Autumn 2002 (10.3)
Other articles related to
Azerbaijan Adoptions and Orphanages in Azerbaijan
A Home for Inara - Azerbaijan's First Adoption
- Adopting a Child from Azerbaijan
Airways Adopts Orphanage
Saving the Children: Mobil Undertakes
Games Build Bridges: International Women's Club Reaches Out
When my brother and I were adopted in
the 1960s, we were fortunate to have parents who discussed adoption
with us at an early age. I can't remember a time when I didn't
know that I was adopted, and this made the idea of adoption seem
very normal for me. But when I was growing up, information about
adoptions, in general, was very guarded. While my "real"
parents were there to provide love and support through all of
my joys and heartaches, I realize that knowing where you come
from is also an important part of defining who you are.
In 2001, when my husband, Jim, and I adopted Rachel and Lucas
in Azerbaijan, we wanted to make sure that they knew about their
roots. To commemorate the event, we put together personalized
storybooks and journals - keepsakes that tell the story of how
we became a family.
In our children's storybooks and journals, I posted their referral
photographs - the first pictures we received of them. I also
included pictures of our first meeting with them, their caretakers,
their doctor, our Azeri coordinator and agent as well as photos
of the orphanage and other buildings in Baku. Now, when my daughter
looks through her own special book, she points to the photos
of the people in Baku and says, "Friends!" How wise
she is already at the age of three.
The storybooks were written for several
reasons. We wanted to celebrate our children's heritage and help
them stay connected to their roots. We wanted to introduce their
adoption stories to them in simple terms, at a young age. In
this way, we hope this will help them feel comfortable about
discussing their adoption stories with us as they grow older.
We also wanted them to understand how much we love them and how
happy we are that they are such a special and important part
of our family.
I would like to stress that we are extremely proud of our children
and their heritage, and we hope to maintain connections with
other families who have children from Azerbaijan. That being
said, these books were created especially for Rachel and Lucas.
Our children own their stories. We have learned that the private
details of their history belong only to them.
Kathleen, Jim, Rachel and Lucas
Shryock live in Kansas. They celebrate their "Family Day"
on January 31. Both Rachel and Lucas turned three this past summer.
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