No, I'm not talking about adoptive parents. I'm speaking of birth parents. We don't know anything about Sweet Pea's biological parents. I hope we will someday. The information that we have coupled with some guess work suggests that she has been in the orphanage most if not all of her life. Why is she there? Could her parents not afford to care for a child with special needs? Was there a social stigma surrounding having a child with physical disabilities? Did they not want a child that was not "perfect"? Maybe one day we'll know so that we can help her understand her past when she asks us.
What I do know is that her mother loved her enough to give her life. This gift cannot be understated. Russia currently has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. In 2006 (the most current statistics available) Russia reported 1.5 million births--- and 1.6 million abortions! No matter what we discover, I will always try to remember that abortion in Russia is affordable, common and acceptable. It could have been her. I don't know if Sweet Pea's mother knew about her legs before she was born. Prenatal care is not as common in Russia as it is here. If they did, I count us doubly blessed and doubly thankful that she is alive. Even in the US, where those with physical disabilities have the opportunities to be educated, have jobs, and recreation just like the able bodied, some doctors will still suggest abortion to the parents of those with limb differences.
It would be easy to think poorly of birth parents. Some are drunks and drug users. Some are child abusers or neglect their children. Some simply abandon their children when it gets to be too much. But they chose life, and they didn't have to.
So thank you, and Happy Mother's Day!