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 searching for a home for a one-month-old girl, Hanna, with special needs. Carla discussed the idea with her husband and they went to meet their daughter.
Doctors were convinced that Hanna would not live more than 48 hours because her kidneys had shut down and her temperature had dropped significantly. But after spending 52 days in the hospital, Hanna went home with her family.
While Carla was prepared to take on a challenge, she admitted that caring for a child with harlequin ichthyosis was exhausting. Firstly, she had to bathe Hanna for at least two hours a day and apply prescribed ointment every three hours.
At times, Hanna’s skin was so tight that Carla struggled to turn her over. The little girl also had deformed fingers and toes due to her condition and was partially deaf due to skin loss and blockage of her ear canal.
As a mother, Carla knows her daughter will continue to face challenges in the future, but she’s ready to confront whatever comes their way. “But like all the other challenges we’ve faced, we’ll face it head-on,” remarked the mother.
As painful as some experiences may be and will continue to be, these parents are strong and won’t let their children have their childhood stolen by a disease they can’t control.
Now, Hanna is growing up to be a happy and energetic child. Her mother loves sharing adorable pictures of her in princess costumes and running around. Carla also shared another proud moment of Hanna showing signs of speech while playing with her toys.