Saturday, May 2, 2009

Big Decisions

Tomorrow at church I will be setting up a display in the sanctuary to spread awareness about HIV+ orphans and the realities of adopting an HIV+ child. I made a simple tri-fold set up involving some old school cut and pasting and some construction paper and printed off some facts sheets to place out. Keith is hooking up his computer to loop the video on the A Hope for Children website. We were going to loop a much longer, more educational video called Facing life head on: HIV adoption - yes you can .
I don't know if those links will work...for some reason I can't make links embed in my stupid blog today...when I have some time I will figure it out! you can get to the Facing life head on video by going to and clicking on the link to HIV adoption: yes you can.
I am working on other ways to raise awareness. I have mentioned before...very briefly...on this blog how moved I have recently been by the issue of HIV+ orphans.
Even though i am a doctor, my perception of HIV+ adoption was this....
"Why would I spend money and all of the time and energy to bring home an HIV+ child to watch them die?"
"why would I bring home an HIV+ child, fall in love with them....have my other children fall in love with them...only to watch them die?"
The truth of the matter is ... they don't die. Of course, children do is an unavoidable part of life...people die. On ARV's (usually 2-3 medications twice a day) children born with HIV can live mostly normal lives...they grow up, go to college, get married, have kids. This disease isn't curable...but it is a chronic illness NOT a terminal illness.
However, only 2% of HIV+ children in Africa have access to adequate medical treatment and if a child born with HIV doesn't get treatment.....50% of them will die before they are 2 years old.
OK.....WOW is what I said. If you are as impressed by these statistics as I was...please visit the website for From HIV to Home (
In other unrelated news....we got the go ahead from Adoption Alliance to pursue a concurrent adoption if we so choose. We haven't so chosen yet...but we are examining our options at this point. Although I have been very moved by the need of HIV+ children, Keith and I have decided that now is not the time for us to pursue an HIV+ adoption. Now is just the time for us to advocate for and donate to organizations addressing this issue. We haven't even decided for sure if we are going to move ahead with a concurrent adoption. We are just looking around and putting ourselves out there to let things happen as they will...if that makes sense!
To be clear, we still plan on adopting Aaron as soon as we can...but that may not be for years. I saw a blog today of a family that has been trying to complete the adoption of two children they were referred in May of has been 4 years. If it takes 4 years to bring Aaron home...I will keep waiting and trying...but we want a big family and there is only so long we can wait for our other children....wherever they may be.


Rachel said...

This was a great post...I showed it to my husband, since this is something we are strongly considering now. Other than AAI (WA), do you know of agencies that work to place HIV+ kids? I would love to learn of them, if so...


Michelle said...

Thank you for your comment. CHSFS has a fledgling HIV+ program. In the next couple of days I am going to post some other links on the side of my blog. Also From HIV to home can refer you to agencies...there is panel on the lower right side of the blog I think it says waiting children and it will link you to agencies that work with specific countries.

thanks again for posting a comment.

The Stevens said...

You know Michelle, maybe God has given you this burden for these precious children, because maybe just maybe one is waiting to come home to a forever family, have you considered HIV adoption? Esp with your medical background what a great mother and resource you can be for that child, its crossed my mind as well for our own family.

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power