Are you looking for a way to clean up some of the dirty money the IRS just sent you? I've got a $420 proposition for you.*
The adoption agency that placed our daughters with us has been doing wonderful work since 1992, helping children who would otherwise end up in the fostering system get into permanent, loving homes from birth.
And for the past three years, they've been matching HIV+ children from many parts of the world with adoptive families. HIV+ children are almost never born in the United States anymore, because prophylactic medication during pregnancy prevents almost 100% of maternal-fetal transmission. But in many places in the world, these drugs are not available or affordable. Instead, babies are born positive, their parents die of AIDS and they are left with very little medical care, hopefully in the loving care of relatives, but when that's not possible, in an orphanage.
If they are lucky.
Many orphanages in countries with large HIV infection rates are so overwhelmed that they actually have to turn children away.
That's right. Orphaned, HIV+ children turned away from even orphanage care.
My adoption agency has worked hard to match some of these children with adoptive families, and they've done quite a bit of that, all things considered (you can imagine the hurdles to finding adoptive families for kids like these), but the fact is, many of these children will simply never be adopted.
Our agency has decided to broaden its efforts to include supporting orphanage care--in particular access to quality medical services--for those children who will simply never be placed with permanent families.
I've mentioned here before that Cole and I often think about and sometimes talk about the "what if" of adopting an HIV+ toddler through one of our agency's programs.
But neither of us can quite shake just how many kids are going to be left behind, no matter what happens. And the fact is that a dollar** can go much further in a place like Haiti, than it can in the U.S. For a fraction of what it would cost to raise a child in the United States, many children can be raised in their home countries (and perhaps have access to surviving relatives, their native language, culture, religion and other benefits).
Our agency is looking for sponsors willing to commit to giving $35 a month to fully support one child in an orphanage in Haiti. These children are HIV+, some are available for adoption and hopefully will find families, but many will not. Either way, the orphanage needs help so as not to have to turn children away, and to give high quality care to the children living there.
If you think you could manage $35 a month, please leave a comment below or email me, and I will send you the flyer and sponsorship form you need to get started.
I will personally vouch for the ethics of this agency. There is nothing in any of their hearts but the sheer desire to give love and health to children most in need, with the utmost respect for those children's families and cultures of origin.
While Cole and I continue to mull over the adoption question, we're going to do this. Please, please join us!
*This opportunity is not restricted to U.S. citizens, so feel free to jump on this bandwagon if you live elsewhere, too!
**Or a pound, or a euro (considerably further, in fact)!
P.S. They can also use in-kind donations and one-time gifts. Thanks!