On Disclosure…

A guest post by Suzanne Mayernick

Josie will turn SEVEN in February.  It is so hard to believe.  

We will forever be dealing with the stigma that is attached to HIV/AIDS.  There have been many children with HIV adopted through Josie’s story.  While it brings a smile to my face, it also fills my heart with sadness.  

Many of the families that have gone to bring these children home are not willing to disclose that their children are positive.  While I COMPLETELY understand the fear that accompanies what your child might endure because of the virus ( I feel the fear also, thankfully, Christ carries that burden on my behalf)  If we are not willing to walk the journey and bring light to the darkness that accompanies it, then Christ is not glorified in the capacity that HE could be.  Which in the end, just adds more stigma.  

This is a VERY controversial subject, one that I really struggle with deep down.  The past several years I have encouraged these adoptions and maybe haven’t done my due diligence in preparing hearts on how to deal with life and not fear once you get these children home.  It saddens my heart.  

It makes life harder with Josie because there are MANY “positive” children in the US now, sitting in the infectious disease doctors offices all over the nation, not willing to take a bold stand on behalf of these children and educate  others on the virus.  If their parents are not willing to educate, encourage, and enable then who will be their advocates?  Why not just hand it over to Christ and walk in the light?  No lies, no secrets, just living out your faith walk that HE has given you to show who HE really is, each and every day.  

Is it hard? YES.  Does it make you more dependent on Him? YES.  Does it free your family up to live out LOUD the journey that HE has given you? YES.  Does it release you from the fear that Satan  has you bound in? YES.  Does it make my heart ache that fear overrides Christ? ABSOLUTELY.

4 responses to “On Disclosure…

  1. Love this! And love you Suzanne! My babies would not be home in my arms but rather still stuck in a miserable orphanage if it were not for you and Jesus and Josie! I needed this challenge today. I think for many parents it is easy to feel big and bold and loud about HIV when you’re going through the adoption process, but then once home and you’re trying to protect these kids from everything then you start feeling some of that boldness wearing down. I don’t ever want to stop shouting the truth about HIV.

  2. Great post, Suzanne. Such a sensitive subject, but I agree; we are not only advocating for our kids, but future adoptees and positive people all over the world. And I have never had a negative reaction from anyone, just great opportunities to educate!

  3. Thanks for this post Suzanne. This is something my husband and I talked a lot about as we prepare to welcome home our 2 year old HIV+ son. As we’ve read and sought advice from professionals we have come to discern that the best thing for the child is to tell a few friends and family but let the child decide when to disclose publicly, which is typically something that happens in the tween years.

    I have greatly struggled with this decision because I want to tell the world our story and do away with the stigma, but as parents we have to find a way to follow our convictions while doing right by our child. Allowing the child to disclose their own status will hopefully allow opportunity for both.

    What do you think about this decision?

  4. I appreciate people like you and Carol who live your life LOUD. Because of you both, I would not hesitate to allow my children to play with/hug/swim with/etc other children who are HIV positive because now I know the TRUTH. I would have let my kids play with others who are HIV positive before but would have been more nervous about kisses and sharing cups, and handling “boo-boos”, etc. But since I know the TRUTH I am set free too as are my children. The TRUTH, when we accept it, sets us ALL free!!! :)

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