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.