Friday, March 20, 2009

Fam Friday: Meet My Bulgarian Family

My Bulgarian Family

5:30 a.m., March 19th:  I wake alone in my bed.  

Sadly, the Glediator is away on business.  (Sigh).  The last two nights have brought on dreams where I see the faces of Bulgarian orphans who also sleep alone.  Though they slumber in dormitories or with a few roommates, they are alone in their thoughts; without much identity, purpose and certainly without the guidance of loving parents.  On the wall of a young girl's bedroom in Slaveikov Orphanage in Sofia is penned, "There is nothing, nothing, nothing."

I question God: Why is there so much suffering?  

His gentle reply:  My Son suffered.

And how can these children who suffer be so full of
 love?  (We were smothered with hugs and kisses for eight days straight).

God's answer:  The light of my Son is in all people.  My Son is full of love.

Strangely, this was the impression I had every time we drove away from an orphanage.  You would think I would feel despair and anger, but I felt ever reminded of how much God loves his children.  In a country that has forsaken them, He has not. 

I hear the simple words of Deborah Gardener, CEO of One Heart Bulgaria, to a teenage girl who is afraid to go out in the world after her eighteenth birthday:

"We pray for you."

The young girl cries at the notion and pleads that we remember her.

One Heart Bulgaria is one of two outside organizations that Bulgaria allows into their country to provide aid to their orphans.  A little goes a long way in Bulgaria. I saw firsthand how the donation of a small playhouse from a nine-year old American boy (who held a pizza party with his friends to raise the money) brought so much joy to a previously dull and dirty playroom.  Through other donations, the organization has been able to replace broken windows, doors, provide music time, dance teachers, medical supplies, operations, bedding and clothing where they are very much needed.  To make a difference, visit

Photo Album:

Boshidara, 2 years old

Boshidara, a baby with Hydrocephalus, lays in her crib unable to be relieved from the ants that are inside her fists, clothes and the wound on her head from her shunt surgery.  I wanted so badly to bathe her.

This was the happiest orphanage we visited.  One Heart Bulgaria provides a music teacher for these kids and they knew how to have a good time.  Here, Sam plays "Do As I'm Doing" while we march along.

We had to travel for three and a half hours with eight people and a 20 suitcases crammed in this van.  Good times.  I think Sam blocked those suitcases from falling on my head the whole trip.  Thanks Sam!

Uncle or "Chicho" Jeremy is a big softie.

Music time with Sam.  Sam was magical with the children.

The little girls to my left have shaved heads (very typical) for easy maintenance and to avoid lice.

Bulgarian children are beautiful.


  1. "Bulgarian children are beautiful."
    Yes they are... and so are you Mindy. So are you!!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I know you made a difference in the lives of these beautiful children- and in all of ours, who read your blog. Heartbreaking, but inspiring! Thank you!

  3. Mindy, I had the very same experience on the very same morning at 5:30 AM. All night my dreams were plagued by flashbacks of the disturbing parts of our trip. I had thought I was coping well and adjusting all right until my subconscious pulled out those moments early in the morning causing, me to completely break down and sob. How can a person come back home after such beautiful AND disturbing experiences--all shared with some of the most amazing people on earth--and not have some trouble adjusting to "life as usual"? With much prayer, a blessing and the therapeutic discussions on each of your facebook pages or blogs, I am doing much better now.

    I want each of your blog readers to know what an angel you are! I could go on and on about individual examples of your graciousness with the orphans, but the one that stands out most was at the infant orphanage when I told you that one of the babies was wet and while reaching for her you said, "That's okay, I don't care." I love you for that Mindy! Thank you for who you are. I am so glad to be friends.

  4. Gleddy: Thank you baby. Can't wait until you come home.

    Becky: Thank you for your sweet comment!

    Deborah: You made me cry. I love you.

  5. Mindy, you're amazing....that's all I have to say.

  6. Shucks Liz! You're amazing too! Thanks for being so sweet :-)

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your trip, Mindy! I wish everyone could travel and see those sweet children. I am so Thankful for all of your crew that brought love to them. I love the picture of the children and you, dancing on the "Do as I'm Doing"! Way cute!

  8. Mindy, Cami linked you on her blog (I'm her Aunt..Carrie's brother's wife).
    I think what you did in Bulgaria is amazing. I couldn't have done it!! Just seeing the pictures brought me to tears. You are incredible!

  9. I guess you could say I am feeling melancholy about our trip after meeting with Sam and Jeremy today and looking at these old blog posts you wrote about our trip. Those may have been some of the best 8 days of my life. I thought I should let you know that I just got an email from Nikolai a few days ago saying that Boshidara is now in God's arms. Good for her. At last she is being loved like she always should have been. We love you Boshidara.