China is something dear to my heart and although I may not mention it much, I reflect on and ponder the thought of adoption often times. Adoption is why I cry whenever I watch
Kung Fu Panda 2
. Because friends, adoption is a real, real thing; even if it is just in a cartoon movie, it has the impact to touch the roughest of hearts, like mine.
I know that few understand the theory of adoption or the affect it has. Some view it as a “good for you” type of deal. Some even pity me and say, “Oh wow, I’m sorry.” I wonder what they are sorry for and why. There are thousands of children around the world who have been abandoned and who continue taking every day, step by step. I’m not special or lucky. I have just been blessed. I have just been given so much grace and so much love that I never had nor deserved. Adopting me did not change the world, but for me, friends, my world changed entirely.
I had nothing to offer. Nothing to give. Nothing to call my own. Nothing to hope for. No parents. No home. No name. No birth date. Absolutely nothing. Yet, God chose me and worked in the hearts of a husband and wife living in America. God placed the desire in their hearts for a girl living on the other side of the world that they could call their own. They cherished me before they knew me. They loved me unconditionally. They wanted and chose me. And they called me theirs—the same way the God loved me before I knew Him, and the same way that He calls me His. God is so very kind. My heart is full of gratitude for this life that I do not deserve in the midst of so much grace that abounds from each and every day.
In an interview to adopt me, the Chinese asked what my parents would name me. My Dad said, “We want to name her Hannah. It means grace…an undeserved gift…because that is what she is to us.”
--- Friend, thank you for taking the time to read this piece. From the bottom of my heart. It’s not my best writing, I’m sure of that, but your taking the time to read makes my heart swell. Writing this made me realize that really, I’m just living a life of grace. So much undeserved, wonderful, sweet, grace. It is why I talk about it so much on this blog.
My adoption is just a part of my story that is being written. I believe that everyone has a story to tell. Maybe they’re open about it, or perhaps it’s hidden underneath the introductions and the smiles. Maybe it’s a story that can change the world or cause you to realize how small of a world we really live in, and in the midst of cracked, dirty hands and tear-filled eyes, there is so much joy and so much beauty at the very same time. All you need to do is ask for it to be told. Sit down with a cup of hot chocolate and a heart of understanding and ears that are willing to listen. Read between the words and look into the eyes of the one saying the words, because, I promise you, it will mean a world of difference to the one sharing their heart; and maybe, just maybe you’ll see that we’re all so very different, but all so very much the same.
After talking to my dad about life, the conversation quickly lead to adoption. My dad faithfully pointed me to the Cross, like he always does. His eyes lit up as they always do as he recounted adopting me as if it were yesterday. Afterwards, he took me in his arms with tears in his eyes and said, “I can’t believe they let me come and take you home. I know that sometimes, you think about the woman who gave birth to you or the man who conceived you, but I cannot really think about that now. It does not really matter to me. All that matters is that I have you.” It is the smallest of sentences that can make the most impact and mean the most to you. It is the few words, which can inspire you to write a post like this.
Amazing how he and my mom went back to China three more times to adopt my other sister and brothers. Amazing how I was given the opportunity to go back to China during the adoption of my brother. Amazing how my parents who, for years, were known as “The couple with no kids” are now gawked at and receive the “How do you do it?!” types of phrases when they say how they have five. Amazing that we, as a family, are able to use adoption as an example of God’s adopting us, through the work of Christ. My God is so very kind indeed, and I am so thankful for that.
Cheers to you, Hannah