Simona Hoy works for Vesta, MLJ Adoptions’ Bulgarian partner organization. She primarily works to advocate for waiting children, who can be viewed on MLJ Adoptions’ Waiting Child Photolisting.
As much as it can be rewarding and personally satisfying to work in helping orphaned children, it may also often leave you with a heavy heart. I meet with children, placed for adoption, who are at an older age on a regular basis, and I want to share with you a piece of that experience.
As someone who is often in the surrounding of these children I have witnessed and recognized the negative consequences of all of the things they have been, and still are deprived of in their life. The feeling of emptiness, the low self-esteem, the doubt they have in their own abilities, the disbelief that they may be remarkable to someone, the ignorance of what is like to be someone’s most beloved and cherished person in the world, the hopelessness, and the list goes on. So many times they’ve welcomed me, thrilled with excitement, because SOMEONE is interested in them. Someone has come all that way especially for them – to meet them, to talk to them, to bring them a treat, to give them a small piece of that individual attention they are craving for so badly. Because when you live in an institution with numerous other children, you don’t get to have anybody to call your own.
Despite that they’ve just met me, they hug me tightly and ask me if I will come again. As I get to know them, they reveal more and more of their personality and I see that they are just like any other child, and their most sincere wish is simply to be loved. Each of them has had their own story and personality, and I’ve been fascinated by how strong these children can be. Despite the hardship they have been through, I’ve had the pleasure to meet with children who were so positive, inquisitive, bright, adventurous, affectionate, eager to see the world and have new experiences, full of dreams and aspirations for the future that it is to come. When leaving, it’s hard not to think about the fact that they are so many couples out there who wish wholeheartedly to have that joy in their home, and yet, so many children like that remain on their own, and eventually age out in the institution.
I fully acknowledge that adopting an older child may sound even unthinkable to many couples who pursue adoption, because of the uncertainty of not knowing what you may expect from a child with such difficult past. Yet, I’ve seen so many older children with such great potential and personal qualities, fully capable of becoming worthy members of the society once they come of age, and they are worth getting to know to. All they need is someone to support and encourage them, but first and most importantly, to believe in them.
For families unable to adopt a child with additional needs, but still interested in being a part of advocating, our Special Needs Adoption Fund helps minimize financial barriers that may stand between children and families. Donate today to be a part of changing the lives of vulnerable children!