(I know some of you got an email from me, some of this info and story overlap that email, but I’ve added new info to this post)
So 3 nights ago Heather and I found out about a girl here who's situation is pretty rough. She's 3 years old and is an orphan. When she was only 2 years old she was found at the train station, alone and abandoned by her parents. A Chinese family took her in and have been raising her for the past year and a half. Recently China has been conducting a Census and when police officers came to this Chinese family's home they told the family that they could keep the girl, but that they had to register her. Part of the registration process is getting a medical check-up. It was after the results came back that the family discovered that this little girl they had been raising for the past year was HIV positive. It’s because of this that the family decided not to continue raising her. (The mother of this family however did want to raise her, but because of pressure from her family she was unable to keep her.) So for the past two weeks she has been living in a hospital isolation area.
Some friends of ours here run a home/work that provides care for orphans who are HIV positive. And it was 3 nights ago that we got a text from them saying they were looking for a Foster Care home for this little girl. After getting the text message Heather called our friend and chatted over more of the details and by the end of the night, Heather and I knew we were going to take her in.
Well it was only two days after that (yesterday) that I was able to go to the hospital and bring her back to our home. It was really hard watching the mother who’s been caring for her say goodbye to this little girl. I know that she’s loved her as her own for the past year and a half and would have continued if it wasn’t for the fact that the rest of her family wasn’t willing.
She only speaks Chinese and there’s a good chance that we were the first foreigners that she’s ever seen. We’ve given her an English name, Lily. And she’s seriously so wonderful!
Sydney and Aubrey have been very excited about it all. When we first told them we we’re going to start taking care of a little girl they both were ecstatic. The first day Lily was with us Sydney asked me “Is someone going to come pick her up (about Lily)?” and when I replied “no” her face lit up. It was cute too when Heather came out of the room after taking a nap and when Lily saw Heather she got the biggest smile!
I think she will fit in here well since she loves wearing all the girls dress up clothes and practically dove into the popcorn bowl the first night we had her here and were enjoying a little family movie night.
We don't know how long we will be caring for her, but are assuming it will be a while. (our friends here have been full-time foster care parents to an orphan for the past 2+ years) And even though we don’t know how long she’ll be with us, we will love her each day that she is with us.
I wanted to say I’m super grateful for the Hospital that has been caring for her, when we picked her up you could tell she had been well cared for. And the care-workers that had been working with her cried when she left.
I’m also grateful for the Chinese Social Welfare center, they are helping us a lot in taking care of this girl and they will be covering her daily life costs as well as her medicine/medical costs.
I’m also incredibly grateful to the Elim Kids organization who provide love and care to HIV orphans here in China, they have helped us a ton.
Anyways, this is a long post, but I wanted to keep all you in the loop.
But, I just remembered that I wanted to attach some info about HIV to help answer some questions you may have.
What if my child has an open, bleeding wound?
Put on plastic gloves when touching blood. Cover any open wounds with a bandage and change regularly if bleeding continues. Wash hands immediately after touching the wound. If possible keep a first aid kit with gloves and bandages ready at home for situations like this.
What do I do if my child’s blood gets on bedding or other material?
Remember that once blood has been exposed to air for 20 minutes, the HIV virus has been effectively killed. Wash the bedding or material in hot, soapy water and use a bleach solution to clean up any blood spills on hard surfaces.
Can drinking from the same straw or using the same utensils transmit HIV?
Again, the only way transmission might occur is if both the HIV+ user and HIV- user both had open sores in their mouths, and even then the likelihood of transmission is very small.
Can I get HIV from touching my child’s urine, feces or tears?
Rule of thumb: no blood, no risk. While there are trace amounts of virus in urine, feces and tears, it would be virtually impossible to transmit HIV through contact with these substances.
OK, last thing. The first night Lily was with us she called me “Baba” which means Daddy in Chinese, which was cute, but, she was trying to get my attention to tattle on Aubrey…