her little hand

This picture, at first glance, looks like a child’s scribble.

And it is.

But it is so. much. more.

Y’all probably know this, but for those of you who might not, Poppy’s special need is missing fingers on her left hand, also known as symbrachydactyly. It’s pretty much a non-issue in our day-to-day existence. In fact, I’ve found myself completely forgetting that my sweet girl doesn’t have any fingers on her left hand.

Because the girl can do anything.

Since Poppy came home, we’ve referred to her little hand as just that – her little hand. But we’ve tried to stay very factual about it, and only use the term to differentiate between her two hands… as in, “No Pop, not that hand. Give me your little hand.” We didn’t want to inject any of our emotions to it that might have confused her or caused her to question, prematurely, why her hands don’t exactly match.

Oh, but our other kids. They love her little hand. Isabelle loves Poppy and always wants to specifically hold her little hand. Jude wants to adopt little girl from China one day with “a hand just like Poppy’s!” And Vivienne and Sophie routinely comment on it, usually something like, “It’s sooo cute!”

And so, last fall, Poppy began talking about her little hand. She’d never said anything about it, asked about it or even referred to it before, so the first time she said “my little hand” when referring to her left hand, we all collectively held our breath, wondering if someone had done or said something that might have caused her grief over this realization.

Man, were we wrong. It was just the beginning of a budding love affair that Poppy now has with her beloved little hand. She does not question why it isn’t the same as her other hand, but instead feels special. After all, she and only she, has such a magnificent hand.

She studies it.

She rubs it.

She traces it.

This lovely tracing she did the other day at Maggiano’s. On their tablecloth.

And no, she did not get in trouble for it. Instead, mom pulled out the camera to capture it.

Tallula has even expressed some envy over Poppy’s little hand. I caught them in the middle of an argument a few weeks ago…

Tallula (clutching her own hand): “… my little hand!”

Poppy: “You no have little hand, Lula. I have little hand!”

Oh, that she would maintain this beautiful, and deserved, appreciation of the way she was crafted by her Creator.



  1. This beautiful post about Poppy’s “beautiful little hand” brought this verse immediately to my thoughts

    Psalm 139: 14 will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

  2. I never knew what Poppy’s special need was, but our daughter, who we brought home from China in October 2012 also has a “little hand” for her left hand! I’ve wondered when she will notice or mind that it is different, but your post gives me hope that maybe she will love it instead :) She’s only 2 now, so time will tell, but we love her exactly the way she was made.

  3. SWEET

  4. Oh darling little Poppy. Sweet girl I have prayed for you since I first saw your precious picture and read the unfolding story of your joining such a wonderful family. I have prayed that you would be protected and loved and have the ability to see, truly know and believe that you are beautifully, wonderfully made. God knew what he was doing when he crafted you exactly as you are. You are special for so many many reasons. God bless you always and protect your self love. I know your family will help you remember every day how truly amazing you are. xoxo

  5. LOVE HER!!!!!!! And I love that yall are instilling in her the knowledge that she is wonderfully made!!!!!
    The fruit of your teaching her TRUTH is already evident in her little life! Praise the Lord!

  6. Awww that’s so cute! I hope she does keep that kind of appreciation for how she was made. :) I love hearing about your beautiful kiddos!!

  7. I have a daughter who is missing her entire left arm. We have treated her just as you have Poppy, referring to her “stub” side and her “arm” side. I was explaining to my girls, after the death of a friend of mine, how in Heaven, everyone will have a perfect body. I told Mia she would have two arms in Heaven. Her response? “Aw, man. I like it just the way I am!”

    Who am I to say what is the perfect body?

    I love Poppy’s sweet little hand!

  8. Kemeri has a little left hand, too. I was recently filling out paperwork for her EI assessment, & it asked about disabilities/medical needs. Do you know I listed her spina bifida but totally forgot to list her hand! The teachers got quite a kick out of that, but after working with her understood how I could easily forget…she uses it like a rock star! Currently, she is attempting to tie a shoe (she’s only 2.5, so I think we’re a bit early on that, but I’m not about to discourage her!). Yes, definitely fearfully & wonderfully made!! :)

  9. Ahhh so sweet. My little guy has a little hand too. A few months back it was time for the “flex arm hang” test in the 3rd grade. I fretted about it as a mama and wondered if I should contact the PE teacher and have him excused. He was worried to. Instead, I told him to just do his very best and it would be fine. I worried that day and prayed it would be ok. Imagine my excitement when he came running to me after school with a big smile on his face! Not only did he DO the flex arm hang……he got the second highest score in all of 3rd grade. That little hand held on to that bar for 21 seconds. Yes, all things are possible with God.

    • NiHaoYall says:

      Wow. I can’t imagine a prouder mama moment, Patty.

    • Laura McLaughlin says:

      This is so great to hear. My son has a little hand and is in 1st grade. I know that in second grade, they have to do the rope climb in gym class. In the back of my mind, ‘ve been thinking about how this will go. You have just given me the encouragement to “let it go” and stop worrying about such things. Thank you.

  10. So sweet :)

  11. That is precious!

  12. Stef,
    I love this.. You have given her such a spirit of confidence in the way she has embraced her sweet and precious “little hand!” Fearfully and wonderfully made… So beautifully true!!!!

    Sweet Girl!


  13. Heehee love this – reminds me of Brahm exclaiming to someone that dwarfs were a superior race – apparently the said child then he prayed for a week to become a dwarf LOL!

  14. We love “little hands” too! One of the few things that truly frustrates Rachel about her little hand is that she can’t trace her big hand because she doesn’t have fingers on her left hand. So she just makes lots and lots of traced little hands.

  15. SOooo sweet! She is a brilliant and beautiful little girl and yes, so beautifully made right down to her little hand! Such an appropriate post as I’ve been thinking about a little one at An Orphan’s Wish (Shannan) that has some missing fingers on both hands and have found myself wondering on more than more occasion if she will just rock them like anybody’s business. I have a feeling she will (if she doesn’t already!)
    Just love your little one’s love of her little hand.

  16. Carole Parr says:

    What a beautiful thing, so glad she is her self as it should be. It always could be so much worse, she is a warrior.

  17. So sweet! The more I read about these sweet children from China, I have come to the belief that God has sent the best to China.

  18. As a mother of an adopted daughter with a “mini-foot” this blog entry was priceless.

  19. Olivia Huber says:

    Awwwwww!! Sweet Post, Stephanie. Poppy is such a blessing.
    You are a great mom.

  20. I read your blog … All the time.. I never realized that Poppy had a “little hand”
    Our daughter has a little hand too. We adopted her from china in 2010.
    We knew as soon as we saw her it was a non issue for us and we were hoping it would be a non issue for her!
    So far , so good. She will be 3 soon and looks at her little hand all the time, some days she is courious , some days she loves on it but most days it’s just her little hand!!! It is who she is and we always kiss it and her and remind her how very special she is , just how God made her .

  21. Hillary Glauser-Patton says:

    *Love* (and smiles)

  22. Oh this is beautiful.

  23. Our daughter has a ‘little ear’! She has an attitude just like Poppy and doesn’t give it another thought. It doesn’t keep us from ponytails, pigtails or earrings!
    She’s so excited to be getting a little sister from China with a ‘little ear’ just like hers but on the other side!
    Love the story!

  24. Quite possibly one of my all time favorite posts!!!!

  25. That is the sweetest drawing I’ve seen in a while! I’d kiss that little hand all day long!! <3

  26. Oh how sweet! My friend’s daughter (from China) has the same special need as Poppy, and we forget that she has missing fingers. It does NOT slow her down at all. She’s on a 3rd grade volleyball team. God is good.
    What is Lula’s special need?

  27. You know, as I watch my girl age, I see that kids with visible SNs are made from a tougher cloth than we tend to give them credit. My prayer for Poppy, my DQ, and all kids that have things that stand out is that they are brought up in His love and learn to stand tall, knowing His love encompasses all!

  28. Adorable. :) Your kids are so stinkin cute. My goodness. :)

  29. What a beautiful post! What a blessing that your entire family can rejoice in and find the bright side of something others might see as a downfall! Thanks for sharing!

  30. We call Hannah’s her “xiao hand.” Xiao is one of the few Mandarin words we all remember 2 years after the adoption, mostly because of referring to her little hand that way.

  31. Check out Lucky Fin Project on Facebook. I found it after watching Soul Surfer. My daughter was born missing two fingers on her right hand. Just a lot of neat links & info.

  32. I know you wrote this a long time ago, but it just made my day!

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