HIV + Adoption

I’ll admit that my first conversation with my husband about adopting an HIV positive child did not end on a high note. I think it went something like this: “Honey, what do you think about adopting a child with HIV?” “No and you’re crazy.” Since many first conversations in my household sound like this, I assumed my husband meant, “Maybe, sweetie” and filed it away in my head for a later date.
That later date came about six months later when we were starting the adoption process again. We had just received an updated picture of this spunky, sassy little girl that we sponsored at AHOPE. So much personality was in her little smile and those hands on her hips. I was in love. I cut out all the information about her and just emailed that picture to my husband at work. He wrote back, “That looks like my daughter.” I waited until an appropriate time to discuss major life changing decisions, ie that evening at Chuck E. Cheese. Somehow over the din, I managed to scream, “HIV is not a death sentence. It is a manageable disease that only requires a few extra doctor’s appointments a year and vigilance with medicine.” Oh, poor Chuck E. heard a ton about HIV that evening along with my husband, but the end result was our beautiful daughter. PS. She is exactly as sassy and spunky as we had suspected from that initial photo.
While adopting our daughter, we met a beautiful little boy. He was somewhat shy and waited until we were not bombarded by children to order “Give me some numbers.” “Alright, 3 and 2.” “5, give me something hard.” Any kid who can talk smack in a second language instantly endears himself to us. We knew that he was part of our family, too. While completing our dossier for his adoption, we received an email about a baby boy who was waiting because he was HIV positive. Would we be interested in adopting him too? Why, yes, sign me up!
Now we are a family with three HIV positive children and I wish I could tell you a dramatic story about the HIV, but there are none. Every morning and every evening, we dispense medicine to the kids and they take it. We have a fantastic doctor, nurse, social worker, pharmacist, and nutritionist that help us figure out everything from which medicines the kids should take to the right multivitamin to how to tell family and friends about our kids’ HIV. Handling the disease has been stupid simple, but figuring out whom to tell has been infinitely more difficult. Overall, the people we have told have been wonderfully supportive. I am not a martyr and I am a total wimp about medical stuff, and let me tell you, this is not a big deal. If HIV adoption something you are considering, I would whole-heartedly recommend it.


3 thoughts on “HIV + Adoption

  1. God bless you…I love your heart and spirit.

    Wondering about what they recommended for a multi-vitamin. We are adopting an elevenish year old girl. From her pictures I can see she has a bit of malnutrition…thinking I should pack some vitamins to start her on …but are they all the same. Our daughter does not have HIV…but when I googled multivitamin/adoption/ethiopia, your blog was the first to come up.

    Nice to meet you.

    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted
    *expecting again…from Ethiopia

    • We do a basic Flintstones multi-vitamin. A big problem with many multi-vitamins for us is that they did not have iron and our daughter has a history of anemia. I do not know of any gummy vitamins on the market that have iron. Good luck with your adoption!

  2. Pingback: HIV + Adoption Ethiopian Orphan Relief «

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