Adopting a child with HIV : Lily’s Story “She was vulnerable to the lie.”
The amazing team at Sharing Dots was kind enough to put together a guest post about a very special family that moves me like I can’t even put into words. Matt and Heather adopted their daughter Lily who is kind of like any other kid. They share about their journey adopting a child with HIV. Her dad says she was (and children like her) were ‘vulnerable to the lie’ of HIV. Her mother Heather shares candidly that adoption was never really on her heart. She feared she could never love a child she adopted as much as she would a biological child, but that she fell in love with Lily. Below is the story by Sharing Dots about Lily’s family along with a powerful video. Fair warning, you will be inspired.
My husband and I work in media and marketing with humanitarian organizations who are helping women and children in Asia. Through our work we have had the privilege of meeting adoptive families and the kids they love so much.
Every family just blows me away with their love and determination.
Families who adopt kids, especially kids that are different or have a physical or mental handicap, blow me away. This is true love! These people are my heroes.
Last fall we had the privilege of meeting Lily and her family. Lily had been abandoned by her birth parents in a train station and then had been abandoned again by another family when they learned she was HIV positive.
Because of her HIV the orphanage wouldn’t take her. Somehow she ended up at a hospital but the hospital was afraid of her HIV and had her in an isolation room for 40 days.
This is when her story crossed with Matt and Heather (now her parents).
I thought I knew about HIV from health class in high school, but meeting Lily and her family brought up how much I didn’t know.
- Was it okay for me to let my kids play with an HIV positive child?
- Did she have any hope of living into adulthood?
- Was it smart for Matt and Heather to add a child with HIV into their family with their other 4 children?
- What does it look like to live with HIV?
I was so blown away and affected by their story. They faced all these questions as a family and regularly face them with others.
I want to let them tell you their story because they do it so much better than I could. We were able to make this short video of their story to help educate and advocate for these children. These children have hope, and they can have a future, all they need is a chance.
Matt and Heather are the perfect example of a family who didn’t let fear get in the way of valuing and loving a child. I love how they share honestly about their experience of first fostering Lily and then going through the long process of adopting her.
Lorilee Lippincott is co-founder of Sharing Dots and lives with her husband and two children in China. She has also authored 4 books on the topics of Simple Living and Homeschooling (available on Amazon). Find more stories and learn more about our work in Asia at Sharingdots.org