Adopting a child comes with its fair share of worries, hopes, logistical difficulties and surprises – same as having a baby, really.
The Canadian couple Ron and Natalie Trecroce wanted to adopt a child in 1997. Their search took them to Arad, Romania, where they met the one-year-old girl Rodicia Lavinia and instantly fell in love. Rodicia’s health problems soon prompted Ron and Natalie to seek answers about her past – which is when they made a shocking discovery.
Despite being only a year old, Rodica had a mysterious past. Unfortunately, Rodicia had severe malnutrition, rickets and weak bones due to a lack of vitamin D. Unfortunately, cases like those of Rodicia were really common in Romania around 1990. Because the dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, had banned all forms of contraception, many parents had children they couldn’t afford to keep. Lucky children ended up in orphanages, others were abandoned or died of malnutrition. Was that why Rodicia was in an orphanage?
When Natalie and Ron found Rodicia’s family tree, they found out that the child’s mother had given away more than one child. This means that Rodicia had an older sister out there. However, she had been sent to a completely different orphanage. From then on, Ron and Natalie had a new mission…
From the moment Natalie and Ron heard of Rodicia’s sister, they wanted to adopt her. After an exhausting search, they finally found Gianina. She and Rodicia could have been twins! Without hesitating for a second, they also adopted her and officially became a family of four. However, a third surprise awaited them.
Back in Canada with their two little girls, Ron and Natalie discovered something new: the family tree showed 6 more siblings! It would be extremely hard to find them all… or would they? The other 6 siblings haven’t been found yet, which is maybe for the best, considering eight children would have been unmanageable. Still, they’re pretty content. They changed the name of the girls: Gianiina became Sophie and Rodicia Danielle. However, something didn’t feel right.
To preserve their girls’ heritage, their previous Romanian first names became their second names. The story of Sophie and Danielle went viral: how often do you hear about parents travelling half the world and adopting two separate siblings? Years later, Sophie watched the movie and decided to rework it for today’s internet. She uploaded a shorter version on YouTube and reached loads of viewers. The success inspired Sophie to pursue a career as a photographer herself. To this day, Danielle still lives close to her sister.