It’s a chilly, drizzly day here in Seattle, close to 50 degrees F (10 C). That’s what the weather was like 11 years ago today, when Ethiopian adoptee Hanna Williams died outdoors, in her adoptive family’s backyard. The cause of her death was hypothermia and malnutrition, the tragic culmination of the abuse she endured before she died in 2011 at the age of 13.
Her adoptive parents, Larry and Carri Williams, remain in jail after being found guilty, in 2013, for Hanna”s death. I’ve often wondered how Hanna’s siblings are doing, having witnessed the abuse and death of Hanna at the hands of their parents. I wish them well, along with the other Ethiopian adoptee, Immanuel. What scars they all carry.
Hanna would be 24 years old now, had she not died.
We are dedicating our upcoming book, Lions Roaring Far From Home: An Anthology by Ethiopian Adoptees, to Hanna, and to Ethiopian adoptees who have died by suicide. We will use the proceeds from the sale of the book to support adoptees, perhaps to offer DNA testing, or to supplement airfare to Ethiopia, or some other ways to center their needs.
You’re in our hearts, Hanna. We won’t forget you.