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October 11, 2012 - Kylie Saari
I am ashamed to say I have been ignoring a niggling feeling to get myself to Romania for a very long time.
I mean, really, Romania? Me?
But after being challenged to follow that calling, I opened myself up for the possibility of actually leaving my family, boarding a plane, and flying to a place that seems only to exist in vampire novels.
Tomorrow, I and five other locals, will be doing just that. We are going to spend the next ten days in Transylvania, a region of Romania.
While we are there, we will be caring for orphans, specifically babies abandoned by their parents in hospitals. We have been told these babies — up to two years old — are developmentally delayed for lack of interaction. They get their diapers changed twice a day, and have very little to do with their days but stare at the ceilings from their cribs.
We will give them physical therapy sessions, hold them, sing to them, and play with them. Most importantly, we will pray for them, asking God to bless them even in their bleak circumstances.
These children will likely be part of the system for their entire lives. International adoption has been shut down due to human trafficking; domestic adoption is rare.
We will also see and interact with older orphans in private orphanages — called group homes — and work with children still cared for by their families, but at high risk for abandonment, in Roma (gypsy) villages.
I will try to keep you updated on our trip through this blog and through occasional stories in the paper.
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