Adoption Journey — Day 31
Today it is GORGEOUS outside. It’s above zero for the first time in weeks, the sun is shining and the snow is melting. The sky is so clear and blue. Is SMELLS like spring, although I know it’s not. Everyone seems to be in such a GOOD mood; even Opus is happy and even running around and playing a little bit with Lucy. So today, I got up and got out and put out the garbage early, and as I stood on the porch breathing the spring-like air, I thought it’s as good a day as any to get out and get my HIV blood test done.
Both BDH and I have to get an HIV test done to qualify to adopt from Ethiopia. Although the government here doesn’t mandate it, it is required by the government of Ethiopia in order to adopt. It has to be completed and included as part of our paperwork for them to even consider placing a child with us.
HIV/AIDS is a very serious issue in Africa, and Ethiopia is no exception. All over Africa, and in Ethiopia as well, children are being orphaned by AIDS. Parents, family members, children — this disease knows no bounds. And so, I kind of understand why this would be an issue for anyone trying to adopt from Ethiopia. Although I don’t know the exact rationale behind it, I am assuming that the Ethiopian government feels that because so many of these children have been touched by the disease, had family members dying, have been orphaned by it, they perhaps want to ensure that it doesn’t happen again to them when they are placed with a new family. I am just guessing, mind you, but it seems plausible to me.
And so, of course, we will get our HIV tests done. We’ve already been tested a few times through the process of trying to have a baby/undergoing infertility treatments, so it’s no big deal. A formality. But still, it’s kind of a drag to get any blood test (for me, anyway) and so, you know, I’ve kind of been procrastinating. And I had been putting it off because it’s been so butt-freezing cold these past couple of weeks. Between the minus-15-plus-wind-chill temperatures and the snow, I didn’t want to go out any more than I had to. But today, it was glorious. I was inspired. So off I trooped to the lab this morning.
The lab was busy, but despite having to sit beside two very obnoxious gender-challenged university girls talking very loudly and throwing around terms they must have learned in biology class in some effort to impress everyone around them, I was fine with waiting. I randomly picked up a magazine and sat down to wait. The magazine turned out to be about food and drink, and was full of wonderful summery pictures, grilling recipes, salads, and breezy cocktails. So I dreamed of delicious summer beverages and tried to drown out the noisy obnoxious girls.
My number came up quite quickly, and off I went for the test. Perhaps all blood tests are treated this way, but today I noticed the whole hazmat thing going on — big gloves, big sealed bag with a biohazard symbol on the outside, that kind of thing. It was initially a little off-putting, but I got past it pretty quick and started telling the lab tech all about our adoption. She was a little frosty at first, concentrating on what she was doing — well wouldn’t you be a little extra-careful if you were drawing blood for an HIV test? — but she warmed up and relaxed when we got to talking. I have to admit, I am really kind of proud of the fact that we are adopting. Yeah, it’s not as visible as being pregnant, but still — we’re going to have a BABY! It’s exciting.
And all in all, I was in and out of the lab in about 20 minutes. Not bad, considering the lineup. And I walked out into the brilliant sunlight.
As I was heading to the door to leave, I noticed a VERY OLD, very little couple coming in. They were so old, but so cute. So spry! The little old man opened the door for his little old wife, as gallant as can be, and in they came. We chatted about the weather, remarking on the lovely day. They were so CUTE! I thought about how I hoped BDH and I will be as lively and spry and still in love as these two when we are as old. And maybe we’ll have a child to drive us to the clinic when we are old. The idea just tickled me.
I drove home and enjoyed seeing people driving with their windows open, seeing people out for walks and jogging, enjoying the day. There’s something about a day like today that seems to bring out good moods in everyone.