Azerbaijan International

Autumn 2005 (13.3)
Page 10

Readers' Forum

Azeri Beary
by Diane Proctor

My birthplace is not Azerbaijan, nor were any of my ancestors born there. But one very special little person, my precious daughter Madeline, binds me to this special country. And now that Azerbaijan seems to be lifting its suspension on international adoptions after more than a year and a half, I'm on the edge of my seat with anticipation, thrilled that there will be other families blessed like ours has been by the same unspeakable joy that family life brings.

Every day my little Beauty from Baku cuddles up close to me as we read her favorite book together. Oh, it's not a best seller. You won't even find it in a bookstore. But it's Madeline's book. Hers alone - her personal story that we wrote about her adoption from Azerbaijan. The story is deliberately written in simple language for a young child to understand and enjoy.

Madeline climbs right up on my lap right after her bath - so adorable in her pink, sparkly jimmies. I love the way her dark hair, still a bit wet, falls into those lovely ringlets and cascades down her face and neck. She always brings Azeri Beary along for the nighttime ritual as well. Azeri Beary is the stuffed animal that we left with Madeline after our first trip to Baku when we started the bureaucratic process of adopting her. We wanted something to link us to her that first month after we met her and before we would be allowed to return and bring her home with us.

As Madeline flips the pages, "reading" with all the gusto of a child not quite three, she comes to the page where Mommy, Daddy and Madeline say good-bye to the kind ladies at the Baby House in Baku and leave for the United States to go start being a family together themselves.

A flood of memories sweeps over me. It seems like yesterday when we brought this baby home in our arms and walked away from all that was known of her life's story. It's a part that I want to make sure she knows backwards and forwards as she grows up - it's not something to be forgotten or brushed aside. Being from Baku is part of what makes her our treasure. We want her to know her heritage.

I can't tell you what a tremendous blessing Madeline has been to all of us since she joined our family two years ago in October 2003. We'll be celebrating our Family Day next week - my husband Ben, and our three other children - Micah, Miranda and Benjamin.

We'll be remembering those little ones who are still waiting for their "Forever Family", as well as those families that are waiting for precious children to enter their lives. What a blessing!

Diane Proctor
Albany, Georgia

Join: AzerbaijanAdopt ListServ on YAHOO! to learn the current status of adoptions from Azerbaijan, the ListServ provides a wonderful resource, offering kind advice, support and comfort for families. This group is for families who have adopted a child from Azerbaijan, families who are in the process of an Azeri adoption, considering adoption, or anyone interested in the well being of orphans in Azerbaijan.

Highly recommended. Kimi Abernathy founded the ListServ in December 2001 after the story of her child-the first international adoption from Azerbaijan - was published in Azerbaijan International [See No. 3 left].
The ListServ now boasts more than 500 members. More than 100 children have been adopted from Azerbaijani orphanages by families in the United States and other countries. Join the ListServ at

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