Friday, August 14, 2015

Madeline Stuart, 18-Year-Old Model With Down Syndrome, Will Walk In NYFW

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

By Carly Ledbetter

11850016_1099023933458652_694340305_n In just one year, Madeline Stuart, an 18-year-old with Down syndrome, has become the face of two fashion campaigns. Now the Australia native is set to walk in New York Fashion Week on September 13.

"When we were asked to do New York Fashion Week, it didn't surprise me," said her mother, Rosanne Stuart, in an interview with Cosmopolitan. "I don't think anything really surprises me anymore. She's been asked to do a lot of stuff and I was hoping to she'd get asked to do NYFW but I assumed it would happen. I hope that doesn't sound too pretentious."

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Why You Should Not Welcome My Child With Special Needs Into Your Church

ezra field I realize this may be one of the most controversial posts I have ever written. It has taken me months of writing, stopping, coming back, re-writing and I’m still not positive it’s perfect. But it is my heart. Every fiber of my being burns with passion over this topic. I want to share with you why you should NOT welcome my special needs child to your church.

I write this from what I believe is a unique perspective.  You see, I have worked in ministry for over ten years now. I have been on staff as a youth pastor and a children’s pastor. I have helped to develop a special needs program within a church setting. I have also been a teacher for five years collectively. I have taught classrooms full of children from all kinds of backgrounds, strengths, and weaknesses. Most importantly, I am a mother to two beautiful children, one of whom has Autism. That’s right, I am the parent of a special needs child.  So why on earth would someone with my background write a blog like this? Allow me to share my heart with you.  These are the reasons I believe you should NOT welcome my special needs child to your church.

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Monday, August 10, 2015

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

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Part II: Article on non-convention adoptions/guardian pitfalls and perils

Avoiding the Perils and Pitfalls of Intercountry Adoption from Non-Hague Countries: Considerations for Agencies and Adoptive Parents (Part II)

Source: http://www.adoptioncouncil.org

By: Christine Lockhart Poarch and J. McLane Layton

Introduction

This is Part II of a two-part series that provides an overview of the most common perils and pitfalls involved in designating a child as an orphan under U.S. law, and emphasizes best practices for agencies and adoptive families when pursuing adoptions in countries that are not signatories to The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. Part I provided a complete and thorough explanation of the orphan definition under U.S. law. Part II provides an overview of the procedural requirements and potential practical complexities in orphan cases.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Avoiding the Pitfalls and Perils of Intercountry Direct Placement

Avoiding the Perils and Pitfalls of Intercountry Adoption from Non-Hague Countries: Considerations for Agencies and Adoptive Parents (Part I)

Source: http://www.adoptioncouncil.org

By Christine Lockhart Poarch and J. McLane Layton

Introduction

While adopting a child from another country, you receive word that the in-country court has scheduled the final guardianship or adoption hearing. You make travel plans with your family to be in-country for just a few weeks. After all, once you appear for the in-country court proceeding, you are sure that this very long process will be almost over. You assume that the last step--procuring a visa from your own government, the United States--will be quick and painless.

Sometimes it is, and you are soon on your flight home, exactly as scheduled, with the newest addition to your family. Other times, your family is not so fortunate, and you spend weeks or months, thousands of dollars, and every ounce of patience trying to prove to the U.S. Department of State and ultimately, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), that your child is truly an orphan under U.S. law and eligible for a visa to enter the U.S.

In our experience, what agencies and adoptive parents don’t know about the orphan definition can hurt them and may risk the family’s completion of a successful intercountry adoption. This article is Part I of a two-part series that will provide an overview of the most common perils and pitfalls involved in designating a child as an orphan under U.S. law and emphasize best practices for agencies and adoptive families when pursuing adoptions in countries that are not signatories to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.2 A complete and thorough understanding of the perils and pitfalls of the orphan definition—in the beginning, before the case gets off the ground in-country—offers adoptive families and adoptees the best chance of avoiding heartache, disappointment and delay, protects birth families, and offers agencies the best chance of formulating policies to support favorable case completion when inter-country adoption is in the best interest of the child.

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