Hawa was captured
by Revolutionary United Front Rebels outside her village in Sierra
Leone, Africa when she was just 12 years old. The Rebels chopped
off her hands and she spent the next 9 days hiding in the bush waiting
for someone to rescue her. Discovered by her Uncle, she was taken
to Freetown for surgery and later an amputee refuge camp. Here is
where she met Lonnie Houk from Raymore, Missouri who brought her
to the United States on a medical visa.
met Hawa and fell in love with her brave spirit and wanted to help
her. When Hawa's mother was bitten by a snake and died, the Whalen's
made the decision to adopt Hawa.
her 3rd year in the US March 16th, 2004 and will become a US citizen