Saturday, February 11, 2012

So much...

A few weeks ago I had the remarkable opportunity to attend Created for Care, a conference for adoptive moms.  It was educational, encouraging, refreshing and amazing!  It was started by a couple of adoptive moms two years ago that just recognized a need for adoptive moms to feel connected, educated and encouraged.  They planned for 75 ladies, max and within 24 hours they had 250 women registered.  This year they planned for around 450 woman and very quickly sold out so they are having a second weekend retreat in March.  It was amazing being around so many woman that are in the midst of a similar process.  Many already have their little ones home, some are traveling soon and many like me, are considered at the beginning of their journey.

I was surprised at how well done everything this is truly run by 5 adoptive moms (with large families) and their friends.  Amazing music, beautiful accomodations (Legacy Lodge at Lake Lanier), spoiled with yummy food, complete organization, schedule that was not overpacked, appropriate vendor booths...allowing for time to process.  I went not knowing anyone...which was SO fun!

I met two other moms, one that has adopted through our same agency (Nightlight) and orphanage, in Columbia and we rode up together.  Then I roomed with 3 ladies I connected with online that offered me a spot in their room.  They were great!!  One adopted domestically, one adopting form the Congo and one just starting her process and not sure where in Africa she is going to adopt.

I heard so many truths that I have hidden in my heart and written down in my notebook that I am still processing and chewing on.  So many wise, wise women were there to learn from.  I was able to meet and visit a bit with Suzanne Mayernick from 147 Million Orphans as well as Morgan Hansow from Light Gives Heat.  That was a wonderful experience.

I brought lots of notes and cds home to chew on and process through.  I also am excited to have many new resources to learn from like the wisdom from this church and their leadership and this website.

So...a few weeks ago we found out that most of our dossier was almost a year old and our agency felt like we should renew ALL of that paperwork:)  So we are hopefully a week away from the last of it being finished up and mailed in!  Then we will officially be on the waiting list.  It looks like we may be fourth on the waiting list.  So then we pray and wait for a referral!

While at the conference I met quite a few moms that have brought home HIV+ kiddos.  It is amazing the progress these little ones have made.  Josie Love Mayernick for example...(you can read her story here) she came home a very, very sick little girl and within 9 months of being on the right drug regimen the HIV traces in her body are almost undetectable!  Hearing their stories helped educate me and made me want to share what I am learning with each of you.  There is a wonderful organization called Project Hopeful that has helped me learn more.  I wanted to share a few things that I read on their site that I found very interesting...
Enable Education

The Truth Pandemic campaign is part of an ongoing educational initiative to encourage public awareness about the facts regarding HIV transmission and orphans living with HIV/AIDS. Project HOPEFUL believes that education is key to addressing the needs of orphans with HIV and families/individuals who would seek to adopt them.

What you need to know:
  • `HIV is considered a chronic but manageable disease with proper treatment.
    `Children who receive treatment are expected to live a normal lifespan.
  • `HIV has never been transmitted in normal family living conditions.
  • `You NEVER have to fear contracting HIV through casual contact with an HIV+ person.
  • `HIV is spread in three main ways: sexual contact, IV drug use through the sharing of dirty needles,
     mother to infant (pregnancy, birth or breast feeding.)
  • `All around the world orphans are overlooked for adoption because of their HIV+ status.
  • `Medications called ARVs can mean the difference between life and death.
  • `The combination of three or more ARVs is called HAART. (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy)
  • `With medications HIV can be effectively managed to the point that the virus is undetectable in laboratory tests.
  • `There is a term for the miraculous transformation HIV+ people undergo when they begin receiving the medications they need.
     The Lazarus Effect is a term commonly used to describe people who were once on the brink of death who have been restored again to health through medication.