Link to the 2014 Hospital Gallery here
December 2014 - It was a very happy Christmas time at the state group homes where our women work. A week after the children received their presents, Gisela is still dancing with joy after she threads a bead necklace, blind Cornel laughing out loud with his new music toy, Alexandra colouring almost non-stop in her own colouring book, Claudia and Roxana so carefully taking care of their dolls. Amalia is delighted to make shapes with plasticine. When she makes a puzzle though needing help, she gives a shout of joy with every piece successfully placed.
The children are now so used to activities and the pleasure they bring, that right after breakfast they each ask for their favorite thing. It is so wonderful seeing them function to the best of their ability. Naomi has started working with them with a game of faces to help them recognize their feelings. This is something of value for those who have trouble speaking.
We have found some appropriate books which make the children and the teenage boys happy and interested. David is using a reader/activity book with Andrei who is still trying to learn the alphabet and to read, with success. And it's not as painful for Andrei! It was special to hear the boys sing carols. They take their singing very seriously, and even the boys that barely talk will sing.
The children being so loved, love in return. When Ilu and Maria give a hug at the same time because neither can wait, it lasts a long time. They don't let go.
The cereal we provide for the abandoned babies in the hospital has really helped Sandor, Alexandru, Cristian, Cosmin, Razvan and Maia these past few months. We started them early on it, they're so hungry. Tiny Bobi came without a birth certificate, he still sleeps a lot. We're very happy that Izabela whose picture was in the newsletter got adopted.
October 2014 - Five month old Sandor is much stronger and happier now that we've been giving him cereal for 2 months. Alexandru who is 2 months old has been with us before. He was taken home, then 2 days later brought back to the hospital extremely sick. Unfortunately this is the pattern for babies that are not wanted. He rebounded quickly, very loved by Vera and Dora. Three week old Izabela is up for adoption. We'll be able to give three month old Cristian cereal next month and he'll be able to get bigger.
The results of Amalia's 3 week treatment at the rehab hospital had a fantastic effect on her. She is sitting up so straight now, and holds her head up so well. Now she can sit and colour and do things with her hands.
We were given a walker, something we'd been hoping for, for a long time so that Erika could walk on her own. Her legs cross in front of her when she walks, nevertheless Dorina and Zorita walk her because she loves walking. I've never seen her so happy walking alone with this walker! She was laughing and the other children watching her were about as happy as she was.
David is bonding with the abandoned teenage boys and they are so happy to get out daily now that's he's there to take them. All 14 of them sing when he takes his guitar over and when he takes some of the older ones to church with him Sunday nights, they get up at the front and sing there too, feeling very good about themselves!
August 2014 - In the hospital we have 2 babies that have heart conditions. Adam is 1 month old and is not expected to live much longer. The other baby, Erno, no one knows the birth date of. He seems to be a few months old and is very hungry. He finishes his small amount of formula and cries for more. Vera has been managing to get him more. Sandor is a thin 3 month old and Reka is 9 months old who fortunately has finished kidney dialysis.
It has been a very good summer for the children in the state group homes, with both Estera and Naomi working part time, filling in hours that weren't covered. The children had more hours of love and care. Estera accomplished her goal of getting 4 year old Andrea who prefers crawling, to walk, and now the child will get up and walk on her own, something she never did before. Andrea is also talking more now.
We are giving Amalia another round of treatments at the rehab hospital. The treatments from the spring had a lasting effect thanks to Cornelia and Naomi continuing to exercise and massage her limbs. The hospital staff there was impressed to see the good shape that Amalia was in.
We visited Canada this summer and I met with a sponsor who wants to take on a state group home of 13 abandoned teenage boys. These boys have different levels of intelligence. They need activities, sports and most of all, love and direction. Each one complains of being hungry, the food is not sufficient. So we've started to buy them supplementary food, and God has provided a young man David to work with them.
We're excited about this new aspect of our work.
In July when we would go to the orphanage to take out our 3 children for the weekends, we were asked to take more. Quickly we ended up with 5 children. They very much enjoy being in our apartment in a home environment with toys, games and things to do.They like to eat a lot too! Our relationships are deepening which we hope will help them.
June 2014 - The twins Tibor and Lajos are almost 2 months old and were recently abandoned by their 18 year old mother because of poverty. Andrei is 5 weeks old and just loves to be held. Florin a perfectly healthy abandoned baby who was doing so well with Vera's and Dora's care sadly got moved to another hospital where there is no one to give him the time and love he needs. Octaviana who is 3 months old and who has been with us most of her life is doing very well.
In the state group home where our Naomi works, a 16 year old girl has had an amazing emotional breakthrough. Lacrimoara has her arms tied together because of auto aggression and Cornelia's love over these past 2 years has brought her to life. Before Cornelia, Lacrimoara would never get out of bed. Well this girl just loves Naomi too, and one day after Naomi had taken all the children outside and they were sitting on a bench, she began inching her way to Naomi and then put her head on Naomi's shoulder. This is the first sign of affection Lacrimoara had shown in her life and we are overjoyed.
I was able to hire back Estera who worked with the children 2 years ago before having a baby. The children really love her, she knows how to give them activities for their level of development, so that they can have success and be happy. Her goal this summer is to get 4 year old Andrea who prefers crawling, to walk. Already the supervisor of the houses is impressed with the progress Andrea has made with Estera's help. Also the social worker is impressed with how the 36 children's health and disposition has improved since we began taking fruit, milk, yogurt and eggs a year ago to supplement their poor diet.
The beginning of the month my girls and I started taking out children from the 80 bed orphanage in town, for the weekends. We were given 7 year old Florina and her 4 year old brother Cristi who are not doing well there. After a few weeks we were asked if we could take out another child, they just love to get out if only for the weekend. So now 5 year old Laura has been joining us and Codi and Andrea are a wonderful help with them. Codi loves to teach and really applies herself - Cristi doesn't know numbers nor Florina letters of the alphabet.
April 2014 - We were so happy when tiny Radica who we got this winter at 2 weeks old got adopted. She recently left for her new family. The beautiful twin girls we got last month are doing fine. At 3 months old now they're developing normally. We've had a number of 3 month old babies that are so wanting love.
The children are doing well in the state group homes where our women work, because of the love they receive. Istvan who is 17 and autistic has opened up to our Dorina. He doesn't interact with anyone, but now when she gives him her hand he holds it to his chest. He's happy knowing he's loved. I've just had the same experience with Maria an autistic 8 year old. Usually when I visit she grabs my hand and heads for the door. Last week when I got down to hug her she hugged me back and wouldn't let go.
Last month we made it possible for 6 year old Amalia to have treatment at a rehab hospital. Abandoned children don't get treatment because they need someone with them night and day. So our Cornelia and Naomi took turns taking care of her, sleeping in the same bed with her in a room with 4 other older noisy children and their mothers, for the 3 week period. Amalia is now able to sit better holding her deformed body straighter and her stomach is not ballooned out. She's more talkative now and we're appreciating her alert mind. The intense togetherness with Cornelia and Naomi was healing in itself.
Naomi is a student in 2nd year university studying to teach children with special needs. I've known her for years and she has a lot to give. She had recently lost her part time job, devastated because she's on her own coming from a very poor family. So it's a perfect match that she should work part of the weekend when the children are especially neglected. They love her very much and she's wonderful with them, usually having one of them in her arms.
Seventeen year old Darian who is blind sings now for long periods. Cornel also blind who stays in the same bed won't let anyone take the music toy out of his hands he's so happy. The constant music must be inspiring Darian! Cornelia makes a special effort to take these boys outside. No one else ever takes them out of bed.
February 2014 - These past few months we’ve given music to the children in one of the state group homes where our women work. Two teenagers with the disabled bodies of 7 year-olds, Cornel who is blind and Lavinia, have discovered with Cornelia’s guidance a game that makes them so happy. Cornel holds a musical pull toy near Lavinia who pulls the cord. This is quite a feat for her, and when it works Cornel takes it back and holds it to his ear. And he laughs out loud. This game goes on and on and they are so happy. This and a battery operated foot-long piano have him so occupied that he won’t let go of them at mealtime. There are no words to explain what music does for these children and especially for the blind children. Fifteen year old Alexandra gets into terrible moods and can’t express herself. Music is the only thing that lifts her out of the blackness. We have a little radio that plays music off a stick and have recorded beautiful music. Often Alexandra greets Cornelia in the mornings saying only musica, musica.
Last month I saw fifteen year old Florina walking with a huge smile on her face with Dorina. It used to take 2 women to carry her. Dorina’s massaging and exercising Florina got her to walk but she walked reluctantly. With lots more massaging Florina’s muscles are working great and she’s really happy.
It’s amazing to see Aurica lift her arms and play hand games. Rodica’s diligence and loving exercise with Aurica has greatly decreased her pain, and now she’s walking Aurica every day which the child enjoys and which is so necessary for muscle development.
In the hospital we have a 3 week old baby girl, abandoned at 2 weeks old. Bogdan is now 7 months old and getting little cheeks. He loves the bananas and cereal we give him. Rodica also 7 months old and who has been with us for half her life just left to go home with Vera and Dora. Like Beni who they took home in the summer, Rodica had no place to go, and the months going by living in the hospital without sunshine, fresh air or good food were not good for her. So now she is blessed with a family.
Five month old Noemi got abandoned again, this time with flea bites and other sores. She’s still her same sweet self. And we have a beautiful 4 month old Filip. Adrian, the 1 year old handicapped boy who was unresponsive has started smiling and responding to love. No one thought it was possible. Love always surprises us.