Part Of The Family, By Katie Greiner

Volunteering in the Brasov Children’s Hospital, we have the
opportunity to care for so many precious babies and toddlers. With some of
these little ones, we don’t know their names, where they come from, or anything about
them. With others, we know their families well and have watched their older
siblings grow up in and out of the hospital when they were small. Whatever the
background, though, we are there to fill in the gap and love them for as long
as they are in the hospital.

 One family we have all gotten to know well over the past few
years, is that of Constantin and Stefan. Constantin is now about 4 ½ years old
and Stefan recently turned 2. Many of our volunteers will remember these boys
as they were in and out of the hospital many times over their first couple of
years. Stefan still comes in now and then whenever he is sick, but not so much
as when he was small. They also have a 12 year old brother, Alex, who has been
in the hospital a few times, and a 17 year old brother.
One of the things that has set this family apart is how they
will all come together to drop off or pick up one of the boys, and so we have
been able to meet the parents, grandmother, and oldest brother at these times. We
would greet them whenever we saw them, and often bring clothes, shoes, and toys
for the boys. Over the past year or so, we’ve gotten to know them more and they
now come to our office to see us anytime they are at the hospital. There is a
small box of toy cars that we keep on hand for visits like this, and the boys
know that they can choose one any time they stop by. The family is very poor,
so the clothes and shoes that we are able to give them from the donations that
we receive has been such a blessing to them and they are so grateful. How
wonderful to be able to fill bags of clothes for them, put new shoes on their
feet, and bundle them up in warm coats and hats!
Watching these boys grow up and getting to know all of their
family has been one of my best experiences here. Constantin was born 1 week
before I moved here in 2011, so I have been able to measure my time here by his
growth. I had no idea when I first met him as a little baby that he and his
family would become so special to me and that I would get to watch him grow up
outside of the hospital setting. That I would someday be “Tanti Caty” to him
and his brothers, and a friend to their mom. Hearing the three younger boys
running towards our office and knock at the door, excitedly calling my name,
and then just about getting knocked over by them throwing themselves into my
arms for a hug makes my heart burst with love every time. It is such an amazing
gift to be here and be an Auntie to these boys!
Thank you to all of our volunteers who have given your love
and time to these precious boys and to so many other little ones in the hospital.
If any of you are considering volunteering in the future, come on out! These
babies and kids need your love and will change you forever. 

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