International Conference Explores Armenia’s Goal to Close Institutions

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Several years ago, the Armenian government began a process of deinstitutionalization, which involved substantially reducing the number of publically-run orphanages, residential schools, and night boarding facilities in favor of placing children in home-based care (with a biological relative or in a foster or adoptive placement). In April 2016, the Human Rights Watch reported that there were nearly 3,700 Armenian children living in residential institutions, and 90% of these children had at least one living parent. Many children were placed in public care because they had a disability and needed extra medical and educational assistance. These children’s special needs made it harder for the Armenian government to reunify them with their biological families or adoptive families, due to the fact that homes and communities struggle to provide the resources and support services these children need.

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Hopscotch Adoptions’s Families Have A Lot To Share!

Source: www.focusonthefamily.com

By Crystal Kupper

from-armenia-to-america She peered out from the baby carrier and immediately ducked back in, petrified by the sparrow flitting above. I hadn’t yet told Guyana we were at a zoo, with even scarier animals than sparrows. Of course, I couldn’t fault my new daughter’s reaction to outside experiences too much; nearly all her five years had been spent in five rooms at an Armenian orphanage.

We strolled around the zoo in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital city, trying to get used to each other. Guyana’s 24 pounds barely registered with me, though I was intensely aware of her deadweight legs smashed crooked, all thrown out of whack by her many physical challenges.

Natives stared with beautiful dark eyes. It isn’t normal to see people with disabilities in public in this corner of the world, especially not a miniature, halfway-paralyzed spitfire kangaroo-pouched against an American woman. I felt as if we were a zoo exhibit ourselves.

But then an old lady stopped us, asked Guyana in Armenian who I was. My daughter stopped shrieking over the terrifying ducks and deer long enough to proudly announce, “My mama!”

Yes, I thought in awe. I am your mama, and you are my girl. Forever.

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News From Armenia: A loving son, a fun brother – a fulfilling life.

Source: http://digital.olivesoftware.com

By Katie Martin

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Some events in life are priceless such as weddings, graduations or births.

But for Christie Orta, an important life moment was a simple trip to the beach a couple of weeks ago.

“That one moment was worth more than every penny we paid and every tear that I cried, just to see him sitting in the ocean,” Christie said as she showed a video of her newly adopted son, Edgar, 4, playing in the surf.

“He was so excited he didn’t know what to do with himself,” she said. “He was flapping his arms so hard I’m surprised he didn’t fly away, he was just so excited.”

Since 2013 Christie and her husband, Raymundo Orta, have been working through the adoption process to bring Edgar, who has Down syndrome, home from Armenia. In February, they, along with their biological daughter, Laura, 9, officially became a family of four, bringing Edgar home to Savannah.

“I think he has completed our family in ways that we never thought he would. He’s made us a better family,” Christie said. “People have said he’s so blessed to be in a family now, but I think the opposite. We’re so blessed to have him.”

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New Armenian Language Program – Classes Forming Now!

Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR)

Armenian Language Program

During the past decade, hundreds of children have been adopted from Armenia, some of which to non-Armenian parents and many who do not live in close proximity to an Armenian school or an Armenian Church.  Given the importance of the Armenian language to these children’s ethnic identity, SOAR’s Armenian Language Program (ALP) was developed to provide elementary and intermediate Armenian instruction to children adopted from Armenia who are now living in the Diaspora.

The Program offers live, virtual instruction, in both Eastern and Western Armenian, to anyone in the global community interested in gaining an appreciation for the Armenian language. The ALP is overseen by SOAR-Yerevan, with proceeds benefiting SOAR’s Orphan Transitional Program.

Please go to the Armenian Language Program to enroll. 

Classes forming now!

SOCIETY FOR ORPHANED ARMENIAN RELIEF (SOAR)
1060 First Avenue, Suite 400, King of Prussia, PA 19406
Office: 610.213.3452   Fax: 610.229.5168 

Email: gyacoubian@soar-us.org   Web: www.soar-us.org

News from Armenia: Bringing Happiness Home

Welcome home to our Hopscotch family.  The Mack family was so kind to share their ‘first meeting’ video with us and we thought you would like it too!  

Click here to see video.

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News from Armenia: Join Us Next Week, When Another Boy Joins His Family In Armenia! Congrats Hopscotch Family!

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News from Armenia: It’s a Girl! Congrats to our Hopscotch Family!!

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News From Armenia: Two MORE Hopscotch Families Register With Their Children! Happy Mother’s Day!

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News from Armenia: Two Hopscotch families traveling for court. We are SO excited for you!

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News from Armenia: Congrats to our Hopscotch family on their successful court today!

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