Orphan Nutrition

Joint Council is proud to announce the launch of OrphanNutrition.org, a new website dedicated to providing information to address the nutritional needs of infants and children living in fragile and vulnerable circumstances.

Through our research with A Child’s Best Start, an initiative of the Mead Johnson Nutrition Foundation, we know that there is a lack of resources and best practices on nutrition issues that affect children living in institutionalized settings in many parts of the world. OrphanNutrition.org will fit a real need in this area by acting as an international portal with access to a free library of nutrition resources, collection of training materials, and general information on common needs and nutrition issues among this population of children.

The sites content has been developed with network partner The SPOON Foundation and the program’s Global Nutrition Working Group of medical experts and academics in the field of child health and nutrition who provided guidance and input for the site.

We look forward to growing both the content and international reach of this site (including translating it into multiple languages) and will continue sharing updates on its new capabilities in the months to come.

While the new website is still under development, we encourage you to explore the many resources and leave feedback via our online survey.


Save the Adoption Tax Credit!

The adoption tax credit is due to “sunset” at the end of this year unless Congress and the Administration act. In an effort to Save The Adoption Tax Credit, Joint Council has teamed up with other adoption advocates and we now we are asking you to do the same.

So how can you join us?  And how can you help?

1) Take a look at the attached letter from the Executive Committee of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group.  It includes our mission and what we are supporting in terms of legislation.  If you agree that we should Save The Adoption Tax Credit, then become a member of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group.  To join, please contact Shari Cohey at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, at shari@ccainstitute.org or (202) 544-8500.  Shari will help get your organization registered as a part of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group.  (Individuals cannot join the Working Group, but keep reading to learn what they can do!)

2) Promote the Save The Adoption Tax Credit Facebook page!  Tell your colleagues, your families and your supporters about our collective efforts, Ask them to ‘like’ the Facebook page and then send it out to everyone they know!  Facebook will be the Working Group’s primary means of communicating and rallying the troops.  So be sure that you ‘like’ it and help us build a large and vocal constituency capable of influencing Congress.

That is all for now, but there is much more to come.

See you on Facebook!

Tom President & CEO

SOAR Launches Chapter in Javakh, Georgia!!!

Our 22nd Chapter, in Javakh, joins the SOAR family in April 2012 and represents our first Chapter in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.

Javakh, an Armenian enclave, is the most underdeveloped and impoverished region of Georgia. It has the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest rate of state investment in the country. There is no industry, and agriculture is primitive. The roads and infrastructure in the region are non-existent, and it is easier to reach Armenia (to the South) than Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital. Javakh is a geographic, economic and political island, almost cut off from the rest of the world.

The Javakh Chapter will serve as a liaison to the local population SOAR supports. The Javakh Summer Day Camp is directed by Very Rev. Fr. Babken Salibyan of Holy Cross Armenian Church and is located in the Diocese Center of the Holy Cross Armenian Church in Akhakalak, Georgia. The camp serves approximately 250 healthy Armenian children, who are mostly social orphans, living at or below poverty level in the nearby villages.

Please visit http://soar-us.org/javakh/ to become familiar with their local Board of Directors.

Welcome Javakh!

News From Armenia

Hopscotch family in Yerevan issued a visa today!  Hurry home sweet baby boy.  Thrilled for our family – Congrats!!!!


News From Armenia

Successful registration of a beautiful little girl with special needs today!!!  We could not be happier for this child.  Is your family considering a child with special needs?  Contact info@hopscotchadoptions.org if you are.

The Music of Mariam Matossian

Mariam Matossian: Nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award (Outstanding World Music Album of the Year for her album In the Light) and two Canadian Folk Music Awards (Traditional Album of the Year for In the Light and Best New/Emerging Artist) in 2008, Mariam Matossian is an example of the musical treasures that exist in the world next door. Vancouver born and raised, Mariam has been collecting traditional Armenian folk songs and creating her own melodies since she was a child and initially, singing them mainly in her community. Most of the traditional songs she sings have been passed down through her family — songs that have been favorites of her grandmother and her mother, and now they have become her own favorites.

Read More>

Armenian Genocide Memorial April 24, 2012

Your Dancing Brown Eyes

April 22nd, 2012
by Mariam Matossian

Your dancing brown eyes,
dark lashes
have grown dim
your once swollen cheeks
starved, skeletal
Your parched lips,
with tongue stuck to the roof of your mouth,
try to utter a word:
Cries of anguish deafen you
Where is the music of your childhood that
marked your days and nights?
The hypnotic rhythms of the dumbek,
oud and
That provided the soundscape for your blissful youth?
You take a step
dragging your dirt covered blistered bruised feet
across the desert
Straining ahead
Muscles cramped
you remember the taste of figs, the juice of pomegranate dripping down your
Your protruding belly once filled
now empty,
You close your once dancing brown eyes,
long dark lashes heavy with dust and tears and sweat, meet.
Your close your five year old eyes
And remember what was.

By Mariam Matossian “for my grandmother, upon reflecting on her journey during 1915”

Adoption News From Morocco

Hopscotch family on their way to meet their baby girl!! Congrats!!

Adoption News From Ghana

Hopscotch family home with their beautiful child this weekend and another Hopscotch family issued a visa for both of their children! Congrats!!!!!

The Waiting Child Video

Every child on this Earth deserves to grow up in a loving family.  Those of us who have adopted children from institutions, orphanages, or other less than ideal places to grow up, understand how true this is: A family makes all of the difference in the life of a child.

Every one of us who has adopted a child older than infancy, or one who may have been labeled “special needs”, has adopted a Waiting Child.  A child who would have grow up unloved, without real hope for a future, without the basics of human connection.

When I think of all of the children who still wait in institutions, I can’t help but think, “But for the grace of God, there my children could also be growing up.”  We have 5 children adopted at different ages, from various orphanages and backgrounds.  Two happened to have been listed on RainbowKids, but ALL were waiting children.  No one was tucking them in at night, greeting them with kisses in the morning, celebrating their very existence in the world.

I’m going to ask you today to be part of a miracle. I’ve seen enough miracles happen in this work for children to know that they aren’t often accompanied by booming voices from on-high. Most of the time Miracles happen when people (mostly moms) come together for a common goal, and despite all obstacles, make that goal happen, help that child get adopted, promote that special cause, run that race, pray that prayer: Get involved and make a difference. It makes no difference whether or not your child was listed on RainbowKids. This project is about demonstrating to people how amazing, “normal”, and perfect our children really are. That adopting a child with a special needs label, or children older than infants, is a great option for families.

In just a few short weeks, RainbowKids will be featured in the major media in a very positive way.  Over one million people who may never have been exposed to International adoption will watch a TV show that will highlight our work.  We want to take advantage of this exposure by producing a 3-4 minute video that highlights the joys of adopting Waiting Children.  We need your help.

Over 11,000 children once featured on RainbowKids have found families. Thousands more have been placed through our network of nearly 70 supporting adoption agencies.  All were “waiting children”. Non-infants, some with special needs, others waiting due to age , gender, or other reasons. Help us to get the word out that special needs and waiting children are wonderful!  So many families fear the label “Special Needs” and never look into what that really means.

We need your photos and video clips!  Our video will be divided into 3 parts:

  • Part 1: Photos of orphanages, plus very short video clips of children, all ages and races, saying “I was a waiting child”.
  • Part 2: Explanation of what Special Needs really means, and tons of photos of children who carried this label.
  • Part 3: A wrap up, inviting people to Take Another Look at Waiting Children

Use your phone, ipad, camera, etc and either video tape your child saying “I was a waiting child” or just being adorable (15-30 seconds at most, please), OR send a photo of your child.

No names of children or countries will be used. Our video will be used on the website, to advocate for the adoption of waiting children. The idea is simply to get people past their fear of the “Special Needs” label, so that their hearts may be open to adopting a waiting child.

It is incredibly EASY to participate. A link to upload your media will be sent to all who request to join in this project to help children. It is truly a one-button process, exactly like uploading a photo to facebook or saving a document to your computer. Please join us in making a miracle happen for the waiting children. Because once, your child, like mine, was one of them. Email Your Link Request.

Thank you.
Martha Osborne

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