Just like when you’re trying to conceive, the choice to adopt a child is one that is rarely made lightly. This was certainly the case for Ron and Natalie Trecroce, who, in 1997, decided they wanted to bring a child into their home.

The Canadian couple knew they wanted to adopt, but they weren’t sure where to begin. Eventually, luck took their search to Arad, Romania, which is a city situated on the Mures River in the western part of the country. There, they met and fell in love with a one-year-old girl named Rodica Lavinia Farcas.

Rodica was in pretty poor health, but even as Ron an Natalie prepared to bring her home to give her a better life, they made a shocking discovery: their new daughter wasn’t alone.

In 1997, Ron and Natalie Trecroce made the decision to adopt a child. The Canadian couple found themselves in Arad, Romania where they hoped to find the perfect addition for their family. When they saw this one-year-old girl, they knew she was the one!

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Her name was Rodica Lavinia Farcas, and she was living in an orphanage where she had been left by her mother who couldn’t care for her. She was also in shockingly poor health—that much was evident to Ron and Natalie as soon as they met her.

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The sweet little girl was malnourished, which had caused a host of other issues. She was suffering from rickets, and her bones were weak thanks to a severe lack of vitamin D and other nutrients. Still, there was more the couple had yet to discover…

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In the 1990s, the records of children in Romania were notoriously difficult to obtain. So, Ron and Natalie were in a bit of a bind when it came to getting ahold of everything they would need in the future for Rodica.

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Due to the difficulty of obtaining her records, Ron and Natalie were at a bit of a loss when it came to understanding their new daughter’s life up to that point. This was especially true when it came to her family history…

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As Ron and Natalie continued to search for more information about their new baby girl, they eventually came upon a shocking discovery: Rodica wasn’t an only child. In fact, she had an older sister! Only, they weren’t sure where this sister was…

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For unknown reasons, the sisters had been placed in separate orphanages. This made locating Rodica’s older sister far more difficult. Still, Ron and Natalie knew they had to try. Following an exhaustive search, they discovered where Rodica’s sister was being cared for. Not only that, but they learned her name was Gianina Farcas!

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Gianina was born in 1995, making her a year older than Rodica. Once Ron and Natalie discovered where she was living, they made a serious decision: they were going to adopt her as well, and reunite her with her younger sister. Finally, they made it so. But that wasn’t all…

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After Ron and Natalie arrived back in Canada, the surprises just kept coming. As it turned out, Rodica and Gianina weren’t the only two children in their family. They were simply two of eight!

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Unfortunately, Ron and Natalie were unable to track down any of the other siblings. Not long after they were brought home, Gianina and Rodica were renamed Sophie and Danielle, respectively.

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Ron and Natalie decided to keep the girls’ birth names as their middle names so they could retain a piece of where they came from. It was a small gesture, but it was important for their baby girls to not lose their identities.

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The tumultuous start to Sophie and Danielle’s lives was not unusual in 1990s Romania. The country was then under the control of a dictator named Nicolae Ceauşescu, who forbade any form of contraception whatsoever. This resulted in countless cases similar to that of Sophie and Danielle.

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Many of the parents in Romania at the time were forced to give up children who they could no longer care for. The luckiest ones would end up being adopted by other families who could support them—just like Sophie and Danielle.

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A good bit of footage exists of these two girls; six years after they were adopted, a documentary filmmaker showed interest in telling their story. With Ron and Natalie’s approval, the girls’ journey from Arad to Canada was made into a film.

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Years later, Sophie actually edited the full documentary into a short film, which she uploaded to YouTube. That allowed the film to reach more people, including a number of people with similar backgrounds to Sophie and Danielle.

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For her part, Danielle says that she hopes to return to her home country, hopefully sometime in 2018. “I would love to go back to explore the country!” she said.

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Both sisters would, understandably, love to learn more about their biological parents and siblings. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, as poor documentation will make it very difficult to locate them.

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Sophie, now 22, is studying to be a photographer, and Danielle, 21, is also in college. They live close by, and often think about how far they’ve come. Not everyone was as lucky as they were!

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Had Ron and Natalie Trecroce never gone to Romania, they might have never located Sophie, and the sisters wouldn’t have reunited. Luckily, they did, and the rest is history!

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It must have come as quite the surprise for the Trecroces to go to Romania looking for one child and ending up with two. Sometimes life is funny like that! Thankfully, it all turned out well for everyone.

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