A mother adopts a little girl deemed “scary” and “burned”: now she is a precious princess

Carla Brown, a former lawyer turned stay-at-home mother from Chicago, was the eldest of eight children. Her large family inspired her to one day have a family of her own. Carla and her husband Paul welcomed their two sons, Brent and Luke when they
were in their twenties. Later the couple adopted four more children: Sabrina, Ella, Logan, and Tessa. The former lawyer had the big family she had always dreamed of, but she decided to add more members to her family. In 2011 she and her husband traveled to Ukraine to adopt Henry.
They added three more children, Violet, Leo, and Yana, in 2013.
In June 2020, Carla came across a Facebook post from an adoption agency in Atlanta seeking a home for a one-month-old girl, Hanna, with special needs. She ran the idea by her husband, and they went to find their girl.

Hanna’s Rare Skin Condition
The Brown family suffered a painful loss when their son Henry contracted a superbug MRSA and died in 2012 at just two years old. The mother said that after she adopted Henry, she started a blog to connect with other parents who had adopted children with special needs.

Even though posting about her loss was heartbreaking, she had created a community of people who had the same passion for helping children with special needs.

Carla’s daughter Hanna was born with an extremely rare skin condition called Harlequin Ichthyosis, which causes her skin to grow ten times faster than the average person’s.

Before Carla traveled to Atlanta to pick up her daughter, she had never heard of the condition and started rigorously researching it. She found people who had grown up to become game changers and parents whose children suffered the same condition.

Shortly after Carla and Paul brought their daughter home, she was rushed to the ICU due to a bacterial infection. The couple was informed that there was a high chance that Hanna would not make it.

Doctors were convinced that Hanna would not live more than 48 hours because her kidneys had shut down, and her temperature had drastically dropped. But after spending 52 days in the hospital, Hanna returned home with her family.

Although Carla was prepared for the challenge, she admitted that caring for a child with Harlequin Ichthyosis was exhausting. She had to bathe Hanna for at least two hours a day and apply her prescribed ointment every three hours.

Sometimes, the skin on Hanna’s body was so tight that Carla struggled to turn her over. The little girl also has deformed fingers and toes due to her condition and is partially deaf because of the skin shedding and blocking her canal.

As a mother, Carla knows her daughter will continue to face challenges in the future, but she is ready to deal with whatever is thrown her way. “Like every other challenge we’ve faced, we’re going to face it head-on.” the mother resolved.

The Brown Family’s Life with Hanna How
As Hanna got older, Carla noticed people staring her down. One time, a waitress asked, “Did your baby get burned?” Carla corrected them and explained her condition.

Meanwhile, one of Carla’s friends confessed that they found Hanna scary, but after spending time with her, she said she was the cutest baby.

Ultimately, Carla and Paul are happy to be parents and give their children everything they need to feel loved and good about themselves. “We choose to focus on the beauty. That’s why she’s our Hanna Rose,” Carla expressed.

People on Facebook were also very supportive of Carla and her husband. The Brown family was praised for providing their child with the love they needed and called Hanna a little champion. “Your little girl is beautiful,” said one user. Others called little Hanna “precious.”


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