Tiny and fragile, little Renat was frogmarched into the waiting room by two determined Russian women and stripped of all his clothes.
It was minus 30C outside but waiting for Renat in the room was Glenn Hammet, a teacher from London, who quickly handed over a brand-new outfit he had been told to bring.
‘The clothes totally swamped him,’ Glenn recalls. ‘He was three but so malnourished, with terrible skin, he looked half that age.’
Despite the forbidding atmosphere, it was a moment of unbridled joy that Glenn had dreamed of for as long as he could remember – one that, as a gay man, he never believed was possible.
On November 12, 1998, in the unlikely surroundings of a Russian orphanage in Ulyanovsk, a frozen wasteland 550 miles east of Moscow, he had finally become a father.
Once the formalities were completed, Glenn rang his architect partner Keith Millay to tell him the good news. Keith had remained at home, allowing the couple to dodge Russian laws which banned gay adoption but allowed it for single men.
Two years later their little family was completed when they adopted three-year-old Max – who was not related to Renat – from the same orphanage. And so, with a beagle called Buddy as a family pet, their new life in London began.