The Daily Beast reports:
This January, I’ll be taking my 17-year-old son, Alex, on his last round of college tours. Sixteen Januarys ago, my husband and I took Alex from his orphanage in Moscow to the American Medical Center. It was a journey we made in a broken-down Lada that had no seat belts or windshield wipers. When the snow piled up too high to see the road, our driver would reach out his window and pour water from an old bleach bottle over the windshield.
We’d brought clothes for Alex to wear—overalls, a snowsuit—because the orphanage authorities would let us take him, but not their clothing, out of the orphanage. We’d gone to Baby Gap and bought things sized for a 10-month-old, but everything was too big for Alex.
The doctor at the American Medical Center told us that Alex was malnourished. Knowing we’d have to leave him at the orphanage when we returned home to complete our adoption paperwork, we asked if we should give the orphanage formula for Alex. “Formula’s like gold here,” the doctor said shaking his head. “They’ll just sell it.”