Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Disclosure

This is something that Jay and I have been thinking hard about for the last few weeks.  I've asked my family what they think.  I've asked other parents of HIV+ children what they think.

And still I'm thinking.

The problem is that I'm not a particularly secretive person. I tend to be an open book, if not quite a blabbermouth, and Jay is the same way.  In general I find that a rather refreshing way to live.  But I don't know how to make that choice on behalf of my son.

But here's a case in point.  I was out at lunch with several friends and acquaintances from my church a few weeks ago.  These are people that I know and love, several of whom could be real resources when it comes to having a child with a special needs.  But I found myself telling them about our adoption plans for the first time, and I was perfectly upfront about finding Yale on Reece's Rainbow.  But then the question came up: did Yale have special needs?

I should have expected the question, of course.  But I found myself underprepared

I hedged.  I am uncomfortable doing that with people who are my friends, honestly.  But I also know how things work.  If suddenly all of them know, it won't be long before everyone else knows too. (Not a judgment on my friends, but let's be honest here!)  And I'm not so sure that everyone else has any business knowing his medical issues!  And yet it is strange for me not to confide in this particular group of people.

I still don't know how I feel about it all.  And I realize that the issue of disclosure is something that my family and I will likely revisit again and again over the years.

So I'm thinking about it still.

I'll keep thinking about it for awhile, I think.

7 comments:

  1. We are in the same boat. It doesn't help though that a friend of ours, who doesn't know, made a really nasty comment about me being a bad mother if I adopted a child with HIV because, and I quote, "You are supposed to protect Little Man from the danger and here you are bringing it into home". After that, I was like Umm...can I just bawl now?

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  2. Yes, this is a huge issue for us right now as well. We started out being very open with immediate friends, family, and our church congregation. I just felt that there was no way with the small, and *very* talkative children that I have, that a "secret" would ever be kept. Unless, maybe upon a threat of death! LOL! And, I don't want our daughter to feel that there is something to hide or be ashamed of. On the other hand, I have now encountered some people that *really* don't get it and just won't listen. I can deal with that right now since she is not here to witness it but once she is here, my mother bear instinct will kick in and it could get interesting. I had someone say that I just couldn't possibly bring "it" around my children and no matter what I said, she just couldn't be convinced. I do like the idea that came up on a list that I am on for HIV pos adoption....she said that she tells others that she has leukopenia and an immune disorder which seems to satisfy when the "special needs" question comes up. So, you can be honest and still protect the child's privacy.
    I'd love to hear you post more on the subject and what you decide!
    Cynthia
    http://www.adreamadoption.blogspot.com

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  3. That's such a huge decision. Praying that you find the right decision for your family - every single circumstance is so different! Ditto to what the others have said above; it's hard to keep little ones quiet, and you really don't want it to be perceived by your kids as something shameful, but disclosure also means becoming an educator/advocate, and that can be exhausting, too. Looking forward to hearing what you decide about it!

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  4. btw, I just saw this post on FB that you might find interesting (if you didn't already hear about it):

    NEXT WEEK...MOMCAST PODCAST Monday 9pm HIV ADOPTION:DISCLOSURE-DO YOU TELL? and TH ADOPTION UPDATES SUMMER 2011: our adoption and others...

    http://www.mothertheworld.org/live.html
    www.mothertheworld.org

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  5. oh thanks Jennifer -- I will certainly have to tune into that on Monday!

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  7. Hello. I couldn't find a way to contact you through your blog but we were wondering if you might be interested in sharing your story on our site. Could you please email me at Contact-us@PositivelyAdopted(dot)com Thanks! :)

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