Meet-Up Monday

  • Laci Zacapu - Washington
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    Meet-Up Monday: Meet Laci Zacapu, State Associate for Washington

Meet-Up Monday: Meet Laci Zacapu, State Associate for Washington

Welcome to this week’s Meet-Up Monday post.  This week we head to the Pacific Northwest to meet Laci, our State Associate for Washington.  Be sure to leave a comment and say hello!

PH: Laci, would you please tell us how you first heard about Project HOPEFUL?
LZ: I met Carolyn Twietmyer in Ethiopia while we were there for our first adoption. Selah was with her and was so sick and I just remember being worried she wouldn’t be able to make it home. I started following Carolyn’s blog when I got back to the states so I could check on Selah’s health and that’s where I learned about Project HOPEFUL.

PH: How did you develop an interest in HIV advocacy?
LZ: I became interested in HIV advocacy after bringing my daughter who’s HIV+ home and being treated very badly when a group of people found out about it. I realized that when people don’t know the TRUTH about HIV, they will fear it and where there is fear sometimes there is a lot of anger. I wanted to join Project HOPEFUL in spreading the TRUTH.

PH: Could you share with us your own adoption story?
LZ:  In July of 2008 my husband and I went to Ethiopia to pick up our daughter who was 9 at the time. While there, we met her family including her older biological sister who was HIV +. I hate to say it, but I was actually relieved her sister was not available for adoption then because I just “knew” there was no way I’d ever adopt a child who was +. I thought I’d be putting my other children and myself in danger.
After about a year of being home though, I just couldn’t get her off my mind. […]

Meet-Up Monday: Meet our Georgia State Associate, Amy Levy

Today I get to introduce you to our State Associate for Georgia, Amy Levy.  If you would like to contact your State Associate or would like to find out how to begin a State Association in your state, please contact Deanna Jones Falchook, National Associate Director at Deanna@projecthopeful.org.

PH: Tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve lived in Georgia:
Amy: I am married to my high school sweetheart, Court.  We have 4 children.  Two of our children came to us through adoption and two through birth.  We have also been foster parents to 7 children who have all moved on to other places.  We adopted once through the US foster care system and once through international adoption in Uganda.  We are currently in the process of adopting a sibling group of 3 in Uganda.

PH: How did you first hear about Project HOPEFUL?
Amy:I first heard about Project HOPEFUL through Erin Henderson’s blog about her family. Her blog was my first exposure to updated,current information about HIV and I have been passionate about spreading TRUTH since that time.
PH: How did you develop an interest in HIV adoption advocacy?
Amy: It has burdened me for several years that there is so much unnecessary fear and misinformation in the US society, as well as world wide, regarding HIV and I felt very passionate about helping to spread facts and truth. It made me feel so awful that children were being passed over for adoption because of their HIV status.

PH: Can you tell us more about your family’s adoption journey?
Amy: As I mentioned before, I began to read blogs of families who had adopted children who are HIV positive.  I supported them and spread the word about their families, […]

  • Debbie Lambrecht - Massachusetts State Associate
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    Meet-Up Monday: Meet our Massachusetts State Associate, Debbie Lambrecht

Meet-Up Monday: Meet our Massachusetts State Associate, Debbie Lambrecht

Massachusetts’ Project HOPEFUL State Association is up and running!  Today we interview their State Associate, Debbie Lambrecht in another Meet-up Monday post.

PH:  Debbie, tell us how you first learned about Project HOPEFUL ?

DL:  My husband and I were at a family gathering and my cousin”s wife’s mother mentioned that her college room mate’s little sister(OK…Was that all confusing enough?:) had adopted several children from Romania that were positive. Their adoption had taken place during the 80’s and the children were thriving. My husband and I were already looking at what our next adoption would look like and I couldn’t help but research positive adoptions! I soon discovered several factual sources that made us feel that a positive adoption could be in our future…after much prayer, we discovered Project HOPEFUL and found that more of our questions were answered. We wholeheartedly pursued our next adoption!

PH: What are your favorite aspects of Project HOPEFUL’s mission?

DL: I LOVE the educational aspect of the Project HOPEFUL mission! My crew has watched the “Truth Pandemic” video more than 100 times. We love sharing it with friends! TRUTH is contagious…SPREAD IT!

PH: What about Project HOPEFUL are you the most passionate about?

DL: I am passionate about advocating for waiting children. Every child was born to have a home and 3 letters should not prohibit that God given right!

PH: What do you want your fellow states-people to know/learn/believe about HIV adoption?

DL: That it is soooo doable! A child living with HIV is not a threat to your current family and friends! Educate folks and stigma disappears!

PH: Do you have any events scheduled that you could tell us about?

DL: Lots of GREAT stuff in the works! In the meantime, if you are in […]

  • Shannon Wheeler, State Associate: Maine
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    Meet-Up Monday: Meet our Maine State Associate, Shannon Wheeler

Meet-Up Monday: Meet our Maine State Associate, Shannon Wheeler

Today we’d like to begin introducing you to our State Associates. State Associations exist to promote the Project HOPEFUL vision: EDUCATING, ENCOURAGING and ENABLING families adopting children with HIV/AIDS within the individual states. Project HOPEFUL is looking for people to partner with to help us bring our educational workshops to your state. Associates will help plan events, develop relationships with local HIV/AIDS medical specialists, create social networks for local advocates and adoptive families, and more! If you would like to contact your State Associate or would like to find out how to begin a State Association in your state, please contact Deanna Jones Falchook, National Associate Director at Deanna@projecthopeful.org.

Today’s featured State: Maine
State Associate: Shannon Wheeler

PH: Hi Shannon! Thank you for taking part in our interview today. Let’s start by having you tell us how you first hear about Project HOPEFUL.

SW: The first time I heard about Project HOPEFUL was when a Facebook friend posted a news clip with Carolyn Twietmeyer’s family being featured. I was floored. I had literally no idea of the hope that exists for children living with HIV. I was among the many Americans who still thought HIV/AIDS was a certain death sentence. I sat and cried at my kitchen counter, hearing of this hope and watching this family grow and seeing the transformation of her daughter from a sick and suffering orphan to a joyful, thriving, playful daughter. It was unbelievable. I had to see this again. I had to show my husband. I had to re-post it on Facebook. And I had to get involved!

PH: How did you develop an interest in HIV adoption/advocacy?

SW: […]

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