For I helped the poor in their need and the orphans who had no one to help them.
~ Job 29:12
I had the wonderful opportunity to read and review “They Call Me Dad” by Philip Cameron. His story begins when his father, Simon Cameron, calling from Scotland, saying, “The babies are dying” night after night when the world news came on showing pictures from the Romania orphanages. Under Nicolae Ceauşescu’s rule, abortion and contraception were forbidden. This lead to a rise in birth rates and resulted in many children, especially those with special needs, being surrendered to the state orphanages. The children were in turn neglected and abused and told that they were unwanted and non-persons. Children who remained at home often had to endure alcoholic, abusive parents. They were left alone for weeks or months at a time while the parents looked for work all over eastern Europe.
“They Call Me Dad” is about Cameron’s trips to Romania, and later Moldova, to bring not only food and clothing to the orphans, but to become their dad. Cameron amazingly flies back and forth across the world to raise money and to repair crumbling buildings owned by the Romania government all-the-while speaking only English.
Amazingly, Cameron is able to open homes for children reaching age 16. Children are released at the age of 16, often after human traffickers are tipped off, with no skills, an incomplete education, and no means to support themselves. He agrees with the government that they will finish school and learn skills to support themselves. Children who have never had the love of anyone before now have that love and a family in which they find their support.
I was telling a friend about this book. She and her husband have adopted 3 beautiful girls from China. As we talked, she got tears in her eyes and described one of the orphanages her daughter came from. Her young daughter still remembers waking up to find one of her friends “missing” and a black garbage bag on the counter where the child’s body would be placed. She said that the horrors I described from the book are very real and she’s seen them, especially with special needs children.
I strongly recommend this book. This is history that gets very little news once the novelty has worn off, but nonetheless the situation remains. Cameron and “his kids” travel during the summer months visiting churches or other locations to tell their story and to solicit funds to support the homes in Romanian and Moldova.
To learn more about Philip Cameron and his kids or to arrange for them to visit your location, please visit Stella’s Voice.