As the title implies today was our last day at the Barlad Hospital in Romania. I awoke refreshed and rested despite the party that lasted until 4 am and boomed music that shook the room. Yesterday, was National Women's Day. Yep, a holiday that apparently, all European countries celebrate but, get this, has to do with women's right to vote in American. How many American women know of this holiday? We received flowers, champagne, chocolate and kisses. The women go out and celebrate all night.
We were all anxious to get to the hospital in the morning and spend time with the kids. It was funny, when we arrived we arranged a spontaneous photo shoot for the kids, dressing them in clothing that was brought for them and placing them all in one area. This must be what it's like for the Dugger family. Check out the photo I got and this was the best one. I hope my other teammates were able to capture this moment better than I.
As part of the final day I was asked by Dr. Magda to give a presentation to the staff and herself about feeding. It was so much fun. We included the children and used them as examples. They loved it. My teammates were so encouraging and supportive of me. The staff had good questions and after the presentation several of the nurses hung around and asked other feeding questions. I told Dr. Magda that I planned to tell my therapist friends about the hospital and try to get them to come volunteer. They are grateful for any help. I could really tell that they wanted the best for the kids. Supplies are just limited and as Dr. Magda said they do not have anyone to educate them about feeding children with special needs in Romania.
Yesterday, our little friend Andre came back but it was so crazy for the team. I had gone back to the hotel because I wasn't feeling well. They came back and told me that he had returned to the hospital with a fever, very upset and had a big bruise on his head. The crazy part was that apparently he did not go to the placement center last week as we thought, HE WENT HOME. Yes, back to the parents that allegedly keep him in a barn with animals. Amazingly, in just one day, he looks like the kid we transformed the week before. Kristin even had him standing today. Gabi, is finally biting off bites of food. Her favor thing to eat is chocolate, boy does she fit in well with us. Alena, looked adorable in her easter dress and pink peacoat. Little Maruna loves the interaction with the group and enjoyed spending time with the other kids. Today she made her first sounds and laughed out loud when I tickled her tummy. Marion, is eating better despite his complete cleft of the soft and hard palate. I look forward to passing on the advice that I received from Dr. Shaker, from pediatric resource. I discovered our 10 year old with DS is just like the children I work with at home. He enjoyed hugs and doesn't like to be told no. He spend a few minutes in time out for not listening.
It was most difficult to say good bye to Cleo and Delia. They both live at the hospital due to their medical complications while the others rotate in for evaluations. I feel some comfort in knowing that Coca, is there and taking care of them but she is only one person. They depend so heavily on the volunteers. Dr. Magda said she sees such a difference in the children and they loss that when there are no volunteers. Oh, my. It's hard to really grasp that our moment to contribute is over and all I have is 500 pictures and videos to gaze at and remember fondly, our bebes....