**WISH GRANTED - She is deaf and was starved and neglected in an orphanage. When everyone else gave up on her, her loving adoptive mom did not. Mom made a wish and we granted it today. Meet Ecrissa!**
Dear Bianca's Kids,
Hello!!! I am writing on behalf of my amazing daughter, Ecrissa. Ecrissa is my oldest of three children, all of whom are adopted internationally. She is a beautiful, strong and amazing young lady that really has been given the short end of the stick! She was born in a third world country and spent the first three years of her life in an orphanage with much neglect, starvation and no form of communication. The orphanage made no attempts to communicate with her as she was deaf and disabled. She has struggled to learn and given less than optimal teachers in the local DHH programs and she has had so much to overcome!
When I met Ecrissa she was significantly delayed in all areas of her development. Ecrissa has struggled to overcome not only the effects of her prenatal and early life circumstances of neglect and starvation, but also a laundry list of other diagnosis including deafness, regulating mood disorder, a cognitive impairment secondary to brain damage, emotional struggles, gross and fine motor delays and language delays. Contrary to all of her struggles, she has some amazing gifts as well. She is compassionate, loves being a big sister, is a talented artist and has a BURNING DESIRE to learn to READ!!! This is Ecrissa’s wish! To be given the opportunity to learn to read.
We have struggled with the public schools. I have fought and advocated and begged and pleaded with them to support her needs to no avail. They just do not believe that she has any capacity to learn. I was told in an IEP a year and a half ago that “it was a waste of time to teach her to read”. She spent Kindergarten to 6th grade in that public school in the deaf and hard of hearing program and they were unable to get her past the Kindergarten reading level. However, we found our “magic bean”. EnCourage Institute for teaching and learning in Grand Rapids. They have worked with Ecrissa for the past 2.5 years on reading, language and emotional stability and Ecrissa has went from a Kindergarten reading level to 2nd grade!!!!! Ecrissa is getting there! Research shows that a 3rd grade reading level is considered to be “functional reading” and leads to independence in the community. Ecrissa deserves this! She can learn and she is not a waste of time.
Well, then why am I asking for financial help for her?? I have mentioned that I am a single mom with 3 kids. I have not yet shared that I was a full time working single mom, however, 3 years ago when Ecrissa really began to struggle in school, she had a psychiatric break down. She required multiple stays in a hospital for safety and I eventually used all of my personal days from work and was forced to quit my job and stay home to care for her. I now work 1-2 days a week, however due to the difficult behaviors that Ecrissa has, I have few babysitters that are safe with her. So, I am home, caring for her. I have no regrets! The progress she has made over the past 2 years are amazing. However, I have been financially maxed out. With a very limited income, paying for her lessons at EnCourage the past couple of years, 2 other kids, tons of medical and hospital and therapy bills, I just don’t the finances available any more. Ecrissa spends her free time with a book in her hands, pretending to read, begging for more reading time, and desperately wanting to become a ‘READER’.
EnCourage Institute uses curriculums designed for Deaf learners and the teacher that works one:one with my daughter is a state certified teacher, with a CI and DHH endorsement as well as she has had training as a behavior technician. She also uses ASL, the language of my daughter. Lastly, she has the patience of a SAINT!!!!
Granting Ecrissa’s wish to be given the opportunity to become a reader would be a life changer for her. It would not give her memories to remember but will give her the ability to MAKE memories for a lifetime. Learning to read is the cornerstone of becoming as independent of an adult as she is capable, giving her the opportunity to have a job and be as successful as she can. 1 session at EnCourage is $66.00. Each session that she gets to participate in at EnCourage learning to read is one hour closer to her goal of READING!!!!!!
Of course Ecrissa is worth it! And so are you. We are so happy to grant this wish by paying for 10 more reading classes at EnCourange for her! May Ecrissa continue to read and thrive!
My wish is for an iPad for development for my daughter. Charlie is 18 months old. She has Down Syndrome and was born with a complex heart defect that shortened her life expectancy dramatically. She has had two heart surgeries. The first was performed when she was 6 weeks old, and she ended up spending 6 months in the hospital due to various issues related to her low muscle tone combined with being small for her age. Fortunately, in March of this year we traveled to Boston Children's Hospital where she received a full heart repair, giving her a normal life expectancy! Cardiac wise she is now doing excellent, however she is experiencing other health issues (none life threatening), mainly GI problems. She has been on a feeding tube since after her first heart surgery. Through it all, she has received various therapies to help with her development. Down Syndrome causes developmental delays, but being in the hospital so much has also set her back. Her speech therapist often uses and iPad during therapy, and the local Down Syndrome clinic recommended getting an iPad as there are many apps that can assist with development.
Charlie is currently nonverbal so this would help with communication as well. Financially,
I am unable to purchase an iPad for my daughter. Our only income is her social security disability and child support. I am unable to work due to the care she requires. We are also currently residing in a shelter, although we expect to be in section 8 housing soon. My true wish is to give my daughter the best opportunities to thrive developmentally (and otherwise), and I believe an iPad would be an essential contribution.
Kelly, we are so happy to grant this wish for you and Charlie. An iPad will be on its way to you this week.
Here’s the wish we received:
My daughter relies on her iPad to communicate, for her schedule, and now to be able to see what is covered in school. As a result of her brain injury she has cortical visual impairment. She cannot see things on the board at school. She cannot follow along with a book the teacher is reading out loud. All of these images have to be uploaded to the iPad for her to see on an iPad. I bought her a mini Ipad a few years ago but it only works on WiFi and has a very small memory. She needs a device that can work without being required to be on a WiFi connection and has a big enough storage to accommodate her visual needs and any apps that will help her. I just do not have the money to buy her a new one.
We are so happy to grant this wish for EmmaJean.