Twin

When my twin sister and I were born, my birth mother left us at the hospital.

The adoption agency, figuring they could get more money from two separate kids, decided to split us up.

I was sent to an orphanage; she was adopted right away. After that, I lived in the orphanage for three years before an American couple adopted me.

I remember when my adoptive parents came and got me: I looked at them and ran down the opposite hall screaming. But they played with me and then took me home.

My first American word was “Peter,” my adoptive parents’ biological son - and my new brother.

I wouldn't answer to my new name Maggie, so my adoptive parents called me Leanie. I was a wild child. Very wild. Probably because I wasn’t used to so much freedom. I had nightmares and anger issues. I was violent.

I went to therapy, but that didn't help. It just made me feel worse. It felt like my whole family turned on me for some reason and, in turn, I became a very depressed kid. I was taken to different hospitals for research - poked, prodded and put into machines for testing. The doctors wanted to know how the brains of adopted children were different from those of non-adopted children.

I was referred to a psychologist as a kid and was diagnosed with ADHD, severe ADD, severe RAD, dyslexia, and severe PTSD. I took pills, but then secretly stopped.

I didn’t have a bad life with my adoptive parents. It just wasn’t a good fit.

My biggest issue has been trying to figure out who I really am. I feel so tied to Russia and feel very out of place here. I also feel a part of me is missing since my twin sister was taken from me.

At times, I don't have anywhere to turn and my adopted family doesn't understand.

So I just put it behind me. I have dreams of her though.

I’m sharing my story because I want people to know how devastating it is to lose a twin. How you feel so out of touch when you can't find or ever talk to the person who's a part of you. How even though you are adopted and feel loved by your family, sometimes you just feel disconnected.