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An Introduction, An Update, and Passionate Start Back

Hello everyone!  I am so excited to get Hidden Treasures back rolling again.  This auction has been a huge part of the story of many of our Pleven children coming home and that includes our family.  I thought I'd start off by introducing myself for those who may not have followed our Pleven Stories and then a little update on our story for those who did (I hope to have updates on many more of the children who you all helped to bring home in the Child Updates Section for you very soon!).

We are the Unroe Family and we have brought home four wonderful blessings from Pleven.  First off was Keith.  He came home as part of our first international adoption..  He was right around 12 pounds at pickup, even though he was 5 years old.  He has Down Syndrome and as a result they had kept him in an isolation room there for  2 1/2 years.  Our sweet boy was quick to grow and overcome obstacles once home though.  He is doing amazing and has now been home longer than he was in that isolation room.  He came home in July of 2012, as a part of our adoption of 5 children with Down Syndrome.  He amazes us daily with his zest for life.  Keith lost his hearing while at Pleven due to untreated ear infections.  He will go this next week to get his hearing aide for one ear and then will get a Cochlear Implant for the other ear later on Lord willing as things progress.  He has gone from a child who couldn't sit up to a child who can climb a ladder and go down a slide.  He's AMAZING! 

This was one of the pictures we received prior to meeting Keith. 
You can see the marks on his wrists from being tied to the crib.
The picture to the left is the day after coming home wearing 3/6 months size clothes in an infant swing. 
The picture on the right is at Easter wearing a 3t/4t after 21 months home.
This is Keith in February being his happy and amazing self.

These last two pictures were taken in February at Great Wolf Lodge after one of his hearing appointments, because I always take him there to stay as a treat for tolerating the hospital.

After coming home God made it clear that we were heading back.  We weren't sure who at first, but then He made it clear that we were headed back for Matthew, Johnathan, and Charity.  They arrived home in November of 2013 and were all three from Pleven. Even in country it was apparent how much long term damage was done as Charity and Matthew had drug withdrawals that ended up lasting for weeks.  Johnathan had been hit in the head so hard that his skull had been broken in the back, so that he now and a huge hole in the back of his skull that was not there during my earlier trip in June.  Johnathan also seemed to be worse than when I had visited him before and the nurse that traveled with me and I were unable to determine if that was due to the hit to the head or worsening hydrocephalus.  None of the children knew how to drink anything and Charity had no idea how to eat anything other than it being shoved in forced style.  The same was true of Matthew....He ended up needed syringes.

Matthew was listed as "Thad" and had been beaten into a coma by his birthfather at 4 years old (he's 11 years old now) and then left to lay until he had contracted up terribly....  Once home we were able to help to ease that discomfort by working to bring his legs down into a more natural position, though it was determined they couldn't be brought all the way to straight bc after so long in that position he didn't have enough skin to cover straightening him at the knee, even if he were to have surgery.  His teeth were fixed since they were rotted out below gum level and horribly painful.  It has turned out that his skull was never cleaned out after the beating and it is too late to clean it out without causing a new bleed.  Much of his screaming and discomfort is due to pressure in his head.  All we can do now is work to keep him comfortable and the abuse and neglect he suffered for so long will cost us our son and him his life. 

This kind of self explains  itself  with the side by side.

Our sweet Matthew! 
Johnathan  (previously listed as Carson) learned how to drink from a spoon and then a cup.  He quickly learned how to eat all varieties of food.  His delays in those areas were purely due to lack of opportunity.  His walking improved as well and he learned to climb things once allowed outside and with the availability of the slide and climber we have in the house.  Neurologically he did receive shunt, but not a valve.  Valves are more expensive....  Valves regulate how much fluid drains though.  This means that he went from too much fluid in his head to his head overdrained and his brain shrunk up.  So I have a son whose head grew too big before he was treated (his head was bigger than mine when he came home at 7), but had too little pressure and fluid, so his brain is pretty much scarred in an abnormal shape and shrunken.  He is doing amazing though and is improving so much each day.  He can even sing Jingle Bells and Happy Birthday pretty well! Pleven will not win!

This one kid of explains itself again!

Johnathan at Christmas looking so grown up.

Charity (previously listed as Presley) is gorgeous!  She came home at 4 so feral from her years drugged in a crib that she bit herself and me.  She was so used to no human contact that she didn't know what to do with it.  We worked through the drug withdrawals.  She learned that it was ok to be on the floor and moving about.  She learned to crawl around.  We saw a neurologist who said that unlike we were told, she doesn't have a cyst in her brain, but instead the top layer of her cerebellum is missing.  They called to tell us that she probably wouldn't walk bc of balance issues.  Funny thing is that she had already started walking between her visit and the call (one of the benefits of a large family)!  She still has trouble with textures, but has learned to drink from a sippy cup.  We are determined that she will overcome a little more of what they did to her each day. 

Here is another self explanatory one!

Charity has grown up so much and is so giggly now!

As you can see from the difference in our children, and the loss they suffered during their time there...and what Matthew is suffering and we are to suffer yet with him, or more so will suffer without him....  Time is of the essence when it comes to children at Pleven and I, as well as several other mothers of children from that place, feel very passionate about the children still stuck.  CHILDREN NEED OUT.  Several children have recently had families step up.  A few children still need families to step up.  It is my greatest desire to help these children and families.  I'm asking you all to rally as you have in the past to do so. 

I will be coming to you soon with their stories...With more updates on the children you have already helped....AND with our next child and family whose auction will run from April 1st through the 7th.  You can reach me at with donations or questions.  Thank you so much for all you have done to make this a success in the past and will continue to do to make it a success in the future!



  1. Thank you so much for agreeing to work behind the scenes on the auctions while you are so busy with your own little treasures :)! I am so thrilled for all that has happened the past few weeks in Pleven, and my family and I will definitely have some donations ready by the first :)!
    Bri :)

    1. Thank you so very much! We appreciate so much what this auction has done for our family in the past and for so many others in helping to redeem so many children and are thrilled to be a part of helping many more children come home. <3


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