Today was our last day at the Burgas home. It was bittersweet saying goodbye to everyone.
We got to play with toddlers today. Most of the kids were sick due to a virus going around, but we had some time with them. As soon as we entered the room, the kids lit up and came toward us. I am telling you…Bulgaria has the cutest kids ever! They were well taken care of by the staff, and you can see the passion these caretakers have for the kids.
I was drawn to this little boy who is two years old. He just came up and grabbed my hand to sit, and we played with blocks. He is so ticklish, so we had fun tickling him. I would just pretend to tickle him and he would still laugh. When it was time for us to leave he starting blowing kisses! As soon as I got up he started to cry, which inevitably made me cry too! Just precious!
After playing with the kids a bit we sorted out the “Montessori” items for the therapy room. The kids will love it! We also finished up our murals which turned out awesome. We bought cakes for the caregivers, therapists, and the kids, and had a little party at the end of our service. All the therapists and caregivers came with few children to say goodbye.
I also wanted to share with you that the Burgas home has eight incubators. We were told that it’s too expensive to purchase brand new ones, so they were all “gently used.” They were able to replace three incubators with a “newer” used model, but would like to replace another one soon. We donated $1,500 so that they can purchase a newer incubator and they were thrilled. This will allow them to serve the entire community. That is amazing!
After we left Burgas home, we went to a Family Type Center to meet with the older children. We bought hats and gloves for the kids and had some time to spend with these older children, many who have been living in an institution for years. I got to meet Ivelina, a 14-year-old girl who we are trying to help find a family for through adoption. She was beautiful and so sweet! After meeting her, I will be advocating for her even more. I also met a sibling group, ages 14 and 16, who were just precious. The 16-year-old is beautiful. The 14-year-old speaks fluent English and German and is studying business at age 14! One of the team members was being funny and told him that he was going to be rich and famous one day because he is so smart. They’ve been at the orphanage now for seven years and would like a family. It is just heartbreaking. I really want to start advocating more for these older children. They have so much potential.
AGCI Bulgaria Case Manager & Orphan Advocate