Current Child Count

  • HOGAR DE AMOR I: 11 babies
  • HOGAR DE AMOR II: 6 boys
  • HOGAR DE AMOR III: 8 girls

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Another baby with family =)

Here in Bolivia, we enjoy pretending like we know what might happen, say, 2 hours from now or even the next day, but in actuality one never knows. (It's a real trip for control freaks!)

Still, we began yesterday knowing it would be a red letter day. It was the day Baby Elias* would go to live with his new parents!!

But even before that "pre-adoption custody" handover took place, a new baby arrived to us. Red Letter Day x Two!

And then watching Elias be “born” into his new family, our 11th adoption (2nd national) turned out to be unique in a way I hadn’t expected. My sister Emma was right in the middle of it! That is super special because firstly, close to 9 ½ years ago, my parents and sisters and I adopted her from Russia. That was the first Baby Home I had ever laid eyes on. The whole deal was life changing (no exaggeration!), for those who don’t know the entire story.

And secondly it was special because Emma just happened to be with me downtown last year when I got the call to say yeah or nay about receiving Elias into the Baby Home. The day: leap year 2008.

(A little background: at the time we were waiting for 1 year old twin girls to come, so I was hesitant to accept another baby because it would mean giving away one of the two spaces we were “creating” for them in our already full home. So since I was near the government office I decided I needed to go in personally and ask which we should take……although I realized this would totally tie me into taking the baby already there and he was even a newborn and was found abandoned on a bench in a Catholic church. In the end, those twins never came but we’ve always been glad that Elias did! And I had thought it would be fun to take in a baby on February 29.)

I always remember Emma’s comment as we walked out of the government office. After an impromptu meeting with the head of child protection I said yes to Elias. From there the time for him to print the memo passing him to us, sign it, hand it over, and the social worker to hand me the baby, was probably 2 minutes flat. If that long.

We walked outside holding our little bundle and Emma looks at me quizzically and goes, “Is that ALL?" As we just....take him home?? It's always been something of a wonder to me, too. To be trusted with these little lives, just like that. Of course all the work to deserve that trust is a whole other story, but the "delivery" of these little ones to us is usually very quick and simple. Then in most cases, they live with us at least a year or two, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health...well, you get the idea. Elias received his family remarkably fast, living with us a brief (for here) 10.5 months.

But I digress. At the most special moment of the adoption, my sister Emma was the one to carry him in to the couple! The father had not yet met Elias (the mother had met him but not seen him again, according to law, during the paperwork period). Normally this step would always be carried out in court, but apparently due to their fear of having a contagion-spreading-child in court (in this case, chicken pox), they made an exception to their rule. Whatever!
It was definitely the first time I had done the official "hand over" while carrying another baby the entire time. Baby F, all 3.3 kilos of him, was happily snuggled in the carrier for hours that afternoon. As we went over Elias' file with his new dad, we realized that Elias had arrived weighing exactly the same. Now if that isn't weird or what!!

A very good day indeed. =)

*name changed

Picture 1: Our family (minus sister Sarah) leaving Kostroma Baby Home in Russia with our TREASURE!!!
Picture 2: Elias on the day he arrived, second from the left, trying to ignore me while I made him pose with our other youngest (Denise, take a stab at naming THESE babies, why dontcha!)
Picture 3: One of the first pictures of Elias the day he came (the redness was gone by the next morning and he has always had the clearest skin since)
Picture 4: Emma just after handing off Elias to his new parents!!! (Hate that my camera delayed a bit in taking the picture, but she was nearly dropping him anyway cuz he's so heavy--10 kilos/22 pounds.)


Katrina said...

Wow! How beautiful :)

Is that my old room I see ;)

Gallo Pinto2 said...

Okay :) I'm up for a challenge.

The far left has to be Benito. I'm sure of that one...

The other two are a little harder. I think the far right is Luz Clarita (or is it Catarine?). And the other would help if I knew if it was a boy or girl. But I'm going to guess Sofia.

At least this one was challenging :)

Jennifer Thompson said...

Yes, your former room, now the physical therapy room and "adoption room"!

Yeah, gotcha!! Luz Clarita did arrive exactly 2 weeks later, but the four babies are: Benito, Juan Carlos, Sofia, Alejandra. (To your credit, maybe you didn't think of Ale because now she's at CDA III. She was so tiny for so long, having been born weighing just two pounds.)

Heather said...

I'm trying to leave a comment without having a blog... (can I comment without getting sucked into the blogger's world?!!)

I was right about the babies :-) I was just second guessing my self. I couldn't remember if Alli was really the same size as Sofia or not.

Gallo Pinto2 said...

You're right I did forget about Alejandra! But I got the other two right! I'd say that's pretty good!

The Adkins Family said...

That's wonderful!

Elizabeth said...

Did Juan Carlos not have feet when he arrived? You did really well to make sure he grew some during his time with you.