„Fairy-tale hero” for the Bulgarian children in 2012 is Iliayana Kaleva, the only Bulgarian who has adopted four children. This was announced during the gala event for awarding the prizes “Golden apple” on 1st June in the Sofia puppet theatre.
On the Friday night, the National Network for Children awarded prizes for contribution to children’s lives in Bulgaria to people and institutions in a total of 8 categories:
– „Journalist“ – winners in the category are Nina Alexandrova and Prolet Velkova from Darik Radio.
– „Local level politician“ – Georgie Georgiev, Mayor of Tundja Municipality.
– „National level politician“ – Milena Damianova, Deputy Minister of Ministry of education.
– „Business“ – Pireos Bank Bulgaria for their support to “Blagodetel” programme of UNICEF
– „Municipality“ – winner in the category is Svishtov Municipality
– „School“ – Main school „Petko Rachov Slaveikov“, Burgas
– „Hospital“ – Child surgery clinic at UMBAL “Sveti Georgi”, Plovdiv
Three personal stories got to the final of the last and the most important category “Fairy-tale hero” – Mina Lambovski, a founder of a centre for work with children with autism; the three and seven years old Gogo and Marti from Shumen who decided on their own to donate their money from gifts for the treatment of Bogdan Alexiev and the story of Iliyana Kaleva who adopted 4 children who touched the awards’ jury and they almost unanimously announced her for a winner.
To adopt a child… 4 times
Iliyana Kaleva is a pediatrician from “First Aid” and the only Bulgarian who adopted 4 children. She was a girl when she understood that because of her bones disease she wouldn’t be able to give birth to children. It was then when she decided that one day she would give all her mother’s love to an abandoned child so that he or her has a chance for a normal life.
After she graduates and finishes a range of specializations, she sets off on the difficult road of adoption. She doesn’t have pretentions for age, health condition and ethnical origin of the child. The news that she was chosen for a mother of the five months Ivan came in the whirlwind of the health reform in 2000.
Iliyana has to start private practice as a GP. She doesn’t have permanent and stable incomes, the costs are more than the incomes. “If you really want to have a child, but there is a problem and he comes in such a crisis, would you give up him?” is Iliyana’s answer to all who wonder how without permanent incomes she would look after a baby in a 60 square meters flat in a concrete block.
In 5 years, Ivo who turns out to have a serious astma, starts dreaming for a brother and a friend for the play. This time both of them walked the hard road of bureaucracy and the fate meets them with Bojidar. The two brothers study together in a pre-school group and then at school.
When they are third grade they already want a sister. When the three of them went to pick Didka up from the social home, they met a sad boy who turned out to be a birth brother of their sister – who is a year younger than them. “Aren’t we going to do something as a family?” ask the boys their mother. Emil is in a procedure for adoption but Iliyana warns the staff to call her if the adoptive applicants give up from him which they do. That’s how from 2010 the four children live together in their fairy-tale castle – made of concrete, 60 square meters but it has all the necessary ingredients for a happy life – mother’s care and much love.