August Special Needs Focus (and Favorite Family Stories): Infectious

August 4, 2017 August 2017 Feature - Infectious, Favorite Family Stories 0 Comments

The term special needs can sound scary. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Our goal at NHBO is to equip and inform parents – replacing fear with knowledge – as they navigate the beginning stages of special needs adoption. And then encourage and support those home with their special needs kiddos.

We do much of this through our Family Stories. In addition to our regular content, each month (except January) we feature Family Stories focused on a specific group of Special Needs. Here are some links from previous years organized by category:

February: Heart – 2017 || 2016 || 2015
March: Blood Conditions – 2017 || 2016 || 2015
April: Central Nervous System – 2017 ||2016 || 2015
May: Vascular – 2017 ||2016 || 2015
June: Orthopedic – 2017 || 2016 || 2015
July: Craniofacial – 2017 || 2016 || 2015
August: Infectious – 2017 || 2016 || 2015
September: Skin Conditions – 2016 || 2015
October: Developmental – 2016 || 2015
November: Urogenital – 2016 || 2015
December: Sensory – 2016 || 2015

August is our month to focus on Infectious special needs here on NHBO. And all month long, we’ll be featuring family stories of children with needs like HIV, Hepatitis B and other infectious special needs.

Over the years, many family stories related to these special needs have been shared. And – during this month focusing on infectious special needs – we wanted to take a moment to look back at just a few of our favorites.

Let’s go.

“As we consider adopting again, this time HIV is at the top of our list. We now know that HIV is very present in China and there is a great need for God’s people to follow Him boldly to care for these orphans.”Jennifer 8/13/15


Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B ranges from mild to severe. Some people who are infected by HBV develop no symptoms and are totally unaware of the fact, but they may carry HBV in their blood and pass the infection on to others. In its chronic form, HBV infection may destroy the liver through a scarring process, called cirrhosis, or lead to cancer of the liver.

From 2009 to 2013 mom, Eileen, shared many blog posts that gave important, easy to understand information about this special need.

Here are a few of our favorites:
It’s an Easy Special Need… Except When It’s Not
Hepatitis B: Debunking the Myths
A HepB Primer
One of Millions

“She’s no longer afraid. She hugs Cholita. She kisses her. She can never again dehumanize hepatitis because for her it’s now more than just a word or a mind boggling number. This virus has a face. As a matter of fact, it has hundreds of millions of them. But for me, it all comes down to one.” – Eileen 12/7/09

Read more NHBO posts on this special need here.



HIV: HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s CD4 cells (part of the immune system). HIV lowers the number of CD4 cells, which can impair the body’s immune system. There are medications to keep the HIV virus in check, and people with HIV now have normal lives and lifespans.

Dad Matt, shared the story of adopting their daughter Lily. His post includes a beautiful video that tells her story.

“She was there because she was HIV+ and misinformation and fear of HIV often led to people being ostracized. This girl had been in the isolation area for 40 days. It was the second time in her young life that she had been abandoned.” – Matt 3/30/15

Read more NHBO posts on this special need here.



Syphilis: Congenital syphilis is syphilis that is present in utero or at birth in babies born to a mother already with this condition. The vast majority of infants are tested and treated with penicillin at birth and no further issues are noted, however, if symptoms go unseen or untreated, they could develop latent syphilis as they get older and systems such as bones, teeth, eyes, ears and brain could be affected.

This informative post from 2014 answers basic questions about syphilis and what adoptive parents can expect when “checking it off on the list”.

“We came to the conclusion that we simply didn’t include this because we had not educated ourselves appropriately on this need. Of course we said yes and our son has brought more love into our lives than we could ever imagine!” – 8/28/14


If you are parenting a child from China with a special need and would like to share your story on No Hands But Ours, let us know. Just complete this short form and we’ll be in touch with you soon.

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The content found on the No Hands But Ours website is not approved, endorsed, curated or edited by medical professionals. Consult a doctor with expertise in the special needs of interest to you.