Alma’s Letter to Jamaica

When the Jamaican Child Development Agency told me that it was impossible for me to adopt Daniel, the first of many outlandish ideas was to ask family, friends, colleagues, students, and strangers on Facebook to write letters asking the government of Jamaica to allow me to adopt Daniel. Many people wrote. The head of the CDA later told me that they had never seen anything like this letter drive, and that it had moved them to pay closer attention to Daniel’s case.

I am deeply grateful to all who wrote in our support, especially to my grandmother Alma, who wanted very much for me to bring Daniel home. Here is what she wrote:


I was a small child when I learned that my two-year-old sister had fallen off her bed and died. Also at a young age, I lost my only brother, who at the age of eighteen, while studying at the military academy, fell victim to a siege by the Germans and disappeared (together with the other students). In ’37, I lost my father, who was arrested and executed during the years of Stalin’s repression.

So cruel and difficult was my childhood. Now, I wholeheartedly wish for my granddaughter, teacher M. Dilakian, to take five-year-old Daniel from the orphanage, and give him a happy childhood and a secure future. Her financial and living means are normal (for the child).

Maryam’s elder mother

Alma Shahinyan Dilakian

April 6, 2009

New York

I am eternally grateful that my Alma lived to meet and love Daniel.

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