Current Child Count

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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

and....another kitty!

Last week I was proudly presented with two kitties by my street friends. Some guy had left the two with them that morning, and they said I could have them since the wild dogs there would surely make an easy snack of them.
All night, they were snug under the shirts of someone and passed around in the car, until... Someone shouted "SENORITA!!" and sadly announced that one had been squished in the back (one of the seats is out, so that more can get in). Oops...
Then I forgot about kitties until everyone got out and I was driving off and an ever-louding "meow, meow" was emanating from the back. I got out and retrieved the remaining little fur ball...

I called the CDA II volunteers to see if they were up (it was nearly midnight) and take the survivor kitty straight to their house. I couldn't reach them, so took it home and gave it some milk and tried to make a warm little spot to our outdoor bathroom/laundry room...

The next morning there was a note on my door from a tia, congratulating me on our new pet and saying that he/she cries a lot, ha! :) That day the kitty moved to CDA II, but was quickly brought back again so that volunteer Genevieve can give it some better one-on-one care.

Who doesn't love a tiny kitten....

(I just realized there are no pictures of the kids with the kitty, just us big people, LOL!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fun at Casa de Amor II

Yesterday we celebrated the SIXTH birthday of this happy fellow!

While at Casa de Amor II, I found out that the long-suffering cat is now re-named "pelusa" (English: fuzzy)!

She actually seems very content with all the attention, and how the kids love her!

Time to get dressed....!!

The puppy also has a name...


....after the toilet paper, of course!! :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

double first birthday

The same afternoon I was picking up tiny Baby S (barely weighs 6 pounds!), a double first birthday was going on in the Baby Home.

Sweet baby G arrived from the hospital last year in May. How he has grown! And best of all, no more tight mask.

Baby A's birthday is actually February 20, but as that falls during the four-day Carnival holiday, we did her along with Baby G!

This baby has also come SO FAR and is so beautiful now! Just look at the pictures from when I first met her, with broken legs and a broken skull and multiple skin ailments. It took us months to rid ourselves of the scabies, oh my...

And a surprise: Baby A is already on the verge of WALKING! When most of our babies walk between 14 and 18 months, it's incredible to realize she's standing on once broken legs.

(I waited too late this evening to get out the camera last night and she really didn't want to stand for a picture...but she stands up in the middle of the floor alone all the time!)

That's a heated up orange juice/oatmeal drink in the big pot since it was a rainy, cold day (yummy)!

Some of the other "guests" :)
Baby MN, always a cutie!!

Charming E with those amazing eyelashes...

Thursday, February 16, 2012


...the newest (furry & fluffy) members of the family!
(All at CDA II, as Casa I is overrun with many and numerous babies, thankyouverymuch.)
First off, with us a couple of months now:

The Elderly Dog Rufus!

A stray who wouldn't leave us...

(also know as Volunteer Alexis's baby!!)

On February 11, The Cat arrived!
(Thanks to missionary friends Chris & Erin Sidmore for the donation.)

What a brave cat!
The tias report that with the mere sound of the cat's meow and prowl, they haven't seen a mouse in the house all week. Que bien! (Can't imagine her tangling with a snake, yikes...)

She also allows the kids to hold her, the most important in their eyes.

On February 14, the beautiful Lab Puppy was delivered!
I met this pup and his three siblings back in December the day after they were born, during a walk through of the house as we planned to move in. As promised, the Alaskan missionary family saved a male back for us - thanks!

See the pup?

Debates continue as to what he will be named...

This will be one much-handled doggy, that's for sure!

Let's just say that Casa de Amor II is fully taking advantage of the increased yard space, with plans for sheep (grass cutters) and chickens (fresh eggs) in the works!
Here's to country living...!!! :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another baby...BOY!!!

I always say I never know who or what a day will bring around here! Today was already full but I ended up spending a delightful couple of hours this afternoon picking up a baby. :)

A newborn to be exact, apparently born at home right on or before February 12, whose mother tried to suffocate him in the wee hours of the morning today. After that episode, the nurses brought the baby to stay with them, prepared sample packets of formula to give the baby (she hadn't been nursing him anyway), and reported events to the hospital's psychologist (who declares the mother mentally unstable and is requesting more tests) and social worker (who promptly called us)!

I was out making the school pick-up rounds, my new Wednesday job as the Hogar's minivan is otherwise occupied picking up the week's supply of food, when Rosa (our social worker) called me. She said "We say no, right?" I hesitated, as I always do in these situations. We are overrun with babies at the moment, many small babies, so I would've been quicker to say yes to a walking, talking 2 or 3 year old than a 3 DAY old. She read my thoughts and we decided to say no. Well, the dear elderly social worker of the city's main pediatric hospital would have none of it! The only correct answer was yes, and she furthermore threatened "If something happens to the baby tonight, it will be on your hands...!!" So Rosa said yes, then called me back. With the noise of the nine kids now filling my car with happy chatter, and music, of course, I didn't hear the calls to my cell (missed a call from the US too...sorry family!), so she finally tracked me down at Casa de Amor II as I was upstairs going through all the violins my sister left us years back.

Rosa gave me the rundown, so after dropping off two cakes for the afternoon's double first birthday at the Baby Home, I left for the hospital. After visiting my street patient, I went next door to find my new baby. :)

Right before going down the stairs, to the best part: the security guard! As I picked up my ID card, he gave me a double-take. Is that a baby you have in there?? I probably blushed - I wasn't trying to hide him, I just love my slings for the small babies, it's cold and wet today, and I was also holding papers and dealing with constant phone calls and messages. (I didn't answer all of the calls, but a nurse even suggested that I need a secretary - amen!)

I showed him the baby and he sort of freaked out, in a quiet Bolivian sort of way. But...did you have this baby when you came? Or did you HAVE HIM here? Here I couldn't help but join in with a grin: "Yes, I had him RIGHT NOW!" He just kept staring, and now a crowd was gathering to watch the exchange and try to gain a peak at my tiny baby all snug inside.

Finally the guard got over his shock at a gringa taking a newborn from the hospital with only a piece of paper and an immunization card, no mother in sight, and just filled out a paper making notes from my one paper... As he finally turned back my Bolivia ID card, I swore to him this is not the first time I've waltzed out of there with a baby. Gotta love my life. :)

I went straight to our authorities with my tiny warm sleeping bundle to get papers in order. After signing a couple more....he was ours!! :)

I realized during all of this that he didn't have a name, so I immediately gave him one we've had on the "waiting list" for a while, a good strong name that we've never had at Casa de Amor. In fact, Rosa asked for our last new baby a few weeks back to be given this particular name but it turned out he already had one.

It begins with an S and is from the Bible.... Shouldn't be too hard to guess.

Back in the warm, cheery Baby Home, for the tail end of two birthday parties (pictures, which others took for me, to follow)...

Tia Tomaza with the little beauty. (Little O, my stick-tight, was getting a little jealous so as soon as she saw the baby was out of my arms, she jumped into them.)

As many babies as we've gotten lately, this is our first "born in 2012" baby. I was kind of hoping the next would be a girl. I just counted it up, and 6 of our last 7 new ones have been boys! We haven't gotten a girl since Abi and Edgar came back to live with us in July last year, and before that was baby F as my birthday present in May. But actually I just checked, and there are now 8 boys and 7 girls at the Baby Home, so somehow they stay even...

Pray for special grace for the tias and volunteers as they add yet another little one into the round-the-clock routine here. I was told that he's a little jaundiced and last night had a slight fever, and to monitor that.

Also pray for his mother, who weighs on our hearts. According to what little information the hospital could garner, she lives with an alcoholic partner and 5 other children in a shack outside the city. We will be doing investigations ASAP.

News from France

Yesterday, we updated pictures of a former Casa de Amor II child!
And news, such as that he's top of his class and really BIG now - we barely recognize him!

I couldn't help but post this picture of him and his brother (also from Cochabamba), IN FRONT OF THE EIFFEL TOWER IN PARIS!!!!

Too cool... :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

new year, new houses

In January, Casa de Amor had two moves!

Casa de Amor II Move Day: a group effort!!

First, Casa de Amor II relocated back to a house we lived in years ago and loved. It's a little further out, but in the direction of most of the staff of the home, and the yard... Oh, the yard!!

The back of the house and the expansive yard...

Dining room - plenty large enough for both of our tables

View from the live-in volunteer bedroom

A mural in the little girls room, left by a missionary family who lived in this house several years ago

S. modeling by the brand new stair railing that makes the house safer (made possible due to Tia Katrina and her church family!!)

...and one more look from the second floor window at the YARD!

(Plans are in the works for chickens and sheep!)

Casa de Amor III also relocated to a more secure neighborhood, ironically the exact same one as where the triplets now live with their mother and "adopted family"!

View to the mountain with "El Cristo"

Elena is working her magic in the kids' rooms!!

She's still working on it, but just a few sneak-peeks...

Living room/dining room
Everyone is getting settled in nicel! Today summer break ends and classes are beginning again.
Even with the moves, all the kids are going back to the same schools where they were last year, with the exception of some of the younger ones in CDA II who are going for the first time, some to schools better equipped for their special needs. We appreciate your prayers for everyone! :)