Our daughter has been home almost two months. She has really blossomed and is quickly learning English. She had only been home a couple of days when I began to wander if she understood that she had a long term illness. She asked daily if she was almost finished with her medication. We have contact with her older sibling so I asked if our daughter was aware that she had HIV. I was not surprised when she said that our daughter did NOT know that she had HIV. After asking our daughter a few questions I was able to confirm that our daughter only knew she was "sick" and needed medication.
*Disclaimer: I completely respect our daughter's birth family and their decision to not discuss the details of her diagnosis with her. In her birth country there is still a huge stigma surrounding the diagnosis of HIV.
As I stated in my previous post Dirty Little Secrets - Part I we are very open with our children about their health. We do not want them to think they need to hide secrets about themselves. There is no reason for them to feel shame. It is also important that they be aware of their medical diagnosis so they can educate themselves and become prepared to manage their own health when they are adults. We want to empower our children. We want our daughter to understand that God loves her and we love her. We love EVERYTHING about her!
Please keep our family in your thoughts as we begin this journey with our daughter. Our prayer is that she would trust us and lean on us and our Heavenly Father. I pray that God gives us the words to use that won't confuse or scare our daughter but will give her a clear understanding of her diagnosis.