Kalina – Good Deeds Come Back to Us
My name is Hrisimira Kondova and I recently turned 52.
I was a happy child surrounded by lots of love and brought up to be responsible to my elders and respectful toward people. I was born in Veliko Tarnovo and spend my childhood between the big city and the small village where I was taught to be hard working and to care for those around me. When I was in school I happily helped my schoolmates who had younger brothers and sisters.
Then I grew up and met Dancho, my husband at a wedding. Opposites attract, they say. And so did we – he was on the side of the groom’s and I – on the bride’s. Somehow we became close but it took us more than nine years to become a family. When we got to know each other more than well we got married. It was a while until Tedy, our own daughter who will soon become 10 years old was born. I became a mother after many difficulties and tries, But I am happy because I learned that in order to have a child you need to devote time to yourself and to that child. Now Tedy is growing up in happiness.
I work as a cinema mechanic. I decided to become a foster parent because I have always wanted to have more than one child but this was not possible. I believe that to give yourself to someone else’s child is a noble act but also a big responsibility. If you think it is easy to take care of a child who is not your own you need to see mine. Regardless, it is something wonderful.
The wonderful Kalina is now 7 years old. She goes to school and she is in 1st grade. This year she brought the most beautiful bouquet of all to her teacher. She came to us because her mother does not work in Bulgaria and the father’s whereabouts were unknown. Since her earliest years she began her journey in life with some unpleasant stops in Bulgarian orphanages. Before she came to us she had been in a home for abandoned babies, and then in an orphanage for older children.
It was as if I imagined Kalina before she came to us. Almost exactly as she is. Sometimes I dreamt about her, especially after the proceedings when I and my husband were told that we were approved as foster parents. We had started meeting Kalina before that. Our first meeting was in the orphanage where she was living. When she was brought to us she looked so scared and lonely. It took her just half an hour before childish laughter began to pour out of her. She became very attached to Dancho. After our fourth meeting she would cry for us. Every time we went to the orphanage Kalina gave us one of her drawings. I gather those drawings very carefully because I hope a time will come when she will look back and will not forget where she came from.
Kalina came to our home on 1st June – Children’s Day. We welcomed her with a cake and a lot of friends were there. All of us will be her new family until her real parents can stand on their own two feet and take her back. We don’t regret anything, because we see in Kalina’s eyes the smile of a child who has people to rely on. Of course, we also have difficulties. Sometimes her behavior is challenging but nothing is impossible. Because to be a foster parent you need to realize that you are there to help a child, not yourself.
Because this will be remembered. And someday, someone will pay it back to you.
Because of Kalina’s safety we can’t show you her face or mention her real name. Even so we hope her story will inspire you and make you happy like it did the author of this story and all the people who helped Kalina to have a real childhood. The foster mother’s name was published with her approval.