Okay, Roxana......actually it started when we went to go get Lica. When searching for Licas birth parents, which we had to do in order to adopt her, we found her grandmother. What the process was back then is that you put an add, yes a add, in the newspaper for the birth parents. If they do not come forward then the child is claimed an orphan. In the process the orphanage told us where the grandmother lived. Ken traveled to where she lived and talked with her asking if she knew where we might find Licas parents. There was a little girl standing next to the grandmother holding tightly to the grandmother’s dress. She looked just like Lica so Ken asked who she was. It was Licas older sister. We thought of adopting her also along with Lica but she so attached to each other that we decided not to. While other people on the streets were trying to sell their kids to us, the grandmother never even mentioned to us in adopted both children. We knew that they had each other and could not imagine separating them. Even though they were dirt poor, they seemed well fed, content and happy. They had a roof over their heads, food, and most importantly each other. So we left it alone but never forgot. In fact in was in our minds and hearts for years. Then in 1997 Ken flew over to Romania for one of our new family members wedding. While he was there we decided to make the 3 hour ride to the grandmothers to see how they were doing. We had concerns if the grandmother was still living and if not what happened to Loradana, Licas sister. If they needed anything, or if it would be possible at this time to adopt her if she wanted or the grandmother wanted. Sadly we found out through the grandmother that the mother returned after many years to sell Loradana for a pair gold earrings to "some man in a big car". We knew what that meant so Ken proceeded to bring one of our new family members to the, lets say, bad part of town! Mircea, needless to say, did not want to go with Ken and really tried talking Ken out of this. He told us that this is not a part of town even Romanians go to. But Ken prevailed and they went looking for Loradana or someone that might know about her. In Romania it is VERY difficult to find someone, especially a Gypsy! But Ken and Mircea looked for days anyway. We never did find her and Ken came home heart broken. To this day we wonder if we should have taken her when we had the chance to. It was much harder on Ken because he saw little Loradana and remembers her face. I still believe that I could have never split her and her grandmother up. An orphan is one thing but splitting up a family I just couldn’t do unless that is what everybody thought would be the best. And at the time Loradana and the grandmother did not want to be split up.
Once Ken came home we thought about things and decided to go get another gypsy from the same orphanage that Lica was in. We wanted Lica and our new daughter to have some things in common so that is why we went for a child from the same orphanage. No one was allowed in the orphanages without special papers. We knew we could get in because every time we traveled to Romania we brought duffle bags and suitcases full of donations to Licas orphanage. I worked in a hospital at that time and received many donations of clean needles, medicine; first aid kits to you name it. We also sent cloths for both the children and the caregivers. We had a special connection with the director and the caregivers.
So Ken traveled once again to the place our Lica came from. They were so happy to see Ken and told him that "only you Ken Fritz would come for another gypsy!!!!" Funny! They had three little gypsy girls, 1yr old twins and a 2yr old. After much thought we figured that the twins would have a better chance of being adopted because they were younger and a lot of people like the ideal of twins. So we went for the 2yr old. It took us a year and many trips to bring her home, but so worth it.
When Ken first met Roc she was very lethargic and delayed but we knew this was from being institutionalized. The benefit we had was that they liked us and knew we would be back for her so they worked with her. For 1 yr while we were trying to bring her home they worked with her. After raising a child that had nothing for her first five years we knew the importance of this!
Roc is so different than Lica!! When I tell you about the "naughty" things Lica has done, she just thinks its funny and loves reading anything about herself. When I tell you about Roc, well she is pretty much a typical 14 yr old and doesn’t really appreciate me blogging about her "naughty" things!!!! But to be as honest as I can be and to let other adopted parents and future adopted parents know, that some kids can be very, very, very difficult. Roc was one of these kids! I had many nights were I would cry myself to sleep! I cant tell you everything because Roc does not want me to and that is fine with me. Other things she said I could blog about because it just may help someone out there.
Roxana was not only a handful but 10 handfuls! The kid did not sleep. And Im not just talking about the first few months, or the first year, but for about 3 years. She slept around 3 hours a day! At first the doctors told us, well if she is not tired during the day its just the kind of child she is. WHAT?!?! I should have known I was in trouble when in first grade she forged my name to go to some field trip that I told her she could not go to for a consequence of something she did the day before. The teacher called me to tell me this and sent home the signature she had done. I explained to Roc that if she is going to forge my name in the future she should at least get the spelling correct. Its Nance not Nancy!!!! Then another doctor said she had ADHD and prescribed ritalin, which lasted about 2 weeks. I hated the way it changed her personality. After doing my own research I knew that she could sit and watch a movie, sit and eat supper without any problems and sit and do projects that interested her without any problems. So off the pills we went. It was, she was hard. Never physically mean to anybody or anything just into everything! Her mind would never let her think of the consequence of anything. She would lie about the silliest things and about everything, she horded food for years and years never did any school work and lots more that she wants to keep between herself and her family. Then when she was around 8 or 9 I brought her to a psychologist for her to talk with. I told her I could leave the room or stay with her. It was just a outlet I thought she might need. Well after a couple of months she had convinced the doctor that she had OCD. She told the doctor detailed things in her life that she needed to do to get through the day. I wasn’t sure because I never saw her doing these things and Ken was absolutely sure she was lying. It brought some tension between Ken and I because I thought no way would she lie to a doctor and get medicine to help her if nothing was really wrong with her. Well before we started her on the medication I had to make sure for myself. One of the many things she said she was doing was 12 jumping jacks first thing when she woke up. It had to be right away in the morning before she even left her room. So, sneaky mom that I am, I went into Licas room, right across from Rocs room, early in the morning before anyone was awake to see what exactly Roc was doing first thing she woke! I watched her for a good 20 min before she headed upstairs to eat breakfast. Once she realized I was following her upstairs and that she was busted she tried to pretend nothing was wrong. I asked her if she wanted me to do the twelve jumping jacks with her or if she wanted to wait till after breakfast. (I know, mean mom!!!) She broke down and it came out that she knew something was wrong with her and she thought taking some kind of pill would make her better. After explaining to her that NOTHING was wrong with her and that she could have done some serious damage to her body taking medication that she did not need she calmed down. On that day I realized 2 very important things and both Roc taught me! One, Roc was Roc. No matter what she did or did not do, it was who Roc was. If I were to accept this child I would have to change me, not her! Second, If she could convince a doctor that she had OCD it would be a slim to none chance that I would ever believe what a doctor has to say about any of my kids! Not saying I wouldn’t take advice from them. I just would realize that no matter what they say, Ken and I know are kids best!!!! I don’t believe in labeling kids. That’s just my opinion and how I feel on the subject. Roc has taught me so much about myself through many a sleepless night and through many many tears. There were times when we thought there is no way we can help this kid and she is to much for us! But we never gave up on her or ourselves and Im so glad we didn’t!!!