Azerbaijan International

Spring 2004 (12.1)
Page 12

Third 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

To join the Azerbaijanadopt ListServ at Yahoo Groups, go to

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