In the spring of 2009 we decided to start the adoption process again. We found two little girls, with no special needs, ages 3 and 7 on our agency's waiting list. It was perfect because we had girls age 3 and 7 at home and thought they would be a great match for our family. The agency did not have the medical reports back on the girls so we had to wait a few weeks before we could officially accept their referrals. Well, we found out that the three year old was more than likely HIV+. I am not sure how to explain how we felt. I guess you could say we were like, "humm, we never really thought about adopting a child with HIV". It wasn't necessarily scary to us but we were just not informed about HIV or AIDS. We were educated enough to know how the virus was transmitted but that was the extent of our knowledge. We had no idea the life expectancy of a child with HIV. What medical treatment they would need? How to handle injuries? We had no idea what was involved in raising a child that was HIV+. The agency asked if we still wanted to accept the referral. So off I went to do research on HIV.
I came across the blog of Carolyn Twietmeyer and connected to Project HOPEFUL. I soaked up ALL the information on their site. Then I watched Facing Life Head On Part One and Part Two. I had my husband come and watch the episode about the Twietmeyer family too. I think we both just kinda sat there and soaked it all in. After watching the video I checked with our insurance about HIV medication. I was surprised to find out the medication was covered under our insurance. I think we were both like,"well, HIV is not that big of a deal." If this is the child God has for our family then we will deal with whatever comes our way.
So, we contacted the adoption agency and our home study agency to let them know we wanted to adopt the two girls. Due to a ridiculous policy the home study agency would not approve us for these two specific girls. We were shocked. God had something else up his sleeves. God had been preparing our hearts for another little girl. What you don't know is there were two girls also on that waiting list that were HIV+. They had been on the list for several months but we had never considered them because we were not adopting another child with special needs, especially not a child with HIV. One of those girls is our new daughter Elshaday, who is waiting in Ethiopia to come home. We first saw her face two years ago and we are so excited she will be coming home soon.