The next chapter for a young friend

Romania, October 26, 2012

This young friend in the Motivation Romania “family” has endured several difficult chapters in his life which I will describe briefly before a more detailed account of the current chapter.

Chapter 1: Born into a very large poor family in a rural area about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Bucharest. Basic physical needs such as food, clothing, and shelter were partially provided. No education provided.

Chapter 2: At about age six, he and one sister, both in the middle of birth order of siblings, were left at an institution by their parents. This was an environment of neglect, abuse, basic nutrition, and no educational opportunities.

Chapter 3: At about age ten, he and his sister were removed from the institution by a private child welfare organization. He was then provided with a more caring environment where he was safe, fed, clothed, and sent to school. By this time, his feelings were being expressed through angry words and aggressive actions.

Chapter 4: At about age 13, that organization asked Motivation Romania to take over the care of him and four other children. The children were determined to have intellectual disabilities which made them ineligible for remaining where they had been. Arrangements were made for the transition to Motivation. Our young friend and the other four were placed in group home settings. Once again, a safe and caring environment was provided as well as transportation to school.

Throughout chapters 3 and 4, our young friend had lived with the dream that he would be able to return to his biological family and work to earn money to help them to obtain basic materials or equipment for their home. For a long time he carried around small pieces of paper on which he drew pictures of windows and similar items that he wanted to provide. It was in a close relationship with a couple of Motivation employees that he was finally able to put the dream into words.

Chapter 5: During the time period of the past 2-3 years, our young friend attended a special high school, grew into a young man, and moved to a Motivation residential setting where he had more independence. He earned some money with odd jobs at Motivation where he had earned the trust and respect from staff. Contact was established between him and his parents and he visited his family a few times. After a lot of thinking and talking about his options, he made a definitive decision to move back with his family last winter. Motivation staff was cautiously supportive. There was the fear of him being let down.

Our young friend left knowing that Motivation Romania was his other family and that there was always a place for him there. Telephone contact was maintained with him, but gradually became less and less frequent.

Chapter 6: Two weeks ago, a phone call was received at Motivation and the caller reported that our young friend had left home the previous day on his bicycle following a fight with his father. Needless to say, the Motivation family worried about his safety since he would be on a main road and alone. Almost 2-1/2 days later, it was learned that he was in Bucharest. He had ridden or walked the full distance without stopping because of the fear of being followed by his family. His bicycle was stolen; he slept on the street for two nights, and had not eaten since leaving his family. A driver/friend from Motivation immediately picked him up.

Our young friend arrived back to Motivation looking quite different than when he left. He has lost about 30 pounds and has marks on him from being beaten with a horse whip by his father and had no clothes or other belongings because he left so quickly. These things can be fixed quite easily compared to the additional emotional scars that he now has. After many years of building a dream to reunite with his biological family and to help them, he’s left with a swirling combination of emotions such as anger, disappointment, distrust, and deep sadness. It is the hope of his Motivation friends and family that the initial step of the healing process is beginning with the love and caring and stability that they offer.

Barb Carman

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