Some of my clients are aware that the funds provided for initial consultations with my firm go into a nonprofit foundation account (www.karunainstitute.org) for the benefit of a children’s orphanage in Ukraine, among other causes. I am presently coordinating with Life2Orphans.org on an Odessa, Ukraine orphanage project to assist children in the orphanage with HIV.
I saw today, via Twitter, an article that was both inspirational and educational. Aside from helping kids affected by MTCT HIV, it is helpful to understand that with modern care, these kids can be as healthy and “adoptable” as any child, and they deserve a better life than that afforded by the detski dom. Here is the article:
Who Could Possibly Want HIV+ Children?
Feature, HIV + Children – By Lisa on January 12, 2010 at 7:00 am
I wrote an interesting letter yesterday. An orphanage caring for HIV+ children recently partnered with an adoption agency that was happy to work with them and eager to find families for these little ones. But then something changed. The orphanage director began to doubt the interest of the American families. Why would anybody want an HIV+ child? What motive could they possibly have? In the end, the orphanage director concluded that these children were going to be used for “experimental purposes” and would not allow them to be adopted.
I was given the opportunity to write a letter explaining why we had adopted HIV+ children and how they are treated in our family. I also included a photo of my girls with two of their sisters.
As you can imagine, I was glad for the opportunity to help, but I was also very sobered. As challenging as it is to live with the stigma of HIV in American, it pales in comparison with the stigma in much of the world. Children infected with HIV are abandoned to die because their families have no hope for them. Adults refuse to seek medical help for fear of people finding out. They would rather die than be shamed and rejected.
This concern also reflects upon the lack of hope children and adults all over the world experience when they are infected with HIV. The orphanage director could not imagine an abundant, healthy life for the orphans in her care.
So who could possibly want these children? Who would take the time to complete the paperwork, pay the fees, fly halfway around the world, and then spend the rest of their lives committed to this child? I would, and so would an increasing number of adoptive parents. In America there is nothing that can hold these children back from living life to the fullest. There is excellent medical care and nutrition to meet their physical needs. There are families to nurture them, educational options to develop their minds, and limitless opportunities for them.