An exceptional orphan baby boy, born without eyes, has found a loving home just in time for Christmas, according to childcare authorities.
Eight-month-old Alexander K, affectionately known as Sasha, has a remarkably rare medical condition but is otherwise healthy. When his story was revealed two months ago, there was interest from around the world in adopting the captivating Russian boy.
Officials for adoption in Tomsk announced on Wednesday that they have found a warm and loving family in Russia, and Sasha is already with them for the festive period.
A spokesperson mentioned, “Little Sasha was taken into care by a Russian family from a different city during the last month. We cannot reveal any more details about the family.”
She further added, “We are, of course, very happy for baby Sasha and wishing him and his parents all the best.”
Svetlana Syrova, the journalist who shared Sasha’s story, described it as “special Christmas magic” that led to the boy finding adoptive parents.
“He will have sisters to play with in his new family and a summer dacha – a country house,” she said. “Many thanks to all those who cared about the child’s fate.”
Sasha’s young birth mother learned about the rare and challenging disability when she was 31 weeks pregnant. In her circumstances, she felt that she wouldn’t be able to care for him. Sasha suffers from an extreme form of the rare SOX2 anophthalmia syndrome and was born without eye sockets.
Only three such cases have been registered, and Russian doctors say he is otherwise “completely healthy,” making him unique. He will never be able to see unless there are significant medical breakthroughs during his lifetime.
In October, when he was put up for adoption, Tomsk doctor Tatiana Rudnikovich said, “Sasha is going through all regular check-ups and tests like any other baby of his age.”
His nurse from the orphanage in Tomsk went with him to St. Petersburg, where tiny eye orbs were implanted to ensure that his face does not grow deformed. Sasha will have new ones implanted every six months as he grows.
“He is no different from other children; he plays and smiles just like any healthy baby. He loves playing and adores swimming; he is a very cheerful baby indeed,” the nurse said.
Sasha’s adoption page describes him as “a peaceful, smiling baby” and mentions that he “smiles back as soon as he hears familiar voices.”
For Russians, the main festive celebration is at New Year when white-bearded Grandfather Frost delivers presents to children.