Tuesday, March 29, 2011

trip to Bulgaria

It has been a few months since I have posted here. I don't think many people read this blog, but I wanted to post about my trip. After a very long plane ride I arrived in Sofia Bulgaria on Friday. I was just hoping that I could find the people who were supposed to pick me up. Steve who is from the states lives in Bulgaria with his wife and four kids. His third child was born with Down syndrome, and when his wife tried to find resources and therapies for him she realized that there wasn't much. She is one of the ones who have made a huge difference in the attitudes towards children with Down syndrome in Bulgaria. anyway Steve and Brigette found me and we were off to exchange our money and meet up with Shelly at the hotel. Later that night we went to a restaurant to experience traditional Bulgarian food. It was really fun and the food was great. We even got entertained by some dancers. That night we spent a few hours getting the information folders together for the conference. the next morning we went to one of the three baby houses in Sofia. We were not allowed to take pictures of the children so the only pictures we have are of the meeting we had with the orphanage doctor and staff. We got some good information from them on the situation in Bulgaria. They told us that the orphanage has 100 children and one side of it is a daycare for children with disabilities. they do not live there but, their parents bring them there for the day. We got to see a few of the children with Down syndrome. I have read others stories but, seeing it made it real! That is why the work of connecting the rainbow and reece's rainbow is so important. I only made me want to adopt more. Now I just have to convince Travis. I wish he could have seen what I saw. that night we got the bags ready for the conference. In the bags we had educational toys and ideas for the families, therapists and orphanage workers to take home with them. The conference was bigger then I ever thought it would be. We had a pediatrician from the states talk about health care issues related to Down syndrome, We had Downs ed present on educating children with Down syndrome, (I think they have changed their name but, I am not sure) they have a wonderful reading program that also focuses on speech. You can accesses this from their web site. We had music therapist, a speech therapist, Bridgette shared her story of her daughter with down syndrome. She did an amazing job and I know that she touched many hearts with her story. Shelly presented on behavior issues and easy educational activities to do at home. She was able to answer many questions on behavior for the parents. I wish she could come to Utah and do a presentation she has tons of good ideas. We met lots of cute kids that you can see in the pictures. I made some new friends that I grew to love in such a short amount of time. I wish we lived closer. I was able to witness something that I will never forget. This was God's work, He accomplished miracles through the hands of brave families who went against society and what the doctors were telling them. They have paved the way for big changes in how people view Down syndrome in their country. We have to fight for our kids here but, it is nothing compared to what they have to fight for. I saw miracles happening because of Brigette's story and the work that Shelly is doing to support and help the people of Bulgaria. I am very thankful that I had the chance to be apart of this. now for some pictures.

1 comment:

  1. I so enjoyed spending the weekend with you! I wish we lived closer to eachother so we could spend many more weekends together! Love ya girl!!