We want to remain anonymous – but yet praise the Lord with the beautiful babe He has generously blessed us with. I want to share how we - a normal, average couple, chose the route we did. Because it was not us, it was all the Lord. It is sorta strange writing our story without telling you who we are but I know it is for the best, right now. And I hope you understand.
The simple story of God bringing us to our son is that God opened our eyes and hearts.
The detailed story is that it took time and prayer.
We started our adoption journey fully expecting that we would bring home a baby in 2-3 years after starting. We started when “things” started to slow down in Ethiopia – last spring. We knew that the slow down would affect us and we felt confident that this was the right time to start because of them. Our family and friends thought we were a little crazy, at least most did, since our youngest was still a baby. However, we were fully at peace about the decision to start thinking the process would take a lot of time.
Around the time we started our process, we had good friends close to the end of their adoption journey. One day our friend mentioned how the Lord was laying things on her heart that were heavy. I asked what they were so I could pray for her. She said a number of things in that conversation but one thing stuck out. She felt a huge burden for HIV orphans and felt like the Lord might lead them to adopt a child with the chronic disease one day. As a good friend I said I would pray for her, and I did. I also started looking up what adopting a child with HIV would mean so that in the future I could help her out and understand her world better.
I read a book called There Is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene and was heartbroken for the orphans devastated by the terrible disease. I learned that there are over 25 million HIV/AIDS orphans in the world 1 million live in Ethiopia. This started to hurt my heart like it did my friend and through it my husband and I felt like the Lord was preparing us to go that route in the future – FAR future. Not THIS adoption future.
Each day at nap time I make a habit of checking our agencies waiting list. I like praying for the children on there. I like praying for their families, wherever they are. I have done this since the beginning of our adoption and will most likely continue past our finalization. One day early summer I saw a new face that was in our age range. This little one was on the older end of what we thought we would “accept”. If we brought him into our home we would be bringing in our oldest.....and he had three little letters attached to his name....H....I....V.
I prayed for this little boy daily. After 3 weeks of prayer by myself, I rallied my husband in and we started to pray for this little one to find a home. We prayed for his family to open their hearts. The other little guys on the list I prayed for, but not like him - he was special. At week 4 I started praying for him by name. Around week 5, I prayed for him one day, while staring at his picture, when I was done I stood up and said, “I am coming for you”. At that point I realized the Lord had opened my heart for this little one and I asked God what he was doing to me...... and our family.
I knew the Lord had convinced me, but I was not so sure about my husband. I prayed for another week, which seemed like eternity, for my husbands heart to change and be open to this little guy. I asked my husband to consider the little one and after a couple days of repeating, “just because we look at his information doesn't mean we have to be open to him.” He said sure ask to see more information.
The next few days are a bit of a blur. We asked our agency for more information on him. We spent a weekend in prayer. We talked about issues we never thought we would have to talk about. We did a lot of research on HIV and HIV adoptions, Adopting older children, and Adopting the oldest. Ultimately our prayers changed from, “can we do this, Lord?” to “Lord, if this is not what you want....slam the door.”
When we first started praying for the Lord to open the hearts of this boy’s family we never-ever thought we were praying for Him to open ours.
We rejoiced when we received the call we had hoped for and were told that this little boy was our son. In my heart I knew he was special right away, but it took weeks of prayer to let God slowly work His way in. There are no words to explain how grateful I am that God choose us for this.
At the start of this year, not even a full year after starting our adoption, we traveled to meet our son for the first time. We are amazed that the Lord has matched him with our family and know that he will fit right in. We can't wait for him to come home and meet his siblings!
To think that we could have missed out on this little blessing....it brings me to tears. I want others to see that HIV is not scary. NOT AT ALL. Our son will have to take medicine his whole life, but other than his pills he can live a normal healthy life. HIV is not a death sentence; it is also not easily transmitted.
Some days I am overwhelmed by the fact that I am his mother. I get overwhelmed by the lies I have been told my whole life about HIV and how scary it is. I get overwhelmed that I have the job of raising a boy into a man with the disease and all that THAT entails. I get overwhelmed by the fact that I will have three toddlers (that is really scary)!!!
That is when I look at our son’s sweet little face and I praise the Lord. Those are the moments when God transforms my overwhelming fears into overwhelming love. I know the love I have for this little one is the same love that comes from above onto me, even in my brokenness that is altogether scary. Those are the times I stop and thank God of the life I have been given and am completely blessed to live.
I am writing from an anonymous position because we are not fully open about our son’s status yet. We want to be, but are questioning how to do this. The friends we have told have been wonderful and supportive. We continue to seek guidance and go to prayer about how to handle the social aspect of this disease as that harder to live with then the disease itself. If you could pray for us, even though we are anonymous, it is appreciated.
If you want to learn more about adopting a child with HIV, please check out Project Hopeful, who answered more questions than I can count for us when we started down this path.