The Tim Tebow Foundation has helped an American woman to adopt a 4-year-old boy, who was deaf and had been abandoned by his parents in China. The boy can now hear after medical tests and treatment, also sponsored by the Christian athlete's charity.
"I've always wanted to adopt. I just knew that's how I wanted to build my family," says Christine Mullican in a video posted to YouTube by the foundation.
Mullican goes on to share that she got an email with the child's picture saying the boy, Alex, was deaf and had been abandoned at a train station in China. "His story kind of grabbed me," she says. "So I knew right then who our son was and that's when we started all our paperwork."
Her husband had just been hired for a new job at that time when he suddenly died, and her "whole world fell apart." She now needed help to be able to adopt.
When she learned about the Tim Tebow Foundation and the grant for adoption, that gave her "a sense of peace and relief." She was soon able to meet Alex.
"I had pictured the day of us meeting," she recalls. "He was there, most unhappy looking little boy you have ever seen … scared." But he soon began to smile and looked happy.
Mullican says there is little hope for deaf people in China, and that's all the more true for deaf orphans.
The foundation, which started in the Philippines where the football star was born, also gave Mullican a grant for the boy's tests and treatment. Alex was able to hear for the first time.
According to the China Philanthropy Research Institute, the number of disabled orphans has grown by 30,000 to 50,000 each year. China's communist government says the country has about 600,000 orphans, which is much lower than the number estimated by charities.
The Tim Tebow Foundation says on its website that, among other things, it "provides life's essentials, including food, clothing, housing, medication, education and the Good News of the Gospel, to orphans in four countries" through its Orphan Care program.
Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner, is outspoken about the primacy of faith in his life as well as sports career.
"From a very early age, my parents instilled in me the importance of God's Word, the salvation we have in His Son Jesus and the responsibility we have to give back to others," he says on the website. "That's why in 2010, I was so excited to create the Tim Tebow Foundation with a mission to bring Faith, Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need."
He adds: "This foundation, and all of our outreach initiatives, were primarily created to show God's love to children around the world. I encourage you to explore this site and see how we have been able to accomplish our mission through God's blessings and the support of our generous donors and partners."