In spring 2007, I heard about a baby boy who'd been abandoned at birth in Central Vietnam and mauled by wild animals. I was appalled and decided to find this baby and try to organize medical care. After months of searching, I found that he had been sent back to the family who'd abandoned him and was living in squalor in a mud-floored hut (with no medical care).
(I am Canadian, but have lived in Vietnam for 13 years).
I called my best Vietnamese friend, a journalist named Tran Mai Anh, and she agreed to help. We went way out to the countryside to visit the baby (then 16 months) and take him to a city to see a doctor. The doctor made it clear that he was badly malnourished, suffering from intestinal and urinary infections, and in danger of having a permanently twisted spine due to no prosthetic care.
Mai Anh went home and asked her husband, Phung Nghinh to adopt the boy. They already had 2 sons, aged 3 and 8. Nghinh agreed (without even having met the baby) and the process began. It is very easy for Vietnamese nationals to adopt Vietnamese babies, BUT there were inevitable delays. (The birth mother had run off and her signature was needed). It took a lot of wrangling, plus multiple trips to the countryside to arrange paperwork, etc, etc. By then Mai Anh and I were obsessed and refused to give up, although we both spent many sleepless nights.
In March 2007 we all went to the countryside and got Thien Nhan and took him to Mai Anh and Nghinh's home in Hanoi. It took about a week for him to adjust. The first few days he was like a scared wild animal--would only eat cold rice and bananas, was scared of electrical appliances, etc.
Within a few weeks he was a different kid, proudly introducing his new dad to everyone he met, wrestling with his big brothers, and eating everything in sight. In August 2008 he went to the US for the first of an estimated 4 or 5 genital surgeries that he'll need. He's doing really well and is a very bright, talkative and loving kid. He's tough too!
The baby's full name is PHUNG THIEN NHAN (PHUNG is family name). Thien Nhan means "Good Person" -- a name he was given by the doctors and monks after he survived his first month in intensive care.