[Today’s guest post by Crystal Kupper is part of our paid blogging program.]
I gasped the first time I saw her photo. Limbs splayed out across a metal crib, the little girl’s ribs nearly poked out of her chest. Her striped socks — the only piece of clothing she wore on her emaciated body — nearly fell off her miniature feet. And her thighs and arms! They looked no larger than my fingers. This girl looked like she had just crawled out of Auschwitz or Dachau, not a government-run children’s home.
Then I saw her statistics and blinked twice. Sophia, a nearly-four-year-girl from Eastern Europe, weighed ten pounds. Ten pounds at four years old. That’s how much my brother weighed at birth, not when he entered preschool!
As a volunteer with Reece’s Rainbow, an adoption advocacy agency that works with special-needs children all around the world, I know the statistics, have heard the stories and have even met the evidence: children who have any special need — whether it be Down Syndrome, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, HIV/AIDS, albinism or even a cleft palate — often get a raw deal, especially in other countries. That translates into less food, education, resources and love for children from societies who simply don’t know better. Parents who birth Down Syndrome kids like Sophia sometimes think the babies cursed and better forgotten in an institution. Or, at the very least, they are a burden and should be treated as such.
Thanks to Sophia’s extra chromosome, that’s exactly the fate her Eastern European country handed her. She had been abandoned to a life of slow starvation of both body and soul. If you asked the average joe on the street, he or she would probably say death would be a kinder fate than the life Sophia was living.
And yet, Sophia was wanted. My friend Lauren and her family brought her home to the West Coast last year. With some careful nutrition and boatloads of love, she went from this…
Though the story made me laugh (and just for the record, I had one very spoiled pet chicken growing up), I couldn’t help but wonder what the public’s reaction would be if we put a similar statue in front of the local Planned Parenthood. “In memory of the thousands of children who suffered and died in a morality crash. Every day since January 22, 1973. Go Pro-Life.”
Because here’s the truth: Planned Parenthood’s wish for every child to be a wanted child has already come true.