Current Child Count

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

Friday, December 12, 2014

Shop & Support Casa de Amor!

Global Orphan Assistance League (Casa de Amor)


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Happy 10th Anniversary!!!

On December 3, 2004, we received our first baby, a 12 month old boy from a jail/street life! He now lives with his loving parents and sister in Italy (I visited him last year!), but he launched the adventure that continues today.

Special thanks to VivaBolivia for the grant to print our invitations and a little gift (below)!

Our calendar bookmarks! (Reverse side lists the requirements for Bolivian adoption.)

This week has been full of anniversary preparations and activities to celebrate the milestone! On December 3rd, we were blessed to be able to celebrate in government facilities downtown on our pretty main plaza. Here are a few pictures of that morning!

Getting set up (my four kids!)

Sophia socializing with some of CDA's babies

Seven years in a row of nativity pictures featuring a "baby Jesus" and our kids! 

TEN years of group pictures, beginning with our first arrival (start at top left corner and go left to right)

Display of hand prints of our current children

With permission from the mother, pictures of twin boys we cared for until their mother was more stable

Also with permission, pictures of the famous "triplets of gold" (as the press called them) that we cared for 13 months, until they went to live with their mother and doting godparents

 Display of the different areas of work of Casa de Amor Children's Homes

Speakers: Dra. Patricia Gisbert of Child Defense, Dr. Freddy San Millan (Director of SEDEGES), Jennifer Beaty (Founder/Director Casa de Amor), Celia Jordan (President of Bolivian Adoptive Parents Association), Maria Medina (CDA Health Coordinator)
Our administrator/social worker Rosa Sarzuri was the Master of Ceremonies

Lots of press came!!

 Not very far into the program, it was standing room only. I estimate nearly 100 people (many of those children) were present!

David, our accountant, presenting Jennifer with a very thoughtful gift, a plaque commemorating 10 years of service to Bolivia's children!

Maybe after another 10 years, everyone will know how to spell my last name (at which point, it will be officially Beaty and they'll have to start over learning, ha)...

Milling about for a long time after the event, catching up with new and old friends

It was a wonderful reunion of past children of our homes. So fun to see them all again!

Two mischievous girls (both in local adoptive families now)

The twin boys (so big!) and their mother (thanks for the picture, Hannah!)

The triplets on the front row with their mother

Jennifer with the triplets, all grown up (thanks, Carla Booher, for the picture!)

The next morning, Rosa and Jennifer got up early and went to a TV interview to share more about our work. As nerve-wracking as it was to sit down under those bright lights with cameras rolling and a well-dressed journalist, we had a great time! We might head back soon for a one hour long interview.

Many, MANY thanks to all of our faithful supporters who have made these ten years not only possible but so wonderful!!

Links to other blog posts and great pictures of our 10th anniversary celebration:


The Booher Family

Monday, July 28, 2014

Baby E post-op!

Baby E is home since Friday and doing well!! He has had his moments of not sleeping well and being in pain, but overall he is doing better and his cough is going away.

Thanks again to everyone who made this possible!

I'm grateful to our volunteer Hannah for caring for him at night since he was released from the hospital!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Reflux Surgery Update

As I wrote in this post, baby E has been diagnosed with severe reflux and needed surgery urgently. He entered the OR at 8:10 yesterday morning and the surgeon came out with a report at 10:50am. The surgery went well!

E was sent to a room at 3:30pm and slept alright last night, but this morning was in a lot of pain again.

He must be doing pretty well, because even though the surgeon said he thought he would be hospitalized 3 days, he might be released tomorrow, Friday!

Thanks so much to everyone who is praying...and giving!

The current donation count stands at $2,114, from 10 donors living in 4 different countries (US, UK, NZ, and Denmark).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Surgery. (Yes, another one!)

Thankfully our sweet baby D is doing marvelously after open heart surgery in May!

 Here are a couple recent pictures:

We're in the thick of surgery prep again though, this time for baby E (10 1/2 months). Since his arrival in February, he gets sick, then sicker. After many tests and a hospital stay, he comes home - sick. Then he gets sicker. And sicker! Back to the hospital, home sick. Repeat!

 A rare smile!

He has been diagnosed with several different infections this year, but mainly develops respiratory infections. Cold and cough type viruses are very common both in Cochabamba (3rd most polluted city in South America) and the Baby Home (the babies and staff pass colds around), but E seemed to have trouble to an unusual extent.

It has been so frustrating for our staff and volunteers doing their best, around the clock, to help this baby, and see him still suffering!

The "pre-haircut E"!

Finally, after numerous visits to many doctors, including two of the best pediatricians in town, a special study was done and E was diagnosed with severe acid reflux. He doesn't throw up to a large degree, but it's almost worse that he doesn't! The milk we give him goes back into his right lung every time he eats.

Earlier this month, we were told that he needed the surgery as soon as he was somewhat well again, preferably within a month's time. At that point he was receiving IV meds for pneumonia every 12 hours and STILL not improving. Finally, it just became too urgent, as his esophagus is compromised due to the terrible reflux.

Baby E. will be admitted to the best clinic in our city TOMORROW morning, Wednesday, July 24, and operated on an hour later.

Please pray for wisdom for the doctors, for peace and comfort for baby E., compassion and patience for those staying with him night and day, and for the rest of the funds to come in!!

Maria, our health coordinator, has estimated needing $3,000 to cover the surgery, even with the surgeon donating his time. Since posting the need on our Facebook page, $875 has come in through 3 donors (sending from Denmark, Ireland, and the US) via paypal. That's a great start but we need more!

Please let us know if you have any questions!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Creative Donors

In 2002, the dream of Casa de Amor began from my family's Christmas card list - perhaps 100 names.

Now, nearly 10 years after receiving our first child, Casa de Amor is blessed with friends far and wide!

Some of our biggest cheerleaders are former volunteers who have seen and experienced our ministry in Bolivia firsthand. (Most of baby D's heart surgery donors were former volunteers, as I mentioned I this post.)

Friends Savannah and Kristin of Nashville, Tennessee, have set up a neighborhood glass recycling program that funnels donations to our children. See the website of ¡Muchas Glassias! for more information and Savannah's wonderful pictures. Their regular donations have provided everything from a refrigerator for the new girl's home to Christmas baskets for our staff.

My parents are also pretty awesome cheerleaders! They met Josh and April Samuels at their church. The Samuels have begun ellajude, a beautiful line of handcrafted jewelry. A percentage of their profits blesses Casa de Amor Children's Homes. Their first two donations have come at crucial times of need for us!

On behalf of our staff and children, thank you so much to these very creative supporters!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Successful Surgery!!!!!

We have been supremely blessed with generous financial gifts, an excellent surgeon, and timely visits by dedicated medical volunteers.
The reward is that this sweet baby...
...has a fully repaired heart!!
According to the surgeon, this was his first and LAST open heart surgery. Yay!!!
THANK YOU to everyone who has prayed, given, and volunteered by D's bedside.
Elizabeth, a nursing student from Texas, has been here for nearly 3 weeks pouring her life into baby D's. Read her wonderful blog updates here
Katrina from the Canada, US, and Bolivia (she lived here for 10 years as a missionary kid), spent much of her recent two week visit assisting with D and other medically related errands at Casa de Amor.
Melanie, a pediatric CVICU nurse from Texas, will be here in a few days to take up the baton!
The Booher family from Oregon, our enthusiastic Casa de Amor IV family, will take care of D once he is released from the hospital during this critical post-op recovery period.
Casa de Amor is so blessed!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

We have a surgery date!!!


Actually, a new surgery date.

It was heartbreaking to get so close to D’s original admittal for surgery (May 7) and have him get sick—very sick—only 3 days before. Instead of surgery, he was re-admitted to the private pediatric hospital with a respiratory infection and coronary heart disease.

We bailed him out one week later with a nasty cough and more meds, but he’s been doing very well under Elizabeth (and now Katrina Culmer’s) diligent care.

In fact, many different people have taken turns caring for baby D around the clock the past several months, often in total isolation from the other babies.

(If I’m forgetting anyone, let me know!)

Tia Maria has also given her all these past months.

Thanks to some great teamwork from Elizabeth, Katrina, and our favorite pediatrician, our new surgery date is May 22, with hospital admittance on May 19.


·        Prayer Support! We’re going to be nervous until he’s admitted. The city is full of viruses right now and it’s hard to stay free of them.

·        Financial Support! We have all the money we need for the surgery deposit (praise the Lord!), but need a cushion for medications, post-op tests, consultations, etc. Our current health funds are depleted after 3 months of constant illness. If 10 more people gave $100 each, we would be in a much better position as we move forward.

·        Local friends: take a turn! We have never had an inpatient at Clinica Belga (the heart hospital) and have learned that someone must be with our little patient around the clock. Our current volunteers have busy days (and nights) and our staff is fully occupied with all of our other babies. I will be creating a schedule soon - please write or comment here if you can help!! 

For those of you who have been waiting for information on donating blood, we think that’s taken care of for now! The doctors have changed their minds and say we only need 1 or 2 donors. We can easily reach that goal amongst our staff. More helpful at this point would be volunteers to stay at Daniel’s bedside before and after the surgery.

Thank you for your prayers and support! We are nearing the goal of a healthy baby! :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Baby D is Sick.

As we count down the days to admission (2) and heart surgery (4), baby D has gotten sick again.

Yesterday he woke up with discharge clouding his eyes, and as the volunteer and I talked about him, he coughing hoarsely.

Oh, the disappointment! This morning I sensed defeat in the voice of Maria, our over-worked health coordinator. The doctor gave him three medications and ordered lab work.

Maria has been unable to reach the heart surgeon to learn what happens now.

Please pray for God's perfect timing in all of this!!!

In other news, I just did a fresh tally of the finances that have come in specifically for this surgery.

Some interesting stats about the donations:

  • ELEVEN separate donors (some have given multiple times)
  • SIX different countries: US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and United Kingdom
  • EIGHT donors are former volunteers, and ONE donor will volunteer later this year
  • Average donation amount per donor: $400! 

Our current total (minus paypal fees) is approximately $4350. Our original goal was $4000, readjusted to $6000 to allow for more heart exams, lab work, post-op medication and consultations, and any other complications needing immediate funds.

Thank you to everyone who has given so sacrificially! I hope to report back with good news SOON.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Baby D's Heart Surgery!

For the first posts on Baby D and his condition, see here and here.


Baby D will be admitted to the heart clinic on Wednesday, May 7, for heart surgery on May 9! He is still about a pound shy of where he should be, but is currently healthy and progressing developmentally. Due to the chronic ear infections he has suffered through, he has been scheduled for auditory testing. 


We are so grateful for the dedication of volunteer Linnea to care for D around the clock and get him healthy and strong. She leaves Bolivia tomorrow morning to return to Canada, but return volunteer Lindsey is stepping in to fill the gap.

 Baby D with Volunteer Coordinator Elena
April 28, 2014

Last week when I sat down with our health coordinator, I realized how many details are involved. Maria had just spent the morning on 3 tests for the baby costing over $100. If that doesn’t sound like much, it’s a lot here in Bolivia. One of the things she found out is that we will need MANY blood donors. (An estimated 16?!)

Friends and volunteers in Cochabamba who are willing to donate blood: stay tuned for more details!

On the legal front, since baby D is a relatively new arrival for Casa de Amor, his official papers for his “shelter” in Casa de Amor had not yet been issued from the minors court. That’s normal but in this case we needed everything in line before the surgery. (By law, we have 72 hours to request legal shelter for each and every new arrival, but social services and the court can take months to process the papers.) Our social workers (Rosa and our new staff member Evelin) worked hard to get this loose end tied up so that we could present a report to the court with all the details of the surgery requesting permission to proceed. We expect a positive reply—this is more of a formality before embarking on major medical treatment.

We are very blessed to have two medical-minded volunteers arriving soon, our repeat volunteer "Canadian Katrina" and a repeat visitor to Bolivia, Elizabeth from Texas. They will be a huge help with all the special care baby D will need, and also our medical staff as they keep up with all of the other babies.
Financially, a HUGE THANK YOU to the TEN different sponsors of baby D’s life-saving surgery!! Every bit of what has been donated for baby D is going to baby D. Yesterday I transferred the first $3,500 to Bolivia so that our accountant can access it on time. All of the staff is marveling at how quickly we are able to move forward with this surgery!
We do need more to be able to pay for his post-op medications, tests, consultations, and anything else that might come up. Click HERE for information on making donations to Casa de Amor/GOAL. 

In summary:
~ Pray for baby D’s continual health and consistent weight gain

~ Pray for a sufficient number of blood donors (enough donors will reduce the total surgery cost)

~ Pray that the proper legal backing comes through in time

~ Pray that enough money comes in to be able to cover any extra expenses

A few more pictures of our volunteer get-together a couple of nights ago, thanking Linnea for her service to Casa de Amor:

My house looked like a second baby home, with quite the room full of babies - four babies ages 6 1/2 to almost 8 months!

 So fun! All of these babies can sit to some degree now.

And finally, we would be very grateful for any special donations towards health expenses in general right now. One of our newest babies, little boy E, was hospitalized twice at two different hospitals in the month of April with various illnesses that he has probably had since his arrival.
We have spent MORE THAN $2,000 on medical bills alone the month of April.  
Much of that was due to hospitalizations, but also because of the continual sicknesses we’ve battled at the Baby Home. Obviously, this went way over budget, and follows behind another high medical expense month in March. The babies are finally doing better thanks to a united effort on the part of the staff and volunteers, but it’s made it hard to meet other expenses like staff salaries and utility bills, now due.

Click HERE to see how to give via check or paypal.

Thank you to all of our supporters! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Baby D Update

It's time for an update on Baby D!

First of all, his diagnosis is a VSD (Ventricular septal defect) - and most of the symptoms associated with that - and a PFO (Patent Foramen Ovale) .

Currently, he is on two medications indefinitely.

He has struggled with repeated respiratory infections, a common issue with heart babies. He narrowly escaped hospitalization last week thanks in part to a valiant effort by Casa de Amor staff and volunteers.

Baby D currently weighs 4.8 kilos but needs to weigh SIX kilos for his heart surgery to take place. Pray that he begins to tolerate more formula at each feeding!

From past surgeries, we know that a little one going through such an experience needs lot of extra TLC. It's also best if the least number of people possible are involved to provide the best continuity of care. That's why it was pretty neat when a nurse visitor to the Baby Home was captivated by our tiny Baby D and asked if she could change her plans and come back in May! (Read her blog post on falling in love with our baby here.)

NOW the trick will be getting D healthy enough and big enough by May for the surgery, plus coordinating with the doctors and Clinica Belga!

At least we won't be held up by lack of funding. As mentioned in my last blog post, we have been told to budget at least $13,000 for the surgery and post-op hospitalization and medications. Tia Maria, our health care coordinator, was able to obtain a pledge of 70% of the funding from a Catholic foundation in our city. That is an AMAZING portion towards the surgery!

Donations to cover the remaining 30% have come in from far and wide - Australia, Canada, and the US. All of the donations have been from current or former volunteers with the exception of one family who explained that they understand the costs involved as they raise their own "heart baby".

At this point, only about $1,300 is still needed to reach our goal (yes, Linnea, a little more came in since you asked me this morning)!!!

Little D is a much-loved baby!

PS - For a few recent pictures, see volunteer Linnea's blog post!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Heart Surgery

Last month, we welcomed baby D to the Baby Home. It was obvious that he was very small and delayed for being four months old. He was closer to the size and developmental level of a newborn!

Our dedicated volunteers and health staff have poured extra attention into D, and he is slowly gaining weight and recovering from several illnesses. He is a sweet, generally quiet, little baby!

After several appointments with specialists, we learned more as to why D is not thriving. He has a heart defect that demands surgery as soon as possible. His life depends on it!

Throughout the years, Casa de Amor has received a number of babies who were found to have heart murmurs, and even one who needed two medications, but this will be the first time a defect is serious enough to warrant special intervention. 

We were in for a shock to hear how much this surgery will cost! Previous surgeries here in Bolivia, such as cleft lip or palate repairs, hernias, lazy eyes, etc., have cost us anywhere from 0 to several hundred dollars. This one is in a completely different ballpark!

The heart clinic told us to budget $12-13,000 for the heart surgery, plus more to cover any potential complications.

A substantial chunk of this amount is for the cardiologist. Once we are able to commit to a date for the surgery, we will know which pediatric cardiologist would be assigned to our baby, and could possibly negotiate a discount.

We trust that God brought us this precious baby for a reason, and that our team of supporters will be able to bless him with a life-changing surgery!

Please write Jennifer with any questions, or go directly to our support page for more information on giving.