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The story of Hana has been haunting me for a while. If you live in the United States or belong to the adoption or the Ethiopian community, you probably have already heard about her.
Hana was a 13 years old Ethiopian girl that was adopted in 2008, along with her brother, by a white American couple in Washington State. The family is very religious, lives in the country, and already had 6 children at the time of Hana’s adoption.
On May 12th, 2011 a 911 call was made by her adoptive mother stating that Hana was dead outside of the family house. The audio of the call is disturbing, not only for the news, but for the fact that the mother accuses Hana of committing suicide putting the blame on the girl.
An investigation was carried out and the terrible truth of Hana’s life was discovered. The girl has been kept living inside a dark closet for hours and days, sometimes forced to sleep outside, starved, and beaten.
The cause of death was hypothermia, but malnutrition and a stomach infection were contributing factors.
This wouldn’t have happened if some security measures were in place.
The girl had been living in the family for almost three years. Why nobody noticed that something was wrong?
For starters it looks like no social worker made follow up visits after the adoption to check on the adjustment and welfare of the adopted children. Was she ever taken to see a doctor? I mean, at least for vaccinations or the regular yearly check ups.
Any doctor could have seen that something was wrong only by checking the weight loss.
School? Nope, she was homeschooled, so it was impossible for a teacher, or a schoolmate to see the situation.
Friends? Neighbors? Church? Sports? Any other activity outside the home where she could have been seen? Did anybody know she existed?
It looks like she was kept isolated from community and people outside the family circle. She was trapped.
That’s the problem. If nobody sees her, nobody cares.
Lets assume that she had “issues”. What would you do with a problem child? Isolate her, cut her from society? Or seek help?
All children are difficult, because we humans are difficult, but you don’t beat them to death for that. You speak with them, with their doctor, with their teachers, with their friends, you look for answers to help your child. You fight for your child, not against your child.
The mother says Hana “didn’t want to come inside the house” on a 40° F day. What would you do? Let her freeze to death outside or drag her inside? If they had the strength to beat her and locked her in a closet, they surely could grab her so she wouldn’t die of hypothermia.

Hana was a black teenager girl and she fought with all her might to free herself from her situation.
Hana suffered enormously before coming to America, only to end up with a family that didn’t care a bit about her, a family that tortured her until they killed her.

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