that embraces Autism, promotes acceptance and understanding, as well as can be used as an educational tool to explain Autism characteristic to young children." If you have someone in your life who has been touched by Autism, please consider checking out her book.
As you know, Scoochie's Adoption Story has recently earned the Readers' Favorite Five Stars recognition and has been additionally entered into the Readers' Favorite larger book competition. It was an honor to receive the Five Stars recognition and it is equally humbling to be in the competition along with so many talented authors. While I never set out to win awards, I will admit that the prospect of having one's book competing is exhilarating.
This weekend, I took inventory of all the award competitions and book lists to which Scoochie's Adoption Story has been submitted. The list is substantial for a book that has only been published for two months. With the exception of the Firebird Book Awards, the results of most of these competitions won't be known until the end 2022 or even into 2023.
I am excited to have Scoochie's Adoption Story be part of the Firebird Book Awards because of this award organization's support of the non-profit organization Enchanted Makeovers. Since 2007, Enchanted Makeovers has been creating environments and educational programs within shelters for women and children that are supportive of creativity, self-expression and worth. Through unique projects and programs, a place is created that is inspirational and empowering for the most vulnerable members of our society while re-building their lives. Knowing that participation in the Firebird Book Awards is also helping to support this worthy cause makes it feels as if I've already won! The Firebird Book Awards are run quarterly, so the official competition results for the first quarter of 2022 competition are expected by mid-April.
I'll be sure to announce and share any positive competition results. Please check back often and, until then, here's to wishful thinking. :)
So, we spent time researching what others do, but more importantly, we spent time exploring what felt right for us and our family. We knew we wanted to always remember March 22 as the day our family was legalized by the courts - we wanted to celebrate the anniversary of that momentous occasion. At that point, it was just a matter of word play and Adoptiversary just organically emerged. Of course, the internet revealed that we weren't brilliant - this had long be thought of by others, but we didn't need to be original. What we needed was something that fit our family and Adoptiversary did just that - it fit.
Of course, as happy of a day as this is for us and other adoptive families, we can never forget that to get here, it takes the sacrifice, courage, and selflessness of a birth family. We can never know the depth of loss felt by a birth family and, in particular, a birth mom who brought a life into the world and then made a decision to entrust another family to love and provide for that life in a way that she, for whatever reason, felt unable to do. I hope that Scoochie's Adoption Story honors the bond that will always be shared between birth parents and adoptive parents. We are forever grateful for the birth moms that brought us our two girls and we love our girls' birth moms as an extension of our own family. Afterall, our ability to have an Adoptiversary celebration is first because of them!
Today marks the beginning of Scoochie's Adoption Story's one-week promotional run (ending March 18) on Reedsy Discovery. Reedsy is a UK-based organization with a global reach that helps put new book releases in front of thousands of readers and reviewers. In January 2022, Fun at Gramma's earned #1 top voted ranking on Reedsy with over 100 upvotes during the week it ran. I'm hoping that Scoochie's Adoption Story can have the same level of success. You can help by taking 30 seconds to give Scoochie's Adoption Story an "upvote" on our Reedsy page.
At the same time, we had a wonderful review published by book blogger, Gina Rae Mitchell. Her review also included an author interview that was pretty fun to do. Gina has been an amazing supporter of the Scoochie & Skiddles series and her reviews warm our hearts. You can check out her review and the author interview by clicking here.
Through the donation of both our books, we are also proudly supporting a new program at West Branch Elementary in Morrisdale, PA. This new program, called Page Turning Warriors, is designed to get elementary aged children excited about reading. Ashley White, an educator at the school and innovator of this program, has created an opportunity for the children to provide reviews of all donated books and then the school will feature the books and reviews in their lending library. It is a privilege to support such important causes. Go Page Turning Warriors!!!
We also have some upcoming features that will be published by Gay Parent Magazine and All About Love Adoptions, both of whom conducted recent interviews of author, Tom Tracy. Of course, we'll be sure to share those as they are available.
Lastly, we are very proud to have earned a Readers' Favorite 5-Star Award for Scoochie's Adoption Story. Readers' Favorite is a well-known, reputable book reviewing service and book competition. Many celebrity authors have been recognized through Readers' Favorite. Scoochie's Adoption Story has been entered into their annual competition, but we won't know the outcome of that submission until much later in 2022. Needless to say, we are excited to have just received a 5-star review and to be competitor.
It's been a busy and exciting couple of weeks. We'll make sure to keep you updated. As always, thank you for your support. It means the world.