I'm talking about HIV. Manno is HIV+. He did nothing wrong to contract it (it wouldn't matter if he had) and he has nothing to be ashamed of. Daniel is also part of our family because of HIV. It is a thread that is woven throughout our family.
The only way to stop the shame of HIV is to tell our story and educate others about the disease. I had a lot of questions when I first decided to adopt Manno. One of the places I found answers to my questions was through Project Hopeful. They are actively working to eradicate the shame attached to HIV and AIDS.
I could list all the facts about HIV/AIDS here but Carolyn Tweitmeyer and her crew at Project Hopeful have already done it in a much more entertaining way.
One of the things I have learned about this disease is that it is not the contagious, death sentence that it was once believed to be. It is manageable and Manno's new brothers are not in danger of contracting it.
We have an amazing support system made up of family and friends. Manno will be loved. He might also be hated and misunderstood by those who are ignorant of the facts about HIV. This knowledge already causes me pain but we will deal with it together, as a family, and we will rely on the support of the people who love us.
Please take a moment to watch both of the videos in this post. And please feel free to ask questions. If I don't know the answers, I will find them for you.