Following the adoption of a beautiful Romanian child, and during the adoption of her second Romanian child, Lori Scott, Little Miracles Executive Director had a God impressed vision of continuing to helping the orphaned and abandoned children of Romania. Several years ago, Little Miracles International, Inc. a non-profit organization was formed, and the ideas began to be put into motion. This dream presented itself finally in the form of an opportunity even bigger than LMI ever imagined possible. Little Miracles International would assist in opening an emergency child care center in Romania. So after obtaining permission from the government to make use an abandoned building in Dec 2001, renovations began. It took about 2 months and cost about $15,000. Little Miracles International responded immediately. Little Miracles International would play a vital role in the project and fund raising. Now truly a big difference would be made in the lives of the precious orphaned children in Romania. Now children could be helped many at a time, and emergency and permanent solutions could be found for their lives!
Because Child Protection requested that we take more children, we decided to extend to the 2nd floor. These renovations started on February 1, 2004 and cost about $20,000. The opening day of the second floor was on the 21st of May, 2004. You can read about the beginning history of the House of Angels here.
Unfortunately, in January 2005, Romania changed its child protection laws upon the insistence of the European Union. International adoption was halted and as of September of 2006 (when our last angel went to foster care) we were no longer allowed to care for the young abandoned children. Every child has the right to a permanent family. The halting of international adoption was a devistation for these children who now had no hope of a permanent placement. These children again became political pawns. This was not about the United States and the European Union, this was about the life of a child. These new laws require that all of the abandoned children be either sent to foster care or reintegrated with their birth families. This sounds good in theory but often these situations are not good, healthy (and sometimes dangerous) situations for the children. The law is the law, and so the children suffer. If a foster family cannot be found for an abandoned child left in a hospital or the birth family cannot be located, the child is NOT allowed to be cared for at House of Angels but IS allowed to languish in a hospital crib day after day and month after month. Amazingly this situation went full circle, the very situation we were trying to remedy when we first opened HOA doors. This continues to be the sad reality of the HOA.
It saddened us deeply that we were not allowed to continue caring for these precious children as so many have received such excellent care. We all loved them as our very own. But we were still eager to help children in need in whatever capacity we could, so we turned our focus to other children in our area who were also in desperate need of help. The neediest of the needy, and the poorest of the poor, the children at risk of being abandoned were about to walk through our doors.
In September of 2006 we had our grand re-opening. This time as an after-school facility and physical therapy center for some of the neediest school aged children in Dambovita County. Until now we have provided these children with hot meals, helped them with their homework, provided arts and crafts and music play and provided Physical Therapy to those special needs children in the community, including orphans.
The happy faces, love and laughter returned to these halls. Enthusiasm, vigor and curiosity made their way to the eyes of the children we began to serve. We were thrilled to be making a difference in the lives of children once again.
One Sure Thing: Change
Change is the only constant.
These five short words have never rung more true than they do today. When I began working with orphans, nothing ever seemed to remain the same. The laws changed, the people changed, the economy changed, temperaments changed, and more often than necessary, the life of the orphan changed.
Although we haven’t seen the change we wish to see in the opening of international adoptions, we are getting closer to the orphans plight yet again. I remember taking teams of volunteers to the disabled orphanage next to the HOA for the first time. It was always a disturbing experience for some. We never exited the building with the same number of volunteers. We would lose some along the way. Disabled children that have been allowed to languish without treatment and therapy is impossible for some people to view.
In August 2009 HOA took some of the children from the special needs orphanage while they renovated their building. This seemed like a wonderful fit again. We loved having young children back in our care. The Child Protection came to Simona with a proposal that she could not refuse.
In September, 2009 we will re-open our doors as an emergency shelter once again. This time we will embrace children with special needs. So it is official. We are working on the budget now and we will have some emergency needs of our own to get baby care supplies and salaries for staff donated! We will continue to need your full support to make this happen!!!