What Other Leaders Are Saying
  • Jack Canfield... "Reading Unexpected Miracles made me smile over and over again. I know it will do the same for you. Life is full of miracles. When you expect them, they occur more often... this book will help you create more of them in your life."
  • Dr John Demartini... "One of the benefits of Dr John Hinwood's journey is reflected in his excellent writings, which bring individuals hope, and most definitely a collection of facts, more than just one of fads... he shares a life full of miracles."
  • Mark Victor Hansen... "Having read You Can EXPECT A MIRACLE… The Book To Change Your Life I have only three words for this book. I loved it!"
  • Irena Yashin-Shaw PhD... "If you ever have the opportunity to have John speak to your people or at your event, just grab it. He will literally hand you a miracle. Thanks for everything John."
  • Charles "Tremendous" Jones... "Dr Hinwood's life is filled with miracles because of his great level of expectation. His life of miracles has blessed the lives of thousands around the world because he never sought miracles for selfish reasons."
  • Amanda Vaccaro... "John's 'Expect A Miracle' cards ushers the dimension of possibility and invites each individual to be open to receive from this dimension. This card is now my trigger for daily expectancy and gratitude for wonders and miracles."
  • Dr Brian Kelly... "John has a rare gift of being able to communicate ideas and principles through stories and to empower audiences. It has often been said by participants that they felt he was 'speaking directly to them individually'."

Miracle Story


Judy Hinwood
Casuarina Beach
New South Wales


Submitted into: Miracles of Courage Category,

On: 2012-10-01 19:56:23

In 1985 we journeyed from Australia to Chile to adopt a boy five and a girl three after a telephone call in the middle of the night from an adoption lawyer in Santiago we had been communicating with. When we went to collect the children from an orphanage in Southern Chile the father suddenly withdrew his permission. Then the real hunt for our children started.

With the kind assistance of a wonderful Judge Silvia Onetto in Conception, my husband, John, and I finally found our two boys, seven and a half and nearly nine, in a Conception orphanage a few days later. It was instant heart recognition and floods of emotion by us. They were ours the instant we saw them, and they said they would come with us. With the formalities completed in Chile, we brought our boys back to Australia and the adventure began.

But this is Shavela’s story.

We had searched for ‘our’ daughter but in a country with 600,000 children in orphanages at that time, after Pinochet’s regime of terror, we still didn’t find ‘her’, the one who was ours. Before leaving Chile to return to Australia we had left paperwork to adopt a girl, with lawyers we had met on our return to Santiago from southern Chile. These two empathetic men said they would find us a little girl in the next six months who would be the right girl for us.

In the extensive process of being given legal guardianship of our boys we found they had a sister, Maria Isabel, ten and a half years old who was in an orphanage in another part of the country. Her early story was a shocker and she had had four and a half years in an institution with no visitors, and was given rudimentary schooling and language. Most of her time in the orphanage was spent caring for babies as she was gifted in nurturing little ones. We wrestled with the decision but didn’t feel we could make a difference in her life given the time she would be with us, and we now had two little boys who would need a lot of care.

A couple of weeks after bringing the boys to Brisbane, our home in Australia, John and I were thinking again about the wisdom of separating the family and I asked Ignacio, our older son, if he remembered his sister. I have seen body reactions before but this was a stunner – he went bright red from the top of his head to his toes, crying with a mixture of sadness and joy and saying ‘Chabelita, Chabelita’. He was very excited, hopping around. I had no idea what he was saying but, oh, please, his reaction was profound.  I phoned John immediately and he agreed we had to send for this child, come what may.

Our caring lawyers in Santiago sprang into action and Maria Isabel was retrieved from her orphanage and thoroughly spoilt by one of the lawyer’s families, while the paperwork was handled over the next few weeks. An Australian couple we had met at our Santiago hotel were waiting for a baby to be born that they would then adopt, and they agreed to chaperone Maria Isabel on the flight to Sydney.

At Sydney Airport it took ages for her to appear after her plane had landed. I was on tenderhooks waiting with my dear in-laws, Ivy and Jack Hinwood. We had no photo of this child but it had to be her when she appeared because she looked so like her brothers and she was holding a soft toy we had sent her – but she was so big!

I said just that, and my brilliant father-in-law said ‘go to her, she’s your daughter’. Thank you, Dad, I was galvanised. Words can’t describe my trepidation yet deep excitement as I moved to hug her and give her a Cabbage Patch doll. I think I stammered, ‘I am your Mum’ in pathetic Spanish. An extraordinary mixture of emotions came up in me, but I can only guess how Maria Isabel was managing. Actually, she was by far, the most composed of the four of us.  She says now that seeing her new Nanna and Poppy made her feel safe and took away her fear. My fear was rampant.

We flew from Sydney to an ecstatic family reunion in Brisbane where her new Daddy was in awe of her composure and hugged her whenever the rest of the family let her breathe for a moment. Her brothers were thrilled beyond being sensible for many hours.

At our home there was an immediate inspection of the fridge and pantry supplies, then the dishwasher and washing machine, and reassured, she met our three Burmese cats and claimed one of them for herself, much to Husha’s delight. Then she inspected her pretty bedroom and turned her bed down, put the cat into it, and then came to look for a meal. And ‘cafe’, with index finger high in the air to order it.

Oh, dear... some recently aquired behaviours from the lawyer in Chile and their servants, we didn’t carry on with.

I still wasn’t understanding the name our sons was calling their sister. It turned out to be a nickname for Maria Isabel and the name she was used to, so I made it as easy as possible to spell in English... Shavela.
Later we found out that the Court in Chile had sent Shavela’s natural mother to the orphanage she was in to tell her to go to her brothers in Australia.

This surely helped, but I feel that it took great courage for a ten year old from the backblocks with no education or worldly experience, except a heap of pain, to climb onto big planes she had never seen before, with people she didn’t know, to go to somewhere she couldn’t comprehend, to strangers who could have been dreadful.

Well, yes, it was an interesting ride for us all. Habits are made early. As I write this twenty seven years later, our three children are grown and have given us five wonderful grandsons. They are happy, peaceful, contributing family people who include John and I willingly in their lives. Miracles abound indeed.

Dr Judy Hinwood
Brisbane, Qld, Australia