I’ve never been a person to pick a word for the year. It’s been suggested to me several times and I always brushed it aside. But as 2014 came to a close the word love was constantly being brought to my attention. In books I was reading, in Bible passages at church, even in social media. On January 1st I wrote in my journal “This year I hope to set out on a path to learn what love really means.” And as it turns out my path to learning what love means is taking me to India, to Sarah’s Covenant Homes, to help provide care and most importantly love to abandoned children and young adults with special needs.
In a way I have been preparing my whole life for this journey to India. When I was younger I remember playing orphanage with my sister, setting up all the baby dolls and then pretending to have them get adopted. Most of our baby dolls had special needs; some were missing arms, others legs, and some I proclaimed deaf and could only be signed to. I grew up around children with special needs, attending the special needs daycare my mom worked at, as one of the only typically developing children. Adopting my two brothers out of the foster care system when I was 12 opened my eyes to the amount of children in the world who are abandoned, especially those with special needs. The seed of desire to do something has grown in my heart ever since. Last spring I was studying abroad in South Africa and felt the call to do overseas work after I graduated. The second I remembered Sarah’s Covenant Homes (a friend of a friend had volunteered with them) something clicked in my heart. God continued to point my path towards India, sending me daily nudges until I relented and started the process to volunteer with them. And as crazy as it may sound I am already in love with the children SCH cares for without ever meeting them. This crazy love is sending me across the ocean to finally meet them in person!
I am so happy to announce that I will be leaving Texas and flying to Hyderabad, India on May 21st. I’ll land on May 22nd, my 22nd birthday! My first six weeks will be spent getting to know the ropes at SCH. I will be with another foster mom and her 12 kids. At the end of the 6 weeks, if I’m a good fit for SCH, I will become a long-term foster mom to a group of kids, hopefully for a year or two but I’m open to whatever God calls me to do! I’m so excited to have the opportunity to put my years of experience working with kids with special needs to use and to show the love of a family to the children I will meet.
Many people have inquired about how they can help and others have already done so much to help me. If anyone would like to give financially, here is the link donate to my living expenses while in India: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=VVQ3JVN3BU4P2. I am also making t-shirts to help raise money for my time in India, please contact me or see my Facebook posts if you’re interested in supporting me in that way.
I will also be taking donations with me to India. If anyone has any gently used or new clothing in sizes 3-12 in both girls and boys sizes (with the older girls sizes being more modest), children’s books or toys, or special needs medical supplies (G-tubes, braces, etc) that they would like to donate please let me know! Also this is the website for the orgnization I’m working with in India if anyone is intersted in learning more about the children I will be working with: http://www.schindia.com.
And the most important way to support me is through prayer. Please keep me in your prayers and thoughts as I begin to prepare myself for India. Thanks for all your support so far!
With Love, Colleen