Why do I feel so sad?
I thought I would have been much happier when it was all over. We had come to Romania for one final visit. The work was done. The charity we had set up in Romania was closed. The children we had taken into our care were all grown up and living independent lives. They are all doing so well. We had joined with a local church for a thanksgiving service,
We had had a lovely meal in a very fine restaurant with 10 of the 27 young people, who had been through our home. We had spent a couple of hours watching videos from the “old days”. But now it is all over and it is nearly time to go home.
All those times coming to Targu Mures to meet with our staff and the children. Discussing school reports, extra support needed. Seeking to make decisions that would enable our children to make the changes they would need to ultimately move to an independent life. That is in the past. The job is done. Why am I struggling with this sadness?
I suppose for all my complaints of having our decisions criticised by the young people, having to push them in the right direction, I really loved being part of their lives. The wonder of lives being transformed before my eyes. Children whom the local authorities told us we were wasting our time with, moved from being without hope to giving hope and joy to so many. From lives blighted by neglect, to lives that shared hope and love. I will miss the dedicated staff and those who were willing to give so much for these children.
I will miss my colleague, Andrew, who was the director of the project for 14 years. A most courageous man. He stood when so many others would have just given in. He has had to endure constant pressure from the authorities, visitors to the Home with no childcare training who somehow think they know more than him about caring for children, people who were willing to criticise without understanding. In all of that he kept making careful, caring and professional decisions to ensure that the children that were his responsibility kept moving towards independence.
I will miss the broken promises made by so many of the young people, the over-optimistic predictions of academic progress, the tantrums when a thing most desired was not given, the silent treatment when the line was held. Because all of these were about our children growing up and becoming the wonderful people they are today.
I am proud to have been part of what Global Care has done here in Romania. I am humbled that I was allowed to be part of these young people’s lives. I am honoured that I was allowed to be part of such a special team. I have been enriched by being part of this wonderful project.
At the same time as being pleased about a job well done, I think it is right that I feel a sense of loss and sadness at the end of it all.
John White, CEO