Tuesday, November 30, 2010

World AIDS Day 2010

December 1st is World AIDS Day. Did you know that there are over a million Americans living with HIV or AIDS? There are over 33 million people worldwide living with HIV right now. In the United States, medical advancements have made it possible for HIV+ individuals to live full lives with an outlook for an average life expectancy. Even here, however, in a country where people should know better, one of the biggest challenges that people with HIV face is the stigma attached to their disease. I've been horrified by some of the misconceptions that my students voice in the classroom. Last week I was asked, "How many people can you sleep with before you get AIDS?" Saying that someone has AIDS is still considered to be a perfectly good insult among some of my pupils.

Here are some facts that I wish everyone would spread:

  • HIV is a fragile virus that cannot be transmitted through casual contact. You can't get it from hugging, kissing, swimming pools, mosquitoes, pets, snot, vomit, pee, sharing baths, toilet seats, food, silverware, doorknobs, tears, sweat, or in any type of normal daily activity.
  • HIV is spread from an infected individual only through sex, sharing needles or syringes, or by being exposed to HIV before or during birth or through breast feeding.
  • Because the risk of transmitting HIV through daily casual contact is nonexistant, people with HIV are not required by law to tell anyone (employers, daycares, schools, etc.) of their condition. You may very well already know someone who is living with HIV.

Project Hopeful put together the video above as a way of spreading the truth about HIV.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Strangest Christmas Decoration Ever

Norah made this ornament at preschool today. It was a pinecone coated in glitter topped with a chocolate coated marshmallow, pine needle "hair", and some pipe cleaners. What I want to know is how the teacher managed to get Norah to attach the marshmallow before gobbling it down. I knew it wouldn't last more than five minutes in our house, especially since Atticus was clambering to hold it and sniffing in the air as I took it out of the bag. Within seconds of taking this photo, a melee ensued between the two children as they both tried to bite the ornament at the same time. I managed to extract the googly eyes from their mouths.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Early Morning Activities

Atticus woke up this morning and decided he needed to read Bear a story. He very carefully sat "criss-cross-applesauce", positioned Bear, and proceeded to recite the book several times through.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dossier Mailed

It feels fitting that we mailed our dossier today. It was exactly three years ago that we received the phone call telling us that we had been chosen to adopt Atticus and Norah. That night was one that changed the course of our lives and I'm so grateful. Putting our paperwork together last night brought up all sorts of feelings for me - especially fear about what challenges we may face and panic about whether we'll be able to rise to the occasion. This afternoon, however, there was giddy excitement. We're actually doing this. Eventually, we're going to get to experience The Call again when someone tells us that we have more children to love and make a part of our family. I was scared before we adopted Atticus and Norah, too. I was worried that we would be overwhelmed, that having children would destroy our marriage, that we were getting in over our heads. The last three years have been overwhelming and challenging at times, but they've also been some of the very best years of my life and I wouldn't change anything if I had the chance.