Truth Pandemic Brochure now available in FRENCH!!!

Project HOPEFUL is pleased to announce that one of our brochures is now available in French. We are really excited about the doors that will open for spreading the truth about adopting children with HIV/AIDS with the use of this pamphlet.

We would like to give public thanks to Rachele DeMeo for her labors on behalf of Project HOPEFUL of this translation work. Rachele DeMeo was born in Nîmes, France (as P.K. (Pastor’s Kid) and M.K (Missionary’s Kid)), where she spent the first nineteen years of her life, and graduated with a French Baccalaureate. After a year of College, she moved to Maryland to complete a B.A. in Education, intern for a Congressman and teach. She moved to California for a teaching job and furthered her education graduating with a M.A. Additionally she pursued a Masters in Education specializing in Teaching and Learning. She’s been translating since 1998. She’s also had experience teaching K-2, 6-12 and College-level/Adults. She specializes in teaching French, English and Italian.

She currently teaches French at MiraCosta College and is a freelance translator. She lives with her husband, 9-month old baby, 2 dogs and 3 cats in Oceanside, CA.

Thank you, Rachele!

If you would like to download this brochure, you may do so HERE .



Stigma is defined as “the shame or disgrace attached to something regarded as socially unacceptable”.  We really need to look at this.

The word “stigma” has really been on my mind lately and I felt the need to talk about it.  I have to admit that I have done some stigmatizing of my own.  I have not meant to but I have all the same.  We all do it.  This has forced me to look at things differently.  I think it’s in the choice of words we use to describe people, the tone in which we talk about people or their situation, even how we hear with our ears.

Stigma keeps people from developing to their full potential.  Why do we, as a society, have to label EVERYTHING.  Think about some of the labels we use, “bad, troublesome, sick, ADHD, and for the sake of this blog spot HIV/AIDS”.  While some of these lables are need to diagnose, how we need to help and define what it is that needs to be treated, why not look at the person not just the words or letters that define how we see them.

Stigma, as it pertains to HIV/AIDS, prevents people from a sense of belonging.  Stigma robs people affected by the disease of jobs, education, and some times homes.  Stigma associated with HIV/AIDS robs people of human contact,  friends, and sadly family too.  Stigma is the reason that some children don’t have families to love them. Stigma creates fear, and instead of bringing about change – it stiffles it.  Children are left to die.  We could look at the tragedy of  starving from lack  of food, water, or accessible medications but what about the complete tragedy of  children starving from a lack of compassion, hugs, kisses, a snuggle.  Children affected by HIV/AIDS could be sharing popcorn while watching a movie, swimming with friends in pools, a parent or loved one that could be bandaging up a boo-boo but sadly so many aren’t because of STIGMA.

What if instead of describing children as HIV + we described them as who they are?  Now there’s a thought.  What if instead we saw a little boy or girl, 4 years old that liked to colour, play with their friends, play  with trucks or pretend house.  Looking for a forever home where they would get lots of hugs and kisses from a Mom and/or Dad, maybe a new brother  or sister to love and play with them too.

Stigma is why so many good people do nothing.  They are afraid of how people might look at them for going outside the box and actually responding to a need.  To bring about change for even one person- young or old,  a chance for life.  LIFE!  There are too many children in this world that have been robbed of that chance and I for one can’t sit back and just let this be the norm.  I don’t care what’s popular, the looks I might get from people that don’t know the truth becasue they haven’t been told, have their own “opinions”about things or just don’t want to learn.

We are called to be motivated by love and seek out the right ways to  put an end to stigma.  Speak truth where there are lies or shine light where there is darkness on topics and rally together with like minded people to help others.  Lives depend on it!

In the words of Project HOPEFUL’s founder Carolyn Twietmeyer ” The problem isn’t with the ones that hide in shame, it’s with the ones that shame them into hiding.”   Let’s move–people are counting on you and me.

Your Family’s Story

Thought I would put out a request for some help from our readers.  Since I am familiar with domestic adoptions and just learning about international adoptions I was wondering if any of you who have experience with international adoptions could write me to tell me your stories.  I was also thinking it might be great to have some of your stories on our website as well.   If you could give me permission to publish them it would be very helpful, not only to myself but other families embarking on such a wonderful journey.  I am reading all sorts of wonderful articles but it would be absolutely amazing to hear some real life stories.  Stories about the process, bumps in the road, political “stuff” you and your family had to go through, “in-country” challenges.  Those sorts of things.  Really, I would just love to hear your story.

If you would like to share, please e-mail me at  Please include in your message if you would allow me to repost your story, if you would like to remain anonymous.

Thank you so much, and as always let’s spread the truth, it’s contagious!


One of the best lessons I learned was what the letters in the word FEAR really mean.  When I was a little girl and was fearful about something my dad would pull me aside and ask me “Maryheather, what’s wrong?”  I would proceed to tell him what was scaring me and he would tell me, “Maryheather, do you know what the letters in fear mean? They are an acronym for False Expectations Appearing Real.”  What a brilliant man.

I believe this is still very true today when it comes to HIV/AIDS,  or anything that is different than what we are use to.  I’ve found that the letters H I V evoke a lot of different emotions.  Emotions that are very real and very normal to have.  When we educate ourselves and others about HIV/AIDS we are able to disspell any myths and tell the truth about living with it.  By spreading truth that there is a problem and that it’s affecting children  we can get rid of that fear and do what we are called to do-help.

My dad also taught me that perfect love casts out all fear.  So those of us that know Jesus should not be afraid for He is with us in all that we do.  By educating ourselves and others and being able to shine a different light on difficult subjects we can also help erase fear.

So I will continue to learn and educate people so that their fears can be released, as mine have been.  Fear really can keep us from completing the task that only we can do.  Fear can be paralyzing and today I promise to spread the truth.  Won’t you join me?  Let’s change the acronym to Freedom by Educating And Reacting with love.

Let the TRUTH be Told

So after doing some research I have come to the realization that as Canadians some of us still are not very clear about the basics about HIV/ AIDS so I though for one of my first blogs I would help clear up some common misconceptions.

1.) What are the three main ways HIV is transmitted?

Through unprotected sexual contact, through injection drug use or the sharing of needles, or through mother to child transmission during birth or breastfeeding.

2.) What does HIV stand for?

Human Immunodeficiency Virus

3.) What does AIDS stand for?

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

4.) Are children with HIV/AIDS who are receiving proper medical care expected to die early?

No. Individuals with HIV/AIDS who are receiving proper medical care are expected to live a normal lifespan.

5.) Has HIV ever been transmitted among family members under normal living circumstances?

No.  It has NEVER been transmitted among family members under normal living circumstances.

I find it hard to believe that in this day and age as part of the “information generation” we are still so unaware of truth.  At Project HOPEFUL our aim is to educate, encourage, and enable families and individuals to advocate for orphans affected by HIV/AIDS.  If you haven’t yet please visit and see how you can help us spread the TRUTH.

Visit Often!

Welcome to the Project HOPEFUL Canada blog!  I am Maryheather. I am so excited to be a part of the Project HOPEFUL team, and might I add, that Project HOPEFUL is finally in Canada!  Yes!  Feel free to stop by this Canadian blog  for current info about HIV/ AIDS, how to support those living with HIV/AIDS and how Canadians specifically can advocate for the children that need us so much. Help be a part of spreading the truth!

Canadian Immigration Law

Here is a really helpful link to understanding immigration law as it pertains to persons with HIV/AIDS.