UPDDATE: Ariel Sellers/Isabella Kalua: How in the Hell? The foster-adoption system is more than broken.

HONOLULU – A biological sister of a 6-year-old Hawaii girl reported missing by their adoptive parents told police the parents forced her to keep it a secret that Isabella Kalua was not breathing inside a dog cage in the bathroom, with duct tape on her mouth and noseAssociated Press

Adopters have been arrested and charged with 2nd Degree murder.

The information is taken from news reports


TIMELINE of adoption, abuse, disappearance, and arrest events 


Ariel was one of 5 sisters born to Melanie Joseph, and their father Adam Sellers. They were all removed from their parents by the state due to drug abuse and frequent homeless. Ariel and an older sister were sent to their grandmother. Eventually, all were dispersed to Isaac “Sonny” & Lehua Kalua AdoptaHell by the state.  Ariel was fostered by the Kaluas, who changed her name to Isabella, for four years and was adopted by them one or two years ago depending on which source you read.

How in the hell did Ariel end up in a stranger adoption?

“We don’t want you to get overwhelmed.”…Social worker to Ariel’s grandmother.

Isabella’s grandmother, Barbara Kumai, told the Star-Advertiser that she had custody of Isabella and one of Isabella’s sisters in 2017. At the time, Isabella was 2 and her sister was 8. Kuma’s daughter and Isabella’s mother, Melanie Joseph, was addicted to drugs and homeless at the time, along with her husband, Adam Sellers.Kumai added that Isabella was placed for adoption by the Department of Human Services child welfare officials after her boyfriend was involved in a serious motorcycle accident “The social worker said she didn’t want me to get overwhelmed,” Kumai said.Then one evening, Kumai said, the social worker told her to “pack up the girls.” At 7:30 the next morning, the social worker arrived and took them a block away to the Kaluas’ house.“She should have given me a chance,” Kumai said. “I wanted to try. You don’t know how many times I called her and left messages. I felt something wasn’t right.” Honolulu Star-Advertiser/ CrimeOnline

Who in the hell did the home study?

In 2001, Mr Kalua pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree terroristic threatening, two counts of second-degree assault, as well as one count of attempted second-degree assault. In 2000, Ms Kalua was indicted on felony drug promotion, charges that were dismissed after she finished a drug treatment programme ordered by a court. The Independent


The broad outlines of what’s required of the Department of Human services in licensing a foster parent giving them wide opportunity to deny a license..It’s inconceivable to me that anybody with that kind of criminal record and convictions of physical violence would be licensed as a foster family.Steve Lane, principal investigator in several high-profile child abuse cases in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Who in the hell approved the adoption of the Joseph children?

It’s nobody’s business. It’s all about “confidentiality.” Protecting the”privacy” of the Joseph children and adopters.

Probably all the Joseph kids were placed there as a result of secret ghost hearings, so who’s supposed to speak for the children? The 587 hearing involves custody, safety and placement of children all in Family Court and all closed…”And it’s possible they were placed without a hearing. Steve Lane, principal investigator in several high-profile child abuse cases in Hawaii,  Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Who in the hell did the CWS investigation?

It’s nobody’s business. It’s all about “confidentiality.” Protecting the”privacy” of the Joseph children and adopters.

October 2019, the Kaluas delayed seeking treatment after Isabella broke her finger. According to the Kaluas, Isabella’s hand was slammed in a door. In January 2020, Isabella went to the ER with a broken leg, which the Kaluas claimed was related to jumping on a trampoline. Both injuries were investigated by child services who determined there was no maltreatment…Invisible Children.org


A CWS spokesperson told the outlet: “The work Child Welfare Services does with families directly impacts lives, so information is typically confidential. Generally, to avoid or prevent further trauma, and acting in a child’s best interest, CWS does not confirm or deny a family’s involvement in services nor provide comment, especially where there is involvement with law enforcement or the courts. The safety and well-being of every child is our top priority. CWS responds to all reports of child abuse or neglect, and we ask the public to assist by reporting what they see and what they hear…”Hawaii News Now (includes video) 

Ariel’s Army protests at CWS

Who in the hell approved the Kaluas for home school education?

It’s nobody’s business. It’s all about “confidentiality.” Protecting the”privacy” of the Joseph children and adopters.

The adoptive parents of a missing 6-year-old Waima­nalo girl had pulled her out of Waimanalo Elementary School, the Department of Education confirmed Wednesday…her parents filled out paperwork to have Isabella Kalua withdrawn and reported the reason was to home-school her, said a DOE official, who could not say when that occurred…Honolullu Star Adviterser


There’s virtually nothing that you have to do to warrant your application for home schooling to be approved,”  “Nor is there any supervision provided for children once they are placed in home school.”… Steve Lane, principal investigator in several high-profile child abuse cases in Hawaii Hawaii News Now,

Where in the hell is Ariel?

Nobody knows.

What in the hell happens next?

The biological family of Isabella “Ariel” Kalua continue their pursuit for answers, and now they say they could take legal action against the state for its failure to keep her safe…The family says they are basing the possible legal action due to alleged incompetencies. Police say Isabella died at the hands of her adoptive parents sometime in  August 2021…KITV-TV

November 17, 2021: The Kaluas are indicted for

Lehua is accused of putting duct tape on Isabella “plenty of times” because of the sneaking around, which Isabella’s sister says is the reason for buying the dog cage. Her sister said she was also duct taped on other occasions and that their adoptive father saw but did nothing.  Court documents included in article. KHON-TV


How in the hell long will this government-facilitated adoption/foster crap game continue?

Forever, I assume, since nothing seems too outrageous for politicians, do-gooders ,and their state and private and institutions who could fix it want to fix it.

Ariel died (excuse me! allegedly died) at the hands of her forever family, but ultimately she died at the hands of the State of Hawaii.  The Sellers were “simply” the instruments of destruction. I haven’t seen such a contemptible use of state power regarding adoption and its blowback or years–though I am sure many and most blow right into the clouds–or the next news cycle, We only hear about the big cases when they are too big to hide. Of course, as adopted people, we know all about “confidentiality” and “privacy” and secrets, and ass-covering. Sealed records, hidden identities, government cover-up. lack of state and agency accountability, paternalism, social and cultural colonialism, and imperialism–that what turns the adoption machine.   As adopted people, that’s what grinds away our psyche and our lives– since we were signed away–or weren’t. Oh, the mysteries behind those closed doors.closed meetings that not even murder can force open.

 I can’t even begin to contemplate the fear and horror and pain that this little girl suffered at the hands of her monster adopters. I could say a lot more tonight, but to be honest, writing this thing has been a total horror and I’m horrored-out for the night.

Important Readings courtesy of InvisibleChildren.org


Documents: Date:
‘We’re trying to hold on’: Family of missing six-year-old in Waimanalo stay hopeful as search continues 09-15-2021
Foster care expert says missing 6-year-old’s adoptive placement raises red flags 09-16-2021
Missing 6-year-old girl had been pulled out of Waimanalo Elementary School 09-16-2021
Tearful vigil held for Isabella Kalua as police suspend search efforts 09-20-2021
Missing girl had serious injuries investigated by state in past 2 years 09-20-2021
Honolulu police suspend search for missing 6-year-old Isabella Kalua 09-20-2021
Police Suspend Search for Missing 6-Year-Old Girl in Hawaii 09-21-2021


Happy National Adoption Month!



Day 17 of 30–
13 to go




One Reply to “UPDDATE: Ariel Sellers/Isabella Kalua: How in the Hell? The foster-adoption system is more than broken.”

  1. Good story, particularly the comment that the state legislators have been reluctant to address CWS flaws. This year, when they finally did step out and introduce a bill to address Ariel’s death, it was completely unconstitutional!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *