May, 2018 – The Plight of our Precious Orphans in Romania

May, 2018 – The Plight of our Precious Orphans in Romania

It is common knowledge that one out of every three children in Romania is born with a birth defect.  There are at least three main reasons for this.  First of all, the mothers’ lack of nutrition.  It would be extremely improbable for any woman to birth a healthy baby if she subsisted on a piece of bread every other day, or a potato every other day.  Many of the babies that we see come into our ‘baby’ orphanage, have a disease called opisthotonos (spasm of the muscles causing backward arching of the head, neck, and spine).  There are many causes of opisthotonos, but lack of Vitamin B is one.  There are many babies brought to the orphanage severely underweight and struggling just to live from the mother’s long-term lack of nutrition.

A second cause of birth defects in Romania is AFS (alcohol fetal syndrome).  Romania has the second highest alcoholism rate in the world – right after Russia.  This is taken from the publication, ‘Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – American Pregnancy Association’ – “The effects of FAS include mental retardation, malformations of the skeletal system and major organ systems (specifically the heart and brain), inhibited growth, central nervous system complications” (and more).   Many of our babies in the orphanage exhibit these symptoms.

Thirdly, birth defects are severe and permanently damaging from the attempted, but ‘botched’ abortions.  Babies can be born blind, lacking muscle control in either upper body or lower body or both, brain-damaged, lame (and more).  If a baby is born healthy but just not wanted, that little one will become severely mentally challenged simply from not having been stimulated after birth.  That means the baby was not held, coddled or cuddled, stroked, spoken to, received little or no eye contact (and, once again, more).  This results in deterioration of the gray matter (dictionary definition:  the darker tissue of the brain and spinal cord, consisting mainly of nerve cell bodies and branching dendrites), and then the white matter (dictionary definition:  the paler tissue of the brain and spinal cord consisting mainly of nerve fibers with their myelin sheaths).

But there is also a fourth reason that I recently found in an online news source from Romania – the lack of presence, or lack of attention from the doctor while delivering a baby in the hospital.  If the parents can’t pay the doctor a bribe, the mother may receive little to no attention during delivery.  This is often the case for Gypsy mothers.  Or, it just may be that the doctor is drunk!   A dear friend in Romania emailed me a couple of years ago concerning some care that her father needed in the hospital.  At the initial visit the doctor was inebriated.  Just before the procedure was to take place, my friend emailed me saying, “Please pray that the doctor won’t be drunk today”.  Recently, a new anti-corruption solution was put into place – the co-payment system.  However, some doctors were actually against putting this into practice.  They said that a co-payment would not eliminate bribe, but only force people to pay twice.  There are too few doctors in Romania – only 3.8 per 100,000 people.  Many are enticed to practice abroad where the pay is astronomically superior to what they are paid at home.

Another friend shared with me that his sister needed an eye operation.  When she arrived at her scheduled appointment for surgery, the eye doctor asked her if she had brought a scalpel.  When she said that she hadn’t, he said that he had one but it was so old and dull that she probably would never see again!  Another person’s operation had to be postponed because the hospital was out of ‘surgery thread’.  They also may be out of bandages, gauze, and worse, antibiotics.   It is not uncommon for two people to share one regular-sized hospital bed – or for 40 or more to have one bathroom to use.  Many patients who can afford it go abroad to Germany or Switzerland for treatment.

I know this article has gotten away from its original intent – ‘birth defects in babies’, but everything in the past few paragraphs describing the lack of doctor and hospital care plays huge into the fourth reason as to why there are so many precious little ones being born far from whole and healthy.  My heart breaks!  Is there a solution?  Of course.  There is always a solution.  Those greedy, corrupt hearts with a God-size hole in them – from the government to the doctors to the parents have to be changed.

Psalm 9.18 –  For the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.    Psalm 10.17,18 –  ‘O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.’  And though there are many, many verses in Scripture that apply to the well-being and care of our thrown-away, unloved and abused orphans, for now just one more – Psalm 12.5 –  Into the hovels of the poor, into the dark streets where the homeless groan, God speaks: “I’ve had enough; I’m on my way to heal the ache in the heart of the wretched.”’  Enough is enough!  I long for the day when our precious babies and kids in Romania (and orphans and unwanted children around the world) are whole and healthy – will meet their Creator – and will be loved and held and re-assured of the love they have so desperately wanted in this world.

Please pray:  that God will remove from (those, their) heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh’.  – Ezekiel 36.26