Ethiopia Program August 2014 Update

1. August, 2014UncategorizedNo comments

Dear Families,

Welcome August 2014! In July 2 families received court dates and traveled to meet their children and 1 more family brought their child home! As you are all aware we are heading toward court closure this month. We know you are all anxious to receive a referral and wondering if this is possible with court closing. The answer is it is possible! Since the Regional and Local Governments in Ethiopia continue to work through rainy season there is still a chance referrals will come during the closure but those cases will take additional time to process. No official date of closure has been announced but we are anticipating closure to begin around mid-August and re-open in October. As we receive information we will update our blog with current information.

In July 2 children were matched with their forever families. 1 toddler (new referral) and 1 older child (waiting child – dual process). We also received a new referral for another healthy 12 year old boy whom we were not able to match this month. Please take a moment to read the current list of waiting children who are ready to be referred immediately.

​Ethiopia Waiting Children

(documents complete)

*4 year old boy – Paraplegia from waist down

*10 year old boy – Healthy

​*11 year old boy – HIV+

*11 year old boy – Healthy

*12 year old boys​ (2) – Healthy

*13 year old boy – HIV+

*13 year old boy – Healthy

_______________SIBLING GROUPS_________________

*15 year old girl & 10 year old boy – Healthy

*14 year old girl & 10 year old boy – Healthy


​If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about any of these waiting children please contact your caseworker.  Keep in mind that families can pursue a waiting child and remain on the list for an infant referral​through the Ethiopia Dual-Process Program. We are also offering a Dual-Program for families interested in pursuing our​​ China Special Needs Program as they wait for a referral from Ethiopia.

​​​There is a great need for families for the children who are currently approved and waiting in orphanages. Waiting children are children who we have receive referrals for but cannot match with current families. Waiting children tend to be over the age of 8, older child sibling groups, and children who have more severe special needs.  We know this wait has been very difficult and each month adds to the stress and waiting. We also know there are currently children in process waiting for approval but what we don’t know is the timeframe. While we wait for infant referrals we will continue to advocate for the waiting children of Ethiopia and encourage each family to consider their options moving forward.


Ethiopia Volunteers Wanted!

30. July, 2014UncategorizedNo comments

Are you looking for an opportunity to volunteer and help support your child’s birth country? West Sands may have the perfect opportunity for you! We don’t have any dates set yet but are looking for individuals interested in traveling to Ethiopia and hope to arrange a mission trip in early 2015.
We have estimated the cost of hotel, transportation and accommodations for 5 days in country at $1,500 per couple + airfare and spending money. Additionally, we will ask you choose to make a donation of $100+ to the project of your choice. 
TOTAL estimated cost of a 5 day trip for a couple with $100 donation to project of your choice:
$4,500 – $5,500
Families who would like to take a cultural tour can add 4 extra days to their trip and book a tour through Ally Travel. West Sands can work out the arrangements with Ally Travel to work out the best schedule for the group and those interested. Visit Ally Travel’s website to learn more: http://allytravel.wordpress.com/
Please email info@westsands.net with any questions!
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Department of State Ethiopia Notice July 17th, 2014

22. July, 2014UncategorizedNo comments

departmentseal2Notice: Reminder on proper Pre-Adoption Immigration Review (PAIR) processing order

The Department of State reminds adoption service providers (ASPs) and prospective adoptive parents that the entire PAIR process must be completed in every case BEFORE the adoption petition is filed at the Federal First Instance Court (FFIC) in Addis Ababa.

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa notes that many ASPs instead file with the FFIC at the same time as filing the Form I-600 petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ National Benefits Center.  It appears as though these ASPs aim to present the PAIR letter only at the final adoption hearing.  Presentation of the PAIR letter at the final adoption hearing does not comply with the PAIR procedures agreed upon between the Governments of Ethiopia and the United States.

PAIR provides the Ethiopian Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA), as well as the prospective adoptive parents, information on the child’s likely eligibility for U.S. immigration prior to the adoption proceedings.  When an adoption petition is filed with the FFIC, the dossier is immediately transferred to MOWCYA for its review of the child’s best-interests.  MOWCYA is given a specific time frame to conduct this review and is obligated to provide its determination at the first adoption hearing.  MOWCYA requires that the PAIR letter be present at the time of the filing with the FFIC.  Dossiers that do not include PAIR letters at the time of FFIC filing risk rejection by MOWCYA at the best-interests determination hearing.

borrowed from: http://adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_alerts_notices.php?alert_notice_type=notices&alert_notice_file=ethiopia_26

Ethiopia Program Update July 2014

1. July, 2014UncategorizedNo comments

handsDear Friends and Ethiopia Adoptive Families,


As we enter into July we are happy to wrap up a very busy June. In June we matched 2 infants with their forever families. We also received referrals whose families have not yet been identified. 5 families brought their children home and 3 traveled to meet theirs. We are seeing hearing dates scheduled through July 10th and hoping the Courts will stay open through July before closing for rainy season like we saw in 2013. After so many changes in the Ethiopia process and hurdles crossed things are looking brighter than they may seem to some of you. Though we weren’t able to match as many families as referrals received we have seen good progress in those cases that are pending for the families who are matched. The Courts are allowing cases to be filed while PAIR is processing, allowing the 1st hearings to be scheduled (this is the hearing for the guardian or relinquishing relative to give consent) and MOWCYA is issuing positive recommendations on our cases. We have also seen improvement on the US side of the process with some of our PAIR cases filed being forwarded to US Embassy Addis (USE) from USCIS without additional requests being issued in about 30 days. Though the majority of cases still have requests issued by USE during the I-604 Orphan Status Verification investigation, these requests have been easily fulfilled in a timely manner and cases are processing smoothly and relatively quickly. Requests include the standard interviews USE conducts with relinquishing relatives, finders and police officers.  Just 2 months ago USE was issuing dates for these interviews set for 1 or more months away. Now we have seen interviews issued in as little as 2 days from the date the interview was requested. We hope this continues to be the trend and we are delighted to see such progress! We want to thank our Ethiopian staff, US Embassy in Addis, The Ethiopian Government and MOWCYA and of course the Lord for the joys, lessons and guidance He is providing. Our hands are only conduits of His work. As you continue to wait we continue to pray with you; for your child in Ethiopia and for your family.


This month we would also like to let you know that our China Program is seeing extremely short wait times and in most cases quick processing. We are offering a dual program process for families interested in pursuing an adoption for China as they wait for their Ethiopia adoption to process. Most China cases can be completed in as little as 14 months for families requesting children under 4. Please contact trina@westsands.net for more information on our China program and the dual program process. Trina is both our Hague Coordinator and China Program Director and has a vast knowledge of the China adoption process and working with Hague countries.


As always we ask you to take a moment to review the list of current waiting children and help us to advocate for them. The following have complete documents are are ready to be matched. If there is a child you would like to learn more about but they are outside of your approval it is still okay to ask for information if you feel it in your heart to ask. Please help us by praying and advocating for the children who are currently waiting and ready to come home.


4 year old boy – Post operative Spina Bifida and paraplegia from waist down

8 year old boy – HIV+

11 year old boy – HIV+

10 year old boy – Healthy

13.5 year old boy – Healthy

11 year old boy – Healthy

_______________SIBLING GROUPS_________________

15 year old girl & 10 year old boy – Healthy

14 year old girl & 10 year old boy – Healthy