Necklaces with a Story

What if you can’t travel across seas and cultures to hold and help orphans? What if you have a heart for loving the downcast and uplifting those in need, but you don't know where to start?

This fall and winter, we have partnered with friends at the non-profit Lovishly.com to offer a beautiful, one-of-a-kind necklace made just for Romania Reborn.

By purchasing one of our new necklaces, you will be directly supporting our ministry to abandoned children in Romania. It is such a simple way to make a real difference (and they’re beautiful!).

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Inscribed with the simple word "Reborn," this necklace would make a meaningful gift for a friend, family member, or yourself. Our hope is that it becomes not only a conversation starter about what Romania Reborn does, but also a reminder to pray for the children around the world who need families.

The necklace also serves as a way for Christians to quietly share their own personal testimony: each of us too has been reborn, adopted into the family of God.

This necklace is made of gold-colored bronze and has a gold-plated, 16 to 18-inch adjustable chain. Supplies are limited.

The "Reborn" necklace costs $30 {sales tax already included}

Click here to purchase yours now!

 

 

 

How We Advocate Adoption

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As we work to rescue children, build families, and support parents, step #4 is to promote adoption within the wider Romanian culture—starting with the church. We’re working to reach Romanian pastors and congregations, helping them understand and embrace God’s heart for the orphan. We also work in the realm of government, advocating for better adoption and child welfare laws.

Most of this advocacy is done under the auspices of Romania Without Orphans (RWO), a Romanian-led movement we’ve helped start and support. As RWO works to build bridges between adoption groups and the Romanian church, we pray the end result will be a much higher number of Christian couples seeking to adopt. If we can build up a “bullpen” of adoptive families, our ability to rescue children from abandonment and place them quickly into families will dramatically increase.

  Learn how to get involved in our ministry

Advocacy Stories:


"Susanna's" Story

Photo: The Archibald Project

Photo: The Archibald Project

Born deaf and blind, Susanna has a story that is opening people's eyes and ears. After God provided just the right family (her mother has specialized training in communicating with the deaf and blind), this little girl has been thriving in her parents' love and care. In fact, her parents have discovered she has more sight and hearing than previously thought. They've become an active voice encouraging other Romanians to consider taking in abandoned children. At the Romania Without Orphans summit in 2015, Susanna's mother spoke about the joy of mothering a child with special needs. We’re honored to be helping this family tell their story—and be a voice for the voiceless.


Hannah's Story

Our work with Romania Without Orphans could make all the difference in "Hannah's" life. Her older brother "Adam" was in the process of being adopted when we learned that she too had been abandoned. Adam's family immediately expressed a desire to adopt Hannah too. The law states that a family in the process of adopting cannot initiate a second adoption, but it does allow for exceptions. Unfortunately, local officials dragged their feet in making the exception and allowing these siblings to be united.

Thanks to RWO, we knew just whom to call next. An official from the central child welfare office in Bucharest has been working closely with RWO, even speaking at the annual conference. She has expressed delight in seeing our movement grow, and a willingness to help with difficult cases. We expect Hannah's case to be finalized soon.


Mina's Story

Photo: The Archibald Project

Photo: The Archibald Project

We drove and drove down a long, open street. I did not know yet what the drive was for, but I knew it had to be done to protect one of our foster children from being returned to her abusive biological family environment. I had met this child we were advocating for a few times, and I knew she still carried a deep fear of the place from which she had come. I also knew that our social workers were going to do everything in their power to protect her in ways she could never protect herself.

That is the thing about trying to make wrong things right, hard things easier, and dangerous things safe. It takes more than just a longing to do it: it takes action. Our team of social workers spend hours upon hours finding ways to make the government a more helpful partner in the desire to give every child a safe, loving family.


How We Support Parents

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After we’ve rescued a child and placed him or her in a family, our job isn’t over. We actively work to support adoptive and foster parents as they help their children heal.

First, we provide professional Christian counseling for all our families and children, through our full-time staff psychologist. Our staff also put on public workshops, open to any local parents who wish to receive training. Finally, we closely partner with Romania Without Orphans as they put on a national orphan care conference every year, and as they develop other resources like books and training materials.

Beyond simply helping adoptive families, we believe this step will ultimately help us recruit new adoptive parents. We’ve already found that some of our best recruiters are other adoptive families – especially those families who are well-grounded and thriving. The better connected and supported our families are, the more likely they are to become evangelists for adoption among their friends, families, and churches.

  Read more about our next step: Advocating Adoption

Support Stories:


Joshua's Story

For far too long, Joshua was forgotten. First he was abandoned at birth; then the state failed to issue him a birth certificate. This lack of legal identity prevented him from getting the surgery he needed to repair his cleft palate. So Joshua waited and suffered for months in the hospital, his condition growing steadily worse. Finally, we found a family who joyously welcomed him as their son.

But our commitment to Joshua's healing didn't end there. We wanted to make sure he got the best possible surgery to repair his cleft palate, so we asked our supporters on email and Facebook if they could help. Before 24 hours had gone by, all the money necessary for Joshua's surgery had come in. Today, he is on the road to complete healing—which is the goal for every child in our care.


Darren and Ryan's Story

We first found "Darren" and "Ryan" in a place where they never should have been. After entering state care, the government placed these two young boys in a temporary youth shelter—alongside older delinquents and runaways. This negligent act led to all-too-predictable abuse. We rescued them and placed them in a family as quickly as possible. Still, the process of healing from trauma is anything but quick.

Thankfully, the foster family soon discovered that working with horses was extremely helpful for both boys. When their horse died in 2015, we asked our supporters to give toward a new one. Their generosity allowed us to bless this family with another horse —a horse they made available to all our foster kids. They named her "Blessing."


Becca's Story

Photo: The Archibald Project

Photo: The Archibald Project

Supporting parents as they learn to help their child heal is something that brings us great joy. The therapy office can be a place filled with uncovering painful memories, but it can also become the most freeing place of healing and safety.

“Becca” was a downtrodden little girl, with a defeated presence and skittish countenance. Her reservation and inner displacement could be felt, but it was clear she did not know how to express all that was inside. As our professional counselor took her aside and led her to open up from within, memories of her years in the institutional care came flooding out of her mouth. The bullying, the comments, the neglect, the fear—she had been carrying all of that by herself.

We believe that each child should have safe and strong places to explore their pain, receiving the attention and guidance they need to heal. Training parents how to listen well, how to introduce physical touch with dignity, and how to guide their child in developing is profoundly important to us. Redemption is a step-by-step progression of love, learning, counseling, therapy, training, and changing. It is a beautiful picture of God’s nearness and patience.


How We Build Families

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Children belong in families, not institutions. After first rescuing abandoned children from state care, we then place them into forever families. Since our ministry began in 1998, we’ve found homes for over 400 children who were once abandoned. (All of our families are Romanian, since international adoption from Romania is now illegal.)

We currently have around 30 children’s cases that we’re shepherding through this long, arduous legal process. A typical child’s case takes two years and costs us around $3,700 – a cost we fully fund with donations rather than fees from our adoptive families.

Our family-building ministry is directly supported by the Family Support Team. If you want to play an active role in uniting children with families, please consider joining the team!

  Read more about our next step: Supporting Parents

Forever Family Stories:


Sam's Story

With a birth mother in prison and an extended family unable to care for him, Sam was a newborn utterly alone in the world. Abandoned in the hospital, he saw several prospective adoptive families come and go.  

But Sam was far from unwanted: his Mom and Dad just hadn't found him yet. Finally, one day, they walked through the door and knew him at first sight. Here at last was the little boy for whom they'd waited and prayed. It was a match made in heaven—but getting him out of the hospital and into their arms for good required a lot of earthly paperwork. Thankfully, our staff was there to do the job, supported by our donors in the United States. In 2016, after two years of work, his adoption was finalized.


Bethany's Story

“Bethany” was born into a highly unstable Roma family. Although she initially went home with her birth mother, Bethany later returned to the hospital with severe illness due to neglect. Child welfare workers visited the home and discovered the dangerous situation, so Bethany was removed from her mother’s custody and remained in the hospital.

Weeks went by, then months. Although she had healed from her illness, Bethany stayed on alongside the many other parentless children. Prospective adoptive parents came and went, but sadly, it became evident that Bethany’s beautiful Roma/African ethnicity was presenting an obstacle to permanent placement. 

One day, Corina got a phone call completely out of the blue. The voice on the other end of the line belonged to a woman who had adopted a daughter from our ministry 13 years ago. “I’ve had such a vivid dream; I can’t shake it,” she began. “I keep dreaming about a little dark-skinned girl who is crying and in trouble. It seems like I am supposed to help her. Tell me: do you know of a little girl like this who needs a family?” Of course, Corina knew of a little girl exactly like that. And the God who undoubtedly sent the dream knew too. Bethany is now adopted and thriving.


Philip's Story

"Philip" was weak from the beginning. Born a preemie, the squalid conditions and neglect at home wreaked havoc on his tiny body. Finally, his birth mother abandoned him at the hospital, saying she couldn't raise the sickly child. Her decision probably saved his life, but without a family, his prospects were dim.

But God saw Philip, and He made a way. An American missionary living in Romania took him out of the hospital and began the adoption process, with help from our social workers. Today, Philip is healthy and thriving, and his cheerful personality is the joy of the family. He and his 13-year-old sister (also adopted) recently enjoyed a visit from their American grandparents, who spoiled them as all grandparents should. Not only does Philip have a home; he has one in which he will grow up hearing about the Savior.


Dylan's Story

For nineteen years, year after year after year, this quiet and kind couple waited and tried to have a child of their own. When they first reached out to Romania Reborn, we knew immediately that they would be special parents to a lucky child, but we did not anticipate how beautiful it would be.

Dylan was a shy child, left abandoned early in life due to his significant heart problems. When a child is left for medical reasons, finding a family ready to care for those medical needs long term can be challenging. But for Dylan’s new parents, the couple who had been waiting for nineteen years, the path was certain. They knew that Dylan was meant to be theirs.


How We Rescue Children

In 1990, the world was shocked by images emerging from Romania, which had just thrown off Communism. Throughout the country, tens of thousands of abandoned children had been warehoused in abysmal orphanages resembling concentration camps.

Nearly three decades later, much in Romania has improved, but much work remains to be done. Children are still being abandoned today, at rates only slightly lower than the Communist years. While conditions in state institutions have greatly improved since the 1990s, they remain dismal places for children to grow up. The law forbids children under age two from being placed in orphanages, but many children’s hospitals operate as de facto orphanages for abandoned babies. (And this is certainly a better option than life on the street.)

At Romania Reborn, we rescue abandoned children from the state system and place them into families. We identify vulnerable children through hospitals, youth shelters, and sometimes a direct call from police or child protection officials. While children are sometimes placed in temporary care, the goal for every child is permanence in a forever family. 

Read more about our next step: Building Families

Rescue Stories:


Daisy's Story

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When we first laid eyes on "Daisy," she was hardly ready to come with us. She did not know that her scent, her skin, her eyes, her clothes were weighed down by years of neglect and mistreatment. She was young—just nine years old—yet somehow aged with bravery and filled with memories we would soon learn. As she drew near to us and we drew near to her, layers of fear and exhaustion shed. We gave her a long, warm bath, where the dirt of world she had known swirled down the drain. The hope of something different wrapped around her as we dressed her with fresh clothes bought just for her. She was beginning to awaken to the reality that there was another sort of love out there in the world: a sort of love that she could have for her own.

We took her clothes and tattered shoes, which were hardly recognizable as such, and could do nothing with them but throw them into the furnace. Although we knew it would be much harder to burn away the years of brutality, neglect, and abuse, we prayed that this was a rescue that would change this little girl forever.

As the months since meeting Daisy have passed, she has begun to find her place in her new family. Though memories of her former life tap on her shoulder from time to time, we continue to remind ourselves of the day we found her, scared and ragged. If the Lord could rescue her from that place, we are confident that He will not stop rescuing and healing her.


Becca & Allison's Story

Sisters “Becca” and “Allison” were removed from their extremely abusive birth mother by the state. Because Romanian law prohibits children under age 2 from living in a group home, the constant influx of babies into the foster system means that older children nearly always face institutionalization. And that’s exactly what happened: Becca and Allison were placed in a state orphanage. Despite all they had been through in their birth family, the girls did not adjust well to an institutional environment and were very unhappy.

A few months later, the children from this particular orphanage happened to be visiting a local park at the same time as our director, Corina. It was a divine appointment: something about Becca and Allison’s sad faces caught Corina’s eye, and she struck up a conversation. She left the park that day determined to do all she could to find the girls a foster family. It didn’t take long: one of the best families already in our foster program happily agreed to open their home to two more children.

But removing the girls from state care proved more difficult than expected. Child welfare officials initially were unwilling to re-open a case they considered “solved.” Once again, God intervened, opening doors for us to appeal this initial decision to a higher authority. Thankfully the decision was reversed, and Becca and Allison went home with their new foster parents.

It was quickly apparent that these two little girls had never experienced carefree childhood. Whenever she left the room to play, Becca would ask her foster mother, “Can you watch my little sister while I’m away?” Gradually, she’s learning what it means to be truly safe and cared for.


Oliver's Story

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“Lord, please give me a Christian family" was "Oliver's" constant prayer of faith for four years. Abandoned as a child, Oliver grew and thrived in a state foster family. Unfortunately, after years of care and love, this family also abandoned him when they decided to move out of the country. Placed in state facility for special needs, even though he did not have any special needs at the time, Oliver had no freedom and was greatly mistreated. He states that his relationship with God is the only things that brought him through those years.

While Oliver prayed for a new family, he also continually begged his social worker to find a Christian family who would take him to church and let him read the Bible. Finally, the social worker spoke with our Romanian director, Corina, to see if we could help. God answered Oliver's prayers!

Oliver's days are now filled with rediscovering the joys of riding bicycles, reading the Bible, attending church, and playing music with his new foster brother, "Drew", with whom he has formed a close connection. Even though he now suffers developmental delays from his four years in the institution, his love for God and others shines brightly. Recently baptized, Oliver's smile couldn't get any bigger. God's plans for this boy of deep faith are just beginning!


Andra & Angie's Story

In 2008, neighbors of a young, Roma woman heard faint cries coming from her apartment. When authorities arrived, they found that “Andra” (3) and “Angie” (2) had been locked in the apartment alone without food or water for almost a week. Their mother had simply abandoned them there. Severely dehydrated, starving, and suffering from rat bites, these sisters were almost dead.

Thankfully, their story didn’t end in tragedy. We found a foster family for Andra and Angie, where they have grown up surrounded by love.

However, we know that every abandoned child desires to know that they permanently belong. So, we spoke with their foster parents about adoption. Not surprisingly, they loved the girls and had wanted to adopt them for a while. Unfortunately, they could not financially support the girls without the foster parent salary. Knowing it was better for the girls to be adopted, we promised continued financial support until the family is more financially secure. With this weight lifted, they immediately started the paperwork to make Andra and Angie their daughters. After one of the fastest adoptions in our history, Andra and Angie now belong. Rescued from abandonment and death, they are building a new future with their forever family!


Welcome!

Welcome to our new blog!

We are thrilled you have journeyed over to this page and hope you will continue to follow us here to stay up to date with stories and photos of all that is happening in our ministry. In the months to come, we hope to fill this blog with updates on the children, deeper answers to your questions, and a fuller picture of God’s movement in Romania. Stay tuned!