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, December 17, 2012

Helping our children through trauma triggers

Dear C.A.S.E. families and colleagues,

Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School and the entire community of Newtown as they face the loss of innocent children and their educational leaders. This weekend we have all asked ourselves how and why this could happen and what can we do to ensure the safety of our children? As parents, we are grappling with how we can help them understand and most importantly feel safe, secure and protected in the midst of such unimaginable violence. 

The staff at C.A.S.E. is acutely aware that many of your children have been impacted by childhood trauma. The effects of the tragedy in Newtown can trigger early memories of their experiences. We must listen to our children during this unsettling time and affirm their feelings. We must keep their lives as predictable as possible. We must hug them, love them and assure our children that we will take care of them and keep them safe.

Our clinical staff is here to help your family during this difficult time. We are available by phone for guidance and affirmation and will provide a responsive availability for appointments in all of our offices.  Click here for a list of resources to read that can help you and your family.

Talking about this event will be difficult and painful. No matter how hard we try, we cannot make sense of something profoundly senseless. As parents we must create a guiding light to lead our children out of the scary darkness. We must initiate the conversation as caregivers and parents and address conflicting thoughts and questions circling their minds. We must also be aware that their ability to comprehend the complexities of this tragedy will need to be tailored to their developmental level.

On behalf of our staff and Board of Directors at C.A.S.E., our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the families in Newtown, Connecticut.

Debbie Riley, LCMFT
CEO, The Center for Adoption Support and Education
The Center for Adoption Support & Education
4000 Blackburn Lane, Suite 260
Burtonsville, Maryland 20866
The Center for Adoption Support & Education

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Attachment: Why it matters. New DVD by Empowered to Connect.

Posted: 15 Nov 2012 11:46 AM PST
Dr. Karyn Purvis and the Institute of Child Development have released their latest DVD entitled Attachment: Why It Matters
This new DVD explores the critical role of attachment in a child’s development. Most of us think of attachment as a loving bond between parent and child. But, what happens if a child doesn’t get nurturing, consistent care from a loving parent early in life? Can a parent love a child or a child love a parent, but still not feel securely connected? And what are the consequences of insecure attachments?
In this 2-disk set, adoptive parents share their struggles and successes in pursuit of answers to these all-important questions. Specifically, they point to their willingness to make sense of their own attachment histories as the key to helping them become better parents. In addition, experts (such as Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. David Cross, and Dr. Dan Siegel) share fascinating and encouraging research, particularly in the field of neuroscience, that reveals how secure attachments can help counter the effects of early trauma. Secure relationships can promote new brain growth and biologically improve a child’s ability to regulate his or her emotions and behavior. Furthermore, secure attachments dramatically shape a child’s sense of security and how well a child learns to trust – for the rest of his or her life.
This new DVD has over three hours of content and is being offered by the Institute at a special introductory price of $45 for a limited time (Regular Price $65).  Click here to order your copy of Attachment: Why It Matters today!
Watch the trailer below for a peek at Attachment: Why It Matters.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Birthdays...... a confession

You know how you feel when you are first married, it is sort of like playing house when you are a kid. Well, it was for me. The same thing happened when my first child was born. It was like playing dolls but she was real and she screamed and I could never put her away. In time both things became my normal life and I quickly felt like I was not playing pretend. In some ways birthdays for my adopted sons feel similar. I did not bear them, their birthday does not hold the same emotion for me as it does for my bio kids. For one of my son's we have enough info that I can make up what it may have been like, it bears some similarities to things I know. This is helpful for me, recreating a birth I was not part of. Making it real in my heart. Feeling the feelings of his birth mother and incorporating her love for our son into my own love for him. The other one is a totally made up birthday. It is unlikely that it is the day he was born, it is likely not anywhere close. No one will ever know. There is no significant information or knowledge to create a memory of early life. Suspicions, but even those bear no similarity to anything in my box of experience. This makes it harder to relate. But, it is the day we have chosen to celebrate his life. That is real. As real as the fact that he was born. Real as the love his birth mother must have had for him. Real as the love I certainly have for him. But when it comes around it just is not the same.............. Something I must fight to overcome in my own heart and mind. Something I must never let on to him or any of the other children. Something, I pray will be loosed to the winds of time by next year. I want to feel like it is real. For me, for him.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

FDA alert for codine

I just read this article directly from the FDA and think it is worth you all reading and printing off and giving to your child's pediatrician and any other medical caregiver who may have cause to prescribe codeine for your child. Apparently some studies have shown that some pepole have a genetic process in their liver/blood that turns codeine in to morphine naturally. This can cause sever reactions including death in children. Interestingly enough the HIGHEST rate of this occuring is with African/Ethiopian people. This is at 29% as opposed to any other people group in the test which ranged from 6.5 % to 1%. I would say that this warrants a high precaution for your child who is Ethiopian.
Read the article here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ESL and the internationally adopted child

So, your child is going to school. Does he or she understand English? Language acquasition for fluency takes 5-7 years. There are dependant factors; how old the child is when introduced to the new language, are they becoming bilingual (maintaining first language take more effort and so new language aquasition takes longer), how old the child was upon starting to learn the new language, etc....
ELL departments are set up for kids who live in a bilingual world. There are different challenges for kids who do not. Here is an excellent article that addresses the ELL in school piece of the puzzle.

Friday, June 15, 2012

IMPORTANT travel informaion. No Skype use or is it accurate?

This news just out all over the internet. Ethiopia has apparently banned the use of Skype and other voice communication via the Internet. In fact it is a crime and punishable. You will want to take this into account when you are planning your travel.

"The country’s government recently ushered in new legislation that criminalises the use of services such as Skype, Google Talk and other forms of Internet phone calling.
The new law, which came into effect on 24 May, makes use of Internet voice services punishable by hefty fines and up to 15 years in prison."

Read the whole report, here are the articles:

The BBC on this

Despite all the news channels proclaiming that this is real......
Another blog claims that they have investigated this and found it to be exaggerated and not as wide sweeping as believed. I don't know if this is accurate, but it is worth a read. It sounded plausable to me. Check out the news on this Ethiopia blog.
Apparently the final word is not out yet, but you may be able to use Skype after all! Maybe...............

You would be wise to check with your agency and follow their guidelines irregardless. Just to be safe. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

End of school = feelings of abandonment ?

The end of a school session, whether for a short break or summer vacation, can bring a load of feelings to the surface for any child. Some kids are just so glad that school is out they give little thought to what they will miss about it. Summer or any break is the best! Other kids love school and are sad to go for a variety of reasons, missing friends, a good teacher, fear of the unknown of next year, slow adjusters to change, etc. These are all very normal for any child. For an adopted child there may be one added reason to be sad school is over, abandonment. What? Oh, it may not be the case for every kid, nor even the majority, but for some, this is as real as school itself.
I recently had the opportunity to sort this out with one of my own, trying to put myself in his shoes for a while. Imagine that you once lived with a loving family who (for whatever reason is apt to your child) sent them to a facility with a lot of children and a few grown ups (orphanage but also school), you now have grief which translates into fear of going to school at all, anxiety and nervous energy with no real good outlet. Oh, no you say, my child asked to go to school, he loves it. Yep, so did mine, sometimes it works, other times, not so well. That desire came from the hopes and dreams painted for them by those adults in Ethiopia. When you go to America you will go to school, lucky child! Or maybe from seeing older kids go and the natural desire to be like older siblings. This often translates into some anxiety that seems to stem from no where. Abandonment. Ok, so we get to the end of the year, our child understands his permanence in our family, no longer worried about school. Just in time, school is out and he crashes in a heap of tears and sadness. What? Is this attachment? Does he love is teacher more than mom? Is he just overly sensitive to change, etc? Well, maybe yes, but more likely no. Abandonment. Yep, remember he once lived at a place full of kids and a few grown ups. Then it was his turn to go with his forever family, leaving what he had finally somewhat adjusted to and he never saw any of them again.............. subconscious abandonment, will this happen this time too? No, not this time. But, what if you move? This child could relive his trauma again and will need you to explain that it is ok to grieve, ok to feel sad, to cry and say what he is afraid of. You can remind him that in the midst of change that is every so hard, good still comes. Look for it and be glad when it comes. Love lives in your heart forever even when you are not with those who you love.
Ok, so your child has been home a year or two and this has not come up. So, we are all good, home free, right? Maybe. Maybe not. This happened for our little one, for the first time, after four years home. You never know when those old feelings and scars will pop back up to stir things up. You never know, be prepared, eyes wide open. Talk openly when/if they come up and  things settle a lot faster. No, I don't think it is feeding them ideas, I think it is giving words to feelings that are buried so deep they are like a big cloud of confusion. Name it, talk about it, it becomes manageable.

Adoptive Families on line magazine

Adoptive Families is a really great web magazine. I want to share it with you in hopes that you will find it useful. Go ahead and subscribe for yourself. This month find articles on Doctors, life books, attachment, racism, to name a few. Check it out for yourself.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

CNN news story about African adoptions

CNN front page article on African adoptions. This is an interesting article, vague and not very well founded, but worth consideration, and touches on the idea that some regulation is needed. Yes, it is needed, but not to halt it all. Protect the children, yes, we all want that. No one wants to adopt a child who was kidnapped, trafficked, or sold. No one.
Interesting read.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Want to know something about the 147 million orphans needing homes?

If you are just starting out on the road of international adoption I HIGHLY recommend reading this article by a fellow adoptive mama and blogger. This is going to give you a very realistic idea of who is adoptable, who is waiting and needing a family and some of what parenting that child could potentially entail.

Monday, May 21, 2012

How to choose an agency in this era of uncertainty

Choosing an agency in this adoption climate is a tricky business. Time consuming, stressful, uncertain. You can do your part by checking into the following sites to be sure you have done all you can. You can not be too careful. You also must have a great deal of faith.

Yahoo. Ethiopian Adoption Agency Reviews
How to research agencies for adoption
lists of agencies licensed to work in Ethiopia
Gov site on Intercountry adoption. Ethiopia
Ethiopia embassy site

Check out my other posts on this topic as well.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Country specific adoption info: Ethiopia

The Government has published a new alert and notice regarding Ethiopian adoptions. Please see their page for complete details.

The basic contents are:
U.S. non-immigrant and immigrant visa application fees have changed
Escort Cases
Entry Visas
Screening Backgrounds
Expedited Processing
Processing of the Not Clearly Approvable (NCA) cases
Police and birth relative interviews as part of the Form I-604 investigation
Pre-Adoption Immigration Review

General Discussion - Trends in the Ethiopian adoption.
  1. A rise in the number of abandonment's vs. relinquishment's.
  2. Groups of children being relinquished from the same community at the same time.
  3. Adoption contracts being signed before the child is relinquished.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Certificate of Citizenship and IR 3 visa. Name. Date of Birth.

USCIS on Certificate of Citizenship:

Your IR-3/IH-3 child has not received a Certificate of Citizenship

  • If your child was admitted with an IR-3/IH-3 visa, but has not yet received his or her Certificate of Citizenship and it has been more than 50 days since admission, we will send you further instructions, please contact:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
130 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York, 14202
Attn: CCA Unit

Your child’s name changed and does not match the Certificate of Citizenship

Your child’s name on Certificate of Citizenship is incorrect or contains misspellings

  • The name on your child’s certificate may not agree with how you want it to appear
  • The information on your child’s certificate is the same as the information on your child’s legal documents in the Immigrant Data Summary issued by the American Consulate
    • USCIS can not legally change your child’s name. That must be done through court proceedings.
  • If the U.S. Embassy, Consulate or USCIS made an error, it will be corrected without fee
    • Please file a Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document, with a written explanation of the error, mail the original Certificate of Citizenship and 2 new photos to: 
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
130 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York, 14202
Attn: CCA Unit
  • If there was an error on our part, we will correct it without fee.  However, if the information provided during the Form I-600 adjudication and visa issuance shows the child’s legal name to be the same as on in the Certificate of Citizenship, another certificate may not be issued

The date of birth on my child’s Certificate of Citizenship is incorrect

  • The date of birth on your child’s certificate may not match the age you believe your child to be
  • The information on your child’s certificate is the same information on the child’s legal documents which were submitted to generate the biographical information in the Immigrant Data Summary issued by the U.S. Embassy or consulate
  • We must use the age as it appears in the legal documents, as received from the evidence presented to USCIS or U.S. Embassy or consulate
  • If USCIS determines that the U.S. Embassy, consulate, or USCIS made an error, it will be corrected without fee.  However, if the information provided during the Form I-600 adjudication and visa issuance shows the child’s legal age to be in the same as on the Certificate of Citizenship, another certificate may not be issued.
  • You may file Form N-565, Application for Replacement of Naturalization/Citizenship Document. Follow the directions on the form on where to file this application
  • Be sure to include the proper fee and evidence of your child’s age. The Form N-565 can be found at the website
Note:  Even if USCIS cannot change its official records concerning your child’s date of birth, the law of your State of residence may permit you to obtain an amended birth record or other evidence of a different birth date.  You may use that State document, to the extent permitted by State law, to prove your child’s legal age.

We lost my child’s Certificate of Citizenship

  • If your child’s certificate is lost or destroyed you may file Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document, with fee.  Follow the directions on the form on where to file this application.
  • Be sure to include the proper fee and evidence of your child’s legal name. The Form N-565 can be found at the website

We adopted more than one child, and have not received all of their certificates

  • The visas of sibling groups of children who entered together may have been separated during the certificate preparation process.  Each child’s certificate will be mailed separately.  Please allow 50 days from the date of entry into the United States for the receipt of all the certificates.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


If you are interested in African American or Ethiopian dolls, you HAVE got to go over to this blog and check out her Barbies she made in to Ethiopian dolls. They are fantastic and she even shows you how to do it. Very cool.

Interesting article regarding racial issues and the Hunger Games

As parents of ethnic minority children, this article is a must read. Just when we have the hope that our children will live in a less racist world.............. the truth is exposed in a very disturbing way. OK, I know, things are better than in our history, but deep down inside, I think we all hope that people are more open and accepting than they really are. This article is worth a read.

And, here is a question if you are so inclined to answer in the comments....
When do you have that first talk with your child about discrimination and what they might face? Before or after they have their first encounter?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wall Street journal article

Here is an interesting article on Ethiopian adoption. It was published in some Wall Street Journal publications.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

travel advisories

For your information and to help you plan your trip to Ethiopia. Here is the Brittish travel advice page which has great info on it for Ethiopia.

Here is the link to the current info from the US government.

Have safe and fun trip!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mark Beal Colorado Springs area therapist

I know a few families who have used Mark's services at various times. All have wonderful reviews to give of him. I would suggest checking his office out if you are in need of a therapist for adoption or challenging issues with your kids.

Mark C. Beal, M.S.W., L.S.W., has a unique perspective working with challenging children. He views challenging children through the lens of a foster and adoptive parent, and as a mental health professional. He is a licensed social worker practicing in his own agency, The Child Attachment and Recovery Enterprise (C.A.R.E.), Inc. In addition, Mark sees challenging children through the personal lens of being an adopted child himself who has successfully completed a Master’s degree.
Mark’s passion is to equip parents with tools to meet the unique needs of challenging children. He speaks from experience and from the heart.
Mark is excited about teaching, training, and supporting parents with challenging children. He has given presentations on how to cope with difficult, defiant, and/or diagnosed children to school districts, colleges, child placement agencies, residential treatment facilities, parent support groups, mental health professionals, and foster/adoptive parents.
Mark received his Master’s degree from the University of Denver in Family Therapy and Trauma. He interned as a counselor in a school-based clinic and as a therapist in a county drug and alcohol clinic. He also has worked as a Mental Health Technician at a psychiatric hospital and residential treatment facility supporting teens and children diagnosed with RAD, ODD, Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, ADHD, and also with those teens and children who are sex offenders.
Mark is an experienced presenter as he has worked as a professional actor/director for twenty-three years. He lived internationally for over nine years, including two years supervising teens on drama teams traveling throughout Australia, New Zealand, Papua, New Guinea, Pakistan, and India. Mark moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1991, to supervise the drama teams traveling throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. Mark, and his wife of 25 years, continue to live with their three adoptive children in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Mark is now a certified trainer for Advanced Parenting for Challenging Children. If you are interested in contacting Mark to ask questions or schedule an Advanced Parenting seminar, his address is:

Mark C. Beal, M.S.W., L.S.W.
The Child Attachment and Recovery Enterprise (C.A.R.E.), Inc.
P.O. Box 25184
Colorado Springs, CO 80936
(719) 338-3537

Monday, March 12, 2012

Binyam's Big Trip: book

I just heard about this new book. I have not yet read it, but it sounds like a great addition to the family library.
Check out Binyam's Big Trip:

You can contact the authors and order the book at the above link. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chimpanzee Disney Nature movie

This looks like a winner of a film. The adopiton of a chimpanzee by his new daddy. Very sweet and heart warming. I want to see it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Attachement focus seminar

As important as it is there is never enough we can do to learn about and implement attachment for our kids. If you are recently home, soon to travel or just needing a little help or reminders about how to connect with your adopted kids, this is a seminar that would benefit you. 

This is what they say about the seminar:
The presentation will focus on the Circle of Security® Intervention for caregiver-child relationships, a prevention and early-intervention protocol that is thoroughly based on attachment theory and research.
The Circle of Security protocol has been found to be especially helpful for foster and adoptive parents, and for the professionals who support those placements. In a manner similar to this workshop, the intervention is especially effective because it uses review of videotaped parent-child interactions to coach parents in understanding the complex and often puzzling cues and behaviours used by foster and adopted children.
William Whelan Psy.D. will be the speaker for this two day event. 

Circle of Security Seminar
March 15 professionals, 8:30-4
March 16 parents and care providers 9-3
Anshutz Medical Campus
If your rsvp you will have a lunch provided for you.
You can get more information and the link to register through the following link.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Photos to send to your child

Photo books are a question everyone of us have to consider at some point in this process. What do we send? A lot of it depends on what your agency allows, so find out first. Second, you will need to determine what is appropriate for the age and ability of your child. Remember that kids in orphanages tend to be younger in some respects and older in others. They have not likely had experience with toys and photos. This makes them on the younger scale here.

There are a lot of cool options for kids of all ages.
For a child over the age of 5 you could:
  1. Send a paper album like one you make on Snapfish or Photobucket and that sort of online photo storing and crafting site. A good binding is important because of use. Spiral bound pages may tear out more easily. 
  2. You can make your own on Publisher or some such program, or use a digital scrapbook tool. You can take the file on a disk or zip/thumb drive to a printer and have it printed. Usually these are spiral bound but could be done as individual pages and put into a book with plastic sleeves.
  3. You could make one your self in an actual album with slip in sleeves or creative memory style. I would strongly suggest using page protectors and taping the tops shut for retention. 
  4. Laminate the photos with your words on the back of each photo, use fun paper. Put them on a ring and lanyard so your child can carry his or her new family with them everywhere.  Use wallet sized photos. You can have any photo printed in that size.
This is a photo of our son wearing his laminated photos on a ring on a lanyard.

For the toddler/preschool set you could:
  1. Use any of the ideas from the baby set, all would be very appropriate, other than the cube which would turn into a ball. The Sesame Street albums linked at the end of the post are a cute idea for this age group.
  2. The laminated photo idea from above.
  3. I would suggest not using paper for this age group. Preschool maybe, but certainly not toddler.
For babies, there are TONS of great ideas out there.
  1. The laminated idea from above NO lanyard. I would choose a plastic ring. 
  2. You could even put the laminated photos into another album that is fabric or soft plastic.
  3. You can make a fabric photo book. Or you can buy one. Amazon has tons of cute ones available. See links at end of post.
  4. Vtech has a talking album that is super cool. If you are allowed this it is awesome. It lets your child learn your voice too.
  5. Fabric photo cube. This is cute and good for a baby or very young toddler. It does not require page turning and can be held. However, it is stuffed. Stuffed things are often discouraged and removed because they harbor germs, bacteria and bugs. They are hard to wash and dry adequately by hand. Check with the care center first before sending this otherwise very cool photo idea.

Here are some links for some of the soft photo books on Amazon (I am sure other places have them too!) Most of them hold 4-6 photos behind a plastic cover.
(the one in the photo here, house album)
(photo to the right, with leaves)

This one holds 12 photos and the pages are tear resistant and soft!!! (Star album photo to the right.) 

This one holds 20-36 photos and is a better idea for preschoolers or older toddlers as the interior pages are just the slip in plastic sleeves. Super cute!!!! Sesame street friends, photo to the right.

There are a couple cute ones for the big brother and big sister if that applies to you. Good idea to get them used to the idea.These hold 12.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Survey on Intercountry Adoption USCIS

The U.S. Citizenship and Nationalization Service (USCIS) today launched a survey to receive feedback on the experiences of adoptive families when interacting with U.S. government officials during the intercountry adoption process. This represents a great opportunity to help improve the current process. All questions should be answered based on a family's personal experience with U.S. government officials (not with adoption agency representatives) . Note that the responses will be consolidated and presented in a cumulative format. No personal identifying information will be divulged.

Results received by February 14 at 5:00pm will be made available to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for use in an upcoming roundtable on intercountry adoption. The survey will remain open until March 1.

If you are an adoptive parent or prospective adoptive parent, please use the following link: 8Xe3f

If you represent an adoption agency, please use the following link: 8Xe4h

There is a great deal of confusion as to where this survey actually originates. They state above that this is from USCIS. However, it would seem that it is not directly from USCIS.  This survey is being conducted by a group called Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.   For more information about them here is the link.
"The Senate Foreign Relations Committee opened this survey to gather information from adoptive families, potential adoptive families and adoption service providers about their experience with the U.S. government during the adoption process. It represents a unique opportunity for the adoption community to inform U.S. government policy makers about their experiences and express their opinions regarding the services provided by the U.S. government."

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Movies and real life: How To Train A Dragon

So, some of us just watch movies, others of us watch them for links to our own lives and those we care for. Well, we are watching How To Train A Dragon. That is a great movie. If you have adopted kids who have had a difficult transition, or have kids who for one reason or another need some special care.... well, you could relate to this movie. We could call it how to civilize the child or how to make part of your family a new child who is afraid of committment. Lots of titles could fit. Next time you watch this movie with your kids, take note of how much like Hiccup we are as parents and how much our kids are like those dragons. In the end if we learn to stand up for ourselves and those we love then we will be trustworthy, a team and much stronger together than we ever were apart. Hmmm, maybe this could be applied to marriage as well. You know men and women are as different as vikings and dragons.
See what you think the next time you see How To Train A Dragon.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CCOPARC Conference Deadline February 15, 2012!

This looks like a good conference. This year it is on strengthening family attachments and relationships.
Check it out fast, the deadline is fast approaching! Feb 15!


 COPARC’s Annual Spotlight Conference
April 28, 2012 - Thornton, Colorado


Professionals and parents, we welcome your proposal submission!

Proposals for a 90 minute workshop should focus on the theme of relationships and improving family attachments and support systems for families who have adopted through the child welfare system. Exhibit table space is also available to provide information and resources to families.

For more information please contact Lucretia Miller at
Click here for more information on call for papers and exhibit table registration.

Call For Papers update

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Friday, January 27, 2012


What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Adopted kids have all experienced trauma of one sort or another. The possibilities are many. Death of parent, siblings; moving caregivers due to death or parent's inability to care for the child; abandonment/relinquishment; abduction; orphanage life (the possibililities here are endless); neglect; abuse (of many kinds); adoption (loosing ALL and having to adjust to new everything, most often alone and in another language without the cognitive ability to understand it); illness and surgery; malnutrition/starvation. These things and countless more are traumatic events for our kids. Trauma has an impact. It is real and it is serious. Give it the attention it needs to help your child.

Of course not all trauma leads to PTSD. Sometimes it does. How do you know?
There are a bunch of great resources out there. I have many listed here on this blog.
A good place to start is a basic check list.

Then learn about what it is and how it effects your child and their development.
Here are some more good resources for that:


This site is a wealth of information and these Articles are well worth the read. Please take some time to look over this site and read these articles. They will help you think about this topic.

Beyond Consequences

Have you heard of Beyond Consequences? Well here is your opportunity to learn more. Attend one of the Beyond Consequences seminars and start new parenting this year. It could be a turning point for you and your kids. 

Here is what you will gain from this event:
  • Learn how to connect with even the most difficult and resistant child.

  • Defeat negative and contradictory beliefs about your child’s future.

  • Understand fears about implementing a parenting model that is void of parental consequences.

  • See the fear behind statements like, “You can’t make me” or “You’re not my real mom.”

  • Learn how to help a child at his core emotional level during times of defiance, aggression, and disrespect.

  • See why children and trauma histories are sensitive to stress. Reclaim your own self-love and understand your reactivity that can be beyond your own understanding.

  • Find hope.
For more information on Beyond Consequences and to find a seminar near you go to:

Pray For the Horn

One Million People
to Pray for 100 Million People

Sudan Independence

God is uniting a worldwide network of 1 million believers who will pray and fast for the advancement of His Kingdom among the peoples of the Horn of Africa during the month of April 2012.
The peoples of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, NE Kenya and Somalia number over 100 million souls. Somalia currently has little or no Christian witness among its people. In Eritrea, believers are cruelly persecuted in an effort to stamp out any vital expression of faith. Numerous people groups with no access to the gospel in their heart language live in Ethiopia and Northern Kenya. Islam remains the stronghold for the peoples of Djibouti.
Don't let this moment in history, a moment of unprecedented change across North Africa and the Middle East, be forfeited to the ploys and desires of the evil one. Instead, seize this moment and join together with the Worldwide Christian Community to boldly ask that His name and His fame would be proclaimed among the nations in such a time as this.
This is a global invitation. Local believers in Ethiopia, believers in China, Europe, the Americas and everywhere in between, will join together April 2012 to embrace this kairos moment to ask the Father of all creation to show His glory among millions of people still living in darkness in the Horn of Africa.
Learn more: Pray for the Horn

Thursday, January 26, 2012

His little Feet children's choir

His Little Feet's Children's Choir travels the United States, being the voice for orphaned and vulneralbe children worldwide. The purpose of the tour is to bring the awareness of the millions of children around the world in need of care, as well as facilitate opportunities for Americans to respond to the needs of children through giving, sponsoring, going and adopting.

One of the choirs touring is a group of Ethiopian children. 

To find out when they will be in your area go to their web site, listed above and check out their tour.

teach your kids how to be "safe kids"

I want to make known a great resource for parents and kids and teachers. Parenting Safe Kids . com is a great resources site. We all want to keep our kids safe. Some of our kids have experienced prior abuse, which statistically sets them up for further abuse. This is not ok with us as parents.  I want to encourage you to take a look at this site and see what great resources there are for talking to your kids about abuse and abuse prevention. The site also provides resources and training to:

  • build self-esteem
  • teach communication skills
  • teach respectful discipline for parents
  • teach socialization skills to children with and without disabilities
  • teach, sexual abuse prevention skills to children and teens with and without disabilities, their parents and teachers.
  • train adults to talk to the children in their lives about preventing abuse in an age and developmentally-appropriate way

Sunday, January 22, 2012

therapist in Colorado Springs

I have recently found out about a therapist in the Colorado Springs area who works with adoptive families. I have not used this therapist but have great reports about the counselor from an adoptive family who is really getting a lot of help here and speaks very highly of this therapist and practice. 

Gene DeLoux MA LPC

5875 Lehman Drive, Sui9te 103

Individual, marriage, family, child
Depression, anxiety, trauma, grief
EMDR, adoptive issues, parenting

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Subconscious Memory and annual acting out

If you watch your child closely regarding the cycle of the year, you will likely notice that your child has certain mood swings that are associated with certain months, maybe a particular week or set of days or even a certain day. Whether you mention it or not your child has a subconscious memory of some very significant things. Abandonment, arrival at the orphanage, they day you came to get them. These are all traumatic experiences. There may be other events which trigger reactions that come out of "nowhere".  No, your child is most likely not going to remember, be able to identify what has triggered this behavior, or know anything about what happened. It is long gone from his or her conscious memory. It does not really matter what age your child was adopted at. Infant, toddler, preschooler, older child (who will likely remember but still not know why the behavior), all kids have had at least these three traumas, and it will come up in some way at some time. Some kids are more easily upset or act out regularly at these times. Some kids only have these issues when something else triggers at the same time of year. Say your child came home in August. School starts in August. So, that is hard on two fronts, but you can easily attribute certain behaviors to the change they made when they joined your family. It is exacerbated by school starting. The month your child was abandoned may have no other major change in it or regular stressor. It could go by with minor behaviors. But, one year Mom and Dad go on a weekend trip together that same month, and you have done it before but a different month, your child freaks out more than you expected. Abandonment triggered. Not that you are doing anything wrong or unusual, just a trigger, and yet, not JUST.

So, what are you looking for? Well that is as unique as your child. It could be that your child is more needy, attention grabbing, snugly, rejecting of you or others. You could notice an increase of nervous activity, fear, bed-wetting, bad dreams, acting out at school, bossy or controlling behavior, or melt downs and tantrums.

What to do? Extra attention and reassurance is the best place to start. However, before we realize what it is, we are most likely to come down on them for this "sudden" bad or annoying behavior. Just the opposite of what they need. In some cases it works to actually sit down, have a little chat about your child's early life. Read his or her life book together, talk about feelings. Use a feelings picture page to allow him or her to share feelings. Other times they just need extra reassurance that you are there for them, never leaving, safe, secure, etc.

This time of year is probably something you should discreetly mark in your calendar or alerts, just to give yourself the clue to be a bit more gentle than usual. Remember that the seemingly sudden disruption from your child actually means something and they need something from you. As they grow older, they need to know what it is, where it comes from and what to do about it.

What is it? Sometimes called a body memory, sometimes called simply subconscious memory of a traumatic event.

Where does it come from? Those feelings of being left, ...........of being overwhelmed with all the kids, will my needs be met? I must care for myself and trust no one, etc..... Who are these people, can I trust them? Here we go with another change, will I be ok? Do i have to take care of myself here too? Can I feel is it ok? Fear, uncertainty, rejection, etc.

What to do about it? Tell yourself the truth. That was hard, it was sad, it made me feel............. This happened to me, it was real, it was not ideal..................... When my parents came I was afraid, I had all these feelings. That is ok, it is normal. My parents love me. I did not have to take care of myself anymore. I am safe.  I have a family who loves me and cares about me and what I do and think and feel. It turned out good. In the article linked to in Subconscious memory it tells about the benefit of telling the story and putting it into conscious memory so that it can be reformatted and dealt with. The theory is that it can then be put into perspective and the person can deal with it in a healthy way.

Recognizing this as real validates the experience of the child and helps them to grow beyond it and from it and become a person who can function in the today.

Facial expressions charts:

feelings chart
feeling chart and wheel
the two above are very useful for checking in to see how your child is at more volatile times.

A 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. I trust you to sift the links for information you feel is worthwhile to you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Trauma workshop in Colorado Springs. Looks very helpful.

Early Registration Open Now! 

CPCAN is excited to announce our 2012 Event
Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month  
Featuring Dr. Bruce Perry


Thursday April 19, 2012
8:30am - 4:15pm
Colorado Springs, Colorado
(Specific location TBA) 
Early Registration $40 
if payment received by March 9
(Regular $50)

The Impact of Trauma on Child Development 

Dr.  Bruce D. Perry is the Senior Fellow of The ChildTrauma Academy, a not-for-profit organization based in Houston ( and adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago. 

Dr. Perry is the author of over 300 journal articles, book chapters and scientific proceedings and is the recipient of numerous professional awards and honors, including the T. Berry Brazelton Infant Mental Health Advocacy Award, the Award for Leadership in Public Child Welfare and the Alberta Centennial Medal. He has presented about child maltreatment, children's mental health, neurodevelopment and youth violence in a variety of venues including policy-making bodies such as the White House Summit on Violence, the California Assembly and U.S. House Committee on Education.

Dr. Perry will be preceded by Karen Logan, Child Welfare Manager from the El Paso County Department of Human Services, who will present information about current child maltreatment issues.


Two Step Registration Process 
~#1 Pay then #2 Register~

Step 1.  Pay using PayPal "Buy Now" button below. (You do not need to have a PayPal account.) $40 Early, $50 after March 9 

Step 2.  When PayPal payment is complete click on "Return to CPCAN" and you will be directed you to the Registration Form.  Once you complete and submit this form you will be registered.

*Please note that refunds will not be given after March 9 and will be subject to $5 

processing fee.

This looks like a great seminar. Useful for anyone adopting......... and anyone who deals with people in general.  It does not matter the age of the child you are adopting. You need to know about trauma!
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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.