Update August 2018: *Lily’s family is coming for her!!!! Support the Scott family here!
I’m starting a new series! Each Friday, I want to share a different child with you who is available for adoption who lives at Sarah’s Covenant Homes (SCH), India.
While I do have a running list of all the kids who live at SCH and are listed with the adoption advocacy website Reece’s Rainbow, I’d like to expand on these excerpts and give each child their own post.
Today’s featured ‘Find Me Friday’ kid is: *Lily! Buckle up, because this is going to be a loooong post! *Lily’s foster mother and I have a lot to say about this amazing girl!
PD: *Lily wears a floral dress & pink bow in her hair, which is half-up. Her sweet smile is visible under the graphic that protects her identity by covering her face.
One of *Lily’s former foster moms shared the following impassioned blog post about her. Find the original post, with photos, here (click link to view).
“I’m not going to try to hide it. This post isn’t like my others – a casual update on how a specific child is doing. This post has a purpose and that purpose is to find *Lily a family. If you are not in a position to adopt *Lily, you can help by sharing this post, or sending it directly to someone you know who might be able to adopt her. Please join me in praying that her adoptive family will see this and will jump with excitement at the opportunity for her to become their daughter.
*Lily is 13 years old and is listed with Reece’s Rainbow. Why is it that *Lily has been overlooked by adoptive families for so many years? I can only imagine that her list of diagnoses scares them. Not many children with cerebral palsy have been adopted from India. Out of other countries – yes. But India still seems to attract the crowds wanting baby girls as young and as healthy as possible. *Lily is not that.
*Lily is not able to walk independently, but she runs with her gait trainer [see photo below]! She is not able to talk clearly, but I understand almost all of what she says as I have known her for so long. And the things that she has to say need to be heard! “Lily, daddy. Coming?”
This is a phrase that she asks me often. In fact, just this morning we were sitting in the sun and out of the blue she asked me again. How do you answer that?! “I’m praying for a Daddy to come for you,” I say. It doesn’t seem like enough. I don’t know what else to tell her. She longs for a father. She wants a Mom too, of course, but something inside her should be a Daddy’s girl and was never given the opportunity. She frequently prays for the Dads of Sahithi, Vignesh, and CK, who were adopted from our home. It is always followed by contemplative silence. I can only imagine what is going on in her head as she thinks of being tucked into bed by strong arms, or being chased on the playground by a Daddy pushing her wheelchair.
She has the heart of a family girl. She has grown up alongside her “siblings” in her group home, and she cares deeply for them. She sobbed with each adoption, as she had to say goodbye, and while the other kids mostly no longer bring up the kids who have been adopted, she does. Every day. She asks to see pictures and prays faithfully for them and their families. She doesn’t ask “what about me?” even though I know she must be wondering it. She is happy for them and delights in looking at pictures. She loves others so selflessly.
*Lily is a caretaker. She prays every night for a baby to come to our family, after our most recent “baby” (then 3 years old) was adopted. She is drawn to help those who struggle. Her best friend is *Molly, who also has cerebral palsy that is much more involved than *Lily’s. *Lily never leaves her out of any game. She is the master of inclusion and even though *Molly can’t talk, *Lily has a way of reading her facial expressions to understand exactly what *Molly wants to say. She rocks her baby dolls with care and leans down to kiss their foreheads. Whenever I feel sick, she stays loyally by my bedside praying. Sometimes I will be sitting in the living room and will feel hands on my back, as she comes over out of the blue to give me a back rub..
*Lily doesn’t see herself the way the world sees her. When the world looks at her, they see a teenager who has no shot at being chosen for adoption. They see a girl who can’t walk, who can’t speak clearly, and who probably isn’t capable of thinking intelligent thoughts. They are so wrong. *Lily is smart. She is a deep thinker and is emotional and sensitive. When her caregivers watch Telugu movies, she likes to watch with them and is known to tear up during the sad scenes. *Lily sees herself as a beautiful princess, and I do too. Recently we were watching the movie ‘Frozen’ and her eyes lit up as Anna was twirling in a fancy dress and singing. She turned to me with joy bubbling up inside and shrieked “Me!!! *Lily!!” pointing to the character on the screen. That day was *Dinah’s birthday, one of the girls whom *Lily grew up with. Later in the movie, as Elsa belted out “Let It Go”, *Lily turned to *Dinah and pointed to the screen. “Dinah!” *Lily loves to dance and she shines on stage. She makes other people so happy when they watch her excitement as she tries out new dance moves with a loud giggle.
I first met *Lily 8 years ago and became a house mother in her group home 5 years ago. In a few months, I will be moving back to Canada. I will be back every year to visit, but I know it will never be the same. Hands down the hardest goodbye I will have to say is to *Lily. My chest feels heavy and tight when I think about joining the long line of people who have left her. She doesn’t deserve it. It’s not fair. She NEEDS a Mommy and Daddy.
People are scared of parenting her. Scared of having a child in a wheelchair, scared of having a child who will likely need life-long care. But I can tell you from my experience, the challenges are nothing compared to the joy. She is the most special person I’ve ever met in my life. I don’t say that flippantly. Really, she is. She is a world changer, the kind of person who impacts everyone who meets her. *Lily’s life would be changed by being adopted by a loving family, but that family would be just as changed having the privilege to know her and love her.”
*Lily’s Medical History
*Lily has cerebral palsy, for which she sometimes uses a gait trainer to walk (but also prefers to crawl), and an augmentative communication device on her iPad to interact with peers, family, and visitors, called Proloquo2go. She also has a manageable chronic illness, for which she takes medication, and it is well-managed (undetectable at this time). She has been fitted for AFOs in the past, but needs new ones. She would benefit from proper AFO castings and fittings abroad.
PD: *Lily tall-kneels on the balcony, wearing a red & burgundy striped skirt & black t-shirt w/ gold writing that says: ‘strong girls, strong world’! Her hands are up triumphantly in 2 fists, w/ gold bangles on each arm. She has a half-up side ponytail & a huge, open-mouthed grin! Part of her face is covered to protect her identity.
*Lily attends school in her home with a tutor daily. She’s an eager learner and receives physical, speech, and occupational therapies. *Lily is an incredibly sweet and smart firecracker who loves to learn. She understands and speaks Telugu and English (bilingual) as well as some sign language. Her communication is improving quickly and she is speaking in sentences, although it is hard for some people to understand her – however, those in her home can understand. She also uses an iPad with a communication app called ProLoQuo2Go, to communicate with those who cannot understand her.
She is very bright and has a deep desire to learn. She is intelligent, knows the English alphabet, is learning to read, can type on the iPad, knows her colors, can count objects to 15, and can do simple math problems. She’s just starting to sound out words when reading, and can spell short words. She has great potential to learn, if given appropriate interventions.
PD: *Lily, wearing a gray dress, lays on the carpet, watching a TV show on her iPad in an orange case. She’s resting her head on her hands & she has a bangle on her wrist.
Other Information About *Lily
*Lily is independent in her self-help skills. She gets around by crawling, walking with support from an adult, or walking with her gait trainer, and can use a wheelchair when she is out and about in an area where her other forms of movement are not accessible. She receives physical therapy daily, and is working to improve her walking. She loves dancing and attends dance class in the community. She is always excited to perform to audiences! *Lily’s preferred method of movement is scooting on her knees or crawling (or running in her gait trainer/walker!).
*Lily builds strong attachments to caregivers, getting sad when any adult she loves goes on vacation. She is a family girl at heart, and adores the family she has in her group home, but longs for the stability that adoption would bring. She is beautiful inside and out, and there is something very special about her. She loves to pray for her friends when they are sad or hurt. She likes to take care of the other children, and particularly makes a point to include the kids who are less physically-able. She is an old soul and while she definitely has a silly, goofy side, she enjoys the company of adults. She longs to be adopted, and asks frequently if a Mommy and Daddy are coming.
*Lily is always including her siblings who may be less able to participate in activities independently. She loves to take care of the cat and scolds her when she’s mean to the other kids, but engages with her playfully. Her best friend in the home is *Molly, who is also listed for adoption (find *Molly’s RR profile here, and look for her ‘Find Me Friday’!), and is always making sure she’s right in the middle of all the fun in her wheelchair. She is a caregiver who loves to help the smaller kids prepare for the day, and also does chores around the house such as picking up toys and sweeping. She likes to be fashionable and prefers to wear traditional Indian clothing to events and parties, and will demand that others do so, as well! She is sassy and loveable. *Lily loves going to the park to play! She rides an adapted bike (photo in the 2-picture collage, above) without assistance.
PD: *Lily lays on her back on a rug, pretending to talk on the phone. She wears a pink textured dress, black & white patterned leggings, & bangles on each wrist. A sticker covers part of her face to protect her identity.
Lily’s foster mother says:
“Why hasn’t anyone chosen her?
Don’t they know how amazing she is?
Can’t they see how much joy she would bring to their family?
Can’t they see that she is so much more than her cerebral palsy?
That she is smart, she loves to laugh, she is gentle, and loves going to church. Her cerebral palsy doesn’t define her.”
*Lily is eligible for an Older Child Grant! Grant funding is dependent on a completed application and available funds. For more information, visit: Other Angels Older Child Grant
*Lily recently lost some sponsors and now needs $120/month more to be fully sponsored! sign up to sponsor her here.
You can read more of what I’ve written about *Lily here.
**Please note: Many other children at SCH are also available for adoption, and you can find a list at the top of this blog under the drop down menu ‘Adoption Advocacy’ using the drop-down option ‘Waiting Children’. If you are from the US, you could adopt any eligible waiting child under the age of 16 (up to age 18 in some places outside the US – check with your local government to learn more.)
For more information regarding adoption from India in general, you can visit this site. It is the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) of the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
An important part of SCH’s work is YOU! If you cannot afford to, or are not in a position to, adopt, there are many other ways to ensure SCH can continue to offer such a high level of care and amazing quality of life to these children. 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 $400 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 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. No full-face photos will be posted.