so this is my heart…adoption : part i


part one | part two | part three

Let me begin by stating: I haven’t in the slightest clue of how to start what I want to say. I notice that a lot about myself, lately. I was not entirely sure if this would even make it onto the blog. Perhaps starting off by saying that I cry whenever I watch Kung Fu Panda 2 because it deals with the same topic would be a bit better, but, really, I cannot think of a witty way to begin this piece despite my many attempts.


Recently, my heart has been restless; restless on the subject of adoption— finding the words to say and sharing the depths what has kept itself hidden so well underneath all the introductions and countless layers of life. Although I produced a brief piece (here) a little over a year ago, the words were not as rich and heartfelt as I would have hoped. However, I suppose that is the result of a piece written in 10 minutes.

At first, I began by searching out quotes and entries from other adoptees as a prompt; however, I could locate little, let alone anything from the mindset of a teenage adoptee. I notice that most families who are doing the adopting have blogs which record their story, but I find little having to do with one’s stance on being adopted which is written during one’s adolescence. So, here are my words, my thoughts, my struggles, and my heart, out in the light for you to read. *Please, know that I speak for myself only, and that the views and opinions expressed are solely my own with the understanding of, not all others who were adopted see things in the same way as I do.

Writing on this topic will be far from easy; it’s simply one of those cases where you have so much you want to say and where you’ve spent so much thought; yet in the midst of all those, so many feelings and unanswered questions intertwine themselves; and as a result, instead of characters and words and flowing thoughts, you have unfinished sentences and a blinking cursor in the midst of a loud silence. In writing this post, I hope that you will see the rawness and the authenticity in my words. I hope that it will stir your soul as it stirs mine, and I hope that it will give you a glimpse into my heart, while glorifying Jesus all the more.

My adoption is a story of questions, hurt, grace, and redemption. Like all stories, there is a beginning, and I believe the beginning is the hardest part.

I was born to two people whom I will never know. There is no sugar coating that. On some days, I wonder if my birth parents truly even wanted me in the first place. In the autumn of 1996, the Chinese police found me. I was left on a bench in a public place somewhere in Guangdong Province, China, located in the southern part near Maoming and Vietnam. I was found having no name, no birthdate, no family, and nobody who wanted to care for me. I had absolutely nothing. I was a nobody. I was abandoned, and I was left on my own.

To abandon means to leave completely and finally. It means to forsake utterly and to desert. It means to cast away and leave. (source) Whenever I try and grasp the meaning, or try to wrap my head around it, the definition hits me ferociously every. single. time. It brings tears to my eyes every. single. time. Not because the meaning is something new to me or something that I have never known, but because the meaning of the word could not be truer. It could not be more honest and blunt. And sometimes, the truth hurts beyond what words can describe.

Sometimes, It hurts to realize that I was left completely and finally. Forsaken utterly. Deserted, and cast away. It’s saddening to realize that I was unwanted before my birth parents got the chance to know me. Not a single year goes by without the days where I find myself wondering “why?” Why was I abandoned? Why was I left? Why didn’t they want me? There are days of grief. Days of heartache. Days of feeling rejected. Days of sadness. Days of just realizing the reality of the truth that can hurt the most, leaving the deepest of wounds and scars.

It is not easy to believe that my birth parents loved me. I find myself often tempted to counter the thought of their love with, “If they loved me, would not they have kept me?” I imagine that perhaps they did love me, or held some sort of affection, but I will never, really, ever, experience that fact for sure. Love is an action, and to comprehend the possibility of “being abandoned in the name of love” is a difficult, upsetting thing. It’s hard to fathom that someone out there who gave me life, loves me, without knowing where I am or what I look like or what my name is; let alone the fact if I am even still alive. Here I am growing up; having the same nose and the same smile and the same laugh of someone I will never, ever know…Of someone who decided to give me away before they knew me…Of two individuals whose names will forever be mysteries and whose faces I will never remember.

When I was younger, I thought about hating my birth parents; but I found that it only caused more hurt the deeper I considered doing so. I cannot know the circumstances of my birth parents, but I do know that my birth mother decided against having an effortless, free, illegal abortion, and instead, left me, intentionally, where she did in order to give me life. As a child, difficulty lingered daily as I tried forgiving and loving someone who did that to me. For many years, I did not want to. I struggled with keeping grudges against them and saying things I should not have about two people I never knew. Throughout my elementary and middle school years, I often wondered if it possible to love a stranger who hurt me so badly.

But, I learned that the Bible commands us to love one another deeply, from the heart (1 Pet 1:22, 1 Pet 4:8). I saw that Christ loved those who hated Him—and how He loves those who do not even know Him (Rom 5:8) while all the more knowing them by name. Even more amazingly, He forgave me when I hated Him.

I had not reached double digits when I first asked my mom about my abandonment. Out of the three adopted others even to this day, I’ve been the only one who has been wondering about the topic. She was preparing supper, and I do not know if the question took her by surprise or not. She paused and thought for a moment, and told my young, wondering heart that God planned that I would be in this family..and I still believe her words as my seventeen year-old self.

Friend, I do not know why things happened the way they did, but I do cling to the truth of all things happening for my good and God’s glory (Rom 8:28). I know that God is faithful and that He is sovereign. I realize that it happened all according to God’s plan at the beginning of time. It brings comfort knowing that Jesus was abandoned on the cross for my sake—because, He must have felt the same way, too. He understood what it was like to be forsaken. Yet, while feeling that way, Jesus stared death in the face; and bore the weight of the world’s sin on His shoulders, defeating death and having compassion and love for those who did not know him and those who hated him. Amazing love, how can it be? I am so thankful for this: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” —Hebrews 4:15

I cannot and will not understand or know the circumstances of my birth parents; whether if it had to do with their marital status, or China’s One Child Policy. However, what I do grasp, is that in 1995 it was a popular option to get an abortion. & instead of taking the easy way out, my birth mother decided to have to me, and risk being caught & sent to jail as she left me intentionally in a safe place in order to preserve my life. I am so very thankful for that.

(to be continued)

  1. wow. I really love this. please do more! this is such precious, precious truth.

  2. Eric Novak says:

    Hannah, you are the very picture of the great grace of the Gospel, and that’s something you should never forget. You were adopted not by your own merit, but by the great grace of God, not only spiritually, but physically as well. You are doubly reminded of who God is, to make you not only His child, but His dearly beloved child. It’s a painful blessing, but you have the hand of God on your life and his anointing on your story and writing.
    -E & H

  3. Hannah Novak says:

    Thank you so much for sharing part of your story, Hannah. There’s rarely anything like this written. As a parent who wants to adopt at some point, it really helps to see it from your perspective. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through so much hurt. I admire the way you’ve worked through it. It would be so easy to sink in hate, and resent God and your birth parents. You are a beautiful person.

  4. this is incredibly thought-provoking to read this. thanks for sharing, and I would love to read pt ii and pt iii. =)

  5. Anna Johnson says:

    This is beautifully written from your heart. It may not be the experience of every adopted child but I guarantee it will benefit many. You are a blessing to us all.

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