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Invisible People

 

Here, in Romania, there are a lot of homeless people on the streets, under the bridges, in the sewers…everywhere

Watching this video made me remember a story I wanted to forget a long time ago.

It is autumn, the wind is blowing, it is late in the evening and it is cold. We are somewhere close to the historical center of Bucharest. At one point, we see a little girl wandering alone on the sidewalk, barefooted, and almost naked. She is about 3 years old. Blond, blue eyed, with a sad smile on her face, she stops and looks at us. We start looking around to see if she is alone. The mom shows up. She asks if we want to give her money for diapers and milk. We start saying something, but all that comes out is mumbling. We can’t believe our eyes and definitely not our ears. We manage to say something and we ask why she is barefoot and not clothed by the weather. The mother tells us: “this way we have more chances that people give us money”. The father comes out of nowhere and launches the bomb: “don’t you want to take her with you?” Shock, stress, tears. All the rage and disgust and wanting to strangle the man were floating through our veins. Speechless again. Then, after a short pause: “if you don’t take her, somebody else eventually will”

We start walking away. The little girl just watches us leaving without any gesture.

Later we come back the same sidewalk. They aren’t there anymore. Had they been, and had the adoption legislation in Romania not been so wrecked and non-permissive, we had taken her that same night and put her to bed with our Irma.

 

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