Link to the 2009 Hospital Gallery here
November 2009 - The exciting news we have this month is that Evelin is booked to leave for Cluj on December 7 for her surgery. Dorina will go with her again and take care of her for the 2 weeks she'll be in recovery. We are so thankful to you for helping us provide Evelin with the lip surgery she had earlier this year, and now for the surgery to repair her cleft palate. Her life will be so very much better when she can eat easier.
Two newly abandoned baby boys Ioan and Ciprian have just arrived and they are without birthdates. Vera and Dora's love will make up for what they've been deprived of.
Codi's been having trouble again learning so her tutor from the spring and summer is now sitting in class with her a few hours a week, keeping her focused and explaining the difficult things. This is having excellent results and Codi is happy with her success. She's also taking basketball 2 hours a week in the evenings. As well as giving her a sense of success, she uses her left hand as well as her right, she's learning valuable lessons like teamwork.
Andrea could spend all her waking moments with our new cat. He was a stray kitten, a very lovable Burmese and you can just feel her deep contentment when he's curled up in her lap.
September 2009 - Codi is very happy to be back at school and quite proud of herself that she's in grade 2! All the work she did this summer has been worth it because she is reading and writing much better now. The school psychologist will continue to work with her this year putting focus on math.
Andrea is also very happy to be back in her kindergarten where she was year before last. She ended up not really liking the one she was in this past year, a new one because of our move. So when it closed down in June that was ok with her! She decided she'd like to go back to her other one even though it's a farther walk. She has the same teacher she had 2 years ago who really loves her, and she is with her old friends.
Andrea celebrated her 7th birthday this month and the girls had fun as always at these birthday celebrations with Sylvia. Sylvia is now 9 but whenever they get together the 3 girls always end up tumbling and rolling around on the rug like bear cubs. They seem to be re-establishing their connection of their early years together when they do this. Please see them in the photo gallery.
News from the hospital - this month a set of twin girls was found in the garbage dump. They are having a hard time recovering, being in and out of intensive care. When they are on the ward, Vera gives them very special attention.
We have begun talking with the doctor about getting Evelin ready for the surgery she will have on her cleft palate. Evelin's eating more now, so she's getting stronger. She is up for longer periods in the walker. She pushes with her hands and her feet,and it's great seeing her holding her head so well now.
Kevin is not doing well due to his digestive and abdominal problems. There is nothing to help him physically except rubbing his tummy, and he loves to be held and talked to. He has a lot to say back, at the top of his lungs too!
Five month old Ioana is back again after 2 weeks of trying to be at home. She was brought back very sick and thin, but recovered right away.
July 2009 - Our summer started off so happily with Mom's annual visit. With the adoptions through, she's now Codi and Andrea's legal grandmother. They loved playing school with her and baking cookies. Codi's favourite thing to do was to go alone with her to the market and translate for her. Andrea being more verbal with every year that goes by, got in on the translating too! They all had special times of number games and stories.
Jessica who came to volunteer at the hospital for 3 months 2 years ago, is now here volunteering again. She got extremely attached to Evelin when she was here last time and learned the difficult job of feeding a baby with a cleft palate. Even though Evelin's lip has been repaired, she's still very hard to feed. But Jessica is doing beautifully as Dorina puts it, and she's giving Dorina some vacation time.
We have good news about 4 month old Denisa who has been abandoned 4 times. This week she got placed with a foster family. Denisa's had lots of suffering in her short life, every time she was brought back and left at the hospital, she was extremely ill. Vera has loved her through all her trauma and now she's a happy, smiling baby.
Rodica has her hands really full out at the state group home where Soledad continues to do well. Six of the 11 children there are now 5 and 6 years old and it with these children that Rodica is mostly occupied because of their aggressive behaviour. Rodica gives them attention, works with them and plays with them, and their negative behaviours decrease. Soledad likes to be included in their games. Even though she's too handicapped to play, her smile shows she's glad to be included!
May 2009 - Irma was telling me how the babies smile when she sings to them. She sees how happy they become when she starts her day with them. Sweet Ioan is one of the babies recently who was sent home but came back 3 days later sick and dehydrated. Vera says this happens so much with our abandoned babies. Then there are situations where it is so good for our women to be there for babies like Anna Maria who was brought in with rat bites on her face and head, and chunks eaten out of her legs.
Lia has a special bond with Rebecca who has hydrocephalus and spina bifida. She is now 5 months old and loves to be held and talked to.
Soledad was put back in the state group home where under-staffing causes the children there to be really neglected. Rodica is working out there now and helps with the other children as well as Soledad. Sole is doing fine and putting on weight. At least the food is better there than in the hospital. Rodica sees a big difference in the violent and aggressive children who are responsive to her love and care for them.
Codi is doing better now in school with the tutoring she's been getting twice a week. The school psychologist and reading support teacher are finally seeing some progress.
Codi and Andrea are very excited that Mom is coming June 6. Their "Buni" (grandmother) is very important to them.
March 2009 - Dorina and Evelin just got back from Cluj, a city with better medical facilities, and her lip surgery was a great success! They were there a full 2 weeks and it's a miracle that Dorina managed to take care of her all this time without a break, without good meals, in a room with other people, and in the same bed. She lost 5 pounds, it was only God who kept her going. But all the work and prayers were absolutely worth it. Evelin without that huge hole in her lip looks beautiful now, and she drinks her bottle so much easier without the air coming through her open lip.
In the fall Evelin will have the first surgery on the hole inside her mouth, and 6 months after that the next part. Please compare her pictures in the Photo Gallery section and see the amazing difference.
The other great news is that my adoption of Codi and Andrea finally went through. This is a big relief for all of us!
I was in one of Vera's rooms the other day and saw 3 precious little babies - Ioan who is 2 months old abandoned and signed off by his mother, Teodora who is 8 months old abandoned now 3 times to the hospital, and Daniela. This baby girl is 3 months old and was taken by the hospital back home, but as the only person there was a drunk father, she was brought back again to the hospital. The babies in the other room have similar stories. They are blessed to have Vera and Irma looking after them.
February 2009 - The situation here is still extremely bad for abandoned children. There are not enough foster homes for the children who need them. There are too many gypsy children who cannot be kept track of, and who are abandoned in the hospital, taken home for a period and brought back and left again. This happened to Ioana who we've had for most of her life. She was making such progress, walking and enjoying it. Then she was sent home to her family which didn't want her. This lasted a month and she was brought back very sick, sad and disturbed to the hospital. Ioana really regressed during this time and now she doesn't want to walk at all.
Voichita (named by the staff) the baby girl that was abandoned in the garbage dump just before Christmas and who was doing so well with Vera's love and care, was given back to her mother. This woman came to the hospital so dirty that they refused to let her in. She came back cleaner and took this child that she had left to die in the garbage dump, home. We're just so sad that in the eyes of the authorities Voichita is just a gypsy child one of too many, that need a home which can't be provided.
Dana who is 8 months old is the size of a 2 month old, extremely sick, and abandoned for the second time in the hospital. She's pretty and eager but she has a lot of catching up to do. Daur, a beautiful 2 month old boy who nobody wants, Maia a 1 month old baby girl with us since birth, Angelo a tiny 1 month old, Sorin who is fortunate enough to be going into foster care, and 2 other babies in another room are Vera's babies now.
So the situation is the same as ever and the only thing we can do, and this doesn't mean "only", is to love these children. Each little baby has his and her own personality with a strong need to be held and loved. The good that Vera and Irma are doing there is beyond measure. When the babies cry they are picked up, usually 2 at a time, and loved. Then they stop crying because they know they matter to somebody. Stopping their hurt and pain is what our women do.
Kevin is doing so well up in the walker and bouncing in it. He's come a long way. Evelin will hopefully be going to Cluj for her first operation on her mouth as soon as the doctor can get her documents ready and it's not too cold for the trip. Dorina will be going with her to take care of her during her operation. We can hardly wait for Evelin to be able to eat without so much struggling. It's taken a lot of pushing to get this far and we just have to be patient for a bit longer.
Soledad and Evelin are now talking to each other when they're placed side by side. These two little gals have come a long way!
Andrea is doing fine at kindergarten but unfortunately (meaning another adjustment for her) I have to find another one for her as the one she's in now will close to become something else at the end of the school year. She's not learning quickly so will need another year of kindergarten before beginning grade 1, which is total stress, as any parent here will say.
Codi had her evaluation the last week of January and is doing poorly. She's so verbally gifted with a bright imagination, but the 3 r's are not coming easily to her. We do homework every night, and the extra help she's getting from a school support teacher and a school psychologist once a week are probably helping a bit. One of her teachers said they may give her and another child easier work to do this month so as not to completely discourage them.
After more paperwork and documents required around Christmas time, I now have the court date, the last step in the adoption process. Hopefully February 18 will be the day when Codi's and Andrea's adoptions can be finalized. The other day Codi said to me, "I don't want anyone to take me away from you". She knows what's going on, and I know she'll feel a lot better when this is all over with.