Current Child Count

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

Thursday, May 7, 2009

my week so far...

Here’s a “live” post finally (versus scheduled)!

I don’t have enough brain cells these days to come up with a thoughtful post, so this one will just be a smattering of the many different things going on right now. I’m also pretty low physically. I have the Cochabamba killer cough and it’s wearing me out, plus to hear all the staff/volunteers/kids cough constantly! Tonight I’m totally tired. But it’s been a joy (of the kind James talks of!) to see God teach and humble me through this weakness.

And as for cute pictures of the kids, well—their noses are running so fast there’s not even time to take a picture in between the dripping, coughing, sneezing, and just miserable-ness. The poor tias are barely sleeping at night, running from crib to crib. And last night my car battery died right outside the gate getting home at almost midnight (after a volunteer fellowship), so I had to get their help in pushing it inside. I told them they deserved a prize, I’m just not sure what it is yet…!

Three days into this week we already had 3 requests to take in children: ages 5, 3, 1, and 28 days. We said no. I even personally said no to the sisters, and didn't call back about the newborn (which I've done on multiple occasions even when my staff said no ;-).

Yes it was hard. No I don’t regret it. That’s either a sign I’m really sick, or really serious about getting the numbers DOWN first!! Plus, the Baby Home is a hotbed for viruses currently, so it wouldn’t be the smartest move. But I do hate imagining them in the way more overcrowded Baby Home in town…….

Finally today child welfare services moved along the reports for our first potential foster family. YES!!!!!! Maybe just maybe we’ll have one baby in a better environment soon.

This week our new administrative assistant also takes on the load of accountant and is now with us full time. I’m really happy with this move because it will increase our efficiency, save us money, and free up my administrator/social worker to focus back on her area. If only every decision was so benefit loaded!

Construction continues on the new room at the Baby Home. It's looking good!!

Today a new blogging friend from England emailed me to say that the book she’s been working on, dedicated to “Casa de Amor Children’s Homes”, is now printed! That one deserves a whole blog post of it’s own, maybe tomorrow…

All week there’s been lots of back and forth between our new child sponsorship coordinator, me, and staff/members of a church about the sponsorship packets and many many details that go along with this…. (You just never realize all that goes into such a “simple” idea until you’re in the thick of it!) Thanks to all who are sponsoring!!!!!

I've had several meetings at CDA III this week (I’ve gone 3 times within the last 24 hours, as well as two times to CDA II), for such varied topics as: clarifying how HIV is transmitted and how it’s not, discipline methods, house cleaning schedule, the menu and nutrition, and the great news that M. will meet her new parents in just a few weeks! There’s another topic that brings up so many different layers. The appropriate way to share this news with M. (4 ½), weaning her from being so dependent emotionally on the “mother” of that home, how this will affect the other children, how to handle their new doubts about adoption since they’ve witnessed a “failed” one just two weeks ago, how to answer the questions, what to say to the (slightly older) “first time parents” as they take on a wonderful but challenging “favorite", remembering everything we can about M.'s past and time with us to pass onto to them (health, anecdotes, stories, changes we’ve seen, challenges overcome)….you get the idea!

And anyway, we lay our plans, but just as each child is a world unto him/herself, each adoption has it's own twists and turns and we can never guess how each moment will unfold.

Adoption is very multi-faceted, especially with an older child. I usually find that even to the neglect of everything and everyone else, I end up throwing my whole self into those in particular, spending many hours with the family and working till late at night to keep up with my other work. Very exhausting, very rewarding. Although this time I know the Alseths at CDA III will take the brunt of the work onto themselves. Note to self: arrange more volunteer help for them during that time…

I had another meeting today with a network my staff has been crucial in forming “Mi Derecho a Tener Una Familia” (My Right to Have a Family). I LOVE being on the cutting edge, especially when it's to help kids in need!! The group not only plans big things but has already done big things. Today we presented a letter to someone who hopefully has a lot of say in assigning a new judge (right now Coch is limping along with just one judge for all the children cases, whereas we really need three to make proper headway in the many, many pending adoption cases). Now we members will begin visiting other homes and seeing how we can fortify their social/legal efforts on behalf of the kids in their care (i.e., either making plans for child to return to family of origin or else adoption).

A missionary working in Santa Cruz will visit us this month to talk about plans to start a home for special needs babies. I am honored to get to help by sharing our experiences. Besides caring for babies (something not many will tackle), we've had our share of special needs and disabilities, so I'm sure we'll have some interesting conversations. In the next week or so we find out if two of our toddlers have hearing loss or not....I'm anxious to know.

Several of the current volunteers will leave by the end of the month but a couple more arrive. Without my family here, all the local coordination of that (such as buying domestic tickets and arranging host family details or where they'll live with us) falls to me. Tomorrow I've coordinated a hike to the highest peak in Cochabamba for 15 of them (our volunteers plus friends). As for me, I'll be holding down the fort back at the office. Already been there done that twice, thankyouverymuch.


Well that was longer than I thought and probably only the faithful few are still with me. =) Finally had a quiet hour and just wanted to reflect I guess, but now I'm wasting no further time in hitting the sack. Good night!

1 comment:

Gallo Pinto2 said...

Ah, Tunari...I hope they have fun! I'll GLADLY stay behind to work if you organize another one of those while I'm there!

Can't wait to hear more about this book dedicated to CDA...

So excited for little M and way excited that I'll get to see an adoption this summer!

And I agree - the sponsorship stuff has so many un-thought of issues but is still so exciting. A huge thanks to everyone who is already involved!!!