A parent of an angel and a smooth flight

Bianca Brad. “Miss Beauty Princess”, actress, TV host. An extremely beautiful woman whose brightness makes you stop and stare. She seems to be from another world and, the truth is, her brightness embodied her face after a long time of sorrow. She was expecting a baby girl 11 years ago, but the little one was stillborn.

Since then Bianca became the mother of an angel and, in a time when Romania had no form of support for parents who had lost their babies, Bianca founded the E.M.M.A. Organisation. In the memory of her baby girl, Bianca brought together those parents who never had the chance to hug their babies and helped them give life a meaning when life seemed to end with their little ones.

What was Bianca’s childhood like?

Bianca remembers she was a very good child, unlike her two old brothers who did all kind of crazy stuff. She grew up in a one bedroom flat, along with her brothers and parents. Her parents met at a party when dancing, so Bianca’s father taught her the art of tango and waltz. The beginning and the end of her childhood were marked by incidents that could have left her for dead.

When she was one year and few months old, she sneaked behind her mother’s back and went into the kitchen where there was boiling water and, curious as she was, she pulled the jug and all the water fell over her. She was seriously burnt and she was one step away from sepsis. Also, when she was 14 years old, she wound up in a coma in hospital, after a motorcycle accident. The motorcycle drove by her cousin was hit by a car whose driver didn’t look up before going his way. The helmet she was wearing was the one that saved her life.

She was fascinated by the idea of traveling, she enjoyed observing people and she couldn’t stand injustice. So she dreamed of becoming an air hostess or to study Psychology or Law. At her mother’s advice, who wasn’t allowed to become an actress, Bianca took the dream one step further and made it real. She fell in love with acting and modeling, so in 1991 she won the title of “Miss Beauty Princess”, and also she fell in love with Television, so she was very popular.

How come her career took a second place?

Although she was a shy and introverted person, she got noticed by professionals from these fields and she got her first roles right from the beginning of her career. She was at her best when she was just 22 years old when she met her future husband, a German man. “I fell in love and I forgot about everything. He was studying in Romania, we met in his final year of University and he had to go back to Germany. I had to choose between my career and my heart. And as it’s said ‘love is blind’, I left in Germany and I ditched everything. People were telling me that I wasn’t thinking straight, that I didn’t know what I was doing, that it was a terrible mistake, because I had the odds on my side, the world was mine, but I couldn’t care less, I thought that for me love was everything I needed”, Bianca says.

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And for 8 years love everything she needed, Bianca followed her husband and she continued to work as an actress in Germany. One of her roles was quite the one of an air hostess, so Bianca got to travel, making her dream come true. Her career seemed to evolve, she earned for a single episode as much as she would for at least two years of shooting, in Romania.

Why did she come back from Germany to Romania?

The relationship with her husband, however, didn’t work out, so Bianca chose to come back in Romania. “It was extremely difficult for me to come back, I never managed to get back to the level I was before leaving. It’s true that my priorities changed, but, looking behind, if I were to find a common pattern, practically I’ve always sacrificed my career for my personal relationship”, Bianca says.

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She chose to put love in the first place again, so she started a new relationship, and in 2005 she gave birth to her first baby, a boy named Luca. “When you become a mother everything changes, I was fully present for my family. The first three months I wouldn’t even go outside my house, I had a big pillow and I used to put Luca on it and just stare at him. Instead of getting some rest, I was looking at him, I was absolutely fascinated, melted by the love I had for him”, Bianca says.

Why was her girl stillborn?

Almost two years later she was to give birth to her second baby, a girl named Emma Nicole. The ultrasound showed the baby was suffering from Tetralogy of Fallot, a heart malformation. Without explanations about the congenital disease, Bianca was asked if she was sure she wanted to go further with the amniocentesis, and her reply was a positive one.

The malformation was confirmed, so Bianca, without telling her dear ones about the baby’s disease, looked for solutions for the moment when the baby girl would be born. There was a possibility of a surgery immediately after birth, because of her serious malformation and the risk of dying, so Bianca and her doctor decided to go to Germany, a place where the surgery would’ve been possible.

With a day before the C-section, Bianca checked in near the hospital, in a house for parents who didn’t have another possibility of staying in Germany. The next day she went to the hospital for the last ultrasound and to find out the hour she was scheduled for the intervention. Then is when she found out that her baby girl’s heart stopped beating. Because of her malformation, Emma Nicole was smaller and she spanned round more in the amnion which caused a knot in the umbilical cord. The baby girl stopped living with only a few days before.

She wished she could get sick of cancer, after she has finished her elaborate research of ways to die, without being seen as a selfish person. Most of her dear ones didn’t know how to support her, so her grief was turning bigger. The relationship between her and the father of her children was also affected and in Romania were no institutions, websites or books to help the parents who lost their babies.

Why did Bianca decide to speak in public about her pain?

Reading a lot from the books she had found in different countries about the traumas of other parents that didn’t get the chance to hold their babies, Bianca realized she was not alone in all of this and she saw how much it meant for her to learn from other people’s experiences. At the same time, there were some distorted details about her story in the Media, so Bianca, listening to the advice of one of her friends, chose to open up her heart and publicly speak about her experience, willing to help all the parents in Romania whose babies are in Heaven.

She wanted to know other parents’ stories so she could put them in a book. She was afraid of what people could say and for a long time she hesitated to go further, but the desire of helping others was stronger. “I showed up and I spoke about it and from that moment on my entire life changed again. I got over 1500 messages in two days, it took me months to read them all and what I’ve seen there made me want to do something about it. It just couldn’t end like that, there were awful stories, mothers telling me how they were treated in the hospital, how their babies were thrown into the trash in front of them, put in some plastic bags, some horrific things”, Bianca says.

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So she ended up organizing her first event, so if on 8th of March it was celebrated the mothers’ day, on 9 of March she chose to celebrate the Mother of the Angels day and balloons were released in the memory of the babies. The words “mother of an angel” or “father of an angel” have a meaning now for all the parents who, even though they had a baby, they are not recognized as parents. And the event didn’t stop there, Bianca did more than just writing a book, she founded E.M.M.A. Organisation in the memory of her baby girl, so The Parents’ of Angels Day was celebrated every year, in several cities across the country.

Just like on 15th of October the babies and the children from the entire world are commemorated, people light up candles and, thanks to the time zone, The Wave of Light is created. Romania joined The Wave since 2010, through E.M.M.A. Organisation, the same Organisation that created a support group for parents across Romania. On the E.M.M.A. Organisation’s website were published countless information useful for parents going through similar experiences and also for their beloved ones.

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Why the logo of the E.M.M.A. Organisation includes a swallow?

In the logo of the E.M.M.A. Organisation you can see a swallow, a symbol of Emma Nicole. One month after she died, when the coffin was finally brought to Romania, and a priest accepted to hold the funeral mass, although she wasn’t baptized, a swallow entered the Church and she wouldn’t get out until the end of the mass. The priest resembled the swallow with Emma’s soul like her soul had come back home, and from that moment swallows were present in Bianca’s family many times.

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Once, a swallow entered their home and quietly waited to be photographed, looking directly into the camera. Bianca would find out that in Greece, for example, swallows symbolize the soul of the passed away children.

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Through the years Bianca learned hot to relate with her daughter, although she couldn’t touch or see her like she could do with swallows, there were a few specific words that she clinched and that she said non-stop at first, which helped her rise and help others further. Those words were part of a simple prayer Bianca had heard in the footage she had shooted first time when she got to Germany. And which she remembered the day she was told that her little girl’s heart stopped beating.  

God, grant me the power to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

Years after, you can see it in her eyes, that the prayer is now within her, part of her, bringing peace within her being and bringing peace and even life in the other parents’ hearts because Bianca literally saved people from death. “In 2008, when I was on TV, there was this announcement made for more mothers to come and speak about this topic. It was for the first time I asked somebody from Mass-Media to help me like that. Among the mothers that came, there was one of an angel, she had given birth to twins, a girl, and a boy. The baby girl died, she didn’t see her, she didn’t know what had happened to her. The baby simply vanished, at the hospital, they told her that she died and that was all.

And I was impressed because her husband saw that this show will be on air and he was the one pushing her to come. And at the end of the show, this mother that had suicidal thoughts, came to me, grabbed my hand, and thanked me, she told me I was the reason she was alive, and it wasn’t the only one. I was so touched and then I knew I was doing the right thing”, Bianca says.

How did she manage to share her faith?

In a time when there was no explanation to those questions that started with “Why?”, the way Bianca shared her story gave a reason for the trauma and an explanation: now she could help others. “If it’s beautiful to share the joy with someone, it’s a must to share the burden, so you can bear it. No matter how hard is it and how lonely you feel, you must not forget God is there”, Bianca says. She learned how to share her joys and burdens with the father of her children again.

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Bianca spent the last decade going on journeys into the deepest emotions of the people’s hearts, volunteering on guiding them on the path of making peace with what seems to be an injustice when losing a child. Those three roads she saw possible in her childhood, Traveling, Psychology and Law, seem to have found an unexpected way of merging. Sometimes, Bianca walked this road with others until exhaustion, but she doesn’t regret it. She knows that her work is worth all of it because Romania now has a support organisation for parents whose babies have been lost. And countless examples of the way life has found, just like swallows, a bright flight forward.

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For support and more information, the website of the E.M.M.A. Organisation: http://www.organizatiaemma.ro/EMMA_english

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This coverage is part of the #saniting project – “One step on the edge of life”. Any donation for building an emotional balance support center is welcome.