“We arrived in Bucharest on a snowy, windy Saturday. Sanda, our head of foster care, arranged for a driver to pick up my parents, our friend Gary, myself, and our mass of luggage. The weather was unseasonably cold and the roads were extremely icy. On the two hour drive to Constanta, we passed four rolled cars and narrowly missed a 10 car pile-up right behind us. We fishtailed twice but managed to get through before the authorities eventually closed the highway. Thank goodness for Providence, ballast and a good driver!
"Today was our first day at Casa Viata Noua. We met with Ligia, our house administrator, Sanda, the mamas who were on staff that day, and the kids. Years ago, the kids usually had one of two reactions to visitors: they either cowered in fear of strangers, or they would wildly mob them, starved for love and attention. Now they receive visitors with interest and restraint. They are always excited to see my parents, whom they love. They also know it means receiving presents from their sponsors!
Among the goodies we brought were some beautiful quilts, handmade by ladies at my parents’ church. These were big hits. We had lunch with the staff, then looked at some old pictures I’d scanned of my dad’s early visits to Constanta, going back to 1992. It was amazing listening to the mamas recall memories of their kids from years ago, especially of ones who moved away or died. What they do is so much more than a job to them - it is a calling, and they truly love these kids.
"In the afternoon, we went shopping for gifts for the foster kids. Carrefour is a French-based shopping center in Romania; it’s basically a Target. Tomorrow we meet with some local county officials, then later in the week we visit all the foster kids. More updates to follow!