Alexandra has a beautiful name, resembling her physionomy and soul. She is 16 years old and studies at a prestigious high school in Baia Mare, in the 10th grade. As an overachiever, she deserves all the respect. She understood and accepted the importance of being proud of herself, even if fate mishandled her and her 8-year-old brother, as they ended up in a state institution. They face life with much courage, even though all their childhood years have not been easy. They only had their father left after their mother decided to leave them and she has been living for six years in a small group home in Baia Mare.

Surrounded by 6 “mothers” and 11 “brothers”

 She managed to understand and accept all that happened to her and all she lived through as it is. She talks and writes marvellously about all she gathered in her soul, choosing her words carefully, kindly and wisely, even when talking about her life up until now.

 “My life story is simple. With challenges that made me who I am. I was born in September, under the sign of the Virgo. I am calm, friendly, worthy, fair, selfless, funny. I have a wonderful family, a loving father, a brother, 6 “mothers” and another 11 “brothers”. Until 10, I stayed with my biological family, in Brașov county, but problems appeared when my father divorced my mother. Since then, our life changed. This is how we and our father arrived in Maramureș county. Because of work, our father had to leave us at a family he paid to take care of me and my brother. It was not long before we ended up at another family. We did not stay there for long, either, and this is how we came in the small group home we live in today. It was hard always being on the move and lacking our parents’ presence. I was scared, I couldn’t understand anything. Or I didn’t want to understand... For a whole year I was lost and hoped to leave as soon as possible. I haven’t heard anything about my mother for a long while. She left... All I know are some fragments of what I’ve been told, that she was a very good-looking young woman when she gave birth to me at the age of 18. An uncle told me I am her living image. One day she wrote to me on Facebook. I couldn’t believe it. I saw some pictures and it is true. Whenever I look in the mirror now, I see my mother. Even if she abandoned us, I don’t judge her. No matter what my parents have done, if they need my help I will wholeheartedly do everything for them”, Alexandra tells us.

She gradually realised life in the family home was not that difficult. She slowly adapted, their father visited often. The colleagues in the home became her friends, and her “mothers”, as she calls them, always counselled her and prepared her for life. Years flew by and Alexandra successfully graduated secondary school. She also had her “first love”, as she told me, “but it was a total failure” she adds (and smiles).

“I strongly believe if you are cheerful you are happy and if you are happy you become a good human.”

Chatting with Alexandra I asked other questions from time to time, but she is communicative and not many questions were needed: she opened her heart and tearfully resumed her story.

When I am sad, I pray to God or I look for someone to provide me with the serenity I need. Life, my dears, is a mission where we are the leaders. Its aim is to shape our character and for us to help our peers. I seek pleasure, love and simplicity in whatever I do. I strongly believe if you are cheerful you are happy and if you are happy you become a good human. I am just an ordinary person, with many dreams I wish I could make come true, no matter the cost. And with various fears. Starting with the most basic one, the fear of darkness, up until the fear of loneliness, the dread I could lose my father. Every day and night I think at him. For me, he is the man who counts. Even if we cannot be together because of his work as a professional driver, we talk often and I know he loves us. He is my hero. He was the only one who did not give up on me, on us. We often chat and he always reminds me how much he wanted a daughter, I smile to him and fall into his arms. I assure him I take care of Victor in his absence. We are born 8 years apart and I am like a mother to him. I take care that he doesn’t notice, doesn’t feel the absence of our parents so badly. We both suffer, but my suffering is converted into my care for him. I see him growing up, step by step, and with small steps he will also achieve something in his life. I am happy for his happiness, just as I am sad for any sadness.”

Eager for progress, she wants to become a good educator

Alexandra is intelligent and very industrious. She loves to learn not only in school, but also from people. Eager for progress, she chose a high school to help her for adult life, because her dream is becoming a good educator. She takes part in various activities, camps, meetings, courses and everything regarding personal development. She is sociable, warm and friendly, always preoccupied by the impression she leaves on others, how others perceive her, how she evolves.

Ever since Alexandra and her brother live in one of the homes of the Foundation, Hope and Homes for Children supported her whenever she needed it: it facilitated her participation to various personal development courses, helped her go in camps, excursions, financially contributed to buying books and offered general assistance to continue her studies in school.

 “I am convinced each human has thoughts or curiosities, but we don’t find the answer each time. I always have several questions: Have I done something good today? Have I taken the right decision?  Have I unknowingly insulted someone?  Will I cope with the future? What do others think of me? And so forth. I look around and see a thousand people, all with different personalities. It’s not easy, but I learn to accept and protect myself from whatever could disturb me. I recently talked with a lady who said something noteworthy: «We cannot change people, but we can change ourselves, to learn to protect ourselves from whatever could disturb us.» I loved it, what she said is very realistic. I learnt that simple things can make you happy. Every morning we wake up to new challenges, new cheerful experiences, new realisations – is a reason for happiness. Life goes up and down, but we are the ones choosing how we live. And I choose to be the best person I can, so that I attract good people around me. And I know everything new in my life is a challenge. But I will prevail, because I am a fighter”, says Alexandra.

 

 Text by Sorina Moldovan