Link to the 2016 Hospital Gallery here
October 2016 - We have some very tiny babies right now. The twin girls Catalina and Adina are both 3 1/2 months old and only 3 kg. They are beautiful and adorable girls who just haven't been fed enough. They just love the cereal we provide for them. Tiny Suzana is the same age and weight. She's extremely handicapped and needs a lot of care in feeding. Alexandra is 2 1/2 months old and is getting over her sadness, being very upset the day her mother brought her in and left her. Rusalim is a lovely 6 month old who just needs to be played with to take his mind of his abandonment. We just got Fernando who is 2 months old and 2 kg, very sick from being fed cow's milk in his one meal of the day. He was brought in almost in a coma.
Our women who work in the state group homes have been taking the abandoned handicapped children outside as much as possible, knowing that these lovely days will soon be over. The government staff is not so agreeable to letting the children outside when the weather turns, even though we'd just like to bundle them up and get them out. September was a lovely month and during the last warm week, David got sausages to do over the brick BBQ that he and the boys made and they had a great time. After their meal they toasted bread over the fire and ate until they almost burst! He has taken the ping pong table outside and some very serious competitions have taken place! All his activities with the boys are chances for these abandoned teenagers to learn how to get along with each other and control their behaviour.
Cornelia and Rodica have been taking turns in the hospital caring for one of the boys from the boys' home, 15 year old Lionel who ended up needing an operation. When abandoned children have to be in the hospital it's very hard on them being in such an unfriendly atmosphere with rarely anybody to help them. Lionel is retarded and can't talk but understands everything and makes hand signals.
In September we celebrated the birthdays of 2 of the children we bring home weekends from the orphanage. With 6 children, there always seems to be another birthday right around the corner, and they talk about who's next. They are so happy to be considered special.
July 2016 - Six month old Florina turned out so beautifully physically and emotionally from the more than 2 months with us, as you can see from her picture in the photo gallery. She just left for a foster family. Craciun and Constantine who have been with us for half of their 6 month old lives also left this month for foster families. We're happy for them, it's not much of a life in a hospital crib.
Matei is 4 months old and was brought in supposedly sick. He is completely healthy and no one is coming for him. He often responds with smiles. Himena is 5 months old and was brought in dehydrated and starving. She's tiny for her age but with bananas and cereal she'll start developing. She's already bright and happy.
Vanesa was brought in at a couple of weeks old with no chance of survival. She's now 7 weeks old and responds to our women's voices. Being tube fed and on oxygen she is very loved in her last weeks of life.
Our women have Sundays off and because our babies do so well, the doctor asked us to leave cereal to be given to them on Sundays. The doctors really appreciate what we do with the babies, and the supplies and food we bring in.
Recently when I took a friend with us to the state group homes, we were amazed to see little Evelin's reaction. It has been many years but Evelin remembered her love, and reacted by putting her head on her shoulder and patting her back.
When Dorina holds Evelin in her lap face to face and says "give mama a kiss", Evelin leans forward and tries even though her mouth doesn't cooperate. When Dorina holds her in her arms, Evelin wraps her legs around her and pats her back. We remember when she was completely unresponsive physically and emotionally.
Dorina is getting Evelin to pat Roxi's arm. Roxi who was completely in her own world is now smiling when our women approach, and she has learned to play with a couple of toys. They have both learned to reach for their bottles and hold them.
Sebi is another severely handicapped child who has become responsive to love. Our women massage his wood-like limbs and get him up. When he hears their voices he laughs he's so happy.
May 2016 - Our Easter was quite late this year, the beginning of May, and it was lovely. We celebrated it with our 5 children from the orphanage who were with us for 3 days over that special weekend.
A big event last month for the abandoned handicapped children in the group home where Rodica works, was their spring program at their kindergarten. Rodica was called to go so that the children could have a mother watching too. Rodica always gets called to go to these events because the teachers can see the beautiful relationship that she has with the children, and that the children consider her their mother.
There were also 2 wonderful surprises in the group home where Cornelia works. Fifteen year old Sorina who is very happy to be up in the wheelchair, one day managed to pull herself with her feet down the hall into the living room. When she came to this house, we were told to leave her in bed, that she couldn't move at all. It is just amazing how Sorina has developed because Cornelia puts effort into helping her function as best she can.
Then one day Cornelia had the children outside playing train, holding on to each other's waists and she got Mada who is very heavily sedated, to participate. She rarely does anything, but Cornelia gets her up to be with the children. Then when the children decided to go up the slide, Mada did too. When she discovered how much fun the slide was, she wouldn't stop, and laughed out loud as she went down. She was like another person!
David got the teenage boys to dig up the big garden and have started planting. The boys got a lot of satisfaction out of their garden last year. David and the boys have been building a grill from bricks, in the backyard, it's tall and they'll be able to grill little sausages, a typical Romanian activity. It's just about finished and everybody's excited about it.
In the hospital, we've had a lot of hungry abandoned babies this winter. They've been made healthy and strong because of the cereal we give them. Craciun who came at 2 months old, is now 4 months old. He's happy and doing well. Constantine is another stable 4 month old. Three and a half month old Florina, is also happy eating cereal. She has a delightful personality. Her parents dropped her off at the hospital and now they can't be found. Rosalinda is 5 weeks old. Her mother brought her in falsely saying that she was sick. Not coming back for her, the hospital took her home, but the mother brought her back after a day. Vera and Dora are loving her and taking excellent care of her too.
February 2016 - Sofia, Alexandra, Emilia and Iuliana are all caught up in the cycle of neglect and multiple abandonment because of poverty and lack of education.
Sofia, now 4 months old, has had 2 operations from which she recovered well but when sent home by the hospital was brought back sick. Five month old Iuliana has been sent home and brought back almost right away, 5 times. It's only the constant loving care of our women that keep her as happy and balanced as she is. The saddest baby is Alexandra who was taken away at 3 weeks of age blue with cold from her mother begging with her on the street. In her 3 month old life she has been sent home and brought back 2 days later a number of times, always dehydrated and malnourished. The most recent time she was brought in almost dead from choking. The doctor wanted a document stating that she never be sent home again, but because Alexandra comes from generations of abandonment and children put out to beg, she was denied. Our hearts break at the injustice of this system. Zoltan who was brought in this winter at 6 weeks old blue with cold and malnourished is now trying life with an aunt. And Paloma now 9 months old having learned to sit by herself and to stand well, being with us for most of her life, is managing to now stay at home. Four month old Darius was fortunate enough to be declared legally abandoned and so free to be adopted. He just left for his new family. Daniel has come in at 2 weeks old suffering from malnutrition, and newly arrived 2 month old Craciun has already been sent home to his 15 year old mother and brought back again.
In the state group homes, we have Amalia on some good vitamins, and it's making a big difference to her health. She's frail and though with Cornelia's constant work and the rehab program we enabled her to take she can hold her head up and use her arms, it all requires strength. How glad we are to help her function. Cornelia thought to teach 10 year old Claudia how to sew and Claudia is delighted with the stitches she can make. Now that Cornelia has figured out how to place 15 year old Sorina in the wheelchair, she can be up enjoying the children. Sorina can only use her deformed hands to press buttons on her music toy, but she laughs and sings with the children. She's happy.
It is so wonderful that the children have someone to express their love to in our women. When Zorita feeds Evelin on her lap, Remus comes up behind her and leans against her back hugging her. He can't talk, but he can show love. Rodica is always showered with kisses when she arrives for work, and Cornelia's children are exuberant when she arrives. They would love her 24/7!
David got the teenage boys an exercise bar that fits in the door frame. When he saw how much they loved the exercise competitions he had them doing, he got dumbbells for building up their arms. They love the challenge!