A New Beginning

*Due to the sensitivity of the situations involved, the children’s names have been changed.*

Today, I was driven to my new home in a little European car, my bags were delivered to the driveway and before I knew it, I was standing on a dirt driveway–alone, in front of a big gate outside the house I knew was to be mine. Soon I heard a child’s voice and a door opened with a broom sweeping dust from the house. A familiar face.

Minutes passed and soon Doug (one of the founders of River of Life Care Home) came out to greet me. Roberta was out buying last minute things for the house and I had arrived early. I got a tour of the house, brought my bags up to my cute little room, and followed Doug outside to get a house key.

As I’m standing in the barn, I hear children’s voices and look up to see curious eyes coming from behind the fence, a boy who was familiar only from pictures. Upon making eye-contact, he stood and smiled, slightly waved and ran back inside with the other kids.

Inside the children and other Moms started gathering, asking questions and looking curiously towards me. Another little girl with big brown eyes looked up at me questioningly, and when someone said “Camille, go give her a hug,” there was no more hesitation. She ran towards me unhindered and her arms wrapped tight around me. Hudson continued to stare at me from the comfort of a comfy chair across the room.

The next hour I went back to the house, started to unpack my un-missionary-like amount of luggage, and got to spend a little time with Doug and Roberta who had just arrived. The kids were so anxious to move into the house that soon after, I was in their room shoving clothes into laundry baskets so we could move them into their own rooms after a full year of waiting in transition.

From only about 6 hours of interaction, the two kids that moved in tonight are as follows: Camille is five, spunky, wide-eyed and curious about everything. She has a very short attention span, but so do I when I move into a brand new house! She is sweet and cuddly. While we were walking between the care home and ours, she grabbed my hand tight and before I knew it called me Mom. Her older brother Hudson is eight, about to enter the second (equivalent to our third) grade. He is handy with fixing things, orderly, initially shy but a “get to business” kind of kid, protective, helpful and likes dogs. He is already helping me improve my Romanian. An hour or so after we began moving things over to the new house, Camille’s room had everything strewn all over the floor while Hudson had things put away according to seasons and separated his “home” clothes from his “school” clothes. His floor is immaculately clean.IMG_3481

We had dinner with the rest of the moms and their kids, and all helped clean up afterwards before going back to the house to play games together.

After one game, we took a short walk around the village and then had some kids over to the house to see how everything was coming along. All of the little girls ended up finding my shoes and paraded around the house proudly in heels. After a bit, the kids went home and the two kids here took baths before we settling down with a few good books to read.



The edge of the village. Hudson is leading me in the blue.

Then we began what I hope will become a great nightly habit. I brought out a new journal a good friend gave me, and asked the kids “what was one thing from today they want to thank God for.” Hudson didn’t hesitate and said “Having you here.” ……to say I was humbled and basically in tears (but not literally) would be an understatement. Camille had to think of something else, so she said that she was glad we could be in a new home all together. I was thankful for finally being with these two precious children. We dated the entry, wrote them down in Romanian (and English) and then each prayed together. It was so special and sweet. I’m sure there are going to be days along this journey that one of us or none of us can think of one thing we’re thankful for, but this will be a good practice to do together.


Camille is on the far left.

The kids are now asleep in their beds, and I only had to put Camille back in bed about 12 times so far. Parents–teach me your ways! 🙂 I will describe the house and include pictures on that soon enough. For now, enjoy a few highlights of my day through photos…and please write!!


14 thoughts on “A New Beginning

  1. grace4mn says:

    Alissa!!! I am so happy to hear how wonderful your day was. Sounds like those kids already love you. I pray you build great relationships with them . I am so proud of you and excited to hear more! And good thing you packed all those shoes and clothes, what fun dress up dates you will have!!! 😉 luv ya, Alissa! Keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. grace4mn says:

    I am so happy to hear how great your day was! Alissa, sounds like those kids already love you, no surprise there. Glad you already starting great traditions and building a relationship with those children. Will be a great mom. Praying for you and so proud of you. Excited to keep reading more! Love you, Alissa!!! And glad your shoes already went to good use 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ashley H. says:

    AHHHHH!! i absolutely LOVE hearing this. I cannot believe you’re ACTUALLY there. WOW! SO proud of you. So excited to see what the Lord does in and through you. AH!!! Praying for you sweet friend. And for your new chapter, new family, new role, new life, new country, …. you get the picture. God is good, we know that to be true. that He is faithful, and proactive and eagerly anticipating and willing to provide all that we need and more in just the perfect timing that we need it. Praying for so much joy! love you beautiful friend!


  4. Melissa says:

    They are so blessed to have you in their lives. And I know you are also blessed. I will get your address from family so I can send them something at Christmas. Love and prayers for you all. Melissa.


  5. vfamfarm2 says:

    Wow, Alissa! You are really THERE! I look forward to seeing the pictures of your home and more of your children! Camille’s room looks very pretty and very modern. When you spoke of other moms, do you mean that there are more homes with more moms like you who meet together? Do you have room in your home for a few more children? I cannot wait to hear and learn more! We are praying for you, dear Alissa. I send my love.


  6. vfamfarm2 says:

    By the way, I love the idea of writing in a journal each evening, thanking God for His daily blessings! Only good things can develop from a “nightly habit” like that. 😉


  7. Mimi B says:

    My daughter was there during her year long mission trip this past winter. Her team was there for about a week. Lord bless you during this time with them! My youngest, when he was in AWANA, had to pick a missionary to learn about, and it was Doug & Roberta. I blogged about them a few years ago! You’re help there is going to be such a blessing to everyone.


  8. Papa says:

    I know we have already talked several times, but I just wanted to add my “voice” to these comments. Keep on posting!!! I love you and are SO proud to call you my daughter!


  9. Johnna Westby says:

    So happy to get updated on your new experience. It is wonderful to hear of your experiences. I have worked with several children who were/are adopted from Romania. Some of the behaviors remind me of difficulty with attachment. I will be praying for you morning and night now my dear as you will be under stress as you transition to this new life. I secretly wish I could twinkle my nose and be there to help you. I will help you through my thoughts and prayers. I am so excited for you and especially for the children who will be changed immeasurably by your presence and God’s guidance. Bless you sweet lady. I will stay in touch. Bless you!


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