Current Child Count

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

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dia Nacional "Por Mi Derecho a Tener una Familia", Bolivia


Today was a special day!

Here in Cochabamba, Bolivia, we inaugurated the very first national "My Right to Have a Family Day"! I can't even imagine how hard it would be to create a nationally recognized day for your cause in the US, but here, well, our friends have pulled it off.

Events like today are a small bright spot in a very frustrating world of government bureaucracy, endless paper shuffling, and giving our all to children who mean no more than a stack of papers and work to most [politically appointed] government officials.

The official presentation from the Cochabamba governor's office to our group ("My Right to Have a Family" network) was held in the "Salon de Honor" of the mayor's building on the downtown plaza. This is the second time we've been at a press conference there in recent weeks, and the second time our administrator/social worker Rosa has spoken from the mayor's podium (I just didn't take my camera the last time).

However THIS time we took along staff and 3 kids from the Baby Home, and CDA III met up with us there with 2 kids. They were all great throughout probably an hour or more sitting down. The baby on my lap fell asleep until the final applause actually. =)


S. and her classic smile, posing on the steps leading to the "Salon de Honor"


View from the second floor


Kinda made me nervous to have 100s of campesinos right outside protesting something (if anyone knows what happened here during January 2007, you'd understand why!)


Waiting for the act to begin...
S. happy with her sister D., as always


The press was all over the place and constantly in our face filming or snapping pictures even as we sat and listened - let's just hope it all makes the news and raises awareness!


Our Rosa spoke as representative of our pro-family network and did very well! She was in the office till almost 9 last night working on her speech, and by the end she was speaking passionately from her heart barely using her notes. Made me want to cry... If only half the government officials we deal with on a daily basis had half her vision for these kids!! (As an aside, tomorrow is her birthday.)


Rosa being presented with the official order for "our day" by a city leader.

A former child/adolescent judge was also present, a main adoption lawyer, the director of Child Defense, ONE sole lawyer from SEDEGES but at least it was something, foster parents, adoptive parents, men and women who grew up in children's homes, city officials, a New Zealand couple we know who are adoptive/foster parents (Katrina and Ruth - your friends!), and others



Our group afterwards with our star speaker holding the municipal order!


And a group picture of everyone in "green"! (The shirts have our network's name, "Mi Derecho a Tener Una Familia", and logo: a family in the middle of the circle of words)


One of the most memorable parts of the morning for me came directly afterwards when a lady with a microphone tapped me on the back and asked "Perdon, hablas espaƱol?" As I saw the video camera person right behind her, I briefly considered saying no, but decided oh whatever, this will be fun.

So she proceeded to ask in a gushing voice "Please tell me, how do you feel holding that Bolivian child in your arms, knowing that you are an adoptive mother?!" Uhh.... I didn't know where to begin. My first gut feeling was to say "Isn't it stupid that I canNOT adopt this beautiful child simply because I work in the home where she lives?" (new court order that we're currently battling because it has no legal standing)

Instead, I remember saying that she was under my care as well as 40 others, that it's a beautiful thing to adopt, that I have an adopted sister and yes that is a VERY special feeling that I don't even have words to describe. At that point she interrupted to demand "Do you love her [Emma] the same?" and I felt my face light up as I said "OF COURSE, and it's even MORE special because it's such a miracle that we get to be her family!" and that seemed to satisfy her. I made a plug for "families for all children!" and that was it. Interesting!

1 comment:

gloria said...

Jennifer,

Way to go!!! I so admire you!! Your determination and committment to these children is astounding!! God is working thru you!!

Hugs from Missouri,

gloria
adoptive mama to 5 Guatemalan blessings & 5 bio blessings!