Thursday, March 29, 2012

Armenian Adoption-Paros Foundation supports women's shelter

Finally a women's shelter to protect mothers and their children.$25000-for-domestic-violence-victims-in-armenia.html
More than 200 supporters of Paros “Lighthouse” Charitable Foundation USA raised an impressive $25,000 at a fundraising event on March 11, 2012 at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin, CA. The event benefited Paros “Lighthouse” Foundation’s vital work assisting victims of domestic violence and other critical outreach services in Armenia.
Guests enjoyed delicious appetizers and great wines, all underwritten by Zov’s Bistro. Highlighting the event was renowned attorney Mark Geragos, Esq. as the guest speaker.
The event was a call to action for Armenian communities worldwide to take a stand against domestic abuse. Speaking to the guests, Geragos said that in the past 20 years he has observed an increase in spousal abuse cases in California courts among Armenian families. He stated that violence against women anywhere is unacceptable. He encouraged everyone to donate to Paros “Lighthouse” Foundation to help women in crisis in Armenia.
Co-Founder Seta Ghazarian stated, “We serve pregnant and parenting young women in the secure environment of our 13,000 sq. ft. shelter/women’s center in the village of Bdghounk. Our core services focus on keeping both mother and child healthy and safe, while teaching the mothers important skills like child development, parenting, and health and nutrition. For women in immediate danger, we have an emergency hotline number, “20-80”, which can be called from anywhere in Armenia free of charge. Our goal is to help young Armenian women realize their full potential, despite the danger and adversity they face.”
In addition to aiding victims of domestic violence, Paros “Lighthouse” Foundation also offers desperately needed services to the local community including vocational training, psychological counseling and therapy, sewing and cooking classes, women’s health services with an on-site OBGYN physician, dental health services with an on-site dentist, feeding the poor and elderly, supporting a local kindergarten, weekly Bible study, and donations of essential goods to the needy in Armenia and Artsakh.
Zuhrab and Seta Ghazarian have been engaged in charity work and community outreach for underprivileged and underserved Armenians since 1999. The idea of “Paros” (meaning "lighthouse" in Armenian) was established by friends and supporters of the Ghazarian family, and grew out of their concern for Armenian women and children as well as the integrity of the Armenian family. Paros “Lighthouse” Armenian Charitable Foundation USA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public benefit corporation registered in the State of California and Republic of Armenia.
For more information about Paros “Lighthouse” Charitable Foundation USA and to donate, please visit
Photo: Paros "Lighthouse" Foundation supporters (l. to r.) Andy Andonian, Betty Gulezian, Paros Lighthouse Founder Seta Ghazarian, Appo Jabarian, and Diane Hekimian

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Armenian Adoptions- Robin Sizemore and Hopscotch Adoptions featured on Radio Free Europe
Excerpts of this article from Radio Free Europe:
Shadowy Middlemen

It will decide in the coming months whether it will be necessary to amend Armenia's Family Code, which would require parliamentary approval, or to simply change existing procedures, which could be enacted by the government without legislative action.

Under the existing rules, the Armenian Ministry of Labor and Social Issues draws up and keeps a national registry of children available for domestic and foreign adoption.

The list is supposed to be accessible to all prospective adoptive parents. But in practice, even government agencies say they have trouble accessing
Specifically, the report cited a sample contract signed by one U.S. agency, Hopscotch Adoptions, based in High Point, North Carolina, which assists Americans wishing to adopt Armenian and Georgian children.

The contract, offered to a potential client in the United States in 2007, explained that almost $5,000 of more than $30,000 charged by Hopscotch for every adoption would be spent on “gifts to foreign service providers and government functionaries performing ministerial tasks as an offer of thanks for prompt service.”

It claimed that such gifts are common in Armenia and Georgia and do not violate U.S. law.

Armenian Adoption Adventure-Sonia Vigilante Armenian Adoption Expert speaks

DATE: Febuary 26, 2012

Although I adopted in 2008, I wanted to clarify a few things that Katie stated.

In our experience, there was NO requirement to give gifts to ANYONE. This was completely voluntary and from a cultural perspective a nice thing to do. In fact, I enjoyed making the cards for the Nannies. I printed thank you in Armenian (using the Armenian lettering), which was challenging, but fun!

Also we did use the apartment provided by Hopscotch, however, a friend of mine who also used Hopscotch did not use the apartment because her parents owned an apartment in Yerevan. So they were not required to pay for that portion of the expenses.

Of course, things may have changed since 2008, but perhaps someone else could chime in who adopted more recently.

Finally, adopting domestically is also a crap shoot. It all depends on your particular situation. For us, we were older parents at the time of adoption. I was 48 and my husband was 53. Although we have a very comfortable financial situation, I had been told we would not be good candidates for domestic adoption because most birth mothers want younger parents. Also, the risk of birth mother changing her mind is also a consideration. But each situation is different, and if you are not willing to wait for international adoption, domestic may be a good alternative to consider.

Armenian children are beautiful and the culture is so rich!! Our adventure is something we will always remember fondly...there is something very special about making the trek to another country to bring your son/daughter home.

In case you haven't had a chance to see this, this is a video we made about our adventure:

Good luck with your adventure!

Ms. Sonia Vigilante who likes to tout her pre-Hague adoption of a little girl that was referred to her at a mere 22 days (hardly time to wash the placenta off). Sonia who doesn't speak or write/read Armenian had to hire a middle man to complete her adoption.
This was completed in May 2008 before the Hague was implemented in Armenia. When anyone with connections to Armenia and who spoke the language could complete a independant adoption on their own.
Ms. Vigilante, continues to pass herself off as the unofficial spokesperson for Hopscotch Adoptions and how ethical Robin Sizemore is.
Nice gifts to the nannies and orphanage director.
The pictures Ms. Vigilante sends out and posts online are bizarre. Sonia loves to appear as an elite part of society, a rich powerful person who buys her way through life. She sent photos to my witnesses of herself and of her country club. Always blabbering about her nanny, her adoption, her house, her this and that.

Sonia has cajoled with the Gulen Movement a Turkish cult to harm Armenians. Others in the Armenian Adoption community are getting sick and tired of her ugly remarks and don't find her to be anything but a wealthy Potomac housewife with a blabbermouth. Still trying to validate her pre-hague abduction/adoption. Clearly has a screw loose and pollutes her family blog with hate posts about others.

Some time I will post those photos that Sonia has sent to my witnesses, she looks very much like Nancy Pelosi not a "Hot Mama" that she claims her husband calls her.
Kevin Vigilante unsuccessfuly tried to run for Senate in Rhode Island against Patrick Kennedy (Bennet Kelley loves the Kennedys) and tried to slander the Kennedys.

Check out the video "Taking on the Kennedys" and learn of Sonia's desire to become a political wife.

She refers to "Katie" in this posting. We want to clarify that Katie is a single woman in NJ who is a Principal. Katie has been patiently waiting over 3 years for an adoption referral from Armenia. Hopefully, Katie will get her wish in 2012. No Katie, you don't have to pay $200.00 a night for the Hopscotch provided apartment, there are many other less expensive places to stay. Conversely, Adoption Agencies are not licensed to conduct business in Armenia and this must be done through the on ground person or Hopscotch Adoption's in-country facilitator who is also not registered or recognized under Armenian Family Law or any Armenian laws.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Armenian Adoption Sister Arousig- One-on-One: Armenia's "Carrier of Light"

Sister Arousig is very respected and a leader in defending the rights of Armenian orphans and ALL Armenian children.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Armenian Adoption Victory- Hopscotch Adoptions fake victory press release is removed

Hi Vanessa,

This is a serious issue, and I have reported your issue to our manager, actually our website doesn’t support for this kind of press release submission, and under our discussion we have agreed to remove the press release as your request, please refresh the page by using f5.

Thanks for your reminding which let us avoid a big problem.

If you still have problem or some other new problems you find, you can e-mail us at all times.

FPR is not affiliated with the said party.



On Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 5:15 AM, Vanessa Kachadurian wrote:


Title: Hopscotch Adoptions Claims Victory Against Serial Cyber Defamer

Complaint and Evidence: This Adoption agency is lying and never received a judgment but a partial reimbursement for their enormous legal fees. She is using this site to discredit me while trying to inflat her own image. Research online there are many articles about this adoption agency who has made over $1.3 million in fees in 4 years.

Username: Vanessa Kachadurian


UPDATE: Attorney Bennet Kelley is once again threatening individuals he has contacted Ursula at Free Press Release and told her that her e mail should not be published. They asked me to take down the truth.
Bennet Kelley cannot continue to use his law license to threaten, intimidate or manipulate.
My response back to Ursula was, Get a court order and I will remove. Mr. Kelley and his "client" do not want the truth they want their version of the truth.

Here is the e mail from Ursula, Mr. Kelley needs to STOP manipulating the media. He doesn't frighten me, I know the law and so do my friends. So Bennet Kelley the wanker believes he can publish what he pleases but others don't have rights? Not so my friends, you ALL have the right to discuss your point of views, your opinions and THE TRUTH.

Hi Vanessa,

We have removed the press release. You can’t post the contents of our e-mail on the blog without our permission. Please remove the information immediately.



Dear Ursula;
I see that Kelley has tried his poison legal pen with you as well. I will remove if you get a court order to do so. Otherwise, I legally own the e mail and it is a matter of free speech and the truth. This is a matter of public interest that Americans must know their civil liberties are being threatened. Not sure why Mr. Kelley is so afraid of being exposed as a liar. Frankly, he dubs me "serial cyber stalker" but I would rather be that than known as a second rate lying attorney who attacks private citizens for telling the truth.

Vanessa Kachadurian

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Armenian Adoption tradjedy turns positive for family of Arianna


After taking a few bites of her pink Cake Pop, Arianna Spiglanin wandered away from her mom's table at Starbucks.
Three years old and curious, the dark-haired girl wearing skinny jeans and tennis shoes wasn't up for staying in one place as her mother, Lauren Mahakian Spiglanin, sipped her coffee.
They are regulars at this Rolling Hills Estates Starbucks and another up the street, where they've spent time since Arianna was a baby.
And so when store manager Paul Romo walked out from behind the counter, Arianna rolled over to see him. He bent down to talk to her, and she smiled back from her shiny purple walker.
Arianna was 9 months old when her mother and father, Tom Spiglanin, brought her home to Rancho Palos Verdes from an orphanage in Yerevan, Armenia.
Having tried unsuccessfully to have a child on their own, the couple decided on adoption. Lauren Spiglanin suggested Armenia, given that her family is Armenian and her sister adopted her son from the country a decade ago.
It was a long process just getting the paperwork in order. There were background checks and financial reviews, letters of recommendation, pages of documents needing translation - for a hefty cost - all leading up to a review by the Armenian government.
That all began at the start of 2007.
It wasn't until late December 2008 that the prospect of adopting a little girl became real with a call from a facilitator they'd hired to assist them in Armenia.
The baby had been born on Nov. 28, 2008; her birth mother had died a week later.
"That was the call we were waiting for," said Lauren Spiglanin, 46. "The facilitator told us to come in March."
It was the first time both she and her husband, 53, had visited the country. They arrived at night to bitter cold temperatures, checking into a rundown hotel the facilitator had recommended to them. Nonetheless, the snowy weather and less
Lauren and Tom Spiglanin adopted Arianna as an infant from an Armenian orphanage but weren't aware she has cerebral palsy. Arianna and her mother spend a lot of time at Starbucks in Rolling Hills Estates where the staff, including manager Paul Romo, have gotten to know them. (Steve McCrank/Daily Breeze)
than ideal lodging conditions didn't temper their excitement.
"It felt really magical," Spiglanin said. "I felt so at peace here."
Their first visit to see the baby they would name Arianna Rose - after their mothers, Anna and Rose - was at a hospital a few days after they'd arrived. At the time, Spiglanin said, they'd been told the baby wasn't eating well.
"We go to the hospital and they bring her to us," Spiglanin said. "So cute. Her first smile was to Tom."
Arianna was born premature - a month, they'd been told - and her single mother had died from a brain aneurism, Spiglanin said.
The facilitator introduced them to the baby's aunt, she said, but even still they learned only "bits and pieces" of her medical history.
That first visit to Armenia would be followed by three more within the next few months before the Spiglanins would become parents to a little girl with big brown eyes framed by long lashes.
But it wasn't until August 2009 - after the adoption was finalized - that the couple got some more answers about their baby's medical background.
"Our last night here, our facilitator left an envelope at the hotel," Spiglanin said.
Inside were medical records that indicated the birth mother's placenta was becoming detached, cutting Arianna's supply of oxygen, she said. The papers said the baby had heavy asphyxia and acute breath insufficiency.
"Basically, they're saying that it's cerebral palsy," Spiglanin said.
"She was not up front with us at all about Arianna," she said of the facilitator, whom she would not name. "It all kind of makes sense now. ... Sometimes we were together, the aunt was very quiet."
And more, they began to suspect why Arianna had been bundled in several layers of clothing - to make her look bigger, perhaps - and to wonder more about why she had been in the hospital during their first visit.
"We got some documents, but it wasn't the complete medical report," Spiglanin said. "We took a video that we had the doctors here review. They said she looked alert. She definitely looked malnourished. No one ever raised a question of cerebral palsy."
The new parents fault the

Lauren and Tom Spiglanin adopted Arianna as an infant from an Armenian orphanage but weren't aware she has cerebral palsy. (Steve McCrank / Staff Photographer)
woman who they'd believed was helping them.
"We don't talk to her," Spiglanin said. "It turned out she was friends with the aunt. She wanted to do good for her friend."
Cerebral palsy is a condition caused by injuries or abnormalities of the brain that can result in the tightening of muscles and joints and also muscle weakness. That can lead to developmental delays in crawling, sitting and walking.
Once home, a pediatrician told the Spiglanins that Arianna's condition was caused by a midbrain injury.
She was born more than two months premature, her mother said, which they also discovered after they returned from Armenia.
The weeks and months that followed their homecoming would be filled with doctors' visits and therapy sessions. In October 2009, Spiglanin went back to work as a senior administrative analyst at El Segundo City Hall - a job she later lost as the town dealt with a budget crisis.
Her husband, a scientist with two grown children, is typically in control and calm, she said. The outspoken and confident Spiglanin struggled with depression.
"I remember saying, `Don't worry, Arianna, Mommy will take care of everything,"' she said. "We had 13 appointments a week. I was depressed on the inside but not showing it on the outside because I won't do that."
So Spiglanin sought help for herself, too, spending 15 months in therapy.
Her time off allowed her to throw her energy into encouraging Arianna to hold her head up, strengthen her neck and abdominal muscles and learn to get around in a walker - which she got on New Year's Day, 2011.
"It's about building the muscle, but also about rewiring her brain," Spiglanin said.
Arianna visits a chiropractor and acupuncturist, takes equestrian and aquatic therapy lessons and goes to classes at The Little Gym in Torrance.
"Ari just amazes me every day," said gym director Claire Koeppe, who has watched her learn to sit up, stand by holding onto a bar and roll sideways down an incline.
"She is such a happy girl. I don't think I've ever seen her frustrated. If she doesn't want to do something, she'll just sit back," she said. "(But) she loves being up high. ... She's a risk-taker."
Last fall, Arianna started a half-day preschool program for special-needs students through the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District.
Arianna mostly babbles rather than saying individual words, and still relies on her parents to feed her. For baths, she sits in a chair inside the tub.
But her mother said she's noticed significant improvements in her development since school began.
"She's just so much more energetic. She's holding her head up higher. She's reaching for things more," Spiglanin said. "She's a lot more curious. Eye-hand coordination is up, and that's because of school."
For Arianna's third birthday, her parents threw the Dora the Explorer and Wonder Pets fan a party, inviting employees from her favorite Starbucks shops.
"You see other kids, and you kind of ask yourself, why?" Spiglanin said. "Sometimes you kind of think, is she ever going to walk on her own?
"She'll be all right, because I get her the best of everything," she said.
The Spiglanins' experience adopting Arianna left them feeling deceived by their adoption facilitator, but Lauren Spiglanin said she doesn't fault the director at the state-run Nork orphanage, which houses infants to children 6 years old. "She thought we knew" about the medical history, Spiglanin said.
Nor does she fault Arianna's aunt, she said, as she believes the woman wanted what was best for the baby.
Part of Spiglanin's work these days is raising money for a water playground with a wading pool, flower beds and walkways that will replace an outdoor space at the orphanage filled with weeds and an old picnic bench - a spot where prospective parents could visit with children.
In the summers, when the air in Yerevan is thick and humid, the children could use the area to cool off, Spiglanin said.
She's fundraising through the nonprofit Paros Foundation, and already has about $4,000 to put toward the $10,000 price tag.
She hopes to raise more through an online auction later this month of a donated blue topaz and diamond pendant on an omega chain from The Jewelry Source in El Segundo. Store owner Brenda Newman, who knew Spiglanin when she worked across the street at City Hall, said she was taken by the couple's story.
"I'm very driven by the parents. They're the ones that have really done it for me. I'm driven by their passion," Newman said.
"They had no idea what happened before they adopted this wonderful baby. ... This is my way of sort of giving back to them."
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