by Suzanne Titkemeyer
Over a year ago a series of emails landed in my email box asking me to read, write a review, publish the review here and give this book five stars on Amazon. I do get review requests for NLQ on a regular basis, so this was just another of those. The topic sounded interesting, the memoirs of a man raised in the over burdened world of Romanian orphanages.
Romania and it’s people have always had a special place in my heart after my daughter Laura’s summer long mission trip to the former communist country. My child had so many heart breaking stories along with tales of the hopeful rebuilding of Romania. There were flocks of gypsy children wherever she went and they did so some work in the orphanages too. Most of the children in the orphanages that had been a fixture during the no birth control days of communism were aging out. Her age group, born in the early 90s were the last children of that system. I remember asking her what her impressions were of those teenagers still in the orphanages and becoming annoyed with her saying that the children were ‘soulless’. She said that they had no sense of who they were. After reading this book I have to conclude that perhaps she was right, perhaps few of them knew who they are.
What I didn’t realize before receiving the book is that this book didn’t have much of a connection to what we here at NLQ are concerned with, recovery from spiritual abuse and harmful fundamentalist Quiverfull theology. I put off writing the review, it turned into a very low priority. Still, knowing that the Romanian women were denied any sort of birth control and forced to give birth to children that many of them didn’t want or could not support did seem as if it would be a cautionary tale of what happens when a government enacts a religious ban. That does concern those of us that left a Quiverfull life because many politicians seem hell bent on banning not only abortion but all forms of birth control. Romania is what happens when you take away birth control. Every day Evangelical law makers push us closer to the possibility that birth control may be banned or restricted here in the US.
No child should ever have to suffer through a life where they are unwanted, not valued and accepted without any loving supportive care. Which is childhood story of Daniel Farcas in God’s Buried Children.
The book was a very difficult read, and not only because Farcas’ tales of abuse at the hands of the orphanage workers or his story of running away with other orphans to live on the streets were awful. The main reason the book was difficult is that it has clearly never been edited. Many wrong words are used, there’s many misspellings and large parts make no sense at all. You have to translate what is happening based on a few word clues. Which is tragic, because the story is good, it’s a compelling read that you cannot put down, but the many mistakes point to the fact that it should never have been published in this form.
The author took it directly from twenty years of his own personal journal detailing his struggle to stay alive before he found a passport of a dead young man that looked like him on the streets of Bucharest during the time of the Romanian Revolution of 1989. This lost passport was his ticket out of Romania.
One of the most disturbing things that was horrifying and off putting to me personally in the book was the author’s assertion that a Christian family buying an orphaned toddler from another orphan, taking that orphan right off the streets and illegally bringing that child back to the US to raise without an official adoption is part of ‘God’s plan’. He doesn’t explain how the family got around the bureaucratic red tape or any other details beyond meeting the boy again in America. He’s practically advocating child kidnapping, no matter how well intentioned. There are enough legally adopted children in the US who have been abused by the ‘Good Christian’ families that were screened by adoption agencies, so he’s advocating circumventing that same failed system to adopt? A predator’s wet dream.
My recommendation is if you’re curious to see how badly things can go when the government forces women to bear children and you have an interest in life stories then it’s well worth the read. If, you’re like me, and the mistakes ruin any message the book might have then I’d forgo it. They’ve changed the cover of the book since I ordered it so perhaps it’s been edited – God’s Buried Children by Daniel Farcas Worth noting that Farcas is married to an American missionary he met in Bucharest, Romania.
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin of NLQ and also the wife of a man who had sense enough to recognize their church as a cult before dragging her out. She is a crazy old cat lady keeps busy with her grown children, her rescue animals, foster care animals and her love of all things art. Contrary to Fundy-Belief she’s usually smiling, laughing or smirking. She blogs at What Would Roger Sterling Do? and True Love Doesn’t Rape