Current Child Count

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

Monday, October 1, 2012

Baby Girl!


Our newest arrival is an overlapping of my two “jobs”—Casa de Amor and the street population. I’ve known the baby’s family and even extended family for two years now, so I could go that far back in explaining why she is now with us. The story would read a bit like a soap opera, including multiple lovers, another abandoned baby, jail escape, cold-blooded murder….and still, my continual friendship to this whole struggling family, those on the street and those off.

To start at more recent events, my friend M. (20 years old and mother of three) had her newest baby on August 30 in Santa Cruz (another large city in Bolivia). Ever since I took her for testing while she was in jail earlier this year, she has said she would give me this baby. I would only reply that we would talk about that further down the line. Well, once the baby was born she told me to pick a name, that she still planned to give her to me.

Fast forward a few weeks to Sunday, September 23. At 9:51pm, I was talking to my family, a regular Sunday night event for us, when I took another call on my cell phone. M. was sobbing hysterically and I could only imagine that someone had died. That someone was her father, and her mother had killed him. They had fought in their one room home in Santa Cruz and M.'s mother had stabbed the father of her nine children to death. Both were drunk and had even overdosed on sleeping pills. M. said they were waiting for police to come arrest her mother, also essentially mother to her own children, and could I get her in touch with her little brother, leader of my group of street kids. That was a difficult couple of hours, watching the news sink in for I., and going around town to let his sisters and their young families and his aunt know what had just happened.    

Four days later, after burying her father and watching her mother go to jail, M. and her partner bused in to Cochabamba. She called me and I asked “So what do you plan to do in Cochabamba? Are you just visiting?” and in a different, more somber tone of voice she replied “Senorita, I came to leave my baby with you. That’s the reasion I came.” I asked where she was and told her I could meet up with her in an hour. I met the baby at the base of the hill where my street group lives. M. thrust her into my arms saying “Here’s your daughter!” Then she saw my face and nodded as if to say “Yes, it’s true”. I was adjusting to the fact that the baby looked just like someone else we know, currently in jail, and not the father of M.’s other two children…. We sat down on a curb to talk about M.’s thoughts and plans, the implications of this new revelation taking hold.

We went to government offices to talk, and the sweet baby came home with me. Surprise, tias! I kept her with me till the middle of the next morning, getting to know her. As M. has told me by phone since baby N. was born, she has quite a bit of reflux (read: entire bottle can reappear without warning!). I’ve taken her to the pediatrician, who fell in love with our new little 4 kilo “doll”, and we’ll see if the medication and different formula help.

Pray for the mother, M., and her partner as they make decisions. There is still time for them to change their mind in the next couple of days, before traveling back to Santa Cruz, and before we notify the court of the situation.

Pray also for baby N.’s health and life… Multiple relatives tried to force M. to either abort the baby, even buying pills to do so, or drown or suffocate the baby after she was born. Here at the Baby Home, she’s the little princess after seven boys in a row and just one toddler girl!

 Baby N loves all the attention!


Katrina said...

oh Jen! Such a difficult situation. Sounds like you handled it very well. Will be praying for M and her familia. What a beautiful wee girl!

Pj said...

How my stomach turned when I read how M was encouraged to abort or smother this precious baby after birth. Jennifer, thank you for using your heart of compassion to care for these orphans all these years. The strong emotions you must endure on a regular basis take much grace from God. Baby N is so beautiful. I cannot imagine giving her up. However, I can understand M's relief, since she feels she must give her up, in placing her into your care. I will be interested to find out if M will truly leave her with you.
I am Paula Johnson, la madre de Carla Booher. I am excited to be a part of Casa de Amor through her and Rudi and our grandchildren. God bless you all with continued grace, energy, wisdom and compassion. Love, Paula