A precious 11-year old boy waits for his family.
William was born in June 2000 and was taken to the orphanage in August of 2001. William has been in foster care since November 2005 until now.
William is a handsome and serious young fellow. He is described as a very good student who loves Chinese writing and composition, math and reading. William is said to be a good communicator and a good problem solver. He gets along well with his friends, classmates, teachers and carers. William loves to fly his kite and play ball.
William has repaired bilateral clubfeet and does not have any mobility issues. For pictures of William, go here.
William also tested positive for Hepatitis B. A contact person at the Hepatitis B Foundation reviewed William’s lab work and shared information about the reality of this special need. The entire letter can be read below. Just to quote one important paragraph from the letter: “Most children who are chronically infected with hepatitis B can expect to live a long and healthy life. Hepatitis B is a chronic condition, not a life-threatening disease.”
William’s file is on the Shared List.
WACAP is offering a $4200 promise child grant for the adoption of this child by an eligible family. He is listed as XRM.JXQ0600.01 on the WACAP waiting children website. For questions or more information, please email WACAP at email@example.com or visit WACAP.
Letter from the Hepatitis B Foundation
I hope you will find it in your heart to be William’s forever family. I am aware that he tests positive for hepatitis B. I would like to start by telling you that I am the mother of two girls adopted from China. Our youngest daughter, now 13, came home to us with hepatitis B. We were not aware of her status at the time, and learned of it upon our arrival home. Although it was a surprise to us, and we were initially concerned, we soon learned that having a child with hepatitis B was a very manageable condition.
I have reviewed William’s lab work and he appears to be like most of the kids that come home HBV positive from China. Most acquire HBV from mother to child transmission during the birth. For most kids, if they were not tested, you would not know they were infected. Like so many others, I expect this is so with William. William’s blood work shows that he is HBsAg+, HBsAb-, HBeAg+, HBeAb- and has an ALT of 32. All of these labs are pretty typical for a kid with HBV. In fact lab results like William’s could remain like this for decades.
Most children who are chronically infected with hepatitis B can expect to live a long and healthy life. Hepatitis B is a chronic condition, not a life-threatening disease. Fortunately, there are things people with chronic hepatitis B can do to help ensure their health: have regular check-ups with either a liver specialist or a doctor knowledgeable about hepatitis B, eat a balanced diet, avoid becoming over-tired or over-stressed, avoid alcohol and tobacco – all the things that we know that promote a “healthy” lifestyle.
Also, the good news is that the hepatitis B virus grows very slowly so that if there is any disease progression, it will occur later in life. Hepatitis B usually has no impact on a child’s normal growth and development. The other good news is that there are promising treatments for both children and adults who may need help. If treatment is recommended, you would certainly want a second opinion from an experienced pediatric liver specialist to discuss the pros and cons of any drug therapy. When you initially arrive home, you will want William re-tested for his baseline labs to get a snapshot of his HBV. For the first year or so, he may be monitored quarterly based on his lab work. You’ll want a pediatric liver specialist in the loop, but fortunately they get most of the information they need from the lab work, so face to face visits are not needed as often. Most kids are monitored annually or bi-annually via blood work. As adults they are typically monitored annually.
To find a physician in your area who is familiar with hepatitis B please check the Hepatitis B Foundation’s website’s Liver Specialist Directory at http://www.hepb.org/resources/
Hepatitis B is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact, unprotected sex, unsterile needles and from an infected woman to her newborn during delivery (this is the most common route of transmission in Asia). Hepatitis B is not spread casually through the air, through casual hugging or kissing, or through normal baby drooling.
Vaccination is the best protection against any potential infection. It is recommended that all family members and close contacts of an infected child (including extended family members) be vaccinated to protect them from hepatitis B. Approximately 1 month after the vaccination series is completed, an individual can have a simple blood test done that will tell them if protective antibodies (HBsAb) have been developed. Until vaccination is complete or until a child’s hepatitis B status is known, it is important to be careful in handling any blood or body fluid spills. (Despite William’s age, I will tell you body fluids does not include urine, or tears. It does exist in sweat and saliva, but at significantly reduced levels). Blood spills can be cleaned up by wearing gloves and using a fresh solution of 1 part Clorox with 9 parts water. If you live in the U.S., nearly all states require the HBV vaccine for children, so that eliminates some possible concerns newly adoptive parents sometimes face. I will tell you that some parents worry a lot when they get home. I worried initially, but after a while you don’t even think about HBV because regular life takes over.
I would recommend that you consider how you might want to address William’s HBV status. In our family, this information is kept private. This seems to vary with the family although most seem to choose non-disclosure. Below are some resources that can give you thoughts on how you might like to handle this information with others.
There are also some excellent online resources for parents of children with HBV:
· HBV Adoption List Serve for parents of children with hepatitis B – http://health.groups.yahoo.
· There is also an excellent online support and information group for chronic HBV carriers. This would be a good place to ask questions since there are over 400 subscribers to the list. To visit this site, go to the Hepatitis B Information and Support List at www.hblist.org. To subscribe, send a blank message to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit their archives of HBV information at: http://archive.mail-list.com/
· PKIDS (parents of kids with infectious diseases) at 1-877-55-PKIDS or http://www.pkids.org There is a link from this site to a parent information and support group that is very helpful.
· Comeunity: a website that focuses on adoption from Asia & Hepatitis B: http://www.comeunity.com/
We began our journey with our youngest thirteen years ago, and I have no regrets, only love. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions or comments.
Maureen at the Hepatitis B Foundation
Cause for a Cure!
Hepatitis B Foundation
3805 Old Easton Road
Doylestown, PA 18902
215.489.4900 | 215.489.4313 (fax)
www.hepb.org – The Hepatitis B Foundation is a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure and improving the lives of those affected by hepatitis B worldwide. Our commitment includes funding focused research, promoting disease awareness, supporting immunization and treatment initiatives and serving as the primary source of information for patients and their families, the medical and scientific community and the general public.Disclaimer: The information provided in this email message is not intended to serve as medical advice or endorsement of any product. The HBF strongly recommends each person discuss this information and their questions with a qualified health care provider.