Current Child Count

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

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Look who's nine!

Last week our third-oldest at Casa de Amor II and longest in Casa de Amor out of ALL of our kids turned NINE!
A was 3rd out of 4 in line to turn nine over a 6 week period - first came boy J on July 16, then girl A on August 1, and still to come, girl J on September 1! Our kids are growing up. :)
A few pictures of the festivities and also of his previous 7 birthdays at Casa de Amor.

Little boy J had turned 3 a couple weeks prior and even though we did his birthday, he didn't get a cake...until this day with A!

Some of the kids really get into "biting the cake"...

L-R: Tia Ana Maria (caregiver with 24 hour shifts), Tia Benita (cook/housekeeper, Monday through Saturday), Tia Carla (our new psychologist for all three homes), Tia Eli (in charge of education, Monday through Friday)

A really cleaned up with the gifts!!

A requested a boat from me, handmade by my jail friends

Afterwards, we loaded up A and five of his specially invited guests - girls Jhosie & Abi, boys Jesus, Marcus, & Edgar - to go eat hamburgers at their new favorite place!

The tio and tia in charge... :)

(Picture by Marcus!)

Playing basketball in the car with their "happy meal" prizes!

2006 (in blue striped shirt)

2007 (in red stripes)

2008 (sharing a birthday with C, at head of table)


Happy Birthday, A!!!
Even though the past year has been very hard, we know that God has good plans for your life, and we are excited to be a part of them! :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

To the Lake!

On a recent local holiday we decided to get out of the city with the big kids! We went to Lago Angostura, to the south of town. It's actually not that far (less than an hour drive), but sort of feels like it. We had a great day!

I wish that I had taken a picture of the complete group, but we were 19 people: 13 energetic children (8 boys, 5 girls), 2 Bolivian tias, 2 French Canadian volunteers, plus Jake and me!

This was probably the first boatride any of our kids have ever experienced.

I wouldn't have been surprised if one of the younger ones had showed hesitancy about the boat, but it was M (just turned 8) who refused to get on. After an extended conversation, I finally got him to admit what he was worried about - drowning - and then worked from there. I told him I was paying for us to be taken off dry and to be BROUGHT BACK dry, that I wasn’t about to get into the lake water, either!

When M finally piled in the boat, he headed straight for Jake's side, having heard that he has worked as a life saver. The best words of the whole boat ride came at the end as Marcus said with a beaming smile, “Tia, let’s do it AGAIN!” :)

E., a fearless little sailor

The youngest of our group, with Tia Eli
The two volunteers accompanying us, Jeanne and Elizabeth, on the paddle boat ride that almost never ended, thanks to some strong winds... :)

Slide #1...

...and slide #2!

Thanks to the volunteer tias, everyone got a turn at the riding toys - oh so much fun!

Tio Jake chaperoned a couple paddle boat rides

Our intrepid explorers

J., age 3
We took over this area of the restaurant for our crew, a covered hut right on the water

(Thanks to the volunteers who helped with the bill)

B, age 5

I loved watching each child, or table, immediately pray fervently before diving into the ice cream!!

A, age 9

Table for three...

E, age 7
What a blessing to be able to enjoy afternoons like this with my kids and staff! The kids are already asking when we're going back to the lake. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Adoption Poster Contest, TIME SENSITIVE!

This morning it was brought to my attention that SEDEGES (child welfare authority here in Bolivia) is coming on board with a special day that a group Casa de Amor helped found participates in, "Dia del Derecho a Tener Una Familia" (Right to Have a Family Day), on September 2!

It's great news to see SEDEGES planning to participate.

One of their activities is a campaign to bring awareness to national adoption. Part of that campaign is a contest!

The challenge? "Create a design with adoption as the theme."

The prize? "Publication of the design on a national level."

Deadline? It's already passed, but because only three poster designs have been submitted, SEDEGES is extending the deadline until TOMORROW, August 23.

There's an organization here that regularly publishes some neat designs highlighting adoption. One of my favorites is shown here in a bookmark version in 2009.

If anyone feels inspired to participate, send me your design ASAP! :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Baby Photo Session

I love it when we are blessed with professional caliber pictures of our children!! In this case, volunteer Jenn set up a session with long time volunteer staff member Elena for some stunning photos with her special baby S right before she traveled back to Texas. Baby S was 5 1/2 months old at the time.
Enjoy - and see if it's not impossible to choose a favorite!!

The amazing photographer is Elena Alvarez, our volunteer coordinator - although she does so much more! For more pictures of this photo session and to read her blog "Simply Serving", click here!

Friday, August 10, 2012

To The Jungle...

Okay, so not REALLY, but we pretended!

It's a pretty wild and wooly outing with 14 babies anyway, don't you think?!

Walking to our neighborhood "Child Event Center"...La Jungla!!

They sure thought it was wild....and a little bit scary!

But there was a lot of fun and laughter going on, too!

Little J loved the merri-go-round

Volunteer Danyelle getting some used to the trampoline (they quickly warmed up and became experts!)

Baby P hanging out

Enjoying empanadas for a special snack
This fun outing that would normally be beyond our means financially was a special gift from volunteer Jenn Chacon the week before she returned to McKinney, Texas!

Jenn wanted to give a fun time to everyone in the Baby Home with a different sort of outing...and she certainly did!

The toddlers LOVED the little plate sets that Jenn bought and personalized for each child

Thank you so much, Jenn! We are praying for God to guide you in upcoming days as you settle back into life in Texas, with your special baby ever on your heart.