24 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 | BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM
Editor-in-Chief & Publisher
FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS or so, I’ve
been a loyal NPR listener on my drive
to and from work—Morning Edition on
my way in, and All Things Considered
But recently—especially in the latter
stages of the presidential campaign—
I’ve kept the radio off. Whether it’s
Trump, Syria, lone-wolf terrorist
attacks or police shootings, the news
has been unremittingly dire. Statements
by a presidential candidate, tragedies
and crises that once would have been
extraordinary have become routine.
Even as a journalist, I’ve needed a
break from the news.
The underlying cause of my dismay
is people behaving badly. That’s been
happening, of course, since we climbed
out of the primordial ooze. But the
difference between now and then (and
even now and 20 years ago) is that
these days it’s almost impossible to
escape the bad news. Even when I turn
off NPR, there’s still The Washington
Post, The New York Times, Facebook,
and friends and family members
emailing me links to stories.
Fortunately, every so often there’s a
story that renews my faith in people.
We are pleased to publish such a story
in this issue.
to our readers
AN INSPIRING TALE
Bethesda Magazine staff. Front two rows (left to right): Veronica Linares, Julie Rasicot, Jenny Ragone,
Maire McArdle, Jennifer Farkas, Meghan Murphy, Jill Trone, Susan Hull, Douglas Tallman, Grace
Toohey; Back row (left to right): Cindy Rich, Arlis Dellapa, Ashlyn Mason, Sarah Hogue, Mary Clare
Glover, Kathleen Neary, Sandra Burley, Onecia Ribeiro. Not pictured: Paula Duggan, Laura Goode,
Andrew Metcalf, Penny Skarupa, LuAnne Spurrell.
Several years ago I met Karla Azachi,
who was an event planner at the
Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club,
where we were holding our first Best
of Bethesda party. Karla and I bonded
over the fact that we both had an
adopted child. When she told me the
remarkable story of how her daughter
Shai came to join her family, I asked if
we could tell it in the magazine.
In this issue, Senior Editor Cindy
Rich chronicles the journey of Karla
and her husband, Jake, who—inspired
by their Jewish faith and a scary
medical crisis—decided they wanted to
do more to help people in need. They
chose to become foster parents and
were hopeful that, against the odds,
they would be able to adopt at least one
of the kids who was placed with them.
Over the past seven years, the
Azachis have fostered 11 children. The
kids, all 6 and under, have come from
unimaginable circumstances, usually
involving parental drug use, neglect
and/or abuse. Some have stayed for just
a few days; others for longer. Regardless
of how long they stay, saying goodbye
is always hard for Karla, Jake and their
two teenage daughters. Says Jake:
“Every time they take that child away, it
just rips you apart.”
But two of the kids didn’t ever leave.
Four years ago the Azachis adopted
Shai, and this past March they adopted
a boy, now 2, named Kobe.
I have no doubt that our story about
the Azachi family, which begins on
page 158, will inspire you and leave
you feeling just a little better about
humankind. It sure did both for me.
THIS IS THE 75TH issue of Bethesda
Magazine. Much has changed in the
Bethesda area—and in the magazine—
since our first issue in June 2004 (which
was a slim 64 pages). But one thing
has remained constant: Whatever
success we’ve had is a result of our
extraordinary staff. Every year in the
November/December issue we run a
photo of our employees on this page
to acknowledge and thank the women
and men who work so hard on the
magazine, Bethesda Beat and our
website. I am grateful for all they do.