Child Advocacy: Orphan Sunday 2017

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.

Updated June 2019

Today is known as Orphan Sunday in the child welfare and advocacy community. It is a day where people come together, both individually and in groups, to raise awareness about children who do not have families. The hope is that through this day, families will find the children who are missing in their lives through the miracle of adoption. In addition, the hope is to garnish support for children who do not have families that have aged out of the system.

Today, I’m going to feature a young lady waiting for a family who is available for adoption from India RIGHT NOW. I’m also going to share a young lady who is no longer eligible for international adoption, who will most likely live in India for the rest of her life, with the help and support of Sarah’s Covenant Homes.

Visit SCH India’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter pages to learn more about the work they do and learn how to support the children, young adults, and adults for whom they care daily. SCH carries out Orphan Sunday each and every day, while they strive to:

  1. Reunite children with their biological families, if at all possible,
  2. Push to have children matched with domestic or international forever families,
  3. Take care of young adults and adults who have aged out of the international adoption community, however may need lifelong care or assistance,
  4. Help support families in their community, in order to empower and assist them in taking care of their children who may have disabilities or special needs.

Meet *Lily!

*Lily (not her real name) is a very smart, beautiful, determined girl who turned 13 this year! She begged her foster mothers to get her nose pierced for her birthday, which is a milestone in India and represents growing up! *Lily loves learning and school. She has cerebral palsy, which affects her limbs as well as her speech. *Lily can speak and understands everything that is said to her. She uses an augmentative communication device in order to be better understood by those around her.

*Lily can read short books and knows her entire alphabet. She is learning sightwords. *Lily attends an on-site school in her home with a tutor and receives regular physical and occupational therapy. *Lily can walk with the assistance of a gait trainer (above left photo) or AFOs (ankle-foot orthotics), and can also ride an adaptive bike (above right photo)! She is always on the move. *Lily prefers to use scooting/crawling as her main method of mobility. She is a great big sister to all her foster siblings, and helps take care of them with the tenacity of a much older teen. *Lily has a manageable chronic illness, for which she receives treatment, and has nearly undetectable signs of this illness.

*Lily understands loss and knows what it means to have a family. She has watched some of her siblings be adopted and move away. She longs for a family so badly. More than anything in the world, she wants someone to call ‘daddy’! Her foster mothers’ greatest wish for her is that she would be happy and find her very own forever family. *Lily would make a fantastic big sister and daughter. She would love to be a mother someday, and may very well become a teacher in the future.

Learn more about how to adopt *Lily here. *LILY’S FAMILY IS COMING!

Help support *Lily financially in her home here. On that page, you can also meet *Lily’s foster siblings, many of whom are available for international adoption, as well. Foster sisters *Dinah, *Izzy, and *Molly, and foster brothers *Georgie and *Nolan are also available for adoption and listed at funding and advocacy site Reece’s Rainbow.

Learn more about each child by visiting the ‘Waiting Children’ tab in the drop down menu ‘Adoption Advocacy’ at the top bar of my blog!

PD: *Stephanie has a large smile & her dimpled cheeks can clearly be seen. She wears her hair in 2 braided pigtails & wears a blue top w/ white embroidery & pink headband. Her name is written over her eyes to protect her identity.
*Stephanie looking radiant! Photo credit: SCH India

PD: *Stephanie has a large smile & her dimpled cheeks can clearly be seen. She wears her hair in 2 braided pigtails & wears a blue top w/ white embroidery & pink headband. Her name is written over her eyes to protect her identity.

Meet *Stephanie! *Stephanie is an 18-year-old girl who is soft-hearted and has a beautiful singing voice. She loves to sing worship songs and just be around people. She can be shy, but if you ask her to sing, she comes right out of her shell. She loves to quietly sit and hold hands with volunteers. *Stephanie lives in a foster home with foster sisters on one of the floors at Joy Home. She has a sweet smile and a huge dimple on one side of her face, which you can see in the photo above!

*Stephanie is blind as the result of having a small eye (microphthalmia) on one side and a missing eye (anophthalmia) on the other. *Stephanie lives at Joy home, a foster home that is currently seeking foster parents. She is learning to play the piano. She attends Anjali School for the Blind (ASB) at Courage Home Purple each week, and receives Braille training at a local institute for the blind. She is currently learning to read the Braille alphabet, due to falling behind at her old school where her education was neglected because of her orphan status. ASB helps her improve her orientation and mobility (O&M) skills, and because of this, she is able to use a guide cane to navigate her surroundings.

SCH is committed to supporting *Stephanie throughout her life. If she is able to live independently as an adult, SCH will help her do that. If *Stephanie is unable to live on her own due to whatever factors may be, they will help her do that, as well. *Stephanie will always have a place of love and support in SCH.

*Stephanie needs $50/month to be fully sponsored. Sign up here!

You can support *Stephanie’s home, Joy Home, and all the girls who live there, here. You can make a one-time donation, become a monthly home sponsor, send gifts, and more!

To meet the kids at SCH who are completely unsponsored, scroll to the bottom of this page! There, you can sign up to sponsor a child or  young adult for as low as $10 per month. Average total sponsorship needs are somewhere between $300 and $500 per child, depending on a number of circumstances:

  • City in which they live
  • Complexity of disability/additional needs
  • School fees
  • Other needs

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 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.

During this season of thankfulness, it is important to remember others in this world have less than we do here in America, and many other, more-developed countries. There is a stigma in India which applies certain stereotypes to children who do not have families. That stigma is increased when a child has a visible disability or special need. Attitudes and thoughts are changing, but this change in attitudes is going to take time. SCH is working toward creating a positive image for all children and young adults. Every child is worthy of a family, of love, of understanding, of being able to reach their full potential.

Help change lives by supporting marginalized communities, and by supporting those who strive to improve the world by making changes to infrastructure they see as an impediment to progress.

SCH Logo Black
PD: the 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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