My wife is watching me cry, and she has no idea why I’m crying. She found me where she finds me most mornings upon waking; in my chair, clicking away on my laptop, but this morning was the first time she found me crying.
Some of us had it easy growing up even though we had it hard. Some of you will know exactly what I mean, while others will scratch their heads, wondering if I am being purposefully vague. I am not. At least I am not trying to be, but it’s the best way I can encapsulate the thoughts rushing through my head, and the emotions welling up in my heart.
My brothers and I grew up poor, in a dangerous neighborhood, having been spirited away from the only home we ever knew and brought to the United States without knowing the language, or understanding the culture. It has become home. I am grateful that this country opened its arms to my family when we had nowhere else to go, and even though the first few years were difficult, to put it mildly, we still had each other. We still had family.
Seven of us lived in a two-bedroom apartment, both grandparents, both parents, myself and two little brothers, and we managed to survive, lean on each other in times of need, and make it through the hard times by sticking together. Yes, life was hard, but having family made it easier, more bearable, giving you a sense of permanence even when everything around you was in chaos.
I was blessed not because I had things, or lived somewhere fancy, or bought clothing from stores with actual labels inside them because I had none of those things growing up. We lived in a glorified ghetto, my grandma sewed my clothing, and I have no memory of ever having had toys save or a set of lawn darts the next-door neighbor gave us because they didn’t sell at his garage sale. Even during the worst of times, however, we still had family.
I have always thought of the Hand of Help orphanage as a family. I realize this sounds odd given that it is literally an oasis for children without parents, but there are different types of families, and I’ve always thought of the orphanage as just another kind of family.
This morning I was proven right, and it’s the reason my wife found me with tears rolling down my face.
Allow me to explain: one of our own, a member of the Hand of Help family is gravely ill and requires life-saving surgery. It is a complicated and costly procedure that could only be carried out in Austria. It’s not US costly, but costly nonetheless.
Yesterday, my brother Daniel started a GoFundMe to help with the cost, and this morning, when I clicked on the link, I saw names I recognized who had given to this cause. Some of these are names I hadn’t seen the better part of a decade, children who had at one point stayed at the Hand of Help orphanage, but are now grown, with families of their own. They are scattered throughout Europe, North America and beyond, but they have not forgotten from whence they came.
A member of their family needed them, and they are stepping out in force to prove that family will always be family, and when family needs you, you answer the call.
God will provide for this need. There is no doubt in my mind regarding this, but what had me chocked up was who He is doing it through.
I have often said that I will never ask of you what I myself am unwilling to do, or have not done already. It is a simple philosophy, yet one that has served me well throughout the years.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.