We are so excited that our agency, All God's Children International, has started a new program called "Positively Chosen." They have seen the great need for orphans who test positive for HIV to be adopted and given the medical care that they need that they cannot receive in their country. There are so many stigma's attached to this virus, but the fact is that it is not the deadly virus that it was perceived to be in the 80's. It is actually only transmitted through 4 fluids: blood, vaginal fluid, semen, and breastmilk. The main ways of transmitting the virus is through unprotected sex, breastfeeding your baby, and sharing needles. It is NOT transmitted through daily living (sharing hugs, kisses, cups, utensils, being sneezed on, pooped on, peed on or thrown up on). Actually, there has never been a case where HIV was accidentally "caught" within the home.
With the right medications, this virus is completely manageable...even more so than diabetes. Can you believe that?!? HIV is more manageable than diabetes! The hard part of this is that it is very manageable HERE but not at all in less privileged countries. So, here, a child could be on proper medications and live a "normal" life. In Ethiopia, a child with HIV would likely die by the age of 2. Wow. I can't even wrap my brain around that. We are so thankful for the new information and teaching regarding HIV.
We are so thankful to be a part of this new program with our agency. It is very new, and they have not matched any referrals with families yet, but they are working hard to get the information out there that they have families who will adopt a child who tests positive for HIV. So, we don't exactly know how this will play out from here. The "waitlist numbers" look a little different for us. We could get a referral any day...or MONTHS down the road. We have no idea. We do know God is sovereignly orchestrating things behind the scenes. We are excited to meet our child and excited to see what the future holds.
I am sure there are many questions mulling around in people's heads as they read this:
* How did you make this decision?
* Are you fearful for the health of the children you already have?
* Does this put people we are around at risk?
* What are the medications and how do they work?
* Are the medications always effective?
* Will this create a financial burden?
* What is the life expectancy of this child?
* How will this effect the child/our entire family socially?
* Does this speed up or slow down the process?
*Can this child still be sick?
We will be happy to answer these and other questions, and engage in whatever conversations you want to have regarding this adoption, so leave comments with questions if you have them. There will be a follow up post on many questions that we have been asked along they way, and new ones that arise.
With that background information, we received an amazing gift a few weeks ago...
"Aunt Karen" writes poems for each of our children for the thoughts she has and the prayers she prays for them. They are priceless to all of us.
A few weeks ago, Karen gave us this poem that she wrote for our adopted child. It is precious.