Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our New Precious Face - Her Story

First of I have to thank all of you for your wonderful, beautiful, amazing comments!

I have been totally blown away by all of your love and support and excitement!

Today has been a very fun day!

From the bottom of my heart...
Thank you!

Now, I know that everyone is waiting to hear about our adorable new daughter

who will, here, be called XM for now because...

we are in a sort of battle of the s*xes around here when it comes to her name

The boys, well they like Sam (Samantha)

The girls are whining hoping for Ella (Eleanor)

Maybe we will let XM choose:)

So, let me back up a bit

all the way back to when we were in China

back to when we were in China in Lizzie's orphanage

That day forever changed me

even though I didn't really understand at the time...

I was finally beginning to hear the Lord's call in my heart
I was finally beginning to understand everything that had weighed so heavily on my heart as a child and everything that weighed so heavily on my heart as an adult

It was Him and He had been preparing me

When we left China

A piece of my heart stayed

and I knew we would be back


not so much 


So, we got Lizzie home and after all of her surgeries and casts and just plain ole hard attachment work,  

I began to pray and to advocate

I never asked  Hubby to consider another child, cause

he - was - done!

However, I began to ask the Lord

I asked Him to either move Hubby's heart or take the desire from mine


One day, one summer as hubby was cutting the grass and listening to his MP3 player

a song began to play

and his heart was moved

the song was Steven Curtis Chapman's, When Love Takes You In

and he knew

He knew that there was another child waiting for us

He came to me with tears streaming down his face and he told me that he knew and he told me that there was another child waiting for us and he told me that she was around 8 or 9 years old and he told me that we had to bring her home

and then...

the floor fell out from beneath us and Hubby was out of work - for - a - very - long - time

It just wasn't time but the seed had been planted 

We struggled financially and still do but it was a purposeful struggle which, in the end, brought us closer to God, stronger in our faith and eventually...
trusting in Him
following the path that He has laid out before us

having such peace about our sweet XM without knowing much about her at all

or having the money to bring her home

I mean, who does??

Back in February, our sweet XM came to me as a file from the shared list

I recognized her face as a face that I had seen on different lists...
she had been around a while and yet she still waited

There was something about her face

a familiar-ness???

definitely a cute-ness!!!

So, I showed her to Hubby and asked him to pray

and - he - did

I put her pic on the fridge ( I have lots of pics on the fridge - heh )

but we kept going back to her

we didn't talk about her much but we were both praying for her

I was trying to get more info on her but what I learned confused me even more

so I just let it go...

Until about a month later, after I began my fabulous job with Lifeline

My job is to advocate and to advocate for older/more significant needs kiddos and to do that, I needed files

files of older/more significant needs kiddos



So I asked for files

6 files to be exact

6 files out of 2000 files!

When these 6 files were sent to me, I was told that these kiddos were placed on Lifeline's individual
 list and not only that but they were assigned to ME!

These were MY kids

I was excited and could not wait to get them up on my site!

As I began to go through them and got to the third file, "Mindy's" file...

my heart began to race and I began to shake - all over
it was a feeling I will never forget
there she was
her sweet little face looking right at me
reaching out for me

and - I - was - done

I called Hubby and was crying and laughing and shaking and trying to explain to him that out of 2000 files, hers was sent to ME and I believed - to HIM

I didn't have to say much more because Hubby told me that he had been thinking about her ALL day

and - he - was - done

She was ours and we knew it

we knew it with such conviction that it did not matter that her file was full of holes and discrepancies

it didn't matter that we really did not know how old she is

it did not matter that we did not know what her exact needs are 

it did not matter that we really just do not have the money to do this...

cause she is our daughter, the one that He has chosen for us, the one that He has put in our hearts with such peace and trust that we just could not turn away from her again.

We received PA for our precious XM last week

We think that she is 8 years old

We think that she has CP and is very delayed

We know that she is our daughter and that the Lord has chosen us for her

and honestly, that is all we need to know

So, please welcome our newest daughter - name TBA soon

I hope - hehe

I have also added a donate button to the blog

I don't really know anything at all about fundraising and just feel so out of my comfort zone here but the button is up and in the mean time, if you have any great fundraising ideas, I would love to hear them

Thank you all again for being so sweet and sharing in our joy!

look out China, here we come!


  1. Eeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! She is precious!!! Oh Annie, she is amazing and the Lord sent her just for you! Praise God! I would be honored to do a fundraiser for you, if you'd like one. No pressure though! :) So stinkin' excited for you!!!

  2. WOW!!! WooooHoooooo!

    She is beautiful! I am so excited for you!! For her!! For your family!!

    YAY GOD!! What a wonderful GOD journey! Can't wait to follow along as you all get closer and close to her!


  3. I got goosebumps reading your story. You know as well as I do that God will provide what is needed :) Praying for your family and your new little girl.

  4. I've never met you in person, Annie- but if I were with you tonight, I'd be jumping up and down, celebrating all that God has done and is about to do!!! What a beautiful story of God's relentless love for these precious children and His love for us in allowing us to be a part of that amazing process! I was moved by your story and beyond thrilled for this precious little one that God has waiting for YOU!!! Bless you for stepping out in faith! God's provision will blow you away! May He open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so many blessings, you can not contain them! Hugs from Florida tonight! Lori McCary

  5. I don't even know what to say!!! I'm so happy and excited for you all! What a beautiful story. I always love to see how God places children with their family.

  6. Oh, I meant to say also that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the scripture you chose to put in your header! Having adopted 4 times myself and worked for an adoption agency, I have seen time and time again how God leads families to children. We may not know which way to turn but HE always does and makes sure that we are on the right path.

  7. Love your God Wink story Annie. This has been an amazing journey. I love how God opened the door for you to be with Lifeline and how HE supernaturally brought your daughter's file RIGHT to YOU. I love how God confirms who are children are,or aren't, if only we will listen. I am so excited to be able to watch this journey unfold for you. By the way, is Lifeline going to allow you to put the dogs and cats you advocate for on their site as well?

  8. Oh Annie, I'm sobbing...this is exactly our Solomon's story...all the way down to being asked to advocate for him...have no money to bring him home...not knowing anything about his medical needs and knowing his file was incomplete...down to the uncontrollable shaking and lack of breath when I stared in his eyes...to God confirming it in daddy's heart before I even called him COMPLETELY out of the blue about our son. GOD IS SO GOOD and I am so happy for you!!! Congratulations!!!

  9. You've brought tears to my eyes again. It is so wonderful how your husband submits to God's will without question.

  10. Wow! I love watching God knit a plan together! You know, I'm following your journey!

  11. Oh Annie! I am so excited for her, you, your family!!! Tears of joy for you all. I love your story and will be following along. I will keep you all in my prayers.

  12. Yay!!! I am so very happy and excited for you and your family, Annie!!! I know your heart aches for all of these waiting children as if they were your own. It is wonderful that you will get to cover this child in that love. What a blessing she is!!!

    Happy dancing in Indiana and busting with joy and excitement for you!!!!

  13. Our prayers are with all of the Hamlins. It is beautiful how you always have room for one more. God will help you with the earthly barriers in front of you. He knows the love in your families heart and that is the only thing important to him. I am proud to know you and I believe with all my heart you will bring your new daughter home sooner than even you expect.
    Love the Ercks

  14. Very excited for you and your newest addition. As for the name, do you remember our big goofy golden retriever? Her name was Sam (New Britain's Lady Samantha on her AKC registration) so I think Eleanor is much better! What are they calling her where she is now? Can you find something that sounds similar? I wonder how hard it is a t age 8 or so to suddenly be called something different? You know better than I what the recommendations are for that...

  15. Annie, I am so, so overjoyed that your family is bringing home another little one! I knew that your financial difficulties were standing in the way, but with everything you've done in the adoption community, I just knew it was a matter of time before you'd return to Ch*na! I saw this little girl's beautiful face in your post yesterday and didn't get a chance to comment - thank you for your BEAUTIFUL story of how you and hubby came to realize that she is your daughter. SCC's "When Love Takes You In" has affected so many people - so has all his music! I met him after a performance in New Jersey about five years ago and had the opportunity to tell him how much his music has affected my life - he is such a loving, sincere person. I also LOVE the scripture you posted on your header - it's a verse I use often. And you need to go with an "E" name for this little one to continue the theme of "C" boys and "E" girls - she'll feel left out if you don't! :-) And BTW, I wonder if Lizzie will want to go by Liz or Beth as she gets older - I know that I switched from "Jenny" to Jen/Jennifer around early middle school but that has never stopped my family or old friends from calling me "Jenny" - I have a feeling that Lizzie will still be "Lizzie" to you when she's forty! Annie, your new daughter is so lovely and full of life and happiness. Congratulations! Lord, bring her home SOON!

  16. I am the proudest Aunt ever! We are a lucky family to have this beautiful child joining us, but boy is she in for a crazy ride! I love you all, and I now know why God chose her for you. My arms stretch across the miles hugging you and hugging that sweet baby! I cannot wait for the day we can all embrace each other literally!

  17. Oh, Annie! What an AMAZING story of God's love at work in your lives! Your new daughter is gorgeous! And she has such a sweet smile. I can't wait to hear more and to follow your journey back to China.

  18. Awww, what a beautiful story! What a beautiful child! Going to a beautiful family. I love to hear about when the husbands, the Daddies, come crying and ready to the Mamas that were waiting! LOVE IT! BTW, I think Ella suits her..... then again, she could be a Sam. But, no! You have 3 boys, give her a girlie name! ELLA! ELLA! ELLA! Eleanor Samantha? You could call her Ella Sam! LOL. Don't worry about the fundraising. The money will come in God's time. You know that!

  19. Goose bumps here, too. Your story, XM's story, ultimately God's story....We are praying for you!

  20. She is adorable! Love this story and the way God works... I am currently praying the prayer you mentioned: to change my husbands heart or take the desire from me. But I'd really prefer that He changes my husband's heart! God bless you on this journey; I can't wait to follow and pray you through.

  21. congrats on your newest daughter. We weren't planning to adopt either when our then 13 year old daughter file found her way into our heart.

  22. Amazing! Love it ..and congratulations! I read this with tears in my eyes! God is good.

  23. So excited for your family, I can't wait to watch this wonderful journey unfold!

  24. sooooo excited for you and your family Annie
    Finally, God has chosen the perfect daughter to join your family-So happy for you!!!
    Lots of hugs and prayers for speedy paperwork!

  25. I am so happy for your family. God always has a plan. Lots of prayers going your way.

    Amy Kratzer

  26. YES!!! God bless you all. I am jumping up and down praising Him! Can you believe that Eleanor is on our list? We love older names. :-) We are leaning toward Bethany, though (it goes with Luke, Kate, Beth...) I am so happy for you, Annie. You are full of love and so is XM.

  27. WooHoo! That is the best news! The last I spoke to Chris he said he had come to the realization after you but was anxiously, nervously, excitedly waiting for this day! All our love and prayers to all of you! XOXO

  28. I so loved reading your story - God sure has been working overtime this month (few months)! THos great big Indiana Jones leaps of Faith and the emmence peace that comes with it! Beyond excited for your little XM and your family!

  29. This is such womderfully encouraging news, Annie! You have waited so long and have been faithfully patient! What a miraculous story, and God is so good! And thanks for making me cry at work!!!!!!!!
    Traci Smedley

  30. I am so excited for you and your family! Your soon to be daughter is sooooo stinkin'cute! You have a heart for the Lord and the orphan and am glad that you have listened to your calling! God bless you Annie!

  31. Annie,
    I think you are every blogger's best friend! We all love you!!! I love reading through the comments here. Don't we all just want to hug our sweet friend who we've never even met in person??? And that is because you are one of the sweetest, most selfless women I know of. You pour your time and heart into this amazing work. God is blessing you abundantly. He is giving you the gift of knowing that He is your Great Provider. We can only truly know that when we don't have the means to provide on our own. All of us adoptive families can relate to that, can't we? I mean look at what He's done for us! He shows up time after time after time. He is so good! We will absolutely be honored to pour seed into your fund. As for fundraisers... We sent out a newsletter to our friends and family and asked for their junk. Our little garage sale ended up lasting for 5 weekends! We made around $5,000!!! It was so fun too. Ask your local paper to do an article on your family. We did and we were shocked that they said yes. It was great advertising. Put an add on craigslist and put signs all over your community. You'll be surprised how excited people are to help.
    Annie, if it weren't for you, we wouldn't be where we are today...So stinkin excited to get our daughter home! Thank you!!!

  32. Those are such sweet names. I'm sure one will stick out more than the other as you continue in your journey. XM is beautiful!

  33. I'm sooooo excited for you guys!!!! yahooooo

  34. I am soo excited for you! It is always so amazing to see how God makes His will known!! She is so precious and beautiful! We will pray for your family and your daughter.


    Maria (adopting Rachel/Zoe found on your site :))

  35. Oh my gosh Annie I love your "story"...God is the most amazing author. I am so VERY happy for your family!!! I'm leaning in the boy's direction...I think Sam fits her:-) But of course Ella is beautiful too!!

  36. Oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!! Y'all, I am just in tears, joyful tears!!!!!! That is a regular occurrence around here these days! LOL!!! I have read each and everyone of your beautiful comments and I am just in awe of the love and support and encouragement that just radiates from each one!!!! Thank you ALL so, so much!!!!! Your precious words just mean the world to me!!!!!

  37. I am so excited for you Annie!!!!! Congratulations!!!! What province is she in???

  38. Wonderful wonderful!
    So happy, no worries Annie, God will care your concerns and wisk them away! She is perfect and i am just soooooooooo AMAZED by this story!

  39. What an amazing story!! I love it!!

    I suggest an iPad giveaway fundraiser btw!!

  40. after I quit crying my eyes out I am emailing you......you KNOW I have some ideas...also I am still a little on the low side myself BUT MUST send you a ck for 100.00 I want a part of this blessing for sure ( wink) I am also sedning you a box of fun jewlery to sell.... and have a few other ideas too....

  41. Annie, your blog has given me chills up my spine...as well as hope for when the door opens up for me and my husband to adopt. I know that I just need to trust in the Lord and continue to pray the same prayer that you did to 'move my hubbys heart or take the desire from mine'.
    I will also pray for you and your family as you have this amazing journey set before you...which I truly believe was designed by God. By the way, your daughter is beautiful. I am just so happy for you...words cannot express the joy in my heart at this moment.

  42. So great. She's so gorgeous and your family is truly blessed.

    The Sparrow Fund (www.sparrow-fund.org) has a fundraising program selling Kenyan jewelry like the ones on their site (www.thesparrowfund.etsy.com). Email me and I can send you info if you are interested.

  43. Oh. My. GOODNESS! Jumping for JOY with you, Annie... this is the most BLESSED news!
    Can't wait to watch this God-ordained journey unfold!!

  44. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful story that God is writing! She is absolutely gorgeous. Such wonderful news that God has brought you and your husband to this blessed journey. May God go before you and make all the rough places smooth!

    Jody Fasnacht

  45. So happy for your family. Love your heart for advocating! You've helped me advocate for one that was on my heart. I'm another that has been praying for years and hoping that one day.... Your new daughter is beautiful. I'm sure the one that knows her best knows EXACTLY what He's doing!! Congratulations!

  46. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!! She is precious, beautful, and yours!!!!! God is so good! I cannot wait to follow your journey!

  47. Wow, what an amazing story! So inspiring! Congrats to your whole beautiful family!

  48. Wow! I had no idea! And I thought the possibility of adopting a pug was a big deal!!!! What a wonderful story. You and the entire family have been in my thoughts ever since I heard the big news. What a precious little girl. I can't wait to hear all about your journey. I want every detail. What a lucky little girl!

  49. Yay Yay Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Praise God!!!!!!!

  50. She is beautiful Annie!! I am so thrilled for you and your family and the journey God has you on. I love the story of how God brought you to this place, to this child and I can hardly wait to hear the rest of the story. After three adoptions in four years time I can attest to God's faithfulness. It simply does not compute on paper and yet the money was always there when we needed it. God is so good and so faithful!! I'll be praying for you! Yahoo!!

  51. Hello Annie!
    My family has adopted a little girl from China and ever since then our hearts were burdened for all the children that are still waiting for their forever families. We are Crafts for China's Orphans! You might have read about us from Ni Hao Yall but if you haven't here is our website! http://craftsforchinasorphans.blogspot.com/
    If you don't know what Crafts for China's Orphans is, then we will explain. We are three Girls, Isabella Helaina and Michaela, and we are two sisters and a cousin! We are very talented in making crafts, so we make homemade crafts and sell them, and ALL the money we raise goes to help the orphans in China. We donate the money to the orphanage that we adopted my sister from, and we donate the money to the Half the Sky Foundation in China! We have read all about your adoption story from your blog and from Ni Hao Yall and we were touched by you adoption story! Tomorrow, the Fourth of July, we are going to be selling our crafts to raise more money for the orphans in China and after reading about you adoption process we have decided that a proceeds of the money we earn tomorrow will be donated to you to help fund your adoption process to help you bring your daughter home! Our email address is on our website. If you have any questions please email us! :) God Bless you and your Family! :) From Crafts For China's Orphans! :)

  52. I'm adopted from Cambodia! I'm actually in a hurry now...so will read later! God bless you all to His fullest always!! www.facebook.com/ChristianAgirl