Two decades ago, an American family traveled to Cusco, Peru, and adopted a 3-week-old Peruvian girl. The process was long and arduous and was successful only because of the intervention of some big-hearted strangers. Finally, after 13 months, the family was able to return to the United States.
At about this same time a good friend of mine in his late 40s, an ophthalmologist in Long Island, New York, contracted a rare cancer. He had one child, a daughter, whom I saw frequently when I visited him. My friend lived long enough to see his daughter get into medical school, but he did not live long enough to see her graduate and become an ophthalmologist.