It is my privilege this week to be in Bulgaria, learning more about this historic country and its adoption practices. With me is WACAP’s Program Manager for Bulgarian Adoptions Tami Mason, and fellow traveler, WACAP volunteer and adoption advocate Phil Hawley; and our first day has been remarkable.
Packed with meetings, we have connected with U.S. Embassy staff, the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice, as well as our hosts for this trip (and WACAP’s NGO partner) Vesta. During days like these, I am humbled by the verbal dexterity of our translators. I am more inspired, though, by the passionate dedication of so many here in country to ensuring successful futures for Bulgaria’s children within safe, permanent families.
Let me share with you the one thing that remains firmly on my mind after today: 1,560. This is the number of children who are registered for adoption in Bulgaria. 1,000 of those children are “waiting children.” Officials have done due diligence for these 1,000 children, 40 percent of whom are over 10 years old, and many have siblings who need adoption as well. For these children, reunification with biological family isn’t possible, joining extended relatives isn’t possible; and these kids have been available for domestic adoption for over 6 months. They now need adoption by families living outside of Bulgaria. Though there are hundreds of families waiting to be matched with a child, for many of those families, their adoption plans don’t currently include kids of this age, or who have siblings.
Good news, though. These children – who continue to wait for families – are exactly the children we believe in, and we’re betting that there are families all over the U.S. who feel the same. Maybe you’ll get in touch with us to learn more about adoption from Bulgaria?
I invite you to check back with this blog soon for more updates from Bulgaria.
Tomorrow is “Baba Marta” day (Grandma March.)
We’re celebrating this great Bulgarian custom by meeting some of the children who wait.
I can’t wait to tell you about it.
About WACAP’s CEO, Greg Eubanks: Greg joined WACAP as CEO in December 2014. Serving children and families has been the focus and passion of his 20-year career in nonprofit executive leadership and business administration. With an extensive background in international adoption and foster care, Greg is committed to bringing hope to the children living without a family … and helping them home.