Little Did We Know

January 23, 2017 by nohandsbutours 3 Comments

Seven years ago, on this very day, we boarded a plane for China.

Little did we know…

Little did we know how fuzzy your little head would be, or that you had the most beautiful dimples, or that you had the sweetest voice ever.

Little did we know how brave you would be.

Little did we know what a wise old soul you were.

Little did we know how saying yes to you would change us forever, in ways that we never imagined.

Little did we know just how much joy you would give to our family.

Little did we know how much our faith had been – and would be – strengthened beyond measure by loving you and bringing you home.

Little did we know how you would rally our community in prayer and bring countless people to their knees.

Little did we know that one million or more tears would fall from our eyes, and that human hands wouldn’t heal your broken heart, but Jesus would.

Little did we know how you would open our hearts so fiercely for the orphan, and that three more children would come home after you.

Little did we know what a blessing you would be, more than we could ever possibly dream of, son.

But God knew. He knew every hair on your head and He knew that you were worth the risk. Because love is always worth the risk.

I thank God we boarded that plane seven years ago.

Little did we know.

– guest post by Lisa Murphy, founder of Open Hearts for Orphans and Author of With an Open Heart: email || blog

Using Your Skills and Talents to Fundraise Successfully

January 23, 2017 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Through fundraising for our adoption, I’ve met many determined adoptive mamas. I never tire of hearing others stories of adoption and how, despite seemingly impossible odds, God brought in the funds.

When I meet other families that have fundraised I am always amazed and inspired. Each person puts their own spin, and uses their own passions, to come up with unique ideas to get those fees paid. One such adoptive mama is Sarah and today, she shares her story and how they raised the funds to bring home their son, Liam.


Our adoption journey started years before we picked an agency or started looking through waiting child pictures. I believe it started in Brentwood, Tennessee right after we had done our “debt free scream” on Dave Ramsey’s radio show and the video producer started interviewing us. He asked what our ultimate goals were now with money and my husband told him we were hoping to one day adopt.

I don’t think shocked is an adequate word for the look on my face in that moment. We had mentioned it from time to time throughout our marriage but in that moment, it all felt real. We had paid off $39k in two years so it finally didn’t seem impossible.

About a year later, we went to an informational meeting from an agency and I really saw the numbers and my legs began to shake. I didn’t know how we could come up with that kind of money in a year. I’m blessed to have a cousin who adopted from China in 2010 and her words echoed through my heart as we began the process, “Never let money be the thing that holds you back.” I had watched their story of God providing in amazing ways and their church family rallying around them to bring their daughter home.

I didn’t know how it was going to look for our family but we took the leap of faith and began our journey to our son Liam in 2014.

I believe that we can share and learn from each other in the ways we raise money but each family has to look at their support network, their own skills and talents and unique set of circumstances to know how to best fundraise.

I had a sizable following on social media so I was able to get a large audience to share our story on Twitter and the bulk of our funds came from direct donations to our crowdfunding page.

I made some crafts, had a garage sale, and we sold some t-shirts. We received one grant. We had a pancake breakfast with a silent auction a few months before we travelled and that brought in the remaining funds. In the end, we were able to save half the money we needed through our monthly budgeting and the other half was raised through fundraising.

When families ask me how to get started with fundraising, I always advise them to look at what they think will work best in their situation. Some churches will allow a large event like a yard sale or spaghetti dinner. Social media has made it possible to have online auctions and crowdfunding websites can reach far beyond your local community. I believe each journey will look different but there are more options than ever to be successful.

Through our fundraising journey, it made me more dependent on God and incredibly thankful for all of those who are now part of bringing our son home. It also inspires me every day to give more and listen to where God is calling my heart financially. I believe that fundraising is an opportunity for anyone to participate in the miracle of adoption.


We hope you loved Sarah’s story as much as we do – be sure to check out her Facebook page here where you can get tips, advice and encouragement for your fundraising journey!


Waiting to be Chosen: Maya

January 22, 2017 by nohandsbutours 1 Comments

Maya is a beyond precious 2 1/2 year-old girl who is waiting for her forever family to fall in love with her sweet face!

Maya can sit independently and can reach for objects around her. She likes to play with her hands and sit on the rocking horse. Maya can stand up in front of the mirror. When she sees herself, she tries to reach herself and makes excited sounds.

Maya knows her name and turns with a smile when she is called. Maya is described as energetic and smiley. She likes playing with toys (especially musical ones), playing games with adults and with other children in the activity room, and playing outside. Maya also likes to listen to music and watch cartoons.

She can stand with her hands holding onto a handrail and can transfer from the standing to sitting position on her own. Maya likes to use the blocks to make noise and she understands simple instructions, such as clapping hands, waving goodbye, blowing kisses, etc. Maya babbles and can understand directions from an adult, such as ‘Come to drink, please.’ She will put down her toy and crawl over. She can also respond to others asking for her objects.

Maya entered a foster family in September of 2014. She spends 5 1/2 hours a day in the grandmother’s class at the orphanage, where she receives physical therapy and developmental training. The rest of the time she is with her foster family and she is very close to her foster mother.

Maya was born with Down syndrome and anal atresia (stoma fistula on the abdomen). She also has alpha thalassemia (just a carrier).

On September 13th, 2015 she received reconstructive surgery in Beijing. In March of 2016, she returned back to her home orphanage. She recovered well after the surgery. The doctors at the orphanage help her to do dilatation each day. Now she can use the potty for defecation and urination.

Video of Maya can be found here – password is Adoptmaa

Maya is listed with Madison Adoption Associates via an orphanage partnership. Does your family or someone you know have room in your home and hearts for this treasure?

There is a $5,000 agency grant with Madison Adoption Associates for Maya’s adoption. Other grants may be available based on the adoptive family’s circumstances. Agency grants are awarded as agency fee reductions. MAA also partners with the Brittany’s Hope Foundation for matching grants, which are given out twice a year (January and July) to families that are matched with a child.

If you are interested in reviewing Maya’s file or in adopting Maya, please fill out a free PAP Waiting Child Review Form, which can be found here.

– guest advocacy post by Brooke

Reluctant Spouses: Worth the Wait

January 21, 2017 by nohandsbutours 3 Comments

Choosing to grow your family is a monumental, life-altering decision. And choosing to grow your family through special-needs adoption? Even more so. Which makes this decision an understandably difficult one to make – one that is typically easier (or harder) for one spouse than the other. This month we’re focusing on Reluctant Spouses. Or, when …Read More

Waiting to be Chosen: Trent

January 20, 2017 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Two year old Trent could not be any cuter? Trent knows the nanny who takes care of him and he is very close to her. He is active and has a ready smile. Trent likes to listen to music and enjoys toys that make sound. He can hold his bottle and he likes playing with …Read More

Finding Me

January 19, 2017 by nohandsbutours 5 Comments

I started out this new year of 2017 by sitting down with my kids and filling out a form for goals and ideas for goals. A small part was, “What Makes You Happy.” I watched my kids fly through and write down at least twenty things. I struggled to write down more than five. Like …Read More

Waiting to be Chosen: Robert

January 18, 2017 by nohandsbutours 1 Comments

In September of 2015, I met the most special baby boy in an orphanage in China. He was to be advocated for as ‘Robert.’ Robert was 14 months old at the time and he didn’t have a file even started. This precious baby boy was found abandoned in a toilet. Unfathomable to me, but I …Read More

No Hands But Ours: Looking Back at 2016…

January 17, 2017 by nohandsbutours 1 Comments

2016 was an amazing year for No Hands But Ours. Hundreds of posts shared. Twelve special topics featured. Guest series. Family stories. Book reviews. Recipes. And advocacy posts written that turned faces across the sea into treasured sons and daughters. Here is just a glimpse of all we shared… …………………… A Look Back by the …Read More

Child Who Waits: Whittingham

January 16, 2017 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

“Yi, er, san, qiezi!” (One, two, three, eggplant!) I can still hear these words in my head and remember exactly how he says them. Every time I took my camera out, he would yell this phrase loudly and throw his two fingers up in the air in “V” and put them right in front of …Read More

Reluctant Spouses: Of One Mind….

January 15, 2017 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Choosing to grow your family is a monumental, life-altering decision. And choosing to grow your family through special-needs adoption? Even more so. Which makes this decision an understandably difficult one to make – one that is typically easier (or harder) for one spouse than the other. This month we’re focusing on Reluctant Spouses. Or, when …Read More

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