YOU wished for gifts this season. Abigail (adopted from an orphanage in Bulgaria) wished for a sister….her friend left behind in Bulgaria. Thanks to Make-A-Wish North Texas for bringing them together again! Story to come! WFAA-TV Demi Lovato you were the second wish!
By Maria Milkova
The residential home was new, the rooms clean and airy. But the lift to the second-floor bedrooms had not been working for months, so the children spent nights sleeping in their wheelchairs or on the sofa.
There were toys, too, but it was the television on the wall that captivated the children, while at the table, an elderly carer briefly, clumsily, held a child by the hair to keep her head steady as she fed her.
The carer was not rough or abusive. But there it was, in her untrained hand, in the broken elevator and the boredom, a reminder of the recent past, a period Bulgaria is trying to leave behind.
The house, in the Benkovski suburb of the capital Sofia, was one of almost 150 built in Bulgaria over the past six years to house up to 12 disabled children each, replacing the isolated, over-crowded and under-funded state institutions where such children were once held far from the wary eye of society.
Finally this practice is being recognized as detrimental to children! I’m impressed by Bulgaria’s recognition that permanently placing a child in a family environment institution and permanent foster care is not an acceptable path to true permanency and security within a family. Bulgaria recognizes that these programs were financially motivated to empty orphanages, but leave the children’s fate of having a permanent family (or not), in the hands of the very persons that are financially benefiting by denying the child a permanent family. Bravo if they fix this!!