We are so incredibly thankful to Steyning Grammar school in England for all the wonderful support they have given us over the years. Their fearless leader, Tim Treadwell, deserves a huge round of applause for keeping the kids, staff, and parents motivated. The energy and creativity they have put into extending such heartfelt generosity towards The House of Dreams Orphanage here in Cochabamba, Bolivia astounds me. From selling cakes, to running concession stands, to a day of sponsored silence they have truly rallied to assist us.
The efforts from the students of Year 7 helped in the following areas:
Covered one month of salaries for the caregivers, who are affectionately called “Tias” (Aunts)
Paid for one month of transportation costs… getting 15 kids to and from school and around town for their appointments and activities adds up
Bought one week’s worth of food for the orphanage
We really could not provide such a great home for these kids were it not for the individuals, such as the Steyning Grammar group, who help with financial donations. Thank you so much!
Enjoy this little video as a special thanks….
(The volume may be low, you might want to turn up your sound)
Please consider following the lead of these students and join us to help provide a safe and loving home for the Dreamers at The House of Dreams. Contact us for more information on how to give.
Advocacy means taking upon oneself the needs of others and carrying them before those who could meet those needs. It’s speaking up. It’s sharing. It’s swallowing inhibitions and taking action. It’s pushing past fatigue and asking the hard questions.
Much of what I do for the Dreamers takes place as I face the screen. I forge relationships online. We correspond. And it excites me to no end when a connection I foster creates a lifelong effect in the lives of those who have no voice of their own. I am honored to be their voice.
But right now, I step out form behind the screen and I get to advocate on behalf of the orphans as I look into the eyes of people. I get to shake hands with complete strangers in search of a touch of humanity. I get to talk from my heart about Bolivia and the Bolivian people.
If you wouldn’t mind, I would appreciate prayers be made on behalf of the children. Pray for clarity of communication. Pray for new relationships. Pray for me to be an advocate with the perfect balance of boldness and humility. Thank you.
I will be in the States until the beginning of November. I will be a part of various gatherings. If you happen to see me please come up and say hello. Introduce yourself and let me know you, too, in your own way, are an advocate for those who have no voice.
We waited in the front room. She bounced a balloon around, a remnant from her party on Saturday.
“Who’s coming today?” I ask.
“Mommy and daddy!” she said with a grin.
“And what are you going to do with your daddy?”
“My daddy is coming and he is going to give me candy.” More smiles. More balloon bopping.
“And what are you going to do with your mommy?”
“My mommy is going to give me cookies.”
The door bell rings. She squeals, giggles, and runs to hind under the desk to surprise them when they walk through the door.
With minutes to spare before the ride to the court house they whisk their little one upstairs to get all dolled up in crisp new clothes. Hair pinned up. Shiny white patten leather shoes. And a smile that won’t stop.
Some quick pics on the porch. The sweet social workers hurry all out to the cab. I crouch down next to Alicia and wrap my arms around her body. Flashbacks to her tiny newborn body resting against my chest. “I love you,” is all I can squeak out without tearing up. A hug and kisses on both cheeks for the proud parents. Reciprocal gratitude. Propped up on her mommy’s lap with her face against the window we wave happy waves.
Thank you for gracing us with your presence, Alicia. You are so very blessed. And we are so very blessed to have had you step into our lives these four years.
I came through the door of the girls’ room. Her parents were trying to solve the conundrum that is velcro shoes and failing miserably. They laughed and tossed their hands up in the air as their little girl showed them how it’s done. In the middle of her task of pink shoe fastening she caught sight of me out of the corner of her eye. She ran towards me with arms open wide and the hugest smile I have ever seen on her beautiful face. She lunged forward and embraced… the plastic yellow bag I held in my hands.
“The photos! The photos!” she squealed pawing at the package like a kitten with a ball of yarn. After a quick introduction and many kisses on both cheeks from the Italian ‘mami’ and ‘papi’ I pulled out my stack. I handed the most recent photo to Alicia and let her show it proudly to the other children while I talked with the parents. They were so grateful to have the pictures of when she was just a newborn. The dad returned to tending to the daughter and the mother rescued the print from her little hands and placed it safely back in the bundle.
We all headed outside to take some more pictures in the sun. What a precious little family! They told me about their plans for their daughter’s birthday party at the orphanage on Saturday afternoon. I look forward to chatting with them more about their story. Sometime early next week they will get to take her to stay with them as they finish up all the paperwork before they head home. I just love adoptions!
Aren’t they perfect?
Have you ever seen a happier girl?
Alicia was quite talkative as she told me about the airplane they would be getting on to go to their house. Let’s keep praying that the transition time keeps being just as wonderful as it has been so far.
Every volunteer that comes is encouraged to share their talents with the kids. This gives the volunteers an opportunity to do something that they like and are good at, and gives the kids an opportunity to try something new. From arts and crafts to sports, the kids are always getting a chance to try something new. This time, it was music.
Estefani showing off her recorder for the camera.
The Dreamers have been so funny running around playing their recorders. They have been slowly learning a few songs. Some like to learn to play them more than others.
Maybe you have a special talent that you would like to share with the Dreamers. Why not consider volunteering at the House of Dreams?
“For the last six years in everything we’ve done he has been in our hearts.” The mother with the name ‘Hope’, a much better name in Spanish ‘Esperanza’, shared her story of a six year long wait for their son. Every two seconds her face glanced down to the happy three year old playing at our feet. The conversation paused as we both, as adoptive mothers, absorbed the weight of the moment. Vladi looked up and reached his arms up to the beautiful Spanish woman who smiled at him. “Hold me,” he said with a cute little toddler lisp that she understood perfectly. She has been holding him in her being since before the day he came to be.
I never tire of the retelling of precious moments shared as the new families forge a bond. The father, who shares a name with one of the children here at the House of Dreams, Jose Luis, told me, “We went to the park this morning and Vladi picked a flower and gave it to his mommy.” The man’s blue eyes danced as he bubbled over with adoration for his son.
He added, “The day they told us to come in to the office to find out who our child would be we kept asking each other, ‘A boy? Or a girl? A boy? Or a girl?’ Then they told us, ‘A boy!’” He stopped with his hand on his chest. The tears in his eyes said more than any word ever could.
February 2011: Three Turn Three – A plea for prayer for the adoptions of our youngest children in the House of Dreams.
November 2011: Our Three Year Old Kids – An update of the adoption process. Bridgit was adopted! Vladi was assigned… and then not. Alicia’s case was freed from a mountain of paperwork and she was assigned to a family. (The green words)
January 2012: Today. Updates in fuchsia.
1) …ready to go at any time and are just waiting for assignment to a family. Vladimir got assigned and then due to some complications the parents from overseas decided to back out. Currently a member of our church, who volunteers at the House of Dreams, is attempting to adopt him. Please pray that she is successful. So, the big news here is that the international adoption is back on. The parents were able to get some things resolved in order to not have to redo the whole process, rather to continue on with the adoption from the place things left off last year. They are just waiting for the green light from the courts to come get their son any day now!
2) For Alicia we are facing issues of paperwork. We are submitting (for the third time) paperwork and forms that were “lost” by social services or the courts. Without going into too much drama suffice it to say that this round of papers need to stay found so that this little Dreamer can be found by a family. I am happy to say that Alicia’s paperwork went through and she has been assigned to a family from another country who could receive word to come get their child any day. We would love for you to rejoice with us on the progress made with her case and pray that the adoption happens soon without complications. To give you a time frame this could happen anytime between this week and months from now. We would prefer sooner than later. Good news here is that things are still moving forward. There have been no problems and Alicia’s parents are also just waiting for the permission to come get their girl.
3) …My hope is that this year all three of them are adopted. Would you join me in praying for them? Let’s keep praying that Vladi’s and Alicia’s adoptions go through soon. It was mid February of 2011 when I asked you all to pray that these three get adopted within the year. With the glimmer of hope of this actually might become a reality I ask you to not give up praying with us that in these next few weeks some beautiful families are united. Thank you for being a part of these dreams-coming-true stories.
You can print this out and peg it somewhere as a reminder to pray if you like. Thanks so much!
There are three Dreamers who will turn three this year. Yep, they all turned three.
Two of them are ready to go at any time and are just waiting for assignment to a family. Little Bridgit got assigned and adopted. Yeah! Vladimir got assigned and then due to some complications the parents from overseas decided to back out. Currently a member of our church, who volunteers at the House of Dreams, is attempting to adopt him. Please pray that she is successful.
We know there are many families waiting for children so the in between people need to move things along so that an adoption connection can take place. This is an ongoing reality for 8 children in our home at this stage.
For the third little one we are facing issues of paperwork. We are submitting (for the third time) paperwork and forms that were “lost” by social services or the courts. Without going into too much drama suffice it to say that this round of papers need to stay found so that this little Dreamer can be found by a family. I am happy to say that Alicia’s paperwork went through and she has been assigned to a family from another country who could receive word to come get their child any day. We would love for you to rejoice with us on the progress made with her case and pray that the adoption happens soon without complications. To give you a time frame this could happen anytime between this week and months from now. We would prefer sooner than later.
…My hope is that this year all three of them are adopted. Would you join me in praying for them? Bridgit’s parents sent us an update that everything is going really well and they are all happy. Let’s keep praying that Vladi’s and Alicia’s adoptions go through soon.
Maybe you can grab these pics to print and help us to pray for them. Thanks!
Sunday, September 11th I found myself singing along in Spanish to the English worship songs at a new church in Omaha, Nebraska. How amazing that they sing some of the same songs we do down here. Florence Christian (home church of my sister, my brother-in-law and their girls) invited me to come share at their Sunday School and at their main service. I felt honored to represent Christ Nation Ministries and The House of Dreams orphanage to a whole new group of people. Pastor Jeff, his wife Angie and their mission board welcomed me with open arms.
I showed a slide show, shared some stories and invited the people to join us in reaching the people of Bolivia. From the response of questions and talks with people after the service it was clear that many looked favorably on the work expressing desire to remain connected. Oh happy day!
I brought my brag book which consisted of printed copies of the pictures on the Kid Pics page. Just days before my trip I updated the shots, check it out if you haven’t already. All the kids have gotten so big!
You can watch the slide show here:
We are organizing visits to churches and groups. If you would like us to share then let us know. Thanks!
The mother sells cars. Her daughter chooses cars from the toy box to play with as her toy of preference every time. The father beams an infectious smile. His daughter likewise charms with a toothy, giggly grin.
Eleven years ago in a land far, far away a couple married with hopes to form a family. After a five year fight against infertility the husband and wife sought other means to raise a child. They set their sites on Bolivia. How could they have known that six arduous years of starts and stops would bring them to this little orphanage at this time? With the options wide open they awaited the court assignment. Boy? Girl? Older? Younger? They readied themselves for whatever fate would bring. With tears in her eyes the mother told me, “When they told me that we could go get our little girl I was astonished. Now look at this precious treasure. My precious little daughter!”
Bridgit has found a match made in Heaven. We are so happy for the youngest little Dreamer as she starts her new life with her mama and papa.
More information concerning adoptions can be found on our ‘Adoption‘ page. Please pray and consider becoming an adoptive parent.