Putin's Adoption Ban Is Agony for American 'Mom'

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Putin's Adoption Ban Breaks Kendra Skaggs' Heart

Hundreds of thousands of children languish in what are often described as Russia's under-resourced orphanages. Many of them, like Polina, have special needs, which is one of the reasons they may have been given up at birth. Often those children face an uncertain future once they leave the orphanage system when they turn 18.

Kendra described Polina as a fiercely independent, intelligent, and determined young girl.

"She's very loving, very kind. She loves to sing and dance to music and listen to the music," she said.

In a home video that Kendra and her husband took with their cell phones, a beaming Polina proudly counts to 10 in English. In another she waves hello to her new grandparents. An overjoyed look envelops her face as she realizes that she will soon have grandparents. In another she tells Kendra she loves her.

With no way of contacting Polina, Kendra said she wishes she could send her a simple message.

"I would tell her we love her and to be strong and that were going to do everything we can to come back and get her. Everything that's in our power. We want to bring her home with us and have her to be our daughter," she said.

"I'd give anything to go see her and just wrap her in my arms and tell her I love her and to bring her home," she said.

At the end of their last visit, Kendra, mindful of the pending legislation, broke down in tears as she said goodbye. This time it was Polina who comforted her.

"Don't cry mommy, be strong,'" she said.

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