Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Family's Review of the Guest House and Care Center

Hello IAN Families,

Below is a recent review of the Guest House and Care Center, completed by one of our families with previous experience with many different orphanages, in more than one country.  We have sent the recommendations listed to our staff in Ethiopia and expect we will see positive changes soon with these items.  We hope these thoughts will be helpful to you.

~ IAN Staff

Addis View Review
We loved the Addis View!  The rooms were clean and the food was good (and lots of variety—be sure to tell families to ask for a snack menu if they want sandwiches or burgers.)  The staff was very helpful and accommodating.  I also left my ipod touch out in the room and just ‘knew’ that it would be gone when I got back. I was very pleased that it was still there.  The manager was very nice and asked us each day how we were and if there was anything we needed.  And the cappuccino was wonderful J  A driver was always available and he was very professional and trustworthy.

Care Center
I wanted to write about our experiences, thoughts, and observations for the Care Center. I write this having experienced 6 different orphanages—2 in Guatemala and 4 in Ethiopia (all within the last 3 years).
Most of our time was spent in the baby room or outside in the play area. 

The baby room was clean. The floors were clean.  Everyone took their shoes off when coming in (including Abebe!)

While there we saw all the crib sheets changed and the shelves wiped down and a serious cleaning in the diaper changing area. 

When our baby’s diaper needed changed, a nanny pleasantly changed it and his clothes that had soaked.  During a blow out—he was changed and given a bath before being re-dressed.  He threw up one time and he was cleaned and the bumbo he was in was taken outside and thoroughly cleaned.

We saw babies that were attended to quickly when they cried. I saw them in bumbos, on the floor, in bouncy seats, having tummy time, in strollers—they are regularly changed to a different spot while we were there.  They were loved on by the nannies.  They enjoyed them and you could see that they were loved.  We enjoyed watching the nannies have their tea and bread with the older ones and dancing and singing with them.  All of the nannies seemed to know our baby’s name and spoke to him while we were holding him.

Our baby’s health was good and has grown and gained a lot of weight since being there. I was very happy with his care and could tell that he is loved.

The only thing that I wish could change was the bottle propping. (Understanding why they do it though-lots of babies) It would be nice if another nanny could be hired to help with feeding.  However—they do walk around and make sure the bottles are finished and hold the bottle for the babies to finish their formula.

Another thing that I think would be helpful would be to have outdoor time for the babies. One of the orphanages I was at in Ethiopia did this—seats/chairs/etc were taken out and the babies had some ‘sun’ time. (I think about 1/2hour)  This helps with vitamin D absorption and gives a change of scenery—even if it they rotate babies (one room each day.) I think this would especially be good for those older babies that are walking.  (of course, this would need to be while the older ones are inside)

Donation Need/Update

Abebe said this is a poor orphanage and can use everything--with formula and diapers being the most needed things for there.

Care Center Needs: (per Sister)
Diaper covers
Hand sanitizer
Baby wash
Bottle brushes
Petr. Jelly
Crib sheets
Bottles and nipples

My suggestions:
Crib toys (toys that attach to cribs) I saw some toys tied to cribs with strings.

The nannies are putting the bigger babies in the bouncy seats (because they love the toys attached to them) but they have to prop them up with the bumbos. These mats would give them a place to play and would easily be washed.

One thing that I liked is as I showed the stuff to Sister—she said “I have plenty of this, we’ll send it to Ajuuja” I think it’s good for families to know that things go where the greatest need is.

Sister wasn’t aware that the athlete’s foot antifungal was the same thing and could be used for the ‘head fungus’. I let her know that it was the same thing (per my pharmacist) and all the kids had it on their head in short time J

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Updated Court Closure Dates

The Ethiopian Court has posted their official closure dates for the upcoming rainy season.  Please note, it is possible these could change slightly.

Closure Dates: August 6 to October 15

During court closure, there will be no court dates for birth families or adoptive families and no new court dates will be given.  Court decrees can still be processed and MOWA and the US Embassy will continue to process adoptions as usual.

~ IAN Staff

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Update on Happenings in Southern Ethiopia

Many of you have been asking about the recent orphanage closures in the Southern region of Ethiopia.  While none of the orphanages IAN works with have been directly impacted, we certainly understand the worry these things cause in adoptive parents.  We want to clarify and answer some of your concerns. 
·         The Southern Region (or SNNPR) regional government has closed 18-20 orphanages at this time.  It is possible more will be closed in the future.  These investigations began more than six months ago. 

·         The Ethiopian government is continuing to take steps to improve adoptions.  One way of doing this is to empower the regional governments and encourage them to take a greater role in overseeing orphanages in their region. 

·         The regional MoWA, court and police investigated all the orphanages in the southern region.  They reviewed budgets, childcare, facilities, paperwork procedure and humanitarian aid provided. 

·         Regional MoWA made the decision to shut down several orphanages who were not meeting the standard in one or more of these areas.  Most often the orphanages were not providing adequate humanitarian outreach to children in their area not being placed for international adoption.

·         IAN works with Ajuuja orphanage in the Southern region.  IAN followed the procedure we always use when working with orphanages.  We meet with official representatives of the regional and federal MoWA, along with local police and courts to ensure the orphanage is in good standing.  This was done last March with Ajuuja. 

·         Ajuuja has completed their investigation successfully, and remains in good standing and recommended by MoWA. 

·         IAN provides humanitarian aid through EVERY orphanage we work with.  We provide medical supplies, school programs, library programs, older child support, or whatever need is expressed by the orphanage. 

·         While we are saddened by the orphanage closures, we are supportive of the Ethiopian government’s efforts to continue to improve adoptions and provide the best care for orphans and vulnerable children.

·         We have been assured that all children who are currently in process with any orphanage will be moved to an approved facility and the adoptive parents will be permitted to complete their adoption. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer Camp Registration Deadline Extended

Hello IAN Families,

We have extended the registration deadline for Family Journeys Culture Camp to Thursday, July 22nd.  There are limited spaces available so reserve your spot today!  Email us at

Have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you at camp!

~ IAN Staff

Monday, July 11, 2011

Updated Wait Time Estimates

A recent analysis of the current wait list times (time from when a family submits their completed dossier, to when they receive the referral for their child) was very encouraging!  The estimates as of July 2011 are:

Infant Girl (0-2 years):  13 months
Infant Boy (0-2 years):  12 months
Toddler Girl (2-4 years): 6 months
Toddler Boy (2-4 years): 4 1/2 months
Older children (5 and up): under two months.

Please bear in mind that these times are estimates.  We have no control over the timing of children in need of families.  However, if the trend continues over the next few months, we anticipate all wait times being under one year. 

Care Center Update - part 3

Joan's recent trip allowed her to document some of the changes at the Care Center!  Things like:

 New playground equipment and grassy areas for the children to play in.

New screen doors!  Our children can now enjoy the fresh air without flies!

 New crib bumpers for all the cribs to protect the babies!

Brand new carpet for all the rooms!  Plus new toys to play with.

 Carpeted space for the children to play....
..that becomes a quiet place for parents to meet their children, or birth parents to meet adoptive parents.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

IT'S HERE!!!!!

As promised per the IAN improvement project:  Our new and improved website!!!

Please come on over and check it out!!!  We'd love to have your feedback.  You may leave it in the comments here, or email

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


We are very happy to announce that a beautiful 7 year old girl found her forever family today! Congratulations!!!

No list movement

Family wait time: 3 weeks

~ IAN Staff

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Infant Girl Referral!

Another big congratulations to the family who accepted their beautiful baby girl referral today!

Waiting list movement:
Everyone below #10 on the infant girl list moves up one spot

Wait time: 13 months, 25 days

~ IAN Staff


A big congratulations to the family and beautiful toddler boy who were matched today!!

Wait list movement:
Everyone below #10 on the toddler boy list moves up one spot
Everyone below #2 on the older girl list moves up one spot
Everyone below #1 on the older boy list moves up one spot
Everyone below #18 on the toddler girl list moves up one spot
Everyone below #19 on the infant boy list moves up one spot
Everyone below #35 on the infant girl list moves up one spot
Everyone below #14 on the siblings list moves up one spot

Family wait time: 2 months exactly!

~ IAN Staff

Friday, July 1, 2011


We are thrilled to announce that a beautiful toddler girl found her forever family today!  Congratulations to the family!!

Wait list movement:
Everyone below #7 on the toddler girl waiting list moves up one spot
Everyone below #10 on the infant girl waiting list moves up one spot

Wait time: 8 months, 9 days

~ IAN Staff

Office Closed for Independence Day!

The IAN Office will be closed on Monday, July 4th for Independence Day.  We will be open again on Tuesday.  Have a wonderful holiday weekend!!

~ IAN Staff