Update January 2019:
Look at this beautiful updated photo of *Eden! To read her written update, continue reading below 🙂
PD: *Eden has curly black hair in 2 high pigtails w/ black bow; she smiles shyly & has a graphic over part of her face to protect her identity. She wears a black/white striped dress w/ black patterned skirt & bangles.
*Eden has started moving around the home with purpose more independently. She is now able to climb 3 flights of stairs while holding onto the rail for support. She is also able to come down the stairs holding onto the rail. *Eden has always been quite the acrobat, and has now learned to climb on the sofa in the home and will stand while holding onto the back and jump and giggle. She has also learned to find a low-hanging disc swing in the home and climb on it. She loves the swing, and will vocalize sweet sounds as she enjoys the motion.
*Eden continues to work with her guide cane and still needs encouraging and prompting to use it throughout the day. She takes daily walks down the street with her teacher; she mostly enjoys the walks, unless she is tired, when she cries to be picked up and comforted. *Eden continues to wear her processors, allowing her to hear, and she often responds to the sounds of toys falling on the floor, familiar voices, and music. She does require frequent prompting to complete activities in class.
*Eden also continues to demonstrate aversions to a lot of textures. This is addressed in the home through a lot of opportunity for sensory play. She enjoys having lotion rubbed on, to engage in sensory brush activities, and water play.
I missed last “Find Me Friday” because I was attending a wedding! So instead, here’s part I of a II-part series, to make up for it ^_^
In this series, each Friday, I want to share a different child with you who is available for adoption and 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.
Did you know that this week is Deaf-blind awareness week?
A significant resource pertaining to the D/deafblind community can be found here. This blog is owned and operated by a woman named Tracy, who has much personal experience in this world. I highly recommend her blog for all intents and purposes – she writes fabulous blogs on topics pertaining to the D/deafblind community and more. She also has guest writers often. She’s published an average of 1 post per day of Deafblind awareness week this year (6/25-6/29, 2018), and I suggest her content be read to help dispel some common myths, introduce you to Deafblind persons throughout history, and more. Her blog also features a vast amount of resources for D/deaf, blind, and D/deafblind persons. You can find that page here. These resources may help paint a broader picture of what *Eden’s life could look like!
PD: *Eden wears a pink & orange dress w/ a black headband keeping her CI processors on. Her beautiful, short curly hair is half-up, half down & she smiles a crooked little smile under the graphic that protects her identity by covering her face.
*Eden’s Medical History
*Eden is Deafblind (she has bilateral anophthalmia, or absence of eyes, and was diagnosed with bilateral profound hearing loss upon arriving at her current facility). *Eden has two cochlear implants to allow her to connect with world around her. She is now responding to sound and making many new sounds, although not yet saying recognizable words. She can sometimes get overwhelmed by the new sounds, and when she feels this way she tries to take her speech processors off. *Eden has some delayed milestones as a result of having no visual or auditory input, as well as institutional neglect at her origin orphanage. *Eden has some self-stimulating behaviors that can be typical of children who are blind, including shaking her head slowly from side to side.
Cochlear implants were chosen for *Eden because India tends to lack resources for people with disabilities or differences, including those who are D/deaf and/or blind. Schools for the blind will not usually accept most blind children until age 7, though as we know, blind children can learn just as early as children who have sight – from birth! Everyone can learn, just in their own way. Should *Eden continue to live in India indefinitely, the implants will be to her benefit, allowing her more communication options. Cochlear implants are of course controversial and should be decided on a case-by-case basis. They are not a magical cure for being D/deaf. They do not create perfect hearing for everyone, and their success as a tool is different in each individual case.
If *Eden were born in another country, such as the US, she would have access to intervention from near-birth to facilitate her growth. She missed out on this due to orphanage life in her first seven months of life, before which she was transferred to SCH. She would have more resources outside India for learning tactile sign language, working with an intervenor, and more. Wherever her final destination, *Eden would continue to thrive in a family setting. She has a great foster family, but there is only so much that can be done in an institutional setting, so a permanent family would be ideal. I know *Eden’s family is out there!
*Eden attends an on-site preschool every morning in her home with foster siblings, where she is working on walking and using her cane to navigate among other goals. She previously began to take several steps on her own, and while holding onto a push toy (pre-guide cane). She is now improving at walking independently and using her cane. She also attends Anjali School for the Blind part-time in another foster home in her apartment complex.
Other Information About *Eden
*Eden has an adorable smile! *Eden loves to splash in water and also loves to swing and rock on her red rocking horse. She loves to cuddle. She gave her first smile on the first day she arrived at her foster home. *Eden loves to be held, carried, and sung to. She has, and continues to, progress each and every day. She is thriving in her foster home.
*Eden needs $150/month more to return to fully sponsored status. Sign up to sponsor her here!
You can read more of what I’ve written about *Eden here.
*Eden has also been featured on SCH’s official blog, which you can read 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.