Editor’s Note: Clara is the 11-year-old daughter of Joleigh Little, the Region 5 & 6 Field Representative at Wisconsin Right to Life. You can read Clara’s full adoption story, told from Joleigh’s perspective, here. Her story below was originally shared in the May 2021 Teen Impact Subscription Box, which focused on creating a culture of life for people with disabilities.
Some would say I was doomed when I was born. Others would say I was born to shine. My world ended up shining. This is how my world began…
My birth mom understood my needs so she said “no” to aborting me. She had me when she was very young, in a country called Bulgaria. While I was growing inside her, part of the amniotic sac came loose and wrapped around my leg, causing it not to grow. The same thing happened to some of my fingers. I was born early – about eight weeks before my due date. My birth mom knew she couldn’t take care of me, so she walked out the door, leaving me with doctors I didn’t know. But they took good care of me and when I was strong enough, I went to live at an orphanage.
I was adopted from the orphanage, and now I have an awesome mother. I was a little too pleased to leave that place! I have pretty simple needs that are easily taken care of. Once I came home to America, I began to live what you might call a normal life. Sort of!
I mentioned my mom. She works for Wisconsin Right to Life and I have been able to travel with her to events. When I heard my own story from my mom, I wanted to become involved with the pro-life movement, and have done so. I am writing this essay so everyone will know that it is so important to choose life for kids like me.
I have many, some might say, odd looks about me. I have that half a leg I told you about. I also have fingers that are braided together like a braid in your hair. I have a Leggie for my half leg that helps me walk and run. When I do not have my leg on I hop around on one foot. The exercise is great for me! I guess you could say I have come a long way since I was born. I ride horses, I walk our dogs, I run, I swim – I can do anything any other kid can do.
I hope you know that it’s so important to choose life. Just because kids like me look different or we have special needs that might take more time and care, doesn’t mean we should be killed. All of us have things that make us different and we all need care – young or old. As human beings we need to stand on many legs to survive. I’m glad that I get to stand with people who love life!