At the end of 2013 we have decided that my wife should take a sabbatical leave. We were not sure for how long and what she would be doing during this time but we were praying, according to Ephesians 2:10, that God will show us the good works He “prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” My wife’s first volunteer experience during her sabbatical leave was at a social apartment with some little abandoned girls, aged (at that time) between 4 and 5. We soon learned about the trauma these children are experiencing and realised that more than food and shelter these children need a family.
Getting into the world of abandoned children in Romania made us realize this is one of the issues where we are losing generations, if nothing is changed. On the one hand, the law needs to be significantly amended but, on the other hand, properly applying the already existing legislation would bring significant improvements. Moreover, those who succeed in adopting or taking a child in foster care are not properly trained in healing children that have experienced loss, neglect and abuse.
Considering all these, we decided to get involved. My wife dedicated her time 100% in visiting abandoned children in social apartments and state owned institutions but we didn’t know how we are going to proceed from a legal perspective at a larger scale.
The 2014 Romania Without Orphans Alliance (ARFO) Summit; a decisive moment.
During October 2014 we were looking with confidence to the Summit organised by ARFO. We knew we were going to meet organisations with a large experience in this area and we were hoping we’ll find someone who wants to open an office in Bucharest. It was a great opportunity to talk to them and we’ve learnt a lot from their experience but none of them was willing to open an office in Bucharest. This made us realize that we have to start an organisation of our own and so we did. We started the process of establishing the legal entity on January 5th. The process was much longer than expected but we have got it through.
This story goes its own way
During her visits to children centers, my wife found about a baby which nobody wanted to take home because of some health issues. His problems can be solved if he would be well taken care of but could have got worse by staying there so we decided to take him in foster care. Since July 1st 2015, we have received the state approval on taking this child on temporary care and we are happy to be the first ones living the vision we have for our Association. We are also waiting for a court decision to foster care for the little girl that changed our hearts as well.
The 2015 ARFO Summit; a new milestone.
During November 5-7, 2015 we attended the ARFO Summit with a totally different perspective. Since June 2015 we have become affiliated members and I have personally joined the board to represent the Alliance for lobbying and advocacy. We are working on improving legislation and being a voice for the abandoned children in Romania.
As an Association, “Tzuby’s Kids” is now accredited to provide social services and it is authorized to provide adoption services (in terms of information for internal adoptions, international adoptions are outlawed in Romania). We have our first social assistant employed and many volunteers offered to help, which basically makes everything possible.
Next week we’ll have our first information session in Bucharest for families that showed an interest in foster care and adoption and we are preparing to start the training in Trust-Based Relational Intervention®, a proven method for enriching the lives of at-risk, vulnerable children, adolescents, and their families.