My name, Andréea, comes from the Romanian Orthodox Church, Saint Andrew. My mother chose it because I was born in November which is the same month as St. Andrew’s Day, on November 30. It is very common to be named after Saints in the Romanian Orthodox Religion. My sister Mariana was named after Saint Maria which is celebrated today, September 8. It is considered like a birthday. If it is the day of a Saint and a person is named after a Saint It is common to wish the person Happy Birthday, “La multi ani, mai frumoasa sora Maria!” My biological family is Romanian Orthodox but I was baptized by the United Church of Canada, which is the largest Protestant Christian Denomination in Canada. We all agree we come from the same “God”.
Come November, when I go to Romania I will be sharing all the different aspects of the Romanian culture. From the food, the drinks, the tourist attractions, the religious historical influence, the music and the cultural dance. I will share my journey on meeting my biological family, while describing my integration into the Romanian culture. I will always be a Canadian at heart but for a little while I would like to get to know the Romanian side. Which I know is reasonable.
I am told it is a great place to visit but not to live. It is a shame, considering it looks like it would be such a beautiful place to live. My mother grows a garden, and makes plum jam and vodka. She likes to cook a lot of different foods like cabbage rolls, pies and cakes. She makes wine when the grapes are ripe, and tends to her chickens and her goats. It all sounds magical if she were in Canada, but unfortunately she works hard to survive. She sells items like the jam, wine and vodka on the side for extra money. She is unable to work because she takes care of my sister Petronela who is not well… Neither is my mother but she gets by. The government in Romania does not help people like my mother who is taking care of their sick child. It is different in most places in Europe but Romanians are not very good to each other. It is a great place to visit if you are not from there. You will be treated very good by the locals but it is a tough life they live.
After 25 years you would think things would get better, but things have only gotten worst for the Romanian people. You need money to be treated with respect in Romania and this goes as far as a simple trip to the doctor. Health Care is free in Romania but if you do not have money to pay the doctor extra they will not give you the best of treatment. Everyone is looking out for themselves. My birth mother and siblings are not like most Romanians. They are kind and gentle people who open their heart to most people. They grew up poor and had nothing but love to give, but for other Romanians it is never enough. Everybody turns a blind eye instead of realizing this is what is happening in their own country. Innocent families left on the streets. Many times my birth mother went without food just so my siblings could eat. Many times she was turned away when asking for help. I appreciate my life in Canada a whole lot more because even the images are too painful…
I hope to understand more once I get to Romania. I really do appreciate the life I was given. It makes me believe I was meant to be taken out of that situation for a period of time and be given a good life. Then eventually we would be reunited. Hopefully I can help make a difference in all of their lives. I am determined to make things easier for my birth mother because she needs a break. She has never had a break in her life and I took a lot of things for granted in mine. I am excited to meet her in person. I know I will learn so much from her during my visit.
He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses much more; He who loses faith, loses all.