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.


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.