A Helping Hand in Bulgaria

Bulgarian Child

Guest post from Lizanne C., a Spence-Chapin adoptive parent.

I waited what felt like an eternity for the phone call. I was emotionally and financially invested in what would be the most meaningful event in my life – the adoption of my little boy. The long journey was frustrating and the waiting was a real test of my endurance and patience.

But then, I got THE call. I had to drop everything quickly – my job, my family, my friends, and my life as I knew it.

Adopting as a single mom,  I flew to Bulgaria the first time alone. I was very anxious about navigating in a foreign land about which I knew virtually nothing. After a touchdown on Bulgarian soil, I could only hope that my street smarts, my intellectual wherewithal, and the good Lord would guide me rather than my emotions.  But, like the poem, “Footprints in the Sand”, there was ANIDO. During what could have been the most difficult, frustrating, and frightening experience in my life, ANIDO was there to carry me.

At the airport in Sofia, a member of the ANIDO family was there holding a sign with my name on it.  Any anxiety I had began to diminish.  With the exception of sleeping and some down time, ANIDO never left my side.  They even checked in on me at the hotel, escorted me to and from the orphanage (which was four hours away from Sofia), and assisted me through all the required government and official appointments and the endless paperwork.  I was treated like family.

Three months later, I returned with my sister to pick up my son.  Once again, ANIDO was by my side every step of the way.   The founder and my legal representative, Nellie, is smart, knowledgeable, thorough, and understanding. Nayda, who accompanied us to all government meetings, is compassionate and nurturing. Krassi, my translator and escort, is witty, accomplished, and always made me feel safe. He even joined me on some historic sight-seeing excursions.

I am forever grateful to the ANIDO team. I am blessed and honored to call them my friends. They had a tremendous impact on me and were a huge part of uniting and completing my family.  I continue to remain indebted to them.

Today, thanks to Spence-Chapin and ANIDO, Luke and I are flourishing. Our bond is strengthening, we are thriving as a family, and we are happy!  I wouldn’t have any of this without the support, commitment, and love from ANIDO, my Bulgarian family.


Spence-Chapin partners with ANIDO, a Bulgarian non-governmental organization for our Bulgarian adoption program. ANIDO is an inter-country adoption intermediary licensed by the Ministry of Justice, Bulgaria’s central authority for adoption.

To find out more contact us at

212-400-8150 or email us at info@spence-chapin.org.