NOTE: Kelly Harnish, the writer of this blog post, is an amazing mom and human being I am privileged to know in real life. She brings this vibrant vitality and humor to our little special needs adoption moms’ group, but the most beautiful thing about her is her passion for adoption of children with special needs. She was pleading for a certain little boy at our last moms’ gathering, and I told her, “You write it down; I will publish it.”
In Kelly’s words…
Today, I’d like to introduce you to the needs of HIV+ kids in a certain Asian country. As many of you know, parenting a child who is HIV+ in the USA is met with much support and requires regular doses of medication. However, viral loads can be brought to negligible levels and kids are able to lead long, healthy lives, marrying and having children without passing the virus on to their spouses or future children. To more fully explore the issues surrounding adoption of HIV+ kids, please visit Project Hopeful, a great educational resource!
Please understand that although parenting an HIV+ child in the USA is quite doable, the plight of HIV+ children in some other countries is unspeakably devastating. David’s story will help to shed some light on this issue. Please know that many details of David’s care were not included in this video. Specifically the fact that once hospitals and other care facilities learn of their patient’s HIV+ diagnosis, they are consistently refused care and turned out on the streets. The understanding of medical treatment hasn’t advanced to the levels here in the USA, and social stigma almost always leaves these kids to be housed in “isolation” within their orphanages for fear that they will somehow spread the disease to others. HIV has never been spread through normal, shared living. It is only spread intravenously, sexually, or through lack of treatment at childbirth by an HIV+ mother. The disparity of care and social acceptance of HIV+ kids between the USA and this Asian country is vast. Being HIV+ is often a death sentence for these kids, both literally and socially. There is one glimmer of light in the mix, and that is ELIM, a home for HIV+ kids in this Asian country. They do absolutely amazing work, and I’m blessed to know about them. This year, I became aware of David and followed his story. Please take the time to view it here:
All of this brings me to Lincoln. This young man has my heart. He is in need of a family already in process and willing to do an EXPEDITED ADOPTION to get him home before he AGES OUT in mid-April of this year, 2016! I’m confident that we would have added him to our family if we would have seen him in time, but we have already been matched with as many kids as his country will allow for during our current adoption. Please, please get on your knees and pray for this young man, thirteen and full of potential! He needs a family right away. Otherwise his future seems to me to be quite bleak. I see my own kids in his smile and in his interests. Please, dear Jesus, provide a family for this one…just one more.