Michael from Bulgaria
Magnolia and Michael were born in November 2007 and March 2010, respectively. Magnolia has been diagnosed with mixed emotional and behavioral disturbance, disturbance in the development of the scholastic skills, and mild cognitive delay. She takes medicine for a reported sleep dysfunction. Michael has been diagnosed with disturbance in the development of the scholastic skills and mild cognitive delay. Magnolia and Michael endured conditions of neglect both in their biological home where they resided until 2017 and in their subsequent foster placement. They were recently moved into two separate group homes. Magnolia and Michael are impulsive, curious, often anxious kids. Whereas Magnolia is easily influenced and provoked, leading to some aggression, Michael often goads others intentionally as a means to attract their attention. As a result of their difficult pasts, both children have gaps in social skills, behavioral norms, and academics. They willingly interact with others but struggle to communicate effectively, in part due to a weak vocabulary, and difficulty respecting personal boundaries. Magnolia and Michael have a strong desire for independence and control and crave attention and approval. While they have shown the ability to follow rules, respect authority, and make good choices, they frequently resist, test limits, and manipulate situations to present themselves more favorably. They have made progress in understanding right from wrong but struggle to implement this in practice. At the beginning of the 2019/2020 school year, an increase in resistant behaviors was noted in Magnolia, resulting in her transfer to a different school. She shared with our in-country representative that she is bullied by the other kids for her clothing and her living situation. Michael attends school regularly and generally enjoys it, although he, too, exhibits some challenging behaviors. Magnolia enjoys spending time on the computer, reading, watching Harry Potter movies, and listening to music. Michael likes listening to music, playing soccer, and watching TV. Magnolia and Michael do not yet have appropriate expectations of adoption or a good understanding of what it means. They need parents who can come alongside them as they process their past trauma and begin to understand what living in a family truly means.