Wednesday, April 06, 2011

If you are here from MSN...


I'm so, so glad you're here!

And I apologize for yesterday's post.  Here you thought you were gonna get some info about the adoption of HIV+ children...and you clicked on a blog with a picture of a tasteless truck adornment.  Oh, the horrors!  I'll bet it got your attention though.  :)

If you are NOT here from MSN, and have no clue what I'm talking about, check out this article that ran on Sunday.

It makes my day to check out the ol' blog analytics (I feel a bit like the not-so-great-or-powerful Oz cowering behind the curtain when I look at blog stats) and see that people landed here by searching for "HIV+ adoption".  Truly.  Do you know that when we began the adoption process in 2005, no one had adopted an HIV+ child from Ethiopia yet?  Now, it is becoming somewhat common practice within the adoption community.  People are talking about it.  I don't think I ever expected to see the day when it was so publicized and, well, downright common!  (That photo is of me with one of my sons when we brought them home in early 2006.)

In the interest of full disclosure, we do not have any children living with HIV.  Just an FYI, so you don't think I'm an expert or that I can speak with any authority on the matter.  :)  Our sons came home before these precious children were able to be adopted, and the children we are currently adopting were born with Down syndrome.  So I don't speak from experience, although I DO love to advocate for the adoption of these kiddos.  I'm even on staff with a fantastic nonprofit, From HIV to Home.  It's something that's been near and dear to my heart for years.

What I have discovered over time, interestingly, is that I am passionate about the adoption of waiting children, period.  What began as the conviction that HIV+ children are just as deserving of families as are kids NOT born with HIV, has developed into my firmly held belief that we MUST find homes for the children who are waiting.  Whether they are HIV+, or older, hearing impaired, or whether they were born with an extra chromosome, these children are the ones needing to be adopted.  These are the children who have no waiting list of families--THEY are sitting on a list.  Waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.

If you have never thought about the adoption of a waiting child, of a child with medical needs or who is older, I hope you'll do some research, say a prayer or two (or 100!), and really give it some serious consideration.  We always, always believed we'd adopt a child with HIV one day, but our journey led us instead to two little girls who'd been doing a lot of waiting themselves, not because they have HIV, but because they were born with Down syndrome.  Life's funny in that it doesn't always turn out the way you expect.  All along I suppose God was moving our hearts towards the many dear, precious children in the margins...whether due to a highly stigmatized illness...or a highly stigmatized extra chromosome.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about the adoption of a child with medical needs.  If I can't answer, I'll point you towards someone who can.  Because I know some really amazing people.

Be encouraged, because adoption isn't always (ever?) easy...but it is good.  And do-able. 

And now I'm going to close by raising my glass to the fact that children who were once considered hard to place are finding families! 

There are good things happening in the world.


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