Friday, October 7, 2011

Evil + Silence = Murder of a Child



A picture of a starving orphan in Ethiopia will soften any heart and open up wallets during adoption fundraising efforts. But people meeting a starving former orphan who has spent a couple years in a middle class adoptive home in America somehow does not seem to soften the same heartstrings. At least not enough to make an anonymous call to Child Protective Services. If only one of the people who are now giving the police statements on the abuse Hana Grace-Rose and Immanuel Williams suffered had done so before Hana was murdered. And that a group of mothers would sit together with the murderer in the same knitting club and listen to her openly discuss her dislike for Hana and how horrible the adoptive children were , how she regretted ever adopting them and how Hana was made to stay outside amongst other atrocities. Not a single one of these mothers made a call to CPS. After the fact, none seemed too surprised and questioned themselves about the mom’s involvement in Hana’s death. Where were they when Hana was alive? Why didn't they speak up when they knew what was going on. Evil does not happen in a vacuum; mostly it is because good people remain silent.

Have we discussed ad nauseum the difficulties of raising older adopted children and painted ourselves as martyrs to be pitied that we get a pass when publicly mistreating our adoptive children? Has the pendulum swung so far that we have lost basic notions of love and kindness or are those notions not reserved for children from tough places? Where is the outrage from adoptive parents? Where is uproar over the injustices these two children suffered? Instead of revulsion and outrage towards parents who would treat any child the way Hana and her brother were treated, there is a rush to look for excuses for the parents and for books and people to blame.

Where are the voices of waiting prospective adoptive parents who were berating the Ethiopian government for the slowdown in Ethiopian adoptions? The actions of an evil couple are going to most likely make it an even tougher sell that Ethiopian children should be entrusted to American adoptive parents. I think it would be good for the Ethiopian government to hear loud and clear that all adoptive parents do not hold the same worldview as this couple nor the other adoptive families who watched the abuse in silence.

The police report reads like a horror story. The doctor concluded that HGW died from a culmination of chronic starvation caused by a parent’s intentional food restriction, severe neglect, physical and emotional abuse and stunning endangerment. May this not be the endnote of Hana’s life. Hopefully when we see a child being treated worse than we would allow a dog to be treated, may we not be so quick to give the parents a pass simply because they are raising a child from a hard place. A child’s very life might depend on it.

2 comments:

Nungari M. said...

This is very Sad...

Kathy C. said...

I read all 16 pages of the report and it was horrible! She could have rehomed the child. I would have taken her. SO would a whole lot of other adoptive families.