Friday, April 27, 2012

Hannah's Name

Our daughter will have quite a name! Hannah Bei Jia Marie plus a last name, too.  In the last post, I had a picture of a wall hanging a friend gave me with Hannah's name meaning.  I thought I'd share here.


  • Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew
  • Inherent Meaning: Gracious
  • Spiritual Connotation: Compassionate
  • Psalm 145:8, "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy."
Bei Jia: 
  • The name given to our daughter at 1 day old when she entered the orphanage
  • Meaning: Shell/Valuables,  Beautiful/Excellent
  • Her nick-name in China is Jia Jia
  • Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew / Egyptian
  • Inherent Meaning: Bitter / Wished for Child
  • Spiritual Connotation: Delivered
  • Isaiah 38:17, "Indeed it was for my own peace that I had such great bitterness; but You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for you have cast all my sins behind your back."
Even though this name might be a bit of a mouthful for a little girl, Hannah is the name we chose for a girl when we were pregnant the first time and kept it as our top choice through each pregnancy.  Because my name has "hanna" as its ending, it is special to me as well.  We also wanted to keep her Chinese name, even though it wasn't given to her by her Chinese parents.  She will have so little to look to when she starts to question who she is and where she came from that we want to keep as much of what she has as we can. We also gave her an American middle name for a couple of reasons.  First, that is my middle name, my mom's middle name, and my grandmother's first name.  That is special!  Also, when Hannah gets older, we wanted her to be able to choose which middle name she prefers to use.  If she wants to identify with her Chinese heritage, she has that.  But if she just feels American, she can drop the Chinese name.  However, legally, she'll have both - something I hope she appreciates some day.  It was interesting doing the research on the name Marie.  I had always heard it meant "Bitter," which I must confess is not my favorite meaning.  But I kept seeing that it was Hebrew, with Egyptian origin, so I decided to look at the Egyptian meaning.  When I saw that the Egyptian meaning was "Wished for child," I could not help but think it is absolutely perfect for our daughter.  We have wished for her through this whole 4-year process of adoption, and I have wished for her for 20 years - ever since God impressed upon me that I would have a daughter from China someday.  I hope she will come to realize just how much she was longed for by us!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Adoption Progress

I did not realize just how many steps there were to the end of this process!  Since I last updated things here, we did finally get our immigration approval.  Once we had that, we applied to the Department of Homeland Security to classify Hannah as an immediate relative, and we got that provisional approval today!  We also filled another gov't form and sent it off - I don't even remember what that was for! Now that we have our provisional approval, we can apply for our visas to enter China! This involves sending a packet of information through a courier to the Chinese Consulate in Houston.  We also have a whole packet of information to get notarized and send off to our adoption agency, including travel releases, placement agreements, travel group information release forms.  We will get that notarized tomorrow and send it, along with a copy of our approval that we got today back to the agency. I think we are also going to get our will notarized before we jet off half way around the world! :)  In addition to all of this, Jerry started some vaccinations he never had that were recommended.  He isn't feeling great today after starting that yesterday, but that is to be expected! Fortunately for me, I had a whole round of "weird" vaccinations when I was planning to travel to Africa at age 17, so I'm spared most of that right now! It still looks like travel will happen sometime in June.

We still haven't gotten any new information on Hannah.  It really seems like a long time since we got the last update on her in February, but I am trying to remember that the caregivers in the orphanages there have so much to do and are truly doing their best.  Now that we are getting closer to travel, I know that we will get an update just before going, so that helps! I have gotten involved in a Yahoo group of people who have/are adopting from the same orphanage as we are, and when people travel to get their little ones, they are looking for Hannah to see if they can snap a new picture for us! One is there tomorrow and another in the beginning of May.

Some of my friends gave me a baby shower a bit over a week ago! It was so amazing and I felt so loved by so many people.  Most of the pictures that were taken on my camera didn't turn out - it was passed around to a few different people - but a friend who is a great photographer took a TON of photos and will be giving them all to me soon.  Here are a few from what I have:
The amazing brunch - minus the hot dishes that weren't set out yet!

The beautiful cake my friend Sandy made!

I got so many gifts that Hannah is set on clothing for a while now.

One friend made a sheet with Hannah's name, meaning, and spiritual connotations - so precious.

This gift was "wrapped" in a watering can for Hannah! What a clever idea!
Me and my beautiful mother!

This last picture is of a painting my friend Anna made (the other lady in the photo is Anna).  It was her prayer journal as she prayed through how God felt about adoption.  It is amazing!  This painting was displayed at an arts festival that had the theme, "Discarded...Reclaimed," which is a perfect picture of adoption, don't you think?  Anna made a video of the process for this piece which can be viewed here: Undefiled Religion.  It is worth watching.  This is a prayer process every Christian should go through.