She Spent Seven Years Looking for her Birth Family in Romania

Viorica Culea never gave up on the hope that she would be loved.

Denalee Chapman April 29, 2016

Not all adoptions result in a loving, stable family. Viorica Culea was in her teens when she began looking for her birth family in Romania from her adoptive American home. But she did so without the support and assistance of her adoptive family. 

Being adopted by an alcoholic mother and verbally and emotionally abusive parents, Viorica never gave up on the hope that she would be loved. But it didn’t happen immediately. Search and reunion can be as heartbreaking as relinquishment; Viorica’s birth mother didn’t want contact.

With great tenacity and courage, Viorica kept trying. She had little helps along the way, including a couple of TV shows that wanted to feature her, as an adopted orphan, and show a reunion. Bit by bit, Viorica was reunited with birth family members, eventually meeting her birth mother.

The book, The Tip Jar, authored by Viorica, chronicles her journey to find the family she desperately wanted in Romania.

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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at

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