Meet Julie

Julie has come alive in the past three weeks. Every day she surprises me with something new that she does. When I first met Julie she was laying flat on her back and looked like she hated life. I would sit and talk with her but she would just stare back at me with uninterested eyes. Julie is recovering from a brain surgery that didn’t go exactly as planned. Before the surgery I am told she was quite the diva and caused a fair amount of mischief. A month ago I would not have believed that story but now I can see the feistiness coming back full force!

Sharing at pre-school

Sharing at pre-school

Julie is now talking, laughing, singing, and dancing. She is feeding herself snack food and drinking out of cup on her own. She mostly speaks Telugu and according to my ayahs about half of what she says makes sense and the other half is mostly nonsense. Julie loves to call people over and make them play with her. She does call most women that come into the house amma (mom) so we are working on calling people appropriate titles! She likes to play with my ayah’s son and is fond of pulling his hair or pinching him. I always get after her half-heartily because it makes me so happy to see her feisty personality coming back! She is now able to hold her head up for up to a minute and we are working on her sitting independently for small amounts at a time.

Recently we have started a preschool at Rescue home and all of my kids go downstairs every day for preschool. Julie especially loves it. She can be found dancing up a storm during circle time and is working on doing simple puzzles. I catch her smirking and generally being sassy all the time during preschool. She especially likes when we ask her to point to a certain object in a book and then she gets a piece of candy as a reward. Recently her ayah told me that she was singing the ABCs, she seemed to have picked up on that at some point during preschool. I have been working with her on the letter A this week, trying to get her to identify it. She’s pretty hit or miss with this activity but I think I’m going to continue slowly working on it and see what she can pick up on.

One of Julie’s biggest struggles is eating. She is skinny- her pant size is 12 months but no pants really fit her because she is much taller than a 12 month old! At first I thought she was refusing to eat rice, a staple in India, because of texture issues but now I think it’s more of a control issue. She wants to choose when to eat and what to eat. Some days she will refuse to eat dinner but then eat the same thing off my plate an hour later. She will always eat snack food items and drink water though. The other day I took her to Chili’s and she loved eating chicken strips and French fries. She got too distracted by everything going on around her to finish but she loved going out and eating in a restaurant. Julie loves chocolate ice cream so I use that as a reward on days that she eats all three meals. She’s gotten much better about eating so hopefully we can figure out the best way to get her back to a healthy weight!

Julie is becoming quite the diva and I love seeing every moment of her personality coming back. She has the cutest high pitched voice and little giggle. Please pray for her continued health and for her personality to continue coming back!

For access to the password protected blog post about Julie with photos please email me at colleenawilliams22 at gmail.com

Choosing Joy

Every single person who meets Penny remarks on the same thing- that she is full of joy. Penny has a joy that seems to come from her very soul. Her joy truly is a gift from God, a way for her to spread the never-ending joy God wants us to have. She is the happiest girl despite all the pain and suffering she has gone through in her short life. Her smile lightens up my entire house and our little family would not be complete without Penny laughing in the background. This week Penny was more than just a joyful soul, she was my teacher.

This was a hard week. Probably the hardest week I have had since coming to India. I was finally getting a routine down for my house and getting to know everyone. Then on Tuesday two of my ayahs (caregivers) went on leave, leaving me with one ayah to take care of six kids with intensive needs. I’ve had a patchwork of replacement ayahs to get me through this week until my two regular ayahs return but I have been picking up a lot of the slack. And I’m exhausted. My little Caden has decided that I’m the only person he wants and screams whenever I put him down or walk out of the room. Julie is refusing to eat more than one full meal a day. Trying to get needed things done in India like getting my bathroom drain unclogged takes way more time and effort than it should. My list of everything that went wrong this week is long. At one point I was feeling overwhelmed and I looked at Penny. She was on her stomach, acting like she was posing, and she was cracking up. Even though she didn’t get breakfast on time and her hair wasn’t done she was still joyful. In that moment she reminded me to choose joy.

Penny truly embodies John 15:11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” Penny has complete joy of Jesus and she has the gift of spreading that joy to everyone she meets. Too often I lose sight of joy. I allow myself to be sucked into the daily stresses of life that rob me of joy. I fail at choosing joy all too often. But when I’m with Penny I’m reminded that she has no reason to be this joyful but yet her smile and laugh are almost nonstop. Penny reminds me to find joy with every hard day. Penny reminds me that Caden’s clinginess is a sign of attachment and is developmentally appropriate. Penny helps me to see that Julie’s lack of eating is a chance for me to get to know her better and work to find a way to get healthy food to nourish her body. Penny helps remind me to find joy in the waiting. Some days when I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything Penny helps remind me that as long as all my kids are happy and having their needs met it doesn’t matter if they got their individual therapy time that day or not.

Being around Penny helps me to remember to choose joy. There’s joy to be found all around me even on days when I can’t be bothered to find it. Penny teaches me to see the humor in life like when I accidently take her to sketchy aquariums in the mall and she giggles the entire time. Penny loves everyone- no matter who they are or what they have done. I’m so thankful God brought Penny into my house and into my life. I have a feeling this little girl is going to teach me so much more than I could ever teach her!

Meet my Indian Family!

When I came to India and SCH I came with the intention of fostering a group of kids. I didn’t know which kids God had prepared for me to take so I came with my heart open. Within two weeks of my six week foster internship I knew which kids I was here to foster. This past week we were able to get some issues with space figured out and I got all moved into my new apartment. I’m living on the rooftop of rescue in a two bedroom apartment. It’s a great set-up because we’re close to the nurses for my kids medical needs and we have a beautiful outside area that my kids can play in. I’m fostering six children:

Katherine

Katherine was the first child at SCH who pulled at my heartstrings. I cannot wait to see how she will thrive in a smaller setting. She has a lot of challenges but I believe with the right intervention she can thrive. And I cannot wait to see that smile of hers becoming a normal occurrence rather than a special occasion!

Penny

Penny is the sweetest, happiest child I have ever met. She always has a smile on her face and be quite the princess. Penny was living in another SCH foster home but after her foster mom returned to the States she was unable to stay so she came to me! She is quite the giggle box of my house and loves to be outside.

Valor

Valor comes in close second for the giggle box award. Ever since we moved up to the roof I catch him laughing up a storm at random times. Valor loves being outside too and listening to stories. We are working on getting him into some better positions and a form of communication.

Thomas

Thomas is the old soul of my house. He is usually just taking everything in with his wise eyes. Thomas has a hard to catch smile but when he smiles his whole body smiles too. We are also working on getting Thomas into better positions and communicating.

Caden

Caden has become quite the attached baby. If his beloved ayah isn’t holding him or if I’m not within eye sight he starts to cry. We had a wonderful nurse here from Switzerland this past month who has been teaching us the best way to wrap Salim. I have seen improvements with Caden’s care during the time she has been with us and she taught me and the nurses so hopefully that improvement will continue. Caden is such a sweet boy and is now sitting up completely on his own and clapping his hands!

Julie

I decided to take Julie at the last moment and I’m so glad I did. Julie is recovering from a shunt surgery that had some complications so we’re working on getting her back to where she was before the surgery. She can be quite the diva when she wants to be, she charmed a cup of tea out of one of the volunteers at brunch on Saturday. When she talks she has the cutest high pitched voice and hopefully with some time and love she will be back to her regular self soon!

Along with my six kids I have three ayahs who live with me. They help take care of all the kids daily needs such as showers, feeding, and changing. One of my ayahs has a son that also lives with us- he’s mischievous but cute. Right now I’m working with them to try and start a daily routine that will make sure my kids are getting everything that they need. Please be praying that we can get a good plan established within my new home!

All of my children need sponsors as well. Sponsorship helps pay for food, ayahs, electricity, doctors appointments, and everything else that SCH needs to keep my children healthy. Sponsors receive updates 3-4 times a year. And if you want a Skype date to meet any of my 6 children you are sponsoring. Please contact me for more information about how to get involved with sponsoring any of my children.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me thus far in my journey to India. I appreciate all the words of encouragement that I have received. Please keep me and my new family in your prayers in the upcoming weeks!

If you would like to see photos of my children please contact for the password to my blog post with photos!