of adopting a child with HIV?
I get asked this question a lot and to be honest my answer is no and yes.
No, I am not scared of my child's HIV being transmitted to anyone in my family or anyone else for that matter. Once I knew the facts of HIV, the thought of transmition rarely crossed my mind when I think about our little girl.
No, I am not scared that I will not be able to watch her grow up. I am confident that our little girl will grow up and live a very long, fulfilling life. I am confident that she will go to her proms, graduate high school, go on to college (if that's what she chooses), get married, have children, have grandchildren, etc. The medications available today have done so much for the life span of people with HIV and I can only assume that the medications will get better as our little girl gets older.
So, why the yes? What am I scared of? Well, there is one thing that scares me just a little bit. I do think about the medication that our little girl will have to take and worry about what the long term side effects will be. No one has the answer to this because the medications have not been used long enough to know the long term side effect. But, I am sure that the benefits of the medication far out weigh any side effects, either in the present or in the future, of that medication.
The thing I am the most scared of though and think about the most often is that my little girl will be treated differently, or worse cruely, because of her HIV. We have not decided how open we are going to be about her status, but we have decided that it is not something that we are going to try to hide. We feel hiding her status only adds to the stigma associated with HIV. If she had inherited a genetic disorder from her birth mother no one would even think twice about it. And no matter how a person contracted HIV they still deserve to be treated with respect. I am so scared that people will be mean to her. As a parent you never want your child to be hurt, whether it be physically or emotionally. I can only hope and pray that our little girl will help to open people's hearts to people with HIV and that she will never have to feel ashamed of something that does not define who she is, but is just another part of her.