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.