Carla Brown, a lawyer turned stayed-at-home mother from Chicago, was the oldest of eight children. Her big family inspired her to one day have one of her own.
Carla and her husband Paul welcomed their two sons, Brent and Luke, by the time they were in their mid-twenties. Then the couple welcomed four more children—Sabrina, Ella, Logan, and Tessa.
The former lawyer had the big brood she dreamt of but decided to add more family members. 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 that 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.
Other parents with children who suffer from the same skin condition have confessed to having similar encounters. Carla said some parents watched other children run away from their kids on the playground.
As painful as some experiences might be and will continue to be, these parents are strong and will not let their children be robbed of their childhood over a disease they cannot control.
Now Hanna is growing up to be a happy and energetic baby. Her mother loves sharing cute pictures of her in princess costumes and running around. Carla also shared another proud moment of Hanna showing signs of speaking as she played with her toys.
A comment about Hanna Brown | Instagram.com/momtivation1989
Comments about Hanna Brown | Facbook.com/Sunrise
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.»
The former lawyer reiterated that adopting children with special needs has been the most rewarding experience in her life and has even positively influenced her children to be more compassionate.
Here’s a story of a kind waiter who helped a tired mother of a disabled child and later found a 10k cheque waiting for her at the table.