Link to the 2013 Hospital Gallery here
December 2013 - In the hospital, seven month old Lacrimoara with us since 1 month old and who has been slowly dying all of her life passed on last week, being loved right to the end. Florin who's in Paul's arms in the photo gallery recently left to go into foster care. Vera and Dora brought him along so well and now he needs more space to move around, so we're happy for him. Nicoleta is 2 months old and still very tiny. Sanda also 2 months old has a sweet disposition as has Noemi at 3 months old. Five month old Rodica is so interested in our faces and just bubbles over with joy.
The children in the state group homes are as happy and active as our women can help them to be. Fifteen year old Alexandra has started to kiss our cheeks back, when we kiss her. Now she not only wants to receive love but to give it back too.
It has been a wonderful year as you can see by the children's emotional and physical development shown in the newsletter, and we're so thankful for your help and prayers.
Every blessing to you at Christmas and in the new year!
September 2013 - This summer we took 2 groups of children from the group homes where our women work to the zoo. They enjoyed the animals but were even happier to play in the small playground there afterwards. They had freedom, and just to be able to be out walking was very special for them. There are some children who grab our hands and take us to the door when we go to the homes to visit, they want so much to go out.
Lacrimoara who needs to have her hands tied by her sides because of auto-aggression can’t participate in the activities Cornelia does with the children, but loves being with them and included in the group. One day Cornelia was showing the children pictures from a magazine. She left it beside Lacrimoara who managed to turn the pages alone. She got great pleasure out of being able to do something by herself.
Aurica has shown real emotional progress this summer. She now wants to hold people’s hands other than Rodica’s. Roxana is severely handicapped and doesn’t relate to people at all, but she knows and loves Rodica. Rodica is the only person she’ll let hold her, and it’s the only time this tiny child smiles.
In the hospital we are taking care of 4 sweet baby boys. Ruben and Istvan are both 1 month old. Istvan was brought in and left so dehydrated from life on the street that the nurse couldn’t find a vein for an IV. Ioan is 3 months old and Florin is almost 6 months old. Florin has been with us before, so although being abandoned again, he’s happy with Vera and Dora to love him.
July 2013 - After going weekly for the past few months to the state group homes where our women work, children in their own little worlds and seemingly unaware, are opening up and responding our love. Our women experience this regularly. Florina a very handicapped older child, who reacts violently to anyone new and who seems to be in a deep darkness, now smiles when I go to her. Dorina and Zorita bring light to her, and they have been working with Florina trying to get her to walk. They have been massaging her legs and encouraging her and now with someone supporting her she can walk from her room down the hall to the living room.
Eight year old Gisela’s autistic behavior seems only to be due to the fact that she’s lived in institutions. She has now learned to like hugs. To have her come and hug us is an incredible development. The same with 15 year old Alexandra. She also had shut down and withdrawn behaviour, so now when she comes for a hug we just marvel. Alexandra used to colour nicely and then when she was done, would colour over everything in black. With Cornelia’s loving influence and the positive environment she creates with the children, Alexandra doesn’t colour over with black anymore. Fifteen year old Lavinia is in her own world too but her face breaks into the biggest smile when we arrive. She often lets out a cry of joy when we take her hand to walk her.
Fifteen year old Lacrimoara who never got out of bed, appearing to have no emotion at all, but because of Cornelia’s love getting up to be with her and the children in the common room, now is the first one to the door when Cornelia arrives in the morning. The other day she was waiting for a kiss from me with a big smile on her face. I didn’t think she ever saw me. It’s all pretty amazing.
We have a tiny 3 month old Lacrimoara at the hospital. She was abandoned at birth, and we’ve had her the past month and a half. She’s struggling to put weight on. Alex, a healthy 2 month old, was dropped off at the hospital a few weeks ago. He cries often to be picked up. We recently got Eva a very undersized 3 month old. Gabriela is 11 months old and her happy personality is carrying her through multiple abandonments. She just loves Vera and Dora and this past week Vera has taught her to stand. She loves the other babies and has a lot to say to them! Last month Beni had to leave the hospital, his time was up. No one wanted him so he had no place to go. Vera and Dora took him home and now at 5 months old he’s extremely happy in his new family. Vera and Dora who used to split the day working with the babies in the hospital now each work longer hours alternate weeks so that one of them can be at home with Beni.
Codi just passed grade 5 and Andrea passed grade 3 well. We’re not going anywhere this summer but the girls do go weekly to friends in a village which they enjoy. They take swimming lessons and Codi is having physiotherapy for her back. Her class was given 100 math exercises to do. Andrea got off easier this summer!
May 2013 - Two month old Andrei was brought to us having been in and out of the hospital a few times already. He was sad and sick but now a month later he’s laughing loudly with all his heart, and “talking”. Just like 3 month old Beniamin, he’s enjoying life and being loved. Diamin is 1 year old and paralyzed. He needs a lot of care in feeding and must be up to avoid recurring pneumonia. He likes sitting up propped with pillows.
We had 3 month old and 2 kg Iasmin for the last week of her life. She was abandoned at birth in the maternity hospital, but after a few moves through the compassion of our doctor, she ended up with our women so that she could be loved and cared for before her death. Like 4 month old Razvan, Iasmin passed on in peace, having had the experience of being loved. The doctor said that Diamin may not have long to live, but every day is a day of love.
Rodica taking Aurica outside and letting her swing is a tremendous help for this child. Aurica must be up sitting with her legs down to keep from getting more deformed. These handicapped children in the state group homes get 1 physiotherapy session a week, not enough to keep Aurica’s legs from giving her serious trouble. There is nobody apart from Rodica to work with her. It’s painful for Aurica to be up, but when Rodica takes her for rides in the wheelchair, she forgets the pain and being on the swing is the best! Four year old Andrea loves being on the swing too. Lucian, 12, finds things to do outside but must be supervised. Our women get the children up and out.
Cornelia tries to get Abel, and the blind boys Cornel and Darius up as much as possible. Abel who chews his clothes to shreds sits calmly and plays when he’s in the common room with the other children, and Cornel who has pain and cries a lot, doesn’t cry at all when he’s up with the other children.
We’re not sure all the time how much these abandoned, handicapped children understand or perceive so it was lovely to see Erika’s face light up with joy, and hear her laugh when I gave her a new pair of socks. She had been feeling the holes in her socks worn thin. She can’t talk, but gave us her feet to put them on her right away. Dorina and Zorita have full days walking children like Erika who can’t walk alone.
We are now buying fruit for the 36 children of these state group homes once a week. They get no fruit at all given them by the meal supplier. It is wonderful that a Romanian friend of mine wants to get involved and is buying the children eggs which they also don't get at all, milk (their allotment is 1 litre per week per child) and yogurt. The children just loved the bananas, and one little boy who has bone cancer and has trouble eating, ate his banana with no problem at all.
March 2013 - In the hospital, we have been taking care of Razvan who is 4 months old and because of a genetic condition has about another month to live. This baby is being loved during his last days. Ten month old Nicoleta is very sad. Her mother has a paralyzed child at home and can’t take care of her as well. We don’t know what her future will be, but Vera and Dora are loving her, playing with her and trying to break through the sadness. Bianca who was abandoned at 1 month old, is now 8 months old and has learned to stand supporting herself with the crib rails. We buy her and Casiana (3 1/2 months old) cereal, and bananas and soft cheese for Bianca. They would cry with hunger if not for this food.
Lots of love is happening in the state group homes where our women work. Remus has such a strong need for love and attention that it makes his day when we greet and hug him first. Then it is non-stop walking! Though he can now walk alone, he likes the relationship in walking together holding hands. For the first time I saw Florica walking. She spends the day sitting in a chair, and it took 2 to get her walking, but she could do it. Dorina’s and Zorita’s persistent exercising of Evelin has her standing and taking steps without having her legs nudged.
Mirela is severely deformed and stays all the time in bed. She appreciates being loved, when she has her face stroked she smiles so beautifully. Ioana is an agitated little soul, but Rodica has been working with her to sit at a table. With Rodica’s love and attention, Ioana can now sit and draw, or look at pictures. She’s extremely attached to Rodica whose love brings her peace.
Fifteen year old Lavinia’s whole face lights up when she gets new clips put in her hair. It’s a shame we’re not allowed to take pictures of these children. She is Cornelia’s companion when visiting the bedridden children. For her this is a chance to walk which she loves, and to make the ones whose arms she pats, comforted and happy.
Cornelia observed in the blind children their happiness in singing. Children that can’t talk are able to make sounds to sing. They feel they’re really singing and this delights them. Fifteen year old Abel is one of these children, who Cornelia also takes out of bed. He would never be taken out of bed if not for her. He does enjoy being with the other children.
January 2013 - In the hospital, Vanessa whose picture was in the newsletter has now come alive. We waited for months for her first smile and finally it came right before Christmas. It took her months to start putting on weight, but now she has cute little cheeks. She's a completely new child. Silvia who is now 9 months old has also entered into life. She is so happy with herself sitting holding the bars of her crib, and has just learned to stand. We've had many tiny babies who we've fed, loved and brought back to life.
In the 3 state group homes that we have access to, our women are helping abandoned, handicapped children so much. Alexandra who is 14 and never talked, now does. Five year old Ioana usually left in her crib is being walked, doing much better and loving it. Fourteen year old Lacrimoara who wanted only to be alone in bed has really benefitted from Cornelia's loving visits to her in her room. Now when she hears Cornelia arriving at the front door, she gets up herself to go to her. Lacrimoara is very handicapped and can't participate in activities but she now likes to stay in the room where Cornelia does activities with the children, choosing to be with them. It is an incredible opening up for this child.
And there are the loving and happy times that our women bring to these otherwise neglected children - Aurica who has learned to walk with Rodica's help, laughing at the joy of it, fourteen year old Remus still revelling in his learning how to walk and now learning how to catch a ball, and the 2 older blind, very handicapped boys Cornel and Darius who share a bed, lifting up their arms to be loved when they hear Cornelia's voice. Thirty-six children who feel worth because they are loved.