Alleene from Bulgaria
Alleene was born in January 2005. She lived with her birth family until she was 2.5 years old and in orphanage settings until late 2011. She then moved into a foster family and was there until April 2018 when her foster mother’s health declined and she was no longer able to care for Alleene. Alleene currently resides in a group home. She is healthy and typically developing. She has strabismus and amblyopia as well as decreased vision of the left eye. Update November 2018: Our in-country representative visited Alleene and found her to be an extremely bright, balanced and sweet teen who shows no signs of institutionalization or emotional deficits. Alleene currently attends seventh grade in a mainstream classroom, traveling 90 minutes per day on a public bus to and from school. She receives good grades and her favorite subjects are biology, Russian as a foreign language, and gym. Alleene still keenly misses her foster mother and the life she had with her prior to her foster mother’s disabling stroke. Alleene was actively involved in multiple team sports, had dynamic relationships with friends and neighbors, helped with cooking, traveled, and enjoyed the family dog. After seven years in a loving home and town community, Alleene finds life at the village group home to be boring and spends most of her time not needed for school work drawing, singing and playing electronic games. Allene had a failed adoption match due to a change in the prospective family’s personal circumstances. She was disappointed by this experience, but continues to be hopeful that her forever family will find her. Alleene is open to a single mom, married parents, younger siblings and pets. She understands family dynamics and is expected to attach and adjust quickly if adopted. July 2018: Alleene is a sociable, adaptable and active girl who speaks with a rich vocabulary in complex sentences. She asks and answers questions and participates in conversations. Alleene enjoys dynamic games and sports like swimming and volleyball. She has many friends and interacts with them in age-appropriate ways. Alleene assists with chores around the group home and her development is generally more advanced than that of her peers in state care. Alleene is a sixth grader in a mainstream classroom where she shows good abilities for perception, awareness and thinking and achieves average to good grades. She has a creative imagination, but her everyday thinking is more practical and concrete. She needs more motivation for challenging tasks, but responds well to encouragement and support and appreciates when her efforts and success are acknowledged. Allene has had a difficult year due to losing placement in her foster home as well as having an adoption match with an international family fall through. In response to these experiences, Alleene has shown a range of emotions from anger and denial to apathy and indifference. She may try to provoke negative attention or show increased excitability though her self-control continues to improve. Despite her recent personal crises, in problematic situations, Alleene is able to identify the conflict and generate coping strategies. She has developed a sense of justice and mastered moral norms and socially acceptable forms of behavior. Despite Alleene’s frustration with the international adoption process, she continues to desire a forever family abroad and is open to joining a home with siblings and pets. Both the director of her group home and our in-country facilitator have a positive opinion of Alleene and believe she has great potential to thrive in a loving family.