– Why we recommend working with David Avilla of Advocate for Orphans

One family’s recommendation of why working with David Avilla of Advocate for Orphans was a positive and successful venture!


I will be leaving for the airport in about 2 hours to collect my wife and my daughter – freshly arrived from Ukraine. Our adoption is complete. There have been some very stressful moments in this process, and I am grateful for the assistance, support, and friendship from David throughout this process. David is a critical factor in our success in this process, helping us meet the requirements to host, introducing us to our daughter-to-be, providing on-tap translators, helping with the paperwork and catching my errors before I shipped the crucial dossier to Ukraine, and most importantly praying with me and for me during the process, especially at crucial junctions when I started to panic.

From a tactical perspective, the paperwork and process are an extremely complicated and detailed part of the adoption journey. Any slip-up here could have made days or weeks difference in when we could get our daughter. David’s pre-packaged and tested document repository really made the complicated paperwork process as easy as it can possibly be. Every step breezed through without a single glitch in paperwork. Each document was the correct document and accurate verbiage as a result of David’s experience with this process. By following his directions, we had the right thing to the right social worker, fingerprinter, translator, courier, and/or government office, foreign and domestic, on time and in the right sequence.

The overseas team was a life-saver in Ukraine. Our job was to be where we were told to be when we were told to be there – the coordination of the complicated visits to SDA, local inspectors, notary bureau, court, travel across Ukraine, orphanage, etc. was completely seamless and transparent to us. There were stressful moments, and the team did their best to calm and reassure a couple of very nervous parents-to-be that all was well and on target. We did observe another family in Ukraine (they had been there for two months already), and it was obvious that they were not as well chaperoned, and that it was not as “easy”. From day one in Ukraine to completion was 29 days for us – over three months for the other family. With several lives (ours and our daughter’s) hanging on the success of this process, it was extremely comforting to have the support of a team that had such a wealth of experience guiding other families through this journey. In the end, everything occurred exactly as predicted – the process for us was accurate down to the minute as explained to us before we traveled to Ukraine. The in-country support was invaluable.

All this coordination by David, from home study team to overseas team, simplified and condensed the process of bringing our child home.

Our eternal gratitude and thanks to all for their assistance in bringing our daughter home. We have been very blessed by this team. “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead”. David – thank you for your actions. I know the Lord takes delight in you and crowns you with salvation.

Jeff Stilwell

November 14, 2009

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