For ten days, I attended and blogged about the trial of Larry and Carri Williams. The response has been amazing: over 6,000 views of trial-related posts just in the last week. Since I started blogging on July 22, there have been over 5,000 visitors to my blog. Top views by country are, in order, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Ireland, Haiti, and Denmark. I say all this just to share that there is great interest in this case around the world. I would like to think that this interest in my blog indicates hope that justice will be achieved for Hana.
I am very grateful to those who have read my blog, have shared my posts, and have commented. Many thanks to those who have shared kind thoughts with me, and expressed support for Hana and Immanuel.
I’ve driven over a thousand miles over the ten days to attend the trial. I’ve attended not because I am a lawyer, journalist, or social worker, but because I’m an adoptive parent and a former adoption agency professional. I would not qualify for the jury for several reasons: I don’t live in Skagit County, and I have strong feelings (about adoption, about Ethiopian adoption, about child abuse) that would have colored my ability to be impartial to the defendants. I also wouldn’t have qualified because (like many prospective jurors who were dismissed) I have upcoming vacation plans with my family. As of Monday, August 5, I won’t be in the Skagit County court room, but will be heading for the east coast.
My time east includes attending an Ethiopian Heritage Camp in Virginia with my daughters and granddaughter. You can read more about that in this post. I will be presenting a workshop there, and my Ethiopian daughters are on a panel about Growing Up in America. I look forward to talking with folks there (Ethiopians as well as adoptive parents of Ethiopian children) about their views on the trial.
During my time on the east coast, I will still be commenting on the trial and posting updates. There may be guest bloggers who attend the trial and post on my blog. Gina Cole of the Skagit County Herald has been attending and writing articles daily. Gina is also tweeting at #Williamstrial. Please read her articles and follow her tweets. Also, be sure to check the Facebook group, Remembrance of Hanna Williams. Media updates are posted there as well.
If the trial is still underway by the time I am back, around August 22, I will again attend and post as often as possible. Regardless of the jury’s decision, I hope that the outcome of this trial will include a thoughtful examination of adoption policy and practices, conversations about ways to better protect children, and strategies to assist Ethiopian adoptees and others who may have endured (or are enduring) abuse by adoptive parents. I will continue writing and speaking out, and I encourage you to do the same.