So we show up in Romania, meet some kids, and then it happens. Our hearts are stolen. We don’t know exactly why, but this one little girl just stole our heart. She is sweet, she is beautiful, and…she lives in an institution. Ok, no problem. We’ll adopt her. We’ll take her home, fix her pain, and give her a better life. But wait…international adoption is closed in Romania.
Maybe this is not a scenario you’ve experienced, but it raises an extremely important question. How do we care for orphans when adoption is not an option? We think the answer to this question changes from country to country, but in Romania one answer is hope.
These kids have nothing to hope for.
You can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices. When you ask them what they want to be when they grow up, most have no idea or desire because they don’t believe it could actually happen. Its hard to dream about the future when everything in life thus far has abandoned and hurt you.
So how do we bring hope to these kids? We worked with an organization in Tulcea, Romania that has found a way. They are called:
NOROC (New Opportunities for Romanian Orphaned Children).
NOROC has found a way to partner with the Romanian government and become hope to these kids. They offer things like counseling, tutoring, spiritual guidance, art classes, mentoring, horse therapy……..the list goes on. The point is that NOROC is consistently getting into the lives of these children and saying, ‘You can do it.’ ‘I believe in you!’ ‘You are special.’
They are experiencing hope. Some of the kids are leaving the system with the ability to function in life and society. Some are even making it to college!! Not every child is a success story, but these programs are giving them a better chance at success. Even a small victory is still a victory. All of this is helping to break a deep cycle, that is often times passed down from generation to generation.
But there is still a problem. NOROC needs help. There are so many kids, so many needs, and the workers are few. Romanian orphans need more people willing to hold their hand and walk through life with them. They may not be adoptable if you aren’t a Romanian citizen, but they are still just as worthy of our love and attention. Our desire is that we would all be aware that adoption is not the only way to care for orphans. There are tons of orphans out there who can’t be adopted but still need care.
NOROC operates completely off of donations and volunteers. We know they truly love the children they serve and operate as an ethical orphan care nonprofit. They welcome visitors and trips over to Romania. Perhaps you or someone you know might be interested in visiting the orphaned children of Romania?
We still think about our little Romanian friend who stole our heart, but we take security knowing that there are people around her who love her and are going to do their best to see her reach her best. Thats what someone did for us, and we wouldn’t be where we are without them.
(all adults you see in the photos above are NOROC staff or volunteers!)