Posts Tagged 'ukraine adoption'

– We had given up the idea of adopting until we met David Avilla of Advocate for Orphans International.

“…we had given up the idea of adopting until we met David Avilla of Advocate for Orphans International.”

My husband and I had wanted to adopt for many years.  One of our previous adoption attempts took us all the way to Kazakhstan, and unfortunately we returned home empty handed.  After that experience we contacted many other adoption service providers, and we felt that we could not trust any of them.  After many unsuccessful attempts we had given up the idea of adopting until we met David Avilla of Advocate for Orphans International.

David was able to earn our trust immediately.  It is not difficult to believe in David’s intention after learning that he and his wife adopted five siblings from Russia.  David is a man of God.  That was what we kept telling each other and convinced ourselves to go through the adoption process, and we were right.  Thanks to him we are now the proud parents of a wonderful boy that we adopted in 2008.

One important feature that David’s service provides is the hosting opportunity for the prospective parents to spend time with the children at the parents’ house.  We are so glad that we went through the hosting program.  We originally hosted a different child that turned out not to be the right match for our family.  After one week we were able to host a boy with whom we had the right chemistry, and we ended up adopting him.  We are very grateful for this opportunity.  If it was not for the hosting program we would not have met the right match for our family.

The path to a successful foreign adoption is long and arduous.  The amount of paperwork and the bureaucracy at both ends is cumbersome.  There are many unknowns throughout the process, particularly in the foreign country.  It is not uncommon for the parents to get frustrated and be worn down by the process.  David had an open door policy when it came to listening to our complaints and frustrations.  He counseled us with his calm demeanor and tried to help us in many ways.  This was truly above and beyond what adoption service providers are supposed to do.  He arranged many telephone calls between the prospective parents and the foreign facilitator to get clarification on our numerous questions.  David was genuinely interested in helping us to go through the process as smoothly and painlessly as he could.

David also kept in touch with us while we were in Ukraine.   He was following our blog and was available any time that we needed him.  Some issues came up recently nearly one year after our adoption, and David helped out even though he had no obligation to do so.

In fact since our adoption we have remained in touch with him, and we send him updates about our son.  He is interested in seeing how the children develop and grow after they arrive here.  We admire David for what he does.  What a great deed to help find homes for orphans who would otherwise end up on the streets.

Although the facilitator in Ukraine may seem pretty rough at times according to our standards,  he knows his job well and he was able to get us out of the country in a short period of time.  The bureaucracy in Ukraine is unbelievable, however he navigated us through the process very smoothly.  When we were there an issue came up that he was able to resolve immediately while other families had to stay there for 5 or 6 extra weeks to resolve a similar issue.

We would definitely pick David if we decide to adopt again.  We are very glad that we used David and would recommend him to other people that are adopting.  In fact every time David brings a group of children to the US, we let our friends know of the children and his program.

A California family, January 27, 2010

– David Avilla has supported us in all ways and he knows the ropes…

Dear prospective adopting parents,

The adoption process can be overwhelming, financially and emotionally. It is wise to work with someone who not only knows in great detail what is necessary from the US side and the foreign country, but is also sympathetic to the personal goals of couples wanting to grow their family. David Avilla has supported us in all ways and he knows the ropes: he and his wife have adopted five children. He is generous with his time and stays in touch every step of the way, offering guidance with the enormous paperwork process and encouragement in a journey where no two experiences are ever the same.

We wish you the best in your adoption journey,

Meng and Allie Chee

January 06, 2010

– Advocate for Orphans Reports: The Children of Zaporozhye Streets: Life Without The Childhood

The Children of Zaporozhye Streets: Life Without The Childhood

by Svetlana Chumachenko

“We all remember the question that the adults used to ask to us. “What do you want to be when you are an adult?” Looks like there is nothing more natural and widespread than dreaming of your future profession. All children dream. Do you still think so? I had a possibility to get acquainted with the children that are not asked such questions. They think that it is just stupid. How can one think of dreaming, when he needs to find something to eat, a place to spend a night at, to fight off the same people as the he is that also consider the place to be their? Waifs and strays have said goodbye to their childhood a long time ago, they are now doing the adult business…”
“…After the talk with Liana I was experiencing the shock. How many children will she manage to give birth to, that will be exactly such unnecessarily homeless as she is? How many kids would demonstrate their first steps, first smiles to the nurses of “Solnishko”, but not to mom and dad? What’s the problem? In the lack of money for contraceptive? Or just in the indifference to their own fate and the fate of the children? Liana is not the only woman who acts so, who gives birth to the child and then gives them away. There are the champions in it, who born 11 children (!). This chain of actions is passed from one generation to another. The people who finished the orphanage but didn’t succeed in their life give birth to absolutely the same people, that exactly repeat the parent’s life…”  Read more

– Advocate for Orphans Reports: Adopted For Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches

To read a review of the book “Adopted For Life:  The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches” by Russell Moore, click here.

– Barack Obama’s National Adoption Month Proclamation

Join Advocate for Orphans in celebrating National Adoption Month during November 2009!  Below is the text of President Barack Obama’s Presidential Proclamation which champions our cause to encourage “…individuals… from all walks of life…” to commit “to love a child who is in need of the protective arms of a parent…”  This echoes Advocate for Orphans International’s mission – David Avilla, Executive Director

 

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
___________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release

October 30, 2009 

NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH, 2009
– – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
 

A PROCLAMATION

All children deserve a safe, loving family to protect and care for them. In America, thousands of young people are waiting for that opportunity. During National Adoption Month, we honor those families that have strengthened America through adoption, and we recommit to reducing the number of children awaiting adoption into loving families.

America is a country rich in resources and filled with countless caring men and women who hope to adopt. These individuals come from all walks of life, united in their commitment to love a child who is in need of the protective arms of a parent. We must do more to ensure that adoption is a viable option for them. By continually opening up the doors to adoption, and supporting full equality in adoption laws for all American families, we allow more children to find the permanent homes they yearn for and deserve.

This month, we also focus on children in foster care. These children are not in the system by their own choosing, but are forced into it by unfortunate or tragic circumstances. These young people have specific needs and require unique support. Federal, State, and local governments, communities, and individuals all have a role to play in ensuring that foster children have the resources and encouragement they need to realize their hopes and dreams.

The course of our future will depend on what we do to help the next generation of Americans succeed. This month, we celebrate those families brought together by adoption and renew our commitments to children in the foster care system.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2009 as National Adoption Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by reaching out to support and honor adoptive families, as well as to participate actively in efforts to find permanent homes for waiting children.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA

– Our Thanks

Thank you for visiting our new Advocate for Orphans website!  We appreciate your support as we work together to ease the plight of the orphan and halt the oppression of the innocent.  Together we can make the difference.

David Avilla

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”  Psalm 68:5

 

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Romans 12:21

– FACT: Advocate for Orphans International, was a Registered California Adoption Facilitator in 2009-2010

 “Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.”

Abraham Lincoln

 

David Avilla, Executive Director of Advocate for Orphans was an approved member of the Registry of California Adoption Facilitators in 2009-2010 and is not considered an adoption agency.  This registry was passed by lawmakers in 2006 and was funded to commence operations in 2008.  As the focus of Advocate for Orphans orphan work changed in late 2010, it was determined that they no longer fit the profile of a facilitator in the State of California.  This is the reason that they are currently not in this registry.

Advocate for Orphans seeks to express God’s care toward Ukrainian orphans by coordinating two to three week “American Culture Camps” for under-privileged Ukrainian children.  Most of the children are able to be adopted and many will meet families who will want to share their love and lives as permanent family members.  Our quarterly programs will provide the beginning of that adventure!

“Laws just or unjust may govern men’s actions. Tyrannies may restrain or regulate their words. The machinery of propaganda may pack their minds with falsehood and deny them truth for many generations of time. But the soul of man thus held in trance or frozen in a long night can be awakened by a spark coming from God knows where and in a moment the whole structure of lies and oppression is on trial for its life.”

Winston Churchill

– Advocate for Orphans International “…saving the world by saving one person at a time.”

 

“You begin saving the world by saving one person at a time.” 

 Charles Bukowski

 

“We found ourselves in early 2006 – happy, healthy, and feeling much too blessed.  We knew we had the money, the time and, most importantly, the love to give to additional children…”  read more!

 

Advocate for Orphans seeks to express God’s care toward Ukrainian orphans by coordinating two to three week “American Culture Camps” for under-privileged Ukrainian children.  Most of the children are able to be adopted and many will meet families who will want to share their love and lives as permanent family members.  Our quarterly programs will provide the beginning of that adventure!

 

Advocate for Orphans is currently planning for three groups of Ukrainian orphans to visit the U.S. – arriving in the last week of December 2009.  For program locations and other information, please click here or contact David Avilla, Executive Director at david@advocatefororphans.org.

 

David Avilla, Executive Director of Advocate for Orphans is an approved member of the Registry of California Adoption Facilitators and is not considered an adoption agency.  This registry was passed by lawmakers in 2006 and was funded to commence operations in 2008.

  

“Individuals can resist injustice, but only a community can do justice.”

Jim Corbett

– They Just Fell Through The Cracks

Use by permission of Kerry Hasenbalg

Gorge
The date was April 18, 1993 and the place was Taroko Gorge, Taiwan. Taroko Gorge is a gaping rift in the eastern mountains, with sheer marble cliffs, jagged rock and deep gorges rising up from a river bed far below. A group of college student visiting Taiwan on a study abroad program were hiking the breathtaking gorges. One the the students in that program was me. And I can vividly recall being in awe of God’s creative landscape. But my time of awe was abruptly quenched when a group of students came looking for us to tell us that we had to return to the ship immediately because two of the boys in our program had gone off hiking and had fallen into the gorge. And one of them had been found, but one of them was still missing, and we were stunned because he was one of us.

Our university ship eventually left port without him and we continued to receive word that he had still not been found. We were told that this young man was the son of someone apparently very important. His family had great wealth and they were not sparing one dime to search for him and, hopefully, rescue him – helicopters, round-the-clock search parties for a very, very long time. And life seemed to stop on the ship as we just waited for news. Conversations were totally consumed with talk of this lost boy. Many tears had been shed and we all wanted to do something, but we could do nothing but wait and pray. You see, he was one of us and it could have been any one of us that day.

We were keenly aware that this lost boy was somebody’s son, alright – the son of Gordon Crawford. His name was Brett Russell Crawford. According to the LA Weekly, Gordon Crawford, and I quote, “is the guy who once upon a time placed a big bet on what were the blue chip entertainment stocks and made gazillions for a lot of people, including himself. As those show biz firms morphed into big media, Crawford assumed even more power when his investment position became huger by default. None of that is to say that Gordy isn’t a great guy. People love him. Besides, it’s hard to say a harsh word about someone who in 1993 suffered such a huge personal tragedy as the death of his 21 year old son, Brett, during a hiking accident in Taiwan while enrolled in the semester at sea program. Crawford has told his friends, “I would give up all the money I’ve ever made to spend one hour with him.””

Brett’s name, his face, and his story we’ll always remember, because he was one of us. And, yet, for so many sons and daughters who have fallen through the cracks of the earth – lost and in distress and barely hanging on and in desperate need of rescue – no one searches, no one comes, no money is sent, no one prays, no one mourns, and no one even remembers them, and they are as real as Brett. Even though we’ve seen them – their pained faces; their hurting bodies. We’ve heard stories about the scars to their fragile souls – on the streets; on TV. We’ve witnessed them in our own neighborhoods – we’ve even been in their homes; in the places that they live. And sometimes we remember their plight – we think about it, briefly, and yet we just seem to forget. Why? Because they’re not our own children, they’re not the children of somebody we know, and they’re not the children of someone we deem important. If they were a celebrity’s child, you better believe we’d be all about it – reading about it – wanting to know what happened.  You see, they’re nobody’s children, really.  They are the fatherless.  They’re just orphans.

Spend time talking to child welfare professionals about children who are repeatedly abused and neglected in state run foster systems… orphanages… the ones who died on the streets… and you’ll hear them say, “They just fell through the cracks.” A wise woman, for whom I used to work on Capitol Hill, when she was speaking to a group of these professionals she said, “These children don’t fall through cracks, they fall through fingers.” That day she was talking in the context of government workers, but God did not entrust them to governments. God Almighty, the One who calls Himself the Father of the fatherless, entrusted them to us. These fingers through which they’ve fallen are our own.

Exerpt from a speech made at the 2007 “Adoption & Orphan Care Summit III.”  Follow this link to hear this compelling speech in it’s entirety.

– Biblical Grounds to Respond to This Opportunity to Care for Orphans

We are all presented with needs of those around us: our own families, extended families, neighbors, church-sponsored needs, and outward to our communities and other charitable endeavors. Our task is to be good stewards with our resources and contribute with wisdom and prayerful consideration. I am convinced that what I am presenting you with here is a valid need. I encourage you to consider the following scriptures and thoughts and then respond according to your ability to contribute, whether through our project or another similar effort serving orphans.

GOD IS GOOD

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. – Psalms 100:5

Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes. – Psalm 119:68

The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. – Psalm 145:9

IN HIS GOODNESS, GOD CARES FOR THE FATHERLESS

…thou art the helper of the fatherless. – Psalm 10:14

A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. – Psalm 68:5

The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. – Psalm 146:9

WHEN WE REPRESENT GOD’S REPUTATION, HE BLESSES US

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. -Psalm 37:3

Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. – Amos 5:14

The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh. – Proverbs 11:17

Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. – Ephesians 6:8

But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile. – Romans 2:10

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. – 2 Corinthians 5:10

WHAT IS OUR PART? (Actions and Heart Attitude)

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. – Hebrews 13:16

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – James 1:27

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. -Proverbs 3:27

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? – 1 John 3:17 (NIV)

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. – Galatians 6:10

HOW DOES GOD HELP US TO DO GOOD?

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:8

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. – Philippians 2:13

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work. – 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:21

THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN (Luke 10:25-37 NIV)

On one occasion and expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher”, he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself”.

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two sliver coins, and gave then to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'”Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

GUARANTEED SUCCESS!

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. – Hebrews 13:20-21

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. – John 15:16

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. – 1 John 5:14

And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. – 1 John 5:15

David Avilla – May 25, 2008


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