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 diagnoses)? As crazy as this sounds, this is the story of Xiao Ling, a 3 year old from Zhonshan, China.
For many reasons, beyond being discussed in this blog post, 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 Lifeline's annual fundraising banquet which we always thoroughly enjoy. 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... is something we've always shared with people who ask why we've chosen the path we have for our family.