Meet HannahFrom an outsider’s perspective, you would think that Hannah’s life had always been perfect. Mom, Dad, brother. Salvation Army officer’s kid. Steady home. Good education. But to look and not see the story behind it is to miss out on a story of God’s goodness and grace.
Have you ever heard it said, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”?
It applies to people too. From an outsider’s perspective, you would think that Hannah’s life had always been perfect. Mom, Dad, brother. Salvation Army officer’s (pastor’s) kid. Steady home. Good education. This seems like the set-up for a perfect life and, to be fair, it is a good one. But to look and not see the story behind it is to miss out on a story of God’s goodness and grace.
Hannah’s biological father left her life at an early age. Struggling with addiction, he became incarcerated off and on due to that lifestyle. Mentally understanding the disease of addiction doesn’t take away the pain and sense of abandonment that it brings. As a young girl, Hannah took that abandonment to heart in a very burdensome way, internalizing those feelings, which evolved into a sense of not belonging. Her mom was amazing, loving her and pouring into her life, but even after her mom remarried to a man who loved Hannah as his own, it took years before she stopped carrying the burden of feeling hurt, confused and alone.
In 2014, Hannah realized that though her biological father hadn’t fulfilled his role in her life, God had given her a great gift in the form of her stepdad, Dan. Dan was everything that a father was supposed to be: loving, kind, encouraging, teaching, supporting, providing and so much more. Once Hannah realized this, she asked him to adopt her. Dan was her dad and she wanted to make it official. Adoption Day brought great joy to Hannah—she literally jumped for joy in front of the courthouse.
“The significance of having Dan’s last name,” Hannah says, “has always stuck with me and reminds me of the Scripture that talks about being adopted into the family of God. He has chosen us, He is taking us into His family and, while we already are His children, we are officially adopted into the family of God. We belong to Him. We are His. Regardless of the absence of my biological father, I am still the fully loved and fully known daughter of Dan, but also, more importantly, the daughter of God.”
Today, Hannah is a college senior, studying to earn her degree in dramatic arts with a minor in applied theatre.
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