Current Child Count

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

Friday, September 3, 2010

September 1 Arrival!

A few weeks ago at church, I was catching up with a fellow director friend just back from the US. He said something about taking in a 9 month old blind baby. A week later I mentioned this to my office staff and Rosa (our social worker) immediately said "Do you want her to come here?" I stuttered around because I had thought about it, but not seriously.

I told her to look into it and within an hour Maribel (our physical therapist) and I were meeting little J! After being hospitalized with severe malnutrition in January, she has spent the entire year in Cochabamba's pediatric nutrition center. Turns out she is 2 years and 3 months old. She does not walk yet. Her favorite toy is definitely a ball. For all practical purposes J has been abandoned by her parents. The other director had decided they could not take her into their home and the hospital was thrilled that we were considering the possibility.

Every year we've had new challenges, and more than once a child with severe hearing loss...why not this?

Visiting Casa de Amor last week

J's first moments in the Baby Home, feeling things out

I never cease to be touched by how welcoming and sweet the other children are with new arrivals! Three year old B brought J a stuffed animal and others started to follow suit - especially bringing balls!

Kids and tias gathered around. Literally within five minutes, two kids asked me "Tia, does she not see us?" I was so surprised they had already caught on! We hadn't said anything to the kids yet, maybe just because it was too sad to say "J is blind, she can't see you", but they realized and began to adjust.

Tia Maria and kids continuing to meet J, putting things right into her hands to feel

For 4 year old S, our oldest at the Baby Home with special needs herself, it was love at first sight! She picked J up and how she latched on! She started to tell everyone J was HER baby, and "mine!" while gently loving on her.

The kids came downstairs to eat and S stayed by J's side

S eating her dinner alongside J

Far from being our main worry right now, H's blindness is nothing compared to her aversion to eating! I don't even know what to say to all of her eating/digestion issues when she has been at a nutrition center for SEVEN MONTHS and now WE have to fix her eating problems! Giving in to what she wants, they spoon fed her milk at the center. And that's basically it. She won't eat anything else, nor will she drink from a bottle, and she throws up a lot - reflux? What are we going to do?? Please pray for special insight and for a breakthrough, or else J will quickly become malnourished again. She is also on other medications for being born with congential issues due to an untreated STD in the mother.

According to the nutrition hospital, J's eye condition is "staphyloma". My friend who was considering taking her in says that doctors say it's beyond repair and the damage is now permanent. If anyone can tell me more about staphyloma - and for that matter, how to help the development of blind children - we would really appreciate it!


Gallo Pinto2 said...

Wow! I could cry at how wonderful it is to see S taking little J in and being such a protective older "sister"! So precious!

I'm so proud of all our babies and kids for being so loving and welcoming to our newest addition.

I'll be praying!

jag said...

Heart is melted! So so sweet!