Thoughts from an Adult Adoptee: Two Sides of One Coin

July 23, 2016 by nohandsbutours 5 Comments

Hello Readers, I am new here at guest posting on No Hands But Ours. First, let me introduce myself. My name is Parrie Liu and I am a Chinese adoptee. Since the age of almost four, I have lived in Texas with a loving family.

Currently, I am attending university and pursing a degree in Biology. My goal is to help others like me. Chinese adoption and special needs adoption are both things that I can relate to.


As I became older, I started forming my thoughts about adoption. I think of adoption as a coin. A coin has two sides. Adoption has two sides. There is a positive and negative side of adoption. Like a coin, each side makes up adoption. I believe that one should not dwell on one side of the coin more than the other side. There are situations that will cause a person to think more about one side of the coin more than the other side.

There are many positives to adoption. Family is a very important positive to adoption. I became a part of a wonderful family and I am loved by my family. Growing up with a family has been great. I have gained parents, siblings, many family members, and the opportunity to do family activities since I was adopted.

Medical care is another great positive. Without a family, I know that it would have been hard to receive the medical care that I needed.

Another great positive is education. I have received a great education because of my parents. They wanted me to have the ability to learn. There are so many opportunities that I have received in my family. I am very grateful for my family and love them so much.

But adoption is not all rainbows. It can be hard for both the parent and child. Most of the time, I try not to think about the negative side of adoption. The past can be a negative part of adoption. For me, this involves not knowing my past.


There are many uncertainties involved with adoption. Birth family, medical history, knowing why I was given up are some of the unknowns for me. It bothers me that I do not know my past when family history questions are asked. I have to fill out N/A on the family section when I am at the doctor. It can be frustrating not knowing the answers.

When people talk about inheriting traits from their family, it makes me wonder. What traits did I inherit from my biological family?

My advice is to let the adoptee talk it out. Talking about these unknowns can be really helpful. Parents need to remember that their children had a past before coming into a family; they should not try to cover up their child’s past. Though my past is unknown, it is something that I don’t want to dwell on too much. This does not mean that I will not think about my past occasionally, but I try to focus on the present because that is what I can change.

I would advise parents with young adopted children to help them respond to intrusive adopted related questions or ignorant adopted related statements. There are many adopted related questions that I have been asked.

Recently, I was told that I should find my birth parents by an older adult. It was very hard for me to hear that comment because I do not prefer to talk about finding my birth parents. I was very kind when I responded and I tried to educate her about Chinese adoption.

Even though most people mean well, it can be a little hurtful to hear those questions and statements frequently. It is tempting to answer slightly rude, but it is better to answer nicely and honestly. Find a response to those questions that your child feels comfortable with. If you practice these responses, the situation can be less awkward.

Adoption is a beautiful but hard story. Adoption has given me the opportunity to have a story, to be a daughter, and to be able to relate to other adoptees, and this is why I consider my adoption as a gift.

– guest post by Parrie Liu

Dear younger me, Enjoy them

July 22, 2016 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

After I agreed to write this guest post on what I would tell my younger self, I wondered how I could narrow down all the things I would tell my younger self. Here is all the advice that people gave me about life with children that I now know was actually helpful. These are the things I would want to hear again if I was a new mom.

Enjoy every stage because it goes by in the blink of an eye.

I can’t believe how true this is and time seems to go faster with each child we have added to our family. So often you hear people say, “I can’t wait until they are school age.” Or, “I can’t wait until they can do crafts.” Or, “I can’t wait until they are teens.” Not me.

I have no biological children, so perhaps it’s easier for me to cherish the time because we missed so much of the early years of our two youngest. We never knew them as babies who could fall asleep on your chest or snuggle up with a bottle. I can’t get that time back and I want to enjoy them as they grow.

A friend of mine told me when he realized that time was going by so fast with his first child, he asked the neighborhood “Grandpa” if he felt the same way. The man said, “I will tell you this. My granddaughter was born 2 weeks ago and last night she graduated from high school.”

Don’t let the child change your family style.

The person who told me this had three grown children and the way she explained it was – if you are a loud family, stay loud. Don’t make your house artificially quiet because you have a baby in it now. She said this was especially important as you add more children. They are naturally loud and boisterous and if you are riding them all the time to be quiet, then everyone in the house is stressed out and frustrated.

We have a daily nap time and/or quiet time in our house that is enforced for the good of all, but the rest of the time they get to act like kids.

It’s easy to think you are an awesome mom when you just have one.

Oh dear, this is so true and cuts to the heart. I mistakenly thought I was such a great mom when I just had one. How ridiculous of me! Once we added our second child who was a toddler from a horrible orphanage with so many struggles to our family, I learned the true depth of my sin. I learned what it really meant to die to self and sacrifice for another person.

Now that my girls are a bit older and I am not completely sleep deprived, I remind myself that I have to keep working to be a great mom to them. It will be something I work at all the rest of my days.

Only parent your own kids.

Stop and think about this for a moment because it’s such great advice. So often people just spout off about what they would do and how their kids were and more. Social media has ramped this up in an ugly way that it often frustrates me.

Sleep when they sleep.

It’s seems so obvious, but my brain would tell me all the things I could get done when they were sleeping like cleaning, blogging or dishes. Just go to sleep if you are tired. It can wait until you have more energy. You don’t need to have a Pinterest life.


Now here are a few things I have learned that I would tell myself if I could.

Adopting toddlers is really, really hard.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Our adoption agencies, social workers, books, webinars, fellow bloggers and more didn’t really prepare me for what was to come. Even our first adoption didn’t prepare us for how hard the second one was going to be.

Let them learn at their own pace.

Let them play, play, play to learn. We have homeschooled from the beginning, but I really wish I would have been more relaxed about it in the beginning like I am now.

Your kids are going to do things that boggle the mind.

Good and bad. Sometimes I ask myself if something really just happened with my kids. Many days they shock and confuse me. But then I remind myself that I was a kid once and must have done the same thing to my parents. It’s really okay, just keep teaching them goodness and mercy.

It doesn’t matter when they potty train.

All kids are different. All kids have different backgrounds that will affect when and how they potty train. Unless they have a severe special need, no one goes to college in diapers.

Ignore the words of “know it all” people who aren’t walking the same road.

I can’t tell you how many people who only have biological children have told me “how it is”. Sorry. It’s just not the same for those of us who didn’t have our kids in utero. Your biological kids didn’t suffer neglect, lack of food, lack of air conditioning or dirty water making them sick. Your kids don’t have large scars with no answers as to how they got there. Your kids don’t have gaps in their timeline that you don’t have any answers for. The only response to this is to ignore because they just don’t understand. There are plenty of people you can connect with who do understand, so don’t let others get you down.

Embrace the chaos!

The more kids you have, the more wild your house will get. And most of the time, that is awesome! Our kids have us laughing so much and they are so creative. They bring so much delight to the world, but lots of times that delight is loud and messy. Let them paint. Let them mix the play-dough colors. Let them get soaking wet in fountains.

Enjoy them as they grow. It goes by in the blink of an eye.

– guest post by Louanne

Waiting to be Chosen: Nikki and Katie

July 22, 2016 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Meet sweet Nikki.

Nikki is an adorable six year old girl with a tender heart for others. Nikki’s special need is Down syndrome and esotropia. Nikki came to Lifeline’s March Kids Camp and was a joy to be around. She is described as outgoing, active, and full of spunk. She is strong willed and has an independent spirit. Nikki kept everyone entertained during Kids Camp with her fun personality. She is quick to smile and when happy, she is a charming little girl.


During Kids Camp everyone realized that Nikki loves bags. Nikki came to America with a backpack that she took with her everywhere she went. For the Christmas celebration each child received their own backpack filled with books which was a hit for sweet Nikki! The next day the children went to the zoo. Nikki walked out the door with two backpacks and an Easter basket… you never know what you might need at the zoo!

Nikki is a very sweet girl who cares for others around her. When one of her friends had a stuffy nose during Kids Camp, Nikki would hold up a tissue and help her friend to blow her nose. She was kind and caring to others.


You can view videos of Nikki here (password is nikki), here (password Nikki1), and here (password Nikki).

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Contact Meagan Smith at Lifeline for more information.


Meet darling Katy.

Katy is a precious, fun-loving six year old girl. Katy’s special need is Down syndrome and CHD; specifically postoperative VSD repaired and PFO, and mild tricuspid incompetence. Katy came to Lifeline’s March Kids Camp and was so fun to be around. She is described as a polite, curious, and outgoing child.


Katy likes to dance to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and play with her friends. It was observed at Kids Camp that she likes to pick a buddy and be with that person for the entire day. When she went to the zoo, she chose a buddy that was tall so that she could sit on his shoulders and wave to all the guests at the zoo.

Katy loves to laugh and be silly. She loved to be moving — whether that was riding in the Target shopping cart, swinging, or spending time playing with a friend or buddy. During the shopping trip to Target, Katy picked out a pair of glitter dress-up shoes. Once the group returned to camp, she did not want to take off those shoes! She “clicked clicked clicked” all over camp in her pretty new shoes.

Katy is full of energy and described as a really special little girl by one of the volunteers from Kids Camp.


You can view a video of Katy here (password is katy1), here (password is katy2), and here (password is katy).

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Contact Meagan Smith at Lifeline for more information.

Pondering the “What-Ifs”

July 21, 2016 by nohandsbutours 10 Comments


I remember reading all the recommended adoption books, watching all the training videos, stalking all the mom blogs, and talking to other adoptive moms during the time leading up to our own adoption. I got myself familiar with so many new terms and tried to educate myself on any possibility of trouble our future daughter …Read More

No Hands But Ours: Reader Survey 2016

July 20, 2016 by nohandsbutours 1 Comments


A little over a year ago we created a reader survey, asking our readers to weigh in with your thoughts about NHBO – what you liked, what you didn’t like and what you thought would make NHBO better. Well, y’all delivered. We received so much wisdom and insight – we used your ideas as a …Read More

Luke Waits

July 20, 2016 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments


Meet seven year old Luke! Luke is a charming boy who has a close relationship with his caregivers and is known around the orphanage for his helpfulness. He is attentive when the little ones cry and runs errands for his caregivers when they need an extra hand. Luke likes to play games with others, especially …Read More

Waiting to be Chosen: Lana and Josiah

July 19, 2016 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments


Meet little Lana. Lana is a precious 15 month old little girl who loves to smile. Lana’s special need is Down syndrome and congenital heart disease. The Chinese name that was chosen for this sweet girl means beautiful and smart — she has definitely lived up to her name. She is described as gentle, very …Read More

Dear younger me, You won’t be the same

July 19, 2016 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments


If I could go back to when we started this journey, way back to sitting in those first adoption classes, I would want to take my hand and sit down and say, “Sweet thing, I love you. You are throwing yourself into changing this world. You have a grand vision. But you should know something. …Read More

A Treasured Son: Adopting a Child with Cleft Lip and Palate

July 18, 2016 by nohandsbutours 6 Comments


I like to say our son, Bo, is an answer to a prayer I didn’t even know I had until we began the process to adopt him. ……. In 2004, my husband, Peet, and I became parents for the first time in a courtroom in Tomsk, Siberia, to a beautiful baby girl. Then in 2010, …Read More

What I Didn’t Expect

July 17, 2016 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments


Have you heard of that book, What To Expect When You’re Expecting for newly pregnant moms-to-be? Have you ever wondered why there isn’t a book written on what to expect when adopting? Hmmm…..I think it’s because the adoption process is about letting go of expectation and putting plans on hold….or embracing detours. It’s a wild …Read More

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