Waiting to be Chosen: Jameson

December 4, 2016 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

This is Jameson. His file is designated to AAC through an orphanage partnership. Isn’t he just the most precious little guy ever?


Jameson is 22 months old — he was born in January of 2015. He is described as plump, lovely, and very nice. He likes listening to music, and playing with toys — especially brightly colored toys and toys that make noises.


Jameson was abandoned when he was just a few days old. He was born with anal atresia. As soon as he was found, he was taken to a hospital where he received surgical care. About five months after his original surgery, he was taken to Beijing where he received a follow-up surgery. Doctors there report that his surgery was “very successful”.

Here, you can see what a beautiful little baby Jameson was — this was taken during his time in Beijing:


For about a year, Jameson has been in the care of a very experienced foster mother. She currently cares for six foster children, and all of them are thriving in her home. Many children that she has cared for in the past have joined their forever families, and each family has said that they could tell how much their child was loved.

Jameson is very attached to his foster mother, and loves to be cuddled. His foster mother says that he has an outgoing personality, and is not afraid of strangers. She says that he is “all boy” and full of energy. He gets along well with the other children in her care for the most part, aside from typical toddler squabbles.

Jameson’s foster mom also describes him as very smart. His development is right on track. He is walking. He says simple words. He responds appropriately to adults. He follows age-appropriate directions. Jameson eats well, and can feed himself finger foods. His favorite foods at the moment are bananas and cookies.

Here is Jameson just a couple of weeks ago. AAC staff met with him during their November trip to China. He is doing well in the care of his foster mother, but he needs to come home to his forever mama so that he can get the medical care that he needs to thrive, and to help bring that beautiful smile back to his face.


This little boy is a pure delight, and so full of potential. He just needs a family that will love him and care for him forever. Could yours be that family?

If you are interested in learning more about Jameson, please contact Nicole Brown by cell (970) 775-4683, or by email:

Then and Now: Deklan

December 3, 2016 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

I find myself consistently caught in the deceptive trap of a compare and contrast representation of the last 345 days. Through the lens of retrospection, milestones can be simple to compartmentalize. I quickly disregard the messy tentacles that stretch from each “attained” behavior and stamp it “victorious”. I am learning that adoption carries an oceanic rhythm. Behaviors that seemed lost at sea can suddenly crash over you with a new force and with unexpected triggers.

Deklan’s adoption day was far from picturesque; this sweet four year old did not want to leave his home and he blamed me for yet another loss in his little life.


For months he blamed me.

Deklan couldn’t say that he hated me, he is deaf and initially had no language, but his eyes and his actions spoke strongly of his disdain. As I would rock him at night I would whisper to him, “Someday you’ll love me.”

I recited this chant as a comfort more to myself than a call to action for him; he was not required to love me.

Those months were hard and ugly from an inside view.


A child’s denial of a mother is excruciatingly painful no matter how equipped one may be for a potential rejection. I became the queen of intentional behaviors, tending to each of Deklan’s needs; forcing him to see me as his comforter and I was exhausted. Eventually the strategy proved successful and I could move his behavior of doubt from one column to the next.



Or so I naively hoped.

But life is rarely so simple, especially when webs of distrust and rejection wrap tightly around a young heart.


In the Autumn, Deklan entered kindergarten strapped with an IEP and pages of modifications. Through months of evaluations, specialists, and advocacy, a fantastic team had developed a plan perfect for Deklan’s first year of school.

Despite good intentions, strategic procedures rarely translate to a fragile heart. Each day as I would say “goodbye” and leave Deklan with strangers those months of trust-building slowly began to sneak away and meltdowns ensued.

As a team, the school and I worked to bring Deklan the security he was lacking. My picture was hung on the school schedule so Deklan could see when mom was returning, not wonder if I was returning. His tiny classmates learned to sign “Mama Later” as a means to encourage Deklan during moments of heartache. Patterns and old routines became reinstated at home; bottles and formula at night along with various other infantile practices reinsured Deklan and helped ground him. The wave of mistrust continued to crash upon us each day at drop off and would recede in the afternoon at pick up.

For months this cycle drained our souls while secretly rebuilding faith in Deklan’s heart.

Now, as we edge into winter, Deklan scurries onto the school campus with giggles. From the outside this behavior seems conquered.

Cross distrust off of the list.

This time, however, I am not so naïve. Doors are never fully closed in the world of adoption, there is always a lingering, a scent of the “before” that permeates the soul so deeply that it cannot be completely washed away.

Despite this knowledge I am enticed to tally up the column of changes, to quantify the last 345 days with marks of success: three inches taller, five pounds heavier, fully potty trained, writing letters, signing, speaking a handful of words, two successful surgeries, and so on. I find comfort in the notches, reflecting on the visible leaps of progress, knowing that indeed we are moving forward.


However, I am now tethered to the sand expecting a wave to return and crash over us, but knowing that it will eventually recede and we will not be taken off to sea.

– guest post by Natalie

We Thought We Wanted a Girl

December 3, 2016 by nohandsbutours 2 Comments

When we started our journey to China, we wanted to adopt a little girl. When we filled out our Medical Conditions Checklist, we specified girl only. I had visions of picking out a glorious name for my daughter-to-be, dressing her in the most beautiful clothes, and decorating her room. This baby girl would be my first child, and I even dreamed about her at night. It felt almost as if I knew her — down to what special need I thought she would have. I was convinced.

A few things happened shortly thereafter. I joined a bunch of China Adoption groups on Facebook. I began to read more, and I learned that the majority of adoptive families hope to adopt girls, and that the majority of waiting children are boys. Someone sent me a link to a Love Without Boundaries video called Adopting a Boy – and watching that video brought me to tears. I had a phone call with our adoption agency at the time, and our case worker asked me to consider whether we would be open to adopting a little boy. She told me that if we wanted to adopt a young girl with minor needs, we would be facing a lengthy wait time, while they had several little boys listed who were waiting to be placed with families.

I remember telling my husband about the need for families who were interested in adopting little boys. To be completely honest, this information pretty much blew our minds. What little we knew about China adoption consisted of the stories of a few family friends who had brought home healthy baby girls prior to the advent of the Special Needs program.

Learning that there were so many boys who wait for families caused us to enter an immediate period of soul searching. I have to tell you that I think this soul searching may have lasted at most a day, because what we quickly realized was that, for our family, waiting months or years to adopt a girl would be completely about us, and completely not about our new child. We didn’t have other children to consider, or really anything to consider at all. What made sense to us was to bring home a child who really needed us, a child who had been waiting, and one who might have been overlooked by other families.

And then I saw this face.


And it was all over. He’s been home for a year, and I think it’s safe to say that adopting a little boy was the best decision we’ve ever made. I don’t want to delve too deeply into gender stereotyping right now, but I will do it anyway, despite my reservations. This little guy is ALL boy, all the time.

He loves bubbles…


He loves astronauts…


He loves choo choos… And busses…


And anything with a siren… (He calls police, fire, and EMTs helpers, and he loves all of you helpers out there.)


He loves to build things, and he loves to tear things apart. He loves to follow his Baba around the house and help him fix things and put things away. He loves cars, and boats, and trucks, and vans, and anything noisy, and anything fast.

He also loves having a family. We are so very lucky that we get to be his mama and baba.



So, here’s the thing. You guys will do your research. You’ll read a lot on NHBO this month about the statistics regarding waiting children. You’ll hear from lots of boy moms, and we will all tell you that raising boys is amazing — because it really is. And you’ll know. At the end of the day, some of you will read these posts, and know that you still want to adopt a little girl. That’s wonderful. There are many girls in China who need families.

But for the rest of you mamas out there, for the mamas who started out this journey like I did — a little less aware, and not too sure one way or the other — I’m talking to you right now. Here are the faces of some of China’s waiting boys.

My hope is that these precious faces might open your hearts and minds to the possibility that a little boy might just be the perfect fit for your family. My hope is that one of these little guy’s mamas might just read this post today.

This is Caleb.


This is Michael.


This is Nathan.


This is Jonathan.


This is Miles.


This is Tucker.


This is Josiah.


This is Waylon.


These boys are all listed with our adoption agency — AAC Adoption and Family Network, Inc. Their files are classified as Special Focus. This means that you can seek to adopt them even if you haven’t done a bit of paperwork yet.

If you have any questions, please contact AAC’s Waiting Child Specialist, Nicole Brown by email at or by phone at 970-775-4683.

Worth It: Adopting a Child with CAH

December 2, 2016 by nohandsbutours 2 Comments


When my husband and I first reviewed our daughter’s file, our first thoughts were of disbelief. Here was a perfect, healthy, beautiful eight-year-old who had been waiting for several years on the Shared List. It seemed unbelievable that no one had snatched her up. After all, the special needs listed in her file didn’t seem …Read More

Urgent Aging Out Child: Margaret

December 2, 2016 by nohandsbutours 2 Comments


Margaret ages out in 61 days, please share this post so her time does not run out! Margaret was born February of 2003 and is described as an outgoing and caring girl, who loves to communicate with others. Her language development is good and she can properly express her ideas. She is diagnosed with nystagmus …Read More

Reach for the Stars: Adopting a Child with Vision Impairment

December 1, 2016 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments


It was the second time in his life to ride on an airplane. The first time was only ten months ago when he traveled the 16 hour flight from China to America. On that first flight he was a scared, angry little fighter whose only concern was protecting himself. Now he was a happy, calm …Read More

We Could Have Missed This

November 30, 2016 by nohandsbutours 10 Comments


November is National Adoption month and a lot of us adoptive parents have been sharing pictures and a bit more about our adoption journey’s on social media. For a few years now, a friend and I have chatted from time to time how we could have missed this. We could of missed the joy, the …Read More

So Much More than His Diagnosis

November 30, 2016 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments


I could write for days about our journey — our growth, the process, the joy, the tears, the worries, the peace. But for today, I’ll focus a little on the medical aspect of our story because there are so many unknowns, so much research, so much hope…..and knowing you’re not alone in it helps, if …Read More

Find My Family: Austin

November 30, 2016 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments


Austin is the cutest little six-year-old boy around! Austin can go up and down stairs, go down the slide, and ride the wood horse. He can chase and play with other kids. Austin can use a spoon to eat and a cup to drink water. He can put on and take off his clothes and …Read More

It’s Just Poop. Except It’s Not.

November 29, 2016 by nohandsbutours 4 Comments


Has this ever happened to you? You’re scrolling through a list of sweet little Chinese faces and suddenly the photo of a completely adorable child jumps right off the screen at you! You read the profile, genuinely intrigued. Then you get to the medical need listed and you think, “I don’t know what that is, …Read More

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