Home --» Frequently asked questions

Here you will find some of questions asked most often by prospective adoptive parents and answers given by persons that have already adopted children from Bulgaria

I. How do you find the conditions in the Social Home your child was raised?

1. Anna, town of Pazardzhik: Very good living conditions having in mind this is an institution. Mathias, town of Dobrich: Good conditions, I repeat - good living conditions for an institution.

Florence and Georges, parents of Mathis and Anna     

2. Living conditions is the institution where Romen used to live (small structure with approximately forty children) were appropriate.

Maurice Bruckler, France, m.bruckler@evhr.net     

3. My son used to live in a Home located in a small village.
The positive sides were: children grouped on age principle and mainly the lack of immediate contacts with elder children. The group of 5-6-year old children lived in a separate building and disposed of bedroom and playroom. The children ate in a room downstairs, equipped ascetically but meeting children's needs of that particular age.
There were children's toys in the playroom and the staffs guided the group studying songs, dances and plays.
Yet there was a single woman taking care of 12 children (the personnel worked on 12-hour shifts): the small number of staffs did not allow children to go out since keeping an eye on 12 children would be very difficult. Moreover, the Home was located in an agricultural region and therefore children's going into such a busy environment was foreclosed.
Aiming at helping children's adaptation and socialization the Director sent 6-year children to a nursery school in the neighboring village.

Nadine, France     

4. At our first meeting (during the 5-day period spent with our child) we were impressed by children's activity. The children looked quite free to go out in the yard and then come back in the building at their own. Two children cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. They went to drink water at the fountain and came to talk with us. Some of the children were mischievous, even aggressive to each other, but they all had fun. Children looked slightly supervised by the staffs, presumably because this was the period of the Eastern holidays. A small group of puppet-players came to present a performance. The institution is maintained and cleaned very well, but we could not go over to see it. Seen from outside the institution in not well maintained, but there were toys in the yard. We got the impression that there were some persons taking care of maintenance and cleaning and at least two teachers, one psychologist and a social worker. The latter made the contact with Bulgarian families, who had left their children to be raised for a while in the institution.
During our visit an ophthalmologist came to proceed to medical checks of all children. When we went to take our daughter, there was a small group of children engaged with some manual work. They were very concentrated and made no noise. The children were supervised by one teacher.

France, Famille 'Les Animaux Musiciens'     

5. Very good institution, clean, garden with toys, children's musical entertainments, nice rooms, staffs committed to taking care of children.

Carole and Stéphane, parents of Guido and Nikolay, Franc     

6. Unlike all clichés and a TV coverage, which we saw unfortunately, the Home set our minds at rest by its very good maintenance, organization, functioning, rules, activities and cares taken of children (educational, social and medical), projects, attention paid to nutrition and general hygiene and cleanness. Everything is done for children and their future.

Joël and Anne-Marie, S., France    

II. How do you find the staffs in the Social Home your child was raised?

1. Anna: The staffs are very close to the children. Children are well taken care of and stimulated in terms of psychomotor development. Different school works are carried out.
   Mathias: The staffs are very close to the children. Good cares are taken of the children but there are no works for psychomotor development.

Florence and Georges, parents of Mathis and Anna     

2. The staffs (only women) were very gentle and attentive to the children.

Maurice Bruckler, France, m.bruckler@evhr.net     

3. The Director left us with the impression she was competent and careful. We were received very well and the staffs helped us with making contact with the child.

Nadine, France     

4. The staffs were nice and polite, but actually we did not have direct contact with them - only some words exchanged and a lot of smiles.
During our first meeting the Director was quite restrained. She distrusted us since she was not sure the adoption would be finalized. The translator received hardly answers to questions we asked. Sometimes there were no answers.
The things changed when we went to take our daughter - the Director was very sociable and excited and congratulated us. We were able to see children's group and take farewell photographs. The psychologist and a nurse accompanied the children and were also very polite, while the teacher did not want to speak with us or to be photographed.
The room where the children worked with plasticine was well lit and equipped with small tables suitable for children's age. The room was perfectly arranged and looked very big as compared to such room for children in France.

France, Famille 'Les Animaux Musiciens'     

5. Perfect in the second institution, four years later, the staffs were competent and concerned with children's welfare. We do not have information about the first institution.

Carole and Stéphane, parents of Guido and Nikolay, France      

6. Indeed, the staffs (director, social worker, psychologist, teachers, etc.) proved to have responsible approach under the common project, which is to finalize the adoption procedure as quick as possible by respecting child's best interest.

Joël and Anne-Marie, S., France     

III. How do you find the 5-day contact with the child referred for adoption?

1. Anna and Mathias: We thought it was really important to stay at least 5 days together with the child. This contact gave us the opportunity to get real idea about the institution the child had lived as well as of child's real state/development. This was the institution where we established also the first emotional contact with our child.

Florence and Georges, parents of Mathis and Anna     

2. The 5-day contact is a very important stage. Thus we were able to see Romen's social behavior in different situations. Over this period it is important to see whether the child and you feel comfortable with each other. These first days spent together allow you to test your mutual sympathy and understanding.

Maurice Bruckler, France, m.bruckler@evhr.net     

3. We had perfect conditions for the period of our contact with the child. We were accommodated in the village - just 400 away from the Home. The Director agreed the boy to stay with us in the home we were accommodated for 2 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. Together with the child we walked in the village. These were almost normal living conditions, which permitted us to communicate much better with the child than if we had spent all the time with the child at Home.

Nadine, France     

4. Our first meeting was in Director's office. Next days we could visit the child in the morning and in the afternoon but we had to spend the time in the entrance hall where there were sofas and a coffee table. We were not allowed to go out with the child even in the yard. This contact period is quite insufficient. We wanted to see child's activities and behavior in the institution staying aside in order not to interfere group's work, but the Director locked up the doors and did not allow us to go and see the child. We did not understand how the child lived there. Indeed, it is really difficult to leave your child for such a long period before you can take her with you.

France, Famille 'Les Animaux Musiciens'     

5. We had the chance to be allowed to visit the Home before and after noon. We could stay till late in the evening. Even more, we could go out for a walk, which is really necessary to create emotional contact, since this 5-day period is really insufficient.

Carole and Stéphane, parents of Guido and Nikolay, France      

6. Perfect! Thanks to Foundation translator's good work (staying at our disposal all the time) and to Home staffs (constant presence of a staff during all our visits).

Joël and Anne-Marie, S., France     

IV. Did you have difficulties in building relations with the child or what are your impressions of the communication process; how does the child understand you, how does the child behaves, etc.?

1. No problem to build relations with Anna or Mathias.

Florence and Georges, parents of Mathis and Anna     

2. Of course, at the beginning of the relation there are such things as fears and qualms, but the language barrier is the easiest thing to overcome. Children can make you understand them through their gestures and facial expressions and thus you can communicate relatively easy. Besides, we were accompanied by a translator, who gave us useful pieces of advice and thus facilitated our contact with the child.

Maurice Bruckler, France, m.bruckler@evhr.net     

3. The child was prepared for our visit and wanted to get familiar with another life style (I do not think the word 'adoption' had some meaning for him). He had been placed at the Home as a baby and at that time he was already 6 and striving after something different. This made the contact much easier. I was accompanied by my daughter (10) and the presence of another child certainly calmed down the young boy.
Indeed, the communication was not a problem, although he was not able to express his feelings.
Likely I was not able to express him well what would happen or the reason I did not want him to make some dangerous things: for me this was a real problem.
On the other hand I am sure the young boy faced also some fears: e.g. he had no idea of the wind; he was very surprised by the rain; for 15 days he would be frightened at seeing our cat, while the poor pet, scared by boy's cries, would be trying to find a hiding place. Later on the boy was scared by the dogs we crossed in the street. If I understand well, child's fears are due to the fact that he is not able to foresee the reaction of the new things he meets. Such fears are part of a general fear of the totally unknown world. Fortunately, some months after the child came at our home the things got more or less arranged and now he is psychologically stable and feels well in this environment.

Nadine, France     

4. Thanks to translator's work we had no difficulties. We had brought books for painting and sticking tasks as well as books with pictures and thus over these 5 days we communicated easily, although child's behavior was a little strange - she was excited, ran around to see her friends and was pleased to introduce us. Sometimes there were many children around us but our daughter was not amongst them! This was her way to build the relation step by step.
We had a difficult moment: on the second day she put on her coat and her shoes and was ready to come with us. She called us 'mom' and 'dad' and was fond of her brother. Once she understood that he could not come with us, she got angry, start crying and did not want to see us any more. Fortunately, she was pleased to see us coming again after the lunch break. Helped by the translator we managed to explain her what was happening as well as that we would adopt her and would come back to take her. We started telling her French words and she repeated them.
After the court decision was enforced, we went back to take our daughter. She was waiting for us and was very happy for leaving with us. She was in a hurry to get on the plane. The treatment she received for her asthma was not explained well to us by the Director. She should have explained us how to administrate the medicine to the girl since one of the pump parts was not indicated on the prescription. The girl had an asthma crisis and we got very anxious since we did not know what to do. We think staffs' assistance should be much more efficient in preparing child's departure.

France, Famille 'Les Animaux Musiciens'     

5. Of course, language barrier makes translator's participation indispensable.

Carole and Stéphane, parents of Guido and Nikolay, France      

6. Everything was done easily; we did not have any communication or behavioral problem.

Joël and Anne-Marie, S., France     

V. How do you find the quality of services provided by Foundation's team?

1. Foundation's team organized very well our stay - translator for making the first contacts with Anna and pediatrician for Mathias. The logistic was fully managed by the Foundation - transport in Bulgaria and hotels. I have to mention that the adoption dossier was completed thoroughly and precisely and thus the documents were correct yet at the first stage (very important fact, helping us to avoid time waste and enabling us to come back as soon as possible to take the child).

Florence and Georges, parents of Mathis and A     

2. The Foundation plays a very important role. Mrs. Pentcheva's team is very active and efficient at all stages of the adoption procedure. This team is a reliable and indispensable agent, especially in case of administrative drawbacks.

Maurice Bruckler, France, m.bruckler@evhr.net     

3. First of all Foundation's team took care of our ease, comfort and security. All these alleviated the stress and benefited the first meeting with the child since adopting from abroad is always very stressful! Mirena, thank you very much!

Nadine, France     

4. We were well served and supported. The team is really wonderful. Mrs. Pentcheva, the translators and other staffs are highly qualified people. Apart from language skills translator's work requires also good knowledge of children's psychology, which was really helpful both for making contact with our daughter and for mastering the emotions of our elder son, who felt really helpful in this delicate situation.
We had absolutely no concerns about the adoption procedure since all documents had been well prepared and the adoption dossier had been properly followed up and completed.
Sometimes Foundation's team withdrew delicately to leave us alone with the child.

France, Famille 'Les Animaux Musiciens'     

5. Wonderful, professional and highly motivated team.

Carole and Stéphane, parents of Guido and Nikolay, France     

6. On the one hand everything is very clear, precise and professional (meeting deadlines and undertakings, giving pieces of advice, reminding important things on several occasions, perfect organizations, bilingual staffs, knowledge of procedures and meeting requirements) and on the other hand Foundation's team evidences compassion, sympathy and politeness. All these make you feel comfortable and, which is most important, help you to concentrate fully on establishing relations with the child.

Joël and Anne-Marie, S., France      

VI. What is your experience (if any) and do you intend visiting Bulgaria with your adopted child?

1. Yes when Anna and Mathias wish to do so. By now the issue has not been discussed, although Anna started asking questions. We believe that at the age between 13 and 15 children's wish will be stronger. Then we will decide whether we should visit the Home where Anna used to live as a baby, or we should meet Foundation's team, or we should provide Anna's biological mother and father's photographs, or Anna should meet them?

Florence and Georges, parents of Mathis and Anna     

2. So far we did not visit Bulgaria since our son did not wish to do so. This is a possible outcome, which we are prepared to meet.

Maurice Bruckler, France, m.bruckler@evhr.net     

3. The child will visit Bulgaria when he wishes to do so. I already proposed but actually he is preoccupied with organizing his 'territory' in the family and with discovering a world that he did not expect to be so huge.
I explained him that if we go to Bulgaria he will come back to France with us.
Over the first two weeks spent in France, every time we were about to go somewhere with the car he was afraid of being returned back to the Home. Now this fear does not exist any more.
This fear was due to not knowing his own past and background - I had to explain him I was the woman, who carried him in his belly because I thought at the beginning he was thinking I had left him at the Home and, consequently, I was able do it again.
This way I began thinking about a possible trip to Bulgaria, but I believe he must first accept his own past and background in order to be able to wish easily to go back.

Nadine, France     

4. Our son (12) went back to Bulgaria and met his adopted sister. This enabled him to understand better why we adopted him. He wanted to visit the Home he used to live in. We were received very well by the Director and managed to find two women, who had taken care of him. They were happy to see us. Our son realized he had been loved by these women, which was very important. Then we visited the town he was born in and thus he could get a visual idea of the beginning of his life. He asked some questions, but was sorry there was no more information about his biological family. He would like to go again to Bulgaria and meet his biological mother.
Furthermore we made a trip in Bulgaria and this had very positive influence on him.

France, Famille 'Les Animaux Musiciens'     

5. We would like to go again to Bulgaria but it is too early to do so.

Carole and Stéphane, parents of Guido and Nikolay, France      

6. We had already adopted a child from Bulgaria and we came with our first child to adopt the second one. This seemed obvious and we thought it was very important to us and to our two daughters: this trip enabled our elder daughter to compare her expectations to the reality, to find answers to some questions as well as to calm down his younger sister. Over this trip the girls built the basis of their relations.

Joël and Anne-Marie, S., France     

VII. How long did it take to your adopted child to start speaking the new language and being understood? Was it difficult for your child to cope with this?

1. When Anna arrived in France she was 23-month old. She did not have any difficulties and started speaking French. We went to see a couple of times a speech-therapist when she was 4-5-year old.
2. When Mathias arrived he was 2 years and something and we had some difficulties with him. Even now he goes to see a speech-therapist. It seems that he had spoken some Bulgarian and the change provoked some slight speech/pronunciation instability. He is in process of coping with his delay.

Florence and Georges, parents of Mathis and Anna     

3. The language barrier is really an insignificant difficulty for children. They have got the talent to know how to make you understand them and adapt very quickly to speaking another language. For the beginning the Foundation gave us a list of words and basic expressions (useful for the first days). It took to Romen three months to start speaking the new language.

Maurice Bruckler, France, m.bruckler@evhr.net     

4. We came back to France on April 26, 2009. Next month our son said his first words. In August 2009 he was already using past tense. Basically he understands French but has some difficulties with expressing himself. He continues improving his grammar and enriching his vocabulary and now makes fewer mistakes (articles, verbs, possessives). He has no accent.
At the beginning, whatever he said I replied directly - like you do with babies. Neither did I reply part of the question nor did I correct him (intuitive understanding). At home there was a period when we all spoke simplified French, mixed with Bulgarian words and pictures!
Since February 2010 I have been correcting the wrong sentences.
Learning a foreign language is not simple for a child: in June 2009, i.e. a month and a half after he came in France, he began attending a nursing school and he was disappointed since her teacher and his new friends did not spoke Bulgarian!
As far as language skills is concerned, I think that in 6 or 7 moths no one will be able to make difference between our son and a child born and raised in France.

Nadine, France     

5. Our daughter (6,5) was quick to start speaking French. At the beginning I checked a dictionary and phrase-book in order to find explanations of the words and then we repeated the words in French and Bulgarian. At home we managed to understand each other as well as in the everyday life. Sometimes, when it happened to us to speak longer in French and she did not understand, she felt frustrated, started crying and got angry for being excluded from the conversation. Even when she played she was using small number of Bulgarian words, but she was using French words she had heard. She was saying to her dolls 'Dad went work'.
The first days at school were also difficult since she obviously had expected her school-mates to speak Bulgarian!
Four months later she was speaking better, although sometimes she still had problems with word order and genders, but we understood her perfectly unlike other people. She refused speaking Bulgarian and said 'Mom Frenchwoman, I speak French'. It took her one year to forget totally Bulgarian, in spite of our efforts to maintain her Bulgarian with the help of a student. For 18 months she has built a large vocabulary, but she still makes some small grammar mistakes. No one can presume that French is not her mother tongue. As a whole she understands everything, but she needs some more explanation since she does not dispose of all basic references for a child of her age.

France, Famille 'Les Animaux Musiciens'     

6. For about a month the child faces some difficulties since sometimes he remains not understood, but one year later no one can even think that this child had spoken another language when he arrived in the country. Often a speech-therapist is needed since Bulgarian sounds differ from French ones.

Carole and Stéphane parents of Guido and Nikolay, France      

7. One week after we began living together our daughter knew very well how to make us understand her and she conceived quite well our actions and gestures. Two months later she was able to understand everything, she was integrated to school and was speaking very well and after another four months she knew how to ask questions and explain everything.

Joël and Anne-Marie, S., France