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Love as a driving force to deal with unexpected challenge

April 01 2024

Of all types of love in this world, a mother’s love is the deepest and most intense. A mother’s love is unconditional. It appears at the moment the woman learns that new life is forming inside her, and continues until the moment the heart stops beating. The following story is about such a strong mother’s love.

Stanimira and Luboslav have known each other since childhood. They grew up together and their childhood dream was to continue being together also as adults. When she was 16 and he was 22, they decided it was time to get together. Although she was a minor, her parents accept the decision of the young couple.

So they started to live together and soon found out that Stanimira is pregnant. The joy for the parents-to-be was immense, as well as for the proud grandparents. Everything in their lives was going according to plan and they were looking forward to the birth of their first child. However, at one of the control examinations, it became clear that the child has a specific problem. At first, the young mother was in shock, but quickly recovered with the full awareness that she will love the child no matter what. She stated to the doctors that she will give birth to her child, and throughout the whole pregnancy she didn`t have even a hint of hesitation that she will love her child with special needs with all her heart.

Luboslav and her family stood firmly behind her and gave their unconditional support, promising to help raise the child. Time advanced suddenly, in the eighth month, Alexander was born – tiny and premature. Right at birth, he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, and the young parents were determined to do everything for him.

Alexander spent the first days of his life in the hospital until he reached the desired weight, suitable for discharge. During this time, Stanimira and Luboslav learned about their child’s illness and what awaits them in the future. After Alexander was already at home, his care continued in a home environment.

The “Child Protection” issued a recommendation for the family to use social services to prepare them for the specific needs of the child. Thus Stanimira and Luboslav contacted For Our Children Foundation and the work with them began. Part of Alexander’s individual program included sessions with a rehabilitator and an early childhood development psychologist. The mother, on the other side, received guidance from the rehabilitator on what to emphasize and how to support the development of the child’s musculoskeletal system. A psychologist was also involved to prepare parents for the specifics of how to raise a child with Down syndrome.

The sessions with the specialists gave excellent results and it is quickly became clear that the little one is making significant progress. The child started walking at a year and seven months old, and another year later the work of the early childhood development psychologist was concluded and only a rehabilitator and a social worker continued to work with the child. An important part of the process throughout was that the family strictly followed the guidelines from the professionals. 

This is just one example from our practice that even children with severe diagnoses, when finding the right specialists and with the right guidance can advance quickly and catch up with their peers, and why not even overtake them. As of now, the family is doing just fine raising their child on their own. 

The story was told by Mariela Ilevska, a social worker from the Complex for Early Childhood Development of For Our Children Foundation in Plovdiv.

*Photo for illustration purposes only.

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