Posts tagged personal
this season

photo Hello, hello. Forgive the sporadical-ness(?) & extreme vague-ness of my writings on this space, would you? There’s not much to say (online or to anyone for that matter), quite frankly, except that this season is very full. Late nights walking around on campus. The twenty-minute power naps between study sessions(which work wonderfully, by the way). Counting down the hours until the next break. Routine. It’s awfully familiar; those are my days.

Writing has occurred more often in my tattered moleskine, documenting the wonderings and uncertainty…the questions and hopes. The things I dared not to dream. I’ve noticed how there’s a deeper chill to the mornings and an rising difficulty in getting out of bed. People are busier nowadays and there’s an increasing list of to-do’s. There’s almost a sense of urgency to get going and forget to bask in the sweet times and simple joys. I walk entirely too quickly and have my head down rather than taking time to amble, observing and breathing everything in. I wonder if when I look back on this first semester if all I’ll be able to remember is weariness? I suppose I might.

I am confused about this season. I’m confused about feeling lonely and confused if my time is being spent well, away from almost everything I knew last year. I'm confused about being vulnerable and opening up to people or if I'm simply setting myself up for more hurt and heartache. I see only what is happening now and have no idea what to expect, or what not expect. It scares me, uncertainty. But, I think that’s what I’m seeing the most about this season, to live clinging to the One I cannot see. To seek rest and comfort in knowing Him alone. To learn and experience joy knowing that this is where I’m meant to be & each season serves its purpose. He does what He sees fit. I'm grateful.

we are certain | gracious uncertainty

"The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not make our nests anywhere. Our common sense says, “Well, supposing I were in that condition…” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been. Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life—gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what a day may bring forth. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but rather, it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God." —Oswald Chambers

i'm sitting here in a coffee shop, listening in on parts of talks of grace & the gospel. the movement of people in and out the door and the clattoring of dishes with a faint sound of Mumford & Sons in the background behind the background. i'm not much for coffee, but i do love the shops.

nowadays, i continue learning the exact same things that i was a week ago. a month ago. a year ago. strange, but my pride never imagined i would still be on my knees pleading for more and more grace...pleading for a heart that says with joy, "yet not as i will but as you will, Lord." asking for more and more mercy. more and more trust + thankfulness instead of anxiousness. i didn't imagine a lot of things, for that matter. fickle, fickle, heart! the nights where my soul is anchored down feeling lonely haven't gone away. the days where i come continually with empty hands, wrecked by my unworthiness and selfishness, realizing that i can't do it, that only Jesus can, haven't stopped.

the days ahead scream with uncertainty, and frankly, it scares me. i wish it didn't. my flesh desires worry instead of resting in the sufficiency and sovereignty He promises. it's sin, not the cross to which i should cling. instead of asking for wisdom, I doubt and waiver. hypocrite and double-minded, i am! how easy it is to have joy and trust Him when the times are grand and good. but when the sun goes away and the times become darker, you see how trust and counting the trials a joy are are continual battles, i think.

surrender. this is what Jesus is teaching me. surrendering my longings and anxiousness (philippians 4:6 has been wonderful); the things i grasp and hold on to. the joys of this life are so fleeting, so temporary, yet i still cling, hoping they'll fulfill. i'm seeing how wrong i am and how sinful and foolish this is as I read philippians 3:8. how often i fall short & despair! BUT how good it is that i'm forgiven over and over because of Jesus (Just read Romans 8 or Ephesians 2). i'm learning, once again, how my circumstances are no mistake (because my times are in His hands, thus, He is sovereign) + for my good ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE (see romans 8:28), not mine.

i'm realizing how every day is being used to transform me more and more like Him and it's producing a comfort as i run into the arms of my Savior, and also, a steadfastness. i'm learning, that yes, He is enough. there's comfort and rest in that. praise Him that the same grace that has carried me here is the same grace that will carry me home (just read Isaiah 40). praise Him that there's certainty in the uncertainty & praise him for coffee shops.

Sincerely, Hannah

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)

The Brothers.

These boys have my heart, and they're my brothers. They're the most kind, driven, loving, and serving boys I know. These two are the ones who will sweetly say, "Goodmorning, Hannah", and who will cheerfully carry my bags to the car with a smile. They're the ones who have no hesitation when opening a door for me in public and who will drop everything they're doing and go out and let me take photos of them because light is pretty at that very moment. They're the ones with the contagious laughs and the most loving of hearts. They're the ones who will stand up for what they believe and ask questions. They're the ones who don't shy away from dirt and challenge, and who will work with their hands to win.

I'm so glad that I'm able to be a sister to these real, real special boys. It's gonna be hard to fend off all the girls who will be at their door.
















Here's to...


“Nothing teaches us about the preciousness of the Creator as much as when we learn the emptiness of everything else.” —Charles Spurgeon

Here's to the days well-spent and the mercies anew and the overflowing cup of countless unexpected graces and gifts. Here's to remembering that Christ is all one will ever truly need and that He is so very faithful and sovereign in every season. Here's to remembering that life isn't always easy, and that it's okay to admit you're a mess and don't know what to do. Here's to walking the journey filled with struggles and trials with a humble confidence in the sufficiency of the Lord. Here's to taking a deep breath, and continuing on, one step at a time, realizing that the messy everyday is in fact, a wonderful, marvelous, gift from God.

17 is crazy, exciting, overwhelming, confusing, convicting, disappointing, and joy-filled as ever. But while each day passes, I realize that my home is not here; instead that beholding glory awaits and that the Potter is using these mundane, little happenings to transform me more into the image of His Son. I'm learning to whole-heartedly say, "It is well with my soul," and "'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus." I'm learning that there's a lot of peace when you put everything of into the hands wounded for you and when you cast away all the empty things of the world. I'm learning to take joy in the little things and I'm clinging to the cross with hope; the same hope I held when my soul was saved making my love even deeper. God is changing my heart like he changes the leaves. It's a glorious, wonderful season, and I am so very thankful.