Christmas holidays are the time when everyone opens their hearts for the good, wakes up perhaps their gentle sensitivity; they start to ask, “How can I help?” and “To whom?”
Four years ago, again around Christmas, a mother inspired by her child decided she wanted to help, but not just once. She wanted to live in order to help. To accept – the other’s pain, happiness, and to give – hope, impetus, life. And chose to become a foster parent.
Marina Stefcheva devoted herself to the care for children. Before she discovered foster care, she worked as a nurse while Hristiyan did not appear in her life – her son and her inspiration.
She said about him that from a young age, Hrisi wants to help other children who have not had his luck – to have a happy childhood. Then Marina realizes that she has the power to fulfill not only his desire but also the desire of dozens of children for a real family.
She applied for becoming a foster mother at the beginning of 2014, underwent intensive ten-month training, led by the team of the Foster Care Center at “For Our Children” foundation, and then through a committee that approved her as a foster parent at the beginning of 2015.
She was soon given her first child, for whom she was taking care of for 1 year. Right on Child’s Day 2016, the boy is adopted and forever leaves Marina’s home.
In less than a month after that, she accepts her second child – Vasil, whom she is taking care of until present day.
Vasko was born in clinical death – a child, unfortunately, inherited a lot of infections and complications that led to him being born prematurely and weighing only 1 kg and 700 grams. He spent 5 months in the hospital where he was fighting the inherited diseases, then was staying with Marina because his biological mother and father weren’t able to take care of him.
Vasko had the development of a newborn when he was 5 months old, weighing only 5 kilograms. He held his legs back to his tummy, cried every time Marina left the room. For two months, because of the pain of the complications with which he was born, Vasil was crying endlessly. Day and night.
Seeing that Vasko was seriously lagging behind, Marina immediately looked for help from to our Community Support Center “St. Sofia” for cooperation and the little one started working with rehabilitator. Now Vasko is completely healthy, walks and runs freely, but still does not allow Marina to leave the room for longer. As she says – “Vasko and I are like hooked vessels .”
From his placement until July 2018, the foster mother and Vasko meet each month with his biological parents, who at that time work with our social workers at the CSC “St. Sofia” to improve their relationship, build up parenting skills, and eventually return their child.
However, calls and appointments suddenly stopped. Vasko’s parents stop reaching for him. They also stopped attending meetings with social workers. One day Marina found out that Vasko’s father had filed a request for a refusal to reintegrate.
She expects that soon after the mandatory deadline has passed, Vasko will enter into the full adoption register. And to find his new family, who had long expected him and would love him even more.
Until then, Marina will continue to be Vasko’s support, and her son Hrisi will also continue to help – teach him new words, play together with him, and take him to the kindergarten. Just like any real older brother.