Above: First Halloween in the U.S: Lucas and Rachel in October 2001, who now live in Kansas with their parents, Kathleen and Jim Shryock, who are members of the Azerbaijanadopt Listserv, which helps parents who have adopted children from Azerbaijan or who are hoping to adopt. In July, there will be a reunion for families who have adopted from Azerbaijan.
"We want to connect our families when the children are still young so that they can grow up knowing each other," said Kimi Abernathy, who is helping to organize the event. "Some of these children were together in orphanages, and we want them to maintain that connection. In addition, we want to support one another in nurturing each other and keeping the Azerbaijani culture alive for our children." Kimi and her husband, Bill, have corresponded with more than 20 families regarding the adoption process in Azerbaijan.
As part of the festivities, families will enjoy a picnic lunch in a nearby park. Families are encouraged to make a donation to Azerbaijani orphanages as a way of remembering the children who are still living in institutions in Azerbaijan. Photos of the reunion will be sent to the orphanages along with the donation. Contact Kimi Abernathy at email@example.com. Deadline for hotel reservations is June 12.
The AzerbaijanAdopt listserv was launched in December 2001 as an outgrowth of the response to an article that Kimi Abernathy wrote for Azerbaijan International about adopting her daughter, "A Home for Inara: At Last, Azerbaijan's First Adoption" (AI 9.3, Autumn 2001). In the same issue, Kimi suggested guidelines for parents who are seeking to adopt from Azerbaijan. SEARCH at AZER.com. The Azerbaijan-Adopt group now has more than 70 members and serves as a forum for families who have already adopted from Azerbaijan, who are in process or are considering adoption. At any stage, the listserv provides a valuable resource for information, friendship and support. To join the Azerbaijanadopt listserv, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/azerbaijanadopt/.