Today's workshop at the University of Chicago was AMAZING! I was humbled and blessed to be able to be a part of such a wonderful partnering between professionals at U of C, possible or future adoptive parents, and current adoptive parents.
We were blessed to have professionals from the International adoption clinic, HIV practitioners, Pediatric Neurologists, Neuropsychologists, social workers, etc. There were four families who together are adopting 7 of the girls on Reeces Rainbow from the Ukraine who are HIV+. One of these had driven in from OHIO! It was great to be one of the few parents present who was currently parenting a child with HIV, to be able to share the everyday life experiences with these wonderful people. The ease of parenting a child with HIV, the realization that still many today, including many pediatric physicians, are in need of correct information when it comes to the spread of HIV, the fact that for many of us, our HIV+ children are actually our healthiest in our home! :) How many of us decide to NOT keep HIV a secret, in order to help alleviate the stigma, in order to help educate others. There is a lot to take into consideration when venturing into adoption, and HIV doesn't have to be a negative aspect at all.
I am so completely not someone who is comfortable speaking in front of peers, especially peers I don't know. Give me a room of students, I'm good. But a room of adults, I practically hyperventilate! My hands turn ice cold, and my train of thought is NIL. I shared a few thoughts today, but had more on my mind I would have liked to have shared. I need God to be able to step in and use me in these times, I am not a good speaker! :)
But, speaking aside, I was in awe of God's work today. In all that those at U of C have done, and would like to plan for the future. Project Hopeful, Carolyn, are wonderful advocates for HIV adoption! This is something that is needed country-wide. It sounds like these workshops may be made into webinars at some point to get this wonderful information out to anyone around the country, possibly even the world, who would be interested. Praise God! :)
1 month ago