There is one little girl who I am especially fond of here in Romania. Maybe it’s because she resembles my oldest niece in someway. I really don’t know. She is only a couple of years old, four or five at the most.
I met Adrianna when she first came to the Tei Day Center around late October of last year. Our team usually visits the Tei Center for a half day of ministry on Tuesday mornings. I focused on encouraging her to complete projects, color within the lines, and cut appropriately by guiding her and encouraging her that she could indeed do it, even when she was so insistent that she couldn’t. Often she would be the last one to finish crafts as she needed much guidance through projects.
I haven’t seen Adriana for the past month and my heart grew increasingly doubtful that I would ever see her at the center again. The horrible thought that she could be abandoned or presently in an orphanage haunted me and led me to begging that God would be watching over her and protecting her. I am so glad that I have a God that is bigger than I am. Relieved that I can seek Him when I feel hopeless and don’t know what to do.
I have found a church home here in Romania that I absolutely love. International Baptist Church has such a diverse congregation with literally someone from every continent (well except for Antarctica). I have never heard so many accents in one room and many of them are new to me. Anyhow, IBC only has all English services.
Today, I walked into church, took a seat and notice some kids pointing at me. It didn’t phase me at first, but when I got settled in I looked over their way. One of the little girls looked familiar and as I start to put things together I saw that it was indeed my little Adrianna at church. I got her attention and motioned her over. She sat with me for a little bit and even colored as we waited for the service to start. My heart was overwhelmed with joy at the sight of this little girl who I could not make out at first because she was in her street clothes. I couldn’t help but continue to hug her and tell her how much I had missed her. I found out that the other kids she was with where her older brother and sister and a neighborhood friend. They quietly sat through the entire English service although they don’t know a lick of English. When communion came around they took the bread and juice like everyone else did thinking it was a snack her older brother and sister went right in to eat the cracker. Adrianna and the girl next to her were motioned to wait, and so they did. My heart broke fully knowing that they didn’t understand the symbolism behind communion. When the kids were dismissed for Children’s Church I motioned them to go when I saw that they had no idea why the kids were getting up and leaving.
After church, I sought her out and when I found her she asked me if I was leaving. After telling her no she asked someone from church for something to drink. I asked her if she wanted something to eat as a table was full of food. While waiting our turn she got caught by one of the Sunday school teachers with a sheet of stickers in her hand that were not hers. Come to find out, Adrianna had taken the stickers from the woman’s bag. After being scolded she returned to me and asked me for a lei (money). I told her I didn’t have any for her. It stunned me that she had asked me for money since she had never done anything like that before. I filled her plate up with food and held it for her as I followed the other kids thinking that they were going to find a place to sit down to eat. When I motioned to a chair her neighbor hurried her because they had to go home. My heart broke even more as I realized that they were taking their plates of food to their families.
I can only conclude that at this young of an age, Adrianna has been pulled out of the day center to beg and steal for her family. She comes from a very poor family and although her parents were given the opportunity for Adrianna to be taken care of at the day center as long as they worked it is my thought that they didn’t keep up with the terms of the program.
I praise God that I saw Adrianna again. My heart is so much more burdened for her and I so wish I could steal her away from the life she is living. All I can do now is pray, love on her when I do see her and ask God to protect and watch over her.