I never thought I would be a mom at twenty. I really never thought I would be a mom to twelve
girls with special needs. God turned my life upside down when He called me to serve at Sarah's
Covenant Homes, an orphanage for abandoned children with intellectual and physical disabilities
Sarah's Covenant Homes (SCH) provides love, quality education, spiritual care, and medical care in a family environment to our children. We implement this through the foster home.
In the summer of 2012, I traveled to India to visit SCH for the first time. God instantly broke my
heart for this country, this ministry, and these kids. When I went back home, I could not stop
thinking about this ministry. God laid one group of girls heavily upon my heart. I woke up every
morning thinking about them. I wondered how they were doing and what they were up to at that very moment. I dreamt and thought about one little girl in particular.
Heidi stole my heart. I knew God was calling me back to India to become her foster mom.
Now, one year later, that is exactly where I am. I came to India with the intention of fostering
seven girls for six months. Within my first month and a half of fostering, God turned my plan and
my life upside down. Several major issues arose with one of my foster daughters. After a really
hard night, I found myself laying on the floor beside her bed crying out to the Lord for guidance. I loved this girl with all my heart, but had no idea what to do for her. The Lord spoke to me so
directly, asking me to put my trust fully in Him.
Never have I felt so wrecked or helpless. This orphaned child had become mine and I couldn't
give her what she needed. She ended up needing to move foster homes. The day I told her she
was leaving was the hardest day of my life. I felt like I was abandoning her. She looked at me,
her eyes welling with tears as I told her I would no longer be her foster mom. I tried to hold back tears as she buried her head into my chest and screamed. I held her and kept repeating, "I love you. I love you. I love you."
In that moment I realized what it really means to be a mom. Ultimately, my kids are not mine. I
am fostering them, but even if I were to one day adopt them or have kids of my own, they still
wouldn't be mine. They belong to God. As I handed my foster daughter off to her new parents, I realized that I was not giving her to them. I was giving her to God. I prayed and released all my feelings of worry and helplessness. Her life is in God's hands and there is no better place for her to be.
A few weeks later, God changed everything up again when I received six new foster daughters.
This put my total at twelve! I could not have been happier, but I was also extremely
Really, God? I am a twenty year old American who's only been living in India for 2 1/2 months.
Can I really handle twelve girls with multiple disabilities?
He responded with one word: trust.
Within a week, my new co-foster mom arrived. Suddenly, fostering twelve did not feel nearly as
The first word that comes to mind when I describe my life as a mom is chaotic. I am still learning
my girls' native language and nearly half of my girls cannot speak, so inventive communication
is a daily practice. Four of my girls are blind and run around our house at full speed crashing into everything in their path. Two of my girls have forms of cerebral palsy and one of them is in a wheelchair. Two girls have Down's syndrome and another is living with Apert's syndrome.
Several of the girls have sensory processing issues and a few are probably autistic. Still more
were born with a variety of physical abnormalities and are learning to live life joyfully despite
some extra challenges. My girls range in age from three to fourteen. No two are alike in personality, yet they all get along (for the most part!) and live harmoniously with one another.
An average day in my life consists of everything from carrying a wheelchair on my head up and
down three flights of stairs, to piggy-backing one of my girls and her having diarrhea all over my back. Every night, we somehow find time for twelve loads of homework as well as physical
therapy. We finish dinner and the floor is covered in rice and curry. Everything is a mess nearly
all the time, no matter how many times we have cleaned that day.
Every night the girls and I come together as a family for prayer and worship. We sing one song
in English and dance around our living room. Then, we sing another in their native language,
Telugu. The older girls take turns leading their sisters in prayer. I love worshipping the Lord
together with my girls. Beauty radiates from their hearts as they call out to their Maker who has
never left them nor forsaken them.
Life here is chaotic and that is the beauty of it. Out of all the chaos, true LIFE is being found in
Jesus. All four of my girls who are blind are learning to walk safely and independently with
guide canes. One of girls who doesn't have hands or fingers is learning to write with a pencil.
Several of my girls are learning new words and sounds. Some who may never speak well are
learning different ways of communicating through sign language and through electronic
communication tools. Another is learning how to properly use her wheelchair and become self
sufficient in all of her personal needs. All of my girls are learning about Jesus and His promise to not leave them as orphans.
"I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you." John 14:18
Jesus will not leave my girls as orphans. I hope and pray they all find forever homes and are
adopted. Even if that doesn't happen, he gave them a home here. God has made it evident to me that I am here to stay. These girls will have a mom as long as I am here. And even if He calls me somewhere else one day, He will not abandon them. There are no orphans of God.
Jesus wrecked my life when He called me to be a mom. He had me leave everything behind in
order to love on these twelve beautiful, amazing girls. My life isn't easy. It isn't glamorous or
even fun every day. But it is beautiful. This life is oh, so beautiful. Out of all the chaos of
motherhood, everlasting life is being found in Jesus. I love it. I love every second of it.
"Religion that God the Father accepts as true and faultless is this: to look after orphans and
widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
*False names are used online to protect the children's privacy at Sarah's Covenant Homes.
Carrie Hopper is a foster mother at Sarah's Covenant Homes. She is originally from Knoxville,
TN, but now lives in India with her twelve foster daughters. She is passionate about the rights
and acceptance of people with special needs all over the world. When she isn't busy with her
girls, you can find her cuddled up in her hammock with a good book.
Link to Carrie’s blog: life-is-being-found.blogspot.com
Carrie’s Twitter/Instagram: @carriehops
Carrie’s Facebook: facebook.com/carrienicolehopper
Link to SCH website: schindia.com
SCH Twitter: @SCHINDIA
SCH Instagram: @sch_india
SCH Facebook: facebook.com/schindia