A Wayfarer is a person who is traveling through......life, 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 aRESOURCE BLOG for ETHIOPIAN ADOPTION.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, pleaselink 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!
ZIMMERMAN, MN, February 1, 2013 —Adoptive Parent Intentional Parent: A Formula for Building & Maintaining Your Child’s Safety Net by
Stacy Manning is an invaluable resource for all adoptive families. The
author's breakthrough concept of intentionally creating a safety net to
help adopted children heal combines the value of knowing yourself, the
power of knowledge, specific tools and techniques that work in everyday
life, and the keys to maintaining the net over time. This book is unique
in that it arms parents with hands-on, everyday tools to use, along
with the knowledge needed to help build a safety net. “Every child who
has been adopted has suffered a breech in attachment; no adopted child
is exempt,” states author, Stacy Manning. Manning offers tools,
knowledge, support, and hope to all adoptive families.
About the Author
Stacy Manning is a mom of six teenagers, three biological and three
adopted, and is a post-adoption family coach and educator. She has
worked with hundreds of families with adopted children, including those
struggling with difficult behaviors due to trauma, RAD, FAS, and grief.
Stacy specializes in empowering parents to be the healing force their
child needs with education, support, and tools to use in everyday life.
Stacy works one-on-one with families across the United States, coaching
them via phone, Skype, or in person, teaches workshops/webinars, and
offers training to families in the process of adoption. Stacy believes
that adoptive parents are their child’s best chance at healing and her
goal is to teach them how to be intentional parents who are armed with
the specific knowledge and tools they need to best help their child.
For more information about Adoptive Parent Intentional Parent: A Formula for Building & Maintaining Your Child’s Safety Net, please visit www.tohavehope.com or contact Hope Connections at (763) 633-1477.
I have just learned of this really neat tool that can be used for genetic testing for inherited health risks as well as family history genetic mapping. Personal DNA testing. This is a really cool tool for adopted kids who have no family history. In one case I heard of the family actually learned that the kids they had adopted at two different times were actually relatives. Pretty cool! It could really benefit your child as they grow up with medical precautions. Filling out the 'family' form will be less in the unknown category with this useful test. I just looked at the site and had to post it here as a great resource. Check it out. https://www.23andme.com/howitworks/
From their site:
Our Technology and Standards
23andMe is a DNA analysis service providing
information and tools for individuals to learn about and explore their
DNA. We use the Illumina OmniExpress Plus Genotyping BeadChip (shown
here). In addition to the variants already included on the chip by
Illumina, we've included our own, customized set of variants relating to
conditions and traits that are interesting. Technical information on
the performance of the chip can be found on Illumina's website.
All of the laboratory testing for 23andMe is done in a CLIA-certified laboratory.
Well, if you have read this much, you will note that I have not been updating much. There are a few reasons for this. Most of the info here does not change much. I have compiled a lot and more might be in excess. Maybe. I will continue to post when I find useful information. I will also add to the links.
Second reason, my four kids are growing and as that happens a mom's energy is directed elsewhere. I just don't have the time to surf for more helpful info. Of course, when I find things that I am looking for, I will post them here so others can use them too.
So, this blog will remain here for those who may need the information. I will post new things upon occasion. So, if you are looking for something or know someone who is, take a look here. It is likely that you will find something you are looking for.
Well, most of us who adopt boys from Ethiopia have to deal with this issue at some point. Most boys are not circumcised in Ethiopia for one reason or another. This is a great article addressing a fairly common yet unnecessary practice in medical offices here in the US.
It is a good lesson.
This is the link to the word cards that we used in ET to communicate with our sons. They have a picture on them and the English words. I suggest laminating them and then when you get there ask for the phrase or word in your child's native language. It gives you a way to communicate. I put these on a lanyard and wore them to use when communicating important things like: use the bathroom, go to sleep, are you hungry, what do you want, give a hug, etc.
This was really helpful and I would suggest some sort of communication tool for those adopting children over 18 months. This worked with 3 year olds.
6. Return of Documents. forms here.
This is how you get the papers back which you turned in at the airport
immigration (sealed packet from the US embassy in Addis) when you came
into the US with your child. It is called the G-884 Return of Original
Documentation. It is FREE!
If you do elect to do this they will not be in any file anywhere official anymore. Therefore you can not retrieve them later should they be lost. Of course USCIS will still have all their pertinent immigration info entered in the system. But, original paper work/documents will not be.
There is not much in there ordinarily. If you were not given the Ethiopian court papers or the documents when you went to immigration in Ethiopia, you can not retrieve them. Ask for copies then.
5. Some families get a passport(link
form and procedure) for their kids right away. :) We are not getting
these until we plan to go abroad. Not anytime soon for us. See above
note from SS administration. This SHOULD prove citizenship, but has
been problematic for many. Therefore, we are not going this route. In order to keep it valid you will have to personally see to it being renewed. Will they do this themselves as a young adult? You can not guarantee that. I think this is just too risky. To
apply for the passport your child will need to have one of these
documents. (this is from the US passport office) :
You can prove your US citizenship with one of the following:
4. SS#. (form and explanation of procedure)
This is free!!!! Yippee!!! If you do this before the validation and or
citizenship you will have to re do the name, if you are changing that.
You can get a temporary # like a person on a work visa can get, this is the ATIN -link here-. You have
to finalize it after the validation. Some offices will give you a hard
time about it and will try to get you to have the cert. of cit. first
and validation too. You don't have to do it this way, but we have opted
to wait until last so that we have all the needed papers the first time
through. We hope anyway. This also will not prove citizenship. If you go
after validation but before Certificate of Citizenship or after
*Certificate of Citizenship* this is what you need:
*US birth certificate (this is not going to do you any good as it is a
mere formality and considered a "souvenir" paper as it is only a
certificate saying your child was born in another country). Useless. Sometimes they take it and other times they do not. Especially if there is a name or date of birth change from USCIS info (pre COC).
*US passport or *Certificate of Citizenship* (COC) I have heard of people being refused with only a passport if the info is different than that of USCIS (pre COC).
* my driver's license
*a filled out SS card application
*validation court decree (if you changed names or date of birth and it no longer matches USCIS be prepared for them to reject the application until you get a COC or a new COC)
This should take 14 days. There is the possibility that they will have
to verify your child's paperwork with USCIS and that will take an
additional 14 days. We have that issue, likely because we changed the
date of birth and we DO have the Certificate of Citizenship.
Notes on SS#:
While some have been refused a SS# based on not yet having the COC, you should be able to legally do this with a passport.
The birth certificate you get with the validation is a certificate of foreign birth and some offices will not accept it as a birth certificate. Many will make an acception if it comes WITH the validation.
* *Citizenship or immigration status: We can accept only certain
documents as proofof U.S. citizenship. These include: a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. consular
report of birth, U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate
3. With the new two trip rule the process here has changed for most. If
both parents (or single parent) has met the child BEFORE court and
AFTER referral then your child will enter the US on an IR3 visa and will
automatically receive citizenship and the Certificate of Citizenship
for no extra fee. How nice. I understand that this comes within one to
two months of entering the US with your child after adoption. The child
will have their Ethiopian name and the adoptive father's name as middle
name and then your last name.... mostly (2008-11). If you want to change names there is a fee
in the neighborhood of $300 + or so to get a new Certificate of
Citizenship with the name change on it. I think you can do a Date of
Birth change with tons of proof on it at the same time. I do not know if
you change their name and or date of birth on the Validation if that
nullifies the COC or not. I expect it is traceable to them and still
proof of citizenship. Getting that COC without the validation first is
causing a great deal of complications for name changes and date of birth
For those of you who adopted under the old policies or who have had to
recieve a waiver and only one parent met your child prior to court then
the following applies to you.
Apply for your child's citizenship papers. (USCIS forms and info and fact sheet
on citizenship) You will need to fill out the N-600 and pay the $550
per child (2013, this will go up each year). They DO NOT accept
personal checks you will need a bank check or money order. Until you do
this your child WILL NOT be able to prove
the he or she is a citizen of the US. This means your kids entered on
an IR-4 visa (meaning the court procedure declaring the child officially
yours happened before you met them in Ethiopia). In addition my
understanding of and experience with this is that you will not be able
to do this until after you have filed for and received the validation of
foreign adoption as the US does not consider the adoption full and
final abroad for certain legalities that I do not understand. Even
though it is, you still have to have this paper. You DO NOT have to
apply for the green card, your child is a legal alien (you should have
received a green care in the mail after returning to the US) until the
validation of foreign adoption at which time they become a citizen but
can't prove it, they keep the green card as their form of ID. If you
come in to the States on IR-4 you will get the green card automatically.
(Two trip families who both traveled for court: If you come in on IR 3
your child will be automatically a Naturalized Citizen and you get the
COC.) If your child comes in on IR 4 -YOU MUST FILE FOR PROOF OF
CITIZENSHIP, while your child is a citizen after the validation they can
not prove it without this.
This can get sticky after they turn 18. A passport should prove this,
but there have been some issues with it for some.
Other notes on this process:
From USCIS "The USCIS
has re-engineered its processing in order to streamline the production
of Certificates of Citizenship for certain children adopted abroad.
Streamlined processes have been developed for newly entering IR-3
children who are automatically U.S. Citizens when they arrive. These
newly entering IR-3 children will receive Certificates of Citizenship
within 45 days of their arrival instead of receiving a Permanent
Resident Card and then filing the
N-600 for a Certificate. (Please see our Fact Sheet for additional
information)" This is NOT for a child entering on IR4 visa. It later
explains that you have to buy that proof if both parents did not meet
the child before the foreign adoption.
Notes on Citizenship:
*****:A word on Citizenship (Italics and bold mine. )
from the US gov. page
"U.S. CITIZENSHIP FOR AN ADOPTED CHILD It’s very important
that you make sure your adopted child becomes a U.S. citizen. The Child
Citizenship Act of 2000 was designed to make the citizenship acquisition
process easier and eliminate extra steps and costs. Under the Child
Citizenship Act, children adopted abroad can automatically acquire U.S. citizenship if:
1. At least one parent of the child is a U.S. citizen;
2. The child is under the age of 18;
3. The child is admitted to the United States as an immigrant for lawful permanent residence; and
4. The adoption is final. (re-adopt or validation is complete)
Because of the Child Citizenship Act, many (IR3) parents are no longer required to make a separate application for their children to be naturalized.
If your adoption doesn’t meet these requirements, however, acquiring
citizenship for your child will require an additional process and
additional fees. If you postpone or even forget to file for your child’s
naturalization, your child may have difficulty getting college
scholarships, working legally, voting, et cetera. In some cases, your
child might actually be subject to possible deportation. Make plans
right away to protect your child’s future."
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From the USCIS website:
"Children with IR-4 and IH-4 visas:
- do not acquire automatic citizenship upon entry to the U.S., but
instead become permanent residents.
- will automatically receive a permanent resident card (green card).
- will automatically acquire citizenship on the date of their adoption in
United States, if the adoption occurs before the child’s 18th birthday." USCIS site on this issue
"Permanent Residence (a "green card") grants the right to live in, leave and
reenter, and work in the U.S. It does not grant, for instance, the right to
vote in U.S. elections. Permanent Residence may be deemed abandoned if the
U.S. government believes that the permanent resident has not maintained
sufficient ties to the U.S. to demonstrate intent to keep it. It can also be
revoked if, for instance, the permanent resident commits certain crimes.
Citizenship includes all those rights, plus the right to vote and certain
other rights. Citizenship cannot be deemed abandoned even if the citizen
resides aborad for long periods of time without strong ties to the U.S. It
can be taken away, but normally only if the naturalized citizen can be
proven to have misrepresented something during the naturalization process
(or does something which could also cause removal of citizenship to a
U.S.-born citizen, such as fighting with a foreign army against the U.S.)" http://www.reichimmigration.com/ImmigrationInfo/FAQs/PRvCitizenship.html
My personal opinion note on this: It has been the experience of several
families and on the advice of several agencies involved with adoptions
as well as adoption lawyers, that it is imperative that you get the COC
for your child. The passport will not prove citizenship in an official
way before you validate the
adoption in the US, because they are permanent residents, not citizens.
It is debatable if it proves citizenship after
the validation/finalization/readopt. I realize that the documents are
not 100% clear on this issue, there is debate on this subject. However, I
make this statement on the experience of so many others who I have read
about and met on line finding out the hard way that they needed the
COC. For the passport you pay for it every few years and after they are
18 they have to keep doing it, or they bear the burden of having to go
through all the naturalization stuff that you could have spared them,
they can not just get the COC after they are 18. You pay for the COC
once-before they are 18. In the end the cost of the renewal of a
passport and the risk of it lapsing and the burden of maintaining it
after 18 is a far greater cost and risk than paying the $420 for the COC
one time and never having to consider it again. You KNOW you have done
the best thing for your child the first time.
When should I do this?
I would strongly suggest starting on this while you are waiting for the
embassy date. You can download most of the forms to your computer and
fill out what you can and get the name off the adoption birth
certificate, etc. when you receive it. You will need the court adoption
forms from Ethiopia. You can have the validation papers ready to go
when you get home with a few add in's and that will be great being as
tired as you will be when you get home. Sometimes, for older kids you
need to wait a bit to see if their given age is off or not. Mostly it
is, but if it needs changed is entirely up to you. In any case you have
until they turn 18 to do this, of course I think it is best to get it
done in the first two years home.
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.
An intentional life is one worth living, and living well. We strive to be intentional with our four great kids, with friends and those we live among. To be intentional simplifies life to what matters most. To each that is different. To us it is living in a rural area out side of the city, raising kids and chickens with space to roam and imagine; art; music; learning new and interesting things as well as honing our knowledge of the world around us; science; reading good books; Asperger's awareness; adoption advocacy; connection with others; and most primarily that connection with God that strengthens the heart to do the work we have been given here. To live life to the glory of God everyday until he calls us heavenward, that is our simple intentionality.