A WIRRAL family got a welcome surprise when a Romanian boy who they looked after 22 years ago turned up on their doorstep.
Bogdan Geaman fulfilled his life-long promise to return and thank the family who looked after him in 1990 when he was nine.
He stayed in Bromborough with Christine and David Holloway for two weeks after his dad died in the Romanian revolution.
Twenty-two years later the startled couple opened the door to hear: “Hello, I’m Bogdan.”
Now 31 and living in Bucharest, Bogdan was visiting a friend in the UK and decided to search for the family, equipped with an old address.
Christine told the News: “We were absolutely stunned because we never imagined his stay to have had such an impact.
“We recognised him instantly and gave him a big hug. He still has the same bubbly personality.
“He brought the old photo album we had put together to show his mum about the day trips we went on.
“He said he wore an Everton shirt we gave him until it was threadbare and a watch until it stopped.
“We were really moved that 22 years on he was focused on visiting us.
“The last time we heard from him was when he was 17. He wrote a letter thanking us for the wonderful holiday and said one day he would say thank you in person. I never thought for one minute he would actually come here.
“He told us how the experience inspired him and gave him something to aim for.”
The couple, who have two sons, looked after Bogdan and seven-year-old Mircea Dobre as part of a project with Wellington School to help Romanian orphans.
Bogdan studied an economics degree and now runs his own printing business.
Christine added: “We clothed and fed them, giving them as much support, help and love as we could after the traumas they had suffered.
“Communication was not easy as they spoke no English and we only had a Romanian phrase book to guide us, but we managed.
“I hope this will inspire others to give refuge to people in need. A little love goes a long way.”