When I was in high school, the worst thing that could happen to a girl is if she "got in trouble". Pregnancy would mean the end of college dreams and result in a life of low-paying jobs and living in a trailer park. In my mid-thirties, with college degrees earned and now married, I found out I had fertility problems and wished I had had more fun in high school.
I could write a book about the sadness and isolation of not being able to have a baby, of the well-meaning doctors who always had some new test to run or procedure to try, of the support of friends like my veterinarian who gave me the daily hormone shots in my butt because she is the only one I know who is not afraid of needles.
After ten years of marriage, with the future of no children a bleak prospect, my husband and I decided to adopt. We settled on Romania for several reasons, including the fact that an agency who had a lot of experience with Romanian adoption was located about seven miles from our house.
The process was fairly easy with lots psychological testing, forms to fill out, financial records, forms to fill out, letters of employment, forms to fill out, home inspections, forms to fill out, letters of reference from our town police chief, forms to fill out, criminal, background and driving record checks (that was a tough one, I had to write a letter promising I wouldn't speed with the child in the car) employment history and references, photos of all the rooms of our home, etc.
At last we were told we would be getting a 3 year old little girl named Bianca. We went to Romania in June 2001 and came home with our daughter. Bianca's records contained information on her biological family, which included a sister named Georgiana 2 years older, who lived with the paternal grandmother. With this information, I spent the next 2 years trying to locate Georgiana. My intent was not adoption of Georgiana, but to answer the question I knew Bianca would one day ask: Where is my sister and what did you do to locate her for me?
Once I found out the part of the country that Georgiana resided in, I began looking for someone in Romania who was trustworthy, could speak both English and Romanian and was willing to do some investigating for me. I lucked out by meeting Vali Nas through the Romania Adoption Yahoo Group online. He and his wife Mariana took on the task of using my few sketchy details to locate Georgiana in an extremely remote area that does not have telephones or indoor plumbing.
Not only did they locate Georgiana for me, they have returned to her home several times, bringing clothes, toys and food that we were able to provide. After each visit we received emails with photos.
This is the story of those trips: Romania2