Yesterday’s blog post – The Tragedy of Orphan Public Policy in Romania – highlighted the terrible struggles of Romania’s orphans, and how they are often made worse by bad public policy. But that isn’t all there is to the story. Both within Romania and abroad, many orphans and former orphans are beacons to hope.
I think especially of a young man I count as a friend, George Dehenny. George was born without arms and left soon after birth at a Romanian orphanage. Heart-rending photos of boys in Romanian institutions hint at what would have been George’s future had he stayed. But he was adopted into a loving U.S. home. Today – among many other talents and a passionate commitment to speaking on behalf of Romania’s orphans – George is also an accomplished musician, playing both the piano and guitar with his feet! George and his wife are expecting their first child this summer.
George and the Dehenny family were featured in the much-watched “I Like Adoption” video (below) and a fuller of George’s story was told on Virginia PBS. You can even buy his music (which I really enjoy) on iTunes.
And George’s story isn’t the only glimmer of hope. Not by a long shot. Within Romania, too, former orphans, visionary Romanians, and committed outsiders are laboring together to bring good to Romania’s orphans. This ranges from the informal ministries of local churches to an array of CAFO member organization, including Livada, Springtime House, Kids Alive, Mercy Ministries, and many others.
The need is great and hurt is deep. But hope glimmers amidst it all—from family preservation efforts, mentoring and local adoptions to international adoption. And, as George’s beautiful music reminds, when even one orphan is helped to thrive, the gifts can extend to all of us.