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International Adoption Archives • Upbring

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Upbring International Adoption Earns Hague Reaccreditation

If your family moved when you were a child, you probably remember the anxiousness associated with changing schools and meeting new friends. Imagine tackling all of that while also learning a new language and culture.

That is the reality for children served by Upbring International Adoption. We work hard to smooth the transition for these brave children and their forever, loving families. In fact, we recently earned
Hague reaccreditation through the Council on Accreditation (COA).

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From Bulgaria with Love: Rally & Danny

Rally, age 11, and Danny, age 9 ½, are a sister and brother currently living in a Bulgarian foster home. They are more than ready to have permanency in their lives after a heartbreaking history of abandonment and disappointment.

When they were still living with their biological family, Rally and Danny were often neglected and left unsupervised – often caring neighbors and individuals in the community took care of them when their mom was absent. In 2014, Rally and Danny’s mom dropped them off at their maternal grandparents and said she would return later that day to get them. She never returned. The elderly grandparents were not capable of parenting two young children, and after a month, called Social Services and placed Rally and Danny in foster care.

Their foster family, although loving, is very uneducated and unable to assist the children with their school work. Neither child can read and both struggle academically; their delays are likely related to the deprivation and neglect they’ve experienced most of their lives.

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Rally, who had birthday in January, is not lacking in ability and competence, but feels insecure and has low self-esteem. According to the school psychologist who did her assessment, this is the result “of lack of parental love, attention, acceptance and trust. Rally is looking for affection and approval of her foster parents.”  She is a sensitive girl who likes to create imaginary stories. She often feels rejected and can be argumentative at times.

Danny, for the same reason as his sister, also lacks positive self-esteem. He communicates well verbally, but struggles in school and seems to lack the motivation and desire for self-improvement.  He loves physical activities and concentrates for a long time when an activity is interesting to him.

As the only constants in each other’s lives, this sibling pair will be adopted together, and Upbring International Adoption would love nothing better than to facilitate their adoption!

If you are interested in learning more about Rally and Danny, or adoption from Bulgaria, please email Konnie Gregg ([email protected]) or Erin Patterson ([email protected]) or call 512-454-4611. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about our services and these amazing kids!

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Linka & Ilona: Two preteens with hopes of adoption

Linka and Ilona are doing well in separate foster homes in Bulgaria, but would love to find permanency and forever homes in the United States. They are unrelated and would be adopted separately – let’s meet the girls.

Linka

 

Linka2Linka, age 12, attends the sixth grade in a local public school where she receives additional special education support because she is somewhat behind academically. Linka has difficulty concentrating and staying on task, and her teachers report that she is not a motivated student – likely the result of lacking a stable home. In addition, she needs support to enrich her vocabulary, as it is limited, and the ability to express herself. Linka has a temper and has some difficulty regulating her emotions, but is easily consoled or calmed, and seeks help from caregivers when she has difficulties. She demonstrates empathy for others, but can also be mischievous!

Linka is not a shy girl and is said to have good self-esteem. She presents as a neat, well-dressed child who cares about her appearance – insisting that her clothes are color coordinated and likes to accessorize her outfits when not in her school uniform.

Ilona

Ilona, age 11, currently resides with a foster family in Bulgaria. Described as “empathetic and helpful,” Ilona is interested in music, dance and likes to read. She is said to “communicate easily with classmates and children from the school, and is respectful toward teaching staff – seeking their guidance and advice.” Ilona is a team player and doesn’t have conflicts with other students. She happily and actively participates in games at school, and is more of a follower than a leader.

Ilona’s school reports she has an overall positive attitude about learning and school. Her favorite subjects are social studies and nature, along with, math and music. She participates moderately during class, and if she learns better time management, is expected to achieve greater success.

Ilona is well coordinated with well-developed gross and fine motor skills – she is right on track across physically, psychologically and socially – and is described across the board as “calm and happy.” Doesn’t Ilona sound like a great kid? [Note: New photos of Ilona are on the way.]

If you would like to learn more about Linka or Ilona — or other waiting children in Bulgaria —please contact Upbring International Adoption staff. You can email [email protected] or [email protected]. You may also call 800-396-4611 and ask to speak to the International Adoption team.

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Siblings! Sylvia and Sebastian

Siblings Sylvia and Sebastian (not their real names but these are their actual photos)  — 12 and 15 years old, respectively — are a smart and athletic pair with a range of talents and interests. Currently living in a group foster home in Bulgaria, they are ready for a permanent home with a loving American family.

SylviaSylvia has good coordination and motor development, loves fast-paced games and takes an active part on a group basketball team. Her fine motor skills are particularly well developed, she writes beautifully and enjoys making beaded necklaces. Sylvia’s vocabulary, analytical thinking and memory are all very good and she really enjoys computer and board games. She maintains good relationships with her peers and likes spending time with friends and coordinating her clothing.

At school, Sylvia does well on all her main subjects and seeks help from her teachers and foster parents as needed. Sylvia is described as “sociable, gregarious and strong-willed,” and has an occasional problem with school discipline and compliance with rules and regulations.  All-in-all, a pretty typical preteen girl!

SebastianSebastian is an excellent soccer player who maintains good friendships and loves interacting with his peers. He is described as “calm, with a good attention span and high-level social communication skills.” Along with having many friends, Sebastian is also able to build trusting relationships with adults. He has a well-established emotional relationship with his biological sister, Sylvia.

Sebastian has been doing very well academically, showing independence and a variety of interests, including sports and art. Along with his sister, Sebastian has participated in local and national group folk and pop song competitions and festivals. They also help in the home with household chores.

What’s not to love about these two? To learn more about Sylvia and Sebastian, or other waiting children in Bulgaria, please contact Upbring International Adoption staff.  You can email [email protected] or [email protected]. You may also call 800-396-4611 and ask to speak to the International Adoption team.

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Audrey: a very special five-year-old in Bulgaria

Audrey (not her real name but these are her actual photos) is a beautiful five-year old with special needs. She was placed in an orphanage one week after her birth, and since August 15, 2013, has been raised in a foster home.

Diagnosed with epilepsy at three years of age, Audrey is a healthy girl who is able to understand and carry out only elementary instructions. She walks independently, makes attempts to run and goes up and down stairs with assistance.

Audrey prefers to play alone, manipulating objects and toys by holding them but not carrying out meaningful play.  Even though she doesn’t have expressive speech yet, she pronounces sounds unconsciously.

Audrey deserves the best possible chance to develop and thrive, which is an unlikely outcome if she remains in Bulgaria. A video of Audrey is also available.

If you would like to learn more about her —or other waiting children in Bulgaria —please contact Upbring International Adoption staff.  You can email [email protected] or [email protected]. You may also call 800-396-4611 and ask to speak to the International Adoption team.

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Connections Across the World: Upbring International Adoption – Bulgaria

In 2009, Upbring, the new Lutheran Social Services of the South, entered into discussions relating to the exciting possibility of launching an international adoption program in Bulgaria. In 2010, Upbring established a partnership with New Beginning Association – a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) accredited by the Bulgarian government – to facilitate international adoption and work together to find loving homes for Bulgaria’s orphaned children. To date, nine adoptions have been finalized, with several other families in various stages of the process of adopting waiting Bulgarian children. It truly has been both a success, and a pleasure, to collaborate with New Beginning.

A Family Completed

This past spring, one of our adoptive families brought home their 14-year-old daughter from Bulgaria. These are the thoughts they shared about their experience:

From the moment we saw her in that first tentative meeting at the Social Services Office in Razgrad, Bulgaria, we knew: This is our daughter and we have to bring her home! And in May 2015, we did just that! We love our petite, beautiful Bulgarian daughter! In her own words she is a “teenager-ski.” She is a sincere, (overly) dramatic, passionate person who loves to laugh and be silly. She has a delightful personality that everybody loves. She really enjoys all of her new activities – swimming, walking the dogs, learning to ride a bike. And we draw closer daily, in our new family unit. It hasn’t all been easy by any means, but oh, so worth it. And it just keeps getting better every day.  

Bulgaria’s Orphaned Children

Did you know that more than 7,000 children reside in Bulgarian orphanages? Children available for adoption are generally older than four and many have a type of special need – ranging from mild to severe.

Additionally, sibling groups of all ages and medical status are in need of adoptive parents. In many cases, these children are simply developmentally delayed due to living in an orphanage where opportunities for growth and stimulation are limited. Most Bulgarian children available for international adoption are of Turkish or Roma descent and have olive skin with beautiful dark hair and eyes. Unfortunately, they are not likely to be adopted by Bulgarian citizens due to cultural bias against these backgrounds. The children who have found their forever families through Upbring, are thriving in their adoptive homes and are cherished members of their new families.

International Partnerships: Past & Present

Upbring has helped with international adoption since the 1940s, assisting in the placement of German war orphans. Since that time, we have collaborated with many international agencies, finding permanent families for orphaned children living in Asia, Eastern Europe, Central and South America and Africa. Upbring is the preferred Texas provider for many international agencies and continues to be an established and thriving program.

In keeping with regulations governing international adoption, Upbring achieved Hague accreditation through the Council of Accreditation in February of 2008; it was renewed in March of 2013. Hague requires that our agency meet certain standards of excellence in providing services to adoptive families.

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If you are interested in learning more about adoption from Bulgaria, or any of our international adoption programs, please email Konnie Gregg ([email protected]) or Erin Patterson ([email protected]) or call 512-454-4611. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about our services and these amazing kids!

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It takes TWO: Stan & Elijah

Twins! Eleven-year-old twins Stan and Elijah (not their real names, but these are their photos) live together in an orphanage in Bulgaria, where they have resided for the past two years. The brothers – who share a strong bond and are a lot of fun – are available to be adopted together through the Upbring International Adoption.

Truly a “dynamic duo,” the boys are very healthy and without medical or emotional problems. They both have been assessed as intelligent, with only a few minor delays due to growing up in a marginal home environment coupled with orphanage life. Both Stan and Elijah have completed second grade and their assessments show they are “good eaters and sleepers who demonstrate good personal hygiene.” Here’s a little about each of them:

  • Stan likes to play ball and watch movies. His academic skills and verbal fluency are slightly more advanced than Elijah’s.
  • Elijah likes to work puzzles, has a creative streak and likes to paint.

Stan & Elijah

Upbring International Adoption – the primary provider facilitating adoptions from Bulgaria – partners with New Beginning Association, a foundation accredited by the Bulgarian government, to find adoptive families for children living in Bulgarian orphanages.

If you would like to find out more about twins Stan and Elijah, or other children available for adoption in Bulgaria, contact the Upbring International Adoption: email [email protected] or [email protected]. You may also call 800-396-4611 and ask to speak to the International Adoption team.

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Building Families through Adoption at Upbring

Upbring Adoption and Upbring International Adoption have served children, families and communities since 1881 and have provided adoption guidance, specifically to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies, since 1944. Through the placement of more than 8,000 children into loving, forever homes, Upbring Adoption and Upbring International Adoption are experts in offering long-term support and dependability to their birth parents and adoptive families.

Adoption is always a viable option for parents experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.  Birth parents are always in control when deciding to place their child, in fact, some have changed their minds after giving birth. No matter what the final decision is, Upbring Adoption offers counseling to birth parents to help them in choosing what is best for them and their family.

Several families have created private Facebook pages so the birth parents can see pictures of their child and celebrate milestones, while others have chosen to write letters or partake in visits. Regardless of the arrangements made, they are all confident in knowing their child is doing well.

Upbring Adoption offers:

Unplanned Pregnancy Services. Confidential options counseling, support and resources to help you explore your choices – anywhere in Texas.

Open Adoption. Allows birth parents and adoptive parents the opportunity to stay connected.

Adoption Planning. Work closely with an adoption specialists to create the best life possible for your baby. YOU are in control throughout the entire process.

Financial Assistance. Upbring helps with medical, living and other expenses directly related to your pregnancy as allowed by Texas law.

Finding a Family. Choose the life your child will have. Select from a group of families trained, screened and approved to provide a safe and secure forever home for your baby.

Legal Help. We help you facilitate all legal documents necessary to finalize the adoption placement.

Free Services. ALL services we provide are FREE to our birth parents.

Post Adoption Services. Adoption is a lifelong process and it’s common for birth families and adoptive families to need support down the road. We are always here to help and offer a variety of services to meet your needs.

Please contact us if you have a referral or questions regarding our services – 512.781.4275; [email protected].  To learn more about our adoption programs, please visit Upbring.org.

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