All posts by abeanland

Four Months Later

Well it has been four months since I have arrived back in Regina, SK. This whole event has been pretty surreal. Since then, another one of my siblings I have not met contacted me over Facebook. My sister Elena. She is living in Romania with three children and her husband. I enjoy being surrounded by so many new relatives. It is difficult being so far away and not being able to speak to them everyday. My Romanian language is still progressing and I am working on becoming fluent.

Florin is doing great. Since I spoke to him last he told me he is about 80% healed. My leg is still red but it is a lot better than when the accident first happened. I do experience random pains from time to time and so does Florin. He is currently in London England working to provide a better life for himself.

Primivara (Spring) has begun which means mom is out planting her garden, and the goats are out roaming in the grass. I am told Romania in the summer time is one of the most beautiful places in the world. One day I will spend a summer there.

Ever since my experience my eyes have been opened to all the possibilities this world has to offer. There are no limits even when we try to limit ourselves.

I am currently enrolled in Beauty School for Make Up Artistry and will be graduating in August with my diploma. With this diploma I am able to contract myself out and work for companies like MAC Make Up and Sephora, or perhaps one day Cirque Du Soleil. The nice thing about the companies I mentioned is that they are all located all over the world, including places like Dublin, Ireland and Timisoara, Romania. We will see what the future holds.

People who know me will agree, I like to live vivaciously! I live life like it’s the last day on earth and change my mind very often. I do what I want and when I want it because it makes me happy. I do this while respecting the people around me. I enjoy adventures and creating the most random ones I can think of. As my mom Pat says, “You’re full of surprises.” Not that she meant it in a good way, ha! I say back, “life is a battle to be enjoyed”. It is a journey and one hell of an adventure to tell the grand-kids.

Looks like I will be in Regina, SK for the next while until my next adventure comes about.

Stay tuned!

Thank You

Thank you for the continued support all through my journey. Since my journey had to come to an end early, I have had to start setting up a life back in Canada. It is so nice to move on with my extended family. So happy to be able to share this journey with so many other people. I appreciate the help from generous donors. My mom is able to stay warm this winter, and my brother has been well taken care of while in the hospital. I have since shut down the funding accounts because we have had more than plenty of money to help. Thank you so much.

I am not sure what the future holds, but I am currently working on a book. So stay tuned!

Scars That Tell A Story

Just a quick update from my first couple weeks back to Canada. The evening after I arrived, I received wonderful medical treatment at the nearby hospital in Indian Head, SK. I have since been making a speedy recovery. I head to the hospital daily for a good cleaning and dressing change. I am able to walk without assistance and no need of pain medication. The pain level has gone down quite a bit but I am still sore and it itches a lot! The itching is good news. It means it is healing, but it is quite irritating.

As for Florin, there are good days and bad days but he is also making a speedy recovery. He has improved drastically in two weeks. His face has cleared and he is still as handsome as ever! No scars. His legs and hands are still healing, and it has prolonged his stay in the hospital.

http://www.gofundme.com/icfp4g

Two weeks ago today we both experienced this horrific accident. With a lot of pain at the start, we are making full recoveries.

I feared for scarring on my leg, but in all honesty, scars make for a fantastic story. This scar adds to the amazing journey I have just experienced, and it will live with me for a lifetime. It is not a nasty scar, but a memory. The accident was not a happy memory, but it allowed me to take something home from Romania that I will have for a lifetime.

Some people may think I am crazy saying that I am happy about the scar, but you can deal with it two ways. One, you could be depressed or two, you could look on the bright side. It is an incredible reminder of how strong I am. It is a personal experience I share with my younger brother. Along with my vaccination scar it keeps me attached to my birth country.

As we approach the holidays it has become real that I will not be with my birth mother for Christmas like I had planned. It is heartbreaking to think that she will be spending it alone. Please pray for a miracle for her, and keep her in your Merry Christmas wishes.

Thanks for the continuous support!

Oh Canada

After two days of travelling I made it back to Canada last night. I was received warmly by my mother Pat at the Regina Airport. I have to give a special thank you to the staff at all the airports I travelled through, Budapest, Dublin, Toronto and Regina; for taking special care of me getting me to and from my seat.

A special Thank You to the Aer Lingus staff for taking extra care of me. I was given an entire row, plenty of pillows and a duvet to keep myself comfortable. Every flight attendant introduced themselves and every 5-20minutes someone checked on me to be sure I was ok. Such a warm welcome on the 8 hour trip from Dublin to Toronto.

I also have to say thank you to those friendly people in Dublin, Ireland who asked continuously if they could help me. So many friendly smiles and well wishes from strangers. One lady went out of her way to give me €10 because she felt I needed it. I kindly declined the money but told her the smile was worth more and thanked her. Such a huge difference from Romania. I love our beautiful country Romania but it was really hard for me to stay in the condition I was in. All I asked for was compassion and in Romania it is very limited.

As soon as I made it to Canada I skipped the visit to the hospital due to the 4hr wait time in Regina. The next morning my mom rushed me off to Indian Head Hospital where I was received very well. I received excellent treatment from a young nurse and got to see my family doctor. I was given better pain meds, crutches and told I needed to come in daily for new bandages.

Big difference between Canada and Romania. In Romania I was told that in 3 days the pain would be over but it continues to get worst. I was told by the Canadian doctor that in 10 days the pain would go away. I wasnt given crutches in Romania but I was in Canada. I was given stronger pain meds in Canada and a free smile to go along with it.

I feel bad leaving my brother in Romania and I pray that he is receiving the best care possible. He will be ok, but with time. Please continue to pray for him.

Fund for Florin’s hospital care.

www.gofundme.com/icfp4g

Unforeseen Circumstances Have Ended My Trip

Due to unforeseen circumstances I have had to cut my adventure short here in Romania. On December 3 2014 my brother and I were in a very bad accident. We were building the fire to heat my sister’s house where I was staying alone, when the diesel he was using exploded, hurting us both. My brother is very badly injured, but he is still alive and will be ok with time. Out of respect for him I do not wish to share more. I have been left with 2nd degree burns around the calf of my leg, and minor burns on my other leg, and my hands. My hair had been singed, and my eyebrows and eyelashes on one eye were burnt almost off. The burn near my eye healed within a day so I am very lucky.

I leave for Dublin, this Sunday, December 7, 2014 and leave for Canada on Monday, December 8, 2014, where I am hoping to receive more medical attention. It has not been easy for me because I do not speak Romanian and I do not agree with the game of paying doctors under the table to receive better medical treatment. I have travel health insurance but it does not cover paying doctors to show empathy. It is a very different mentality and with the support of my family from Romania and Canada and a few close friends in Romania and Canada I have been able to remain strong. I would also rather not risk getting an infection because it is a very large wound. My mother has been giving me excellent care at home despite the excruciating pain. We are both very sad that this is sending me back to Canada.

I apologize for the alarming news. It is upsetting.

Thank you for your continuous support. I ask for those religious or spiritual folks out there, please pray for my brother’s speedy recovery. We are very lucky to be alive.

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2nd degree burns on my one leg.

Obstacles

The past few days have been a whirlwind of emotions. I had the honour of being interviewed by the Toronto Star which can be viewed by the link at the bottom of this post.

The interview was received by mix emotions by many of people around Canada and the world. I had an overwhelming amount of kind messages from supporters which allows one to dismiss the horrible comments made about my adoptive family and myself.

I was also invited to do a radio interview with John Moore at News Talk 1010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This link is also available at the bottom of this post. I hope I was able to answer some concerns that were mentioned by strangers in the comments from the Toronto Star article.

I am very lucky to have been given two very supportive families and I have not abandoned either of them. The word abandonment was a word that haunted me for many years of my life. I feared being forgotten and abandoned. To say the words that I am abandoning anyone is ridiculous. Out of anyone, I know the fear, and I could never do that to another person or animal. I understand you can’t please everyone.

With media you have to be prepared to have negative outcomes. For someone who has been interested in film, TV, and theatre production I completely understand this. This is why it does not bother me like it has others. If you put any opinion or story of yours out there to a mass public you are not going to please everyone. You cannot focus on those people. You certainly cannot read the comments, regardless, good or bad.

In life we are given many obstacles to overcome. There are people sent into our lives to try and throw us off our life plan. Some of us have struggles going around the obstacles and not letting them affect us. Then there are others who just breeze right passed them. I have been given many obstacles, like so many others. I have struggled with a few of them, but I have done pretty well overcoming most.

This journey has taught me a lot about how to defeat these obstacles. I’ve learned not to take the little things in life for granted, and the only opinion that matters to yourself is your own. Another thing is, family will be there for you through thick and thin. Life is truly a battle to be enjoyed.

Toronto Star Interview

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/11/30/romanian_reunion_with_a_birth_mother_thought_dead.html

Interview with John Moore News Talk 1010 – 25:45 into the radio show.

https://soundcloud.com/johnmoore-in-the-morning/december-2nd-2014

Saint Andrew’s Day in Romania

Today, November 30, is Saint Andrews Day in Romania, Ukraine, Russia and other major Orthodox regions. It is an Eastern Orthodox tradition based on Andrew the Apostle from the early 1st century AD. He was first a disciple of John the Baptist. Soon thereafter, Andrew recognized Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Andrew along with his brother Peter, both became disciples of Jesus Christ.

Saint Andrew

Saint Andrew traveled along the black sea located in present day Romania, and the river Dnieper located near Kiev Ukraine. He travelled as far up to Novgorod which is located in present day Communist Russia. He was the first to bring the Church of Byzantium to these regions which is the modern day Eastern Orthodox Religion.

Similar to Jesus Christ, Saint Andrew was bound to a wooden cross, not nailed, and left to die in the City of Patras. He was accused of being martyr in Peloponnese, in present day Greece.

On this day we celebrate those who have been given the names, Andreea, Andrea, Andrei, Andrew, Andre, Andy, Andie, Andrejs, Andrzej, Andreas, Andrey, and Drew. Whether it is a first name or middle name you will be celebrated. The tradition is similar to a birthday celebration. The local priest will say a blessing for Saint Andrew and the specific people named after him. We wish these specific people Happy Birthday or in Romanian “La Multi Ani”. Most often there is a large feast on the day of a Saint, to celebrate the Saint and children named after them.  It is a highly celebrated holiday and I feel blessed to celebrate it here in Romania for the first time in my life.

This morning I attended a Romanian Orthodox Church service. Out of respect I cannot show the videos and photos from today’s service because it is a privacy restriction.

Research Credits go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_the_Apostle

Small Town Life in Canada vs Romania!

Life during the daytime hours has been pretty low key. Chores in the morning, which consist of feeding the animals and preparing breakfast. Afternoon is full of tv watching, napping, internet roaming and conversing with the neighbours or family members around. Not much to do in a small town, especially in the colder months. Having no mode of transportation limits you as to what you can do and where you can go. When it is warmer outside there is a lot more you can do. Things like gardening and doing repairs and renovations on the house or in the yard.

Small town night life in Hunedoara-Timisana is also pretty low key. As I experienced when living in the small town of Qu’Appelle, most people stay home and watch TV, or they meet for coffee at the local shop. Just like in the small town of Qu’Appelle or many other small towns out there, you have the regular group of people who meet for coffee every day or night to discuss small town gossip. Here in Romania the local shop is also licensed to sell alcohol, so if that is your fancy you can have a whisky on the rocks or a beer. In the building attached to the shop, people gather to play cards. There is a side patio where you can sit at the tables but the rest prefer to gather on the sidewalk outside of the shop to chat and drink their acquired drink.

I have to admit, I don’t know if this is the “small town girl” in me, but I actually enjoy the nights I accompany my brother to the shop. I mostly stay quiet and sip my beer, but from what I can understand I find the conversations quite amusing. They talk politics, laugh at each other and yes there is still the nasty small town gossip. For the most part they keep it pretty peaceful.

In Romania, life is poor for the people who live in the small towns that surround the cities. Very rare do the big city folk step outside of their comfort zone, and go into the small villages. Some people believe that it is a sign of ignorance that the city people choose to ignore the poverty that takes place in the small villages surrounding. In Ceausescu’s day everyone cared about each other and considered everyone as equals. Now we are blind to the poor and helpless person beside us. The small village people are poor but they get by with what they have and it keeps them busy and happy. Taking the time to stay here in this small village has really shown me that money cannot buy happiness. It is those you choose to surround yourself with that gives you happiness.

PS. Mom got her new washer today! Thanks for the generous donations thus far! While walking with her to fetch bottles of pig food I noticed a wagon would come in handy for her. She uses a two wheeled bicycle with flat tires. It is hard on roads made of chopped pieces of rocks. Perhaps with your generous help we can get her one along with a new mattress, warm clothing and food to last her a while.

http://www.gofundme.com/gieaj8

Thanks again!

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Trip to Timişoara, Romania!

Today, I had the privilege of going to Timişoara, Romania. Timişoara is 73KM from where I was born and 44KM from where I was located in the hospital. This is where my father and a few other fellow Canadians went to sign papers and go through the legal court proceedings. It was a privilege to not only stand where my father stood 24 years ago but to also see the historical spots of the Revolution of 1989. The wonderful lawyer, Florin, who is assisting me in getting my Romanian Citizenship, showed me around Timişoara. He was a great personal tour guide, with a lot of knowledge. So thoughtful of him and his friend to think of me as they made the trip to Timişoara. SO fortunate to of made this connection. Truly a genuine human being. He does so much for my family and the little people in Romania that he is truly a Saint.

Here are some photos from today!

ENTRANCE TO THE COURTHOUSE WHERE MY FATHER WENT TO GET MY ADOPTION APPROVED IN 1990.

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THE COURTHOUSE WHERE MY FATHER WENT TO GET MY ADOPTION LEGALIZED.

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ANOTHER ANGLE OF THE COURTHOUSE.

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THE ROOM WHERE MY FATHER STOOD IS AT THE END OF THE BUILDING.

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TITLE OF THE COURT

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THE NAME OF THE STREET HAS THE LAST NAME OF VLAD THE IMPALER, AKA DRACULA FROM THE BRAM STOKER STORY. THE ROMANIANS SAY THE LAWYERS IN THE GOVERNMENT IS FULL OF VAMPIRES, other than Florin and his Friend. SO IT IS FUNNY, THE STREET THAT THE COURTHOUSE IS ON IS NAMED TEPES, WHICH IS DRACULA’S LAST NAME.

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REVOLUTION SQUARE. WHERE THE 1989 REVOLUTION WAR BROKE OUT IN TIMISOARA, ROMANIA.IMG_2278

THE OPERA HOUSE ACROSS FROM THE REVOLUTION SQUARE. 1989 REVOLUTION.

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FOUNTAIN IN REVOLUTION SQUARE. MY FATHER HAS A PHOTO OF MY FRIEND GHEORGHE’S MOTHER TRISH, SITTING ON THE LEDGE OF THE FOUNTAIN.

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KING FERDINAND – THE FIRST KING OF ROMANIA.

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THE BULLET HOLES FROM THE 1989 REVOLUTION.

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THIS IS THE ORTHODOX CHURCH ACROSS FROM THE REVOLUTION SQUARE. SO MANY PEOPLE RAN TO THIS CHURCH THE DAY THE REVOLUTION BROKE OUT. AS THEY RAN TO THE CHURCH TO TAKE COVER THE MILITARY SHOT THEM. THEIR BLOOD DRAINED DOWN THE CHURCH STEPS AS THEY WERE ALL SHUT OUT.

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INSIDE THE BEAUTIFUL CHURCH!

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THE STORY BEHIND THIS BEAUTIFUL STATUE IS OF REMUS AND ROMULUS. BEFORE ANCIENT ROME WAS CONSTRUCTED, A WOLF FOUND THESE TWO BABY BOYS AND GAVE THEM MILK FROM IT’S OWN TIT. THESE BOYS GREW TO CREATE THE ROMAN EMPIRE WHICH THEN DEVELOPED THE COUNTRY OF ROMANIA.

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THE BEAUTIFUL ARCHITECTURE OF THE BUILDINGS IN REVOLUTION SQUARE! SOME HAVE BULLET HOLES FROM 1989 AND HAVE NOT BEEN REPAIRED.

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THIS IS WHERE THE 1989 REVOLUTION STARTED. IN THIS PROTESTANT CHURCH!

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CATHOLIC CHURCH, ORTHODOX CHURCH AND LAST PHOTO IS OF THE JEWISH SYNAGOGUE NEXT TO THE ORTHODOX CHURCH.

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BEAUTIFUL ARCHITECTURE IN OLD TIMISOARA! ALL THE PHOTOS ARE BUILDINGS OF OLD TIMISOARA!

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ANCIENT ROMAN RUIN!

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THIS IS WHAT HUNEDOARA-TIMISANA AND THE WESTERN COUNTRY SIDE LOOKS LIKE. THERE ARE MOUNTAINS IN ROMANIA BUT THIS IS THE AREA WHERE I WAS BORN AND WHERE MY MOTHER LIVES. VERY FLAT AND BARE! LOTS OF AGRICULTURAL LAND!

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Life Is A Battle To Be Enjoyed

I felt a bit defeated after yesterday’s news from the lawyer. I was hoping to stay in Ireland and work, but I need a work visa or European Union status to do so. I am in the process of getting my European Status but it will take some time, perhaps a year. People have asked if I could work under the table but I cannot because I am only allowed to stay in Ireland for 3 months before they come looking for me. The bright side is, it is only one year and I will be back to see my mother. I need to stop worrying about the future and start enjoying the time I have with my mother. We are all allowed to have one bad day out of a few amazing days, it is only normal. I woke up this morning, sucked it up and put on my big girl panties, and then did some laundry. Now I go to mom’s to drink some Tuica and eat some of my mother’s delicious food. I will enjoy the time I have with her and not worry because I only have 38 days left before I go again.

If you can understand the thought of being separated from her again is terrifying. I have lost her for 25 years of my life, and yes, I know one year is better than another 25 years. It is still time lost. Anything can happen within this next year, and I would hate to never see her again. Thank you to those who have donated because this allows her to keep warm for the winter and survive a little longer so I can come back and see her.

She told me yesterday that she cannot believe that it is me. I asked her why and what she meant by this, and she replied, “Because you are sent from god. You have helped me so much and I cannot believe it is my baby girl who has come back. Not only did you give me the happiness of seeing you again but you have given me things to survive.” This was not only my help, but the help from all those who have been inspired by her story. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It does ease my mind knowing that she will be warm this winter. I hope to go pick out a new mattress for her in the next week and have it delivered for Christmas. It is our Christmas gift to her, so thank you. She sleeps on a wooden frame with a very worn out mattress. Her back hurts all the time and she continues to work hard to keep her house warm and food on the table. We do not have very good backs in our family to begin with so you can imagine that it is not an ideal sleeping arrangement.

She is so blessed to have so many people care for her as my siblings and I do. She has a giant heart, and if she had the chance she would thank each of you individually for helping her. She is so humbled to accept the donations but she knows that it is for the right reasons. It is not for frivolous spending, it is for necessities to help keep her and my other siblings healthy. She is so overwhelmed that we have all helped her so much. I am humbled when she calls me a miracle from God.

As my favourite quote goes, “Life is a battle to be enjoyed.” It is meant to throw spears in your direction, and if you are quick enough you can dodge them or heal the wounds with time.