Newly updated for 2020, This revised and updated book documents Adele’s experiences with her daughter since the book was first published in 2013, and Adele’s ongoing involvement in highlighting the plight of Orphans in Romania.
This memoir, by photojournalist, Thomas B. Szalay, reflects on his journey into the lives of Izidor Ruckel and other abandoned Romanian children.
”Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young-
a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Teo Chariessa, Conop, Romania wrote;
”A very powerful book, meaningful, speaking straight to the soul, heart-touching. Vivid descriptions bring the reader at the core of events and situations. A lot of suffering that generated so much ambition, determination, so much courage in a person weakened and vulnerable due to so many trials and tribulations. Love and self-sacrifice coming from a broken heart. A wounded soul has so much power and nothing can stop it when it’s started on it’s way. A huge ambition compensates all the frustrations and by saving another soul, you have saved yourself. A very good book, a thrilling read, a wonderful writer.
“You wake up one morning to the sound of history knocking loudly, impatiently, persistently at your door.
To answer it is to take a leap of faith into your future.” Adele Rickerby
Jonquil Graham wrote: “A must read book for those of us who adopted from Romania, or anywhere. It’s about a mother’s perseverance and how she found conditions and the baby she adopted. It’s about hope and what happened in Romania post-Ceausescu. It is haunting and if you were in the same position, would you be brave enough to just go with your gut and do what is right for the sake of a child? ”
Costin Hewitt, a Romanian Adoptee, wrote; “This is an amazing book. Thank you so much.”
Tony Tingle, Editor, Memoirs Publishing in the U.K wrote: “The Promise I Kept is a powerfully and vividly written story.”
Colby Pearce, Principal Clinical Psychologist at Secure Start and author wrote:
I recently finished, The Promise I Kept, Adele Rickerby’s memoir about the personal journey that led her to adopting a child from a Romanian orphanage in the aftermath of the downfall of the Ceausescu regime. It is a well-crafted story that is accessible to most readers and can be read cover to cover in two-three hours. People will take out of the story different things, depending on their own life journey and interests. I found the insight into the inner world of the mother and evocative descriptions of the characters and places she experienced along the way most satisfying. I am happy to recommend it to the many who are fascinated by personal memoirs and accounts concerning adoption.
Sandra Flett wrote: “I love memoirs, especially of ordinary women doing remarkable things to help others in desperate situations and this book was right down my alley. Growing up as a child and teenager in the 1980’s and 1990’s, I would hear bits and pieces about the ” Romanian Orphans”. And so to read a true story about a woman who rescues a little baby Romanian girl captivated me. I only wish it was much longer. I read it in about 2.5 hours one summer afternoon and was sad that I didn’t know the rest of the story. More please Adele Rickerby!”
|1.||Kelly Proctor reviewed The Promise I Kept: A mother’s journey to save a child from the poverty and squalor of post-Cold… A Burning Desire June 1, 2014Adele Rickerby’s, The Promise I Kept, is a superb story of what the can be accomplished when one sets a goal and has the burning desire to carry one through the innumerable obstacles. Due to certain health issues, she is not able again to conceive another child. But her desire to be mother again does not die and she decides to pursue the adoption process.|
Adele’s story of wanting to be mother again, despite all the immediate roadblocks that were presented to her in Australia, should had been enough to discouraged anybody from trying, but the burning desire inside her, carried her far away from the borders of this country to a land that just having been freed of a despotic ruler and was trying to find itself. Among all this chaos Adele is there, going through every and other hurdle that comes along in this journey, from mindless and corrupt bureaucracies, inhumane proposals, and much more, she is finally able to come back home with her new daughter.
This is just another great example of what the mind can conceive, it can achieve.View on Amazon.com Add a comment View this book’s reviews on Amazon.com
|2.||Kaiden reviewed The Promise I Kept Good story! January 5, 2014An interesting story about a courageous women who singlehandedly travel on the other side of the world and struggle through a bureaucratic maze to finally achieve her dream to adopt a child. A must read for anybody who contemplate adopting a child oversea!View on Amazon.com Add a comment View this book’s reviews on Amazon.com|
|3.||mark johnston reviewed The Promise I Kept You read this from cover to cover November 27, 2013A very interesting wee read about a young woman on a mission to the eastern block, to adopt a child. If we cast our mind back to that era it was certainly was a troubled time both politically and socially in the ‘block’. Between being thrown off trains because of her New Zealand citizenship, and not able to speak the language, she faced and conquered many problems and challenges with patience and doggedness . The corrupt ‘officialdoms’ backstreets and dangers are compensated by the sheer generosity of strangers. All these faced by a smallish woman with the burning desire for another child, despite a failing marriage at home. A very compelling read.Mark Johnston.|
WHAT WE’VE ACHIEVED
1993 – Barnabas Ministries was formed and outreach to the elderly and poor families began in Brasov, Romania.
1994 – Church planting and Orphan care work began.
2001 – Land was purchased in Sebis, Romania for the construction of Casa Ezra orphan and ministry center.
2003/2008 – Construction of Casa Ezra
2008/2009 – Weekly children’s and teen’s outreaches began at Casa Ezra.
2009 – Oasis of Love, kid’s camp was started and the first camps were held.
2011 – Advocacy for adoption began and a family of five children were re-united at Casa Ezra. (These children were eventually adopted by the Hurrelbrink’s after a difficult adoption process lasting seven years.)
2017 – Property was purchased for the future Community/Outreach Center in Sebis, Romania.
2018 – The Community Campaign to finance the building of the Community/Outreach Center was started.
This article, which I wrote for the ”Adoption Today” magazine, appeared in thier July 2016 issue.
Within one year of adopting a baby girl from an orphanage in Romania, after the revolution, my husband was living elsewhere and I was a single mother of two beautiful girls. This was the inevitable result of a dysfunctional relationship. One in which I did not have the support of my husband when adopting.
I travelled alone to Romania and back home again via Germany and New Zealand, where I needed to finalise the adoption of my daughter as a New Zealand citizen. My ex-husband did not finally meet his adopted daughter until I returned home to Cairns, Australia, two months after I had left. There were many opportunities for him to be involved, but, apart from playing his part with the paperwork during the adoption approval process, which took three and a half years, that was all he did.
It is imperative that couples support each other and travel together throughout thier adoption journey. Meeting your adopted child for the first time in thier country of origin, is an essential part of the initial and ongoing bonding process for both parents.
Feeling isolated and with no support where I was living, I sold the family home, packed up what remained of our belongings after a garage sale, and moved to Brisbane with my two daughters. Natasha, my adopted daughter had just turned one year old and my biological daughter, Melannie, had just turned seven years old.
After settling in to a rented house, I actively went about building my adoption support team. International Adoptive Families Association of Queensland, was an essential part of my support team. I was already a member, having joined the organisation at the beginning of the adoption approval process. During that time, I spoke with other I.A.F.Q. members over the phone and looked forwards to receiving thier regular newsletters, but had never met a member in person. I started attending regular ”chat and plays” with Natasha. These were held in the homes of I.A.F.Q members or Parks and Gardens around Brisbane.
It wasn’t long before I was asked to take on a more active role. I was asked if I would co-ordinate the first seminar on Intercountry Adoption, to be held in Brisbane, and subsequently co-ordinated two more. Coordinating the seminars provided me with the opportunity to become more actively involved in the adoption community.
”Our Country is Poor But Our Hearts Are Rich”, said my fellow train passenger, an engineer on his way to an early morning meeting in Bucharest. The sun was rising on a day full of hope and promise, after a nightmare journey, alone, across Germany, Austria, Hungary, and finally, Romania, on my way to adopt a baby girl. I had been thrown off the train at the border between Austria and Hungary by eight Hungarian soldiers with revolvers at their hips and one official. When, finally, I arrived at the Gara De Nord railway station, and after a lengthy wait, was met by Janet and Michaela, I was exhausted and relieved.
Janet and her husband were from Brisbane and were adopting a baby girl and a baby boy. We stayed together in Michaela’s house. When, eventually, I arrived in Brisbane, one of the first people whom I contacted was Janet. Another couple whom I had also met in Bucharest, Tina and Steve, were also from Brisbane and adopting a baby boy and thirteen months old girl. Tina and Steve arrived back in Brisbane after spending one year in thier original home country of England.
After the revolution, foreign journalists went into Romania and discovered approximately 100,000 abandoned babies and children living in horror institutions where they were neglected and abused. The New Zealand government established an adoption program with Romania and a group of New Zealand parents formed Intercountry Adoption New Zealand. New Zealand parents soon started arriving back from Romania with thier adopted children.
Narelle Walker, married to a New Zealand man whilst living in Brisbane and wanting to adopt, made enquiries and learnt that they could adopt from Romania as New Zealand citizens. Narelle and her husband were one of the first couples to travel to Romania. Narelle went to the media to tell her story. That’s how I learnt I could do the same.
Together, Narelle, Tina, Janet and myself formed the ”Eastern European Adoption Support Group”. Tina had a suitable home with a safe backyard with a fort-style cubby-house, a sandpit and a swing. There was a rumpus-room with lots of toys for rainy days. Soon, we were meeting every Thursday morning for playgroup. As a single mum with no family, this was another vital source of support for me. We still meet regularly, twenty-four years later.
In 2013, I wrote a short memoir; ” The Promise I Kept”, published by Memoirs Publishing in the U.K and available as a paperback from The Book Depository. It is also available to be downloaded as a kindle edition on Amazon. I followed this with my website; http://www.thepromisekept.co in which I publish articles about orphan advocacy and child welfare in Romania. I also have a community Facebook page of the same name.
Romania Reborn’s Director, Corina Caba, with a young man adopted through the Romania Reborn Ministry years ago.
She grew up during the darkest days of Communism, the daughter of a Pentecostal preacher. She remembers being mocked for her faith every day at school. She remembers peeking under her bedroom door at night, watching the boots of the soldiers who had come to take her father away for interrogation. She remembers what it was like when Communism finally fell, and she learned that the government had hidden hundreds of thousands of children away in terrible orphanages. And that was when Corina Caba knew what God wanted her to do with her life.
She founded her orphanage in a tiny apartment in 1996, taking abandoned babies from the hospital and caring for them until she could find adoptive families. Gradually, she added to her staff, paying their salaries however she could. After Romania Reborn was founded to support the work, she built a bigger facility, hired more workers, and took in more babies. As the years passed, Romania’s laws and child welfare system evolved, but God always made a way for Corina to help abandoned children.
Today, Corina is the adoptive mother of four children and a mother figure to hundreds more, whose lives she has forever changed. She is also an emerging national leader in the field of orphan care, traveling to speak at conferences, helping advise the government on policy, and (reluctantly) speaking to national media. And she’s still fighting for individual children every day. “When the pain is too much, God taught me to trust in Him,” she says. “One day, He will restore all that seems lost, redeem all that seems hopeless, repair all that seems destroyed. Our God owns the last reply!”
Give the Gift of Commitment
Your gift will help our committed staff keep passionately fighting for the children in our care, advocating for better government practices, and using our ministry headquarters as a training and counseling center for families. You can give toward the following staff and ministry needs:
$50: ONE WEEK OF GAS/TRAVEL EXPENSES (FOR SOCIAL WORK)
$250: ONE MONTH OF ELECTRIC EXPENSES (FOR HEADQUARTERS)
$600: ONE MONTH SALARY FOR A SOCIAL WORKER
I asked Peter Heisey what he was doing in Romania and how long he had been there. He said that the Lord had sent him there eighteen years ago to plant New Testament Churches amongst the ethnic Roma. Following is one of Peter’s most recent newsletters and prayer requests. Peter is based in Timis; a county in Western Romania on the border with Hungary and Serbia.
We are still getting used to writing and believing 2017 is here. This winter has been unusually cold… It’s been like this in all of Europe- the Venice canals froze for the first time in history! We thank the Lord for a warm house and warm boots for our services. Though Ion starts our fires and it is really very warm, the cement floors seem to suck the heat right out of our feet!
Services are going well. There has been a lot of sickness, but the faithful ones are usually here. Also Ana ( not the saved one but an older lady who’s been coming fairly regularly), is back after some sickness. She still does not understand her need for Salvation and sometimes we wonder why she comes, as she seems oblivious to the preaching. Still, God’s word does not return void, so we pray for her understanding and salvation.
The children have been quite unruly and just plain rude lately. Several families have returned from begging in Spain and these children are quite bad. One girl though, Alina, has been quite receptive to the lessons and comes faithfully. At times, she is giggly and disruptive, but for the most part, settles down when spoken to. Please pray for these children who come so often but still don’t understand their need for a Saviour.
We ask prayer for our teens also. There has been a nice group of them the last two weeks. Ionel has come and so has his brother. Pray for continued interest and faithfulness, and mostly for them to allow the Lord to change their lives and for them to serve Him.
Around Christmas time, a Romanian family gave us money to buy things for the children. We usually don’t like this kind of thing, but we were able to use this to buy a very nice wheelchair for Marian, a very handicapped little boy who can’t sit up in a regular wheelchair (which also had broken and he had nothing). He comes to services when the weather is nice and even prayed to receive Christ. He says ”Amin” at the preaching and is quite sweet. He and his parents were quite thankful and excited about the new wheelchair. We made sure they understood it was not from us. Please pray for Miki and Tina to be saved. Marian and his sister, Bea, come to our school classes too. Pray for their salvation.
Thank you for your prayers for us- God bless you as you serve Him.
Please also pray; For Sewer Connection.
For Physical Health
For Fruitful Ministry
For Souls to be Saved.
About Firm Foundations Romania… Sarah was born in Boston, raised in California. She moved to Romania thirteen years ago, where she was led by God to establish a not for profit organisation; Firm Foundations Romania. Sarah’s organisation has grown over the years, beyond her original vision, as her team at Firm Foundations has supported and educated Roma children, and run an international volunteer program. Volunteers from around the world can spend time at the baby hospital in Brasov, holding babies, thereby providing them with much needed love and comfort.
This is Sarah’s passion today. To make a difference in a person’s heart through Christ’s love for them. God has gifted Sarah with the ability to write and perform beautiful music, which today reflects her life and those whom she serves. Sarah’s music is being distributed in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This year, she recorded in Nashville with Russ Long. Sarah is living out her passion to help humanity and inspire lives through her inspirational music. Sarah is grateful to God for His calling on her life.
FFR is a non profit organization whose mission is to follow Christ’s instruction to assist widows and orphans in their trouble. Our purpose is to provide aid in a practical way to the abandoned children of the Brasov Children’s Hospital and the Roma community.
Our focus is loving the unloved and providing educational opportunities to the forgotten youth of this country. Our goal is for future generations to have a better quality of life; our hope, that they would then be influenced to serve others and be an example for the people of Romania.
*We have parental permission for all photographs of children used on this site.
The Inspiring Story of Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand
Many people called him ‘the Voice of the Underground Church’ and others referred to him as ‘the Iron Curtain St Paul.’ This humble man, who began the ministry of Voice of the Martyrs, was the Rev Richard Wurmbrand, who passed away 17 February 2001.
Richard’s life was a partnership with the equally amazing Sabina who he married on 26 October 1936. Richard Wurmbrand was born the youngest of four boys in a Jewish family, on 24 March 1909, in Bucharest, Romania. Gifted intellectually and fluent in nine languages, Richard was active in leftist politics and worked as a stockbroker. After their marriage, Richard and Sabina were converted to Christ in 1938, chiefly by the influence of a German carpenter, Mr Wolfkes. They joined the Anglican Mission to the Jews in Bucharest. Richard was ordained firstly as an Anglican, and then after World War II, as a Lutheran minister.
During WW II, Richard and Sabina saw an opportunity for evangelism among the occupying German forces. They also preached in the bomb shelters and rescued Jewish children out of the ghettos. Richard and Sabina were repeatedly arrested and beaten and at least once, were nearly executed. Sabina lost her Jewish family in Nazi concentration camps.
In 1945 Romanian Communists seized power and a million ‘invited’ Russian troops poured into the country. Pastor Wurmbrand ministered to his oppressed countrymen and engaged in bold evangelism to the Russian soldiers. In the same year, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand attended the Congress of Cults organised by the Romanian Communist government. Many religious leaders came forward to praise Communism and to swear loyalty to the new regime. Sabina said, “Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ.”
Richard warned, “If I do so, you lose your husband.” She replied, “I don’t wish to have a coward as a husband.” Thus Richard declared to the 4,000 delegates, whose speeches were broadcast to the whole nation, that their duty is to glorify God and Christ alone. Between 1945 and 1947, Richard distributed one million Gospels to Russian troops, the books often disguised as Communist propaganda. Richard also smuggled Gospels into Russia. On 30 December 1947, the Peoples’ Republic of Romania was proclaimed.
Richard Wurmbrand Kidnapped
On 29 February 1948, the secret police arrested Richard while on his way to church and took him to their headquarters. He was locked in a solitary cell and assigned as ‘Prisoner Number 1’.
In 1950, his wife Sabina was also imprisoned. She was forced to serve as a labourer on the Danube Canal project, leaving their nine-year-old son Mihai alone and homeless. Following her release in 1953, the Romanian authorities informed her that Richard had died in prison. A doctor masquerading as a Communist Party member discovered Richard alive in prison.
In a general amnesty, Richard was released in 1956 after serving eight-and-a-half years in prison. He was warned never to preach again. While in prison, he went through horrific tortures at the hands of the brutal secret police. Despite the treatments and the warnings he received from his persecutors, after his release Richard soon resumed his work with the ‘underground’ churches. He was re-arrested in 1959 through the conspiracy of an associate, and sentenced to 25 years. He was accused of preaching contrary to Communist doctrine.
Due to increased political pressure from Western countries, Richard was granted another amnesty and released in 1964. In December 1965, the Norwegian Mission to the Jews and the Hebrew Christian Alliance paid $10,000 in ransom to the Communist government to allow the Wurmbrand family to leave Romania. Reluctant to leave Romania, other underground church leaders convinced him to leave and become a ‘voice’ for the underground church to the world. Richard, Sabina, and their son Mihai left Romania for Norway and then travelled on to England.
The Birth of a Unique Ministry
Richard began his ministry of being a voice for persecuted Christians in England with Rev Stuart Harris, where he also wrote his testimony of persecution, Tortured for Christ. Later Richard moved on to the United States, and in 1965 he appeared before a US Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, where he stripped to the waist and revealed eighteen deep torture wounds on his body.
His story spread rapidly, leading to wider speaking engagements. In 1967, the Wurmbrands officially began a ministry committed to serving the persecuted church, called Jesus to the Communist World (later called Voice of the Martyrs). In the same year, Richard released his book, Tortured for Christ. In October, the first monthly issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter was published in the USA.
By the mid-1980s his work was established in 80 restricted nations with offices in 30 countries around the world. In 1990, after the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu in December 1989, Richard and Sabina returned to Romania after 25 years in exile, and were warmly received. A printing facility and bookstore were opened in Bucharest and the officials of the city offered storage below the palace of Ceausescu, the very site where Richard was held in solitary confinement.
Richard retired from the day to day work of Voice of the Martyrs in 1992, but continued as a consultant and member of the Board of Directors, showing a keen interest in the work until his death. During his ministry, Richard wrote 18 books in English, others in Romanian, which have been translated into 38 languages. His most well known book is Tortured for Christ. He received numerous honours and citations for his work during his lifetime.
Richard will be remembered with great affection as an outstanding man of God, passionate for the cause of Christ, powerful in evangelism, persevering in suffering, for the sake of Jesus whom he loved. Sabina, who passed away 11 August 2000, will be remembered as a woman of great integrity, mighty faith and serene godliness.
Richard Wurmbrand in Australia
In August 1969, Richard Wurmbrand arrived in Sydney in response to an invitation issued by Ambassadors for Christ. For a month, he preached in meetings held all over Australia. Australian Christians warmly responded to his plea to ‘remember the persecuted.’ The meetings led to the founding of Voice of the Martyrs in Australia. The first Australian newsletter was published in November 1969. We praise God that VOM Australia has experienced constant growth from the beginning and is currently moving into ever enlarging projects to serve the persecuted church around the world.