Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Little Update - September 4, 2016

Lilit has moved to Our Lady of Armenia orphanage in Gyumri where she is now under the care of Sister Arousiag and her staff.  Lilit attends first grade in public school and walks there each day with friends from the orphanage.

A recent visitor reports that Lilit continues to be a sweet and giggly girl.  Here are some new photos.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Summer Camp - August 2016

Lilit recently joined other children at summer camp and had a wonderful time.  Here are a few photos from her experience.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Happy Birthday, Lilit!

Lilit recently celebrated her 9th birthday.  She began the day with some very special visitors, several presents, and a little party with her friends at the orphanage.

Siranoush then took Lilit to see Alice in Wonderland at a puppet theater, followed by a pizza dinner and some time at an indoor playground.

Lilit's birthday highlight was a visit to the beauty salon where she was pampered by getting her hair, nails and make-up done.

According to Siranoush, the day was full of fun, laughter, and good conversation.  Lilit sends her gratitude to everyone who continues to think of her and take interest in her life.

Happy birthday, Lilit-jan!  May your next year of life be the best one yet.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

About The Hip - May 15, 2016

George Yacoubian met with Lilit's orthopedic specialist in Yerevan and learned that at the moment, there's no surgery indicated for Lilit's hip. In fact, there may not be a surgical solution to Lilit's hip alignment at all. Lilit will continue with her physical therapy and be monitored by her orthopedist.

Lilit no longer uses a walker to move and only occasionally needs a crutch.  She does not have any pain.

Friday, May 13, 2016

This & That - May 13, 2016

Lilit is doing well and was happy to have a visit from George Yacoubian, founder and chairman of SOAR, this week.  She showed off what she has learned via tutoring and also performed a little program with her friends.  George brought Lilit a letter from Ella which was gladly received.

A few days before George's visit, Lilit got to watch a video of Ella and her mom singing an Armenian song.

In return, Lilit recorded a beautiful song for them.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Orthopedics - April 25, 2016

Today, Lilit visited a wonderful pediatric orthopedist in Yerevan.  He studied her case and asked for Lilit to get new X-rays before he will make a decision on how to proceed with her hip.  X-rays will be done on Wednesday and then we should know more soon.

Lilit continues with her language lessons and as of tomorrow will also be receiving tutoring in math.

When Siranoush visits her, Lilit is lively and asks, one by one, about her beloved friends in America.  She wants to know how everyone is doing and sends kisses to all.

Today, Lilit asked Siranoush to stay longer and read again all the cards and letters she had received while in the US.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Doing Fine - April 21, 2016

Lilit is doing well.  She is working hard in physical therapy and has an appointment next week with a pediatric orthopedist to discuss solutions for her hip.

 Lilit has English and Armenian lessons three times a week and will soon also receive math tutoring.  She is happy to be learning and proudly shows off her note books.

Recently, some of the children at Lilit's orphanage enjoyed a party and the performance of a clown.

Lilit sends lots of love to all of her friends in America - especially, as she made sure to point out, her Anjella (Ella).

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Lilit Learning - April 12, 2016

Lilit is doing well and spending time each day studying with her tutor.  Here's a little video from one of her lessons.

For a video of Lilit on her final day in the US, please go here (hope this works):

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Lilit's Welcome Back - April 5 & 6, 2016

Lilit had a big welcome in Armenia.  The photos tell the story.

At the airport in Yerevan

Decorations and gifts at the orphanage

A celebratory meal with her group

With Siranoush


A Note from Siranoush:

Lilit was sad to leave America, missing everybody who took such a good care of her from the first day till the day of her departure.  She became a friend or a family member for everyone. 

Our cordial thanks to every single person - surgeons,  doctors, medical staff, visitors, friends, unknown people, the SOAR community - having such an important place in the life and heart of Lilit.  THANK YOU!!!



Monday, April 4, 2016

Going Home - April 3 & 4, 2016

Lilit is on her way home to Armenia.  She leaves as happy as she came, but in much better health. For the next five months, Lilit will continue to have physical therapy in Yerevan along with private lessons in English and Armenian.  Hopefully she will be ready to enroll in school in September.

SOAR is eternally grateful to all who helped Lilit over the last three months, including Siranoush and Hripsime who spent extended periods away from their own families to care for Lilit, her medical team at Mt. Sinai, her rehab team at RUSK, those who sent their love via cards and presents in the mail, those who donated to her Go Fund Me, and the people who visited her while she was in-patient to brighten her days.

Maybe the letter that Ella wrote to Lilit at school says it best for today:

Lilit, I am sad that you are leaving today.  
I hope you will be okay on the plane.  
It is okay to be a little sad, but you will be fine. 
Love, Ella

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A Day Out - April 2, 2016

Lilit had a well-deserved and fun day in New York City today with some of her new friends.

Taxi ride
The Gazillion Bubble Show

Before bedtime, Ella and Lilit had their last phone call.  They promised to write, Skype, and see each other again soon.  Many "I love you's" went back and forth before hanging up and, at least on Ella's end, there were some tears after the call closed.

Discharged - April 1, 2016

Lilit has left the rehab facility and is spending a big weekend in New York.  She said goodbye to her wonderful nurses and therapists who sent her on her way with many presents, "Good-bye, Rusk.  Love you so much."

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Walking! - March 31, 2016

Our beautiful, strong, brave Armenian angel is walking again.

A Visit from Miss USA - March 30, 2016

Today, Lilit spent some time with Miss USA 2015, Olivia Jordan.

Meanwhile, SOAR has been busy putting together Lilit's equipment needed after her discharge tomorrow: crutches, walker and a temporary wheelchair.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Almost Ready - March 29, 2016

Lilit is almost ready to leave the rehab facility and everyone is preparing for her discharge and transition to therapy in Armenia.  The therapists in New York are passing along their recommendations for continued PT and OT in Yerevan as well as recording short videos of their work with Lilit for those who will continue it thousands of miles away.  A special boot has also been prepared for Lilit to support her left leg for walking until the issues with her hip can be resolved.  For this purpose, Lilit has an intake appointment with a wonderful pediatric orthopedist in Yerevan at the end of April.

A visitor from Mt. Sinai

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Heart to Heart - March 28, 2016

With her impending return to Armenia, Lilit is beginning to feel some apprehension about what her future holds, thinking a lot about life, and asking important questions.  Among many tears, she opened up today to her new friend Naira, President of the SOAR New York Chapter.

Naira learned that Lilit is very concerned about going back to the orphanage.  She knows that the individual care, attention and love she has received while in the US for medical treatment will not be provided to her once she returns to this setting.  For the first time in her life, Lilit realizes that there is something good, something better outside of the walls of the orphanage.

Lilit does not fully understand why Ella can stay in America and why she must return to Armenia because, as she says, she is ready to live in America herself and waiting for someone to make this dream possible for her.  She is more motivated now to attend school, learn to read and write and do math, as well as continue her acquisition of English which will be supported via SOAR.  Lilit is hopeful that someday she can return to the US permanently.

Please keep Lilit in your thoughts as she prepares to go back to Yerevan and undergoes another difficult transition.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter - March 24-27, 2016

Lilit is now less than a week away from being discharged from the rehab facility and she will return to Armenia in early April.

Today she had some Easter visitors who brought the fun and the yum.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Lilit and Ella - March 23, 2016

Today was the last day of being together for these two best friends.  It is unknown when they will see each other again.  They made the most of it and packed their shared hours full of giggles and excitement.
"Reading" the newspaper

Ella combing Lilit's hair after her shower

Coloring Easter eggs

Another pizza eating contest

Balloon heads


.... cures
After all this fun, these two Armenian angels had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad farewell.  But their bond is strong and has endured separation before. We all hope that they will be allowed to remain friends (or sisters as they call themselves) as they grow up.