You’re a young woman (or perhaps her husband) and you’re pregnant for the first time. You and your husband are ecstatic! You’ve dreamed of being a mom since you were little, and now, the day is almost here! You’ve been busy preparing the nursery, reading up on infants, and taking care of your health, so you can bring a healthy baby into this world. Before you know it, you go into labour. It’s a difficult process, harder than you imagined it would be, but finally, after 18 gruelling hours, your beautiful baby girl is born. Weighing in at 7 lbs, 10 oz, she is perfect in every way. You decide to name her Grace. The doctor’s take her to do an exam and suddenly the mood changes. You can tell something is wrong. They whisk her away, your beautiful baby girl, as you sit their motionless, unsure what to do. You’re terrified, helpless, as your baby girl lies somewhere else, without your warm embrace to comfort her. Finally, a doctor comes in and gives you the news. Little Grace has severe anaemia. You discover it is not a life threatening condition, it happens often with newborns, and a simple blood transfusion will solve the problem. You let out a huge sigh of relief. Your pulse returns to normal. You wait patiently as your precious baby undergoes the transfusion, and before you know it your both home, safe and sound, with your darling miracle in your arms. You look down at her sparkling blue eyes, and thank God for blessing you with such an amazing gift.
A week later, you’ve settled into your new routine as a mother. You’re extra tired, but managing, and enjoying your new way of life. Little Grace is growing and eating like a champ. Suddenly, the phone rings. You pick it up only to hear your doctor’s voice on the other end. His tone is troubled. You heart starts to quicken as you try to listen to everything he is saying. You don’t understand. Contaminated blood? Huge recall at the hospital? And then you stop breathing. Then you stand frozen. HIV. HIV. HIV? How can this be? Are they sure? Was there a mistake?
No. There is no mistake. A short while later the tests confirm. You beautiful, precious, baby girl, is HIV +, and there is not one thing you can do about it. The tainted batch of blood given to her during the transfusion infected her. It is too late to do anything about it. What does this mean? What do you do? Would you keep your darling daughter? Would you bring her home to your other 2 children and husband? Would you give her up for adoption? Put her in a home? What are you thinking right now?
I can tell you what you would do. What every mother would do. You would take that precious gift, that miraculous blessing, you would bring her to your lips, and you would give her your loving, motherly kiss. You would bring her home, and the above thoughts would never enter into your mind. She is your daughter. She will always be your daughter. HIV or no HIV, she is your family and you will learn to live with it. It doesn’t matter how much research you have to do, how much medication Grace may need, you will do whatever it takes to give her the best life that she can have. After all, she is your daughter, your gift from God.
Now imagine, for a moment, you were not the mother of this child, you hadn’t given birth to her, but instead, you were thinking of adopting Grace. What would you do? Why would it be any different? Would you go to the same lengths as the mother above? Would you even consider it? This story was meant to open your eyes to the adoption of a child who is HIV+.
So much has been learned about HIV, and many people still have the same misconceptions as when the virus was discovered. HIV is transmitted in three main ways: Unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing of needles, or from mother to child through birth or breastfeeding. HIV CANNOT be spread from hugging, kissing, vomit, feces, and there has never been a known case for someone to contact HIV from a family member. HIV is treated with medication and can allow a child to live a regular life span. HIV progresses to AIDS when left untreated.
So there you have it. The facts. So I ask you again. What would you do? Would you consider adopting a child who is HIV+? Currently there are millions of children waiting for adoption that are HIV+ and are being left abandoned, or moved into mental institutions, because of one reason. Fear. So I encourage you to research, pray, and think about what you have just read, because somewhere, there is an innocent child of God, hoping that someone will consider adopting them, and bringing them into their forever family. Is it you?
To find out more information and see a list of children waiting for their forever homes, go to http://www.projecthopeful.org/