Current Child Count

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

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Child History 6.0

Each child comes with their own unique story:
heart breaking, tragic, with conflicting details, many unknowns and doubts...or all of the above. Here's the heartwarming story of our "church baby".

This baby was a memorable arrival! First, to set the scene, in early February 2008 we received a gorgeous, approximately 1 month old baby girl, even though we didn't have room. The same day we were also asked about taking in twin 1 year old girls whose parents were in jail/the street. My social worker said no because we didn’t have room at all, but of course I couldn’t get it out of my head and when I found out a couple days later that they still didn’t have a place for the twins, I said yes and we started seeing how we could rearrange things (and kids) and fit in another…two!

But the girls didn’t come, and didn’t come, and no one knew when they might. Then on February 29, I woke up thinking “how cool it would be to get a baby today on Leap Year Day”! That afternoon I was running errands with my sister Emma (then 9) when our social worker assistant called me. “Jennifer, the director of child protection himself called begging for us to take in a newborn found at a church. No one else has room, but we are waiting on the twins so what do we do?” After talking for awhile (or more correctly yelling, since I was on a busy street), we decided that I would swing by Child Protection offices before going to my praise team's rehearsal (during these times held in the middle of the afternoon which was nuts for my schedule).
Once there, I asked what they knew about the twins. The immediate answer from our social worker friend and the head of child protection was “the twins are not here right now; this baby IS here right now”. They had a point there! [And in the end, the girls ended up staying with their parents.]

And when I peaked at this baby under his blankets, well…… heart melted. You just can’t turn down a baby you’ve already met!! But I tried to act nonchalant and say yes reluctantly, trying to avoid another hard-to-turn-down call the NEXT day. They whipped out the memo admitting him to our home, happily passed him over to me with the police report, and Emma and I stepped out into the bright sunshine with our little bundle. My Dad was on his way to pick us up and run me to rehearsal…now with a baby. The whole process of deciding and getting the proper papers had taken maybe 4 minutes total. Emma looked at me and said “Is that ALL we have to do?!” And I was like yeah, he's ours now…….that is so crazy! Another little life to care for until God takes him elsewhere. I've never stopped marveling at that, even with more than 85 children through our doors.

He decided he was hungry at rehearsal so I think they sped it up on our account (kinda hard to play the piano with one hand and concentrate while jostling a baby you don't know in your other arm)!

Elias’ arrived with an intriguing story. He was found on a church bench near the main market downtown. We went back to interview the priest and he greeted us by saying “Oh, you want to hear about baby number 3!” We were like uh...number 3? And he explained that this was the third baby abandoned there in recent weeks. He was left after the morning’s open mass. When they ran out to the (very busy) street to see if anyone seemed to be standing around watching, but no one seemed to care. I appreciate the kind way the elderly priest spoke about the mother, saying that she was most likely in a very difficult situation, and what love she showed by leaving her baby in a safe place. (The rest of 2008, we got several babies who were left to die in river beds with adverse life long affects, so I became even more grateful to Elias’ mother, or whoever left him there.) Even though we checked back with the priest, it appears that no one ever returned to inquire about the baby.

Our “church baby” was one of our healthiest EVER. Barely a sniffle his 10 ½ months with us! Also one of the quietest. Then unfortunately, while we waited and waited for his adoption to be finalized, he came down with chicken pox on its second round through our house in January. It even delayed him leaving one day (guess the court didn’t want to “catch” it), but then he went to a lovely Christian Bolivian couple and their teenage daughter. We are so happy with how his story turned out, and how loved and cherished he is in his new doting family. (To read about the day they took him home, click here.)

*name changed

Pictures, top to bottom:
1) Elias in a highchair
2) The priest of the church pointing out where Elias was found
3) Jennifer holding Elias his first minutes in the Baby Home
4) The four youngest babies in March 2008 (Elias is the first on the left)
5) The babies are always popular visitors at CDA II!
6) My family always said that he looked just like this doll of my sister Emma

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