Wednesday, February 29, 2012

If Only We Could See the Potential

Yesterday I came across a link to a video about Bulgarian orphans.  What I saw moved me deeply as I proceeded to watch all nine videos in one sitting.  My son Paul watched much of the videos with me.  It was obvious that his heart had been tugged too.  He asked if we could adopt all the kids in the video so they could be happy and fed like we are.  The conditions that these children in the documentary had to live in day to day is absolutely unimaginable until you watch the video.  It is disturbing and begs us to action.  Children sentenced to a life of darkness, hunger and despair with only their very basic needs met day in and day out.  As I learned about Vashky, Didi, and Milen my heart broke for them.  What began as something as simple as being born deaf or blind or with a cleft palate these children were labled with  additional diagnoses such as allagrifinia which means small brain because society thinks they are ineducable.  This hit home... hard.  One of our daughters had this same diagnoses among others and we witnessed first hand the little potential they saw in her but I never really comprehended where she was headed had we not chosen her.  No one ever inquired about her because of this label and it is by God's design that we were blessed with her as our daughter.

It was her that opened our eyes to the preciousness of life and potential that every child has.  It just has to be unlocked. The first time we met her at 8 years old she could not hold a pencil properly, nor could she bead a string very well.  Six years later she is reading, writing, and learning long division.  Though she has been an amazing student over the years, it is she that has taught us.

And then I think of Dennis.  He was so thin and fragile when we first met him.  He could not swallow a mashed up banana nor did he really make any noises.  The sun was so bright for him the first time we took him outside indicating he had not been outdoors in a very long time.  In just a matter of hours we saw a flower begin to bloom.

And then there is Alex.  Pretty much confined to a stroller, we were told his chances of walking were slim.  We told them that as soon as he was home we would work with him so that he could be mobile. Now he climbs jungle gyms!

Here are the videos that I watched.  I am warning you-- they are hard to watch.

Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 1
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 2
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 3
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 4
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 5
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 6
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 7
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 8
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 9

Today I shared God's word, His plan for our lives, the fruits of the spirit-- my heart.  I love my children so much and I desire for them to be thankful for what they have been blessed with not because I want recognition or a handful of thank yous but so that they can outwardly focus on others to help, to show kindness, and to love rather than overly focusing on what they don't have because they are not thankful.  Then the older ones watched the first five videos with me.

When the kids came home from school and I was in the midst of doing things, I asked one of my daughters to help with Alex in the bathroom.  Later she came to me on her own, teary eyed.  "You know Mom, I was in the bathroom with Alex and I was grumpy at him because he can't do things on his own.  I had a mean attitude toward him and then I remembered.  I couldn't believe myself.  I thought back to what you had shared with us and I knew it was me with the problem.  I immediately stopped and he was happy and laughing.  I'm sorry."  As you can imagine, I am very moved by my daughter's honesty and her willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to guide her.  I am once again in awe that the Lord would reveal His beautiful plan through something so ordinary.

After watching the videos I couldn't help but wondering what became of Didi and Milen and Vhasky.  I am so excited to share the follow up story in the next video links.

Part 1 revisited
Part 2 revisited
Part 3 revisited
Part 4 revisited-- this is the segment that begins the actual follow-up.  It is so heart-warming to see what a little love and attention does.  Investing in a child can make all the difference.
Part 5 revisited
Part 6 revisited

Please keep the least of these in your prayers... always.  There are so many ways to help-- pray for the children, donate to a ministry that outreaches to them, support an adoptive family, visit an orphanage, become a foster parent, or become an orphan advocate.


  1. Christine, I have actually been following stories behind these children as well...You might want to post the link to Eli´s project which is currently raising funds for the chidlren in the orphanage in Pleven which is the worst one there is where the kids recieve minimumal attention... Its the one where Susanna Musser´s Katie came from...STories like hers or Adeye´s Hailee really bring home that these chidlren are CHILDREN not some defective thing...

    And thank you for raising awareness...I remember whne you adopted Debnnis, I thought you were so brave taking on a child with special needs and you have continued to amaze me.......

    Hugs from Spain...

  2. Hi!I only watched two videos what can I say so powerful.If those children were in America they may have had a better life and achieved so much more than what they did in their own country.So sad thanks for sharing. Pat

  3. Thanks for sharing the links Christine. I've loved watching your family grow & develop over the years I've been reading your blog! What a blessing each & every one is!
    Have a wonderful day

  4. I wonder how many of your kids are going to go on to adopt themselves, having seen what a difference a loving family can make. Paul's compassion is so touching!

  5. It is so hard to maintain a focus on others' needs instead of complaining about our own trivial problems. Thanks for this reminder! I will be sharing with my kids too.

  6. First watched that series of videos 2 years ago after my first trip to Bulgaria. Unbelievable. Sadly, although THAT facility is closed there are still children in the same condition who are not in rural areas of Bulgaria! There are similar things happening in Serbia. A place where you can adopt from for less than $10K, and it's a very quick and easy process. I'll never stop screaming from the mountain tops about the kids from Serbia who nobody seems to realize exist.

  7. A loving home makes all the difference. I've seen changes even in my own children from when they first come to our homes till now. And my kids have not been through nearly what the children in this video have experienced.

  8. I finally had some time tonight to watch these videos. You're right, it's amazing what a little love and care can do for such precious souls like those shown in the video. I was especially impressed by Vasky's very dramatic change. I can't help but still wonder where Stoyan ended up. He captured my heart right away.

  9. It was hard watching these videos. Harder still to imagine the life these and so many other children live in orphanges around the world. It was heartening to see that the documentary brought about changes for the children at Mogilino. It is so improtant that this story and any others are brought out so that real change can take place. I can't imagine being a part of the filming crew and wanting to hug, hold and take these poor children home with them.

    Our second son's mother was diagnosed with oligophrenia, and that coupled with his own motor alalia diagnosis and lack of speech at nearly three years old, and even though in a very good baby home in Russia, I feel as though he was overlooked because of these negative diagnosis that are really left overs from the time of communism. So many children without the love and comfort of a mother and family.


I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.