You Are One

What If?

You were misunderstood, isolated, never held, never educated, had to wash your bedpan, had no concept of mom or dad, weren’t allowed to touch anyone else, but were actually perfectly normal by all appearances (except one unseen diagnosis)?

As crazy as this sounds, this is the story of Xiao Ling, a 3 year old from Zhonshan, China.

For many reasons, HIV is not something China has a lot of experience dealing with. Subsequently, many of the same misconceptions, misunderstandings, and unjustified fears of years past are the norm. Xiao is HIV positive but is being dealt with as if he has leprosy and can’t be touched or isn’t worth educating. Through a random posting, I encountered this article about Xiao, and it has touched something deep within me and Melissa.

I should probably back up and explain why. In November, we attended an annual fundraising banquet. It’s extremely encouraging to be around so many like minded people wanting to defend the fatherless. The theme was ONE, that you can help one, it only takes one person to make difference, etc…something we’ve always shared with people who ask why we’ve chosen the path we have for our family.

Heading into the banquet, Melissa and I were at the point of praying for where God would lead us next on our orphan advocacy journey. We both had prayed and agreed we were not supposed to go down the traditional adoption path again; fill out application, pick a country, wait for a referral, etc. We simply agreed we knew we were to be at the ready when God calls to act, and this is where we’ve been for many months.

In the midst of the banquet, while David Platt was speaking, our new path became apparent to me. We were to advocate for the orphaned in China who have been diagnosed as HIV+. I didn’t mention this immediately to Melissa as I needed to make sure this “stuck” if you know what I mean. We’ve all been swept up in the emotion of an event to only wonder later what in heaven’s name were we thinking?! The clarity around this never subsided in the coming weeks, so I finally shared my heart with Melissa at the next opportunity. I told her we should make it known that we are willing and ready to help ONE child in China who has been diagnosed HIV+. She hardly blinked and said YES.

Very shortly after, while searching adoption and orphan stories, I found the above article and simply sent it to Melissa because it was in line with our discussions. Not so much to say “here is a child,” but to begin the discussion around the apparent need. If you read the article, it states this boy is not adoptable (which isn’t correct), and it didn’t state what orphanage he is in. Through some internet sloothing, I believe we’ve found the orphanage and have talked with an adoption agency who has previous experience getting HIV+ children adopted into the US. They have indeed been able to help us locate him, and we are now waiting to hear what can be done for him. At the minimum, he needs someone to go there and love on him.

So, at this time, we are advocating for Xiao. Whether he is to be a Freeman some day is unknown but we are trying to see if there is a foster family near him willing to take him or anything to get him out of his “jail” like conditions.

He is ONE boy.

Made in the image of God.

Who needs ONE person to make a difference.

Please join us in praying for Xiao and how God can use us to help and advocate for him.

________________________________________

Chris FreemanI’m an Educator by trade, father of 5 (2 internationally adopted), love participating in triathlons and have been a Christian since my early teens. I am currently the Vice President of Academic Affairs for Virginia College’s online division based out of Birmingham, Al and quickly becoming overwhelmed (in a good way) with volunteer work with Lifesong for Orphans and their international orphan care ministry along with organizing short term missions recently at our church. Read more from Chris and how God has already worked on behalf of Xiao on Chris’ blog.

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