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The Road We Traveled. . .

23 Apr

Some families always have a clear destination in mind.

Others like to travel the open road.

Some people set a course at age 8 drawing up house designs, and dreaming of their life 25 years down the road. Others take it as it comes. For the course charters, those free-thinkers are perhaps way to out there, dare we say, “irresponsible.” For the free-thinkers, those planners never take any risks, they just don’t “have faith.” So what kind of person or family are you?

Did you have elaborate plans and conversations before you got married about just how many children you would have? Did you attempt the, “we’ll work 5 years, and then start having kids approach?” or perhaps the, “what’s birth-control approach, lets start our family now!”, or maybe like others THOUGHT you had “THE PLAN” only to find out that your plan wasn’t necessarily God’s plan- you couldn’t have children. Have you ever met someone who actually sat down pre-marriage, planned, prayed and asked God to give them a medically fragile child, or a son or daughter that had attachment issues, and was labeled special needs? (just a thought)

Well, no matter what road you traveled to arrive here today at this blog post, you ARE reading about adoptions, and you ARE at a blog about HIV+ adoptions. So maybe now’s a good time to take a second and ask yourself, “Did I intentionally set this course searching for information about HIV+ adoptions, or was I just clicking on links?” Regardless here you are, and here’s our families story. Which as you’ll see combined the free-thinker and the course setter in God’s amazing sovereignty to land us in this beautiful journey we’re on!

Needless to say, no one really just ends up accidentally pursuing an adoption for a HIV+ child. For us we pursued our first adoption of a sibling group throughout 2008. This process began differently though. We applied requesting one healthy infant of either gender. About 3 months into the process and after discussions with our social worker though we thought we might be open to some “special needs.” Mainly correctable, but even to the extent of a deaf child. Our agency asked us to fill out a special application to be matched with a waiting child and we went through and checked off different needs we’d be open to. In the end we ended up with a broad request for healthy siblings under 8 or one “special needs child.” However we did NOT include HIV as a medical need that we were open to. It just seemed too scary, too unknown, too difficult. Shortly after we were matched with siblings who have been a wonderful addition to our family.

Once life semi-normalized again with the addition of 2 children I became curious about what was happening in adoption and which children were still on the waiting child’s list with our agency. I logged in and saw a familiar face. A face of a little boy who had been on the WCL (waiting child list) for well over 14 months, he had been on their in fact since the early stages our first adoption. He was 5 and had HIV. So here he was with 3 strikes against him: 1. Over three years old 2. a boy 3. Hiv+ I started to wonder if anyone really adopted HIV+ children. I sent an email to our agency asking if they had processed any HIV+ adoptions, they said they had and gave me names of families willing to be a reference. Then I asked if anyone had ever reviewed this little dudes file for adoption. They said that sadly no one had. That night or shortly there after I brought up the topic with my husband. His response, was something along the lines of, “well sure lets look into it!” So I showed him the WCL with multiple children on it and the next day from work he texted me and said, “So how much do you think it’d cost to adopt all 14 children on that list?” I love the heart that my husband has, he is the spontaneous, yet faith-filled man that is open to traveling whatever road God may highlight in our lives. I of course was also ecstatic, but in a different way. My next few thoughts consisted of: finding everyone who had ever done something like this, developing a multi-page questionaire for them to answer, researching what life looked like living with HIV, what were the risks involved, . . . etc . . .etc.

Finally one year after returning home with our first children by adoption we reapplied with AWAA with the intent to adopt that precious and positive little dude on the WCL and possibly one other positive child. We haven’t been referred him or any other child yet as we are not so patiently waiting for our homestudy to be signed off on at headquarters. ( I may or may not be finding some way to almost daily send reminders that we’d like our homestudy rushed to the front of everyone’s priority list. . . wink wink)

So here we are, in process and approved to actually be referred 2 HIV+ children. I look back and wonder, “How did we get here?” At the beginning of the post I mentioned that I don’t really know anyone who prays, “Lord please give us a ____________ (insert HIV+ child, Downs Syndrome child, ADHD child, heart defect child, etc) Even I haven’t prayed that specific prayer and here we are! So how did this course charting, detail planning mom get to this place? Simply turn-by-turn. I never really got my concrete 5 yr plan, but everyday God has been faithful to unveil the next step. Sometimes I think if God laid it all out for me at the age of 8 with my fancy house designs which included an indoor/outdoor swimming pool and horse barn, I would have freaked to think that He’d have me on a course with no college degree, infertility, 6 moves in 6 years of marriage, renting apartments, homeschooling children, and now in a cozy townhouse that we rent pursuing our second adoption of 2 HIV+ children! I actually laugh at the thought! Can you imagine that childhood conversation with your mom? “Hey mom look at my cute house design there are 4 kids in the 3 bedroom house, they’re of a different race and ethnicity, they have some special needs that may deplete our savings accounts, knowing their histories causes me tremendous heartache, we decided not to save for the down payment on a house so that we could adopt these children. . . Isn’t that awesome!” YES my friends – IT IS. Its the most incredible thing ever actually. And I’m so glad this is the road we’re traveling.

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