Beloved: the lives of Cosmina and Carina from Romania
The word “beloved” often refers to someone who is deeply loved. In a small village at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in Romania, the Vesa family is living proof that love does not require words. Meet two women whose lives display this kind of love.
A FAMILY FOR AUTISTIC COSMINA
Cosmina enjoys many things. She loves when her adopted mom kisses the top of her head, the rhythmic movement of a rocking chair, and playing with colourful, shiny toys that light up.
This young woman is autistic and nonverbal.
Her father died when she was 6-years-old. After four years of struggling to support Cosmina and her nine other siblings.
Cosmina’s mother was unable to take care of her – Cosmina was put in a state orphanage.
Romania has a horrific history of child abuse and neglect within its orphanages—particularly for children with disabilities.
The Guardian reported that “the most horrific abuse took place in homes for disabled children, who were taken away from their families and institutionalised.”
RCE was established to serve at-risk children and children with disabilities in Romania—one of the most overlooked, underserved communities in Romania.
CHILDREN AT RISK
Most of the children who come to RCE are from the Roma community.
They are a minority group in Romania and often face severe discrimination and racism.
With the help of Orphan’s Promise, RCE provides support for vulnerable children that includes recuperative group homes, special education, speech therapy, physical therapy, and help from psychologists.
The ultimate goal is to place children in loving Christian homes, which is the heartbeat of what RCE does.
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But if finding a family for a child isn’t possible, RCE also provides a place on their residential campus that gives marginalised kids a safe place to live at a group home within a Christian community.
By God’s grace, Cosmina went to live with the Vesa family: Florentina, Vasile, and their two biological children, Raluca and Richard.
Cosmina began to experience life within a stable, loving environment where she has access to the care and support she needs
“The ultimate goal is to place children in loving Christian homes, which is the heartbeat of what RCE does.”
TWO YEARS LATER
Two years after Cosmina joined the family, the Vesa’s opened their home to another girl who was in desperate need. Her name is Carina. Carina’s favourite colours are pink and red. She loves to colour and do puzzles. She also enjoys helping in the garden and taking care of animals.
Carina’s biological family was severely troubled. After being abused by her father, Carina braved the freezing Romanian winter and ran away. She was found outside by a neighbour the next day, almost frozen to death and curled up next to a dog. The authorities believe the warmth from the dog kept her alive. As a result of the abuse, Carina suffered multiple injuries and severe brain damage that left her nonverbal. After being treated at a hospital, she was put in a state orphanage, just like Cosmina had been. She moved from orphanage to orphanage for several years— until she finally came to RCE and was welcomed into the Vesa home.
Florentina has cared for Cosmina and Carina for more than 10 years now. The individual care and attention that are possible in a family setting like this is extremely important for young women like Cosmina and Carina.
With help from CBN’s Orphan’s Promise partners like you, RCE helps Florentina have an income so that she can stay home and take care of the children. The program also offers ongoing counselling, emergency financial help as needed, and special education support, as well as a summer camp program where children with disabilities are cared for by volunteers so that their families can enjoy some much-needed rest once a year.
Both Cosmina and Carina have made a lot of progress. Occasionally, they still struggle with mental and emotional breakdowns, which can cause them to act out violently. Yet, Florentina perseveres, and her husband and family support her day after day and year after year.
When you see the safe and loving space that has been created for these girls who have suffered so much, it is a beautiful picture of God’s love for us. It is not based on what we do. We are called God’s beloved because He simply loves us.
“We are called God’s beloved because He simply loves us.”