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February 22nd

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adoption Archives • Upbring

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick invited the Klines to a special celebration of foster families at the Capitol in Austin.

Faith Carries Family Through Beautiful Adoption Journey & Captures Attention of Lt. Governor Dan Patrick

Newlyweds Paul and Kristen Kline had a plan for their future. They would have biological children first, and then explore adoption later. But in Kristen’s words, what she and Paul put on the back burner, God moved to the front burner.

“It was Mother’s Day when we found out Read More

annual austin adoption day

Annual Adoption Day 2017

Upbring is excited to participate in the Annual Austin Adoption Day!  If you’ve never been, we highly suggest coming by.  The 16th Annual Adoption Day project on November 2, 2017, brings together attorneys, caseworkers, judges and many others from across the state to celebrate the creation of new families:

  • Time & Date: Thursday, November 2, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Location: Gardner Betts, 2515 S Congress Ave.  Austin, TX 78704. + Google Map

Read More


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.



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, 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.


Watch “A Home for the Holidays” Friday, Dec. 18

“A Home for the Holidays” is a powerful annual CBS network primetime special that will air Friday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. (CST). It shares stories of foster care adoption and features performances from some of America’s most popular musical artists.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® – a proud partner in the production since 1999 – is a wonderful organization and partner of Upbring in the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids™ program, whose mission is placing foster children in permanent adoptive homes.

This year LL COOL J is set to host, and musical performances will include Christina Aguilera, Jason Derulo, Rascal Flatts and Ed Sheeran. In addition, the stories of five exceptional families, who have been touched by foster care adoption, will be featured along with a segment that gives a voice to children in foster care still waiting to find permanent and loving homes to call their own.

Each year, the special inspires thousands of families to consider adopting children in foster care, some of whom have been featured on the special—and this year will be no different.

We encourage everyone to tune in!


To learn more about the waiting children in our care, visit our website: Waiting Children – Texas and Waiting Children – Bulgaria.


November – a BIG Adoption Month in Laredo

While November was National Adoption Month everywhere, Nov. 13 was particularly FITting for the Upbring Foster In Texas office in Laredo where they celebrated six adoptions with three happy families! Judge Oscar Hale presided over the adoption hearing as the children became legally adopted by their forever families.

Adriana Garcia, Shelby, Christopher and Honorable Judge Oscar Hale

Adriana Garcia, Shelby, Christopher and Honorable Judge Oscar Hale

Lorena Ramirez, Dayla, Manuel Ramirez and Honorable Judge Oscar Hale

Lorena Ramirez, Dayla, Manuel Ramirez and Honorable Judge Oscar Hale

The Mena Kinship Family and their adopted daughters Miriam and Sonia, with Honorable Judge Oscar Hale

The Mena Kinship Family and their adopted daughters Miriam and Sonia, with Honorable Judge Oscar Hale

Fabiola Erhard, Family Service Worker, Oscar Guerra, Area Director, Ms. Luz Divina Woods, Honorable Oscar Hale, Mr. Jorge Woods and Abel

Fabiola Erhard, Family Service Worker, Oscar Guerra, Area Director, Ms. Luz Divina Woods, Honorable Oscar Hale, Mr. Jorge Woods and Abel

Upbring Foster In Texas is always looking for loving, qualified foster parents like the Garcias, Ramirezes, Menas and Woods who bring permanency into the lives of foster children. We have 14 foster care and adoption offices throughout the state, committed to the mission of breaking the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families and communities. Learn more about becoming a foster parent at


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.


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.


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.


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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