I was thinking as I was reading the responses to the last post about other things I wanted to share.
Just in case someone was thinking of adopting, and more specifically an HIV+ child.
Our E was an exception to the rule, not the norm.
E was infected with some icky stuff in May of 2008 and with his compromised immune system he didn't have the forces he needed to fight off the infections well.
His recovery before we got there to pick him up was nothing short of miraculous really. His medical reports while he was in the hospital in May were not promising. He was not expected to live. So the fact that he was even walking and moving when we got to ET was amazing in and of itself.
The hard part for us at first was the reality. It's 'easy' to be objective and resilient when you are only looking at pictures and getting reports. We had seen his pics from travellers before us, we heard their stories about him, we heard how very bad he looked...and how much better he was looking before we got there. But the reality was harsh.
We weren't turned off by his looks because of vanity, but because of the pain we knew it caused him, and because we knew it was going to be a long road. For him and for us.
When we got to the country and found out about the possible heart issues (these were not true) and saw the burn marks, the impetigo scars, the molluscum and the wound on his head (which ended up being MRSA and a crazy Staph infection) we weren't prepared.
We thought we had prepared for the HIV but I will admit that when we got there and were actually with him, I was scared to death. I wasn't scared of actually contracting it myself... I just became overwhelmed with the thought of all the ramifications. On top of all the other health issues presented I wasn't sure how in the world I would handle it. IF I could handle it.
As I laid on the bed with E, sobbing while he slept, I prayed, D held me and cried too. I cried out to God. I knew He had brought us here... but dog on it if I could figure out why. I didn't think I had the strength in me to do this daunting task...of taking care of this little bitty boy.
God reminded me as I laid there that our prayer when we thought he was going to die in May had been that if His will was for us to adopt him, that he would spare E's life. And spare it He did. So we needed to just trust in Him and move forward.
I can't tell you how many times I cried out to him with those same fears in those 12 days we spent in the Children's Hospital. Or when I was doing IV meds every 6 and 8 hours around the clock while D was out of town. Or when I called our employee mental assitance help line because I had been crying for days and could not stop. Or when I finally had to give in and tell the Dr that we wanted the g-tube for his meds. I was terrified of that G-tube. I am now SO thankful for it.
I used to read other blogs of parents who had adopted children with special needs or found out their children needed all this extra help and think "man, I could never do that" I would stop immediately while reading and pray for them. I would pray for their strength and God's provision. And here I was living that life.
Through this whole time God never left us. He never once left our side. He placed people in our lives that we needed to keep us going. To remind us of His care for us. He held us close and held us up.
Over this past year we have found that we CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
We found that in all the crazy medical stuff the HIV is/was the least of our issues. That part is easy. We aren't wearing rose colored glasses we realize we will run into issues with those that still do not understand the illness. But we feel like God used our time of medical trial to sharpen our resolve in fighting for him. And fight for him we will when we need to, and fight with him when it's appropriate.
Isaiah 40: 28-31 says
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings of eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
In those days that I wanted to faint, when I was weary, when I just wanted to crawl into bed and not get out. He was right there.
He led us to our E. He gave us a blessing that cannot be replaced, on so very many levels.
So if you have ever thought of adopting, or adopting a child with HIV, please pray about it. Most of the children that come home are really pretty healthy. Some don't even need meds right away. E was the exception, not the rule and we do think he's pretty exceptional! ;o)
We are cautious with his blood, but it doesn't hinder our lives at all. We have learned to make sure he takes his meds on time, and we just make due when we have to be somewhere when it's med time.
Think about it pray about it...do it! ;o)
Life is good. God is good...better than good really... ;o)