January Birthdays

Today’s my birthday! I’m officially 24 years old as of 10:30-something this morning. 🙂 January is full of birthdays around here. My mom’s birthday is on the 11th, as is my cousin’s. My close friend’s is on the 22nd, my non-biological sister/best friend has one on the 29th. The three of us are turning 24, just about a week (or less) apart. Today, I’ll spend my day with my family and best sister-friend, and we will take a trip to a bowling alley where we will have cake and ice cream.

PD: A girl stands against a white wall, wearing a traditional Indian sari that is hot pink, blue, & gold w/ paisley accents & sparkly glitter. Her hands are at her sides, wearing blue bangles.

Across an ocean, though, there are some very special kids who also have January birthdays! They all happen to live at SCH (Sarah’s Covenant Homes, if you’re not familiar). One lives in Lydia & Merissa’s foster home, and three live in another foster home. I’m going to introduce you. If I had one wish on my birthday, it would be that all the kids and young adults be fully sponsored at SCH. In an effort to help, I wanted to advocate for some of the kids who have birthdays around the same time as mine. So, here goes.

Update 2019: *Chloe‘s family has come to pick her up and is home! She continues to thrive, walking independently with a guide cane and learning Braille at lightspeed!

Update 2017: *Chloe is now a chatterbox who attends a mainstream private school. She uses a guide cane to navigate her world and is learning to read Braille at Anjali School for the Blind in her home, Courage Home Purple, as well as learning beneficial pre-Braille skills such as object and texture discrimination and ‘tracking’, which his how you read Braille – tracking the words from left to right with your fingers. She loves to sing.

*Chloe turned 4 on the 18th! This is her first birthday spent with a family. She lives with Lydia & Merissa and her 11 foster siblings. Eldest foster sister *Promise has transitioned to a permanent home for older girls who live at SCH, and two new siblings were added to the family, bringing the grand total to 11. Since coming to SCH and moving in with her family, *Chloe has learned to walk, communicate using some simple sign language (and now speech!), and make sounds with her voice, including the ‘ah’ sound to indicate she would like some water, as well as a few words! *Chloe is blind, but that doesn’t stop her from being an adorable whirlwind :). For her birthday, she received a new dress, a pair of shoes, and a gift! *Chloe is very smart.

*Chloe is fully sponsored!

Another child living at SCH whose birthday is the 19th is *Nathan.

He is described as a gentle boy with a mild personality and expressive eyes. It appears that *Nathan is learning to sit with support. He has CP, epilepsy, and an intellectual disability. *Nathan uses a wheelchair to help properly position him, and so he can sit up and interact with his brothers!

He loves to sit outside in his wheelchair in the breezy evenings and look at nature. *Nathan receives physiotherapy 6x a week, and attends special education classes on-site. Nathan lives at Truth Home.

*Nathan needs $260/month more in sponsorship funds! Become one of *Nathan’s sponsors here.

Turning 8 on the 20th is *Palmer! *Palmer attends a mainstream private school where he excels and lives in Ongole, at Truth Home. He is autistic and has a mild intellectual disability. He is described as fun and active, spunky and energetic. He loves to play games like tag and to colour, and he eagerly and readily accepts challenges.

*Palmer needs $185/month more in sponsorship funds! Become one of *Palmer’s sponsors here.

Last but not least, *Elodie will turn 7 years old on the 31st! *Elodie smiles when people make lip-smacky, kissy noises at her, though she typically isn’t very active. *Elodie has  cerebral palsy, microcephaly, and a seizure disorder. *Elodie looks like she is growing up so fast. She lives at Anchor Home.

*Elodie is fully sponsored!

Update 2017: *Dinah receives hippotherapy (supported horseback riding), at a local stable. She now attends Anjali School for the Blind in her home, Courage Home Purple, where she learns life skills and academics. *Dinah’s nystagmus (eyes that ‘shake’ or ‘vibrate’, making it difficult to focus on an object/subject) affects her vision, but she does have some sight. She does daily eye exercises recommended by a doctor, to help strengthen the muscles. *Dinah has the longest, most beautiful hair that her foster mothers will not allow to be cut much, and all the ayahs love braiding it into elaborate styles!

*Dinah has a birthday on February 1st! She will be turning 7 years old. *Dinah is so, so special! She is now walking independently and as I’ve said before, she’s a little trouble maker around the house! She has mild diplegic cerebral palsy, which requires mild physical therapy like many other kids with CP, and she gets this daily. This past year, in addition to learning to walk, *Dinah said her first word and began to play with both toys and other kids, something she hadn’t done as much before! She loves it when people sing to her and she enjoys Indian food (she’s not a fan of non-Indian food, in fact!). *Dinah will be receiving a new dress and a gift for her birthday. She’s not so squishy and little any more – she is growing up! Living in a foster home has helped her thrive, and it is so amazing to see.

*Dinah needs $95 to be fully sponsored. Sign up here.

*Dinah is listed for international adoption with the advocacy website Reece’s Rainbow!

She is eligible for an Older Child grant through the site. Learn more by using the top bar of my blog: under the drop-down menu ‘Adoption Advocacy’, click ‘Waiting Children’.

An important part of SCH’s work is YOU! SCH relies on donations to keep running. Donation opportunities include child sponsorship 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 the city in which they live (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. Also, here is the link to SCH’s general fund. In addition, you can give a one-time donation to any home by visiting each home’s landing page on SCH’s official website, under the heading “Meet Our Kids”! 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 government 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.

Connect with SCH: Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

PD: SCH logo – black text reads ‘sch’; red text below reads ‘sarah’s covenant homes’; heart-shaped flowers bloom from the name.

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