Happy stories

Happy stories

How a little hero can now stand on his feet

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Ivaylo is a little beautiful boy who was born in Plovdiv, and lives with his mother Gloria and his father Ivan. The parents were very happy when the baby came into their world, but right after his birth they found out that he has cerebral paralysis. The next 2 years he and his mother went to different doctors and specialists, who could potentially help Ivaylo. At the same time the relation between Gloria and Ivan was not good at all –they repeatedly separate and then get back together repeatedly. Ivan was working during the whole day and he rarely had the opportunity to support his wife and take care of his son.   The life of Gloria was full of challenges and most of the time she was very busy with her son, while the problems with her husband continued to grow bigger and bigger. Ivaylo’s condition was not improving, although he was going to a rehabilitation every week, and Gloria was at the end of her physical and emotional strength. She left the home of her husband, and rented a small apartment to live with her baby. Their financial condition was very bad, and going out was a struggle because of Ivaylo’s heavy specialized wheelchair.   Desperate and helpless, without any support from family and friends, Gloria went to the Child Protection Department for help. After specialists met with her and the boy, they told them about the Community Support Center of “For Our Children” foundation.   Out team immediately started working with them. Ivaylo started visiting hydrotherapy, which is absolutely free thanks to our joint project with the International Women’s Club foundation – “Better Life for a Child in Need”. 6 months later, Ivaylo’s improvement was obvious – his muscles started relaxing, and he can now stand on his feet by himself. For Gloria this was the happiest moment in her life – to see how her child is getting better, he is smiling and he is feeling calm. Little by little, hope was coming back to the mother’s heart. She hopes that soon she will see his first steps!   We, from “For Our Children” foundation continue to support Ivaylo and visit him and his mother in their home. We wish them lots of joy, and sunny days full of…

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The little boy in the big world

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Only five and a half years old, Viktor has already gone through many problems. Born prematurely, with very low weight, he has to fight for his life from his first breath. During the first two months, he was seized in a cuticle in the intensive care unit for premature babies, and his closest people – his mother and father – could not be there with him.   When he came home, Victor had breathing problems and didn’t see well, he also suffered from a shortage of various vital substances. His parents lived through this very hard, both feeling frightened and guilty for the condition of their little boy. In spite of all the difficulties, they did not stop fighting and went with Viki to various specialists – doctors, rehabilitators, ophthalmologists, until finally one of them directed the family to the Community Support Center “St. Sofia” of “For Our Children” foundation. Specialists believe that with us the child will find the necessary support to make up for the lost, to acquire new skills and to overcome the fear of acquiring new children and communicating with his peers.   When for the first time the family met with senior expert “Early Childhood Intervention” Petya Uzunova, Viktor was already 4 years old, but he was often sick, and had to spend most of his time in different doctor’s offices and hospitals. The boy must learn to communicate freely, and his parents have a real need to share their problems with someone who will not only understand them, but will also find the right way to help them.   Already after the first meeting, Victor was assessed for overall development. He was involved in group activities, in music and art therapy, as well as healing rides, which had a great impact on him and he was no longer afraid of loud noises and other children. The most favorite activity for Victor is riding, and he shows a strong interest in horses. He loved to share his apples with them, and was not afraid to be near the animals. The family was genuinely happy when they see their little boy interact with another child and show a desire to share his lunch with him.   So far, Viktor continues to attend various activities of the Early Childhood Intervention Program in the CSC, and they have a positive influence on his development. The now grown boy is ready to meet the big world around him and, with the assistance of his closest people, to deal with fears and problems…

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Mother’s love is stronger than anything

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On a warm summer night, the underage girl Tsvetelina and her friends decided to visit a nightclub in their neighborhood. The evening passed well for Tsvetelina, and this was mainly because she met the attractive Ivan. The youngsters fell in love quickly, and two months after their first encounter, they live together and with his parents. However, this only lasted for a month and a half, as the girl understood that her boyfriend was cheating on her. She went back to her parents’ home and found out that she is pregnant. She asked Ivan for help and support, but he didn’t have the desire and the opportunity to become a father.   At a moment of weakness, Tsvetelina began to hesitate whether to keep the child. She has always wanted to have at least three children who would grow up happy and loved. She shared her insecurity with her parents who fully supported her. Soon after she became aware of the pregnancy, Tsvetelina’s mother, Katya, contacted the Community Support Center “St. Sofia” of “For Our Children” foundation, looking for co-operation and hope. Support came quickly – our social worker Fickree Baydakova immediately started working with the insecure young mother, and together they overcome her fears.   In December 2017, Tsvetelina gave birth to a beautiful girl, which she names Milena. By her side at this emotional moment were all her relatives and friends, but also Fickree, who was making a lot of effort to teach Tsvetelina how to look at her daughter in the best possible way. Since the mother was not of legal age at that time and does not receive any income, we have provided her with everything necessary to take care of the newborn – diapers and bottles, bed, clothes and cosmetics.   Tsvetelina says she is grateful to our entire team for the support. She is happy to take care of the little Milena, and is sure that her daughter will grow as a happy child, loved by both her mum and grandparents. The specialists of the Community Support Center “St. Sofia” continue to follow Milena’s development as well as the way her mother takes care of…

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The story of the little bird

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The famous American writer Robert Heinlein once said: “Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.” Exactly this is the mission of the foster parent Krasimira Nanova – to be a mother.   Krasimira is one of the first foster parents of “For Our Children” Foundation, and she has already raised four young birds under her wing. She makes a lot of effort to see her birds spread their wings and fly, wile by her side are her husband and her big, fluffy cat – Petsy.   Just recently, Mitko came in Kraismira’s life. During his first year, Mitko lived with his biological mother, but because of financial difficulties and inability to take good care of him, he was placed in a Family type placement center. When the team from the Foster Care Center of “For Our Children” foundation found out about Mitko, they quickly arranged a meeting with Krasimira, so the boy may soon find his new loving family. She was impressed by his sweet smile and sunny little face, and immediately accepted Mitko in her home.   Mitko is now 1 year and 4 months old and lives with his foster family in a cozy atmosphere. He plays with his best friend – the cat Petsy and like a real gentleman puts his toys back in the basket and keeps his room tidy. Mitko started walking on his own and impresses his foster mother when he took his little spoon and stared eating his puree by himself. She now eagerly awaits to hear his first words. The boy’s foster father is an ex-photographer who loves to make photos for the family albums. Like a real model, Mitko proudly poses in Krasimira’s hands or with his cat Petsy. The eyes of the little bird are full of happiness and the reason for that is the good care and the unconditional live that his family gives to him.   Krasimira hopes that soon Mitko will be enrolled in the adoption register and he will find a good family that will continue to help the little bird make his flight in…

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The story of the two heroes and their princess

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Rosen and Andrey met in a home for children deprived of parental care, where they found out that they are brothers. Since they first met, they became a strong support for each other. Later, when they became of age of majority, Andrey met the young and beautiful Tanya, which has also lived without her parents. The couple decided to live together, and soon after that Tanya gave birth to a baby – cute girl with beautiful black eyes. They named the baby Maria, but not too long after the birth, Tanya left the family and never came back.   Andrey, fully supported by his brother, started taking care of his daughter. The brothers could not imagine their lives without their small princess. When Maria turned 6 months, a doctor found out that she had problems with her development both physically and mentally. Now, 4 years old, Maria still cannot walk or talk.   Very worried for the child’s health, Rosen and Andrey visited the Community Support Center “St. Sofia” of “For Our Children” foundation. Raya Tzvetanova – a Childhood Specialist started working with Maria. The girl visited the services of “Early Childhood Intervention” project, which might help her future development, and to have a joyful childhood and a normal life. Once per week the girl visited music therapy where she could learn how to communicate with other children while having fun. Meanwhile, our specialists worked with Andrey and Rosen so they learn how to take better care of a child with special needs, and they are eager to see her first steps and hear her first word. Which would probably be…”daddy”.   The two men are heroes because they did not give up despite the hard times and the lack of female support in the family. Their love and care motivate Maria, too, and she has already made her first steps while she holds to the furniture at home, she also plays with toys and is very happy while listening to children songs.   Rosen and Andrey are a good example of how with lots of love and cohesiveness every child can have a normal and happy life. They will not give up fighting for their little princess and will remain her heroes. Our team from CSC “St. Sofia” will continue to support the family until the brothers are ready to take care of the girl by themselves….

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When dreams (don’t) come true

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We met Silvia for a first time in a hospital in Plovdiv, where she was alone and insecure, and was thinking about leaving her newborn child. The doctors from the hospital called the Community Support Center “For Children and Parents” of the “For Our Children” foundation. One of our social workers – Tanya, came to the hospital immediately, to make everything in her power so the mother and the baby would stay together.   In less than an hour, Tanya got to know a lot about Silvia and her big family. She and her partner Angel have loved each other since they were children, and they could not wait until the moment they can have their own family, with healthy, beautiful children, and live in a big house. Unfortunately, their dream didn’t quite come true. After Silvia and Angel started living together, they had 4 children, but their home wasn’t the same as they imagined it when they were younger. Silvia and 2 of her children live in an almost destroyed house with broken windows, rotten door and squeaky floor. Her firstborn child was born with a disability and now lives with a foster family that can take a better care of it. Angel works abroad, so he can support his family, and rarely comes home. Silvia feels lonely and confused, and she is not sure whether she should keep their fourth child.   Tanya talked with Silvia and gave her hope, ensured her that the whole team from CSC “For Children and Parents” will support her so she and her baby will stay together. They gave her a pack, containing everything that a newborn baby needs – diapers, clothes, shampoos and soaps, milk etc. Having this support and knowing she is not alone, Silvia sees hope and decides to take her newborn home.   “From now on Silvia will face many challenges, but they will only make her a better wife and mother,” says Tanya. Both of them will work together so Silvia will know how to keep her home clean and safe for her baby, how to clean after it and to help its future development. The newborn’s name is Valeri – called after her father. “I immediately saw that Silvia really wanted to know how to take a better care of her children. She is responsible, and she listens to all my tips” Says Tanya.   We will continue to work with Silvia and her family, until she feels ready to take care of it by herself, and to be a good responsible parent….

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Today we said “Farewell” to another sunny child

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There is no bigger happiness than nestling in the arms of Mom and Dad and the three of you together to return home … as a family.   This dream finally came true for little Moni – the beautiful, sunny, blond-haired boy, to whom we said farewell today as we lead him out of the Children’s House to his biological Mom and Dad. Vassilena and Kiril have been working for a long time to take their child back home, where the three of them together will be a real family. And today this finally happened.   Moni was accommodated with us at the end of last year when he was 1 year old. For his fragile age, the little one had already gone through many trials – separated from his biological mom and dad at the age of only 4 months, Moni was placed in a Home for Medical and Social Care, where he spent quite a few months alone. From there, the Child Protection Department moved him to our “Children’s House”, where he would be cared for by loving babysitters – so Moni would not forget what it’s like to have a real family love you.   So, for a few months, we turned the sad, weak, sick boy, who rarely smiled, into a sunny kid with blush cheeks, curious eyes and a lovely smile. Just recently he learned to walk, and we organized for him and a first steps ritual.   During this time, Moni’s mom and dad dreamed of the day they could bring their child back home. They started working with the Community Support Center in their hometown, where specialists supported and advised on how to best look after Moni. When the blonde came to us, they began to visit him every week, play with him, even turn to our Community Support Center “St. Sofia” for assistance – they wanted to know more about caring for their most precious.   And before we would notice, came the day when the three of them left the Children’s House together, as a happy, cohesive family.   Since the establishment of the Family-type Accommodation Center “Children’s House” five years ago, it has been a temporary home to 40 children, 36 of whom already have their own family. Thanks to the range of complementary, quality social services for children and families offered by the “For Our Children” Foundation, the average stay of children in the Children’s House is between 4 and 6 months, and then they either return to their biological family, or are adopted or accommodated in a foster…

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Today the Children’s House of “For Our Children” Foundation sent another child to his new family

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Marty, or as we all told him – Puhancho, left today with his new mom and dad after spending almost a year at the Children’s House of the For Our Children Foundation.   He came to us when he was only two months old, abandoned and rejected by his biological family. His mother escaped from the maternity ward hours after giving birth, left the country and never sought him again. Born on February 14th, Marty was not meant to be loved and protected in the first moments of his life. Instead, he was alone, in the hospital bed, under the heavy fluorescent light, with no path or direction, until the Child Protection Department accommodated him in the family environment of our Children’s Home to wait for his new mom and dad in the company of five other babies without parents.   We loved Puhancho instantly – and it could not be otherwise. He had chubby cheeks and big captivating eyes and we could not help falling in love. And what an appetite he had – we would feel hungry just watching him eat. When he grew up, his favorites were the sweet temptations – purees and juices, and delicious homemade Easter bread. While he was living with us, his first teeth came out, he said his first words, celebrated his first birthday and his first Christmas, and almost started walking.   Today we said “Goodbye” to the handsome boy, to his infectious laughter and sunny smile, but we know that it is time for him to bring joy to his real family, which will give him a lot of love and support in return. Traditionally, Marty’s family brought a ritual bread and gifted us with a wonderful icon to protect every child who is about to find a temporary home in our House….

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How a foster parent rewrote 6 children’s stories …

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Yet another 3-month old doll will no longer sleep alone in the tiny hospital bed and will enjoy the love and care of a family. Little Elena found her home in the family of Daniela Velikova, who is committed to her mission to be a parent to the most fragile – the newborn and the children up to 3 years of age. She decides to devote her time and her life to the children without parents four years ago, and since then she has given a chance to a new start to six girls, four of whom already have their own family and one has returned to live with her biological family. Today they dream, play, know how to draw a happy family. They know what love is.   For Elena, Daniela says she is a tiny star, radiant and gentle. “Her eyes shine every time I hug her. That’s why I call her my star, “she says.   Foster care is a calling for Daniela. She writes poetry but her most inspiring works are written in invisible ink – she has rewritten the stories of Maria, Kalina, Radi and Lina, Nevena, and now Elena. Their smiles are her inspiration and Daniela’s enthusiastic parents and daughter are her support. The prince in this women’s kingdom is Daniela’s grandson, who is just another jewel in the beautiful collection, along with the other foster children. She devotes all her attention and care, so they can grow happy, loved and have a precious childhood.   “Although I experience the separation from the children extremely hard every time, I know that we and our feelings are not important. They are important. It is important for children to receive the care they deserve and the love to give them wings,” says Daniela. Just for the first 2 weeks of March, the foster care center of the “For Our Children” Foundation gave a chance for a family to four babies, who settled in loving foster families. They will never feel the isolation and loneliness of the institution but will be loved and protected by their foster parents, expecting their permanent…

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The power of motherly love or how an angel unfolds his potential every day

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When Boryana got pregnant four years ago, the last think on her mind was that her life would turn upside down and that the long-awaited Nasko will need her 24-hour support and full attention. Not just to develop – but to survive.   Nasko is born with a severe genetic disease. Already four years old,  he cannot breathe by himself, he does not speak, he has a great developmental delay, he is frail and often gets ill. Despite the diagnosis that makes them both dependent on each other, Boryana does not give up her child, and so with Nasko they fight daily with the various adversities, associated with the treacherous disease. Boryana transforms her home into a hospital ward, shiny clean and tailored to the specific needs of the little one. In spite of the enormous efforts of the mother, Nasko is ill often and needs to stay at a hospital, where he sometimes has to spend a whole month.   In the beginning, Boryana manages to care for the boy, she gets help from his father, but shortly after the birth the couple split and Boryana has to deal with the severe illness on her own. Then she turns for support to our specialists from the Community Support Center “For Children and Parents” in Plovdiv, where a psychologist is working with her, and Nasko receives weekly home visits by a physiotherapist, who is actively working for the boy to finally make his first steps. Nearly two years later, the mother and the specialists gladly share the progress of the child, who is finally moving freely with a walker.   I dream that my angel will start breathing by himself and will walk steadily one day, tells our team Boryana. In order to fulfill her dream, Boryana is applying under the “Lend a Hand” project and got the financial support of ProCredit Bank. Thanks to this and the additional discount made by the kind employees of Adapt BG Medical Equipment Store, Nasko now has the much-needed walker and is ready to learn to walk with the help of the CSC…

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