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Monday, August 5, 2013

Every Child is a Wanted Child

[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...



to this:
Today, Sophia is a happy, smiley girl who fits in with her family wonderfully -- and most importantly, has nearly doubled her weight! 

When I hear a pro-choice friend say, "I think abortion should be legal because I want every child to be a wanted child," I tell them Sophia's story. And Dasha's, Emily's, Gary's, Marnie's and the many, many other children who have found forever families with my friends in the last few years. All have Down Syndrome or some other condition that labeled them "unfit" from birth. And yet every last one is not only wanted, but cherished and sought after like a priceless treasure. (And thanks to the cost of adopting internationally, these kids literally are worth their weight in gold!). 

When I meet up with my Reece's Rainbow buddies, it's always the same story: we all want to bring a certain child home, but the money holds us back. If it weren't for finances, I'm fairly certain there would be no kids listed because they would all be taken the moment they become available. (And yes, I realize domestic foster care and adoption are options; my own family and many of my friends have taken that route). 

When a society deems its smallest, most vulnerable members unworthy of basic essentials like calories and compassion, it passes on that attitude to its struggling parents. Perhaps these men and women don't have the resources or education to realize that raising a special-needs child isn't a death sentence (or sometimes, they do. One of my friends adopted a beautiful girl with Down Syndrome last year whose biological mother is a lawyer).  But Lauren and all other adoptive parents are proving the pro-choice rallying cry of "Every child a wanted child!" to be completely false. 

Every child IS a wanted child. And Sophia is proof of what a discarded human can do despite his or her biological beginnings.

Recently, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) asked my hometown for permission to erect a statue of a 250-pound banged-up chicken at a very busy intersection. Check it out:
The statue commemorates the hundreds of chickens who perished in a very grisly (for the chickens, anyway) crash last month. The city, citing safety concerns, denied the request.

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.

32 comments:

Janet Susan said...

PP keeps easily-led minds thinking that some children aren't wanted--and that that's okay because PP has just the "right" solution. This marketing gimmick enables PP to $ell more abortions so they can keep raking in the dough.

Coyote said...

The problem with the every child being a wanted child argument is that it doesn't account for the fact that there are cases where men want the women to give birth but these women get abortions anyway. Pro-choicers do not support allowing men to prevent women from getting abortions, even if these men want to raise these children themselves. Another problem with this argument is that if one argues that violating individual rights in order to prevent bad outcomes/things from occurring is morally justifiable, then the same rationale can be used to justify atrocious things such as forced sterilization, forced abortions, and infanticide.

If you don't mind me asking, which Eastern European country exactly is Sophia from?


Also, I am extremely glad that you and Reece's Rainbow work on helping get these children well-fed, adopted, and properly taken care of (and interestingly enough, most of these children were born in countries where abortion is legal).

Coyote said...

Even if some children aren't wanted, this pro-choice argument would still fail due to my explanation in my above post.

becki said...

Yay to Sophia and Lauren! Amazing progress!

Ellie said...

i disagree with you

Nia said...

The woman has to give birth to the child! You're going to ask a woman to damage her body and go through hours of pain for a result that she doesn't even want? That's like saying a man should be allowed to tell a woman to, say, make a sandwich, even though she doesn't want a sandwich, just so that he can have it. If the man wants a child, he should find a woman who wants a child as well.

Coyote said...

A woman is not obligated to make anyone a sandwich. This man can go make a sandwich himself. No one else can support a fetus after it is already in someone's womb.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't (most of) the bodily damage as a result of pregnancy temporary? Also, let's compare the sacrifices here: a woman could be temporarily damaging her body and going through several hours of pain if she is forced to let the fetus use her body; on the flip side, the fetus loses (on average) several decades of life if the woman is allowed to get an abortion. Thus, the fetus is forced to endure a greater sacrifice, not to mention the fact that the fetus (unlike women who have legally consensual sex) is not at fault in any way for the conflict-of-rights situation which should occur (since I think fetuses should be given rights) during pregnancy.

If you don't want to risk getting pregnant, don't have sex, or go have sex with an infertile man and/or with a woman (I'm assuming that you are a woman).

Finally, the man's wishes here are irrelevant, since I support banning elective abortions even when both of the fetus's parents want the woman to get an abortion.

Denise Quiros Nobs said...

OMG. A human baby is NOT a sandwich! Do you have mustard for brains?

Take responsibility said...

Ellie. Exactly what about Coyote's statement do you disagree with? It seem to me you know and understand abortion is murder but you are still for it, the selfish needs of the morher being so much more important than the unborn child's and all.

Karen Willoughby Rotert said...

I have a pro-life song that will make anyone think, and a beautiful son and 3 gorgeous granddaughters that wouldn't be here had I aborted him. Part of the song goes.....she thinks of all the moments she'd have missed if he had not have been. How true is that. The song is titled "Hero" and yes if you haven't guessed, I am very pro-life, and pray for the children just like little Sophia and all the abused children daily. It breaks my heart to tears, if I could I would take them all. Please listen to the song at the address that follows and share with others. Thank you.
www.reverbnation.com/karenrotert

Karen Willoughby Rotert said...

You talk about the woman having so much pain, did you know that little child that is aborted feels every thing that is done to it, it's limbs being torn off it's breath being taken away it's insides being literally sucked out or in cases of late term abortion it is suffocated and if by chance it is born alive after the injection to suffocate it, it is choked to death. The woman knows what she is getting into when she has sex but the little innocent life inside only knows to trust it's mother for everything. Why then should it have to suffer for the acts of another.

Cathy Coons Hankamer said...

Then she should get herself FIXED!!!!!

Christine Lee said...

Women were designed to bring children into the world. Birth doesn't "damage" your body like a horrific traffic accident or industrial accident.

A woman's body may change in appearance, but it usually bounces back.

Your argument echos those of groups who think humans are worthless and valueless and nothing is more important than looks.

Truthfully, being a mother is the best thing I've ever done. For me, there is no higher calling.

Christine Lee said...

I think that a man should have a say. Unfortunately, he can't take over and he's a victim too.

jessica womack said...

I'm wanting to adopt a little girl but the the adoption agents around here are so high. I aready have two beautiful boys. Doea anyone know of a agency that isn't? We don't care if the child has special needs or is a mixed race child. Jessicalynnwomack25@gmail.Com thanks

Nicki Yvonne Barwick Dumond said...

Did you really just compare making a sandwich to having a baby. I think if the woman is careless enough to create a life within her she needs to have the heart to let that life be fulfilled and have a chance. That is a living human being. Why is it that you can easily make a choice to murder a human against its will. A person can be charged with double murder for killing a mother and a baby in her womb but its ok for an abortionist to kill a "fetus" because its unwanted. This is a sad world with people who have no compassion for life. Sbortions is murder no matter how you put it. It's taking life that was there.

Mom_overboard said...

If the woman doesn't want a child, WHY does she leave contraception up to the man? Don't depend on a man to slap on a condom, ladies...SIGN YOURSELF UP FOR CONTRACEPTION. And don't flake out under the excuse that you don't have insurance and it's "too expensive," or that you "forget to take it." These are the areas where Planned Parenthood can help a woman out, and where they SHOULD be focusing their attention...preventing unwanted pregnancies, NOT terminating them. If your income does not support contraceptives, they even provide them for free, or at an extreme discount. I understand there are situations that are sensitive, such as babies that are the result of rape or sexual abuse...but those babies are not to fault for the sins of an attacker. There are other options for that child. Now, I'm a woman and I am for a woman's right to choose how to live her life...her right to choose how she cuts her hair, her right to choose what kind of career she wants, her right to equal treatment on all fronts...However, a woman's right to choose what to do with her OWN body means that it should be limited to exactly that. Choosing to have an abortion deviates from a woman making a choice about her own body, and becomes a woman making a choice about whether to continue the life of a child...which means taking the life of the CHILD'S BODY. And furthermore, if a woman is to be treated equally as men are, then so should a potential father be able to step in and prevent the death of his unborn child. That child belongs equally to one parent as it does to the other. Any father should be able to advocate for the life of his child. If we heard about a youth torturing and killing a pregnant cat, our reaction would be "How horrific! What a blatant disregard for life!" We advocate for the lives of animals, yet the same people who are advocating for kindness to animals are also crusading for a woman's right to kill her child...because in all honesty, that's exactly what it is. When a baby is planned, we refer to it as "the baby" as soon as the happy couple announces the pregnancy. But when a baby is unplanned, or unwanted, it is unequal to the title of being someone's baby? How is that even logical? And if a parent abuses their child when it's out of the womb, they are prosecuted...but a child within the womb is not held in the same regard. It is HYPOCRISY in it's highest, and most cruel form.

Maritza said...

May God Bless all the parents who really care for their own kids and for others too around the world!.

ExRibKage said...

You're talking about a /human being/, not an inconvenience.

Bridget Rojas said...

Not to mention that pregnancy and childbirth are beneficial to a woman's health, lowering the risk of developing cancer and other life threatening illnesses..... And if a woman doesn't want to endure pregnancy and childbirth, stay celibate! You can't have your cake and eat it too.....

susandaytoday said...

Thats a very sad and selfish thought.

Coyote said...

I think that while abortion is legal, males should have a say in at least certain cases in regards to whether or not they should pay child support.

However, I am advocating in favour of a ban on most abortions, which would mean that the wishes of men and women should primarily matter before they have legally consensual sex, and that if a pregnancy occurs afterwards, then the interests and rights of the fetus (or the rights which the fetus is supposed to have) should be the main priority.

Coyote said...

I am politically anti-abortion. And Yes, women do sometimes feel pain and/or discomfort when they are pregnant and/or when they give birth.

In regards to early-term abortions, I am unsure that prenatal human beings can feel pain at that stage n their development, and as for elective late-term abortions, I strongly oppose those for any reason. That said, in regards to early-term abortions and non-elective late-term abortions, I would strongly support making these abortions as painless as possible for the prenatal human beings.

Connie Bigham Palmer McCoy said...

Then the woman should keep her legs shut or make sure she can't get pregnant in the first place.
Why should a human being die for the whim of another one? Selfish, self-centered, cold-hearted, narcissism

Sonja said...

Awesome to see this and ppl that care wish i had the means to take care of the less fortunate. My heart bleeds for them.

Eileen McCarthy DiTomasso said...

we adopted a 29 week preemie whose birth mother was addicted to crack. He was born in withdrawal, needing oxygen and had grade 3 intraventicular bleeds. He was born in the Bronx. We used a NYC agency called New Alternatives for Children. My son is now 24 years old and for someone who the docs at the hospital said he wouldn't amount to anything, He has had a great life and is currently living with his girlfriend
We also adopted a 36 week preemie with a congenital heart surgery who underwent 8 hrs of open heart surgery at the age of 19 months. Katherine didn't pull through but until that point laughed, thrived, learned to say Batman and Mommy, and was an absolute joy. My heart is broken but I am grateful for the time we had with her.
..

Eileen McCarthy DiTomasso said...

YEAH!!!!! Why did she get pregnant. She has a responsibility to the HUMAN BEING she is carrying. And PLEASE no arguments on fetus/vs embryo . That little heart is beating before she knows she is pregnant.and you had the exact same beginning as that "sandwich" Your mother thought more of you than you think of this child/sandwich you speak of!!

chris64 said...

Even though they go through the birth, doesn't mean they have to keep the baby. Adoption is something everyone that gets pregnant and feels they cant keep the baby should think about. This is coming from someone who had an abortion and have regretted my decision every day.

Nancy said...

Melt my heart away! Sad and Happy at the same time. I am so happy seeing how amazing she is doing ...

Katrubie said...

Impressive agrument

Katrubie said...

I cannot believe you just said this. I am pro-choice in certain circumstances, but I found your argument unbelievably ignorant! "Damage her body and go through hours of pain?" This is a weak stance to be sure. And comparing her carrying a baby for 9-months and giving birth to making a sandwich is just plain stupid! How could anyone take you seriously? I can't and I don't think anyone who reads this can.

LevelUpPlease said...

Birth doesn't "damage" your body like a horrific traffic accident or industrial accident. <<
Tell that to my cousin that ripped from hole-to-hole during labor and is still undergoing reconstructive surgery several years later so can use the bathroom normally.

There's no need to belittle the impact pregnancy, labor and delivery has on a woman's body. Just as the OP should have compared having a kid to making a sandwich.