Brittany is a foster mother to thirteen children in India at our Diaper Drop Sarah’s Covenant Homes (SCH). Thanks to you, we’ve been providing diapers to SCH for the past three years. She wrote the following, and it’s an honor to share her words with you.
I often find myself hesitant of telling our children’s histories because I know that the stories behind how they came to us and the state they were in are utterly and wholly theirs. I want to respect who they were, who they are now, and who they’ll one day be. I want to give their adult selves the chance to write their stories however they choose because that’s their right as an individual, as an autonomous human being. I never want to be a part of telling their story inaccurately or changing it for my own benefit. Unfortunately, this hesitancy can come at the detriment of my fundraising efforts AND steals all of you from the pure joy of knowing and loving our children. So here is a bit of Josie’s story as I know it; may every word honor her past, her present, and her future.
Josie was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. She came to Sarah’s Covenant Homes (SCH) on Christmas Eve 2015 at only 1 ½ months old after having her myelomeningocele (opening in her spinal column) closed and a VP shunt (to drain the extra fluid from her brain) placed. While Josie’s initial placement at SCH seemed to be simply as a way to provide her adequate post-surgical care and rehabilitation, it ended up saving her life! Shortly after coming into our care, Josie’s VP shunt malfunctioned requiring frequent medical interventions and at 4 months old a new VP shunt was placed. Until ????? Josie’s shunt had been functioning perfectly, but in December we started to notice some slight swelling in her abdomen. After several ultrasounds and other diagnostic studies, it was determined that while Josie’s shunt is draining the fluid from her brain appropriately, once it reaches her abdomen it’s having a hard time being reabsorbed by her body. What does this mean? The shunt has to either be moved to drain into a different area of her body (around her heart or lungs) or we can try an endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV). Our neurosurgeon here in India believes that an ETV procedure is our best option for Josie and we will hopefully schedule the surgery in just a few weeks.
But WHO is Josie?!?
Josie is the very giggliest, sauciest, smushiest 2-year old I’ve ever met. Her favorite activity is shooting the breeze with her ayah, Alivelu, or our baby ayah, SatyaVathi. She also enjoys food in all its glorious forms (that’s my girl) and putting everyone in “time-out” for the smallest infraction. You said no biscuits? Time-out. You think now is a good time to put on her AFOs? Time-out! You dared to give her one egg when you know she wants two? TIME-OUT! Though she’s stalled in meeting her gross motor milestones (she was in leg casts for many weeks prior to having a PICC line placed in her leg which severely limits her mobility to protect the line), all her time spent sitting with adults means that her language processing is improving by leaps and bounds. She speaks short sentences in both Telugu and English and knows the names of every single person who has ever lived or worked in our home.
Josie is a girl who loves well and who loves big. She adores Shiloh and often asks to hold her Shiloh-papa (Telugu for baby girl). She loves Shiloh so much and so well that one of her favorite activities right now while getting her IV infusions is to look at pictures of Shiloh in our family photo album!
What is Sarah’s Covenant Homes?
Sarah’s Covenant Homes is non-profit organization registered in both America and India. We respond to and prevent the abandonment of children with disabilities and medical needs in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. We currently house 130+ children and adults with various disabilities and medical conditions in over a dozen family-style homes. We strive to meet the medical, educational, emotional and therapeutic needs of every individual in our care. SCH is run entirely off of generous donations and partnerships with people from around the world. These partnerships include Jake’s Diapers, who provides for all diapering needs at SCH.
Who are Brittany and Karlie?
Brittany (a Registered nurse) and Karlie (a Barista) are two average American women raising 13 amazingly beautiful Indian children by relying on lots of coffee and even more Jesus.
Thank you for the joy you bring to Josie, and the other children we are blessed to serve through the mission & ministry of Jake’s Diapers. If you’d like to learn more, please reach me at [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you.