07 Aug 2011

The Author

Author of the award-winning book Finding Fernanda. Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Redux Pictures photographer. Read more here.


8/7/11: Father of “Karen Abigail”/Anyelí Speaks (Español)

Audio of  Dayner Orlando Hernández, father of the missing child Anyelí Liseth Hernández Rodríguez, assembled into a slideshow with various photos by Fundacion Sobrevivientes.

  1. This is absolutely heartbreaking. It’s clear from the photos how much work went into exposing this kidnapping and how much effort, sweat, and tears went into trying to get the public to be aware of these crimes.

    How is it possible that the Monahans had no clue that this was going on for the last 2 1/2 years? If in fact they knew, and chose to do nothing, I think they should be charged with accessories to the crime. Isn’t that what Americans would expect if one of “our own” were stolen, transported to another country, “adopted” by a foreigner?

    I’d like the Monahans a very simple question: When did they first know of the kidnapping allegations?

  2. The people of Liberty, Missouri, are enormously distraught to learn of this crime in our neighbourhood. Here on Woodbury Lane we are all shocked to learn about the behavior of our neighbors, Dr. and Mrs. Monahan (Tim and Jennifer). Our street is now on a public court order as a place where a stolen child, Anyeli, is being held captive thousands of miles from the mother, father, and family that love her. We are only now learning the sordid details of her kidnapping, trafficking across international borders, and being introduced to our community under an alias name. [THREE SENTENCES REMOVED BY WEBSITE EDITOR] We hope that the Missouri Division of Family Services will intervene to ensure the safety of all the children held in the Monahans’ house and carry out DNA tests to have them returned to their true parents. God will hold the Monahans accountable; the law should too. We pray for Anyeli’s immediate and safe return to the loving arms of her mother and family in Guatemala.

  3. Editor’s note: I’ve deleted a comment made on this post because it contains serious allegations without any kind of proof. I’ve emailed the poster for more details.

  4. What a tragedy. My heart goes out to the families involved in this case. I can only imagine the devastation of the birth mother losing her child and an adoptive mother having to return her child. But what of the innocent 6 year old? I’ve been reading all the articles of this case and I’ve found many about each family, what they have or have not done, what they should have done, etc………..but nothing on what effects this will have on the child. I am an adoptive mother and hope that I would do the right thing in this situation, but what is the right thing? Obviously it is not keeping a birth mother from her kidnapped child but would I simply be able to hand over a daughter I have raised for 9 years? I fear there is going to be no happy ending for this child even with all of the people who love her and want her in their lives.

    I would like to comment on another post from 8/12 by Lauralyn. I can see she feels strongly about the Monahans. However she does not speak for all the people in Liberty MO or only those on Woodbury Lane. Clear heads and compassion should rule in this area and this case, not accusations and assumptions.

  5. Erin, firstly, congratulations on the new face to your website. Many hours and hard work, I know, but it is really nicely done. We thank you for keeping us up-to-date on the Anyelí and the darker side of the adoption industry. Please do feel free to edit these comments as you see best. You should also feel free not to post this at all. Your judgment is appreciated. We understand that many people are afraid of the Dr. Timothy and Jennifer Monahan. It is clear the Associated Press has been heavily influenced by the Peter Mirijanian Public Relations firm in Washington, DC, which has a history of supporting lobbyists, fallen politicians, and celebrities. (Do Google Mr. Peter Mirijanian. He is really someone special.)

    I have been thinking about Kris’ statement regarding ‘clear heads and compassion’. If the Monahans had done the right thing years ago – refused to be in any way involved in the adoption of Anyelí, reported to the US and Guatemalan authorities the DNA results and sham operation, stopped immediately their association with the Florida adoption agency Celebrate Christian International – the Monahans would not be in this ‘devastating situation’. Indeed the hundreds of thousands of dollars they invested in owning this child could have been invested in, and probably for 1/50th of the cost, in reuniting the child with her mother and family. Mike and Leslie Harmoning of Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, have stepped up to the Monahans’ defense. They too adopted a child from Guatemala using Celebrate Christian International. They have gone on record as saying they had are enormously displeased with CCI and no longer in contact. They have indicated that the National Attorney General’s Office (PGN) ruled negatively on several occasions regarding their adoption of Daphne, but they have not disclosed the reasons.Leslie Harmoning is now ‘not concerned about the legality of her adoption’. There is much more already known about the facts of Anyelí’s case. But I fail to see where Monahans or those who have supported them have acted with clear heads. I see rather emptiness being addressed with greed, obsession, and a very questionable kind of love for the children being bartered.

    The more I understand about the activities of the Monahans, the sadder I become. So many people have been hurt by their actions, both good people and bad people. They abandoned all the people who helped get them Anyelí as soon as they had their new possession in their house. For good or for bad, couples still waiting to complete their adoptions in Guatemala now need to wait even longer. Mostly, however, our thoughts go out to the thousands and thousands of Guatemalan children brought to the United States over the past 30 years – What effect must this have on them? The Monahans could have discussed and negotiated the good and safe return of Anyelí t her mother years ago. Instead they dug in their heals to hold on to ‘their daughter’, refused communication, and forced a torturous court process. They claim to want ‘to protect’ ‘Karen Abagail’ from ‘further trauma’. This is so hard to believe when they have traumatically turned the lives of so many people upside down to keep what does not belong to them. Perhaps other adopted children from Guatemala today are asking: Are my adoptive parents like the Monahans?

    The Monahans now claim to be ‘protecting their daughter’ and ‘searching for the truth’. The Monahans and Peter Mirijanian would have us believe that the Monahans woke up one sunny Tuesday morning two weeks ago and were broadsided with the news that a stolen child was living in their house. Now they want to know the truth? Why do they hide behind lawyers, PR firms, politicians, and even the children they claim to love. What have the Monahans done to find out the truth? Where is the truth of the meticulous records they kept?

    Enough for clear heads. It is the ‘compassion’ that is really devastating in this discussion. Misplaced compassion. Failed compassion. So many parents of adopted children have referred to Anyeli’s mother, Loyda Rodríguez, as the child’s ‘birth mother’ or ‘biological mother’. Perhaps no insult is intended, but it is certainly insensitive and cruel. Loyda is Anyelí’s mother, by nature, by law, and in the eyes of God. In our community those who show compassion for Anyelí’s mother are attacked as lacking sympathy for the Monahans ‘and how terrible it must be for them’. Jennifer Harmoning’s solution, blasted around the world, seems to sum it up well: “I would pay my life away to move the birth mother up here before I would let my child go. She’s my baby.” This shows neither clear headedness or compassion; it is simply ludicrous.

    Loyda, not only carried this child in her womb for 9 months and gave birth to it, she held it, fed it, washed and clothed it, gave it all it needed and more, carried Anyelí in her arms, played with her, educated her, went shopping with her, worried about her, took care of her when she was sick . . . and someone in the wink of an eye stole her child . . . . And after years of searching and so much pain, imagine her happiness to discover where her child was . . . that was more than two years ago! And instead of the Monahans then really caring about Anyelí and returning the child to her mother and family, they shut down all communications and forced t he court case. Who would have thought a Guatemalan court would rule against a powerful and influential American family? Miracles happen.

    In the end this case is not about the Monahans, not about corrupt adoption agencies, not about governments and courts of law, not even about Loyda and Anyelí’s father and sisters. It is about Anyelí and that is where our sympathies and compassion should lie. A six year old child separated from her mother and those who love her by greed, politics, and pride. So I am thinking about 10 years from now, about Anyelí’s 16th birthday. She is at the table with her parents, her siblings, her birthday cake, and . . . there is a present too. She opens the present and finds a scrapbook of her life, of her first 16 years. What does she find in that scrapbook?

  6. Is the USA supporting kiddnaping?
    If it is clear that girl was kiddnaped, she must be returned to her parents without delay.
    Otherwise, our country is being an accessory to a crime, which could have serious repercussions in the case of US children kidnapped and taken to other countries.

Leave a comment

By submitting a comment here you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.