Babies with Scabies and Other Complaints

Red's Wrap

Adopting children from a foreign country is so glamorous, so heroic, attention-getting, show-stopping. If you adopt a child from another country, your friends will admire you and strangers will call you a saint. You, on the other hand, know the truth. You’re going to another country to adopt a child because you will go to any lengths required to have a child. Let’s be frank.

Still, of the adjectives above, one rings true. Heroic.

The scene is a packed to the gills airplane flying from Managua, Nicaragua, to New Orleans, USA. It’s 1988. The seventeen-month old boy my husband and I have just adopted from a Managua orphanage is lying on my chest, his little fingers playing with a mole below my clavicle. He is sick and sweating, the front of my shirt is soaked, and he has little dots all over his arms and legs. Only later will a…

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