From Moldova: Meet the grandmas bringing children back to family

“Super Gran may be a work of fiction, but I’ve met the real deal.”

Pete Garratt, Director of Global Programmes, recently visited families supported by our local partner, CCF Moldova. Read on for the inspiring stories of four grandmas fostering children in Moldova.

You may or not be familiar with the tales of Super Gran, the Scottish grandmother with quirky superpowers. But I can tell you, after two days of visiting the families of fostering children in Moldova, I have found not just one, but four Moldovan Super Grans.

Time after time, it’s these Super Grans that spring into action to save the day and lives of young children. Children who, through no fault of their own, have been separated from their parents. From their families. From love.

These are their stories.

Will you help us support families fostering children in Moldova? Donate today and bring strength back to family.

‘Super Gran‘, a 1980’s television programme, captures the incredible strength of grandmas all around the world.

Adela’s* story

Adela has eyes that sparkle with love and tenderness, tempered with a steely determination to prove the experts wrong. 

Two years ago, experts at a local medical centre said that it wasn’t possible to find foster parents for Radu*, a young boy with disabilities. At three years old, Radu, who has Down’s Syndrome, weighed just 6kg. He had several health problems, including allergies, digestive issues, neurological challenges, and an unsupportive spine. He couldn’t support his own head. The doctors said that if he left the institution, he’d die.

But Adela and her husband, Dumitru*, believed otherwise. She knew that with love, care and the proper support, Radu could have a better life.

“We are stubborn, and we decided to fight for this child.”

And she was right. Radu improved drastically after moving in with Adela. Two years on, he supports himself, walks, dances to music, and is able to chew and digest food of all types. He’s even overcome fruit allergies, and is now a healthy weight.

Inside orphanages, children like Radu just can’t get the support they need to thrive, even if they’re surrounded by medical staff. That’s why we do whatever it takes to get them back to family.

When I asked Adela what had made the difference, she said: “It was our love and care, he’s our family now, and he’ll live with us for the rest of our lives.” A true Super Gran.

“He’s our family now, and he’ll live with us for the rest of our lives.”

We’ve been working with our local partners, CCF Moldova, since 1995 – teaming up to bring children back to family.
CCF Moldova/Hope and Homes for Children

Maria’s* story

Maria has eight grandchildren of her own, and an incredible capacity to love, protect and nurture.

Alongside her partner, Petru*, Maria became a parent once again after deciding to foster four children: Oleg*, Miron*, Elena* and Ana*. All siblings, all aged between two and eight, each of these kids had been left in one of Moldova’s large state-run orphanages for babies and young children. Thanks to Maria, these kids found their way out of the institution and back to family.

Maria stands with Miron, together outside their home.
Hope and Homes for Children

Today, the small menagerie of animals Maria and Petru look after adds to the noise of the children’s happy new lives together. Now, they’re spending their days playing in a safe environment with a beautiful garden – beginning their journey of healing, together as a family.

Valentina’s* story

Valentina and George*, her husband, have three grandchildren, Andreii*, 14, Dana*, 10, and Bogdan*, two.

When they were young, Andreii, Dana and Bogdan’s mum struggled with addiction and was unable to care for them. Andreii and Dana moved in with their grandma, and Bogdan was born years later.

Sadly, Bogdan was neglected. He weighed just 5kg at six months old. As a result, he was placed inside an orphanage.

But Valentina was determined to rescue Bogdan so he could grow up alongside his siblings. Not inside an orphanage. She fought for guardianship rights, and after a lengthy process won.

Valentina holding Bogdan, age two (face blurred to protect identity).
Hope and Homes for Children

Now, eighteen months later, Bogdan’s toy cars cover the floor of their flat. It was a delight to see him at a healthy weight, eating normally and developing as he should. Finally, back to family.

Olga’s* story

Olga is a mother and wife who stepped in to care for her niece, Tatiana*.

When Tatiana was six months old, Olga’s sister-in-law left her baby and moved away. Olga will never forget the night when she found baby Tatiana, all alone, without being fed or even having her nappy changed.

“If I hadn’t been there that evening, I don’t think she would have survived until the morning.”

Olga hugs Tatiana in their garden (face blurred to protect identity).
Hope and Homes for Children

Olga and Sergiu*, her husband, took Tatiana in immediately.

Eighteen months later, Tatiana now two, is doing much better. Olga is now her legal guardian, ready to raise her in a loving, family home.

“I have a grown-up son and am having to relearn how to be a mother again,” says Olga, “but Tatiana will stay with us now. We will give her every opportunity in life.”

Thank you for helping families fostering children in Moldova

“Super Gran may be a work of fiction but I have met the real deal.”

I am in awe of the super grans and grandads we met in Moldova. Whether it’s rescuing their grandchildren from tragic circumstances or rescuing someone else’s children through foster care, their superpowers were truly evident.

Alongside our local partners, CCF Moldova, it’s an absolute privilege for us to support these families. From providing legal aid to emotional support, emergency supplies to food and schooling, your donations are helping strength back to family. All across Moldova.

Thank you for your continued support. You’re helping support super grans like Adela, Maria, Valentina and Olga – inspiring carers fostering children in Moldova.

Will you help bring millions of separated children back to family? Donate today.

* Names changed to protect identity.