How to Use This Blog

A Wayfarer is a person who is traveling, a particular place, a circumstance, a stage of life, etc. Let's walk the road of adoption together. The journey is so much better with company!
Much of this information is useful for any adoption, but this blog is designed to be a
I hope this blog will be helpful to you in your adoption whether you are considering, waiting or home. I started this blog when we were adopting and found there was next to nothing on the web in any orderly manner. I set about to collect information for myself and then for others. Now, there are more sites for resources, but still not much that brings it all together. I hope this blog will serve as a sort of clearing house for Ethiopian Adoption Information. Please feel free to contribute your knowledge through commenting.
You can search by topic in three ways. 1. Go to the "key word" tabs on top and open pages of links in those topics. 2. Use the "labels list" in the side bar or 3. use the "search bar" above the labels list. You can also browse the blog by month and year in the Posts section or in any of the above as well. The sidebar links are to sites outside of this blog. While I feel they provide good information, I can not vouch for each site with an approval rating. Use your own discernment for each. If you have more to add to the topic, please add it in the comment section of that page or post.
And, please link to The Wayfarer Adoption Blog by putting my button on
your blog so others can use this resource too. Please link to this blog when ever you can and whenever you re-post things (or images) you have found here. Thanks!
The solid tabs are links to my other blogs for books and family. Check them out if you are interested.
Welcome to the journey!

Monday, March 28, 2011

politician is a fellow adoptive dad!

Ok, VERY FEW of you are in the Colorado Springs area. But, I want to put this out there for those of you who are. If you are trying to decide who to vote for for mayor please give Brian Bahr a good look. He and his wife are traveling to China to pick up their newly adopted daughters. As with any international adoption there are many unknowns and for a China adoption you could get the call that you can go at any very unexpected time. WOW! they got the call and despite the mayoral race he is going. That says a lot to me. Check him out and make your vote count.

MOWA/MOWCYA court news

WACAP had issued a paper on the topic of the Ethiopia adoption court slowdown. You can read it here. There is a lot of good information here, nothing new, but well written.

National Council For Adoption has issued their statement on the recent happenings as well. You can read that here.

Both are vague as there is not a lot of clear information out there about how this is going to play out or effect current or future adoptions. Both are also supportive because they support ethical adoptions and are most interested in the well being of the children.

Ethiopian Orphan Relief and FOVC buy a brick

Join Our Mailing List
'Buy a a legacy'
buy a brick...
Our newest campaign begins...TODAY! Please join us in building a safe and secure home for the children of FOVC.

 There are other ways to help also! Check it out on the above link to FOVC. 


Free or low cost online seminars

I just wanted to let you all know about these free and low cost online seminars. You can find them here at Adoptions Together. 

These are just a few of the topics they offer and more are added periodically. Check them out for great information.

Free On-Demand Seminars

Ethnic Hair and Skin Care for the Transracially Adopted Child

Parenting You Can Feel Good About

Sunday, March 27, 2011

new adoption site for state gov.

I wanted to alert you to the fact that the gov pages have created a new adoption site. I will update my links this week. But for now. It is....

Brighton Jewelry

I was on vacation with the family the latter part of this week for Spring Break. While out I saw a wonderful necklace for moms. So, of course I asked that fellow mom about it. You too can create your own personalized mothers charm necklace or bracelet at Brighton.  Buy the bead spacers and letter charms separately and add whatever other charms or beads you like. Choose your color and style. I think it is wonderfully creative and artistic. Check out here. Click on the various charms you would like to see on the list to the left.
Maybe you have a store near you. Find out here. There are actually 6 stores that carry various Brighton products here in my city! I bet there is one near you too.  
Mother's Day is just around the corner. Wouldn't your kids love to get you started with one of these?!

Ok, I priced out a necklace and WOW it was expensive. If you go this route you may want to do a little at a time. I am now looking into a local bead shop to see if I can make a look alike on my own!

And, just FYI..... I post all these great products here with no strings attached. I am not asked to do so and I get nothing out of it. :)  It is just for you that I post these great products. Have fun!

MOWA/MOWCYA court news

Here is the latest on the Ethiopian court changes.

* This is what has come through today from Ethica.
Notice of phone conference to learn about the latest found by a visit from USCIS to MOWCYA: here

* The following is directly from USCIS. For the direct publication please click on the following link.

Q&A: Adoption Processing in Ethiopia

Q.  Is the U.S. Government planning to close the Ethiopian adoption program?

A.  The U.S. Government supports the intercountry adoption program in Ethiopia.  We will work closely with the Government of Ethiopia and other stakeholders to preserve and protect this valuable program, while also seeking to improve safeguards and ensure the program’s integrity.

Q.  Is it true that the Government of Ethiopia is planning to reduce the number of adoptions that it processes?

A. On March 9, 2011, the Department of State reported that Ethiopia's Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs announced that it intends to decrease its current processing rate from approximately 50 cases per day to five cases per day, effective March 10, 2011. If this decision is implemented, prospective adoptive parents who have begun the process to adopt from Ethiopia could experience significant delays. Please check the Department of State (DOS) website at for the most recent updates.

Q.  If I have a case pending in Ethiopia now, how will the new procedures announced by the Government of Ethiopia affect my case?

A.  If you have already been matched with a child but have not yet finalized your adoption in the Ethiopian courts, this new procedure could lead to significant delays.

Q.  Will the U.S. Government take any action in light of the Ethiopian Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs’ recent announcement?

A. The U.S. Government will continue to work closely with the Government of Ethiopia to preserve the adoption program while also seeking to improve the program’s integrity and transparency.

Q.  Have any cases been denied in Ethiopia based on findings of fraud?

A. No cases from Ethiopia have been denied based on findings of fraud, and in fact, the vast majority of cases are approved. However, both USCIS and DOS have significant concerns about certain fraud indicators and patterns that suggest possible malfeasance or unethical behavior in some cases.

Q.  What was the result of the January 2011 trip conducted by officials from USCIS and DOS to review adoption processing in Ethiopia?

A.  The interagency site visit yielded the following observations and conclusions about adoption processing in Ethiopia:
  • In general, the children presented in Ethiopia meet the definition of orphan under U.S. law and meet the evidentiary burden required to approve the Form I-600 orphan petition
  • Various fraud indicators identified through case review suggest that there may be inappropriate activity in terms of how children are identified as available for adoption. More detailed and targeted analysis is ongoing

Q.  How many cases have been transferred to USCIS Field Office Nairobi from Embassy Addis Ababa as not clearly approvable in the past year?

A. USCIS Field Office Nairobi has received fewer than 10 cases transferred from Embassy Addis Ababa in the past year. Most were private adoptions of family members.

Q.  Why will more cases be sent to the USCIS Field Office in Nairobi now?

A. Due to concerns about the number of cases presented that contain inconsistent or conflicting information, USCIS anticipates that more cases will likely be transferred to USCIS Field Office Nairobi going forward. USCIS and DOS have agreed that cases submitted to Embassy Addis Ababa containing substantive inconsistencies or discrepancies should be transferred as not clearly approvable to USCIS Field Office Nairobi for appropriate action.

Q.  How will I know if my case is transferred to USCIS Nairobi and what do I need to do?

A.  If your case is transferred, please see the following general steps for what to expect and what may be expected of you:
Step 1Embassy Addis Ababa will inform you if your case is transferred to USCIS Nairobi.
Step 2USCIS Nairobi will confirm that your case has been received.
Step 3USCIS Nairobi will review your case and all supporting documentation and evidence to identify any potential issues, discrepancies, or concerns with such documentation or evidence and then take appropriate action.
Step 4If deemed necessary, USCIS Nairobi will send a Request for Evidence (RFE) or take other appropriate action.
Step 5You will have an opportunity to respond to such RFE or other action by working with your adoption service providers and/or orphanage director to provide the requested documentation or evidence.
Step 6USCIS Nairobi will review the information you provide, and ultimately, make a determination on your adoption petition.
Step 7USCIS Nairobi will inform you of the decision, and if your petition is approved, will return it to Embassy Addis Ababa for visa processing.

Q.  If I receive a Request for Evidence, do I need a lawyer to respond?

A. You are not required to retain a lawyer to respond to a Request for Evidence. We anticipate that in a majority of these Ethiopian cases, the issues cited in the RFE can be satisfied through further investigation, clarification or correction of evidence, or gathering of additional evidence. Your adoption service providers, both on the ground in Ethiopia and in the United States, and/or orphanage representatives, should be able to help you to resolve such issues in most cases.  

Q.  I already began the process of adoption from Ethiopia, can I adopt from a different country now?

A. Yes. If you have already filed or if you still have a valid approval of a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, that specifies Ethiopia as the country from which you intend to adopt, you are permitted to request one no-fee change of country. Please click on the Change of Country link to the left for more information.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

MOWA/MOWCYA court news

I am going to post here a few parts of a notice from yet another agency. It was a long notice and I am just going to post the parts pertaining to the issues in Ethiopia for general population not their specific clients or agency. I think it is good news to hear that others are getting news of progress. I am hearing this sort of thing from several agencies. Which usually means that they are closer to coming to a decision of what will work out to be the new normal. Still waiting for something official.
Over the past week we have been working in collaboration with Joint Council, other licensed Adoption Service Providers in Ethiopia and the US Department of State to get clarity on the proposed changes instigated by the Ministry of Women's Affairs that would have drastically reduced the number of adoptions
processed by their office.

(..non pertinent section deleted )
What we know as facts are:
MOWA posted a notice indicating as of March 10th they would be reducing the number of adoptions processed through their office to 5 cases a day.

Within days of this announcement, the director of MOWA and several other staff members from the ministry have been terminated.

Today we want to update you on the feedback we received yesterday from our foreign staff in Ethiopia, which was confirmed in a discussion with our adoption colleagues in a Joint Council caucus call later in the day.

At this time, all Foreign Staff on the ground in Ethiopia are reporting that MOWA has completed their staffing changes and are now currently working at full capacity to complete those adoption cases currently re-scheduled or assigned a court appointment through the courts of Addis Ababa. Our staff believe this to
be around 800 cases they are working at full force to complete with no restrictions on the number of cases processed each day. This is great news! We are thrilled to hear these drastic changes do not seem to be going into full effect.

We are also pleased to report that for new cases moving forward; it appears the original changes proposed by MOWA will not be implemented to the degree of 5 cases a day. At this time it is unknown whether or not MOWA will issue a formal statement regarding how they will process cases in the future, but from all discussions it will not be a drastic decrease from before. Through the continued work, meetings, and advocacy of many Foreign Staff members in Ethiopia, it appears any future changes within the case processing for MOWA will avoid sweeping and disproportionate alterations to the number of cases processed each day. Rather, the hope is that MOWA, Joint Council, Adoption Service Providers, the US Department of State and other NGO organizations can come together to support the government of Ethiopia in strengthening the process for ethical adoptions to continue while also improving the general social structures to assist with family preservation in Ethiopia. This plan was acknowledged in the recent posting by the US State Department this morning at http://adoption. news/ethiopia. html.  We understand the US Department of State cannot issue a formal statement without MOWA issuing a retraction. Based on the information we are receiving, MOWA is concentrating on processing the current adoptions and the new staff is not focused on numbers, but doing their jobs.

We and our trusted colleagues look forward to collaborating to ensure adoptions move forward with the highest level of transparency possible. It is our commitment to carefully, ethically, and mindfully complete the adoption process on every level for orphaned children. Our hope is that as we do this in collaboration with other licensed agencies, we can also help to eliminate future concerns by MOWA and continue to build trust between their office and the adoption community at large.
....(non pertinent section deleted ).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Subtle attachment issue, personal story

Ok, This is one of those personal posts.
My son is relatively well attached. Sure he has a few issues, but really he has made remarkable strides in family attachment. He is doing well. When he came to us he was fearful, angry and shut us out. He was manipulative and very interested in adults outside of our family to get his needs met. He could scream and shriek and was really a terrible child.
We have worked hard, really hard. He is a great kid now who only occasionally, barely respembles that really super awful kid we brought home. Today he is wonderful. Loves his family, obeys, has a conscious, etc....  He is a super great kid!!!!!

But, sometimes we still have issues.
Like last week. Instead of asking for what he needed he became destructive. This was subtle. He shredded his sock instead of asking to not wear them because the decal on the side was itchy. Ok, kids do this, it is fairly normal to some. However, at the root was the fact that he was unwilling to ask for what he needed so instead of asking he took things into his own hands to ensure than he never had to wear the socks again. He shredded them. On purpose. Deliberate destructive behavior to get what he needed instead of asking. He has witnessed me putting things aside that his brother (also adopted from Ethiopia) says itch, and he does not have to wear them.
So, we had some deliberate teaching time!

I think it is really helpful to know about attachment issues and what they may look like. If I had not read so much and talked to others with experience I may not have caught this for what it was. I am thankful for the experience of others and super great books  that clue me in to the subtle cues of attachment issues.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another view on the MOWCYA slow down

A news article about the issues in Ethiopian adoption by an Ethiopian American. This is a good article and gives some view into the issues around adoption and the perception of Ethiopians in Ethiopia as well as some here in the US. I want to point out that the persons mentioned in the article as having concerns are those in the elite societies of the culture. This is the same report we heard when we were there in 2008.  Many, many others who we have met in that time, there and here, are more than supportive, seeing the problems. In most cases we are asked how our children came to be orphaned. They are always pleased that we adopted them. We have never felt anything other than support. For a culture who prides itself in it's young people as the future of the country, there would naturally be alarm at so many of them leaving and under questionable circumstances perceived by this group of concerned persons. I will agree with the article in the stance taken to suspend the authority of any agency found to have engaged in fraudulent practices regarding obtaining children for adoption. This must be stopped. The Ethiopian government has the right to pull the licenses of adoption agencies who are found to have been unethical in this way as well as to suspend the license of others while suspicions are investigated. Let's hope they do it and get it done quickly so children who are truly in need of a family can be given that very precious gift.
So, with that said. Go read this very very excellent article, expressing some real and legitimate concerns.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

MOWA/MOWCYA court news //encouragement for PAP's

Some recent news from an agency:
We thought we should share two more good pieces of news to start the weekend!

First, MOWA wrote 25 letters yesterday! These are letters for all agencies and we are not sure if this trend will continue, however we will take it while we can!

Second, all our families that traveled for court on March 11, 2011 passed!

I think that it is encouraging to see the effort to get the letters done for kids who are waiting for their family to be able to pick them up. And, for the first time in a long time all families passed because NO ONE was missing their MOWA (now called MOWCYA) letter!!!!! That is great news!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

news on the recent MOWA happenings

Nothing new at the end of the day.............
Thanks for the tips on new info. I know we all appreciate the pooling of resources.

Paper for parents from WACAP can be read here

mowa news

I am encouraged by the participation by the adoption agencies. There are many who have willingly and unwittingly participated in questionable and outright unethical actions. I am encouraged that they are willing to buck up and make the changes needed. There is some indication that things could change once the agencies are applying themselves diligently to ethical practices. For some this will mean things as usual, for others this will mean major overhaul, for others there will be slight changes.
There are no mentions of the 20 letters per day..... soooo...... we still wait on public confirmation for this. Who knows. 

Here is the latest from the state department

Here is the latest from two agencies. The fact that two are stating similar things is encouraging. Both of these are good agencies. One i know more about than the other and they are one of the top agencies in ethics and longevity in country. I expect there are more we just did not know about them. Thanks for the tip from a friendly reader:

From agency 1

We know you have been waiting, as we were, to hear about what took place at the
meeting today. Unfortunately, there are still many unknowns, but this it what we
have been told:
-The chairman of the agency network committee had a phone call with the minister
of the adoption unit at MOWA prior to the meeting. We do not know when this
phone call took place. The meeting was with all the agency reps, not with MOWA.
Apparently, the minister had too big of a workload to meet; this is why the
phone call took place.
-The minister (of MOWA adoption unit) told the chairman (of agencies) that there
is evidence of wrong doing by agencies. If agencies work hard at correcting this
a reversal may be considered.
-The agency reps came up with a "code of conduct" and have a specific committee
put in place to hold agencies accountable.
-The agency reps decided to have the network committee write up an appeal asking
the minister to reverse the decision urgently.
-the minister ordered the MOWA adoption workers to clear the back log of court
cases within 10 days. This applies to anyone who has a court case scheduled and
might even apply to any case that has been submitted to court, waiting for court
-the time line is not known for any of this

Although we were really hoping for a concrete positive decision to be made or
announced today, we do feel that it is a positive sign that the minister seems
to know the importance of clearing up the current backlog of court cases. We
also feel it is a positive sign that the minister appears to be open to changing
this new process of 5 letters, provided agencies follow through on what they
have been told to do.

We have a conference call with all agencies later today and are hoping to get an
idea about what other agencies are feeling right now. If we have any new
information after that call, we will be sure to post it.

from agency 2

"According to information provided to Dove's attorney at the March 16, 2011
Network meeting, the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA) plans to process the
approximately eight hundred (800) files that they currently have in their
offices. All families who were assigned a court date prior to March 10, 2011
are expected to be included in this group.

MOWA anticipates completing the review of the approximately eight hundred (800)
files in their offices within ten (10) to fifteen (15) days. Dove cautions
families to expect delays and a possible revision to this timeline. While we
are all hopeful for a quick resolution, an ethical review may take longer than
anticipated. As a reminder, MOWA must complete the review of the file and issue
the required letter to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) prior to the courts
granting custody of a child. Prospective parents who have been assigned a court
date should still plan on traveling to Ethiopia to give their testimony on their
assigned date.

After completion of the eight hundred (800) files, Ethiopian officials will
determine what course of action to take; this may include increasing the number
of files processed on a daily basis. For now, families who are adjourned
(assigned a court date) on or after March 10, 2011, will likely be processed
according to the new, five (5) file per day rule. As this new regulation may
cause delays, we also believe that it could result in an even stronger, more
ethical process.

We have also been told that a Code of Ethics is being implemented by the Network
and several government agencies. On March 16, 2011 all adoption agencies
working in Ethiopia approved this code and submitted their revisions to the
Ethiopian government. This code will provide additional support to adoption
agencies who are working to provide ethical services in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia remains open for adoptions. Dove is continuing to receive referrals for
children and adoption files are continuing to be processed in Ethiopia. We do
not know, nor can we predict the impact this will ultimately have on adoption
cases. This requirement could result in a temporary delay for some files, a
minimal delay in future adoptions or a more significant delay. As we continue
to obtain information and wait for MOWA to processes current files, we ask that
you join us in praying for Ethiopia, the adoption process and everyone

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

news on the recent MOWA happenings

Well, one reader found good news on an adoption agency site. It goes well with the information I have been getting from other sources as well. So, as they say it so well............ I will post so you can go read it for yourself.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

news on the recent MOWA happenings

Confirmation of the MOWA informal allowance to process 20 letters per day rather than the official notice of 5 letters per day.I got this a few days ago.
This is the second adoption agency I have heard of stating this.

Joint Council is also confirming that they received this news but are waiting for a more formal statement before embracing it as a ruling. They are cautiously optimistic, as we all ought to be.  I am still optimistic. I am also still waiting to hear more on the meeting yesterday...... anyone find some news? Please comment!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Drivers in Ethiopia

I am going to post a list of drivers who other families have used and would recommend. I can only personally recommend the first one on the list, as he was our driver. Please know these have come highly recommended, however, you should use your own caution as well. My understanding is that all of them speak English well and will know the city for any need you may have. Some drive outside of the city as well. All of the have been recommended by ADOPTIVE families so that should not be an issue. They will know where to go for things related to adoption if that is needed.

Terefe Konde: 091-121-05-17 or at 011-122-26-22.
Here is the driver we liked best. He speaks English well and will take you wherever you want to go. He has driven almost exclusively for adoptive families for the last 14 years. Take him a bumper sticker of your state, He puts them all over the inside of his car and tells his clients about them. He took us shopping, for a tour of the city and all around to wherever we wanted to go. He knows every place and the best way to get there. He even translated all the jabbering of our boys. That was priceless. While we were there the going rate was 50 birr an hour. Pay him whatever is the going rate, rounded up and give him tips every time. Not at all expected but SOOOO appreciated. He is a great guy. Take his number with you and when you want to go out give him an advance call to reserve him as your driver. He will be happy to drive you.

Fekadu : His phone number is 0911117728 or you can email him at hailufekadu@ or lyfeke00@gmail. com.

Solomon: He owns a car.  He loves working with adoptive families. His number is: 0911-56-73-63.

Ayele: phone # was 0911-48 69 00.

Haile: His number is 0911 602 569 .

Tsegaw : he has started his own travel/tour agency and will drive for individuals or groups.  Here's his website with contact info:   http://www.zoz- ethiopia. com/

 Yoseph: 0911-91-89-36

Alazar. His number is 0911622676.

Empowered to Connect conference in Denver!!!!!!!!

Posted: 14 Mar 2011 08:35 AM PDT
We invite you to join us April 8-9, 2011, in the Denver Colorado area (at Mission Hills Church in Littleton, Colorado) for the next Empowered To Connect Conference
Registration for the ETC Conference in Denver is open — and you can still take advantage of the 1/2 off registration discount (made possible by a generous grant from Focus on the Family). Simply use the code FOCUS when registering online to receive this discount.
Visit for more details and to register online. We look forward to seeing you there!

This notice is from Empowered to Connect

Sunday, March 13, 2011

news on the recent MOWA happenings

A new article, NO new information. Of course this is in panic mode........... again, which I feel is unnecessary and does not show any sort of trust in the ability of those at work to solve the problem of unethical practices and still continue adoptions. I believe they are able and will do the best job they can to right the system. I believe they are working for the child.
You can read the article here. A bit dramatic, but that is what makes news.

Another agency post their take on the conference call:
Again, I still maintain my hopeful belief, that things are going to work out for the better. I see a lot of working on it and a lot of belief in the need. There is no guarantee. Still we pray and wait with hopeful hearts.

Kat shares many of my feelings and thoughts and so I would like to link to her posts on this topic because I feel they add to the discussion and thoughts on the recent happenings: 
Momentum 1
Momentum 2

There are two bloggers who do personal blogs that I like the posts they have written on this topic. How they feel about it and their own personal ideas on the topic. They both take the side of being more interested in the ethics of the thing than in the slow down itself. Read them if you are interested.
The Watershed

Saturday, March 12, 2011

MOWA court news //encouragement for PAP's

I just want to take a post to encourage all of you waiting PAP's out there. I have watched the program in Ethiopia for three years now. We brought home our two sons in 2008. There have been numerous changes and statements issued and all sorts of new things put into place in that time. Each time there was 1. a statement (which is a more formal level but comes after a lot of talking and informal statements in country, so, not out of the blue as it seems to us), 2. a panic by all sorts of invested parties, including much action and waiting 3. a discussion within country as well as with those invested parties, 4. an alteration and a more formal statement of new practice, 5. and things settled back into a good balance and adoptions continued. Changed, but still moving. Slower and slower, but safeguards are good to ensure the continuation of the program.
I know that this is similar. Maybe a bit more drastic change will come but really, I think it will not be as drastic as it is being made out to be right now. Drastic things have been proposed before and a more moderate version has taken effect. Ethiopia recognizes the need for adoption and that there are not many good options for the children in country. They know the extent of the issue and they are willing and wanting to continue adoptions. They are working hard, very hard, to maintain the program and to make it ethical. It is really hard to do this and they are working at it.
I am not saying this won't slow things down or change things. I am saying it may not be as bad as it looks right now. Things will settle. If you are in limbo to commit. Wait to see what comes of this. Maybe a few weeks. Then decide if you are willing to go for it. If you are waiting for a referral this will slow things down some. No agency can tell you how much right now. We will all know more in a few weeks. If you have a referral and are waiting court. The thing that will be slowed down is the letter from MOWA. I *suspect* that if a child is waiting to pass court after having not passed they will continue to try to work those out a bit quicker. I am also guessing that a special needs child (however they choose to define that) will move a bit quicker too. If you have passed court, this should not effect you at all.

So, IF things go as they have for the last three years we should know more about how this is really going to actually play out some time in early April. I am just guessing, but it is based on the last three years. So, lets all pray hard, sign the petitions, send our letters and wait.

looking for news on MOWA court processing cuts

I just want to report that a family with our agency who is IN Ethiopia right now for court has sent back this report:

1) The MOWA official, who was apparently behind much of this, did indeed step down.
2) They have now decided to write 20 letters/day.More than the proposed 5 per day but fewer than the 50 per day. So, it is better but not as fast as before.
3) their court proceedings were not slowed due to this event at all. They did not get the MOWA letter but the judge is assuring them it should be there Monday. Of course this remains to be seen. But, hopeful.

I would like to note that the slow down is again, NOT a cut. It is a drastic slow down even at 20. However, it sounds like it is in the letter writing department. That means that they have done what research seems needed on the child and is now willing to write the letter. I can see that this research that they need to do on each child is important in determining the ethical status of each adoption. This is great news. I also am anticipating hopefully that more good news will come that they are able to hire more people to do this work so that it can keep up with the need and remain ethical.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Conference call with US Dept. of state MOWA cuts

Well, the Conference Call with the US Dept. of state did not reveal any new or useful information.
You can read the report:

Nothing has yet substantiated in public news the possible 20 vs 5 cases a day yet. I know the person who stated this and he has a reliable source for this info. I would not question him. We will see what comes along about it in the next several days. A big meeting on Monday the 14th is scheduled in country. Please feel free to post anything you find.

Conference call with US Dept. of state MOWA cuts

The U.S. Department of State invites you to participate in a conference call regarding recent developments in Ethiopia adoptions. The call will be held from 10:45-11:30am Friday EST, March 11, 2011.

The discussion will focus on what information the Department has on the Ministry of Women's, Children's and Youth Affairs announcement regarding a planned reduction of cases processed each day.

Call in information is as follows:
Access Code: 7139389

In the event you cannot participate, or have a question during the call that does not get addressed, please feel free to forward questions or concerns to AskCI@....Please be sure to include in your subject line "Ethiopia Adoptions Conference Call March 11th Follow-Up."

news on the recent MOWA happenings

I have just received news that the Ethiopian government has potentially raised the limit per day from 5 to 20. That is good news. Things still slower, but much better than 5.

That is all I can say about that, we can wait to see what the media is reporting. I know there was a big meeting in our overnight. So, we will see today what has come of that.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

More on the development

Well, watching carefully and maybe a bit obsessivly all the news I can find on the MOWA situation in Ethiopia.
I will share all I get with you. Please feel free to comment and add anything your agency is sharing with you, etc.

I want to note a bit of an interesting twist too. I note that most, if not all articles are stating cut the adoptions. However, no where has it said anything more than they are cutting how many they do each day. That means that a child can still be adopted but it will just take, what five times longer..... ok, totally disheartening, but they are still adoptable, not cut out of adoption all together. Anyway, I have hope that this will last only a short time as everyone who is of any status in this field is on it to get things regulated in a more satisfactory way. I am glad they are acting in this manner rather than turning around and saying shut it down.

Here are two more articles on it.
An article out of a news page called Sea Coast online:

 The latest from Joint Council:

news on the recent MOWA happenings

This is a great article that sums up the statement from MOWA and what the responce has been . Check it out here.

survey for WAITING PAP's and other ways to help.

Here is another option. Different take but a great way to go about it as well. Read the article from Ethica concerning ethics and adoption and how to help with this new situation.
To read the entire post go to :
Here is the part specifically geared toward you who are waiting. Please fill out this survey to help get a number of people who are waiting and being directly effected by this new information.

If you have been referred a child to adopt from Ethiopia, but have not yet adopted, please consider participating in this survey to help determine collectively the number of children who are in process, as well as the rate that referrals that continue in the wake of MoWA’s announcement.  This data is non-identifying, will be collected publicly, and will be used in our advocacy efforts in the U.S. and within Ethiopia.
A few sites (Joint Council and Rainbow Kids) monitoring this have expressed that there seems to be some hopeful or good news coming soon. So, stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

looking for news on MOWA court processing cuts

Well, there is nothing conclusive..... nothing. No one knows exactly what is happening, but they are working on it.
I have noted these articles out there though.

There are several good posts here on this site about the issue and latest developments Be the Answer a site of Joint Council.

This one on Red Letters is interesting and thought provoking, but not informative-yet, you can see all three of Tom's post and future posts on this in the side bar of his linked blog:

Great information on what is going on.

Joint Council
This is a great site. They issue the original statement (below), and a statement from them on this as well as all they are doing to work for a solution. You can be part of the solution too. of Ethiopia Plans Major Slow-Down in Adoption Processing
March 9, 2011
Citing the need to work on quality and focus on more important strategic issues, the Government of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA)  will reduce to a maximum of five the number of adoption cases it processes per day, effective March 10, 2011.  Under Ethiopian adoption procedures, MOWCYA approves every match between prospective adoptive parents and an Ethiopian child before that case can be forwarded for a court hearing.  The U.S. Embassy is working with Ethiopian government officials and adoption agencies to learn more about this change in procedures.  We will continue to share information as it becomes available.
Given MOWCYA’s current caseload, the U.S. Embassy anticipates that this change could result in an overall decline in case processing of some 90 percent.  If this change is implemented as proposed, we expect, that parents who have begun the process of adopting from Ethiopia but have not yet been matched with a child could experience significant delays.  It is not clear if this change in procedures would have any significant impact on cases in which MOWCYA has already approved matches.
Prospective adoptive parents should remain in close contact with their adoption service provider to obtain updates on individual cases.
The Embassy’s Adoptions Unit can be reached at
Please continue to monitor for updated information as it becomes available.

Concerned about the issues going on with MOWA right now? Joint Council has formed a response team and initiatives. You too can be part of this. Check out their site:


Five Things You Can do to Help!

1)      Sign the petition to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi – and pass it on!
2)     Have you adopted from Ethiopia? Please send us up to 3 photos and 50 words or less with what you would like the Ministry to know about your child – we’ll compile the information and send a book to the Ministry of Woman’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs.  Send your photos and stories by Sunday, March 12, 2011 to be included.  Please note that sending photos and stories gives Joint Council unrestricted right to use the information you provide. UPDATE: we’ve received so many emails in support that our email server has crashed!  We’ve set up an alternative email account – please start emailing your photos/stories to  Thanks for your amazing support!

3)      Share…Please send this Call to Action to family members, other adoptive parents, and everyone you know!  Post, forward and share your adoption stories via Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.  Make sure you include us in your posts so we can all hear your stories!  Here’s links to our pages: Facebook, Twitter and our blog.

4)      Stay informed: Get up-to-date information regarding the situation in Ethiopia by signing up to receive information from us:  click here to do so, make sure you choose “country and issues specific information” and “Ethiopia.”  And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our blog!

5)      Help ensure our advocacy can continue: Joint Council is a non-profit and receives no government funding.  Please join us in ensuring more children live in safe, permanent and loving families.  Donate today!

Adoption Tax Credit CLASS!

There is a wonderful resource for families to learn about the Adoption Tax Credit. If you have been wondering about it, now here is the answer. This class should answer all your questions. Check it out.

Good news for HIV kids in Ethiopia

Amid all the speculation and uncertainty in the area of adoption in Ethiopia there is also some super great news for kids with HIV. Drawn From Water has posted the good news on their blog. Check out the story here.

exerpt of the basic gist of the good news!:
(In the past)....The law has said that no one is able to access ARV medication until they are into stage 3 of the 4 stages that occur within HIV.........................Yesterday we received word that the rules have changed.  Now all children 2 and under who are diagnosed with HIV are automatically given access to Anti Retro Viral medication as soon as their tests come back!

Good news. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Difficult Adoption

Hi all,
I just wanted to let you know that there is a new upcoming blog out there that is totally dedicated to adopting the hurt child. This blog will have resources, stories and helps for those difficult times in any adoption. What do you do, how do your respond, what is my next step, what resources are out there for me????? I have great hopes that this blog will be a useful and helpful one for everyone in those sometimes common and sometimes rare instances when any adoption is difficult.
Check them out here.

I want to let you know too that there is a book associated with this blog and author!!!!! It looks good too. Check out This Means War by Cheryl Ellicot at:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Adoption news and information

Ok, you have all head the rumors. Ethiopia is reducing adoptions and will only hear 5 cases a day instead of 40. If you have been around long enough you will have lived through several of these types of announcements. You will know it is not time to panic -yet, but time to pray for the officials and the decisions. It is typical for Ethiopia to issue statements of things they are considering, and to make it sound like it is a done deal. It could happen and it could change. Both things have happened so often that I personally am hesitant to take this sort of thing to heart too quickly. Wait and see is more my speed. As of yet none of the reliable ETHIOPIA Adoption news sources have issued anything on this statement including the Department of State..... .still waiting to see what comes up. Of course, notices and alerts have been put up plenty in the past just to be taken down again. So, again, wait and see. Pray not panic.
Sure there is need for reform and they are working on it. I was encouraged by the reports given in February regarding the meeting (in January) with Ethiopia regarding adoption reform and continuation. See that post here.
None of this limiting adoptions so drastically was mentioned. The thought is that this may be a way of saying that they need more hands to do the job and are working on that. We would all agree with that. Who knows, a speculation.
So instead of panicking, it has not yet been confirmed, pray and ask your agency if they have heard of this. Then wait and pray. We will know more in a few days what is the meaning and purpose. Keep your eye on the State Dept. for official news as well as PEAREthica, JCICS, Current News for Ethiopian Adoptions.  Right now none of them have posted anything and if it is true, they WILL.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bakah's Bags a great product for a purpose

You have got to see these CUTE bags. I asked Bekah to write up something about them to post here. These would make great gifts, bags for music, that reading or art that goes in the car on long trips, a bag for a kid's quiet activity for church, school, meetings, etc. So many uses and giving to a good cause too.  She also has onsies with animals on them. If you are interested in a different country shape she can do a special order for you too. I saw she did on of Bolivia, which is so cool to me because we used to live there. So, here it is! Bekah's Bags........

I originally began making these bags to sell to fund a mission trip to Guatemala last summer. (read about it where we went here ) I loved it so much, that I decided I want to go back, so I am making bags to help raise money again! 

The Africa on these bags are all hand sewn on. I can either sew on just the outline of the Africa (like on the black bag) or use a fabric that matches the lining (like on the brown & pink bag)
"Great seller and bag! I love it. Very well made and pretty. Looking forward to using it. My daughter loves it, too."

"[My daughter] said she uses the bag I bought all the time! She loves it!"

"We own THREE and they are VERY well made! You will NOT be disappointed if you buy one!"
  I also can do custom orders. I can do different color combinations, different country/continent on front, etc. 
They are $20 plus $2.50 shipping!
You can buy the bags and see more examples here  

tax time

In case you are interested the IRS had a great page talking about the expanded adoption tax credit for 2010 and further out. Here it is or you can check them out yourself  for much more information on their site at this IRS link.

Seven Facts about the Expanded Adoption Credit

IRS Tax Tip 2011-34, February 17, 2011

You may be able to take a tax credit of up to $13,170 for qualified expenses paid to adopt an eligible child. The Affordable Care Act increased the amount of the credit and made it refundable, which means it can increase the amount of your refund.

Here are seven things the IRS wants you to know about the expanded adoption credit.

1. Beginning in tax year 2010 the credit is refundable, meaning that you can get it even if you owe no tax.
2. For tax year 2010 you must file a paper tax return and Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses, to get the credit and you must attach documents supporting the adoption.

3. Documents may include a final adoption decree, placement agreement from an authorized agency, court documents and the state’s determination for special needs children.

4. Qualified adoption expenses are reasonable and necessary expenses directly related to the legal adoption of the child. These expenses may include adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and travel expenses.

5. An eligible child must be under 18 years old, or physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself.
6. If your modified adjusted gross income is more than $182,520, your credit is reduced. If your modified AGI is $222,520 or more, you cannot take the credit.
7. Taxpayers claiming the credit will still be able to use IRS Free File to prepare their returns, but the returns must be printed and mailed to the IRS, along with all required documentation.
For more information see the Adoption Benefits FAQ page available at or the instructions to IRS Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses, which can be downloaded from the website or ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). 
Form 8839 ( PDF)
Instructions for Form 8839 ( PDF)
Adoption Benefits FAQs

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One Day Without Shoes |

One Day Without Shoes |

Check out this event. April 5th. Go without shoes.
There are two great videos on their site about this and what it does. 
Tom's will also donate a pair of shoes for every pair of shoes you buy. Good time to get those shoes you have had your eye on and do a good thing at the same time.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book Review: Tsion's Life

Tsion's Life by Stacy Bellward is a great book. I just got it and I love everything about it. The photography is awesome and each page has an Amharic word on it to teach the reader, it is the theme of the page. So, some pages are on family, friends, food, her township, etc.  This book tells about religion, language, family life, food, cultural things, school and work in the words of a child as well as pieces that are informative, and still quite interesting. This is an engaging and well put together book that will keep the attention of any age reader. A great way to learn about Ethiopia.
Amharic Kids
Related Posts with Thumbnails

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The content on The Wayfarer:Ethiopian Adoption Resource Blog is for informational purposes only. We are adoptive parents, but we are not professionals. The opinions and suggestions expressed here are not intended to replace professional evaluation or therapy, or to supersede your agency. We assume no responsibility in the decisions that families make for their children and families. There are many links on this blog. We believe these other sites have valuable information, but we do not necessarily share all of the opinions or positions represented by each site, nor have we fully researched every aspect of each link. Please keep this in mind when visiting the links from this page.
Thank You.

A Links Disclaimer

I post a lot of links. I do so because I feel that the particular page has good information and much to offer. I do not necessarily support all that each site has to say or promote. I trust you to sift the links for information you feel is worthwhile to you. Each person's story and situation are unique and different things will be useful or not useful to each one in different ways. Please use your own discretion when accessing links and information.