We celebrated Hannah’s 16th birthday on February 18. How the years have flown! Her life has been filled with transition and change. As a result, no matter where we have lived she has found a way to adapt and discover new experiences.

It seems like yesterday we were living in Russia, and she was learning how to walk. She later learned to speak the Russian language like a native. People thought she was a little Russian kid. They were baffled that she could have American parents.

DSC_6148

Then we transitioned to America where she yet again made new friends and sought to adapt to her own culture. During that season she blossomed into a very smart, talented young lady. Already an avid reader, her love of learning reached new heights as she sought to do her best in all areas, her passions becoming science and medicine. However, there was an artistic side that also surfaced, and she beautifully began to express herself through theater. What a privilege it was to witness first hand the talents that God instilled in her, which were waiting to come out at the proper time. All those experiences left a deep impression within, and will forever mark her.

photo

At present, she finds herself in yet another country, having lived here 18 months. Another change. Another transition to navigate. This season has been by far the most challenging for her. Through tears, questions, and doubts however, she has found the strength to reach deep within to find herself again, but this time with a new perspective of life and the world around her. She has witnessed injustice first hand, and the pain that comes from those who do not regard the preciousness of others. She has witnessed how utterly difficult life can be for those who are displaced, without a home of their own. At the same time, she has witnessed such beauty around her that has left her speechless. In her own unique way, she possesses an innate appreciation for the nature that surrounds her, observing little minute details that most of us don’t notice.

Hannah is a TCK–a third culture kid. She has a culture of her own, that is neither American, nor Russian, nor Mexican, nor Montenegrin. It is a combination of all those cultures woven beautifully within her that make up who she is. She views life and the world around her through the adventures she has lived through, as well as her present circumstances. Yet she also lives her life in anticipation of what is to come. She knows with every fiber of her being, where her every breath lies: in the Hands of the One Who created her, Who knew her before her first breath, and Who has been weaving a beautiful tapestry in her life. Some day, she will be able to look back on her life and see how it all fit together–every transition, every change, every challenge, every success, every failure–all for a specific purpose.

How grateful we are to be part of your life, Hannah. What an honor it is to get to walk alongside you, loving you, encouraging you, and guiding you along the way. We pray God’s very best for you today and everyday to come. We love you. We are for you.

photo 1