Natalie and Ron are a married couple that struggled to conceive a child. They considered different options in order to have a child and they eventually chose the method of adoption to start their family. When the couple adopted their little girl from Romania, they never could have imagine how their decision would affect their lives.
Hoping for a child
Natalie and Ron Trecroce were a Canadian couple hoping to expand their family in 1997. They were trying to conceive a child but it seemed as if their dream of starting a family was far out of reach. The couple decided to take a different route in order to start their family and they began to look into the adoption process. They never imagined where this decision would lead them.
A strong desire
While the couple was devastated by the news that they would not be able to conceive biological children, they did not give up on their dream of raising them. The Trecroce’s desire to love and care for kids was greater than their desire to have biological offspring of their own. They knew they wanted children and it did not matter if they were biologically related to the couple. They started to seek out other methods to bring a baby into their home.
Going to Romania
The couple started discussing the option of adoption shortly after they found out they would not be able to have children of their own. However, adopting a child was easier said than done as in 1997, as the process was more difficult than it is today. The couple was willing to do anything in order to start their family and they travelled all the way to Romania in order to bring their new child home.
Love at first meeting
The couple made their way to the western Romanian city of Arad which is located on the Mures River. This was where they met a little girl named Rodica Lavinia Farcas. It was love at first sight for the couple and Rodica. Ron and Natalie immediately knew that she was to be their child. It was meant to be for The Trecroce, and they knew they needed to bring her home. However, the couple still needed to get through the adoption process.
Ron and Natalie were sure that the three of them were meant to be a family but unfortunately, there was a big problem standing in their way. The couple was told the devastating news that Rodica had a health related problem and that she was not doing well. The little girl who always had a smile on her face was extremely malnourished. This led to many health complications for Rodica who was only 1 at the time.
They needed to take action
So how did Rodica end up at the orphanage in the first place? Soon after her birth, Rodica was sent to the orphanage in Arad, most likely because her mother could not support the baby or afford to feed another mouth. Rodica was abandoned and her health was deteriorating rapidly. She had vitamin D deficiency which let to her developing rickets. Ron and Natalie knew they had to take action to save Rodica from life in an orphanage.
Getting her history
Natalie and Ron did not let anything stand in the way of bringing Rodica home. They knew they needed to learn more about her life and medical history so they could provide her with the treatment she needed. They wanted to know about any physical or mental issues that she had so they would know how to best care for her. The couple wanted to give Rodica a chance at a normal life.
After they decided to bring Rodica home, the hard work started. At the time, Romania was not an organized country and the standards for medical records were low. Discovering Rodica’s family medical history was much harder than Natalie and Ron were anticipating. They gathered as much information as they could to put the pieces together about Rodica’s condition. They could have never guess what they were about to discover.
A stunning revelation
Overwhelmed by bureaucracy and a disorganized system, Natalie and Ron decided that they needed to look at Rodica’s family history. The couple was disappointed after they realized that there was very limited documentation regarding her family tree. Thankfully, there was enough information for them to discover that Rodica was not in fact the only child that her mother had placed in an orphanage. There was another child as well – Radica’s older sister.
Her older sister
But how could the orphanage not inform the Trecroces about Rodica’s sister? Rodica’s mother gave up Rodica’s older sister as well, however, she was placed in a different orphanage in the city. The two were biological sisters but were split up very early on in their lives. This meant that each sister did not know that the other existed. With this new information, the Trecroces had to make a hard decision.
Searching for her sister
While it was not clear why both children were given up, the Trecroces set out to find Rodica’s sister. This was a very challenging task but Natalie and Ron were determined to start their family. In a situation like this, some people would have given up and gone home, but Natalie and Ron did not have any hesitations about bringing both girls back with them. If the two were really sisters, the couple did not want them to be separated.
A happy reunion
Finally, after a lot of work, Rodica’s sister was located. Natalie and Ron adopted both girls and began planning their trip home to Canada. Gianina and Rodica had many physical similarities and they were quick to get along. Natalie and Ron felt a connection between all four of them, and they were now a family. But Ron and Natalie were about to discover some surprising news.
Even more siblings
After the family of four returned to Canada, Ron and Natalie began to look deeper into the children’s family history. They discovered that the sisters actually had 6 additional siblings! However, after a lot of research and spending a lot of money, the siblings could not be located because of the lack of organization and documentation in Romania. The location of their siblings is still not known today.
A loving family
While the Trecroces were frustrated that they were unable to locate the other 6 children, many said that it was for the best. Considering that the couple was so generous, they would likely have wanted to adopt more of the siblings. However, taking care of 8 children would be quite the challenge. The couple could not find the rest of the siblings, so they focused on loving the two children they did have.
Now that Gianina and Rodica were in their new country with their new parents, Natalie and Ron felt that they needed new names to mark their new start in life. Gianina was now called Sophie and Rodica was changed to Danielle. This name change symbolized the emotional change in the kids’ lives. However, Natalie and Ron still felt that they were missing something.
Keeping their heritage
While they received new western names and they were starting their transition into their new life, Natalie and Ron knew that they wanted to make Danielle and Sophie aware of their heritage. They kept the girls’ original names as their middle names so that they would always have a piece of their heritage with them. We think this was a beautiful gesture done by the Trecroce parents.
Many abandoned children
While Danielle and Sophie were happily at home with their parents, there were still thousands of children in orphanages back in Romania. In fact there were many children that were abandoned by their parents due to the political situation in the 1990s. The country was a dictatorship with Nicolae Ceausescu as the leader. He was a communist, and due to his religious beliefs, he outlawed any contraception in the country.
Lucky to be adopted
Since many couples were unable to care for their children, the families began to give them to orphanages. Most of the children were not adopted and remained in the orphanages. Many died of malnutrition and other health issues. Some children, like Sophie and Danielle, were lucky enough to be adopted and were taken to other countries. Natalie and Ron fought hard to bring their new daughters back with them, and the girls were extremely lucky to be taken out of their situation.
Telling their story
The story of the two adopted sisters gained a lot of attention. It is easy to see why, s their parents travelled to a dictatorship and brought both sisters home when they only planned on adopting one child. A filmmaker heard about their story and approached Natalie and Ron about making a documentary about them. They agreed as they believed that it would encourage other people do adopt children.
Many years after the documentary was made, Sophie watched it and decided to edit it into a short film. She then uploaded the film online in order to tell the public her and her sister’s story. Many people viewed the video and it raised awareness about children in similar situations. It also made people who were in a similar situation to Sophie and Danielle feel like they were not alone. After the video became popular, Sophie decided to do something else.
Turning a hobby into a career
During the process of editing the video, Sophie realized something about herself. She discovered that she enjoyed photography and decided to pursue it as her future career. Sophie enrolled in college to study photography and wants to turn it into her profession. Who knew that making a video about her life for YouTube would lead to Sophie deciding what she wanted to be? Sophie is a very talented artist and it seems as though she is planning to do great things.
Researching their family
In addition to discovering her future career, Sophie decided that she wanted to know more about Romania and her biological family. She and Danielle began researching their family history in order to learn about where they came from. The two even plan to fly to Romania so they can find their other siblings. However, this process is very challenging as there is little documentation of their other brothers and sisters in Romania.
While the sisters plan on making a trip to Romania in 2018, they are keeping busy in the meantime. Since the sisters gained media attention, Danielle said of her intended trip, “I would love to go back to explore the country!” Danielle is now studying for her Bachelor’s degree and she and her sister are very close. The two even live close to each other and they keep in touch as much as possible.
A happy family
It is interesting how fate fate often intervenes in our lives. This is as true for the Trecroce sisters as it was fate that their adoptive parents found them. Although Natalie and Ron had not planned on bringing home two children, they got much more happiness than they could have ever imagined from their daughters. We are so excited that there was a happy ending for this family!