Ioana and Claudiu Căplean live in the Iași county. In 2017, the 30-year-old woman became pregnant and was getting ready to deliver the family’s fifth child. Throughout the pregnancy, she felt well, so she did not go to the doctor too often, especially since she already had four children to care for. She and her husband were not concerned about the sex of the baby, they decided to simply wait for the due date.

But the premature birth came with a shock: the young mothered delivered not one, but four children – two girls and two boys, all beautiful healthy babies. Although deep down the couple was happy to see them, the two parents were so shocked to suddenly have eight children, that they decided to give up the four newborns, especially since they shared a home with a paternal grandmother and two other grandchildren. Given the context, their panic-stricken reaction was understandable. They were worried, as their current home, although adequately kept, does not provide enough space for everyone. The father does various construction jobs around the country and, throughout the years, managed to build another house in the same yard, with three rooms and a hallway; but the building was not yet finished and was therefore still uninhabitable. So, they decided to ask for the help of local authorities, to identify solutions together.

Hope and Homes for Children sprang to action and joined forces with the local authorities. An intervention plan was set up to prevent the separation of the children from their family, and the first concrete action in October 2017 was to cover all the basic needs of the mother and the four babies: hygiene and sanitary products, diapers, formula, clothing, blankets, push-chairs, cots, pillows and bed linen, baby bath-tub, wet wipes, laundry washing powder. In addition, the new house was furnished: furniture, a fridge, a cooker, a gas tank, food, school stationery, clothing and footwear for the other children, a washing machine, a TV set, firewood.

Meanwhile, the mother received professional counselling, to help her cope with the challenge: she received support to get over the initial shock, then to be able to care both for the premature babies, who needed round the clock monitoring, and the older children.

All this help enabled the family to weather the winter. We went to visit them in early 2018. It was a great joy to find them well, the babies were all smiles, cheerful and alert. Just as moved as us, the mother confessed that she hasn’t managed to hold all of them at once, and that whenever one of them starts crying, the other three join in, in an unstoppable wail. They all want her attention at once, if possible.

Hope and Homes for Children continues to support the family. At the moment, the father is working on building a stable, and a dairy cow will be purchased for the family. Until then, the little ones received formula and will receive other foodstuffs appropriate for their age. Soon, they will be one year old. We can’t wait to see them again, all happy and healthy, growing up with their family.