My Adopted Sister, Hannah

The day was November 23rd, 2002 the airport was in a frantic state, the weather was frightful, and it was around the time of thanksgiving. My family and I were on our way to India to pick up my adopted sister. We didn’t take off the 23rd because of the rain and snow so we went home and had KFC for Thanksgiving dinner. On the 24th of November 2002, we were finally on the plane embarking on an adventure to India I’ll never forget.

First, we stopped in Seattle, Washington and had a 5-hour layover where my dad and I got into a massive fight over the fact I had an ear infection and could not stop complaining about it. I was 12 and the problem child (through his eyes anyway) and any time I had a problem he would completely lose his cool. After 5 hours of what seemed like hell, we boarded our flight to Amsterdam, The Netherlands and luckily that flight was smooth, quiet, and full of solitude for the whole family. When we got to Amsterdam we had 2 hours too go through customs, run our baggage through security again, and make it to our gate to India. We made it by the skin of our teeth. The last flight I remember my ear being in the worst pain and my mom telling me to be quiet because dad was tired which made that flight to India excruciatingly painful, almost unbearable.

We made it to India November 25th, 2002 late in the evening and we all were exhausted. We had to wait 3+ hours for our contact to come and pick us and when he did I was scared shitless because it was dark, they drive like monkeys in India, and we had to pile up in a tiny Toyota with all of our luggage, there was four of us. We made it to the hotel we had reservations at around 3 in the morning and it was a luxury hotel. For being in India, we lived up housing wise very well. Every Meal was perfect, the beds were soft, and it was safe which made my mom feel a bit better.  I think any mom would feel that way.

The first two days being in India we were trying to recuperate from jet lag and where very excited to meet my baby sister! On November 27th, 2002 at 9:00am in the morning we met Hannah for the first time. She had one outfit, a diaper that had been used over and over, and was the sweetest little baby on the planet – I fell in love with my beautiful brown skin Indian sister instantly. I was the first one to hold her and give her the bottle along with burp her. I told my mom I wanted to so she let me. As my parents were filling out the rest of the paperwork to finalize the adoption my brother and I were loving on our beautiful sister.  It was magical.

Hannah was timid, scared, and very confused when we brought her up to our hotel room almost like she had seen a goast but had no idea what that was. She would scream constanly and that gave my dad the worst mood because he knew we about to fly home. I had the ear infection throughout the entire time we where in India and he didnt want two babies complaining so, he told me “get over the ear infection you’ll live we have a new member in the family who is going to need all the attetion.” That ment i had to shut up ad get over mself, he saw me as a boy and boys dont cry or show sadness in our family. I sucked it up for the duration of the flight home which was just as much of an adventur as the trip to Inda.

Hannah spit up on both my parent on all three of the flights home because of motion sickness and the anger on my dads face still peirces to my soul. He just could handle it and you might be asking, “why the hell did they adopt then?” The answer is my parents are Evangelical Christians and so adoption is one of the best and loving acts you can do for the least of these. My parents tried to love her, I think? When we got home on December 2nd, 2002 it was snowy and just as dreary as when we left. The drive home my brother and I fell asleep as soon as our head hit the back of the seats and we got home about 30 minutes later. Home sweet home right? Not really when we got home the first thing my dad did was go for a beer and unload the car then sit on his ass and watch tv. Not spending time with his daughter not being proactive with any of us he just sat in his chair till he passed out.

As the days turned into weeks then months and years my dad has never been proactive with his daughter. There has not been one time he took her out to just spend time with her alone and there has never been a time he would listen to her. She is special needs and has a learning disibility which made it really hard on my parents to parent her. In the summer of 2014 she opened up to one of her school teachers that my brother has sexually assulted her and after she spoke up she was taken into foster care. My parents where pissed at her, not my brother HER. They didn’t understand how she could out my brother like that and accuse him falsely. So, they disowned her, they have decided she is not their daughter anymore and that God has moved her on. They value my brother more then anyone else in the family because he has stuck around and is turning into a heavy drinker just like my dad.

Hannah is beautiful. Hannah is worth it. Hannah is and will always be my sister. Hannah is a gift. Hannah is adopted. Hannah is Indian. Hannah is HANNAH!

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My name is Sasha Adele Braden, a transgender woman, who is queer and living in freedom. I knew I was transgender at the age of five because my development just seemed off so I had an inclination something was very wrong. I was locked away because of shame and I decided that I was going to take my truth to the grave and never open up to anyone because I was full of fear. That all changed February 14, 2018, when it all came out. I’m free. I’m alive. I’m learning that life isn’t just eating, sleeping, having sex, and going to the bathroom but it is so much more! Learning that has been a blast! I am also co-managing a grassroots organization called, “REFLECT” and it is all about trans and nonbinary expression through community while being able to completely lean on allies. I am super stoked to be doing this and being a safe place for the queer community of Austin, TX. Look up my Facebook page “REFLECT” for more details. With all of that said, welcome to my life. I welcome all types of people and welcome all types of dialogue. So, drop a comment or two on a post every once In a while​ this blog is mainly just a way to let go of trauma from my past. Expressing it has helped me overcome things I thought I was never going to be able to overcome and I’m living in freedom for the first time in my life.

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