Current Child Count

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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Little boy!

Introducing the new little fellow D....who thinks he's big!

Seven years old, to be exact. And I guess 20 when he slams his little fist on the table and demands "GIVE ME A BEER!"

(He's 4!)

Yep, he came in all pink.

No, I do not know why, other than to say, "It's Bolivia".

Meeting the tias and children!
J (blind) meeting little D by touch!

This is our child number #120 and the first to ever arrive with money! The neighbor caring for him sent him off with 4 Bolivianos (equivalent to about 60 cents) and 4 small peaches.
We had a horrible scare on one of little D's first trips to the bathroom. This is probably not the place to go into details, but what I can say is he has an extreme infestation of parasites and worms that was causing something we had never thought of. We ran him to the ER but they sent us home with parasite meds and instructions on how to deal with this "side effect" when it happened again.
What we know so far of this little guy is that his father died when D was only a few months old(due to an overdose?) and now his mother is dying of terminal cancer in a hospital...we don't even know which.
According to him, he has an older sister. We don't know where she is.
D has relatives but they have migrated to Spain.
Now that we know his real age, something we were clueless on when he arrived, we realize he probably needs to live at Casa de Amor II to attend pre-kindergarten starting next month.
But since lots of investigation remains to be done, we still need to see...
Pray for D's adjustment to Casa de Amor and peace in his little heart, as he occasionally speaks of his mother to the tias.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Three Years

Today is the three year mark of being forced to let go our baby twin Gabriela. We will never forget her, and it's precious to know that other friends of Casa de Amor never will, either!

Multiple-trip volunteer "kiwi Katrina" sent me a beautiful album today that she took over the weekend at Oakura Beach (North Island, NZ).

Thank you, Katrina!

Friday, January 20, 2012

And....It's a Boy!

Thanks to recent adoptions (see here and here), we have the joy of being able to say YES to some of the many calls we always receive about more children!

Yesterday we said yes to a 4 year old boy (still waiting for him).
Then we said wait about a special needs 5 year old, until some more children are adopted from CDA II.
Then today we got another call about a 2 month old...who turns out to be younger.
Turns out he was discovered alone in a motel room on New Year's Eve. The lady renting the room said she was going to run out for breakfast, but by 3pm had not returned and the daughter of the owner was alerted by the baby's lusty cries.
Baby A appears to be nearing one month old, same as our other new baby M. (So, both Christmas week babies?!)
Pictures of the welcoming crew...

Tia Rosi LOVES loves babies...

...and was actually the first of us to get her hands on him!

Here's a cool fact: Baby A actually arrived right on the heels of our newest volunteer, Genevieve! I had no sooner started down the stairs from the third floor office to meet her when the doorbell rang and the baby was here! Here she is helping give a bottle.

And here's our other new volunteer, just arrived yesterday - Iris from Holland!

Checking out the two newest babies side-by-side, Baby M (arrived 2 weeks ago today) and Baby A
Fun times! :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

another sweet adoption...

Our year has gotten off to a teriffic start with adoptions!!
On Sunday, a Dutch couple arrived to Bolivia, coming to the Baby Home on Wednesday morning after their first hearing to meet our dear siblings B (4 1/2 years old) & C (3)

First picture together!
B's first enthusiastic words, directed to his dad: "When are we going to go on the airplane?!"
C's first reaction was to be shy and not get too close, but she very quickly recovered as she observed her very outgoing brother interact with the couple
The new happy family, the adoption agency representative, and Tia Carmen, CDA's psychologist


Photographer for the special event: Elena!

Tour of the house! (Yes, the dad is somewhat of a giant for Bolivian houses!)

B showing his dad his bed...

Room delivery! Playing outside in the afternoon.
Although everything is going very well and it's wonderful to watch the new family interact, we need to keep all four in our prayers as they get to know one another and look forward to a new life all together!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

sweet adoption

Court Day, January 11, 2012...

What a delight and joy it is to watch this couple with their new SON!!!


A quick pose with me for the cameras....

...but he prefers being with his parents now :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

highchair malfunction ;)

Cute baby A!

Quietly hanging in a precarious situation...

...don't worry!...

...she was rescued immediately after these photos were taken! :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Italian Lunch

This Sunday, the kids and staff at Casa de Amor II had a special lunch after church.
JG's new parents made a spaghetti FEAST!

Yum, yum.

The new family was so excited when anyone requested seconds (and just about everyone did), saying "Bravo, bravo!"

I think I'll have to find an excuse to visit tomorrow...right around lunchtime...
(PIZZA is on the menu!!)

Gabriel also visited us, Tia Luz's adopted son from the Baby Home!

Friday, January 6, 2012

First new baby of the year!

On the very first workday of the year, Tuesday, January 3, I was heading home but had stopped at a fruit stand around the corner first. As I reached for a cantaloupe, I saw with a bit of surprise that I had a call from SEDEGES. This being the authority that sends us kids, my heart lept a bit (because we also are currently in a "receiving" mode!), and sure enough...

I was asked if we had space for a newborn!

I said yes, then was told the details.

The baby, now abandoned, was born with cleft lip/palate and was being fed via feeding tube.

I thought about that for a second: we know some about cleft lip (thanks to twin K), and also about feeding tubes (thanks to the triplets), and are about to have lots of volunteers (to help with surgeries and extra care), and our favorite volunteer nurse Savannah is currently here!

He was supposed to be brought within an hour, but by day's end there was no new arrival. SEDEGES called back and said the "hand over" had been postponed until Friday morning.

But now curious and knowing I had another baby, just in the hospital, I asked for details and went the very next day to visit him. The social worker got me past the security guard, and then while I met the baby and chatted with the doctors and nurses caring for him (what great people!), the same security guard came to announce that a lady had brought a donation of clothes for the baby who was "sick". Apparently, the day before two local news channels had come to interview the hospital staff and learn about the abandoned special needs baby, thus the flow of donations.

I felt much better after visiting, that we were going to be able to handle the baby. First of all, since the night before he was already drinking his milk fine with bottles, no tubes needed. Secondly, they were having a special plaque made for his upper mouth to also help him suction better. Thirdy, he wasn't really tiny or malnourished, as our K had been. He already weighed well over 8 pounds, pretty good in a country where most babies weigh only 5-6 pounds at birth.

Since the baby was born on December 23 (making him 2 weeks old today), hospital staff had played around with different ideas for his name. In the end, SEDEGES won out with the name they chose for his memo. It begins with a M... I like it, and it's always nice when it's not a current (or past) duplicate! :)

This morning I spent a couple hours picking him up with all the proper documentation and instructions. As soon as I got to the neonatalogy room, I scooped him up because he was hollering.....and he immediately settled down and fell asleep. That is, until I had to leave him again to go sign papers with the hospital director! I thought well, there's nothing unusual about this baby...he already prefers to be held! :)

As long as he continues to take milk well, the biggest challenge I can see is the twice daily cleaning of his little plaque, and then returning it to its proper position with some special "glue". When the baby weighs 5 kilos (11 pounds) he will undergo his first surgery.

All we know of the mother is that she just turned 19, is from the countryside, and showed signs of rejection even before he was born. The birth was difficult and when the baby emerged, the cord was around his neck and he needed oxygen and incubation for 6 days. He also had a systemic infection requiring antibiotics. When the mother first saw him, her reactions were even stronger and she refused to hear anything about him, even when staff tried to explain that his condition is operable. On December 26 she left the hospital and didn't return. (We will carry out all necessary investigations.)

Passing him off to the tias this morning! When we got to the house, the very first child to greet us was actually Twin K, visiting from Casa de Amor III for the weekly speech therapy classes. Looking at her, doing so well now after two surgeries, made me think of the long road ahead for baby M, but how worth it it will be!

From there we sat down with the tias in the playroom to introduce the baby to the older children in particular, who were already making faces and all sorts of shocked comments about the new baby's mouth and nose. I explained that baby M was born this way, just as our little girl J was born with different eyes. It will take some getting used to, but we recalled how very quickly they adapted to J's special needs!

(Little boy B only now met the new baby because he had a play day at Casa de Amor II. Once again highlighting how unique every child is, he dashed over to meet the new baby, pointed and declared with his ever present smile "LOOK, the baby has a BEAK!" and dashed off to another room...!)

Open your eyes, baby... :)

About HALF of the mountain of gifts we were sent off with this morning at the hospital! More clothes than any one newborn could use, a heap of soft blankets, socks, diapers, baby wash, 3 brands of formula, two diaper bags, and more. What a blessed little baby already!

Addendum: ironically, the mother went to the hospital today looking for the baby, about an hour after I had brought him home. However, it seems her intentions were anything but good, so the hospital was relieved that he was already legally here with us!

First adoption of the year!

Our first adoption of 2012 couldn't be off to a better start!

After a really difficult adoption that didn't go through at the end of 2011, it's been a special delight to watch this older, first-time-parents-Italian-couple, literally race after our dear JG (age 5) as he introduces them to his home and life up till now!

Leaving the old, passing to the new...

Their first meeting was yesterday, December 5. Since beginning paperwork, this couple has waited over 5 years for their child!

Just a few minutes into the first meeting, JG had a rough moment as he worried if his new parents were already going to leave him, and also realizing that he wasn't leaving to go with them that very day.

Looking through his picture album while Tio David films with the couple's camera.

Pray for our dear JG's continual adaptation to his new family, and the accompanying changes in language, culture, and eventually environment when they travel to Italy together sometime at the end of February, Lord willing!