Daniela’s life has been incredibly tough - but thanks to a Freedom Challenge Early Learning Center in Moldova she and her baby are beginning to experience life in all its fulness. This is her story…
Daniela* did not have a happy childhood. Her mother left her in an orphanage when she was just one-year-old, where she grew up without adequate care and love and with few moments of joy. When she finished high school, Daniela had no choice but to leave the orphanage and learn to live independently even though she had not been well equipped to look after herself. She moved to Chisinau, the capital city of Moldova, in hope of a better way of life.
Living on the streets
One day, having trouble with her job and having nowhere to go for help, Daniela ended up on the streets. There, she met a young man who told her he liked her and wanted to marry her. But after just one week together, he became very violent and Daniela ended up in hospital with severe physical injuries.
Several years later, Daniela met another man who at first showed her respect, love and care, but later became addicted to alcohol and turned very violent. She became pregnant but because of the physical trauma from her first relationship she sadly had a miscarriage at almost six months. From that moment on, doctors said she would never have children again.
Dreaming of being a mom
As time went by, Daniela found herself a new job and rented a small apartment in the city. Three years later, Daniela met another man. He was different from her previous boyfriends; he loved her and took good care of her. The only thing he did not want to hear about was having a baby. This saddened Daniela, who dreamed of being a mother. She started praying and one year later God answered her prayers – she became pregnant. But when she told her husband, he acted as he had promised and left her.
Daniela found herself back on the streets with nowhere to go. Through some acquaintances, she found a special center for single mothers where she was able to live for a year. Giving birth was very difficult due to the physical trauma she had experienced. However, the real shock came three days later when the doctors told Daniela that her little girl had Down’s Syndrome. Then the real fight began.
Never giving up
Due to her lack of income and housing, and her age, doctors and others suggested she give her baby up for adoption. Daniela was strong enough to say “no”. She decided to name her little girl ‘Alexandra’, a boy’s name, because as Daniela put it: “I want my daughter to be strong, to fight for life and never give up.” Now over a year old, Alexandra is a very special girl who is full of life, very positive, active and always smiling – she finds a reason to be happy in almost everything she sees and does. Recently she started walking, even though doctors said she would only be able to walk at the age of five.
Then some friends of Daniela’s recommended that she attend our Early Learning Center. Here, her most acute needs are met, such as diapers and medicine for her baby. Also by attending the center, Daniela has been able to learn and to improve many aspects of her life. She received parenting and life skills training which means that she has become a better mother and a good woman who trusts God. She has relinquished all the anger she had stored up in her heart and found enough strength to forgive the people who had caused her so much suffering. Now she is full of love, compassion and the joy of life.
There are so many other women like Daniela that we would love to help! We can only do that with your support.
*Name changed to protect identity