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, October 18, 2011

Is It an Adoption thing? Adoption seminar


Is It An Adoption Thing?
Expert advice on child development and adoption
Wednesday, November 2, 20117:00 - 8:00 PM Central Time Q & A: 8:00 - 8:30 PMCost: $15
Take Is it an adoption thing Webinar

When your child exhibits challenging or frustrating behaviors, do you:  (a) Immediately assume it's related to his adoption history? (b) Not even consider adoption? (c) Struggle to determine when to point to adoption and when to assume it's just kid's stuff?

Because many families struggle with the difficult task of sorting out if behaviors and challenges are adoption related or not, we've asked an expert to help!

Join Dr. Gregory Keck, Director of the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio, as he discusses the impact of adoption and trauma on child development.
This webinar will:
  • Discuss common challenging behaviors adopted children may exhibit at each developmental stage.
  • Offer real life examples and suggestions for handling these behaviors
  • Examine effective and ineffective parenting tools

Your purchase confirmation email will include a link to submit questions to Dr. Keck.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

7:00 - 8:00 PM Central Time
Q & A: 8:00 - 8:30 PM Central Time
(Start Time: 7:00PM Central, 8:00PM Eastern, 5:00PM Pacific)
Join the conversation on Twitter at @adoptiontweet using #isitadoption

Co-Sponsored By:

Course fee: $15
Learn More about Webinars
Take Adoption Basics for the Classroom webinar ========================================================================
Note that the audio for the live webinar can be heard over the phone or through your computer speakers. If you choose to listen through your computer, we strongly recommend external speakers. If you call in by phone, it is a toll call. There are no refunds or exchanges for the webinar once you have purchased it. If you are unable to make the "live" session, there is a recorded version for no additional charge, but you must register for the live event in order to access the recorded version. The recorded version is only available in Windows Media File format and broadcasts over your computer speakers.

A certificate of attendance will be issued in the name(s) on your ALP account. A certificate will only be issued to those who attend the live event and will be emailed within two weeks of the event. ALP is not offering CEUs for this webinar. There is no certificate available for those who only view the recorded version.
Course fee: $15
Take is it an adoption thing webinar

USCIS post Bringing your adopted child into the US

Teleconference USCIS guide on Bringing your adopted child into the United States. This would be a good read for information. Anyone who is expecting to bring their children home in the next several months should read this.

Confirmation of Orphange closures in ET

Notice: Confirmation of Orphanage Closures in Ethiopia

Ethiopian government officials confirmed the closure of several orphanages in the Southern Nations state due to revocation of the orphanages' operational licenses. Each orphanage in Ethiopia receives an operational license that the Charities and Societies Administration administers and monitors to ensure compliance with Ethiopian regulations. This is an update to the previous Adoption Notice posted on August 3, 2011.
These orphanages are:
  • SOS Infants Ethiopia (Arbaminch, Dila and Awassa branches)
  • Gelgella Integrated Orphans (Tercha and Durame branches)
  • Bethzatha Children's Home Association (Sodo, Hosaena, Dila, Haidya, Durame, and Hawassa branches)
  • Ethio Vision Development and Charities (Dila and Hawassa branches)
  • Special Mission for Community Based Development (Hosaina branch)
  • Enat Alem Orphanage (Awassa branch)
  • Initiative Ethiopia Child and Family Support (Hawassa branch)
  • Resurrection Orphanage (Hosaina branch)
  • Musie Children's Home Association (Hadiya, Hosaina, Dila, and Kenbata branches)
  • Organization for Gold Age (Kucha, Dila, Hawassa branches)
  • Hidota Children's Home Association (Soto branch)
  • Biruh Alem Lehisanat, Lenatochina Aregawiyan (Hosaina branch)
According to officials in the Charities and Societies Agency office, which oversees the licensing and regulation of orphanages in Ethiopia, the children in the care of those facilities have already been transferred to other orphanages.
Ethiopian officials indicate that cases involving orphaned children from these facilities which are already pending with the Federal First Instance court will continue to move forward. The Embassy in Addis Ababa is working closely with Ethiopian officials to determine if children from these facilities who had been previously referred for matches will be allowed to continue in the adoption process. Regional officials have confirmed that the affected children's case files are currently being reviewed on a case by case basis by regional Ministry of Women's Affairs offices.
We continue to ask prospective adoptive parents and agencies that are hearing news of specific closures to inform the Department. Please send any specific information regarding orphanage closures to with the subject line "Ethiopia Orphanage Closures."
Prospective and adoptive parents are encouraged to remain in contact with their adoption service provider to stay up-to-date on any information pertinent to their individual case. The Department will post any confirmation on as we receive it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Empowered to Connect Conference, two locations

Empowered to Connect Conference
Presented by
 Show Hope logo

(Note from the Wayfarer blog author: We attended this event last Spring. It is well worth your time and money, even if you have to travel to attend. This is a great conference for anyone who has adopted or will be adopting children from anywhere at any age. You know the book, The Connected Child. Now hear the author speak on issues of adoption, attachment, adoption parenting, trauma, etc. You won't be sorry you went. )

  So we are excited to announce two new conferences coming in the spring of 2012! The conference will be arriving in Dallas and returning to Denver:
February 17-18, 2012 - Irving Bible Church - Dallas, TX
April 20-21, 2012 - Mission Hills Church - Denver, CO 
ETC video v2
Register today and help us spread the word about these conferences! Please forward this to anyone you know who could benefit from these conferences, whether they be pre-adoptive or post-adoptive families, friends, teachers, ministry leaders, or professionals.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Blessings on your journey,
Show Hope and Empowered to Connect

Empowered to Connect:
                 Show Hope:
Like Show Hope on Facebooktwitter Like Show Hope on Facebooktwitter

Learn more at the following websites:

Adoption photography

From time to time I am contacted by persons who want to link or advertise with The Wayfarer. Many of them have nothing to do with adoption or Ethiopia. Some are spam. Others, like this one, prove to be very quality and worthwhile. Take a look at her web site and I think you will be impressed, as I was, by the simple beauty of her photography. So, I now introduce Pink Flower Photography, adoption package
Adoption photography is an area I am deeply passionate about.  Since I was young, living and traveling overseas working with children has been something I have been constantly pursuing.  Previously living in Africa for a short time has allowed me the experience of third world countries, working with various cultures, teaching children in the schools, and of course photographing lives.   
This year I have the privilege of introducing adoption photography as an option for families. This photography package allows you to fully be in the moment while I am working behind the scenes capturing every aspect. While I am able to travel with you for the entirety of the trip, I am there not just to photograph but assist you with your new child overseas and the entire trip home. 
When the trip is completed you will received a disk with all your hand edited images ready to be printed and shared. 
I am excited to be part of your journey and would love to work with you.  If you are interested in more information please feel free to visit my website ( or email me ( ).

Caitlyn Hofmaster

Nairobi review, new group

With all the new USCIS reviews that are ultimately good for adoption and good for our conscience...... and still highly frustrating and vague and long........ there are a handful of families who's child's case is being moved to the USCIS office in Nairobi. That means that there is more in depth investigation needed before the child is declared truly available for adoption, and able to immigrate to the US with their adoptive family. (I certainly hope that they figure out how to get this done BEFORE the child passes court and is, in the eyes of Ethiopian government, legally the child of the US parents!). Anyway, for those who are among those navigating this ordeal, there is a facebook page for you.

Join and get some answers from others navigating the same muddy waters. Maybe, things will clear up faster with many working together.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

USCIS announcement regarding I-600 petitions

This is what seems to be holding up many an adoption. Be sure to do your paperwork the way they want it. If your agency is not giving you the correct info you need to insist they do.

Notice: Information regarding processing of Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, Filed at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa

In January,April and September, 2011, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, the Office of Children’s Issues of the Department of State, and the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) conducted public meetings for adoption service providers (ASPs), adoptive parents, and other stakeholders to address concerns about the quality and completeness of intercountry adoption cases presented in Ethiopia. To ensure prompt adjudication and avoid concerns about possible malfeasance, it is important that I-600 petitions (Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative) and accompanying evidence be fully and carefully prepared before presentation to the Embassy.
Approximately 80% of I-600 petitions submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa in recent months were incomplete, contained inconsistencies or errors, or did not contain sufficient evidence to document the child as an orphan under U.S. law. In addition, the Embassy continues to see cases which involve abandoned children but do not include sufficient evidence to document the abandonment and/or evidence of appropriate efforts to locate a child’s birth family. The Embassy also has received evidence of unethical recruitment of children from birth relatives and cases involving known birth parents from whom parental rights have not been severed by the Ethiopian courts. In these cases, consular officers in Addis will need to take additional measures to confirm that a child meets the legal definition of orphan, which could delay processing by several months.
The Department of State and USCIS remind all families interested in adopting from Ethiopia that consular officers are required to forward any I-600 petition that is not “clearly approvable” to the USCIS Field Office in Nairobi for adjudication.
For families that already have an I-600 petition on file at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, consular staff will advise them when a determination is made to approve the petition and the case may be scheduled for an immigrant visa interview in Addis Ababa, or when the petition is not “clearly approvable” and forwarded to USCIS Nairobi for adjudication. Upon receipt of a petition,” USCIS in Nairobi will notify the parents that the case has been received and issue any requests for additional evidence if necessary. Families can find more information about processing I-600 petitions referred to USCIS Nairobi at under “Adoption/Country Information.”
It should be noted that, although this update specifically addresses I-600 petitions filed with the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, USCIS sees similar problems with I-600 petitions filed with the USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC). Families can contact NBC at
If families have concerns about their adoption, we ask that they share this information with the Embassy, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to their cases. The Embassy takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously.
The best way to contact the Embassy on issues related to adoption is by email at Please include your name, your child's name, your adoption agency, the date of the adoption (month and year), and, if possible, the immigrant visa case number for your child's case (this number begins with the letters ADD followed by several numbers and can be found on any document sent to you by the National Visa Center). Please let us know if we have your permission to share concerns about your specific case with Ethiopian government officials and any other person or entity.
We strongly encourage you to register any complaint that you may have about an adoption agency in the following ways:
  • You may file a complaint with the state licensing authority where your adoption agency is licensed and conducts business. The Child Welfare Information Gateway, which is maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services, provides such a list at the link below:
  • You may also file a report with the state's Better Business Bureau. Following is the link to the Better Business Bureau's website where you may file a complaint on-line:
  • If your agency is a Hague-accredited adoption service provider, you may file a complaint on the Hague Complaint Registry located at the link below. While Ethiopia is not a Convention country, the ASP’ practice in a non-Convention country may impact its substantial compliance. The U.S. Embassy continues to work with the Government of Ethiopia to ensure that appropriate safeguards exist to protect prospective adoptive children, their birth parents, and prospective adoptive parents.
We encourage prospective and adoptive parents to remain in contact with their adoption service provider to stay up-to-date on any information pertinent to their individual case. The Department will post relevant information on as we receive it.
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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.