Mother of two talks about decision to adopt a child with AIDS
Joy Cameron has always wanted to adopt children. It's been her dream since she was a child.
Five years ago, she made a very brave decision that was not made lightly after she found out the baby she wanted was sick.
Life in the Cameron household is pretty normal. Joy colors and plays games with her two adopted children, 4-year-old Kifer and 6-year-old Lorinda.
"I saw Lorinda on a national web site," Joy said. "I was on the computer and the minute I saw that little face, she was 8 months old, she was in a walker. I said, 'I love her. I need to have her.'"
Joy adopted Lorinda from the Department of Social Services when she was a year and a half old but the adoption almost did not happen.
"They actually said, you don't want this child. She has full blown AIDS," Joy said.
Joy knew very little about HIV or AIDS.
"I did a lot of praying about it and I never felt more at peace in my life that this is what I needed to do," Joy said "This little girl was meant to be mine."
Joy educated herself and her family who was reluctant at first but now fully accepts Lorinda.
"Because of the stigma people are afraid to take on this particular type of child, and so they are considered extremely hard to place," she said. "In fact I read some of her paperwork from DSS the other day about how difficult they thought it would be to ever find a family for her."
Lorinda's little brother Kifer does not have AIDS. But, he was born addicted to drugs and alcohol and has cerebral palsy.
Joy says she wouldn't want her family any other way.
"Lorinda knows she has sick blood and that she has to be very careful that her blood doesn't get into other people's cuts," she said. "She says it's ok to have sick blood."
Lorinda has to take medicine every day.
Joy knows her daughter will continue to have challenges in life but that does not stop them from living life.
"She's got hopes and dreams," Joy said. "She wants to grow up and be a mommy. She wants to take gymnastics; she wants to travel to see the flamingos in Nassau Bahamas. She is just amazing."
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