May 7th is World AIDS Orphans Day. It's hard to comprehend the numbers, but it's estimated that there are currently 15 million children worldwide orphaned by AIDS. Those numbers are expected to jump to a staggering 20 million by the year 2010. As daunting as this crisis is we are continuing to make strides in the right direction. There is no greater gift for these children than the gift of hope. There are a lot of great organizations out there, and they're working hard to help these children survive. The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is just one of them. It's a great place to start.
My son, Yonas, was an orphan. That's his picture above. It was taken shortly before he came home to America. My son was fortunate in that after he lost his family to AIDS, he was taken in and well cared for by an orphanage for positive kids in Ethiopia called AHOPE For Children . Yonas now has a family who loves him dearly, and he has hope for his future. The great news is that many of these children, orphaned and living with HIV, are now being adopted. Hope–it's just a word–until you feel it, and then "hope" becomes a real and powerful thing! To learn more about adoption and what its really like to raise a child with HIV check out my story published in Adoption Today!
Yonas on the "green"
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