Adoption Is…

June 15, 2017 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, Megan, orphanage behaviors, rages, rejects mom, self-harming, trauma 4 Comments

I would like to begin this post by saying that I understand my experience with my son and his adoption is by no means universal. Every child and family is different. While some issues may resonate with certain people, with others they may not. This post is not meant to be an exclusive or all …Read More

Adoption: A Dad’s Honest Viewpoint

June 13, 2017 a father's perspective, adoption realities, Courtney, Dads, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, parent-to-child attachment, Perspectives 4 Comments

As a part of our Thoughts from the Dad series, I sat down with my best friend and husband of 15 years and asked him a few questions about our adoption of our daughter, Callie. I hope his answers will be helpful to you whether you are just beginning the adoption journey or are already …Read More

Embracing a Traumaversary

May 29, 2017 adoption realities, attachment activities, Mandy, parent-to-child attachment, TBRI-based therapy, Theraplay, trauma, Trust Based Parenting 4 Comments

For me, there is something about the month of April. The grass in Oklahoma seems to grow in neon green, the dark tree branches of winter are graced with life, the redbud trees begin to blossom with delicate purple flowers, and the sunshine starts to kiss my skin with hints of summer. I can literally …Read More

My Hero

May 15, 2017 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, cerebral palsy, first year home, Megan, Newly Home, orphanage realities, self-harming, trauma 3 Comments

My hero is tiny but larger than life. Tan skin, black hair and the most beautiful dark chocolate eyes you have ever seen. He is 33 inches tall and weighs 33 pounds. A perfect little pint of goodness. A little over a year ago, at age three, he left a cold gray building with my …Read More

So Thankful: Thoughts From A Big Sister

May 8, 2017 adoption realities, sibling perspective, siblings 8 Comments

As I sit here thinking how much my life has changed over the past five years I am flooded with so many thoughts and emotions. As a fifteen year old there are many things I have experienced that so many never will. I have seen firsthand the amazing change in my three siblings from orphan …Read More

From Death to Life

April 18, 2017 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Attachment Disorder, indiscriminate affection, older child adoption, parent-to-child attachment, rages, rejects mom, therapy, trauma 4 Comments

I glanced at the clock. It was 2:50. I felt my shoulders tighten involuntarily and a sick feeling start in my stomach. In 15 minutes, the most difficult part of my day would start: my daughter would walk through the door. It was the part of the day I dreaded the most. I wasn’t an …Read More

Deeper Than My Feet Could Ever Wander

April 15, 2017 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, first weeks home, first year home, Megan, parent-to-child attachment 1 Comments

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.” – Hillsong I am sure that many of the readers of this post …Read More

This is Us, Adoptive Families

March 23, 2017 adoption realities, Rebecca 2 Comments

I am thankful for my family. I’m thankful that we’re all safe 
and there’s no one in the world that I’d rather be too hot or too cold with. – Jack Pearson, This is Us Time’s been storytelling with us. Our family life is a sitcom and a drama. Our script has been sweet and …Read More

Three Simple Words

March 12, 2017 adopting a boy, adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, cocooning, Family Stories, older child adoption, rejects mom 0 Comments

We often hear the term “leap of faith”. Three simple words. Saying these three simple words is easy, but truly living them out is a different story. My husband and I always joke with each other saying that nothing in our lives comes easy or goes as planned. We are okay with this, because what …Read More

This Is What I Know

March 3, 2017 adoption realities, Whitney 0 Comments

This is what I know… I know that time doesn’t heal all wounds. I know that, sometimes, intentionally seeking out help is necessary. I know looking different isn’t a bad thing. I know that hearing a word of encouragement has more impact than I dreamed it could. I know adoption can be hard. I know …Read More

It Shouldn’t be This Easy

March 2, 2017 adoption realities, Attachment, Kelly, parent-to-child attachment, trauma, Trust Based Parenting 3 Comments

You spent hours in training. You learned about what trauma is and what it looks like. You probably even have a certificate to prove it. You spent more hours in another type of classroom, reading books that made you stop and catch your breath and blog posts that made you question what you were signing …Read More

It Shouldn’t be This Hard

March 2, 2017 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, Kelly, parent-to-child attachment, trauma, Trust Based Parenting 2 Comments

You spent hours in training. You learned about what trauma is and what it looks like. You probably even have a certificate to prove it. You spent more hours in another type of classroom, reading books that made you stop and catch your breath and blog posts that made you question what you were signing …Read More

The Anniversary Blues and Saying Yes All Over Again

February 3, 2017 adoption realities, Whitney 1 Comments

For those of us on Facebook, the Facebook Memories pop-up might just be one of the favorite parts of having an account. It’s fun to see what happened on “this day, X number of years ago.” Sometimes the memories make me giggle, like the picture of my third child sitting in the dishwasher. Sometimes that …Read More

Adopting a Child with Unpredictable Special Needs

January 31, 2017 adoption realities, bronchiectasis, dysphagia, Family Stories, medical needs checklist, referral, swallow study, undiagnosed SN 0 Comments

When you visit a carnival, some rides are very predictable. The frog hopper, bumper cars, flying elephants, and even the tea cups come with a high level of predictability. You hand over the ticket and, with almost 100% certainty, you can foresee what the outcome of the ride will be… steady, smooth, and timely. Then …Read More

The Skating Rink

January 25, 2017 adoption realities, Andrea Y., Attachment, attachment challenges, cocooning, large families 1 Comments

We walked out of church — baby in the arms of daddy… a few bigs walking behind him and I trailed behind with my two little loves born across the ocean with their hands folded in mine. We jumped in the van — and out of no where I just said, “Who wants to go …Read More

The Nativity

December 11, 2016 adoption realities, Amy A., birth family, Christmas, telling their life story 2 Comments

Christmas. The word alone evokes so many memories, so many emotions from my childhood. Smells, tastes, laughter, and songs fill my mind, and the little girl inside me can feel the excitement and anticipation of Christmas drawing near. I can close my eyes and remember the sprinkles upon sprinkles being poured over sugar cookies doused …Read More

Coming Home During the Holidays

November 29, 2016 adoption realities, China trip, first weeks home, first year home, holidays, Mandy, Newly Home 2 Comments

To the family coming home during the holidays, During the past several months you have longed for and dreamt about those first precious moments when your child would join your family. You’ve dreamt what his hair would feel like and you have imagined kissing his kissable cheeks. And now, your family is plus one in …Read More

Questions from Strangers: A Mom’s Response

November 21, 2016 adoption realities, Kelley B., questions from strangers, trauma 2 Comments

Just a few months ago I was at our local children’s hospital checking in for my son who was to have surgery that day. The lady that was taking my information was busy asking all the normal questions we parents get from medical professionals. My son was not by my side but a good distance …Read More

Changed By Our Children

November 17, 2016 adoption realities, Andrea Y., large families 0 Comments

I sat at the red light waiting patiently and the sign caught my eye. “Tour of Homes”… an event most of our towns have during the holidays, and I imagined for a moment what those homes might be like. I pictured myself going with friends — something the mom with just one or two little …Read More

Adoptive Mama Overthinking

November 5, 2016 adoption realities, Attachment, epidermolysis bullosa, Whitney 4 Comments

Raise your hand if you tend to overthink things. Now, raise both hands, jump up and down, throw your head back and yell, “Yes, this is me!”, if you’re an adoptive mama and you tend to overthink things. Overthinking is a habit that can be dangerous in the best of situations. Overthinking when you’re processing …Read More

Adoption – The Beautiful Paradox

September 15, 2016 adoption realities, books, Family Stories, Parenting Special Needs 5 Comments

I just flew back from South Carolina. I went there to reunite my daughter with a friend that she had not seen in almost four years. The last time the girls saw each other, they were in an orphanage halfway around the world. The nannies who had raised them pressed the bewildered little girls into …Read More

Adoption Changes Everything

September 5, 2016 adoption realities, Whitney 2 Comments

Now, you know. Not just know with your eyes when you see pictures online. Not just know with your heart as you pray. Not just know with your mind, “Yes, there are orphans”. You. Know. You’ve stood in the rooms full of cribs full of babies. You’ve strained your ears to hear cries that have …Read More

Top 10 Signs it’s Back to School

August 29, 2016 adoption realities, Education, IEP, Mandy, pre-school, private school, public school, trauma 2 Comments

Trauma mamas and babas, our kids are headed back to school. And this season of life causes us to rejoice that summer is over while also fearing the change in routine for our kids from hard places. You know it is back to school time when — 10. You debate what to share, if to …Read More

Letter to my Chinese Birthmother

July 12, 2016 adoptee perspective, adoption realities, adult adoptee, Perspectives, telling their life story 1 Comments

Ni Hao and hello! I’d like to introduce myself. I am the Happy Panda from Europe. I was adopted when I was two from Sichuan. I am now 24 years old and just graduated as a social worker. I studied social work and during the lessons we learned to create/stimulate awareness. My goal is to …Read More

Dear Younger Me: Five Things I Want You to Know

July 11, 2016 adoption realities, Amy, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula 1 Comments

I have been a mother for eighteen years because I count pregnancy as motherhood. Our oldest daughter is 17 1/2, currently college shopping, and heading into her senior year of high school. Our son is a 185 pound football-and-basketball playing, learning to drive, almost 16 year old. Then in May of 2013, after a 12 …Read More

Dear Younger Me, You’re Braver Than You Know

July 6, 2016 adoption realities, Attachment, Carrie, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, parent-to-child attachment 4 Comments

Each month at No Hands But Ours, we feature a topic to provide insight, encouragement and/or wisdom for fellow travelers on this beautiful and sometimes arduous journey of adoptive parenting. This month’s topic is sure to be full of all the aforementioned, and then some. Join us as seasoned moms share what they would say …Read More

Do They Look Like Siblings?

May 27, 2016 adoption realities, limb difference, Mandy, siblings 4 Comments

Lots of people are curious about Lydia and Barrett’s relationship—a brother and sister relationship formed through adoption. “Do they look like siblings?” I never know if this means whether they resemble each other or what. “Are they real brother and sister?” Well, here is big sister Lydia encouraging little brother Barrett that he can climb …Read More

On This Mother’s Day

May 8, 2016 adoption realities, Amy A., Attachment 4 Comments

The second Sunday of May carries such incredible significance for women around our country. For many, Mother’s Day is a time of celebration – a time to sleep a few extra hours in morning and a time to receive breakfast in bed, gifts, hugs, kisses and words of appreciation. Church services celebrate mothers and their …Read More

One Day

May 5, 2016 adoption realities, Attachment, first weeks home, first year home, Newly Home, Whitney 1 Comments

Dear little boy of mine, We knew before we brought your sister home you might struggle a bit. We prepared you for this transition as best we could, using all of the information we could obtain. We talked using big words you couldn’t yet fully understand, words your heart wanted to understand. We prayed for …Read More

Lifers

April 19, 2016 adoption realities, congenital blindness, Katie, Sensory System, vision loss 5 Comments

I was once afraid of what my reality has become. I hear it voiced in so many others taking the risk of adopting a child with possible cognitive delays. What if this child can never live independently? What if they need to live with me for the rest of my life? What if their need …Read More

Not the Same

April 5, 2016 adoption realities, Whitney 24 Comments

I feel like there are many people in the lives of adoptive families who want to try to downplay the differences our adopted children have from those who have grown up in a more stable, loving, safe, home environment. The downplaying? It’s not malicious; in fact I wholeheartedly believe that many of these friends want to …Read More

This is Real Life

March 13, 2016 adoption realities, Amy A., Attachment, attachment activities, first weeks home, first year home 2 Comments

When my husband and I stepped across the chasm – our old life on one side and our new life on the other – we had no idea what awaited us. Three and a half years later, we have a better understanding of the world we entered after saying Yes to adoption. So, in honor …Read More

A Baby Sister But Six Months Older: Adopting Out of Birth Order

March 3, 2016 adopting out of birth order, adoption realities, Attachment, Family Stories, first year home, March 2016 Feature - Special Circumstances, parent-to-child attachment, virtual twins 6 Comments

Adoption has always been on my heart. Always. China? Not quite as long, but still in 2014 we found ourselves traveling around the world to meet and bring home our daughter from China. But before we talk about homecomings, siblings, bonding and all, let me back up a bit. When we found that getting pregnant …Read More

A Tribute to Primrose

February 25, 2016 adoption realities, first weeks home, glaucoma, Newly Home, Sensory System, vision issues, vision loss 4 Comments

Eryn is married to Chris and they have two bio kids – Madelyn and River – in addition to their new daughter, Primrose, who just came home from China. This was Eryn’s tribute to adoption on Primrose’s 2nd birthday. ………. These are mama eyes that only shut for 4 hours last night. And hands that …Read More

Beauty from Ashes

February 19, 2016 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment activities, Katie, parent-to-child attachment, siblings 0 Comments

“I was so angry for so long. I felt real hate, Mom!” A child in my home recently confessed in the privacy of our conversation. They were speaking about the time when adoption trauma made its way into our home. When siblings were physically injured by a new addition, when lying became a part of …Read More

Victories from the Valley: An Unexpected Journey in Adopting a Child with NF1

February 18, 2016 adoption realities, cocooning, Family Stories, first weeks home, glaucoma, neurofibromatosis, NF1, older child adoption, parent-to-child attachment 2 Comments

We had been home from China with our first daughter almost five months when we saw her picture: a sweet face with a deep downcast shown in her eyes. She was six years old. Her file had been passed over by a few families already because of the uncertainties of her medical condition. One eye …Read More

She Had AIDS

December 1, 2015 adoption realities, HIV, Infectious 0 Comments

Today is widely known as World AIDS day and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. To join in this battle, we bring you a guest post from a mom who shares a glimpse …Read More

My Wounding

November 27, 2015 adoption realities, Attachment, Carrie, parent-to-child attachment 28 Comments

“I not only have my secrets, I am my secrets. And you are yours. Our secrets are human secrets, and our trusting each other enough to share them with each other has much to do with the secret of what it means to be human.” – Frederick Buechner Be gentle with me, dear reader. Please …Read More

Dear Parents-To-Be: Advice From the Front Lines

October 22, 2015 adopting two at once, adoption realities, China trip, disruption, Gotcha Day, guest post, older child adoption, orphanage behaviors 13 Comments

There’s been a rash of disruptions lately, both while still in China and shortly after the families are back in America. I’m not here to pass judgment on people, or talk about families who disrupt months or years into the process. I’m here to talk about the beginning, and to give some advice. Real advice. …Read More

An Apology to the Village

October 19, 2015 adoption realities, Katie, October 2015 Feature - It Takes a Village 6 Comments

I am sure you have seen the posts. You have been given the information on how to be the village to your friends arriving home with their new, precious, yet traumatized son or daughter. You diligently studied how to be that good friend, how to give space for cocooning, how to offer meals and household …Read More

Not Okay

October 11, 2015 adoption community, adoption realities, Amy 1 Comments

I think a good lot of us have a little habit of telling un-truths. Specifically, when asked a common question such as, “how are you?”, we respond with “I’m ok” or “I’m good” or “I’m fine” – when in fact, we are not. Sometimes we are not ok. It might be a day, a week, …Read More

Embracing Loss

September 29, 2015 adoption realities, embracing their story, infertility, Mandy 0 Comments

It’s something about the weather — that point where I know the hot and humid days of summer are coming to a close, and yet the cold days of fall have yet to greet me. It is as if summer and fall coexist briefly. The slightly chilly air and the warm sun dance across my …Read More

Comfortable

August 25, 2015 adoption realities, Amy A. 10 Comments

From the time I was a young girl, I always felt the Lord’s presence and His pursuit of my heart. However, I did not begin regularly attending church or consistently studying God’s word until a while after my husband and I got married. In the spring of 2007, we joined a “small group,” and every …Read More

Beyond Ourselves

July 23, 2015 adopting two at once, adoption realities, China trip, Gotcha Day, July/August 2015 Feature - Going to China!, Rebecca 7 Comments

It’s the pinnacle of the adoption journey. We build a beautiful image of what gotcha day will be, and hold hard to that as we wait. Much preparation goes into readiness for caring for the child we’ve seen only in pictures. We study bonding techniques and possible reactions, and pack and repack little backpacks. But …Read More

Hardest. And Best.

June 14, 2015 adoption realities, congenital blindness, disruption, Katie, Sensory System, undiagnosed SN, vision loss 7 Comments

My life was almost returned to normal. I would have slept better, been freer, able to eat better, clean the house, and find my way back to the normal details of everyday life. But I chose to finish the adoption, to make this girl who was so far from the one portrayed to me, my …Read More

My Daughter’s Red Thread

May 29, 2015 adoption community, adoption realities, Mandy 3 Comments

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.” – Unknown The day Lydia was placed in my arms (what many call “gotcha day”), I had so much excitement and anticipation. I was about to become a mom for the first time and see …Read More

Lean In to the Author of Your Story

April 6, 2015 adoption realities, books, guest post 0 Comments

Each adoption tells a story. When our family was in the midst of the laborious form-filling, check-writing, waiting, waiting, waiting stage of our daughter Lucy’s adoption, we had plenty of time to envision how our story—how Lucy’s story—would go. We had plenty of education, you see. We read and re-read The Connected Child, we attended …Read More

disruption: 3 things for parents to consider

March 26, 2015 adoption realities, disruption, guest post, LWB, March 2015 Feature - Disruption, orphanage realities 4 Comments

Today we finish out our month-long series on disruption with a post by Amy Eldridge of Love Without Boundaries Foundation. We are so grateful to include her voice of experience here, as she has spent years working on behalf of orphans in China and has witnessed the wake of disruption on families and children – …Read More

Adoption: Hard to Start. Harder to Stop.

February 19, 2015 a father's perspective, adoption realities, large families, Mike 39 Comments

“When you go back…” In the weeks before we left for China for our first adoption, Anne and I met with some family friends who had adopted three Chinese daughters. The goal of our time with Kevin and Vicki was to better understand what to expect on the trip and in the months to follow. …Read More

A Letter to My Daughter

February 5, 2015 adoption community, adoption realities, Attachment, Carrie 0 Comments

Darling Girl, I walked into your room the other night, well after you had gone to sleep. I could hear your quiet breathing and the whole room smelled like you. There’s something about the way my babies smell that makes me feel peaceful and comforted and deeply at home, and when it dawned on me …Read More

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