Welcome to India

This blog is intended to make a country that most Westerners find to be otherworldly not so much so. We enjoy sharing our experiences, noting our observations, highlighting our impressions and otherwise recounting our adventures in India while helping our blogwatchers to be vicariously closer to this grand country. Welcome to India.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

CCH Christmas - A Special Chance to Give

These Kuderu girls love their new dresses, something they never thought they would ever have.

The boys of NTR Colony are about to open their first Christmas gifts.

This picture of the Nelaturu girls is our favorite picture from our entire experience in India:  renewed beauty, restored dignity, smiles that reflect the love they are experiencing despite their once-orphaned or -abandoned spirits.

Every year we add new children to CCH, and this year there are 145 more than there were last year, we also have the privilege of giving Christmas gifts to children who have never opened a gift, much less a Christmas gift.

What does this look like? 

Here’s a classic video of what it looks like for a child to open a Christmas gift (or any gift!) for the first time:   

Christmas Gifts 2011 from Covenant Children's Homes on Vimeo.

You simply won't find a better place to give this Christmas season than to these first-time gift receivers in India.

For $25/child we are giving:
     1.  A new and dignifying outfit to the children.
     2.  A new outfit to the pastor’s biological children.
     3.  A new outfit for the pastor and his wife.
4.   2 battery operated lights (rechargeable) because the power outages that are so frequent and impact the children’s studies.
5.   Money to have a special chicken dinner as a family sometime around Christmas day.  

That is 545 children at $25 each, a total Christmas campaign budget nearing $15,000.  We need to raise this by mid-December so we can confidently purchase all the gifts for the kids before Christmas.  

Here is the mailing address for sending checks.

U.S. Mail and Support:
Checks made out to “India Christian Ministries” with a designation for CCH
PO Box 3925
Dana Point, CA 92629 USA

Here is the link for online donations for our Christmas campaign:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Good Doctor's Report and Go Bruins!

These follow-up appointments with Jaya’s cardiologist are a double-edged sword.  For instance, on Monday there was just as likely a chance that we would have to be immediately readmitted to the hospital as there was for him to say “Lungs all clear!”

A test of breast milk again for Jaya had been successful, so we got the “all clear” and this not only means that Jaya’s health is getting better, but that the likelihood of us returning to India as planned on January 9th is only increasing, much to our relief.

Contrary to what some might think, we are only becoming more and more excited to return to India and finish what we started there.  There is no second-guessing or second-thinking about our return – we have further things to accomplish and we’re determined to make it happen, but not at our daughter’s expense, which is why the cardiologist’s “all clear” for both the heart and the lungs is so critical for us.

So far so good.  Making progress.  Thanks, Team Jaya!

And we’re even attending UCLA football games to show our support for the school that has now made such a difference in our lives (and because Daddy has always loved the Bruins.  That, too.).

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Good Heart, Eating Grown-Up Food, But a Small Concern...

We came home from the hospital one week ago.  Jaya’s release was full of anticipation and many of her nurses came to celebrate and express how much they want to keep up with Jaya as she grows (thank you, Facebook.).

Our little girl’s personality has fully returned, she is able to do more than she ever has and, while still small (11 ½ lbs), she is ready to really take off on the growth charts.  We wanted to start her eating adult food immediately after surgery and, a few sweet potatoes later, our latest milestone is achieved. Pictures above.

We love every day with our sweetest of little girls.  Daddy is smitten.  Mom is enjoying every day (and many nights, too).

However, on Tuesday, we learned we are not out of the woods yet.  A follow-up appointment with our UCLA cardiologist revealed that there are still a few areas of Jaya’s heart to monitor and watch:

1.    The ventricle wall created in this surgery has a small bulge and needs a decrease in the swelling.
2.   There is a small leak in one of the areas of the heart that needs to fill out.
3.   A band around one of the arteries is smaller than expected at this point and we need to see if the band needs adjustment or if the artery just needs to mature and grow bigger.

If you’re fascinated by cardiology, let us know and we can send you further details.  Otherwise, your prayers for a whole heart and complete health for Jaya are coveted as always. 

Jaya’s clinical (outer) diagnosis is strong, healthy and positive as it has been all the way through.  Jaya’s parents are persevering and took the blow of Monday’s diagnosis in stride, immediately wanting to summon Team Jaya back to the sidelines.

This blog, originally focused on India and our work there, will temporarily return to the initial focus on Monday’s blog – so much to catch up on about India.  Here comes Christmas….and 545 gifts to get sponsored.