Here in Bolivia, the Bible Society started a new program that consists of giving orphanages school materials and books. Last week we had a visit with two representatives of the Bible Society. They visited with the kids, and gave them a few school supplies (color penciles, paper, small notebooks and glue). Plus each child received a sticker album for them to earn stickers. With the staff, we decided that the Dreamers will earn a sticker with each book they read. We also received a Bible and each child received a small children’s book of The Good Samaritan. We also got a few coloring books.
The children enjoyed the visit and the Bible Society said they will be back some time this year with more books.
Most of our Dreamers were adopted as toddlers; but a couple years back, a seven year old Dreamer was adopted by a wonderful couple in Spain. Being an older Dreamer, she was very much missed by the girls around her age.
Her adoptive parents remained in contact and a few weeks ago we were able to coordinate a Skype chat with Carolina in Spain!
The Dreamers were surprised to hear her speak in a different Spanish accent, learn that its snowing in Spain, while they’re in the summer, and learn that for Carolina it was late in the evening instead of early afternoon. It was a happy, cyber-reunion!!
Why we do what we do….
… and the many other children who call the House of Dreams home.
Thank you to everyone who has visited, volunteered, given donations, given finances, sent packages, sent encouraging words, prayed, cared about, helped in visible ways, helped in unseen ways, and were a part of making dreams come true here in Cochabamba, Bolivia for the Dreamers at the House of Dreams. May this coming year be one of great growth, peace, and prosperity for you and yours. God bless you!
I’d like to present a special need of one of our Dreamers.
From Monday to Friday of this week, all of the Dreamers are receiving free dental care at a post-graduate institute. Already there have been several cavities filled, a few baby teeth pulled, all have had their teeth cleaned and floride treatments. By the end of the week all of the Dreamers smiles will be complete…except one.
Estefani’s Dr. informed us that she very much needs braces, several of her permanent teeth are not coming in corretly, among other corrections that need to be made. While the rest of the dental care for the Dreamers are covered by the scholarship, braces are not. The entire cost for Estefani from start to finish will be $450.
This year, I noticed that Estefani smiles with her mouth closed in all her pictures, she’s become self-conscious about her teeth.
Please contact us if you would like to take part in covering the costs for Estefani’s braces so that she can once again smile big.
The urgency needed a name. I called him Joshua. On the other side of town, in a hospital stuck in a perpetual state of overcrowded and barely operational, a baby laid in a crib of steel bars. I prayed for this baby, prayed hard.
Two Sundays ago a doctor in our church had a chat with me. She had been in a small village post for over two months and was just back in town for a few days. She described the hardships of working with people of such high needs and such little resources. She talked of loneliness. I talked of the grace of God preparing her for her desire to work as a medical missionary. At the end of the conversation she asked if our orphanage took in babies.
“There is a newborn baby in a hospital I know of who was taken from his mother after she tried to kill him twice. Could he come to your orphanage?”
I told her I would consult with our director. She would know what to do. I knew that the best thing for the baby boy would be to find him an adoptive family before he got all caught up in the system. I knew of a few couples looking to adopt.
So I talked with Marisol. We began to pray. I talked with another couple, they began to pray. Marisol told me that a lady at her husband’s work was interested and would be visiting the boy. They want to adopt him!
If you would like to continue praying for this precious baby boy I call Joshua, you may. Currently the couple who wants to adopt him is working with their lawyer to do things properly. These things are never simple.
I consider it a high honor and a thrill to help children in crisis. Thank you to all who enable us provide hope to these kids by praying for us, giving financially, and encouraging us. Blessings to you!
The girls put on their Sunday’s best. The boys slicked back their hair. We were all super excited about a visit from a Dreamer who once lived in The House of Dreams. She is now with her mother and father on the other side of the world. This visit came because they were in town picking up a brother for their daughter. They returned for a second adoption! What a wonderful thing!
It was so good to talk with the parents and meet their new son, a four year old from another orphanage in town. I am so happy for our little Dreamer as she will have a sibling now. She was just a toddler when she left us, so she only remembered one other Dreamer still here. But she was happy to hand out candy and toys to all the children.
The father let the Dreamers gather around to watch home videos of their life. Meanwhile, the mother and I spoke at length about our adoption experiences.
They met Marisol and talked with her as well. They were extremely impressed with the improvements she has made in the home. They complimented her on how well behaved and happy the children all are. Thy really enjoyed coming to see everyone and allowing their daughter to see where she is from.
As I was driving them back to their temporary home while the adoption of their son goes through we talked about the orphan crisis here in Bolivia. We talked about the doors closing to international adoptions. We talked about the home where their son came from where there are 180 children under the age of 6 living in a single institution. We talked about our hard decision to dedicate ourselves to raising the 15 kids who call the House of Dreams home.
“Angie, how can you look around at such great need in the city and say you are not going to accept any more children in your orphanage?” the mother asked. She didn’t ask with a critical voice. Rather, she simply wondered about how our hearts must struggle.
“It is extremely hard,” I told them, “to be surrounded by such need. But we want to break the cycle. If we accepted more children and stretched ourselves thin doing a poor job in caring for the kids then what good does it do? By dedicating ourselves to these children we hope to break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness for these 15 kids. They will have solid educations. They will be productive members of society. They will have a healthy concept of family.”
If you would like to help us raise these Dreamers we invite you to do so. You can help by giving a monthly financial gift. That helps with food, glasses, rent, salaries, and all that goes into running a home. Check out the sponsor page for information on how to donate. Thanks!
On Sundays, the Dreamers usually go to Sunday School in the morning. After Sunday School, they come home and eat lunch before heading to the park to spend the better part of the afternoon. We usually let them play until they ask to go home. By the time we are finished, they are completely worn out.
An exhausted Shirley after a long afternoon at the park.
The kids have a great time playing, which they love. The tias love it because it wears the Dreamers out, making for a more laid back evening, as well as an easier and usually earlier bedtime. Everybody wins. We all love the park.
The male figures in the lives of the Dreamers are called ‘Tios’, uncles. We know that the consistent role models of the men who remain in their lives make a tremendous impact in their formation.
The Dreamers love and respect their Tio Romon. The Gore family (Romon, his wife Melinda, and their two girls) are dedicated long term volunteers with Christ Nation Ministries. Romon is our volunteer coordinator, amongst other vital roles. He also has a set schedule working in the orphanage. We are very grateful for his role in the lives of all the children.
Tio Romon is going to be taking a trip to the States for a few weeks. He will be strengthening relationships with the people who donate finances to support their mission work here in Bolivia. He will also be speaking with new people who may choose to join them by becoming financial partners or connect with them by praying for and encouraging them as they serve the Bolivian people. Last, but not least, he will be visiting family and friends.
I know that those who read this blog care for the children of the House of Dreams, but also care for the workers who make this house run. So in that same spirit of care I would ask that you would pray for the Gore family during Tio Romon’s trip.
Going beyond prayer you may be interested in inviting Romon to speak for a group of people. What better way to connect with the House of Dreams than sitting down and talking with a person who lives it all first hand? You can contact him here or on facebook to see if you can coordinate a visit.
A family in the U.S. sees our birthday list here on the blog. They get a great idea to send birthday packages. You should see how excited the kids get when a package comes! Sometimes I conceal the goodness in a large, boring looking purse so that I don’t get mauled when I come to the House of Dreams bearing gifts. It is so fun! And those cards? Handmade. Yes, sir. By the children of the family who cares for the Dreamers. So cool! The mom always writes a sweet note to each birthday kid letting them know that they are loved and that God is watching out for them. I just think this family is wonderful!
Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Stansfield, Victoria, Sarah, Katie, Lydia, Ben, Leah, Gabriel and Oliver!
If you want to join in on the birthday fun let me know and I will give you the sending instructions.
It was to be expected that the youngest children would be adopted quicker. After age seven chances are bleak that an adoption takes place. In general adoptive parents choose younger kids. Also, the older the child is the greater the likelihood that there are difficult circumstances surrounding their case which prolongs the adoption readiness process.
It’s no accident that the majority of the Dreamers form parts of sibling groups. Bolivian law requires that siblings be adopted together. There are exceptions, but only in the cases where the siblings cannot be located or have been separated for a long time, such as two children placed in different orphanages.
Recently a beautiful sibling group was adopted from an orphanage ran by a friend of ours here in Cochabamba. This was an international adoption as well. What joy! I was so pleased to see that take place. It raised my hopes a little bit for the sibling groups in our home.
We have sisters:
We have brothers:
We have a brother and a sister:
And we have a sister and her two younger brothers:
This is an old picture. I need to update my sibling photos.
9 of 15 (60%) of the Dreamers are in sibling groups. Should God decide to place them in adoptive families then we will be so happy for them. It may be that the statistics win out and they spend the rest of their growing up years with us. If that is the case I have decided to make this home a family so that they know they always belong.
Please pray that their hearts are protected and secure and that they know they are loved. Thank you.