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!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Heritage dolls

I want to let you know about some super cute dolls that would make a great addition to your child's collection. Boys and girls can enjoy this handmade heritage doll. 
Here is a note from Lynda about A Doll's Heart. 
Lynda is a mom to 5 great kids. She and her husband adopted thier youngest back in 06 and are currently trying to bring home 1 more. During the wait for thier precious bundle to arrive she decided to start making these rag dolls that portray an adoptive child's birth country. The dolls represent 7 different countries. Each doll has her/his flag colors embordiered on its heart and it's clothes are also made to reflect their countries heritage. Proceeds from the dolls are used to bless orphaned and underpriviledged children around the world. The dolls make a great keepsake for your child's homecoming or adoption day, birthday gift, a gift for your child's first caretaker, or as a hard to find cultural doll for your child just to play with.
Here's our website:  Thanks for looking! 


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Collector dolls with Ethiopian Heritage Makeda and Saba

Another note on a doll.
American Girl had a series of dolls called Girls of Many Lands. In that collection was a doll named Saba. She came with the book by the same name by Jane Kurtz. If you can find one she would be a great doll for your collection. Not a doll to play with but one to represent heritage.
Madam Alexander has partnered to create a wonderful Ethiopian collector doll. Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, is avaliable for purchase from EthiDolls and other merchants carrying the EthiDolls. This doll company was started up by Ethiopian women who hope to give the gift of embracing their heritage to children of Ethiopian heritage. They have now expanded and a Ghanian doll has been released. It is great to see this happening.
You can see and buy her here:

Grace Center in Bahir Dar, buy a doll help a mom

It has come to my attention that some really cute rag dolls can be bought from the single moms from the Grace Center in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
You can get more information about the center at these two sites:

This is a wonderful organization which helps single moms care for and keep their children. They get job training and skills and other educational opportunities.  It is certainly worth checking out.
You can currently buy the doll from ACASA. I understand that you can buy the doll directly from Grace For Ethiopia.
Here is the doll.
ACASA also has these dolls (below) listed for sale but I do not know if they are from the same center or another. I love them.You can buy ones somewhat similar but not as cute on this site. DollsnBears. This site has a section on dolls with African heritage. It is a good resource, but mostly decorative or collector dolls.

Helping your child transition to English

Well, I have wanted to do a post on language for a while. I have finally gotten around to it.

When our boys came home they were 3. At three a child knows a lot of language and ours were HIGHLY verbal, and one quite verbose. K used complex language of a child much older (age was correct) and N used a sort of "country bumpkin" sort of speech, very cute to those who could understand it (at the guest house and drivers, etc.). They would both look to us and chatter on about whatever or ask for what they needed, in Amharic. We learned fast some key phrases to say and hear.

*Here are some of the things we did to communicate while in transition (in ET and for about 2 weeks home):
  1. picture cards/with Amharic phrases and words written on them so we could show them the picture say the Amharic and English word. 
  2. We also used a phrase and word list see this post:
*Once we were home we continued with these practices and added some other things. Because the boys were so verbal, I knew they could transfer to a higher level of English than I expected. So, I did ELL/ESL games with them for the basics: Colors and familiar items. (2 weeks home to about 3 months home)
  1. We played a lot of memory games to use words items they were likely familiar with and learn the new word.
  2. We read those baby books that have one picture on a page with a word. Trucks, Animals, Toys, Food, Etc.... I would say books with only one picture on a page are the very best, not confusing. There was lots of snuggle time with that too, and so it was fun for all of us.
  3. Using deliberate speech. Please give mommy the blue cup on the table. Please put your white socks in the dirty laundry basket. Go get your red dog from your room. The more descriptive and intentional the language the better the learning. 
  4. loads of play time and reading time
  5. Talking about everything with descriptive language. I got tired of talking.
  *Then as they got a bit more familiar I introduced letters and numbers. Thees are some of the things I used that worked best In addition to the games and books mentioned above: (three months home to about 1 year home).
  1. Leap Frog videos, games and toys (keep to the Preschool variety at first)
  2. Picture flash cards for numbers and letters (play games with these)
  3. picture dominoes (basic items like fruits or colors)
  4. number dot dominoes
  5. singing kids songs, especially ones with actions
  6. finger games and hand play rhymes and songs
  7. seek and find
  8. 20 questions, I'm thinking of a ____________ (give category)
  9. First Word cards (these have pictures and are great not just for reading but for what is this thing called). 
  10. matching games and sorting games
* Some other suggestions I have heard from parents and what they liked are:
  1. Language Wizard series
  2. Cool Cards (picture cards for learning items)
  3. brain games
  4. facial expressions cards to learn feeling words (this is a useful thing to work on, whatever method you use to teach it).
You can find many of these things at any regular game section or school supply section at Target or Walmart. You can also find them at specialty stores like those stores where Grandma buys gifts. A great place to find everything is at a teacher supply store.  I even found some great things at Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshalls. You may even have luck in the education section of Toys R Us, they have a great selection of Leap Frog.

Here are some online resources, check out Preschool, Early Child Development, creative play, readiness skills, language arts, language:|/Assortments/Lakeshore/ShopByCategory/language/viewall.jsp

Remember it is NOT how much your child knows but how much your child knows you love him or her. In our culture it is easy to get caught up in how much your kid knows but it all comes......... no need to push. Love on him or her and they will have the confidence to learn. These suggestions are for FUN. It is important to keep perspective.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

slow down and enjoy your child

As adoptive parents we tend to get caught up in making sure our kids are up to speed and are they doing ok and all that...... I like this post about what a four year old should know. It is a good reminder to slow down and enjoy life and that little kid who will soon grow up. Read it here:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Adoptive Families magazine offers free adoption guide!

New to adoption or considering an additional adoption -- or know someone who is? AF's FREE Adoption Guide app is the perfect resource for anyone who wants to learn more about starting out on adoption journeys. Get instant access to the best of AF and the best how-to-adopt tools -- right on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.   
This is a wonderful resource and perfect for anyone who is starting out in the world of adoption. This is a gift from Adoptive Families magazine. Visit them on line at:
Subscribe to the NEW ISSUE of Adoptive Families for a FREE ISSUE and get a BONUS GIFT, Growing Up Adopted!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ikea doll and a doll pattern for you to make

Some new dollies to share with you.
The first is a pattern you can download and make yourself for your children or to give away. The catch here is that you can not ever use this pattern for selling even for donations or fundraising. But, it is a cute doll. Check it out. 

Ikea has the cutest soft doll (above) for a mere $9.99. I held this doll and looked at it and it is really a nice one. I would buy it if I had anyone who remotely played with dolls anymore. They are gender neutral and could be easily for a boy or girl depending on how it is dressed. Clothes are sold as well. They come in all variety of ethnicity. I like this doll very much.

Fw: Ethica» An Independent Voice for Ethical Child Adoption

Ethica» An Independent Voice for Ethical Adoption

Ethica» An Independent Voice for Ethical Child Adoption

Posted: 22 Sep 2011 09:50 AM PDT
From USCIS: Meeting Invitation Teleconference: "Bringing Your Internationally Adopted Child to the United States" (Final Steps in the Adoption Process)  Thursday October 13, 2011 @ 1:30 pm (CST)           The USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC) invites any adoptive parents, adoption service providers and any other interested parties to participate in a national stakeholder meeting on Thursday, [...]
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011



Alexandria, Va, September 20, 2011 – Recognizing that proper nutrition is critical to every child's growth and development, The Joint Council on International Children's Services and the Mead Johnson Nutrition Foundation today announced the launch of a program dedicated to improving nutritional care for vulnerable children living without parental care around the world. Globally, millions [...]

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FW: September and October Webinars



Is It Adoption or Something Else:

Anxiety in Adopted Children and Teens


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

We provide certificates of participation - just ask!


C.A.S.E. is pleased to partner with the National Institute of Mental Health to bring you the most up to date knowledge of the understanding and treatment of childhood anxiety.


SAd boy of colorWhen a child is challenged by behaviors and symptoms of anxiety, adoptive parents often wonder if and how being adopted is part of the equation. Dr. Berman, NIMH and Ms. Riley, C.A.S.E. C.E.O. will address what parents need to know about this complex dynamic as well as how to best help their child. Effective treatment approaches that combine an adoption-competent model with recent advances in research will be explored, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and use of medication.





 Dr. Berman is a Clinical Psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD. She received her doctoral degree from Rosalind Franklin University/The Chicago Medical School. Dr. Berman was a Harvard Medical School Fellowship recipient and completed post-doctoral specialization in child and adolescent anxiety disorders at Temple University.




 Fee: $25 **Please note that this webinar is in the evening: 9:00-10:30 p.m. and the time is Eastern Standard Time.







  • Watch and listen! Participants must use their telephone AND computer to both hear and see the presentation.  Toll-free dial-in/online format enables parents to ask questions and address personal concerns during the webinar.   
  • Toll-free number, web instructions, etc. will be emailed to you  1-day in advance of webinar, upon payment and registration confirmation. Please be sure  to check your spam/junk mail for invitation!






Talking with Children about Adoption


Thursday, October 27, 2011

9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

We provide certificates of participation - just ask! 

At C.A.S.E., our motto is "Talking is good for everyone." Please join

adoption-competent therapist and educator, Ellen Singer, LCSW-C for one of our most requested presentation topics.


Dad talking to kidsParents often lack confidence when it comes to discussing adoption with their children. This webinar teaches parents what children think and feel about adoption at different developmental stages and how to share their child's adoption story. Ms. Singer will address participants' specific concerns and questions regarding "what, when and how" to share difficult/sensitive information as well as how to respond to children's questions. Participants will learn how to initiate comfortable communication with children who do not ask questions. Learn about 52 Ways to Talk about Adoption, a new game C.A.S.E. created to facilitate family discussion of adoption. 


Fee: $25 **Please note that this webinar is in the evening: 9:00-10:30 p.m. and the time is Eastern Standard Time.



  • Watch and listen! Participants must use their telephone AND computer to both hear and see the presentation.  Toll-free dial-in/online format enables parents to ask questions and address personal concerns during the workshop.  
  • Toll-free number, web instructions, etc. will be emailed to you 1-day in advance of webinar, upon payment and registration confirmation. Please be sure to check your spam/junk mail for invitation!








We have webinars scheduled through December 2011!


All workshops and groups require pre-registration!

We provide certificates of participation - just ask!

For more information and to register, 
visit our Program Calendar on our website at
Join Our Mailing List!
Center for Adoption Support & Education
4000 Blackburn Lane, Ste. 260
Burtonsville, MD 20866

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hi all. I am re posting this notice with permission. I hope that as a community we can come up with some answers for this family. I know any of us in the same situation would hope to find a sibling. I have verified this and it is real, a real family with four great kids. Here is the notice:

If you know anyone who has adopted from ET, please re-post. We are searching for our sons' birth sister. This little girls' given name is Ajoash (sp?). She was adopted between late 2004 and mid 2005 by a family in America. She is probably between 9 & 11 years old. Only about 500-600 children were adopted from Ethiopia to the U.S. during that time period, so we are hopeful that we may be able to connect with her and her family. Please send me any info/questions at
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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.