Link to the 2010 Hospital Gallery here
December 2010 - We had a great visit with my brother Paul in October. Codi and Andrea loved being with their uncle again. Andrea spent many hours drawing with him. Codi was delighted that he rented a car and took us on a day trip to the mountains where she could have a snowball fight with him.
At the hospital, Vivien whose picture is in the newsletter, is making great progress. The special cereal, fresh squeezed oranges and yogurt that we give her is doing her so much good. She can now sit and stand holding on to the crib rails. The hospital social workers say they will try to find a foster family for three month old Diana whose family live in something made out of cardboard boxes. Doina's parents are begging in another country, and Brendon who is 2 months old is also happy to be loved by our women.
We have 2 newly abandoned babies, David a fun-loving 5 month old, and Natalia who turned 6 months old on the day I took her picture. Please see these beautiful babies in the Photo Gallery section.
September 2010 - August was a very difficult month with many of our abandoned babies sick and with diarrhea. Because they live on a ward with sick babies, they often pick up things from them. But they have recovered and are well now. One of the babies we have now is Vivien. She is 7 months old and quite behind. We give her yogurt which she loves, and she's coming along fine.
We had a real answer to prayer in an excellent replacement for Lia who is leaving to give birth to her first child. We knew it wouldn't be easy to find someone to love and take care of abandoned handicapped children, but this lady Zorita (pronounced Zoritsa) has been working in the state group home beside the one Rodica works in and so is very used to handicapped children. She's an enthusiastic lady full of stories and songs, who has already bonded well with Evelin. The second day she was in to visit the children, Evelin actually reached out and grabbed her finger. Evelin is showing signs of affection more often now and we were happy. Zorita lost her job due to downsizing and is thankful to be able to work again.
Another answer to prayer is the replacement of 1 of Codi's 2 teachers. The new teacher is an acquaintance of ours who we haven't seen in many years. She remembers Codi as a toddler and likes her. She's encouraging and this will be good for Codi and the other children in her class.
Andrea has started grade 1 and likes it. She just had her 8th birthday and is ready now for the difficulty of this demanding first grade. She already writes beautifully with the fountain pen. Most parents wait until their children are 7 or 8. Andrea has had success in these first few weeks, the teacher says she's the best in the class, and so this will be a very good year!
July 2010 - It is just great these days to see David who's 7 months old now, standing by himself holding on to the crib, and so happy. He was such a tiny sick little guy, but after all the love and bananas, he's now strong and well. The twins Darius and David are again with us, this is the third time they've been left in the hospital and they are still so tiny at 5 months old. But Vera's now giving them bananas so they'll be looking better soon.
In the Photo Gallery please compare these pictures of Sonia and Stefan with the earlier one where they're held by Lia, and see how they've grown up. Fortunately for them, they have been placed in a private British group home.
Dorina now has a stroller for Evelin. She was out in the parking lot giving her some fresh air and a woman noticed how hard it was for her to hold Evelin who is now pretty tall. This woman gave her a stroller, and we thought what an angel! Now they can get outside easier. Rodica is also focusing on getting her children outside at the state group home. This is important for any child, and lacking in the abandoned child's institutionalized life.
Mom's visit was great again this year. Codi and Andrea had the most fun playing school with her, a game that they took very seriously! Mom was also a big help when Codi had to be confined inside 5 days after her adenoid operation. They were always busy together.
The girls have started piano lessons and are learning the wonder of music on our electric piano, a gift from friends. They're doing sports this summer too and with homework to do (Codi's class got given 2 manuals from school) the summer is going quickly.
May 2010 - It's been a busy month with a number of very sick babies that recovered well because they were up in our womens' arms so they could cough better. As well as abandoned sick babies, Vera, Dora and Kelsy loved and took care of a baby with a choking problem, a baby boy with rat bites, and 2 one-month old tiny girls.
Alexandra is now standing on her own and very happy about it. She also laughs from her stomach now too!
At the group home, Rodica has had a real breakthrough with Adriana and Elec, two of the most aggressive children. They are both much gentler now with Rodica and the others. Adriana now goes to her and puts her head in Rodica's lap, or hugs her while she's feeding Soledad.
Codi had her evaluation and has shown enough progress to pass grade 2. She's very pleased and has taped her diploma on the wall.
A few weeks ago on European Union Day, some kindergarden classes did a program in front of about 300 people. I was wondering how Andrea would do, having had episodes of stage fright before. But this time she stood there on that big stage and said her poem calmly into the microphone. After it was over she said, "Boy, was that ever great!"
April 2010 - Evelin's surgery was a great success and now 6 weeks later, she is eating quite well with a spoon, has become a much calmer child and is "talking" more. Mouth reconstruction affects the voice and Evelin likes the way hers sounds! Evelin now sounds like any child learning to talk, and it is wonderful listening to her. She's become vocally expressive and lets our women know if they're starting a story she doesn't want to hear! When they enter the room she laughs out loud with delight.
Soledad spent a few weeks in the hospital recently and with Rodica's care in the group home, is developing to the best of her potential. When she laughs now it is with such power that it is surprising. Lucian, one of the boys out at the home is Sole's best friend. Rodica has taught him how to be gentle, and Sole always smiles when he comes up to her. That's one of Rodica's big jobs there, teaching the children many of whom have aggressive and violent tendencies, to get along and play well together.
Dorina is helping Alexandra to stand. Alexandra is at this stage of her development, and it's great that Dorina is there to work with her.
Kelsy Haveling has just arrived from Canada to help Vera with the abandoned babies on her section. She picked up Toni who has no birth date, and it was clear they're going to be very good friends! Kelsy is staying with us, is a good help with Codi and Andrea, and a lovely presence in our family. Kelsy brought gifts and sleepers from her church and her family which are very much appreciated.
Codi's teacher has finally admitted that she is grasping math better, thanks to her tutor Estera's help and prayers! She's getting satisfaction from basketball twice a week, as Andrea is getting from her gymnastics group. They are both very happy that spring is here and they can be out on their bikes.
February 2010 - We have another date for Evelin's cleft palate surgery: February 23. Evelin couldn't have her operation on December 7 as the medical team in Cluj discovered that her hemoglobin was too low. The doctor here didn't think her anemia would be a problem because it didn't interfere with her lip surgery last year. But this operation will be a lot longer and involve blood loss. Evelin has been getting treatment and now is all set to go. Please pray for her and Dorina. Dorina was telling me how hard it is to take care of her 24/7 in a room where they have to share a bed because there are no cribs. Dorina will be her nurse and mother for the 2 week recovery. I hope in the next update to tell you of a wonderful outcome!
We were happy when in December the twin baby girls that were found in the garbage dump 4 months earlier had recovered enough to be able to go into foster care. We were so glad that someone could take them so that they wouldn't have to live in the hospital any longer.
Now a foster family will have to be found for Stefanie, a beautiful baby girl whose mother left her in the hospital the month before last with a false home address. When the hospital staff tried to take her home they discovered this and had to bring her back. Stefanie is happy waiting with Vera.
Because our women really care about the babies, they notice things like exceptionally hungry ones who need their formula increased. This helps the babies so much.
Codi's working hard at school, and Andrea decided that she wanted to learn to read and write. She writes well already, and enjoys making words with the letters she's learned.