Thursday, February 13, 2014

Getting closer

Anyone reading this blog might get the impression that not much is going on in our preparations for our Ethiopia trip.

They wouldn't know about the Burjii man in Colorado, who has spent hours talking and texting with me, who sent me a Burjii dictionary, who has patiently and with good humor answered my every question, who is connecting me with his brother in Soyema.

About his Burjii housemate, who taught me how verbs work.

About the Burjii man right here in Philadelphia, who met us for dinner.

About the Burjii man in Tennessee, who invited us to visit and just sent me the phone number of his brother in Soyama.

They wouldn't know about the warmth and encouragement with which we have been embraced, with which our children have been embraced.

They wouldn't know because I haven't been able to find words to express my gratitude, admiration and relief.

You have taken a place that seemed almost impossibly remote and brought it close.

Thank you are the most inadequate words in the English language, but they are what I've got.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Another bad agency exposed

I saw this news today:

Four Employees of Adoption Services Provider Charged with Conspiracy to Defraud the United States in Connection with Ethiopia Operations

Four current and former employees of International Adoption Guides Inc. (IAG), an adoption services provider, have been indicted by a grand jury in South Carolina for allegedly conspiring to defraud the United States in connection with IAG’s adoption services in Ethiopia...

Charges include paying orphanages to sign off on contracts of adoption; paying bribes to Ethiopian government officials; creating counterfeit U.S. Customs and Immigration Service forms.  
Read the rest here.

When we were first starting out and researching agencies, I contacted IAG. They had an office near us in North Carolina. In reply to my inquiry email, they sent me photos of and information about every child on their waiting child list. I thought this was very weird. I had no homestudy; they didn't know the first thing about me. That alone made me cross them off our list. Later I heard many horror stories about them.

I don't think this is the end of IAG. Indictments do not equal convictions. But at least in the future, when prospective adoptive parents inquire on a message board about IAG, there will be something official and legal to point them to, something that can't so easily be dismissed as rumor, as "if it didn't happen to you personally, you shouldn't talk about it."