Current Child Count

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2011 Group Picture!

On May 23, we finally took our annual "April group picture". :)

First respiratory viruses and then a bad case of scabies caused delays, but....


Ta-da! It finally happened.

Granted, baby G was in the hospital so not present and we also did not bring newborn C from the 4th house, not being entirely sure the skin stuff was entirely dealt with (surprise - it's not!). Anddd the very next day baby F arrived (see former post), so three are now missing from this picture to be the actual "these are our current kids" picture.

But we still love it. Are the babies not the cutest thing in the world?!

J, age 7, proudly doing his part with new baby E

Casa de Amor III!

Then it was time to give little girl B a 4th birthday party! Check out that cake, just what the birthday girl ordered: a kangaroo!

Some of the guests (Hospitals of Hope was visiting this afternoon)

The ever-photogenic B!

Fun times!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Birthday & Babies

While every week is memorable with my two "jobs", this last week was really over the top. On Tuesday was my birthday and every day since Thursday there's been something somewhere for Mother's Day.

A few of the highlights on my birthday...

The day started off with an early morning serenade outside my door, complete with guitar and representatives from three of the homes!

Then we went to the dining room where a breakfast feast had been laid out. Savannah outdid herself on the cake, yet again! She explained that the kids wanted to make me a cake like the movie “Cars”, which I think is pretty appropriate since they adore my car and I practically live out of it, hehe, but Savannah voted them down and did a logo cake.

Around 8:30, there was a phone call. The social worker took it in the entry way then popped her head around the corner and said “Jennifer, you have a birthday present. The other baby [from a women's shelter] has been born, should I say yes?” I thought she was joking, only that she doesn’t joke! And so a beautifully perfect newborn arrived...

Cheers to the new baby!
...with freshly squeezed orange juice... :)

At 11:51am I was reading the papers with baby F in my arms, reading that she was born at 11:50am the day before, May 23, weighing nearly 7 pounds.

She was 24 hours and 1 minute “old”!!

But before her arrival, I had already run to the juvenile detention center and the hospital, where I was just supposed to leave the third sample of one of my former bridge kids. However, they didn't even need the last sample to confirm what I've suspected a month now: positive for TB.

In the afternoon, I picked up one of our newer babies, G, who was released from his 3 day stay at the hospital for unexplainable diarrhea and vomiting.

Admiring the two babies! Baby G, approximately 3 months old and recovering from burns, and baby F, 1 day "new"!

That evening I was told to await a visit from the "world's most handsome little man" and was surprised by this little fellow, Gabriel, and multiple gifts! Gabriel was adopted last year by one of our caregivers.

Then it was off to the Coronilla (an infamous hill in our city known for its street community) where about 25 were waiting patiently for me to arrive to a carefully prepared birthday party.

Once I had approximately two pounds of confetti on my head, after each one greeted me personally, there was a huge heart shaped cake. And singing. And coke. And gifts. And lots and LOTS of pictures! All by candle light!

It was quite the event. :)

About one third of those present...

Life here is very full, with both my babies and my big kids, and I can't imagine being anywhere else, doing anything else.

Friday, May 20, 2011

this little love...

joined our Casa de Amor family today!

More news (and pics) later! :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

this is what happens...

...when you ask Casa de Amor for babies!!

Within six days, two babies!

The story of baby BOY G (yes, it's a boy! he was in donated, very pink clothes when I picked him up)...

On April 5, 2 month old G and his mother were admitted to the hospital* with severe burns suffered in a kitchen gas tank explosion. His mother was burned on 60% of her body and G on 9% (his face and thigh). He was operated on three times and received two blood tranfusions.
He's been well enough to leave the hospital since the end of April but they weren't sure where to send him.

Then...... On Saturday, May 14, his mother died from complications. His father, an alcoholic, never visited, so he was declared partially orphaned and abandoned and taken to government offices today. Which is when our social worker called me (out and about) and asked what to do. See, we've had some bad skin things the past couple weeks possible due to this new baby so although we have room, it didn't seem the wisest thing to bring a baby into our scabies infested house.

Sooo.... I called Casa de Amor IV! They agreed to take Baby G in until next week when we're sure we're over all this skin stuff.

I was blessed to be with him all day long as I ran other errands and took him to the doctor, and never once heard him cry! In spite of all the trauma he's been through, he seems to be a sweet, laid back baby, but still pray for his recovery (he also has a bad diaper rash, possibly caused by all his medications) and the VanderWerf family as they kind of have twins suddenly. :)

*And possibly his half-sister, but the government doesn't know where she is (??) so tomorrow we start the search!

Friday, May 13, 2011

new baby, new home!

While receiving a beautiful newborn to our Casa de Amor family is always headline news, this tiny one...

...made double the news by being the very first to enter our Casa de Amor IV! Yes, you read right! Casa de Amor children are now living, growing, and being loved in FOUR homes scattered throughout our beloved Cochabamba.

While the model is certainly more "foster family", for legal purposes it's just another one of our "hogares" (children homes), with the same administration and support staff as the other homes.

Mama Cara getting her first peek!

The VanderWerf family has three lovely daughters. Pray for them as they adjust to their new role as Casa de Amor foster parents!

More on the baby: baby girl C was born on May 11 by cesearean and was in the arms of her substitute family by the afternoon of May 12. Before judging why this baby would be abandoned, understand that the mother is 16 years old, and the father is the stepfather of the mother... Her own mother left the home last year, whereabouts unknown. A hard situation, to say the least. The birth mother plans to go on to study cake making and decorating to be able to get a job and be on her own.

Doing some paperwork right after leaving the hospital with my new charge: we were color-coordinated, ha!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

the newest look-alikes

Two of the cutest babies EVER!!

Baby F (10 months) and Baby MN (8 months)

They are getting so big!

(So blogger definitely uploaded this sideways! I'm never sure why it does that when it does that...)

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Congratulations Tia Elena & Tio Vico!

Your wedding was beautiful...

...and you were very generous to invite the dozen children of Casa de Amor II, who definitely had a memorable afternoon & evening!

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
I Corinthians 13:13