Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Slobber and Kisses, HIV Style

[Okay, so hopefully nobody is offended by the subject line!]

One of the new experiences I had in Ghana last week was that of holding and cuddling HIV+ children. I am a big advocate for adopting HIV+ children, and it is something that Eric and I consider for our kiddo #4. I know in my MIND that HIV is hard to catch and that there is nothing to fear with casual contact. I share that information with other people all the time!!!

But there is something different about holding an HIV+ child for the first time. Hugging them. Kissing them. Sharing a bottle of water. Accepting their slobbery toys after they've chewed on them! There is a choice. There is a moment when you have to put your knowledge to your heart, and act on your belief. An HIV+ toddler is coming at you for a big slobber kiss. And you think to yourself, I KNOW this is okay. Don't pull away. Accept this child fully. And you do. And after that first slobbery kiss your belief is not just in your mind, but also in your heart and soul.

I don't want anybody to think that I was scared of these HIV+ children. Truly, I wasn't. I knew in my head everything was fine. It was just a new (and wonderful) experience for my heart. Maybe it's the difference in believing with absolute faith that Jesus IS, and the day that you actually get to hug him and FEEL him in "real life." That's what it was like for me. Any doubt...any reservations I may have had about bringing an HIV+ child permanently into my family melted away. Any fear melted away. These are just precious, wonderful children like all others.



Bingaling 10:21 PM  

Thank you for being so honest about this...Its one thing for people to SAY things aren't different and entirely another thing to really and truly FEEL it. I think that is a hurdle for people. Thinking that maybe they really couldn't see the kid...instead they'd just see the diagnosis. That changes when you meet an HIV+ child for the first time and spend time getting to know them...realizing they are just like every other kid.

Nicole Anderson 10:58 PM  

Thank you so much for sharing, and being honest. I blogged about our first experience with children and HIV on December 1st. It is a day that I will never forget. I too, have HIV adoption on my mind all the time.