On November 3, Christians around the world will stand for the orphan. Through prayer, sermons, and events, God’s call to care for the orphan will be heard by thousands. No matter where you are, you can join us through prayer. Download our list of specific prayer requests by clicking the link below.
Romania Reborn Orphan Sunday Prayer List (PDF format)
You can also learn more about the needs of orphans around the world by visiting the Christian Alliance for Orphans website.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)
As we celebrate Romania Reborn’s 15th year in ministry this summer, we’ve added something brand-new: a summer internship in partnership with Patrick Henry College (PHC).
The internship came about through the initiative of PHC junior Caleb Loomis, a Government major with a concentration in International Politics and Policy. “God has captured my heart to serve the disadvantaged,” Caleb says. “Romania Reborn is dedicated to finding permanent, loving homes for Romanian orphans. This vision inspires me. That is why I chose to intern for Romania Reborn.” Caleb’s prior experience in non-profit work, as well as his academic emphasis on international policy, also made him a great fit for our ministry.
Throughout the summer, Caleb will be working on a variety of projects: from researching the connection between child abandonment and human trafficking, to helping us boost our presence on social media, to helping plan local fundraising events. His contributions have already been of real benefit.
“We applaud Patrick Henry College for encouraging its students to gain real-world experience, and we’re grateful that Romania Reborn has had the opportunity to participate in an internship this summer,” says Romania Reborn President Jayme Metzgar. “Caleb’s skills, initiative, and willing spirit have already been a blessing to our ministry. His work with us reflects very well both on PHC and on his family.”
Corina Caba, shown with a formerly abandoned child, has worked tirelessly on a legal proposal to help kids like him find a family.
It has been a decade since a Romanian child could find a home with an American, British, or Italian family.
In 2004, following several years of temporary moratoriums on adoption, Romania passed a full-fledged international adoption ban. While NGOs working closely with abandoned children reacted mainly with dismay, officials from the European Union, who had equated adoption with human trafficking, rejoiced — and subsequently rewarded Romania with EU membership.
At the same time, the process of domestic adoption also underwent a total overhaul. Strict new requirements made the process of declaring an abandoned child adoptable extraordinarily difficult, and the domestic adoption process itself became a lengthy legal maze. Now, thousands of Romanian children were left in a “no man’s land” — abandoned by their birth families but legally unable to be adopted.
While a few needed reforms have been passed since 2004, the overall result has been, as the NPR reported last year, to make adoption a rarity for Romania’s abandoned children.
Now, a serious effort is underway to make real amendments to the law. This push has come primarily from Romanians themselves: both NGOs working on the ground with abandoned children, and would-be adoptive parents who became vocal through a nationwide media campaign. Both groups have expressed their disgust with a system that works against the interests of children in need of families.
While these efforts have focused mainly on fixing the problems in Romania’s domestic adoption law, there have been distinct rumblings about the international adoption ban as well. This remains the most controversial adoption-related issue, and it remains to be seen whether Romania will be willing to re-introduce international adoption for some of its most at-risk children.
Hope House has played a key role in drafting proposed amendments to the law, working with other NGOs to draft a thoughtful, thorough legal proposal. Having identified a legislator to introduce the amendments later this year, we are currently working on carefully refining them. Please pray for Corina Caba as she meets this week with a Romanian lawyer. Their agenda is to thoroughly review the legal proposal and create a final draft.
But it’s not just this week. We need your prayers as this effort moves forward. Despite great strides that have been made in bringing this issue to the attention of both Romanians and their legislators, there are still strong, entrenched anti-adoption forces in Bucharest. This remains a David vs. Goliath undertaking.
Nonetheless, “the king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.” (Proverbs 21:1) Please join us in beseeching God to turn the hearts of Romanian lawmakers toward the well-being of abandoned children. Food, shelter, and clothing are not enough. Every child deserves, needs, and belongs in a family.
by Jayme Metzgar
This article originally appeared in our newsletter, Tidings of Hope. To subscribe, click here.
Anyone who reads fairy tales know how they typically end: the villain is defeated, and the hero and heroine ride off into the sunset . . . never to be heard from again. The narrative ends where everyday life begins.
At Romania Reborn, our accounts of kids’ lives often follow a similar story arc. A child is born into an impoverished or neglectful family and abandoned at birth. After months (or years) of waiting and suffering, he or she is rescued and finally placed into an adoptive family. And that’s where the story ends: with our own version of “happily ever after.”
So it was a rare treat for me this month to talk via Skype with one of our former Hope House kids, “Stephen” (now 11), and his adoptive dad, Sorin. Despite the inherent awkwardness of a conversation across language barriers, time zones, and internet-quality audio, I nonetheless loved getting a glimpse into the miracle of Stephen’s normal, happy, everyday life.
I had met Stephen on a visit to Romania in 2005, when he was three years old and still living at Hope House. He easily stands out in memory, his curly hair framing his small face, and an expression of shy intelligence shining from his one good eye. The other eye had been lost in the incident of domestic violence that had initially landed him in state care. Finally safe at Hope House, he was at peace, but not entirely happy. Something was missing.
“Families would come and go from the orphanage, and most of his friends started getting adopted,” Hope House director Corina Caba remembers. “He began to pray every night: ‘Please God, send me a mother and a father.’”
When he was nearly four, Stephen had the opportunity to receive a top-quality artificial eye in England. Christopher Calow, a Christian eye doctor visiting Romania from the UK, met Corina and told her that an English surgeon could give him a much better eye than anything available in Romania. Dr. Calow and his wife, Patricia, subsequently arranged for a pro bono surgery, transportion, and housing for Corina and Stephen in England.
But God wasn’t done answering prayers. When Stephen was five, Sorin and his wife, Adriana, visited Hope House for the first time. Initially, they were interested in adopting a baby. “We were unable to have children of our own,” Sorin told me. But as soon as they met Stephen, their plans changed. “We felt a connection with Stephen from the very first visit.”
“Stephen was shy. He wasn’t the kind to run right into someone’s arms,” Corina remembers of that moment. “But I remember Sorin going over to him, getting down on his level, and talking to him quietly. You could just see the connection.”
Today, that instant connection has deepened into an obvious fatherly love, joy, and pride in his son. Sorin speaks glowingly of his adoption experience. The obstacles, if any, were minor compared to the blessings Stephen has brought to the family. “The process of adoption is very natural,” Sorin told me, “And the changes in our life have all been positive ones.”
Similarly, the loss of an eye hasn’t proved to be a barrier to a normal and full childhood for Stephen. His many interests include karate, soccer, riding his BMX bike, swimming, and skiing. At school, he just completed the fourth grade, where he has many friends and excels in mathematics and drawing. His current aspiration is to become an architect when he grows up.
Stephen (far right) with school friends.
Stephen’s family recently moved to a new home on the outskirts of the city, next door to his aunt, uncle, and two cousins. They travel to the mountains every winter for a family skiing trip.
But more than all these material things, Stephen has finally found that “something” he had been missing: love. “We love Stephen, and Stephen loves us. And this is very important,” Sorin emphasized. “We give him a lot of love, and he gives us a lot of love. We can’t imagine life without him now.”
WORLD magazine reported last week on “a wave of ‘indigenous’ adoption . . . sweeping through countries like Romania and Ukraine as Christians and non-Christians alike open their homes.”
Our executive director, Christian Feavel, is quoted throughout the article discussing the indigenous adoption movement in Romania. We are thrilled to have placed over 300 children in forever families throughout the years, and to be working alongside others as this domestic adoption movement in Romania takes shape. God is at work!
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