Spring 2004 (12.1)
Azerbaijan Adopt Reunion
Left: Sharon Hamilton and daughter Hannah
with art work by Baku child artist Teymur Mammadov at the AzerbaijanAdopt
Reunion in Summer 2003, Kansas City, Missouri.
The AzerbaijanAdopt Listserv will be hosting its third annual
reunion-"Celebrating Our Families"-in New York City
on July 9-11, 2004. This Listserv was initiated by Kimi Abernathy
in December 2001 shortly after the story of her family's adoption
appeared in Azerbaijan International [See "A Home for Inara:
At Last, Azerbaijan's First Adoption" in AI
9.3 (Autumn 2001).
The AzerbaijanAdopt Listserv has grown to include more than 400
members and serves as an incredible resource and support for
families adopting children from Azerbaijan. The List includes
members who are in every stage of the adoption process: from
beginning to research the possibility of adopting a child from
Azerbaijan, to exploring options among various adoption agencies,
anxiously anticipating approval of their documents so they can
make the first trip to Baku for court appearance, and preparing
for the second trip to Baku to bring back their child (or children).
The ListServ also includes Azerbaijanis and friends of Azerbaijan
who provide cultural and social information to the group. This
is the third consecutive year for this summer reunion of families
in the U.S. The first reunion was held in July 2002 in Nashville,
Tennessee, and organized by Kimi and Bill Abernathy. The second
reunion was held in Kansas City, Missouri, and hosted by Jim
and Kathleen Shryock along with Judy Shifrin in July 2003.
The reunion celebrates the joy of family and promotes the Azerbaijani
heritage of these children. This year's reunion will take place
at the Best Western Seaport Inn in Lower Manhattan, which is
located close to Chinatown, Little Italy, Wall Street and the
Statue of Liberty.
Plans are being made to continue the tradition, which was begun
last year, of a silent auction of Azerbaijani children's art
work. Many families in the United States are interested in framing
the dynamic and colorful Azerbaijani art and displaying it in
their homes for their children. Since last year, some of the
American families have begun to establish relationships and communicate
via email with the child artists in Baku. The proceeds from the
art sale will be used to improve the conditions of other children
still living in orphanages in Azerbaijan.
For story and photos of the 2003 Reunion and the Azerbaijani
children's art work, see "Celebrating
Our Families, Second Reunion of Azerbaijan Adoptee Families,"
AI 11.3 (Autumn 2003).
For this year's reunion, Jane Bottner and Gina Andriolo are organizing
the event. For more information, contact Bottner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To join the Azerbaijanadopt ListServ at Yahoo Groups, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/azerbaijanadopt.
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