I know my writing has been all over the place topic wise recently, but I hope you all have been enjoying my posts. Yesterday’s post set a new record for this blog for single day page views, which was kind of exciting for me. However, it’s back to Romania today.
My sister is even less than a crier than I am. We just aren’t huge public emote-rs. However, when she heard I was coming to Romania, she told me about the last time she cried (or, the last time she will admit to crying). It was 1993, and she was on a missions trip with our church’s youth group to Eastern Europe. The fall of the Iron Curtain was still fresh in everyone’s mind. One stop on their tour was Romania–I don’t know which city they were in, but they were trying to get into an orphanage which had recently appeared on 20/20. At some point, the bus made a stop, and everyone was told to stay on the bus because the location in which they were was not particularly safe. However, on the side of the road was a little boy, bleeding and dirty. Needless to say, it broke her heart. She and few other people got off the bus and cleaned him up the best they could using some diaper wipes they had.
Well, I sort of have my own version of this story now. It’s not nearly as heartbreaking. Even though Romania has made huge economic and social leaps and bounds in the last decade, there is still much to be done. Today, I was walking down a busy road. A little boy who couldn’t have been more than five or six started speaking to me. Because I don’t speak Romanian, I can only guess he was asking for money. This particular spot has a decent amount of foot traffic, and person after person just ignored this little boy. He seemed as if he were alone–who knows, there could have been an adult standing nearby watching. It took every ounce of my to not scoop him up and take him home with me (If he’s a kid, it doesn’t actually break my “No boys, no babies” rule, does it?). In the States, I, and everyone else, would have called the police or Family Services and would have stayed with him until a social worker arrived to pick him up. If I spoke Romanian, I would have asked him where his parents were, when was the last time he ate, when was the last time he bathed, why he wasn’t in school. I didn’t know what I could do, and, honestly, there probably wasn’t much I could have actually done.
I will admit, I felt a little powerless. However, the most disconcerting part was no one was doing anything. Every single adult who passed by just ignored him. I’m sure part of it was because he is likely Roma. But still, he’s just a kid. I don’t ever want to get to the point where a child begging for money alone is normal and should be ignored. Sure, I can’t take every single kid home with me. I’m not Gladys Aylward or Heidi Baker…not yet at least. I don’t have the resources or contacts to just pick a kid up off the street. Somebody here does. Somebody must, at least. I guess I will just have to find out who they are.