i know, it seems this is almost all i post anymore, doesn’t it?!?!? i wanted to post about how i won the worst mother of the year award yesterday, but this is more important.
very dear friends of jerry’s and mine live in romania. their names are daniel and michelle. daniel was jerry’s roommate for years in college, and he was our best man in our wedding. he and michelle met online, when she was in romania working in a infant shelter that she started. they fell in love, and he followed her there. over the years they have sent us prayer request for general things. romania is a totally EVIL country.
anyway i got an email yesterday that is just HEARTbreaking. i waited until she said i could pass it along (you never know with security issues). i am also including the link to their ministry site, in case anyone wants to donate to their organization. thanks so much and please please pray.
Dear Family and Friends,
All of us at our ministry in Romania ask for your fervent prayers today. To begin this story, Alina, our Romanian employee for our â€œArms of Mercyâ€ project has been working in the Childrenâ€™s hospital for three years now. She has become profoundly attached to several children over the years and, praise The Lord, most left the hospital and had happy endings. Last November, Alina was told that the parents of her favorite baby, Maria, would be coming to take her home. (Let me preface this by telling you that her mother gave birth, left Maria at the hospital and never visited her again until the day she took her home.) Maria was walking, talking, smiling, laughing, singing and dancing when she left the hospital and so bonded to Alina. Alina was very upset the local Child Protection officials were allowing this to happen but we were told the new laws give the parents the right to â€œreclaimâ€ their child at any time. The Child Protection is supposed to do a home study and follow-up with the family. They did not.
Two days ago, Maria was found on the side of the road ironically enough by an ambulance driver. He couldnâ€™t imagine that he was seeing a child lying helpless on the side of the road but he stopped and took her vital signs and found she was barely alive. He rushed her to the Childrenâ€™s Hospital were she lay alone for two days because no one wanted to upset Alina. When Alina found out this morning, she hurried to the section and promptly fell apart at what she saw. Maria was beaten and bruised from the top of her head to her tiny, swollen toes. She has open wounds and scars all over her once flawless skin. There is not one part of her little body without injury. She has signs of cigarette burns all over her body including this one near her ear.
When Daniel and I got the call this afternoon from Alina, we immediately went to the hospital and were devastated by our initial visit. All of the light and life in Mariaâ€™s beautiful eyes are gone. She shrieks from the pain and from sheer fear that someone strange will hurt her again. The dual black eyes on such a precious little face are haunting but not nearly as haunting as her screams of terror when someone other than Alina gets close.
Here are photos of her bruised face and feet:
My soul is rocked to the inner most core and I go back and forth between crying and outrage. I really feel like I must do something so the world will know the new laws Romania has for child welfare are anything but focused on the childâ€™s true welfare. All of this so Romania can enter the European Union. Plus, no one wants to be bothered with gypsy children so they are more than happy to return them to parents rather than having to feed another gypsy mouth. Heaven forbid if those same precious gypsy children are allowed to be adopted internationally! What a crime that would be! (Sarcasm most definitely intended.) I talked with our board chairman this afternoon and we will work on some ideas of how to approach this.
Alina went with Maria today to the forensic doctor who immediately filed a criminal report and got the local Child Protection involved. The Child Protection official promised Alina that Mariaâ€™s parents would be jailed and their rights terminated. Mariaâ€™s biological mother is pregnant with her 10th child and another child approximately 6 months old abandoned in the hospital. The six other children at home are at risk and I hope they will be removed promptly and placed in homes but they will likely be placed in orphanages.
Please pray for Alina especially as she cares for Maria and tries to re-establishing the bond between them. Alina, without additional pay, has volunteered to stay with Maria all day every day. Pray for her strength and patience as they have stuck her in a room with six other abandoned toddlers.
Here is Alina cuddling Maria and assuring her she is going to be fine:
And pray the stripes Jesus bore for us as He suffered on the cross would be the Power to bring healing to Mariaâ€™s tiny body. Seeing this innocent child so battered and bruised today was a grim reminder of the Innocent Lamb slain so that I may have eternal life. I praise Jesus for what He did for me and I praise Him in advance for what He will do for Maria.
We wish a Happy Easter to all of you celebrating this weekend. Daniel and I have decided to celebrate Easter next weekend since most of Romanians celebrate the Eastern Orthodox Easter. We hope it will be a time of focus on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead which separates our religion from all others in the world. Allow His name to bring forth power and life to you!
Basking In The Son,
Michelle Kelly Sims, MSW
Founder and Executive Director
Children In The Son, Inc.