Thursday, June 6, 2013

About Our Esty...

So many have asked sweet questions about our newest child, dear

Esty Marilyn HanHan...

so I thought I would share a bit about WHO she is and WHY we are pursuing her.

Esty at age can see a video of her when this photo was taken. Look below!

As God has grown me in the past year, I have personally witnessed the incredible POWER that advocating for voiceless orphans has on lives.

Afterall, when Kelly advocated for our Toby here, exactly EIGHT lives radically changed...with more lives along the edges being impacted by Toby's story and his life as a Shaw.

My life by someone else advocating for orphans.

And so, it was only natural that I would begin doing the same.

Sharing faces.

Sharing stories.

Passing on links, making connections and praying my heart out for these children who need families.

Esty was one of those children I advocated for.

On November 20, 2012 I advocated for her on my Facebook page.

Here was a little girl who had been waiting in her birth country for someone to love her.

For someone to find value in her life.

I learned that she wanted to become a doctor when she grows up.

I know the reality: she is handicapped. Wheelchair bound.

In China, this means she is locked away from education.

Schools have no wheelchair access.

No special needs accommodations.

She has no hope of ever becoming a doctor if she remains in China.

Yet she has been waiting for a family for over 8 years.


I cannot begin to comprehend that, honestly.

I think about where we were when she was born. (Incidentally, we were in China, living our lives as a family of 4 then...)

I think about where we were when she was abandoned (again, we were still in China...and I so wish I had been able to scoop up this little broken baby left on a train!!)

We came home then, had Oliver, gave birth to and then buried Oskar, moved and began a life in the NW corner of Ohio...all the while



It was in the quiet of the early morning when God spoke clearly and directly to my heart about this precious girl who was still waiting.

"You can handle her needs." God spoke.

CLEARLY there was no mistaking His words to my heart.

I was a bit dumbfounded. "Me, Lord?"

I immediately told Brian about this...and we began praying.

It was just 2 weeks before we would board a plane to China to bring Toby home.

Yes, the timing of it all was SHOCKING.

One day after that, as I fastened a clay necklace from Toby's fundraiser around my neck I had the distinct feeling, "This necklace is not mine. It is for HER."

When I took it off and looked at the verse on the back, I read the Scripture reference: Jeremiah 29:11.

God was saying this verse about her: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"

I was trembling.

This child who I had merely advocated for needed this necklace.

It was hers.

It had a message that SHE needed to hear.

So, I took it with us to China. I printed out the first page of her file that held the information about where she lived.

On our final day in China, I asked our guide to help me mail it to her. She gladly did. She wrote out the verse in characters and added my message, "A friend in America loves you. She wants you to have this necklace and understand the message that it carries. You are treasured."

She asked me if I wanted to sign it. But what could I do? I certainly could not build up her hopes that I was her Momma...but neither could I sign my first name because I LONGED to become her momma!!

So it went to her without a signature.

In the meantime, God spoke to Brian that we are to bring Esty home. The phone call came to me just 4 days after coming home with Toby. "Amy, I'm ready to start the process bring her home."

Oh, sweet man!! I rejoice in my husband who always listens to God's voice!!

By now, sweet Esty has been given the news that she has a family.

I cannot help wonder if she touches that necklace and dreams about us, like we dream about her.

This video was taken a few years back when an agency was desperately trying to find her a family. I have watched this over and over and over again. I cannot wait to wrap my arms around Esty and let her know HOW MUCH I LOVE AND ADORE HER!!!

Note: at the time of this video, she was blessed to be out of the orphanage and living with a foster family; that is the "mom" and "little sister"to whom she is referring. Sadly, she was returned to her orphanage where she still waits today.

It is our joy and great honor that God has chosen US to be that permanent, loving family for Esty. We are over the moon joyful to begin the walk of understanding Spina Bifida and how we can help her gain the most independence possible.

We are so excited to shower her with love and affection and begin training her heart.

Please pray with us that God will bring her home quickly and in a way that ALL WILL SEE that God is mighty!!!


  1. She is just beautiful! I am so excited to hear this story and can't wait to hear even more about her soon! Congrats Shaw family....God Bless this exciting adventure!

  2. Count on me to continue praying this with you! And I agree with God (ha! :-)), you can soooo handle her needs!

  3. What an amazing story! I can't wait to see more. I love you!

  4. So amazing. I am thrilled you are bringing her home!

  5. She is so open, so self-possessed and so sweet! What an incredible blessing!!


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