"I'd love to know how you came to decide 4 was the right number (or 5 if you're planning more! LOL!) and what's the best research to do if you're contemplating/planning to adopt a child who is HIV+?"
If you ask Eric he would say that he never really decided 4 was the "right" number! Eric would have been perfectly content to be dad to two children. However, I always knew I had four children out there. I just...knew. I've always wanted four children. Don't get me wrong--I felt as if we would have a very happy life with two children. [For me, I would have had a hard time only having one child.] Numbers 3 and 4 were "bonus" children--icing on my cake! Eric had to pray long and hard about adding Bright and Kendi to our family. He's a typical guy that thinks about how to pay for weddings, college, etc.. I'm a typical woman who says "It will work itself out, and who said we have to pay for college?!" LOL!
When Taevy and Samren were still small I had a dream that (I feel) was from God. It was a dream of my two dark skinned children. I had never thought about adopting a child of African origin before, but after that dream, I really felt that our 3rd and 4th children would be from African (or Caribbean of African descent). That was YEARS before we started Bright's adoption.
Now that we have four children both Eric and I feel very content with our family size. He would say we are having NO more children. I would say that I don't PLAN to have more children, but am always open for the Lord's leading in that. Four feels good to me. I think that, at this point, five would be overwhelming for us, in this house, with our situation (Eric's special needs and such). We have a plan in place for me to care for our children, should Eric pass away. Four is pretty much the limit, financially (if he were to pass). But the Lord is ultimately in control.
My best advice to anybody who is considering the adoption of an HIV+ child is to talk to other families who have done it! Reading stats and learning about HIV is great, but it's really talking to other families who live with it every day that made a difference for me. Seeing those families day to day lives is what confirmed that it is REALLY no big deal! My other advice is to have a plan in place for the doctor your child will see. Good pediatric infectious disease docs can be few and far between. We needed to go out of state. That could be a tough reality for someone who didn't know ahead of time!