My friend, Nikki, who is fostering 12 children at Sarah’s Covenant Homes in India along with her co-foster mama, Merissa, is writing a series of blogs pertaining to raising children who are blind. 6 of the children who live in Nikki and Merissa’s foster home have some degree of blindness (5 living with complete blindness and 1 living with partial blindness). The first blog in the series is password-protected in order to conceal the identity of the children (India no longer allows full, identifying photos of children available for adoption on the internet), but below is the last excerpt of that post.
Want to learn more about parenting a blind child? I would love to write a blog post answering any questions that you have, and sharing more about the ways we have changed our lifestyle to help our blind kids thrive! I would love to see our blind children be adopted into loving forever families […] and I want to start breaking down barriers about how “scary” blindness is! Click the link to submit your questions!
Following the link provided in the introduction paragraph above, you can ask Nikki anything you want to know about parenting children who are blind.
The following posts are public (not password protected), and are the first two official blogs to the series:
Part one includes some additional information about the blog series! It also begins to answer some questions that have been submitted to Nikki already. Topics: sleep/melatonin, colors (video included from an adult Youtube user who is blind), and difference discrimination!
Raising Children Who Are Blind, Part 1
Part two in the series introduces you to a family who has adopted a daughter from India who is blind. It is an excellent introduction to some of the challenges involved with adopting and parenting children who are blind.
Raising Children Who Are Blind, Part 2
Part three in the series covers some more reader questions! Topics include: your child’s blindness and traffic; consuming media (including a new Disney film audio description app!); and interacting with a child when meeting them for the first time (hint: most often it is the new greeter who is uncomfortable, rather than the child)!
Raising Children Who Are Blind, Part 3
Part four, covering language as well as echolalia. Includes link to Bethel China’s Facebook page for additional information and listings of waiting children. Bethel provides services to many orphaned children living in China who are blind.
Raising Children Who Are Blind, Part 4
Part five discusses fine motor activities with blind children, including cutting and gluing; and etiquette when it comes to interacting with and/or assisting someone who is blind.
Raising Children Who Are Blind, Part 5
Part six discusses learning Braille (plus resources), tips for eating/feeding, and coping when adopted children have multiple special and/or medical needs.
Raising Children Who Are Blind, Part 6
Children listed for adoption at Reece’s Rainbow who are blind:
Alisha has low vision/vision impairment, as well as Penn-Sjogren syndrome.
Bowie is blind in one eye & has low vision in the other; he wears glasses.
Cambria has anophthalmia, meaning she was born without eyes; Christina is blind; no other information is given in her profile; Clio is partially blind due to absence of lenses, and wears glasses.
Delta has anophthalmia of one eye and has low vision in the other, as well as some hearing issues for which she uses hearing aids, and some developmental delays; Donna has retinopathy of prematurity and some other disabilities; Donny is blind, but has some residual sight/low vision.
Gage has an unspecified vision impairment.
Hollace is blind, with some other mild disabilities.
Jenna (her family is on the way – meet them here!)
Kanani (URGENT NEED) has anophthalmos of one eye and optic atrophy in the other, as well as mild CP; Kraig has retinopathy of premature and retinal detachment, which have left him blind, and also has CP along with some other disabilities.
Posey (has CP and epilepsy, along with optic atrophy)
Ronan (most likely has vision impairment/low vision)
Scout (is blind with some other disabilities)
Todd (is blind; no other information given)
Wendy (is completely blind, with congenital cataracts in both eyes and optic sub-atrophy; also has CP and microcephaly)
Zoey (unconfirmed – listed as ‘coloboma of optic disc’, which can cause various degrees of vision impairment; also has CP, epilepsy, microcephaly)
*Chloe (from SCH!), who is totally blind due to being born without eyes, a condition called anophthalmia
*Honor (from SCH!) has blindness of one eye due to a craniofacial difference
*Jeanette (from SCH!), note that while *Jeanette does have a prosthetic left eye, it does not provide her any vision and she is completely blind
Mandy (listed as blind)
Armand has blindness due to lukoma; his photos are old, he is 7 now); Ava has low vision/vision impairment; Austyn has low vision due to having albinism.
Emerlyse is completely blind.
Gigi is completely blind, with hydrocephalus and developmental delay including echolalia.
Jordy has low vision due to congenital cataracts; has microphthalmia on one side; JoyAnna (her family is coming!).
Kendall has anophthalmia of one eye, corneal degeneration in the other; also has some hearing loss; Kopelan is listed as blind, no other info given.
Lizzie has very residual vision in one eye; attending special education classes due to developmental delay.
Mark has a vision impairment.
Rupert is blind and may have some form of autism.
Sadie is blind and may have an unrepaired cleft palate.
Tobias-James is blind and has delayed development, most likely due to not receiving proper services since he is blind.
Victor is blind/has low vision due to having albinism.
Warren (URGENT NEED) is blind and has a repaired cleft lip/palate; update from 2017 showed Warren is severely delayed — doesn’t walk, talk, or play with other children. At 7 years old, he is only 19 pounds. He desperately needs the better care a family can bring.
Brendan is blind and has a couple other disabilities.
Harmony has anophthalmia and some other delays.