Azerbaijan International

Spring 2003 (11.1)
Page 64

Business and Opportunities
Azerbaijan Adopt Reunion

The AzerbaijanAdopt listserv will be hosting its second annual reunion - "Celebrating Our Families" - in Kansas City, Missouri on July 11­13, 2003. This listserv was initiated by Kimi Abernathy in 2001 shortly after the story of her family's adoption appeared in Azerbaijan International. [See the article, "A Home for Inara: At Last, Azerbaijan's First Adoption" in AI 9.3 (Autumn 2001).]

The AzerbaijanAdopt listserv provides an incredible resource for families adopting children from Azerbaijan. Currently, the list has more than 225 members, including families at every stage of the adoption process: those who are just beginning to research the possibility of adopting a child, those who are exploring options among various adoption agencies, those who are nervously anticipating the approval of their papers so they can make their first journey to Baku for their court appearance, and those who are preparing for their second trip to Baku to pick up their child (or children). Nearly 100 families have already returned home to the United States; some have already celebrated their first year as a family - a few families, their second. The members of the listserv welcome Azerbaijanis as well as others who have a keen interest in promoting and preserving this country's unique culture.

This year's reunion in Kansas City is open to all listserv members, as well as other friends of Azerbaijan who would like to join them. The reunion was conceived to celebrate the joy of family and to promote the Azerbaijani heritage of these children.

The reunion will begin on Friday evening, July 11, 2003, with an optional family social hour. The main social event will take place on Saturday, July 12, with a luncheon featuring cultural activities as well as play activities for the children. On Sunday, July 13, families will be given the opportunity to visit Kansas City attractions.

This year's reunion includes plans to conduct a silent auction of paintings by Azerbaijani children who are studying art in Baku. Many families have indicated that they would love to have a painting to display in their homes as a connection to Azerbaijan. The proceeds will be used to improve the conditions in Azerbaijani orphanages.

For more information about the reunion or to request a registration form, contact Kathleen Shryock at This year's reunion is being organized by Jim and Kathleen Shryock and Judy Shifrin.

Last year's reunion was held in Nashville, Tennessee, attracting eight families and more than 60 people. [See the article, "Azerbaijani Adoptees - First-Ever Reunion in the U.S." in AI 10.3 (Autumn 2002).]

To join the AzerbaijanAdopt listserv, go to

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