"How can there be too many children? It's like saying there are too many flowers." Mother Theresa

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


what about your other children
A big concern for the family members or friends of people who pursue HIV+ adoption is “what about your other children?” Often the question comes because people are still misinformed about the status of treatment for HIV/AIDS today. Many still operate on what we heard in the 1980s. So the question often comes because people are worried about transmission. But since HIV cannot be "caught" and transmission doesn’t occur with normal household contact, this is really a fear that can be addressed with education and information. The more subtle fear, sometimes spoken and sometimes not, is what if we make life more “difficult” for our kids?This can be looked at from many angles. But for us, the bottom line came down to, yes, life could be more difficult. All of our children will probably encounter more judgment, ostracism, and fear than they otherwise might have. But this simply is not a deal-breaker. In our natural drive to keep our children safe, we forget the beauty and strength that adversity can develop in one’s character. And we forget how character can wilt without adversity.I don't take it lightly that life may be different for our kids than it is for other kids. But I also have a heavy and deep trust that we are all equipped for this and our kids are being built through it into people with depth and character and empathy that have been formed in a unique way. I have a profound gratitude that this has been given to our family, to our children. I believe that if you are following love, there is a cushion of grace that is going to come along with that - and so as we take our kids with us on this journey of love, I believe that the difficulties and heartaches will be cushioned with grace.

1 comment:

KT said...

I remember the AIDS of the 80's. I remember thinking it was a gay male disease. Then, I remember watching Ryan White on TV. It was so sad. I remember watching my parents argue over the right/wrong way of dealing with it.
Since then, SO much has been learned about HIV. Sadly, the ball is being dropped. When I asses this in my own life. I was scared of HIV as well, until our adoption when I met some amazing people who helped educate me on HIV. I would no longer be afraid to adopt a child with HIV. Surely I would educate myself and my family, but I wouldnt be scared.
I had fear before. And when I really look at things, our school system is cauing part of this. We do learn about how it is not easily caught, ect. But it is also used as a scare tactic, to get kids to have safe sex. In my mind, I remember a horrible sexually transmitted disease, over the factual education about the disease. I think our school system needs to take a look at this!