Diving Deep

November 3, 2015 by nohandsbutours birth family, Jennifer, November 2015 Feature - Embracing Their Story 0 Comments


I think you can have all the plans in the world about how you are going to talk to your child about their adoption and the truth is, when they are ready to talk, you have to just go where they go. And fast. I’ve come to think about it like a child who has …Read More

The One Thing

October 3, 2015 by nohandsbutours Jennifer 2 Comments


“To be alive as a human being with indescribable mysteries at every turn, and to have in front of us an eternal destiny of spectacular glory or inexpressible horror is a weight that can either press you down with fear and trembling or bear you up with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” – John …Read More

Craniofacial Board 101

August 3, 2015 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, cleft lip, Craniofacial, Jennifer 0 Comments

2015-06-13 07.55.25

You remember that moment when time sort of stands still? When you have the file of a precious one in front of you and you allow yourself to begin to love that child just a little in your heart, and as you open up to the brown of her eyes, or his crooked smile; you …Read More

The Long Journey Home

July 3, 2015 by nohandsbutours China trip, Jennifer 0 Comments


Or Why My Family Is Banned From the Hong Kong Airport Hotel Indefinitely. I can remember spending so much time and thought in anticipation of the journey to China. I imagined every possible scenario and packed accordingly. Checked with those who had gone before. Prepared my heart for any response or encounter I could imagine. Double checked and packed …Read More

When Happy Tears and Green Pastures Prevail

June 3, 2015 by nohandsbutours Jennifer 3 Comments


“Mom… you cry happy tears?” “Yes. They are happy. I’m watching this video of a kid I don’t even know on a reality show and I am so happy he made it (My other children gather because if mom’s crying happy tears it’s gonna be good). He made it despite such odds against him. He …Read More

I Missed You.

April 5, 2015 by nohandsbutours Jennifer 5 Comments


“I missed you when you weren’t in China yet.” Resurrection is on my lips and in my heart and looking back I missed Him when I realize there were years I didn’t know Him. How we miss someone we didn’t even know yet is a beautiful mystery of the heart. There were seasons where He …Read More

Jen’s Cliff Notes Review: TBRI DVD series part 4

March 5, 2015 by nohandsbutours Attachment, Jennifer, TBRI DVD Series, Trust Based Parenting 0 Comments


If you have been following this series, congratulations! We just made it through Disc 1! Hopefully the minutes that you have scanned these posts have saved you the hours it took for me to watch it! Don’t fret – I’ve got your back all you parents in the middle of it all. I know you …Read More

Jen’s Cliff Notes Review: TBRI DVD series part 3

February 4, 2015 by nohandsbutours Attachment, Jennifer, TBRI DVD Series, Trust Based Parenting 2 Comments


Chapter 4:  Connecting Principles To recap, I am reviewing a lengthy DVD series on your behalf and giving you the “Cliff Notes” version (part 1 here, part 2 here).  Because when you are parenting a child from tough places and in tough places, ain’t nobody got time to do a literature review and hunt down …Read More

There’s Something In My Hole (the New Year’s resolution you will want to adopt)

January 4, 2015 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Jennifer 4 Comments


It was at lunch just a few days ago. Grace had received some new books with adoption themes for Christmas and she was becoming increasingly confident in telling her story and asking other relatives about their part in it. “Mommy cried happy tears, what did YOU do?” I certainly do not feel that I am …Read More

Calling Him.

December 8, 2014 by nohandsbutours Jennifer 2 Comments

I’ve been thinking about His names this Christmas season and how He has a multitude of them; for a first, middle and last name simply cannot contain His glory. And how He must know the agony and delight of deciding on a name, a name to contain the essence of someone starting so small. So …Read More

What Happens When It Doesn’t Work?

November 4, 2014 by nohandsbutours Attachment, Jennifer, Trust Based Parenting 5 Comments


So I’m taking a brief break from reviewing the Trust Based Parenting DVD series just because I can’t help myself. I will get back to it but I aspire towards transparency so here we go… ”What happens when it doesn’t work??” I am convinced that there is an adoption cam at my local grocery store. …Read More

Jen’s Cliff Notes Review: TBRI DVD series part 2

October 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours Attachment, Jennifer, TBRI DVD Series, Trust Based Parenting 0 Comments


Trust Based Parenting DVD series – Chapter 3 Empowering Principles: Laying the Foundation for Change As promised, here are the cliff notes for a longer (but excellent) DVD series produced by TCU Institute of Child Development. When you’re in the trenches, you need help and you need it fast! If you haven’t read my first …Read More

In the Miry Clay: Trust Based Parenting

September 3, 2014 by nohandsbutours Attachment, cl/cp, Jennifer, TBRI DVD Series, Trust Based Parenting 6 Comments

I was thinking about parents in the adoption trenches today, those stuck down deep in the mud – you know who you are and this one’s for you.  I have had a little time in the trenches, not nearly as much as some of you, but I know that when you are in the muddy …Read More


August 3, 2014 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Jennifer 4 Comments

I am a glass half full kind of person and most definitely, a glass half full kind of mother. Hope springs eternal in my heart and my life plays out accordingly. But, this week, I stopped and gave myself permission to reflect a little on the past months with Grace – just three months shy …Read More

The Party Blower

June 3, 2014 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Jennifer 9 Comments

You know the ones – the party blowers for birthdays with Hello Kitty or Batman on them. They make a loud noise and extend with airflow, sometimes with streamers and usually accompanied by delirious laughter from children and sometimes adults alike. We opened a package of these on a van ride home just for fun. …Read More

Happy To Fail

May 3, 2014 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Jennifer 0 Comments

This past week, Grace was evaluated in speech therapy. She took a standardized speech assessment test and she failed it. And we rejoiced! High fives all around from her speech therapist and myself! Up high, down low and even some that were too slow but managed to hit the hand anyway! Because up until this …Read More


April 3, 2014 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Jennifer 3 Comments

Confession: I am a reluctant blogger. I normally write because I’ve been asked to and while it is therapeutic to do so, I find myself more and more backing away from the computer, overrun by mommy blogs attacking my facebook stream. Some are beautifully honest and real, helping in the trenches and deep waters of …Read More

This is Goin’ Out to all the Second Opinions…

March 3, 2014 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Jennifer 5 Comments

So there we were driving into a parking garage of a strange new hospital with a strange new hospital smell to ride the elevator up the flights to the long row of specialists and into the fish aquarium waiting room to wait. To wait for the second opinion. The second opinion that became necessary after …Read More

The Tools of The Trade

February 3, 2014 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Jennifer 4 Comments

If I had to do it all over again, I would have been a speech therapist. It’s funny how things work sometimes; I never expected to spend five years of my life in group and individual speech therapy with both of my biological boys for oral motor and articulation issues. Now my oldest boy competes …Read More

The Makeup Bag and Making Up for What Was Lost

January 4, 2014 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Jennifer 2 Comments

So, in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the outpouring of many gifts for the newest member of our family, of all the things for our Grace to latch onto, she would not part with her makeup bag. My parents made the trip from North Carolina to the great state of Texas and …Read More

Pumpkin Pie, Pillows and the Potty Seat

December 3, 2013 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Jennifer 2 Comments

I was watching Grace eat Thanksgiving dinner this year; so different from the little person we brought home around this time a year ago. This time last year, she ate and ate everything on her plate, much to our delight and sorrow. She turned nothing down, and ate every last bite, sometimes with two and …Read More


November 4, 2013 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Jennifer 10 Comments

We are just three short days away from our one year anniversary with Grace. Three short days away from celebrating her Gotcha Day. A lot can happen in just one year. I remember being so immensely grateful that when Grace was placed in my arms one year ago, she willingly came to me and laid …Read More

All In

October 3, 2013 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Jennifer 0 Comments

We are fast approaching the one year mark of the anniversary of Grace’s adoption. I remember feeling confident in the decision to go and get my baby girl across the world. The Lord had confirmed that decision a thousand different times in a thousand different ways…it is an exhilaratingly joyful thing to hear the Father …Read More

Save the Drama for Your Mama

September 4, 2013 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Jennifer 5 Comments

There is much written about the healthy display and expression of emotions, not just in adoption literature, but in education, psychology and parenting resources as well. “Use your words” is the bridge between a tantrum and a reasonable response. What happens though when your child cannot use her words yet? Even worse, what happens when …Read More


August 3, 2013 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Jennifer 3 Comments

I am Jennifer who has many roles but my most favorite are wife to Cory, mother to Carter (10), Claire (7), William (4) and our newest addition, Grace (2). These four were always a “twinkle in our eyes” long before we ever walked down the aisle and began the process of becoming a family. To …Read More

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