Give Toward Adoption (Lia's Story)

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“The fact that I was adopted is like a blessing from God.” - Lia

Desperate and homeless, Lia's birth mother abandoned her as a newborn. Corina soon found her and took her home as one of the very first “Hope House” babies.

Before Lia’s second birthday, Corina had found her a forever family. Later, her parents also adopted her biological brother. Today Lia is thriving, happily married, and expecting her first child.

“The fact that I was adopted is like a blessing from God,” Lia told us. “There were no differences in being adopted than if I had been born to my parents. Never did I feel these differences. To have a family is an enormous joy for me. If there are people who want to adopt, please feel confident to do it.”

Give Toward Adoption

Choose a gift below to help place children in forever families.

$50: one week of gas/travel expenses (for social work)

$250: one month of electric expenses (for ministry hq)

$600: one month social worker salary

Gifts of any amount toward these funds are always welcome.

Give Toward Healing (Bogdan's Story)

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“The best day of my life was the day I saw my new name.”
- Bogdan

Bogdan was rescued from abandonment and placed in a wonderful Christian foster family as a toddler. At first, he did well, enjoying his parents and new siblings. But the older he got, the more he began to struggle with behavioral, emotional, and educational problems. Eventually, his foster family realized Bogdan badly needed permanence and a real sense of belonging. They began the process to adopt him—and everything changed. Bogdan is now thriving. He loves the Lord, is looking forward to being baptized, and hopes to become a plumber one day.

“The best moment of my life was on the day I went out with my mom to pick up my new birth certificate,” Bogdan told us. “And she handed me the certificate, and there I saw my new name.”

Bogdan's story shows that abandoned children need so much more than a roof over their heads: they need security and healing.

Give Toward Healing

Help equip parents and heal hurting kids with a gift below.

$125: send a parent to the 2019 refresh conference (for adoptive and foster families)

$400: send a family to the 2019 Refresh Conference (2 parents, 2 children)

$600: monthly salary for the director of our new aging-out program from children from foster care

Gifts of any amount toward these funds are always welcome.

Sponsor a Child (Patricia's Story)

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“It’s beautiful to have a chance to have a family who loves you.”
- Patricia

Rescued from abandonment in the hospital, Patricia came to live at Hope House during its early years, shortly after the fall of Communism. She recovered quickly from severe neglect and malnourishment, but her adoption at a year old is what truly changed her life. The love of Patricia’s new parents and grandmother gave her a chance at a better future. Today, she is studying to become a social worker so that she too can help children in need. Patricia's story shows how powerful a loving family can be in forever changing the future of a child.

“I was very blessed to have parents,” Patricia told us. “I think it's beautiful to have a chance, a chance to have a family who loves you. It is much easier to face all the difficulties that come along the way in your life when you have parents beside you, than to go through life alone."

Sponsor a Child

Connect with an individual foster child through sponsorship. Give, pray, and even communicate with your child. See which children need sponsorship here.

$25 / $50 / $75: MONTHLY SPONSORSHIP LEVELS

$250: FULL SPONSORSHIP, ONE CHILD

Change a Culture (Bianca's Story)

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“A family is a wonderful gift because they support me and help me fulfill my dreams.” - Bianca

Bianca was born into a family with a devastating heritage of abuse. Adopted at three years old, she now knows not only the love of her mother and father, but the love of her heavenly Father. One of Bianca’s greatest joys is praising the Lord in song.

“Having a family is a wonderful gift to me,” Bianca told us. “They’ve supported me, and helped me fulfill my dreams of becoming a singer. Last year, when I decided to get baptized, they encouraged me and stood beside me to keep this great decision to follow Christ.”

Bianca’s parents are helping her pursue her dreams in music. But tens of thousands of abandoned Romanian children are still waiting to fulfill their dreams of a family. The gifts below will help us fight to change a culture and help more children escape the system, through the Romania Without Orphans movement.

Change a Culture

Support Romania Without Orphans, our national adoption and orphan care movement, with a gift below. To learn more, visit Romania Without Orphans’ English-language website here.

$400: gas (travel to churches & meetings)

$6,000: Lobbying expenses for one year

$10,000: car for Romania Without orphans director

$30,000: Annual Adoption Conference

Gifts of any amount toward these funds are always welcome.

Corina is Coming to America!

Corina Caba, our Romanian Director, is coming to town!

She travels from home to home in Romania every day, visiting and caring for countless children and parents, and now she is traveling across the sea to share her stories with us. Many of you have gotten to "know" Corina through our newsletters, videos, and posts over the years, but there's nothing like meeting face-to-face.

In September and October, Corina will be visiting homes, churches, groups, and events in the Chicago, IL area (September 13-30) and Northern Virginia area (October 1-16). In these gatherings, she will be sitting down on a personal level to open up her heart behind the last 20 years of Romania Reborn’s work.

If you are in or near these areas, you may catch up with Corina at a public event (listed below), or contact us about hosting a home meeting. You may also contact us if you want information about attending a home meeting.

Public Speaking Events:

Sunday, September 23

Romanian church(es) in the greater Chicago area. Information coming soon!

 

Sunday, September 30

Faith Fellowship Church  

3724 Washington St, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Corina is sharing for 20 minutes during the 11 a.m. worship service, followed by a fellowship meal.

 

Sunday, October 7

Blue Ridge Bible Church

770 S 20th St., Purcellville, VA 20132

Corina is sharing for 10 minutes during the 9:30 and 11 a.m. worship services.

Potluck meal at 12:30pm immediately following the 2nd service- bring a food item to contribute and chat with Corina further

All are welcome, click here for more details

Monday, October 8

Fort Bacon Farm

36258 Snickersville Turnpike, Purcellville, VA 20132

Event begins at 5:30 in the park. Please bring an appetizer and/or dessert to share.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13

Hamilton Baptist Church

16 E Colonial Hwy, Hamilton, VA 20158

Event begins at 2:00pm. Please bring an appetizer and/or dessert to share.

Sunday, October 14

Fellowship Bible Church

160 Daniel Road, Shenandoah Junction, WV 25442

Corina is giving a brief greeting during the 8, 9:30, and 11 a.m. worship services, as well as speaking to an adult Sunday School class from 9:30 - 10:45.

Corina’s schedule is filling fast but there are still some breakfast and lunch openings still available. Please email romania-reborn@gmail.com if you would like to meet Corina.

We can’t wait to see you!

 

 

July Matching Gift Challenge is On!

Give $1 for Today; Earn $1 for Tomorrow

Our Romanian director, Corina, with a young man adopted through our ministry years ago.

Our Romanian director, Corina, with a young man adopted through our ministry years ago.

Every July, we celebrate our "birthday" as an organization with gifts for our kids. But this year is a special celebration, as we remember God's faithfulness over 20 years of ministry!

Even as we look back over His work placing hundreds of children in families, we're also looking forward to the future. For many years, we have seen the need to follow through with the children we have placed, to help them overcome their unique challenges and become thriving, faithful adults. We have recently begun developing a faith-based "aging out" program to help do just that.

We will be sharing more details with you in the coming months, but we need your help now. Every gift you give in July will be matched dollar for dollar by several generous donors, up to our goal of $25,000!

As we look to impact the future of our kids, we need to move forward with a sold financial foundation. Your gifts in July will not only help our adoption ministry today; they will earn a matching amount for tomorrow. Give today and double your impact!

All gifts in July qualify for the matching funds. You can give right here:

Help Equip the Romanian Adoption Movement (for Just a Few Dollars!)

Romania is in a unique place when it comes to orphan care. It has an especially appalling history of child abandonment and hellish orphanages. But it is also slowly beginning to recover from Communism, both economically and culturally. Unlike some third-world countries, a national adoption movement is possible here.

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We believe the time is ripe to challenge and equip Romanian families and churches to get involved in orphan care.

This month, we're raising $4,500 to translate and publish 1,000 copies of Russell Moore's book, Adopted for Life, into the Romanian language. This highly-acclaimed book has already made a significant impact in the English-speaking world, exploring the ins and outs of adoption and articulating the priority of adoption in the church.

Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Moore and his publisher, translation and printing will cost just $4.50 per book. With a donation of $45, you can pay to translate and print 10 copies!

These books will then be given to Romanian parents, pastors, social workers, and individuals at our Romania Without Orphans Summit this Fall. By giving this free resource to parents and pastors, our hope is to see Adopted for Life stir the hearts of the Romanian church for the needs of orphans--and equip them for the task.

By giving $45 today, you will provide a copy of this powerful book to 10 families in Romania, so they can thrive on their adoption journey. Or give any amount you choose ($9 for two books; $18 for four . . . )

Click the link below to give toward this special project, and follow our progress toward 1,000 copies on Facebook or Instagram!

 

Safe and Sound: A Story of Rescue

Her soft cries could hardly be heard over the loud exchanges filling the room. The environment was dirty and dimly lit, and she was on the floor, crying incessantly. It was a cry for a thousand different things: warmth, comfort, a changed diaper, a filling bit of milk, and love. Often, when an infant is neglected, every single need is neglected at once.

This was the beginning of the story of Esther, a sweet baby girl born to a young, mentally unstable mother. Her mother had abandoned Esther in the hospital for weeks, then changed her mind and convinced the hospital staff into letting her bring the baby back home. Once home, Esther was neglected for days on end.

But this was not the end of Esther's story. 

One of the core parts of our ministry at Romania Reborn is the ongoing effort to rescue. To rescue is to not only take a child out of a dangerous space, but also to bring them into a place of comfort and peace. Over the past twenty years of rescuing child after child, we have become convinced that the beginning of a child's story does not have to determine the end. By rescuing, we are helping rewrite their story

With God's help, that's what happened for Esther. Because our staff had known Esther when she was abandoned in the hospital, we went looking for her, aided by local police. Finally, we found her: unfed, unchanged, and uncared-for weak but still clinging to life. Her distracted birth mother agreed to bring her back to the hospital, but on the way there, she tried to throw her still-crying baby out the taxi window. The taxi driver saved Esther from harm, playing his part in her rescue.

We all play a part in the rescuing of children like Esther.

Even from across the ocean, we can help rewrite stories and rescue children.

Today, Esther is resting safely in the arms of a forever family, and she is flourishing. She is no longer in danger, no longer crying and needy, but fully cared for and fully rescued. Join us, this summer, by donating any amount to help Romania Reborn continue to rescue children in need!

 

 

 

8 Things You Should Know about Romania's Child Welfare System

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In November 2017, the Romania Without Orphans Alliance (ARFO) published its annual report on the condition of children living in Romania's child welfare system. An English-language version came out in January.

The 24-page report—beautifully designed with photos, charts, data, and analysis—provides a devastating look at the state's care for parentless children. We're quite proud of this body of work as a reflection on ARFO, which we helped found, and which our supporters have helped fund.

The full report is available online (and you should read it!), but here are eight quick takeaways.

1. Child abandonment is an ongoing and serious problem.

Although Romania's population is declining, the number of children entering its child welfare system has stayed steady at around 10,000 per year. ARFO uses government data to show that it's not just poor areas driving this problem. The capital counties of Bucharest-Ilfov made the top-10 list for both numbers of children in the system and for percentage of children in institutions. One sector of Bucharest had an alarming 59% of children in its system housed in institutions.

2. Most children who enter the system remain there until adulthood.

Of the 10,000 children abandoned each year, around 6,000 will stay in state care. "On paper, Romania’s Child Protection System offers a child temporary intervention until they are reintegrated into their biological family, or placed in an adoptive family," ARFO president Liviu Mihaileanu writes. "In reality, this 'temporary intervention' usually lasts until they become an adult."

3. Adoptions are all too rare.

A chart from the ARFO report shows the decline in adoption.

A chart from the ARFO report shows the decline in adoption.

In 2016, only 788 children were adopted in Romania—a mere 1.3% of children in the system. This was the second-lowest number on record since at least 2000, but numbers are abysmal across the board. ARFO cites an anti-adoption bias from many state workers, who look askance at the practice of putting children in legal placement with families who want to adopt them.

4. Even when families are available, the state keeps children in orphanages.

State workers often view children in orphanages as "solved cases," with no further intervention or family placement needed. Sometimes they actively fight the removal of children from institutions. The ARFO report contains a firsthand account from one NGO worker who requested to take a child from an orphanage into placement. Not only was she denied, but her NGO's work at the orphanage was threatened.

A 2016 law requires the government to declare abandoned children legally adoptable after 6-12 months, depending on circumstances. Yet this law is simply being ignored by case managers. Over a year later, only 1.5% of the children in Romania's institutions have been declared adoptable.

Adoptability stats from the ARFO report. The number of adoptable children in institutions is especially troubling, given how clearly institutionalization is proven to harm children.

Adoptability stats from the ARFO report. The number of adoptable children in institutions is especially troubling, given how clearly institutionalization is proven to harm children.

"Case managers usually work for the same local government agency that is receiving funds to house the children," ARFO notes. "Therefore, one may conclude that such a practice is intentional to secure staff and funding." ARFO calls for legal sanctions against workers who fail to carry out the law, and who misinform and intimidate families seeking to remove children from institutions.

5. Children suffer from moves within the system.

ARFO decries the trauma of moving children in state care from place to place. They are especially concerned about the practice of placing children in foster families until age 3, then moving them to orphanages. Under Romanian law, no child under 3 may be placed in an institution, so the government often "rotates out" children when they get older. ARFO recommends a ban on moving a child from family care to an institution, except in exceptional circumstances.

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6. The state has no minimum standards governing family placement.

The government was supposed to publish standards in 2012 for family placement, the practice where children are placed with an unpaid foster family or birth relatives. Five years later, there are still no standards. Failing to evaluate and oversee children placed with birth relatives is dangerously negligent. ARFO recommends that the state create minimum standards as quickly as possible.

7. The state holds charities to strict standards its own agencies don't meet.

The report notes: "While NGOs are not permitted to function in Romania without a license, only 17% of public social services are licensed. The rest function without meeting the minimum standards that all NGOs must meet to provide the same services." ARFO decries the state's monopoly over child welfare, where NGOs' contracts can be canceled at will. The report calls for greater cooperation between the state and charities.

8. A number of positive developments have laid the groundwork for change.

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It's not all bad news. First, the number of families certified to adopt is rising (currently over 2,600 families), indicating a growing interest in adoption. Second, the state has developed a list of "hard-to-place" children, allowing prospective families to view their profiles, which humanizes the process and encourages adoption of hard-to-place children. Third, the growing number of adoptions to Romanians abroad could provide the foundation for re-opening intercountry adoption. With real reforms, Romania could do much better for its children.

Want more? Read the full report right here.

Support the work of ARFO by giving to our "Romania Without Orphans" fund.

Baby Emma Gets a New Heart

Emma post-surgery in the hospital.

Emma post-surgery in the hospital.

For every child who comes through our ministry, we have one long-term hope: not just a new home, but a new heart. We want to see children rescued not just from abandonment, but ultimately from sin through Jesus.

Little “Emma” may get two new hearts in the bargain: both spiritual and physical. She was born last February and abandoned at birth, alongside her twin brother “Ethan.” While Ethan was perfectly healthy, Emma faced life-threatening heart defects.  

But God was orchestrating a series of events to give the twins both medical care and a family. Scott and Gabi are a missionary couple who moved to Romania from the U.S. with their six children in 2014. (For Gabi it was a return: she had been born and raised in Communist Romania.) A central part of the couple’s ministry is helping children with heart defects get treatment.

Early this year, Scott and Gabi were guest speakers at a Romanian church, sharing about their medical ministry. Our social worker, Dana, was in the congregation, and she wasted no time in telling them about baby Emma.

Gabi and Scott began to look into the logistics of treating Emma’s heart condition. They learned that the only way to do so was to become the twins’ foster parents. Our staff got to work, and miraculously, all the pieces fell into place to get them approved. But doctors and social workers gave them severe warnings. “This baby will die,” one cardiologist told them flatly. State officials added to the dire scenario: “If this baby dies in your custody, you will face an investigation,” they told Gabi. “You will likely go to jail.”

Fighting for Emma

Gabi with both babies, shortly after bringing them home.

Gabi with both babies, shortly after bringing them home.

Undaunted, Scott and Gabi trusted God, taking the six-week-old babies home. “For the first two weeks they were not responsive at all,” Gabi remembers. “They just stared at the walls.” Soon, however, they began to recover from the effects of the institution.

Meanwhile, Scott and Gabi were busy seeking treatment for Emma—and running into closed doors. The medical ministry with which they work, which is based in Israel, delivered the bad news that Emma’s case was too complicated for treatment there. Next, the couple found a surgeon in Budapest, Hungary, who was willing to try—for a price. An initial estimate came in at $21,000.

At this point, our Romanian director let us know about the family's financial need. But she also told us that their conviction as missionaries has always been to operate on faith, after the example of George Mueller. They don't ask for money; they simply pray and wait for God's provision.

So we shared about Emma's need as a prayer request on Facebook. That post caught the eye of Sarah, a young mother from California who supports Romania Reborn. "The post wasn't even asking for money," she recalls. "But sometimes you see a need, and you just know that the Holy Spirit is saying: 'You're the one who's supposed to provide for this.'" After speaking with her husband, they wrote to us and offered to cover the entire cost.

God Provides Again

But there were still more hurdles to overcome. First, the Hungarian doctors delayed the surgery for weeks. Then, they raised the price to $35,000—which they required up front, in cash. "After that appointment, we came home somewhat discouraged," Gabi admits. "But I knew God had something better for us."

Immediately after her life-saving surgery.

Immediately after her life-saving surgery.

Although they'd been told Emma was too ill to travel, they contacted an American heart surgeon through a mutual friend. Within days, that surgeon had invited Emma to be treated at his hospital in Florida—at no charge. Sarah and her husband gladly agreed to redirect their financial gift to cover travel expenses. The local child welfare office expedited the family's approval to travel. Eight days later, the family was on a plane to the U.S.

Once they got to Florida, the family realized how close Emma had been to death on a daily basis. The first day in the hospital, her blood oxygen level temporarily dipped to 5%. Hospital staff panicked. They moved the surgery up, operating just days later.

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Today, Emma is recovering and gaining weight quickly. She'll require a second surgery eventually, but the future looks bright.  "We believe she will grow up to become a zealous woman for the Lord, bringing many souls into the kingdom," Gabi says. After what we've seen, we don't doubt it.

Prayer Points:

Praise God for His provision, and ask His blessing on those who gave for this need (Sarah, the surgeon, and two other smaller donors).

Pray that Emma will continue to get stronger, and that her future surgery will be completely successful with no further need of surgery.