Monday, August 6, 2018

Sunday, August 5th

On my very first visit to the orphanage 10 years ago I met Katya and Nikolina.  We had a special bond and over the years that has continued.  I communicate with them via Facebook and Google translator through out the year.  Nikolina is now 24 and is married and has a 4 year old daughter, Vicky.  They live over and hour away from Lom and manage a dairy farm.  Nikolina was able to come and stay in Lom for a few days with her daughter Vicky while we were in town.  It allowed us to spend a lot of time together. It was wonderful and she has really been practicing her English so communication was a little easier.  I also got to spend time with sweet little Vicky.  She is precious, well behaved, and was so much fun!  Vicky called me Baba Susan.  Baba is the Bulgarian word for grandmother.  Makes my heart just melt! Nikolina is a good mother and I'm so proud of her.

Katya is 22 years old and also has a child of her own, Svetlina is 10 months old and is so cute! Katya lives with her boyfriend, his parents and extended family.  She says at times it is very difficult but is determined to be a good mother for her child. Nikolina and Katya are determined to be the kind of mothers they wish they had had. 

Sunday was another day of visiting our kids.  In the morning we spent time with the kids at the second group home.  This group home opened after the orphanage closed.  It’s on the opposite end of town from the first group home.
Several of our kids are there as well as some new ones.  They were happy to see us and we spent several hours making bracelets, coloring and playing soccer (well Jennifer, Nicky and I didn't play soccer, but luckly our translator Steffi's son was there to kick the ball around with the guys!). We caught up on how they were doing.  They are all teenagers now except for one small boy Joseph who loved playing chase with Nikolina's daughter Vicky.  
We discovered they needed some new soccer balls and jump ropes so Vanessa and Sashco walked to the store with us to pick them out.  It was time to say goodbye so there where hugs and well wishes all around.

After lunch we went to the special needs group home to see Bobo and Gloria. Both were at the orphanage. Bobo is one of the triplets that grew up in the orphanage.  His brother Miso and and sister Krasa are now living in Sofia in a transitional home for orphans and are doing well.  Miso takes the bus to Lom when he can to visit his brother.  The home is a wonderful facility with a very caring  staff.  We enjoyed tossing balls, coloring and doing puzzles with the kids. We feel really good about Bobo, Gloria and the other residents.  They seem happy and well cared for.

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