Update 2018: Nikki recently completed *Charlotte’s adoption in June of 2017! *Charlotte’s real name is Deepa. You can follow Nikki and Deepa’s journey here! She also updates this Facebook page every time she posts a new blog, as well as randomly doing Facebook-specific updates. Nikki continues to foster at Courage Home Purple alongside co-foster mom, Merissa, who also recently adopted a child from SCH; however, she will transition out next month, for reasons shared below.
PD: Nikki is sitting on the balcony w/ Deepa standing in front of her, wearing a traditional Indian outfit of a cream embroidered top w/ a gauzy pink & gold skirt that has paisley appliques. Nikki holds Deepa’s hand & gazes at her w/ a smile; Deepa faces the camera, also w/ a large smile & 2 pigtails in her hair.
Deepa is no longer the youngest child in the family – she has been joined by 1 younger sibling (who has since been adopted, as well!), as well as 2 elder siblings. She now lives off-campus with mom, Nikki, and attends mainstream private school in her community, starting this year for the first time ever!
Deepa navigates her surroundings using a guide cane and is learning to read Braille, by practicing pre-Braille skills such as tracking, the method by which Braille is read – ‘tracking’ the Braille letters from left to right, as well as doing activities to discriminate between different objects and textures. She can now read short words and knows nearly the entire alphabet aside from some difficult letters. Deepa loves to sing and dance! she attends voice and Western dance lessons regularly.
Deepa and Nikki took a trip to Thailand to celebrate the adoption completion. As soon as it is possible, they will apply for a Canadian visa and obtained it. Nikki has made the difficult decision to transition to Canada in April, where Deepa can reap the benefits of more tailored school, therapy, and greater opportunity to practice her guide cane skills, as well as having the support of extended family. It is a heartbreaking decision for anyone to have to make, but will ultimately help mommy and daughter to bond even more and give so many important benefits. Deepa has come so far, and this move will help her learn and grow to her best potential.
At just a year old, *Charlotte is the youngest foster child in the home. She arrived just over a month ago with her foster sister, *Chloe, who has similar needs (they are both blind). Nikki has written a few blogs about *Charlotte, as has Tori, her former foster mom, and for good reason – she has been making sooo much progress! She is learning to let her family love her. She is meeting the goals Nikki has made for her development. She is bearing weight on her legs and standing supported by the balcony railing for more than 30 minutes at a time, as well as taking a few steps with support from her foster moms.
She receives two types of therapy. She has discovered that she loves to play in water – the family recently took a trip to the water park, and *Charlotte was so calm and seemed to enjoy herself! Little *Charlotte is learning to play for the first time in her life! Can you imagine a childhood without knowing how to play? This is an all-too-common occurrence for children who have lived in institutions.
Luckily, with early intervention, *Charlotte is thriving! She is overcoming her preference for sleeping on the floor and is now learning how it feels to sleep in a warm bed at night with her family close. As the youngest child in the family, she is certainly getting lots of love (not to mention, sparking some mild jealousy from her other siblings!), as well as growing and developing every day. Help *Charlotte continue to improve! Send your love, your well-wishes, and/or your prayers to India.
An important part of SCH’s work is YOU! SCH relies on donations to keep running. Donation opportunities include child sponsors at any cost per month, from as low as $25/month. Sponsorship usually costs between $300 and $500 per child, depending on complexity of needs and which city they live in (Ongole or Hyderabad).
You can sponsor any child who needs additional funding at SCH by using the resources found here. Use these resources to get involved in other ways, such as becoming an advocate or volunteering. You can also become a medical sponsor (ideal for large groups or organizations who wish to support SCH) and donate toward monthly emergency medical expenses; or become an educational sponsor and donate toward a specific on-site school. Learn about other ways to give charitably to SCH here, and check back often for additional opportunities.
*A note about names: SCH uses online nicknames for the children in order to protect their identity, per Indian governmental guidelines which state that children in care may not have identifying photos of them on the internet, as well as no identifying information such as birth name, place of origin, etc.
You can also send gifts via Amazon India, make a one-time, general donation, pray if that is your calling, or volunteer at home or in India yourself by using these resources!
Please help spread the word, keep SCH in your thoughts and prayers, and give if you are able. Every little bit helps – even advocacy! Speaking of, you can become an advocate for SCH here.
PD: the SCH logo – black text reads ‘sch’; red text below reads ‘sarah’s covenant homes’; heart-shaped flowers bloom from the name.