Many people had cautioned the couple against adopting the girl, stating that she was not suitable for adoption. However, the couple disregarded this advice and adopted her anyway, as they had already developed strong feelings for her.
After going through the adoption process for a few months, the couple finally became parents to a daughter, just as they had always hoped. However, it wasn't long before challenges arose.
The Beginning Of The Adoption Process
Dean and Melissa Hawthorne wanted to expand their family by adopting a little girl, and they also wanted to offer love and support to a child in need. They hoped that their adoption would be a win-win situation for all involved.
The family had always desired to have a daughter, and after their four sons had grown up and gone to college, Melissa proposed that they consider adoption. This seemingly straightforward idea ended up causing significant issues for the entire family.
Searching For Completion
Dean and Melissa married in their mid-twenties and had four sons by the time they reached their forties. This was the beginning of their large family.
Although they had a happy and loving family, the couple always felt like something was missing. Even though they had all the other things they desired, they lacked one thing.
Wanting A Daughter
For a long time, Dean and Melissa yearned to have a daughter. After attempting to have a baby girl through natural conception for many years, Melissa came up with an idea to address their desire.
Melissa considered adoption a way to fulfill their wish for a daughter, but she hesitated to bring it up to her husband because she was worried about his reaction. The couple had already raised their sons through high school.
Sharing Her Idea
When their four sons left for college and the house became empty, Melissa finally discussed her idea with Dean. He was enthusiastic and supportive, like when he agreed with something.
After three months of carefully reviewing the adoption process, the couple received an invitation from an agency to attend an adoption event that would have a lasting impact on their lives.
An Immediate Knowing
The Hawthorns had never attended an adoption event before. While they met several children with whom they immediately felt connected, their hearts were captured by a black-and-white photograph of a little girl who was not present at the event.
Melissa remembered when she and her partner first saw a photo of the child they wanted to adopt. They immediately knew that the child was meant for them. However, they faced an obstacle that prevented them from being able to adopt the child.
Dean and Melissa expressed their desire to adopt the girl, but the adoption agency discouraged them. According to Dean, the agency, the caretakers, and the heads of the orphanage claimed that the girl had behavioral problems.
Dean revealed that the agency and others had recommended that the girl be placed in a mental hospital because of the challenges she had faced in her life. He also mentioned that their home felt empty after their four sons left for college and that adopting the girl would fill this void.
Overcoming The Challenges
The Hawthornes worked hard to adopt Ana and make her a part of their family. It took them several months to complete the process, but they eventually succeeded in adopting her as their daughter.
However, as time passed, it became clear that the people at the adoption event had been telling the truth about Ana. The Hawthornes soon discovered this for themselves.
A New Home
The Hawthornes had only been home with Ana for a week before they started experiencing problems. Initially, she was a quiet seven-year-old who kept to herself and never spoke.
However, as she became more comfortable in her new surroundings, Ana began displaying her true behavior, which caused the Hawthornes to feel very anxious and worried.
Ana began exhibiting aggressive behavior towards her parents and siblings whenever they interacted with her. She would snarl or make insect-like noises and sometimes even scratch them if they got too close.
For a week, Ana continued to display this aggressive behavior. She also started scratching at the walls of her room at night and screaming and crying without apparent cause. However, there was something even more disturbing about her behavior.
What Was The Cause?
In addition to her aggressive and unusual behavior, Melissa shared that Ana could not speak or form words, which made the situation even more unsettling, given her age.
Melissa said Ana's inability to communicate made the situation more stressful because they couldn't understand what was causing her distress. It became even more frightening when they realized the reason for her behavior.
Ana explained that her aggressive behavior and other unusual actions were due to fear. She and Dean took her to the hospital as soon as her episodes became more severe.
At first, Dean and Melissa thought Ana was unhappy with her new family, but the doctor told them that she had experienced many traumatic events and was still dealing with the aftermath. They were extremely worried about her.
Dean and Melissa were deeply saddened by this news and felt emotionally overwhelmed, but their love for their daughter grew stronger.
It was clear that they needed to take action to make Ana feel safe with them. This became their top priority. To achieve this, they had to confront the traumatic events from Ana's past.
Exploring Her Past
After considering their options, Dean suggested that he and Melissa investigate Ana's past to understand how to help her. However, he was concerned about causing further harm by revisiting her traumatic experiences.
Despite his fear, Dean mustered up the courage to speak with Melissa about this. He was determined not to let Ana face her fears alone and wanted the whole family to support her through this difficult time.
Looking For Answers
Dean and Melissa were determined to understand what had caused their seven-year-old daughter to continue experiencing nightmares and phobias. They spent several days investigating Ana's history since her adoption.
To get a complete picture of Ana's experiences, Dean and Melissa started by visiting the orphanage where she had been living. They believed that this was the most likely place to find answers.