Thursday, January 24, 2008

Coming out

When planning my second trip to Ethiopia in 2006, a woman called me. She was adopting from AHOPE, the orphanage for hiv positive children. We talked a long time, and she asked me to visit her son-to-be while I was in Addis, and take photos of him, and give him photos of his new family.

That visit to AHOPE began my journey to better understand HIV, AIDS and the orphan crisis in our world.

Here is her story, beautifully written and tremendously thought provoking as well. Here is a line from the article to whet your appetite.
“I don’t want to hide it anymore, Mom.” Alee lay stretched across my bed, arms propped behind her head, staring at the ceiling. Her face was set with determination . . . .

I took this photo from the window of the international church, Beza in Addis. Hard to believe in a city this beautiful, with the best weather on earth, is home to so many AIDS orphans. I'm humbled by those I know who have taken on the paperwork and cost to bring these terrific kids into their homes. I also long for the day when a self-employed person can afford the medical insurance necessary to do the same thing.


Rachel B. said...

What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing it.

Heidi Mehltretter said...

Thanks for the comment, it is wonderful to see your name on my blog! I'm so excited for you and I peeked at your blog, too. I've heard wonderful things about the agency you are considering - and I wish you the BEST!

nosmallfeat said...

I am glad you posted this on your blog. I read the article yesterday and felt my spirit moving with them from where they were to where they are. This family's journey is one of inspiration and yet still speaks volumes of the unfortuante stigma that families such as these have to consider.