One Child – In moldova to tell Daniela’s Story

This story required quite the adventure, leading me across the southern border of Ukraine and into Moldova, country #35 for me. It necessitated a 5am flight with a 230am wake up call, but it rewarded with a smile and a Rose from a little girl named Daniela. 

When Jodi Tucker, the international director of Orphan Sunday tells me there is a child in trouble I don’t ask a lot of questions. I just grab my passport and ask what country I’m heading to. For Jodi, their is no country to far, nor border to broad to deter her from making a difference. 

In 2013, Jodi was on a Orphan Sunday trip in Moldova and came across a little girl in the village orphanage of Carpeninni with severely crossed eyes. Little five year old Daniela captured Jodi’s heart, leading her on a two year pursuit for Daniela‘s adoption. 

During that time, Jodi was instrumental in providing much needed surgery for Daniela‘s eye’s, Daniela‘s story unfolded in the process. Her mom had tragically died and the father was not stable enough for parenting Daniela. Daniela’s only hope was a grandma and the village orphanage. 

Before adoption could occur, Daniela’s father regained enough stability in his life to be deemed a suitable parent. The plan for Jodi and her husband Jerry’s adoption of Daniela ended but their concern for Daniela did not. 

Jerry decided that if Daniela’s father was going to be her dad again he wanted to make sure he was fit to be one. With a strong sense of Gods direction and a big heart, Jerry boarded a plane for Moldova without much of a plan. 

When Jerry met Daniela’s father, he told him that if he was going to be in Daniela’s life, he needed to understand how to be a father. Jerry went on to say that God told him to come here and be a father to him, a father he never had. 

Daniela’s Father wept and told Jerry that his father had died years ago and that this day, the day Jerry came, was his father’s birthday. Through this 
experience, Jerry had the opportunity to lead Daniela’s Father to a faith in Christ. 

Since then, times have been hard and the people in the village of Carpineni are very poor. Inconsistent stories had emerged and Jodi felt a tug in her heart for Daniela’s care and condition. 

This is why I am here, to check on Daniela and to provide any help that is needed. Upon my arrival I learned from my host that Daniela had lost her glasses. For reasons I’d rather not say here, the cause made this father to want justice.

After meeting Daniela I can certainly see why Jodi’s heart melted for her. She was at first shy, but after finding that I was a friend that could magically remove his thumb, her shyness faded. Daniela sealed our friendship by offering me a rose that’s making its way home in my backpack to Jodi.

Rest assured, justice was swift in the form of new glasses. My host Igor and I selected beautiful ones in a lovely shade of deep purple.

I hope these Photographs allow your heart to connect with Daniella as my heart did. Please pray for her and her grandma as Daniela’s father works hard to provide.

[Editors note – Last month,  I set off on a 21 day, 6 country European journey, Capturing Grace in Sweden, Latvia, Ukraine, Moldova, Prague and France. I am now back at home in the US and giving these stories a save home on my blog]

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