Sonya Thompson, vice president of foster care and adoption, and Konnie Gregg, director of social work services for the LSS International Adoption Program, are leaving August 7, 2010, on an exploratory trip to Bulgaria. They will meet up with our Bulgarian liaisons in Sofia, the capital and largest city in the country. Their charge is to learn more about Bulgaria and the plight of the children living in that country’s orphanages. Sonya and Konnie will get to know the staff of the nonprofit foundation accredited by the Bulgarian government to facilitate international adoptions through LSS, and will meet with officials at the Ministry of Justice, the central authority for adoption in Bulgaria. New processes and procedures have been recently put into practice with international rules now in place to protect children from child-trafficking and exploitation.
This will be a great opportunity for Sonya and Konnie to share LSS’s values, philosophy, and extensive experience in international adoption with the Bulgarian team responsible for ensuring that adoption processes are in accordance with all laws and regulations governing international adoption. They will learn about the Bulgarian people, their history regarding child welfare, views toward adoption, customs, language and food. They will visit orphanages to see how the children are living day-to-day – and what their fate may be if not adopted. Upon their return, they will report their findings to the Senior Leadership Team who will make a final decision about establishing an LSS adoption program in Bulgaria. “We need to feel it and touch it to know if it’s right for LSS,” said Sonya.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks to learn more about the LSS International Adoption program, why we have a commitment to children around the world, and how we came to consider a program in Bulgaria, of all places.
In August, you can travel along with Sonya and Konnie as they journey through this small Eastern European country. Who knows … once they get back, and all is in order, you may want to adopt a child from this beautiful country!