Niki was born prematurely and weighted only 2.300kg. His mother was ill and unable to take care of him. His father recognized him and wanted to look after him, but had no conditions or parental capacity to do so. Thus, shortly after he was born Niki was moved to Home for medical and social care for children “St. Sofia”.
When he was 7-months old, he was diagnosed with cerebral paralysis. He spends the first year of his life within the isolation of the institution, far from mother’s or father’s love, far from a real family which could provide him with protection. No one admired his first smiles. He dealt with the loneliness and lack of love. His home, toys and destiny he shared with other children who similarly to him, had no one else. Unhappy children with even more unhappy life.
Niki’s destiny smiled at him in the autumn of 2016, when Petya Ivanova appeared in his life. Petya is one of the first professional foster parents that the Foster Family Centre of For Our Children Foundatiton supports. Petya is a loving mother of two grown-up boys. With her big heart, she says for herself that she is a mother by a vocation, and when her two sons grew up and left their home, she decided to become a foster parent.
With huge dedication and love Petya accepted Niki and since the very first day surrounded him with love, care and attention. Most importantly, she provided him with secure and calm environment where the child started developing his abilities and qualities. The results quickly became obvious. Due to Petya’s selfless efforts, it did not take long before Niki made his first steps.
She never felt disturbed by Niki’s diagnosis, she knows how difficult the life of people with disabilities could be, because she has one herself. That is why she accepted Niki’s diagnosis personally and aimed at providing him with the needed specialized help and support. She took him to gymnastics and kinesiotherapy two times a week. Moreover, she enrolled him into nursery where resourced teacher takes care of his specific needs, she started visiting logopedic sessions.
Since the beginning of last year, thanks to the support of For Our Children Foundation, Niki started visiting special water rehabilitation. The exercises in water helped him to strengthen his muscles, stimulated his motor activity, and developed his fine motor skills.
Today Niki walks, pronounces full sentences, visits the nursery, visits water rehabilitation two times a week, laughs and knows how to love! He feels loved by his foster mother Petya, by his two brothers. They love him too, they visit Vitosha together, and go to Danube river to fish. He makes memories within a happy childhood.
They say that whenever a child is born, their happy star starts shining in the sky and lights up the path during their entire life. When I first saw the children at the Home for Medical and Social Care for Children “St. Sofia” I asked myself “Where are the happy starts of those children? Why are they not shining in the sky?” Back then I did not know the answer. I only saw the sadness in Niki’s eyes.
Today, 5 years later, Niki’s eyes shine from happiness, and the smile does not disappear from his face. Today, I know that every child has a happy star, but mother’s love and care are the strength that makes children’s stars shine in the sky.
I truly hope that the love, care and warmth of his foster mother made his happy star shine.