She Said Yes!!


She Said Yes!!

Ceausescu, the dictator of Romania until Christmas, 1989, created a major problem by establishing a law that a family had to have a minimum of five children or they were penalized while also outlawing the use of contraceptives. The state would raise the children if the family could not afford to or did not want that many children. So orphanages were filled with the abundance of unwanted children.

These children have the stigma of being raised orphans that follows them throughout life. Society created the issue that caused them to become orphans, but then that same society does not want them. Gypsies are also looked at as a very low caste of people so if you are a Gypsy orphan you are the lowest of the low.

In Romania it takes two families committed to helping their children, both financially and with the children, to make a go of it in married life. Salaries are low so both parents need to work in most families. So, if you are an orphan that does not have a family to help, there is a low possibility for you to get married unless you marry another orphan.

Ramona was the first young lady who entered our transitional home program. She came to us at the age of 21 years of age. Her church had set her up with a couple who were in their 50s and had never had children. She would live with and care for them until they died and then she would inherit their house. The church arranged this so she would be taken care of knowing that she would not get married. But Ramona did not like the arrangement because they lived a few miles out of town and she was very lonely most of the time. She would rather live by herself with little money than to stay with that couple for possibly 20+ years and have a house of her own.

Ramona lived with us for three years and was an excellent worker. She always had a job. If she wanted to leave one job, she always got a new job before quitting the other one. So when she asked if we could help her get a job in England, we knew she would be able to hold onto a job. Her only issue was that she did not speak English. She went to London to a contact we had there who helped her find her first job. She had three jobs before she found one that suited her well and she kept that job for a long period of time. She also went to the university at night to learn English.

She had a good friend in London with whom she did many things. Just over a year ago her friend’s cousin, Daniel, who was living and working in Vienna came to visit. After staying for a few days and returning to Vienna, they continued to talk over Skype. Ramona had not heard from him for a couple months and then she got an invitation last summer to visit him in Vienna. From that time forward they stayed in close contact with each other.

Ramona moved back “home” to be with us in September of this year. She was hoping that he would ask her to marry him so she wanted to get her drivers license in Romania so she could drive in Vienna when Daniel was working. We talked with her about the possible wedding and what she wanted us to do for her at the wedding. Her father is alive and she visits him periodically so we did not want to do more than she wanted. She told us “Of course you are my parents” and that we would be her parents at the wedding. We were thrilled to fill that role.

Daniel continued to visit on the weekends he could come from Vienna. One weekend in October he asked if he could speak with us.  He said that he wanted to propose to Ramona in November but wanted our blessing first. We spoke to him about her being an orphan and asked how both he and his family felt about that fact. He said that did not matter to him or his family, he just wanted her as his wife. He showed great respect both for her and for us by asking our permission beforehand. We were honored to tell him we thought he was a perfect match for Ramona and that he had our blessing to propose to her.

Even though Ramona did not know, we knew when he drove to Romania to take her back to Vienna in November that he would propose sometime during that coming week. We could not ask her anything or it would give away his surprise so we just waited and watched Facebook for a post from her. Finally the post came and it had a picture of the rings and the words “I said yes.”

It has been a great joy for us throughout the almost 7 years to see Ramona grow and mature. She told us way back when she first came that she wanted to be able to wear white at her wedding. She will have the civil ceremony in March but the church wedding will not happen until May 18th.  She said they will not live together until after the May wedding as that is when she is recognized as being married in the eyes of the church. We are very proud of her and we are very proud to act as her parents at both the civil and church weddings. It is young ladies like Ramona that make our ministry very fulfilling.