It was nearly 10 years ago when a hot pot of boiling soup fell on Xin Liang, scalding approximately 75% of his body.
Living in a remote village in the Sichuan province in China that was a two-day train ride from the nearest metropolitan city, Xin did not receive the proper medical treatment that children in the United States receive following a scalding accident.
At age 3 1/2, Xin, whose arms were fused to his body, was sent to the U.S. and received treatment at Shriner’s Hospital in Cincinnati, which is now located at Dayton Children’s Hospital. Angie and Julian Farley, who live in Washington Twp., served as a host for Xin, and eight years later, he remains a part of their family.
Today as they sit down for Thanksgiving, Xin and the Farleys have a lot to be thankful for as the young boy will become a part of the family as he is officially adopted next Wednesday.
“I’m really happy because it’s been a long time and process,” Xin said with a big smile from the Shriners suite at Dayton Children’s Hospital.
Xin, now 11 years old, received his first surgery in the summer of 2015 after receiving help through a network of medical missionaries. Xin has since had around 20 surgeries and procedures, many of which were to surgically release the contractures, which are the shortening and hardening of muscles, tendons, or other tissues.
“It was pretty hard because nobody in my family really knew the language,” Xin said about first coming to the U.S.
Xin’s first stay with the Farley family lasted 15 months before he went back to his birth family in China. Xin’s birth family soon reached back to the Farley family to see if they would take custody of Xin so he could have better opportunities growing up in the U.S.
“We’re in contact with his parents still,” Angie said. Xin continues to connect with his family in China, talking with them in regular video chats over Skype.
The adoption process has been ongoing since 2017. It was originally supposed to be finalized in October of this year, but the date was pushed back to Wednesday, Nov. 30 due to an illness that sent Xin to the hospital for four days in late October.
“This one has been challenging, because the process that we went through is a lot different,” Angie said. Angie and Julian have four other children, including Abe, 31; Zeb, 28; Ema, 25, who was adopted from the Philippines; and Mya, 18, who was also adopted from China. With Xin first being a host child and still having a relationship with a his birth family, the process to adopt Xin formally involved both immigration and adoption lawyers.
Adoption was something Angie and Julian had thought about when they were younger, and they felt called to it through their faith. They also connected with other families at church who had adopted, as well.
“We feel very blessed that Xin has two families that love him and care for him,” Angie said.
“It is a big feeling of relief for the 30th to get here,” Julian said.
Xin, who attends Waynesville schools, enjoys school and playing games with his friends online. Shriners has also been like a second home to Xin, where staff like Dr. Petra Warner, who is now chief of staff at Shriners, have gotten to watch Xin grow older.
“I met him when he came the first time,” Warner said. Xin will stay a patient with Shriners until he’s 21 when he has stopped growing. As children grow, the scar tissue needs to be released so the skin can stretch.
“That’s what makes working here unique is that we see them grow up,” Warner said.
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