Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Moving Day

The last month or so at CDA has been a bit crazy. We're going through a lot of big changes, and they've all come at once. It was recently decided that a good way to cut back on expenses was to cut down on the number of homes we have. We had three houses- one for babies, one for big girls and one for big boys. This past weekend, the boys and girls switched houses (easy enough as the houses are on the same street, about a block apart) and today, the babies moved in with the big girls. I hate for them to leave the Baby House... After living there for 2 years, I have so many great memories, but alas, the day came and they moved. 

We dropped the toddlers off after Angel's party and got to see how everyone was doing. It's a MESS. Seriously there is so much stuff every where. It's funny to see how Bolivians move houses compared to how Americans move. We pack every thing up in boxes and keep it organized and here they literally just throw it all in the car, clothes wrapped up in bed sheets and every thing else just piled wherever it fits to make the move. 

For now, the girls are thrilled to be living with the babies and claim that they will help care for them. I give it a few days before they start driving the tías crazy, but they were helpful tonight as the tías had so much organizing and cleaning to do. The poor babies are totally out of their element so it may be a long night for every one! We didn't stay long but I did get a few pictures... The big girls wanted to show off their new rooms!

 A.M. has no biological siblings but always says G. is her little brother. She is SO happy to be living with him!

You can't see the mess too much but it's there, I promise!

New rooms for the babies

 She said "Tía Hannah, you haven't seen my room yet!" I asked her what she was waiting for to show it to me and she immediately hopped up in her bed and said "Here it is!"

Copy-cat R. also wanted her picture taken in bed which set off a chain reaction that had me taking pictures of every one!

Oh, you're the first one asleep? I don't buy it!

Just kidding! Wide awake with no sleep in sight!

 Work it girl.

 "Take my picture!"

If you wet your pants, we may not be able to find you a change of underwear...

She knows how to smile after all!

Angel's birthday!

I know a certain person has been DYING all day at the thought of me seeing her hijo tonight and I might never hear the end of it if these pictures don't get posted before I go to bed... ;)

Back in September 2013, Carmin arrived and I became the one to care for her. For the entire rest of the month, Lindsey and I both suffered as she drove me crazy, begging me daily to let her help me with Carmin and we both prayed desperately for a boy to arrive for her. It was a LONG month for all of us! FINALLY, exactly a month after Carmin was born, Angel arrived to the hogar and we were thrilled! He was exactly the baby she'd dreamed of. He was a high maintenance baby to say the least, but love is blind and she thought he was perfect. We've always said his life has been a bit of a soap opera and anything that you could've thought of, happened. After his first adoption was disrupted, he was assigned the most wonderful mother who couldn't possibly love him more! We were so happy for both of them.

This past May he left with his mom and his adoption has recently been finalized. Today he turns 2 years old (according to paperwork... we aren't convinced it's really his birthday though), and we were invited to his party! His mom picked up the four oldest from the baby house and I met them there after work. Angel has gotten so big, but his little face still looks exactly the same! You can tell he's so happy with his family and they're all in love with him. Although his mom is Bolivian, she and most of their family live in Italy and he's already understanding quite a bit of Italian! He talks, runs and plays just like a big boy. He's obsessed with the Cars movie so that was the theme of his party. Even his shoes were Cars! He wanted no part of sitting still for pictures but I did get a few :)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Feliz Cumpleaños, D.!

Today is D.'s much-anticipated 8th birthday! He got to go to church and out to lunch with Sarah and then we celebrated with him this afternoon. He's been requesting a Lego cake for MONTHS and although I did my best to make it look like Lego blocks, it wasn't quite up to his expectations. Maybe next year! He did have a great time celebrating with the other kids though and happily obliged when they started screaming at him to bite the cake! I think Tía Luz was the one who actually pushed his face into it! The kids insisted they were too full for dinner after cake, so cake combined with flan and soda made for a nice, healthy dinner... What can I say? You only turn 8 once!

*Side note... Casa de Amor is going through quite a bit of changes at the moment, and the kids are pretty upset about some things. While the birthday celebration was a nice break from everything, emotions started catching up with them toward the end of the night. There were lots of tears and talks. Please keep our big kids (everyone really, but especially them) in your prayers!

He was eating popcorn with a spoon...

Saturday, September 26, 2015

I now pronounce you husband and wife!

Tonight was a very special night as Tía Nilda got married! The ceremony took place at the church where they met (fun fact- they were both sponsored through Compassion which has a program at this church in Chulla where the majority of the tías live and that's how they met) and then we all were taken to the reception. 

It was my first Bolivian wedding, and the ceremony was short and sweet and overall pretty similar to a wedding you'd attend in the States. Nilda's nieces were flower girls, another niece brought the rings (apparently girls do that instead of boys!), and a nephew brought the Bible. Although I think several girls were her bridesmaids, they do not stand at the front, and the groom doesn't have groomsmen either. 

At the reception, we waited and waited on Nilda and Luis to arrive. After over an hour, someone received a call saying that the car they were in had broken down. Someone else went to retrieve them and then the party started. Unfortunately as it was already almost 9pm, I had to leave as I knew I would have a hard time getting home if I stayed much later. I was able to see them receiving their gifts (you bring gifts to the wedding) and then a Mariachi band arrived and they danced a little. I left right as dinner was being served. I was told they'd be celebrating at least until midnight.

It was a fun night and I wished I'd been able to stay longer! Several CDA tías are related to Nilda so they were all there. I also saw a few others who were invited and a favorite former tía (Jenni) and her baby too! I also met lots of Nilda's family who came in town for the wedding. The funny thing is whenever I'm at parties with the tías, their family members tend to think I don't speak/understand Spanish so they always start talking to me very slowly and with lots of hand motions. It's always funny to see their faces when I do start talking to them. 

I wasn't able to take many pictures, but here are a few!

Tía Lucy: "I can't smile in pictures. I don't know why, but I just can't."

In Bolivia, you do not have a civil and religious ceremony at the same time. If you only get married in the church, your marriage is recognized in the church but not legally. If you get married in a civil ceremony, your marriage is recognized legally but not in the church. You can choose to have one or the other or you can have both. Tía Benita and her husband (Nilda's brother) were the "padrinos" (godparents) of the civil ceremony for Nilda and Luis. Basically it means they paid the fee for them to have their civil ceremony which took place earlier this afternoon at the Civil Registry. Nilda and Luis chose to have both ceremonies so their marriage would be recognized by everyone. As padrinos, Benita and her husband sat at the table at the front with Nilda and Luis and were also asked to dance with them during the reception.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Just some pictures!

Just some pictures of the kids taken during the last month or so...