Current Child Count

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

Monday, May 25, 2009

Child History 9.0

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 story of my "birthday present" two years ago.

Josue’s story is long and winding. His mother gave birth to a stillborn baby before him, that his father didn’t claim as his. She hadn’t wanted the baby either. Then she got very sick and the doctors said that getting pregnant again would help, so they conceived another. But the mother didn’t want him either and refused to go to the hospital even while in labor. By force she was taken, but she never accepted the baby that was born: Josue.
Soon after she abandoned the family and Josue went to live with an aunt. The aunt mistreated him and this upset the father, so he again took Josue to live with him. Eventually he moved to another city in Bolivia and met another woman. When she passed away suddenly, Josue again lost a mother, and his father had the shock of learning what she had died from: AIDS. Testing revealed that he was now HIV+, as well as the son they had bore together (Josue’s stepbrother).

The boy stayed with his grandparents, while Josue and his devastated father moved back to Cochabamba to begin putting their lives back together. But Josue’s dad was now rejected by his family, and suffering a lot under the weight of all the life changes in such a short time. It was also not working out for Josue to follow his dad around to construction and repair jobs.

So on my birthday in 2007, volunteer Amber and I were running all over the city helping some people who live on the street. In the course of doing that, we spoke with the psychologist of the Catholic’s HIV/AIDS program. She told me about the dilemma of Josue and his dad, and asked if we could possibly help temporarily. I said I’d consult with my staff and get back with her. A couple hours later I was trying to rehearse with the church praise team (I say try because I got there late and my cell kept ringing) and she called back saying “He’s here and wants Josue to move in with you right now!! Can you come talk to him?” Yikes! I ended up leaving rehearsal early and going back to her office downtown.

After talking with the father, a priest, and our psychologist friend, we left for CDA II arriving right after dark. It was sweet to see Josue so excited about going to live with other children. We showed Josue and his father around the home, then joined in the birthday celebration they had planned for me. As if reading my mind that I get really tired of cake, cake, and more cake with our constant birthday parties, the staff and kids had prepared api morado and pasteles de queso with powdered sugar (mas o menos like the desert empanadas here)….yum! So that was Josue’s first “meal” in our home.
...And he is still with us because his father disappeared after 14 months of fairly consistent visits, and many ups and downs with his precarious health. We had the joy of seeing the father become a Christian during those months, and attend church regularly with the home. But then he stopped coming. Finally he's contacted us again and he says he will work with a lawyer to get Josue out, but so far he has not begun. If he never follows through, papers are already being processed to provide Josue with a permanent adoptive family.

Josue is a fun loving, very energetic little boy with a serious side. He is extremely smart, artistic, and shows real talent when working on craft or coloring projects. He also likes playing soccer and learning new words in English and recently started kindergarten. He’s a great student!

A few months ago, I was blessed to be part of Josue's dedication to the Lord at church.

Recently, as he's missed his dad more and more, Josue has changed a lot and has become challenging to the caregivers as they try to love and train him. Pray for God to make real HIS love to Josue, and give him the assurance that HE will never abandon him!

*Name changed

Pictures from top of post to bottom:
1) A thoughtful pose (picture by photographer Brad Collins)
2) Josue's new bed at CDA II
3) Riding a horse
4) Playing on a huge slide in a city park

Help provide loving care for Josue for $25/month through Casa de Amor's new child sponsorship program. Download THIS form to start!

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