aging out child: Jonathon

September 18, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Jonathon ages out next February and is listed with Wide Horizons. “Jonathan is a sweet and smart boy who is hoping everyday for a family in the United States. Sadly, this wonderful kid only has 6 months to find a family! Under Chinese adoption law Jonathan must be adopted before he turns 14 years old. Can you imagine losing the opportunity to ever call someone mom or dad? When learning about this, Jonathan pleaded “Please tell the families I can do everything. The other kids from here are younger, they can wait, but I can’t wait! I want to go the US!”

He is physically healthy after an esophageal fistula he was born with was repaired. He attends school and is a good student. He is an assistant to his teachers. He acts as a leader among his peers. He loves to help others. Once when a friend at school passed away and his parents were grieving, “Jonathan” offered to be their son and take care of them as they aged.


There is a $10,000 subsidy to be applied toward Jonathan’s adoption through WHFC!
Contact Wide Horizons for more information.

waiting child highlight: older children

July 30, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Please take a moment to view the older waiting children with Lifeline that are highlighted below. Lifeline has many children waiting to find their forever families. If you would like additional information or have questions regarding any of these children or a child you see on the website here, please contact Annie Hamlin for more information.


Hanne – female, 8 years old, special focus (new hope journey), delayed psychomotor development (cerebral palsy). According to her file, this sweet child was abandoned at 6 years old and when found, was weak and unable to walk or talk. Precious Hanne did however, like to be held on the nannie’s laps. She is now said to be receiving therapy at the orphanage rehab center and is cooperating well with the therapists. Hanne is stated to be a smart girl who “follows teaching and practices well” and is making good progress. Hanne is said to be an out-going and cheerful child who loves music, toys, games, and reading books. She is stated to love to talk, but without clear enunciation. She can manage some simple daily words to communicate with nannies and she gets along well with the other little children. She is good with her hands and she can fold paper airplanes, pick up small pieces of paper and various toys. Hanne usually sits in her wheelchair or special chair to do activities because it is difficult for her to straighten her legs.

Please read this from her file: She is kind and spreads joy to others. She likes to greet strangers when she sees them and under the care of her nannies she is happy every day. Update from 6.3.14: She can hold her bottle and drink water, she can walk with assistance, she knows some familiar fruits, other things, her teacher and other young kids. She does not have any medicine. Please watch her sweet videos on Wonderful Waiting Kids HERE.

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. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.


Josiah – male, 8 years old, special focus (new hope journey), congenital cataract (both eyes blind) and HGB low. This adorable little boy was found with a “plastic bag beside him with a bottle, half sack of “yashili” grape sugar, 1.5 sacks of milk powder, Johnson floral water and shampoo, prickly-heat powder, an allover cloth hat, a silver pendant with DOB on it inside the bag. There were also 16 pieces of clothes and a wind coat in another bag.” This sweet boy was more than likely well-loved and I pray he will be able to find his forever family and know that love again. Josiah is said to be introverted. His file is outdated but it states that at 2 years old, he likes to be held and played with. He is said to be active and clever and likes to smile. His post on Wonderful Waiting Kids is HERE.

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. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.


Ruthie – female, 7 years old, special focus (new hope journey), postoperative congenital cleft lip and palate; bilateral alveolar cleft. This precious child is described as polite, quiet, and fairly shy; however, in more familiar environments, she is fairly “active and restless”. Ruthie is also said to get along well with other children and really likes chocolate. A girl after my own heart! According to her file, following her surgery, “her physical state is stable, she developed well in language and cognition” and her “growth development index is close to that of normal peers”. In September of 2012, she joined the “senior class in kindergarten”.

From Ruthie’s file: Due to postoperative congenital cleft lip and palate, she can’t speak clearly; but she can express herself and can talk to adults well. Ruthie is a quiet and smart little girl. We believe that she would make great progress by her efforts in future. The link to her post on Wonderful Waiting Kids is HERE. Videos posted.

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. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.


Harriet – female, 10 years old, special focus, postoperative cleft lip and palate. Sweet Harriet is said to be bright, understanding, and “not obstinate” with “good life skills”. This precious child is stated to like sports, is energetic, and “adapts well to new things”. There are wonderful videos of Harriet included in her post on Wonderful Waiting Kids HERE.

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. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.


Rosie – female, 7 years old, special focus, deaf/unable to speak, postoperative congenital megacolon and completely precious. This little one’s video will make your day! When Rosie was 4 years old, she was diagnosed with abdominal distension, which was finally repaired. Her file clearly shows a child who was not doing well before her surgery. However, after the surgery, her file changes to describe a child who is no longer in pain and happy, adjusting well to her new foster family, eating and developing better! She is said to be extroverted, kind, polite and sensible with “active thinking.” Just watch her precious video! She will steal your heart and make you smile! PW is rosie1. Her post is linked HERE.

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. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.


Hans – male, 3 years old, special focus, Down syndrome. Our China facilitator met this little one and felt like he was doing really well and functioning on a very high level. Hans’ file states that from the nineteenth to the twenty second month, he could distinguish acquaintances and strangers and would not respond to strangers. From the twenty second to the twenty sixth months, Hans was said to be able to he walk easily. He is also said to like to play with his foster sisters, can draw lines, cooperate with his foster mother to dress up and when having a bath in the bath tub, he likes to splash in the water. He is stated to be a lovely and energetic boy. Please read what our team wrote about him when they met him in May of this year: High functioning child with Down syndrome. Very curious personality. Can speak relatively well. Not fully potty trained, can alert caregiver when needed. Very healthy, never sick. Eats very well. He is really cute and has good personality. Favorite toy is said to be karaoke, loves to sing. He also have some stomach problems with spicy food. Strong willed but overall very sweet.

From another team member: “He is the sweetest little boy! He is extremely smart! He has a very extensive vocabulary, and he is potty trained. At three years old, he does not seem to have many delays at all. He is currently in a foster home, and it seems that his foster mom treats him as a child with no special needs. He is extremely high functioning for a child with Down syndrome. He likes to talk, but he is shy around those he does not know… this little guy stole my heart!”

Hans is posted at this link HERE on Wonderful Waiting Kids.

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. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.


Zachary – male, 6 years old, special focus, postoperative repair of congenital bilateral complete cleft lip and palate. This sweet child’s file states that, “He is make us happy, his expression and motion make fun, as he appear always make us laugh.” In 2011, he was said to have slow language development but was in Kindergarten, learning to play games and teaching the nannies and other kiddos upon returning. The link to his post on Wonderful Waiting Kids is HERE. Videos posted.

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. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.


Olivia – female, 7 years old, special focus, possible delays. This sweet child is said to be gentle and polite, greeting people well and appears to have made good progress from her first few years in the orphanage. Her file states: “Her self-esteem is strong. Once somebody wanted to adopt a child and asked about her, I said slow reaction and some problem on her brain. She listened and depressed very much. When I saw this and regretted. We took her to do the CT test: no problem.” The link to her post on Wonderful Waiting Kids is HERE. Video posted. Her video is SO much cuter than her pic.

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. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.


Liza – female, 10 years old, special focus, listed as both healthy and as having cerebral palsy. Please read from her original file done in 2004: “Liza is stated to have normal physical development. At the age of 2 months her motor development was said to be good. She had begun to laugh, her cry was loud and at the age of 3 months, she would respond to her name. Liza’s file states that she is very beautiful and lovely, with a ruby complexion and eyes that are big and bright. She was said to seldom cry and to like being close to people. Her file states that she is active and extroverted, especially liking being teased by other kids.” From her updated video, it appears that this precious one may indeed have cerebral palsy and will need a very special family to love and care for her. Please watch her sweet videos HERE and please let me know if your heart is moved for this beautiful child.

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. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

Find My Family: True

February 28, 2014 by nohandsbutours 1 Comments

Update: My family has found me!

Precious True is 10 years old and is listed as having a spinal deformity. Due to this special need, she is not very tall. She complies with the rules and respect her teachers and nannies. She has good self-care ability, can clean her room and wash her clothes. Usually she likes to play with younger children. She would take care of young sisters, like a big sister. Because of her short stature, she is comfortable to play with young children. She doesn’t talk in front of strangers and is very quiet. But when she plays with children, she laughs happily, and is a warm and outgoing girl. She can express her feelings freely; she is gentle, likes outdoor activities, likes rope skipping, the game of throwing small earthbags, and jumping over the lattice drawn on the floor. Even though she is playful, she has never not finished her homework because of playing. In school, she can listen to the class carefully, finishes her homework on time.


True is a smart and shy little girl. She is calm but is active with familiar friends. An agency team member reports that True was able to complete her assessment very quickly. Though her motor skills are inhibited by her special need, she is able to walk and run. Her self-help skills include bathing, dressing, undressing, toileting, and feeding.


Please watch her sweet videos, here. What a hard worker!! Please consider this girl who has waited a very long time for her family.


True is on the shared list and can be adopted by a family or single woman working with any agency. She was born June of 2003. For more information on how to begin the adoption process, please contact the Advocacy Team.

aging-out girls

February 10, 2014 by nohandsbutours 2 Comments

These girls all have little time left to be chosen and be adopted. Could one of them be your daughter?

Meet Tiffany Silk


Tiffany Silk’s story is one of heartbreak, in her short life she has already lost two families. Her birth family left her at 2 months old. She was found by a childless couple who tried to adopt her but they were too young according to adoption law. Before they were able to complete her adoption, their world crashed and they ultimately had to relinquish this child to an orphanage after parenting her for 7 years. She is currently listed with Children’s House International and they are determined to find a forever family for her. Tiffany Silk lives in a wonderful group home where she is known as Candy. She plays the flute! Her special need is Osteogenesis Imperfecta. She was born in April, 2001. For more information please contact Heidi Hawkins.

This blog has a few more pictures of Tiffany.

Meet Tenley


Tenley was born in November 2000 and is a little over 13 years old. She is a friendly, intelligent child who regularly excels in school, studying hard and completing her homework on time. She loves to play with school friends and communicates very well with others. She likes to spend her time playing badminton, and like most teenagers she loves beautiful clothes! Tenley suffers from two blood disorders, but is an otherwise healthy, young girl. She received treatment for one of the blood conditions as an infant, and it is now only a weak positive on tests. Tenley has been in the orphanage since she was just one month old. Because of her age, she will soon be ineligible for adoption and must be with a family before November 2014. There is a $4000 Promise Child Grant for eligible families for this adoption. Interested families may request more information on Tenley from her agency.

Meet Elizabeth


Elizabeth is a beautiful girl born December of 2000. She has exotropia of both eyes; left hemiparalysis along with spastic gaits. Please do not let the long list of special needs discourage you from looking into adopting her! Just wait until you see her videos and read her incredible file. After being placed in a foster family, Elizabeth made a lot of progress and is now described as an active, loving, confident girl who has “rich emotions.” She is also said to be very thoughtful and will rub her foster mother’s back at the end of the day. She is said to have limited use of her left hand and a limp but that she has improved greatly and can do many things. Elizabeth now waits for a family on the shared list, could that family be yours?

Meet Ani


Ani is a beautiful girl born September of 2000, she has been waiting for her family to find her for a very long time. She is not shy with strangers and is said to be an extroverted little girl. She will answer any question that guests ask. She likes to play games with other kids, especially the game of hide and seek—in that game, you can hear her happy laugh often. Ani cannot attend public school because of her special need, so her foster mother teaches her every day. She learns quickly and is able to teach other children what she has learned. She is able to take care of herself and sometimes helps her foster mother. Everyone at her foster home loves her. She has repaired meningocele, anal atresia, and a few deformed toes. Ani is on the shared list.

For more information on beginning the adoption process, contact the Advocacy Team.

Waiting child highlight: Urgent Medical Need

January 29, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

UPDATE: My family has found me!

Kacey is a 13 year old girl from Southern China diagnosed with Thalassemia major. She is described as an obedient girl. She does not talk too much but is very polite. When talking with her, she is a great listener. She is a grateful girl. She likes to make cards for the caregivers in the orphanage. She ages out in October, so she needs a family before that time. Additionally, Kacey’s health is deteriorating and her life depends on being adopted.


Kacey is classified as Special Focus meaning she is able to be matched with families that have not been logged in yet, but must be by July 1, 2014. If your family would be interested in viewing her file, please email Small World Adoptions.

For more information on beginning the adoption journey contact the Advocacy Team.

Waiting child highlight: shared list

January 10, 2014 by nohandsbutours 1 Comments

Meet Ellie


Ellie is an amazing little girl born February of 2005. Prior to moving to live with her foster family in January 2009, Ellie was struggling with interacting with her caregivers and peers at her care center due to her vision impairment which affect both of her eyes (atrophy of the right eye, nystagmus and amblyopia of the left eye). Since entering her foster family, Ellie has become much more social and enjoys playing with other children. She also enjoys spending time snuggling with her foster parents. She is described as being able to do the same physical activities as her peers, such as walking, running, riding a bike etc. She has waited on the shared list since 2007.

Meet Chelsea


Chelsea is a strong and open girl who was found at a station gate in November 2009. She was born February of 2009. Upon admission into the care center, Chelsea was noted to be weak and thin with rapid breath and a feeble cry and to have a sacrococcygeal bulge. In March of 2011 she was hospitalized due to an increase in size of this bulge, and an MRI confirmed diagnoses of spina bifida and hydrocephalus. At that time she received a shunt and repair of the lumbosacral meningomyelocele and has made great physical strides since, soon after being able to sit up and stand. An imaging test done in November 2011 had normal findings of the heart, lungs, and diaphragm. She is still noted to have low weight and development, and in January 2012 Chelsea was reported to be 78cm tall and weight of 10kg. Chelsea needs a family of her own, could that family be yours?

Meet Zeke


Zeke is on the shared list and was born December 2011. His special need is cerebral palsy. From his Nov. 2012 file: When he admitted into the institute, he was poor in health and always choked milk. By the meticulous care of the caregivers, he is regular in his diet. His temper was not very good and was easy to cry. His physical condition is improving and he is therapy for his palsy. He needs a family to put a smile on that sad little face and help him grow and reach his potential. He is only two years old, what a sweet gem! Zeke’s file was recently released by an agency and is currently on the shared list.

Visit this page to find blogs highlighting families who have adopted children with these special needs.

For any questions on starting the adoption process, contact the Advocacy Team.

waiting child highlight: older children

January 8, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

This article by Love Without Boundaries explains the great need for older child adoption. Highlighted below are three orphans waiting for a family. Could one of them perhaps be yours?


Born in March of 2000, Gideon is a very talented athlete. His favorite sport is swimming and he won a medal at the Special Olympics in 2008. He also rollerblades quite well and won an award in that too! Not surprisingly, his favorite class in school is P.E. He wants to be a policeman when he grows up. Gideon has some clouding on his left eye, also known as Pearl Eye. He can see out of both eyes, but his vision through his affected eye is not very clear. His orphanage sends him to special education classes, but they say that his intelligence is normal – they send him to special education only because they are unable to send all of the children from the institute to the normal school. He is not very good at math, but is very good in all other areas. He gets along well with other children and is helpful to the caregivers in the orphanage. He says that he is a little shy, but he was very friendly and happy to talk with us! Gideon would make a wonderful son to a very lucky family. Updated information from July of 2013 states that Gideon looks strong and tough on the outside but is actually very nice and docile on the inside. He is longing for a family of his own. Each time a close friend leaves for a family in the US, he prepares a small gift for him. He gets along well with other children and is always caring to small brothers and sisters. He is in good health and very strong. He is eager to learn and is now doing well in language and math and is very interested in studying nature. His only issue is his vision and it is not extremely serious. His caregivers say “he is a sporty, sunny boy. We join with him in praying for a family. There is a $4000 Promise Child grant for families who qualify to assist with this adoption. In addition, a generous donor has offered a grant of $3000 to any family for the adoption of this child.

Yvonne is an adorable little girl with a sweet smile who was wearing a beautiful outfit when she met with us. At first, it appeared that she might be very shy in front of so many people but as soon as she began to speak we were very impressed with her clear and fluent speech. Yvonne likes to sing and dance, and even performed a lovely song for us. She is described as “little actress” and “little star of the institute” by caregivers. She made eye contact with people in the room and followed instructions of the caregiver who was helping out. Yvonne has a few medical needs but the caregivers told us that they do not affect her ability to function in everyday life. When we handed her something to look at she held it closer to her eyes and appeared to be able to see better that way. Her caregiver told us that her left eye has better vision. She can go to the bathroom on her own and be independent in most areas. She is a quick and enthusiastic learner. Her special needs are post op cataract both eyes, spinal curvature, and post op atresia. Yvonne is a lovely child with a sweet personality who would be a great fit for a loving family. There is a $4,000 Promise Child grant for eligible families for this adoption.

Shawn attends school outside of the orphanage where his caregivers say that he does quite well. He is in the second grade. His favorite subject at school is fine art and his nannies say this his writing is beautiful. He really enjoys playing games. Shawn was born with spina bifida. He is incontinent and his gait is unusual. His nannies say that he takes care of his diaper by himself. He is able to run, but only slowly. He is described as a very independent boy. He has been best friends with another boy at the institute, Fu Yu, since they were little children. We observed Shawn walking and he walks a little bit knock-kneed, he takes short steps with his feet turned in and he walks on the heel of his left foot. He is able to walk on his heels, but not his toes. He is slightly unsteady when he turns around. The volunteer doctor at the orphanage noted that he has good sensation in his feet. The orphanage staff report that he had two surgeries for his spina bifida. There is a $4,000 Promise Child grant for eligible families for this adoption.

Visit this page to find blogs highlighting families who have adopted older children.

For more information on any of these waiting children please contact the Advocacy Team.

aging-out children

November 14, 2013 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Chinese law forbids adoption after the age of fourteen. The children highlighted below will all lose the chance of having a family by November or December of this year. A family would need to either be very close to having dossier sent to China or already be logged in with China to race to beat their birthdays. Read this wonderful article to find out more about the adoption of older Chinese orphans.

The five wonderful boys featured in this post have been overlooked for 13 years and have a short time to find families who will welcome them into their hearts forever! These boys had the opportunity to attend a camp this past summer and the following descriptions are from American volunteers who met and worked with these boys at the camp. All of these boys are on the shared list so any agency can access their files. Could one of these boys be the son that you have been praying for?

Meet Tom, age 13

Tom is 13 years old and will age out of the adoption system in March of 2014 so he has only a few months to find his forever family!

Tom is a sweet boy! Our volunteers found him to be sensible, mature, and able to help with the younger children. We pray that he will have the opportunity to be loved by a forever family before it is too late!


This is what Tom’s volunteer wrote about him:
“He is such a mature and sweet boy and among the boys I had for this summer, I like him most. I don’t know if that is because he is older than others or he had some experiences that made him, he is so mature. A little reserved, but friendly. He didn’t seem to be extremely self confident, but was generally happy and carefree. He always said that it was the last time coming to camp and he cherished it a lot. He told me that he understand us. He talks much with Milo, my partner. He would generally look out for the other kids – if his buddy did something wrong, he would encourage him to be sensible and consider the feelings of others. This is one of the things that impressed me the most – he was always looking out for his peers, and would always seek to understand why they were acting out. One day when his friend, Peter, was upset and didn’t want to go swimming we all tried to talk to Peter but to no avail. Tom was able to use patience and understanding to gently push him to go. It was really cool to see his consideration for his friends – in this sense, he’s very mature.”


What a blessing this boy will be for the family who welcomes him!

Meet Elijah, age 13

Elijah is another special boy who ages out in March of 2014. Elijah’s special need is cleft palate, which is considered a relatively minor special need. He is a fun child who loves to sing and dance but is also independent, doing his own thing at times. According to his volunteers/translators, he is sometimes hard to understand while speaking.


This was written by the volunteer who spent time with Elijah:
“My favorite memory with this boy was when we were preparing for the talent show. At first none of them wanted to do anything, so we just decided to wing it. My translators were both trying super hard to get them to dance and sing with them, but Ming Tao (he was the other older boy) and Elijah both just rolled around in the bed covers laughing and telling the other one to get up and dance. I decided to jump onto the bed and tickle Elijah. After a lot of laughing and squirming, he finally came out and decided to break dance and do a “special jazz dance” (according to him that’s what it’s called). After trying to copy him and failing, he and Ming Tao told me they would teach me some of their dance moves. That was my most memorable moment with Elijah. When I first saw him, I did not think he had any serious disabilities. However, he is quite hard to understand. Although I can understand Chinese, there were times I could not make out a word he said. We never really had a long, sit-down conversation but the short sentences here and there were hard to understand. Even my translators and the other kids said that even they sometimes don’t know what he is saying. He mumbles most of the time and sometimes it sounds like he is slurring. Other than that, he does not have any major disabilities. He is really a sweet boy and actions speak louder than words!”


Look at that face! What a fun addition Elijah would be to any family!

Meet Bobby, age 13 Update: He has a family!

Bobby is a complete sweetheart! He is friendly, super-chatty and very confident! Everyone fell in love with Bobby because of his gentle spirit and ability to make people laugh. His only special need is a cleft palate. We are very surprised he has still not found a family and want someone to bring this awesome boy home before he ages out. Bobby ages out in June of 2014 so a family would still have time to get “paper-ready”!


Here is what the volunteer who worked with Bobby had to say about him:
“Bobby is a boy to remember. He is friendly, goofy, soft-hearted, practical, and comfortable in his own skin. As one of the older one’s in the group, he always looked out for the younger ones and was respected by many of the other children. He did not mind sitting on the side lines and watching his peers play, but he would also easily go up and be crazy and goofy with them. During dress ups, he put on a dress, a black wig, and some pink heart sun glasses and danced away! He loves to draw, dance, and play with beach balls. The most significant moment with Ming Tao was during the time we exchanged goodbye letters. He had been to camp before and he already knew the routine. Goodbye letters meant the camp was coming to an end. He is normally funny and friendly but in this session he tucked himself into the bed and avoided eye contact. My translator read my letter to him and he continued to be silent, but when she started to read his letter to me, he started to cry. He quickly pulled the blanket over his head and refused to look up. When I wrapped my arms around him, I could feel his “wall” come down fully for the first time. He rested his head on my shoulder and continued to cry. After that goodbye session, I felt like the bond between us grew stronger.”


Oh, how much love this boy would have to offer a family! We pray that he will find the family that will offer him permanence and love very soon!

Meet Daniel, age 13

Daniel is a helpful boy who is so close to aging out! He is very smart and caring with the other children. We think he would make a great son and brother! When he turns 14 in March of 2014, he can no longer be adopted. A family would have to sign the paperwork in China before his 14th birthday. We hope and pray this boy can have a family before it is too late! WACAP has offered a sizeable grant toward his adoption!


Daniel’s volunteer writes:
“Daniel is a happy young man with a heart to help the other children that weren’t able to do things for themselves. Many of the other children would come to him for help, so he has established himself as a leader among the children. He was also fairly mature for his age with a good understanding of what was going on around him. Daniel was a big help with the children. I remember seeing him many times taking care of the smaller and/or handicapped children. I remember Daniel taking one of the wheel chair bound children for a float ride as we were swimming – he was very gentle and enjoyed seeing the younger ones laugh. I remember showing him pictures of my family and letting him skype with them. He was always very respectful and courteous. Daniel loved to read comic books. He was quiet most of the time, but almost always had a smile on his face. Daniel did not seem to have any disability other than wearing glasses. As a matter of fact, he seemed to be pretty athletic when we went on walks and played pitch. We also had a few discussions about his life at the orphanage, where he was able to tell me about his school and seemed to do normal 13-year-old work.”


What a wonderful blessing Daniel will be for his new siblings and parents!

Meet Austin, age 13

Austin is another great boy who will be aging out in March of 2014. Such a sad prospect to grow up without a family! He is a smart boy and though shy around new people, once he gets to know people, he loves to chat away! Our records say he is healthy. Please help us find a family for this sweet and generous boy!


What Austin’s Bring Me Hope volunteer had to say:
“Austin was a joy to be around in the week that I got to know him. At first Austin was very shy, and it seemed like he was hesitant to speak and get to know me. After the first day of activities, he really opened up and I had so much fun getting to know him. One of Austin’s favorite things to do was to swim and I could tell he enjoyed it by the smile on his face. His smile is definitely the thing I will remember most about Austin, because he was always joyful and smiling. One of my favorite memories happened the last day of camp. I gave each of my kids a small gift which they were both very happy to receive. Austin looked at me and smiled, and then gave me his watch in return. I am not a very emotional person normally, but this moment really touched my heart. One of the best things I could say about Austin is that he really cares about people, and always did a good job of being kind to the other kids. Austin was very smart. We had many conversations about sports and other activities that I do in America. Austin really enjoyed craft time and has a very good imagination. It seemed to me like sometimes Austin had a hard time expressing himself, but most of the time he communicated very well. Austin also has very good writing skills. I still have the letter that he wrote me, and I will keep it forever. I really enjoyed my time with him and I will never forget the things he did because he really had an impact on my life.”


Please help us find this wonderful boy’s family very soon!

The following resources may be of inspiration to families considering adding an aging out child to their family:

Love Without Boundaries
Bergey Bunch
Rylands Family

If you don’t have an adoption agency, and have questions about possible next steps in adopting an aging-out child, please email our Advocacy Team.

aging-out children

November 8, 2013 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Chinese law forbids adoption after the age of fourteen. The children highlighted below will all lose the chance of having a family by November or December of this year. A family would need to either be very close to having dossier sent to China or already be logged in with China to race to beat their birthdays.

Although expediting the adoption of these children may seem daunting, it can be done and many kids have been adopted within days or hours of aging out.

Read this wonderful article to find out more about the adoption of older Chinese orphans.

Meet Mason


What a precious face! Sweet Mason needs his family to find him quickly and run to him before he ages out in March of 2014! He is on the shared list so any agency can obtain his file. Those who have met Mason describe him as a docile and polite child. He is a thinker and loves to ask questions and learn new things. He is a passionate person who enjoys playing with other children. At first Mason seems introverted, but he opens up once he has warmed up to people. Mason is comfortable with routine and can do things within his ability. He knows right from wrong and is said to be clever, active, and has lots of close friends.

Mason’s special need is dwarfism. There is a chance that he may be misdiagnosed and that he is just short in stature but a family needs to be prepared for dwarfism. Mason is able to run quickly and steadily and is able to jump on the steps. He has a good imagination and is good at drawing. He is also able to write some characters. What a wonderful addition Mason will be to his new family!

Meet Ruby


This beautiful girl will be aging out and needs to find her family before February of 2014! Her file is on the shared list. After Ruby arrived at the orphanage, she adapted very well. She gets along with the nannies and the other children very well. She is said to be polite, open, and active and she gets along well with everyone around her. Ruby has had the opportunity to take the special education classes that are offered in the orphanage. She especially enjoys singing and drawing. Ruby’s special need is post-surgery meningomyelocele and her right foot is turned in. Ruby says that she is treated very well at the orphanage. She loves the orphanage and the nannies that take care of her, however she is ready and willing to be adopted by her new family!

Meet Sunny


Wonderful Sunny needs her family to find her soon, before she turns 14 and ages out in March of 2014! Her file is on the shared list. Sunny is described as a positive and active child. She has good self-care ability and gets along well with others. She currently attends school and gets along well with her classmates. Her favorite activities are dancing and playing sports.

A mom who adopted Sunny’s foster brother says, “She was my son’s foster sister until we adopted him in May, 2012. She is very loving towards her younger siblings. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t talk about her. She is an orphanage that has only completed 3 international adoptions.” Sunny’s special need is post-operative congenital cleft lip and palate. Could Sunny be the blessing your family is looking for?

The following resources may be of inspiration to families considering adding an aging out child to their family:

Love Without Boundaries
Bergey Bunch
Rylands Family

If you don’t have an adoption agency, and have questions about possible next steps in adopting an aging-out child, please email our Advocacy Team.

waiting child highlight: hearing impairment

November 6, 2013 by nohandsbutours 3 Comments

Meet Andrew


Andrew is a very polite 9 year old who has been living in a wonderful foster home for the past seven months. He is deaf. He communicates with his peers and house nannies by pointing to objects and expressing his needs. He has begun learning sign language 3 times a week with an American therapist at the foster home. They are working on identifying objects, things, colors, and people. He is proving to be a quick learner. Teaching Andrew to sign and understand concept ideas has been difficult due to his lack of reading, however they are diligently working through it with the use of picture scenes and acting. He is a very bright and outgoing young man. He is very smart and the therapist believes he has a lot of potential for learning sign language! He has a wonderful sense of humor and a smile which can light up any room. Andrew’s adoption papers are currently being filed and he should be added to the shared list very soon.

Meet Asher My family has found me, yay!

image (1)

Asher is a five year old boy who can hear a little with hearing aids, but cannot speak. He communicates through facial expressions and body language, and goes to a special school where he is focusing on improving his speech and hearing. His caretakers say he can be very focused and can concentrate on a task for a long time. He is, at times, stubborn and strong willed, but gets along well with the other children from the neighborhood where he lives with his foster family. He appears bright and learns quickly; he can recognize his name when he sees it in writing. He likes to help his teachers and take care of others. He keeps toys organized and does not like messes. Although a little camera shy, he is a normal five year old boy. Asher would thrive in a family that is equipped to parent a child with hearing loss.

Asher is currently on the shared list and can be adopted by a single woman or family working with any agency. See more info on Asher here.

Meet Edison


Edison is a very friendly 12 year old. A family recently traveled to China to complete their adoption and had the opportunity to meet him. This is what they had to say: “I met this dear boy, Edison, when we visited the orphanage on July 26th, 2013. I was told he goes to a boarding school for the deaf during the academic school year, but comes back to the orphanage when school is not in session. He appears to reside in a room with a ‘family of other orphans’ led by a 31 year old adoptee who has polio so he has experienced a ‘family’ to some degree. He seemed to desire human interaction as he shook hands with us, smiled, and was very sociable and polite. He did steal a bit of my heart and I would love for a family that is able to meet his needs to step forward. If I can answer any questions, please email me here.”

Edison is on the shared list and can be adopted by a family working with any agency. Could Edison be your son?

Meet Lacey


Lacey is an introverted 13 year old. She gets along well with others and plays games with them. She takes the initiative to help her caretakers tidy rooms and helps other children wash up or get dressed. She is a quick thinker with a big vocabulary. She does her homework carefully and neatly. Her deafness has made her very reserved and timid. She can speak some simple words, read lips, and take care of her needs. She loves studying and her teachers call her a “flexible thinker.” She is a quiet and feminine child who likes to help her caregivers whenever she is able.

Lacey is now on the shared list. She was once listed with WACAP where she had a $4,200 promise child grant to families who are eligible. They would still offer this grant for her adoption if a family used them to bring her home.

Lacey needs to be adopted before her fourteenth birthday at which time she becomes ineligible for adoption.

Meet Richard

2001, Jan. 1st, Richard

Richard is a 12 year old boy waiting for his family. He is deaf and very smart. He is in the deaf school for regular education and is doing very well. With hearing aid, he can hear better. He is the biggest child in this orphanage. He protects other children. He likes other people praise him. He is very polite and can get along well with other people. He likes other people say he is smart and well behaved. He is very good at Kung Fu, He is very strong and is in very good health. Richard is in the Guangzhou Deaf School now. He is a very good student at school. He often does performances like dancing or Kungfu at school and the CWI. He loves sports very much, Therefore, he is very strong and it’s very rare for him to get sick. Every time when he returns to the orphanage from the boarding school, he helps the nannies to do some work. He takes care of the younger children and play with them. Everyone likes him so much. Because he is deaf, he is quiet compared to children of the same age. He likes watching TV and comics when he has free time.”

Richard is on the shared list, but if a family used Madison for their placing agency, his orphanage would waive the orphanage donation because of their relationship with Madison’s guide.

Meet Samantha

2000, July 7th, Samantha

Samantha is a 13 year old who has attended a school for deaf children for several years now. She stays at the school during the week and returns to the orphanage on the weekends. She has progressed very well with her education and training since she began school. She has also made many good friends there. Samantha loves to care for the younger children and seems to have a special way with them. Perhaps she could be a teacher one day! Samantha is healthy, active, and out-going. She is well liked by her teachers and peers. She has been lucky to be surrounded by lots of supportive people in her life, and now she is ready to move forward to the next big step, a family of her own.

Samantha is on the shared list and a family could use any agency to bring her home. Samantha also needs to be adopted before her fourteenth birthday.

Resources for families adopting children with hearing impairment:
Yahoo Group
Rainbow Kids

Families who have adopted children with hearing impairment:
In The Waiting
Ears To Hear
Our Journey to Luke

For more information on any of these waiting, contact the Advocacy Team.

waiting child spotlight: focus on thalassemia

November 2, 2013 by nohandsbutours 3 Comments

Thalassemia is a genetic disease prevalent in Southern China. It is characterized by chronic anemia, which at its most severe form is treated by regular blood transfusions. Children with Thalassemia may also receive a daily medication to rid their body of excess iron.

Children with Thalassemia are bright, joyful, and a delightful addition to any family. They thrive and lead full lives. There is an extremely supportive community of adoptive parents of children with Thalassemia in the US. They are a wealth of knowledge for anyone pursuing adopting a child with this special need.

The adoption of children with Thalassemia is vital. Treatment for Thalassemia in China is difficult due to a severe blood shortage and the lack of essential medications. The life expectancy for these children if they remain institutionalized is very grim. Would you consider welcoming one of these children into your family?

For more information on Thalassemia read these wonderful resources:
Rainbow Kids
Choosing Thalassemia

Read about these families who have adopted children with Thalassemia:
Linguini or Lo Mein
The House of Payne
For the Love of One
Crazy Life of the Wilks Family

Waiting Children with Thalassemia:


Joshua is an adorable eight year old boy who currently lives with a foster family. Joshua is small for his age, but has no trouble keeping up with other kids.


He is active and outgoing, and attends school where he gets average grades. He likes to sing, and his speech is clear and articulate. He gets along well with other children, and has a healthy appetite. He demonstrated to us his ability to count all the way to 100, to write his name and to draw pictures of rabbits, which he called his friends. He has a charming little smile. Joshua receives monthly blood transfusions to treat his thalassemia and needs a family who can monitor his health and provide the love and attention that every child deserves.

Joshua is on the shared list and can be adopted by a family working with any agency. He was once with WACAP where he had a $4,000 promise child grant toward his adoption which would be honored if a family used WACAP to adopt him.


Emery is an eight year old boy with Thalassemia. He doesn’t attend school because he has to receive transfusions every 1-2 months. Consequently, his development in all areas is a little delayed compared with his peers.

Emery -8 year old boy

When he was six years old he could walk up and down stairs independently, jump off the floor with both feet, walk in a straight line, hold a pencil to draw lines and circles, identify different colors, count from 1 to 10, understand the concept of a week, liked coloring, fed himself and went to the toilet on his own, put on his own clothes, and he liked helping the nanny by getting bottles for the younger children. He was talkative and could carry simple conversations, but some of his pronunciation was not so clear. Emery is a sweet child who needs be adopted to receive optimal treatment for Thalassemia. A family who could also provide for his educational needs would be a huge blessing to him.

Emery is part of Lifeline’s Journey of Hope camp and is designated to their agency. Contact Sarah Haygood at: for more info.


Danny is also an eight year old lovable boy. He goes to the hospital for blood transfusions every two months for his diagnosis of Thalassemia.


He is described as very strong and never cries when they insert the needle for the transfusion. It is reported that the doctors and nurses like him. Currently, he is in an orphanage and shares his living space with approximately 20 other children his same age. He likes all food and is not picky. He is toilet trained and although he is a deep sleeper, he will get up if he needs to visit the bathroom during the night. Danny is described as a lovely, strong and likable child. Like all waiting children with Thalassemia, Danny needs a family to come forward for him urgently.

Danny is on the shared list and can be adopted by a family with any agency.

Ricky–update: Ricky has been matched with a forever family!

Precious Ricky will turn two in December. He has Beta Thalassemia Major requiring regular transfusions. He can sit alone, walk with assistance, and likes to play with blocks.


As of July when his file was prepared, he didn’t say words but would imitate them, would turn when you call his name, and could wave goodbye. His diagnosis does not slow him down, as caregivers say he is active and smiles easily, as you can see from his photo! The younger a child with Thalassemia can come home the better. Is this sweet toddler your son?

Ricky is listed through an orphanage partnership with WACAP. Please contact for more information.

aging-out children

October 29, 2013 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Chinese law forbids adoption after the age of fourteen. The children highlighted below will all lose the chance of having a family by November or December of this year. A family would need to either be very close to having dossier sent to China or already be logged in with China to race to beat their birthdays.

Although expediting the adoption of these children may seem daunting, it can be done and many kids have been adopted within days or hours of aging out.

Read this wonderful article to find out more about the adoption of older Chinese orphans.

Meet Adalai

Adalai is one bright young lady who still waits for her forever family! She will soon age out of the adoption system in January and needs a family who is highly motivated to work through the paperwork quickly. While she may seem shy at first, she is lively and easily makes friends in a familiar environment. Adalai truly has a kind spirit and has said that she very much wishes to be adopted. When she was asked why she wanted to be adopted she answered, “Because I really want a family”.

Adalai lived with a foster family for two years. When her foster family had an emergency she was sent back to the orphanage and has lived there for the last 8 years. Adalai often volunteers to help her teachers as well as other students, was elected as student of the week, and gets along well with her classmates. Adalai loves to sing, run, play games, weave bracelets, draw beautiful pictures, and as any teenage girl her age… loves Hong Kong dramas!


Adalai is a fantastic artist, has a beautiful voice and truly wants to find a forever family. She is active in school, leads other children in exercise classes, and works hard to improve her academic abilities. Her orphanage describes Adalai as lovely, lively, and liked by everybody.

Her last trip to the doctor for testing reported all normal findings indicating that she has fully recovered from the HBV virus. Adalai suffers from a mild degree of disturbance in her language ability and a moderate degree of operation capabilities. The orphanage believes this is because she has been brought up in an institution and did not receive sufficient early education. Despite all this, Adalai has shown great progress in math, reading, writing, and mathematics. This young girl will thrive when she finds her forever family!

Children’s House International currently has Adalai’s file but they are willing to transfer it to another agency if a family is ready to move forward for her. Please help us make Adalai’s dream for a family come true!

Watch Adalai’s video here.

Meet Dawn

Dawn is a special girl who needs her family to find her fast! She will age out and lose her chance for a family in February. Dawn is a sweet girl that loves everything little girls enjoy! She loves to be held and is often content to just curl up and snuggle with people she feels safe with; she often does not even need to be talking in order to be having fun. She enjoys playing with toys and has a remarkable attention span for games that require concentration. Her personality is radiant, touching the hearts of all who get to know her!


When given the chance, she enjoys nurturing and holding babies. Dawn’s best friend is Tommy who has been in physical therapy with her ever since she came to the orphanage. Dawn has cerebral palsy that affects all her motor skills. She is able to walk, talk, and feed herself. Dawn’s memory is excellent, and she is able to understand everything that is said to her. Dawn would thrive in a family that loves her unconditionally! Dawn is on the shared list. Her orphanage really wants her to find a family!

Watch Dawn’s video from March 2013.

Meet Weston

Weston is on the shared list and needs to find his family quickly before he ages out in February! His special need is listed as mentally retarded. They likely meant delays or learning disability. He has recently had mild seizures that are being controlled by medications.


From an advocate who met him in July: “This is a very sweet boy. He is VERY athletic and excels in skating, skiing and ping pong. One of the volunteers I was with played a game of ping pong with him and we couldn’t believe how calm he was – this boy is in his element in competitive sports! When the volunteer scored on him he gave her a shy smile. His physical education teacher said that he can be slow to learn new things but he can learn! I’m guessing he has a slight learning disability in school – he seemed like a normal kid to me. We were told that he very recently started having mild seizures but they are being controlled with medication. The staff told us that Weston is very helpful and assists his foster mom with the laundry and cleaning at home.”


This boy will be such a blessing for his forever family! Let’s pray that his family finds him soon!

More photos and information about Weston can be found here.

The following resources may be of inspiration to families considering adding an aging out child to their family:

Love Without Boundaries
Bergey Bunch
Rylands Family

If you don’t have an adoption agency, and have questions about possible next steps in adopting an aging-out child, please email our Advocacy Team.

waiting child highlight: Madison

October 26, 2013 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments



Brittany is eleven years old and described as very bright. She is an excellent student who loves to learn. She is fond of drawing, listening to music, playing with puzzles, watching cartoons and reading. Her favorite toys are Barbie dolls. She has Cerebral Palsy, anemia, and uses a wheelchair for transportation. She gets along with other children well, and is happy to share toys. She likes to laugh and make others laugh. Brittany is adored by her caretakers. She will surely be a huge blessing to the family who decides to bring her into their home!

She has a $5,000 agency grant and her orphanage donation will be significantly reduced, or possibly even waived if a family formally asks. She has an account on Reece’s Rainbow as Brilynn.

Families who has adopted children with cerebral palsy:
The Little Girl in Pink
Finding Our Missing Link
Cornbread and Chopsticks
China Baby



Joyce is now 13 years old and needs to be adopted before her 14th birthday. She has less than one year to find her family and for them to be in China to bring her home! Joyce is a darling girl with repaired cleft lip and palate and mild scoliosis. She has the cutest dimples when she smiles. Shriner’s Hospitals would provide free medical treatment for her scoliosis, if needed.

Joyce is outgoing and active. She is motivated in her school studies, participates in a variety of activities, likes playing with other children, and asks teachers for help when she has trouble. Joyce understands what it means to be adopted and to be part of a family. She looks forward to having her own family soon. Joyce has a $2,000 agency grant for her adoption. She also has a new account on Reece’s Rainbow.

Please help spread the word about Joyce!

Here is a great resource for families considering adopting a child with cleft lip and palate.

Families who have adopted children who have cleft lip and palate:
Ashley Ann
One More Ladybug



Lenny is an eleven year old who is full of personality. He is deaf and in the care of China Little Flower Foster Home. He communicates with people through sign language. He goes to a special training school. People who know him always say that Lenny has the face of an actor, good body for dancing, wisdom for being a scientist, but, how sad that he was abandoned by his parents. He entered a foster family in 2005. He is spoiled & loved by his foster parents. He has many varied interests. He is curious about the world around him and empathetic toward others. He is creative and is a problem solver! He is very intelligent with computer, likes cars, toy guns, cartoons, and building blocks. His favorite restaurant is KFC. He has a good relationship with the foster dad. He is smart and willing to help with housework and is very polite too. When he goes to buy groceries with the foster mom, he always points to the heaviest thing and says to the mom, “I am superman, I will help you carry it.

He has a large agency grant. He also has an account on Reece’s Rainbow.

Resources for families adopting children with hearing impairment:
Yahoo Group for Deaf/HoH Kids from China
Adopting a Child with Hearing Loss

Read about a family who has adopted a child who is hearing impaired:
In the Waiting

These children are currently designated to Madison Adoption Associates. Contact them at (302) 475-8977 or email for more information.

aging-out children

October 18, 2013 by nohandsbutours 1 Comments

Chinese law forbids adoption after the age of fourteen. The children highlighted below will all lose the chance of having a family by November or December of this year. A family would need to either be very close to having dossier sent to China or already be logged in with China to race to beat their birthdays.

Although expediting the adoption of these children may seem daunting, it can be done and many kids have been adopted within days or hours of aging out.

Read this fabulous article to find out more about the adoption of older Chinese orphans.

Meet Lenny.


Lenny is a clever child who faces life optimistically every day. He is very patient with other children and never quarrels with them. He is very interested in the world around him. He is abright, curious child who always asks why. He is fond of reading and playing educational computer programs, such as Knowledge for the Children and Quick Thinking and so on. He can read the words in the books very fluently. He is able to recognize about 800 to 1000 words, master pinyin and is able to use the dictionary to find the words he doesn’t know.

He is still waiting for a family and wants a family SO badly! Lenny has a sensitive special need that has been surgically corrected. Here are some recent videos of him:

This child will be aging out December 1 of this year so he is in urgent need of a family to come forward very soon! He wants a family of his own and often asks if one is coming to get him!

You can read more about him here.

Meet Erika.


Beautiful Erika needs a family that is already LID to race to bring her home BEFORE mid November. She has a grant with Reese’s Rainbow (where she is known as Erin) of almost $3000.00 toward her adoption!

Erin needs to be adopted before she turns 14 in November, or she will forever lose her chance of having a family. Erin is a smiling 13 year old girl who has been diagnosed with aural atresia of both ears, auricle deformity, and delays in intelligence and growth development. She was admitted to the institute as a baby, and has been there since. She is able to help with chores such as sweeping the floor.

Her language development is limited, but she can say goodbye to others and can understand gestures. Erika gets along well with her classmates and is closest to her caretakers. She is a sweet girl that likes to be cuddled and enjoys playing with her good friends. Could she be your daughter?

Meet Mindy.


Mindy is a beautiful girl who has only a very short time (early December) before she can be adopted! This incredibly sweet girl is 13 years old, has moderate cerebral palsy and requires a wheelchair to get around. She was abandoned at age 6, but in spite of that, has a very optimistic and thankful spirit. She sings as she goes about her day, accepts correction well, is honest, has good judgment, is talkative and friendly, and is a good communicator. Her speech is clear and she is working hard on her English, saying, “Hello everyone, my name is Mindy. I hope I will have a family, have daddy, mommy, brothers and sisters. I am a girl who has a ready smile.” She attends school at the orphanage and is said to have a great thirst for learning and excellent study habits. She lives in a good orphanage, and will continue to leve there for the rest of her life unless adopted. Please consider this child, she has the potential to be a truly beloved daughter! Could she be yours?

Meet Stephanie.


Precious Stephanie needs a family who is already LID to rush to her before she ages out on December 3. Stephanie is described by her caretakers as a well-behaved, lovely, and quiet girl. She is quite healthy and is able to care for her own needs. She helps with the chores and helps take care of younger children.

Stephanie is behind in her communication skills. She is said to be introverted and did not adjust well to the special education program that she was in for a short time. Therefore, she has had very little schooling. We pray that this sweet girl is able to find a loving family who can provide her with the education that she needs and help her meet her potential!

These aging out kids are all on the shared list and many have reduced adoption fees. The orphanage donation is often waived for these urgent situations. Many agencies have been successful in the expedited adoption of aging out children.

The following family blogs may be an encouragement to families considering adding an aging out child to their family:

Bergey Bunch
The Rylands Family

Who Are You Waiting For?

December 6, 2011 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Are you waiting for a referral?

Are you waiting in the Waiting Child (SN) program or the traditional (NSN) program?

Are you waiting for what seems like years? Or perhaps you have been waiting for years?

Do you know who you are waiting for?

A daughter younger than two years old perhaps?

Or maybe she could be three or … possibly … four … maybe?

How about a son … or not?

These are questions all parents have probably at the very least mulled over, maybe even revisited again and again if waiting for years for a referral from China.

And these are all questions that at times honestly perplex me.

The biggest question I would love to ask everyone who is waiting for years for a referral is this: Who Are You Waiting For?

Let me assure you that I have never asked a waiting parent this question. I suppose in a roundabout way I am asking anyone reading to consider it now. Obviously in a blog, no one has to answer or even feel the need to answer. On the other hand, comments are always open and welcome here so a discussion could always come about … and that is most often a good thing.

Let me throw out some hypothetical assumptions here. I am basing these on conversations I have had over the years with other APs, many of whom are astounded when they actually meet our “special needs” children and learn that all three of them fell into the “hard to place” category.

Hypothetical #1: You are one of a majority of families who are NOT open to a child with multiple needs. A child who was born with complex heart disease and cleft lip and palate.

That would be entirely too much. Now, let me stop here and say let’s assume insurance is not a deciding factor and also that you qualify in every way for these hard to place children. But assuming you have excellent medical coverage and all requirements are met, you are just not open to a child with those “severe” needs.

Let me introduce you to our child who was born with complex heart disease and cleft lip and palate. I am going to show a VERY RARE glimpse of our Li’l Miss on video. She is singing a song she penned herself, and she sings it often to Jesus. In one line, she sings:

Lift up Jesus Christ, He loves you sooooo much.
Lift up Jesus Christ, He made you so wonderful.

Does it get any better than that? Wow. I admit to just about losing it when she sang it for me the first time. I already mentioned she made this song up herself. Did I mention she has complex, single-single ventricle heart disease? Yes she does. And no, we don’t know what her life expectancy will be, and honestly we don’t dwell on that and didn’t even consider the question when deciding to move forward with our second daughter, also born with single-ventricle heart disease.

Why? In short, they all deserve a home and a family. And if you met her, I can almost assure you that you would never ask the question again, “What about life expectancy?” which is the #1 question asked of me by parents wondering about bringing home a child with complex heart disease.

Now let me be clear in saying PLEASE ASK QUESTIONS. I love to answer, and though my answer may not give you any peace or reassurance, it is honestly how the Prez and I feel. It DOES NOT MATTER what their life expectancy will be. We adopted her and will adopt her little sister not because of how long they might live, but because they ARE living and they need a family … and I think we need them just as much or maybe more.

Our daughter is 6 years old. She has been home for 3 years. She has SEVERE language delay in the area especially of articulation, but did you hear her singing? I might be just a wee bit proud of her. She WORKS SO HARD. She had significant hearing loss for more than 4 years until tubes were finally placed and her hearing is now excellent. She has endured 8 surgeries since she came home, and does so with bravery and courage that most of us will never know.

She is AMAZING. If you met her, you would not believe she has faced so many needs and endured so much. She is our daughter. Why do I share so vulnerably here?

On the shared list today, multiple children with needs EXACTLY like our Li’l Miss wait and wait and wait. Maybe you haven’t ever felt like you are waiting on a child like that. Maybe though you are missing out by not pursuing one of those children.

Hypothetical #2: You would never consider bringing home an older son because there are too many risks and older children can never bond anyway, and if you did go there you would definitely only consider a girl anyway.

Enter this charming young man.


I know he is charming, because he is my son. My 3rd son … well really 2nd … except he came to me 3rd … but he is our 2nd oldest. I know it confuses my brain sometimes too. I know how you feel because I was definitely not open to an older child … and definitely not open to an older son … and definitely not open to bringing an older boy into our home with younger children. No way. That is what other families do. Not us. Besides, that is irresponsible and just asking for trouble.

Except he hasn’t brought us trouble or made us irresponsible parents. In fact, he has brought more joy and love and grace into our home and our parenting. Not only that, we are immeasurably more blessed for having stepped way out of our comfort zone and done the thing many think is taking it way too far.

He is the most loving and compassionate guy you’ll ever meet. He loves with his whole heart, which I should add is not perfectly formed. He was also born with heart disease, and though a PDA seems minor enough, his was not repaired until he was 10 years old in China and while we awaited our LOA for his adoption.


o, I know you may fall in that majority who says, *IF* I was going to adopt an older son, he would have to be healthy. But let me tell you, our son is HEALTHY as an ox. He does anything he wants to do sports-wise and he is smart and funny and just adds another layer of love to my heart!

So, my advice: don’t assume you couldn’t adopt an older son. Maybe an older son is just who you have been waiting for all of this time. Many of them wait on the shared list right now. Today. And a LOT of those boys are healthy, and some others have “needs” like our son did, but don’t let those needs define the child. Look past them and do your research and talk to experienced parents. And then decide. But at least consider an older, waiting son.

Hypothetical #3: You do not need a son. You want a daughter. You are not going to change your mind because this is your dream and that is that.

This is a tough one.

I know this may not go over well AT ALL. I am well aware of that fact.

But sometimes the tough stuff needs to be said. And sometimes we just gotta say it.

I have been blessed with four amazing sons, 2 by birth and 2 by adoption. When we had our 2 birth sons 4 years apart, I remember being thrilled both times to hear the ultrasound tech say, “It’s a boy!” I mean, absolutely thrilled. There was no disappointment in me or my husband whatsoever. Why would there be? Both boys appeared to be healthy, growing as they should, and due right on schedule.

That was enough. A son. And then another son. Icing on the cake!

And then came China. And our 2nd adoption, 4th child. A son? Really God? Are you sure?

But I knew. Without a doubt. He was calling us to THIS CHILD, the one I just spoke of above. The older boy. Who happened to be on our agency’s designated list at the time.

And so we moved forward, and once we did I never looked back. What I would have missed? I can’t even fathom now.

Enter son #4. REALLY GOD??? ARE YOU SURE???


Oh how winding our path was to this Li’l Dude you see pictured above (and whose upper lip finally seems to have expelled those last remaining “dissolvable” stitches). I can only imagine the Lord knew how much He needed to grow my love for this little guy BEFORE we met him … and grow it the Lord did!

When we met, I quickly realized his immediate needs were great. Far greater even than I imagined. And I imagined fairly realistically. And yet, less than a year and a half home, he IS rocking it out! I tell you he stood up on the stage at church Sunday night in the preschool program and acted the part of a CAMEL. Now he didn’t have all the right moves precisely down like his sister and the third camel, but he stood there and he didn’t run away or act disruptive … and he definitely was one of the two cutest camels on that stage!

He is now reading some too. AMAZING. Did I mention he was born with heart disease (TOF), cleft lip and palate, is deaf in one ear … oh and he lived in an orphanage in China for 5 years?

Yeah. He was waiting for YEARS for a family too. Did I mention that? Why?

I think probably because he is a BOY, he was older (4 at referral; that is OLD for a little boy waiting), he has multiple needs, and … uh, oh … and undisclosed need. That is way too much.

And yet, when I look at the above photo, I just see my little surprise. That is what I call him: my little surprise! He grins that big grin and says, “I LUBBBB you, Mommy” and my heart melts all over again.
Who Are You Waiting For?

If you are waiting, perhaps even years for a NSN referral of an AYAP girl, maybe it is valid question. Maybe it is not. Only you can decide that for your family. I will tell you this though.

Our first LID was December 14, 2007.


We are still YEARS … yes, YEARS … away from a referral with that log-in date. Since that date, we have brought home our … three waiting children … all hard to place … all NOT fought over … all NOT part of the “new shared list” each month … and yet all equally amazing and a blessing to everyone they meet … and most importantly, treasures uniquely created by our Father God.

Our Li’l Miss …

Our “Larry” (one of our 3 stooges ;)

Our Li’l Dude …

And our Li’l Bit … waiting for us in China …

… and born with a single ventricle heart … and EQUALLY deserving of a family … and we feel completely overwhelmed in a good way that God is entrusting us yet again with one of these special babies!

Who Are You Waiting For?

Feel free to check out our adventures in life as a family of seven … soon to be eight … at my family blog, Room for at Least One More.

Madison – Camp Rabbit 2

May 16, 2011 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

News from Sara Lang at Madison Adoption Associates – Camp Rabbit 2 is underway…

Aleda, Diana, Lydia, and our volunteer doctor, Bonnie, are on their way to the Philadelphia Airport to begin the Journey of Hope that will be Camp Rabbit 2! Madison Adoption Associates will be meeting a wonderful group of children in Baoan, Guangdong Province, China. Our China Coordinator, Ming, will be meeting them in Baoan.


Please remember that we do not begin matching these children until MAA returns home. We will consider MAA client-families first for these children, and then we will look at families who have submitted a Family Information Sheet. If the children are not matched through these steps, we will post them to our MAAWC Yahoo Group, RainbowKids and other sites.

Please keep our staff in your prayers over the next week as they try to learn as much as possible about these precious children who need families.

Kerry & I will be working to keep the office going! If you have questions during this time, the best way to reach us is via email!

Thank you,
Sara Lang
Madison Adoption Associates

The Care and Keeping of the Broken Heart

January 25, 2011 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Cross posted from my blog. There are photos of the hair transformation and products used, there. I tried to post them here, but had issues.

I planned a different blog today. I planned to write about the care and keeping of Cheeky’s hair. We’ve had issues, you see. Food in the hair issues. Marker in the hair issues. Paint in the hair issues. With the big day coming up (have I mentioned that Cheeky is a firefly in this ballet?), I realized we needed to do something about the purple and pink streaks in her platinum hair.

Since she was home from church with a fever Sunday, I took the opportunity to treat her rainbow head and today I was going to blog about changing rainbow to white.

And I was going to talk about products I don’t like.

And, products that I love.

But, I’m not going to talk about hair. I’m going to talk about heart, because this morning, Cheeky woke up and told me she’d had a dream.

Now, usually I ignore her dreams. They are kind of like her shared memories…a means by which she connects herself to this home and this life. So, if she hears Sassy say, “I had this weird dream,” she immediately says, “Guess what, Mommy? I had a weird dream.”


If she hears a sibling say, “Hey, Mom, remember how you screamed when that mouse ran over your foot when we first moved here? That was hilarious!” Cheeky, who was not around when the mouse ran over my foot, will say, “Hey, Mommy, do you remember when we were on the plane?” To which I will reply, “Yes.” And she will stare at me, and I will say, “What about it?” and she’ll respond, “Nothing. I just wondered if you remembered.”

All that to say, I tend to go into mindless Mommy mode when Cheeky mentions her dreams. They are usually long and rambling and, often, obviously NOT really dreams.

Today, though, I was shaken from my mindless mode (and nearly choked on my banana) when Little Miss announced that she’d had a dream.

“Yeah?” I say, sliding into the old habit of asking and half listening.

“I dreamed that you were taking me to another house to live.” (This, friends, is the point where I am shaken and nearly choke on the banana).

“Really?” I say, not wanting to put words in her mouth or thoughts in her head.

“Yes. You had me pack all my clothes into a big bag and you took me to the other house and said I was going to live there.” She eyes me over her toast and eggs, and I eye her, and a thousand responses are flitting through my head, and I’m panicking a little because I know exactly how things went down the day she met us. China Mom had her put all her things into a bag and told her she was going to live in her new home.

So, the dream is a memory of the past, right?

And, a fear for the future.

And, this is my daughter with those memories and those fears.

A real dream?

A faked dream being used to express her deepest fear?

I can’t know, so I have to go with my gut. Meet the need right then. Don’t make too much of it. Don’t make too little of it. Find that balance…that elusive balance between treating her like she has always been mine and treating her like she has a separate past with separate memories and much, much different needs than her siblings.

“Well,” I say, “That will never happen. If I found all your stuff in a bag, I would take it out and put it back in your dresser and your closet in your room in our house. Because that is where it belongs. It is where you belong.”

And, she looks at me and she nods, “I know.”

And, I say, “Guess what else? If someone told me I had to pack your stuff in a big bag and take you to another house, I would say ‘no!’. You are my daughter, and we are staying together.”

And, she smiles and says, “I know.”

And, I finish the conversation off by brandishing the giant frying pan. It was my weapon of choice when my other kids were little and had worries and fears. “Don’t worry,” I’d say. “If the monster or bad guy or giant pumpkin headed guy tries to come in the house, I will pull out the frying pan of doom, and I will slay him.”

So, this morning, I pull out the frying pan of doom. It is heavy, but I still manage to brandish it in the air.

“See this?” I say to Cheeky. “This is the frying pan of doom. If anyone ever tried to take you away from me, I would use this and I would slay him.”

But, she doesn’t laugh like my other kids used to. She just looks at me for a minute, with that solemn, old-soul look she gets sometimes. In it I see her past, I see her pain, I see the loss she has learned to live with.

I walk over, and I crouch down so she can see my face clearly. “I am not kidding, Cheeky. Whatever it takes, no matter what, you will always be my daughter.”

And, she puts her cold little hand on my cheek, and she says, “I know, Mommy.”

And, she goes back to her eggs and her giggles and her eight-year-old antics, and I am left with a heavy feeling in my chest.

Nineteen months ago, I knew nothing about the care and keeping of a platinum blonde’s hair. I knew even less about the care and keeping of an older adopted child’s heart. It is so easy, you see, when you begin at the beginning. When you meet every need from the very first moment, the very first breath. It is different when you begin at age seven or eight or nine or ten.

It is different.

Maybe that is not what you thought I would say, or what you wanted to hear, but it is the truth.

What I am discovering on this long and winding journey is that different does not mean bad or less or not as meaningful, it simply means not the same. Building this thing called love with a child who is older is not the same as building it with my other children. It requires more from me. More patience. More understanding. More sacrifice of self. It would be so easy, you see, to assume that everything Cheeky once was, everywhere she once lived, all those past experiences would fade in time and would cease to matter. They will not. They cannot. Sure, the memories will slip into the farthest recesses of her mind, their colors fading, their brightness dimming. Sure, in time, what I have given, the time we have shared, will loom larger than what was given before, time spent before.

But, the past will always be there. Just a breath, a memory, a thought away.

When a child learns that she is expendable, that all it takes is a word from some mysterious entity to send her off to another home and another life….that knowledge settles deep. It takes time to eradicate it. A lot more time than nineteen months. A lot more time than three or four years. It takes every minute of every day of every year until the child is able to accept a new truth and a new reality and a new belief system.

None of us can know how long that will be for our older children. So, we must be prepared for the long-haul. We must learn the careful care and keeping of the heart.

The broken heart.

That is what happens when a child is pulled from what she knows and loves and is thrown into what is new and strange and, even, alarming. The heart breaks. The soul cries. Even when the eyes are dry.

Yesterday, Cheeky and I were walking along the easy road of love. Today, I am spending just a little more time building the path we’re treading. A little more time singing and playing and listening. When it comes to broken hearts, there is no set timeframe for healing. There is only following Cheeky’s lead as I carefully knit together the ripped and tattered shreds of her heart with pieces of my own.

That is the thing about the care and keeping of my daughter’s h

eart. It requires more than my love. It requires my brokeness. In that place where I cry for what she has lost, I find the strength to endure her endless need to know that she belongs. In that place where my soul weeps for what she has overcome, I find the courage to face her past with her rather than asking her to face it alone. In that place…in that heart…in that moment where being her mother matters more than a million tiny irritations, I find my own brokeness and my own healing.

Threads of two tattered hearts knit together to create something stronger than the past and its heartaches and memories.

That is what is required when it comes to the care and keeping of the broken heart.

And, I will give it over and over and over again for my daughter.

What a Difference…

December 15, 2010 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

There is nothing like looking at “before” and “after” pictures to see the difference a family makes.

One year ago today, I wrote my post for NHBO from China.  I had just met {the day before} our 10th treasure  – Jubilee Promise!  Yesterday as I was looking at pictures from that day one year ago, I was moved with such emotion. 

When we had been sent pictures of her waiting in China her hair was so thin.  It appeared almost like she was balding.  Since coming home, her hair has grown so much thicker.  While it might have to do with nutrients she is now getting, I just can’t help but wonder if at the bottom of her thin hair was the stress of not “belonging”?    
In the early days home she would nervously clean up anything that she deemed messy.  I watched her wondering if she was trying to be “needed” so she didn’t have to go back?   Maybe not, but more than once it has crossed my mind.

Her language and understanding of basic things are still both so limited, we may never know anything about her first eight years in China – which breaks my heart.  What were the first 8 years like?  Watching her these last 12 months, no doubt they were not easy.  

Having family even means having big kids who are friends of older siblings who love you too and will play with you! {Even when you are accidentally poking them in the eyes!}

The Family all together celebrating Christmas and Thanksgiving
{before our oldest son Tyler depl*yed with the Special F*rces}

{and Lord willing, there will be more!}
Since coming home, somewhere along the way, Jubilee’s joy became clearly seen – her smile is authentically mixed with contentment and peace.  She knows she belongs.  She knows that if she is hurt, we will quickly respond.   If she is scared she knows we will scoop her up and protect her.    She knows that if she is hungry, her tummy will be filled in no time.   {No need to hide food, there is plenty in the cupboards, refrigerator, pantry, and even on the counter!}  She knows that accomplishments will be cheered, trials will be shared, troubles will be divided, and unconditional love will always be multiplied!
Forever changed by a forever family.  Oh!  If only every orphan knew that joy!

Linny @ A Place Called Simplicity

Slipped through the cracks

July 29, 2010 by nohandsbutours 4 Comments

…but always in the hands of the Father. I’m talking about our son, Kooper. Nine months ago we met him for the first time. In April when we received his referral, we wondered why this 13 year old boy had to wait so long for a family to call his own. Little did we know, the more answers we sought, the more questions would arise.

As in many cases, his referral information was outdated, incomplete and ultimately, inaccurate. To this day we don’t know where our son spent the first six years of his life. According to the information, he was at the orphanage, which happens to be a Half the Sky facility, but HTS has no record of his enrollment in their preschool.

As his new language improves, he is able to share more of his past. The biggest obstacle now is the cultural stigma of doing so. He’s obviously never been taught or allowed to express his feelings, therefore causing him to be out of touch or unable to identify his emotions.

He’s also under the impression if he doesn’t talk about it, it will go away or he can pretend the abuse he endured in the estimated nine years with his foster family never occurred. Yes, I said abuse. Our hearts are broken for our son. At this time we don’t know the depths of the abuse, but we know it has calloused his heart. Gradually, he is letting down the barriers. It took six months for him to admit he was abused. We don’t know how long it will take for him to share the rest. We’ve begun counseling, and he is surprisingly open with his therapist.

We’ve explained that his heart is like an open wound (like when he smashed his finger), and it can heal. We’ve learned to read the signals and recognize when the memories haunt him and disrupt his daily life. It’s so hard to be 14…to never know permanency…to experience abuse…to change countries and cultures as a teen…to trust a super-size family who looks, talks and acts different from anyone you’ve ever known…

I’m so proud of how Kooper is adapting to all the changes. There are more to come once school starts, but he is slowly gaining the confidence to accept challenges and trust that we will always be here, no matter what.

The main struggles now are his inability to fall asleep at night, his fear of failure and his desire to be alone. It seems he is consumed by thoughts that keep him awake and cause him worry. Now that we recognize the signs in the morning, we are able to talk to him about his worries and ease his mind.

He’s never been challenged before. In fact, it seems no one had the time to help him learn. Apparently, if he said he couldn’t do something, he was brushed aside and given an easier task or assignment. The truth is, he is a very bright kid whose memory is amazing when exercised! He just lacks the confidence to believe he can succeed.

His ‘safe place’ is to be alone. He doesn’t have to think, talk, feel or try or please anyone. We are learning that he needs some alone time, and he is learning when to try harder to interact with the family. He lacks the ability to solve even the simplest problems. Through a series of questions and demonstrations, we are able to instill confidence and skills to do so.

Though it seems this child has simply slipped through every societal crack, and his past is nearly nonexistent as far as documentation, he has always been in the loving care of the Father, who is ever so patiently drawing him closer!

Today’s guest post is contributed by Connie, mom to eight children… two recently adopted from China through the SN program: Kooper 14, and Kinley 2. Connie has shared their adoption story on our Family Stories page, and blogs about life as a mom of many at One More Ladybug.

I'll Say It

June 12, 2010 by nohandsbutours 17 Comments

This post is one that has been brewing, stewing, soaking … whatever you want to call it … in my head for a LONG time.

I just read the latest update on our agency’s blog. Here is an excerpt:

The current wait time from LID to referral is 50-51 months with a trend of increasing approximately a full month each month. Families should read the China Program Newsletter emailed on 3/19/2010 to understand the variety of factors contributing to the wait time and the reasons why it is impossible to predict the referral wait time for each family. Families should continue to anticipate a long wait for a referral.

50 to 51 months. In reality, that is 4 years and 3 months.

4 years and 3 months.

Let that one soak in.

And then this excerpt:

The Waiting Children program is also an excellent option for families who are interested in a boy, an older child, or a child with various types of medical or repaired conditions.

And there are over 1,000 children WAITING.

Does anyone else besides me wonder why there are THOUSANDS of people waiting YEARS for a child they want so badly when there are children WAITING? There are more than 1,000 children waiting on a list who are paper-ready and there are an estimated 30,000 families waiting. What are these families waiting for? Or rather I should say whom?

I know many will say it isn’t really that simple. But isn’t it?

I can tell you that the VAST majority are waiting for an infant girl, who is deemed healthy, and is under two years old. Is that in and of itself wrong. Of course not.

And yet, is it possible that at least a small percentage of those waiting, particularly those who say they were called to adopt by God … isn’t it possible that some of those 30,000 families might actually already have a child waiting … if they would just allow God more room to work?

Is it possible that a couple with no children could be equally blessed to have a SON as much as a daughter?

Yes, I just said that.

The TRUTH sometimes hurts. And the truth is that little boys under two who are listed with the need of cleft lip and palate, just as an example, are waiting on the list sometimes for MONTHS. A little girl, under two with cleft lip and palate … they are FOUGHT OVER by families. And I do mean fought over. Visit forums and boards when a new shared list is released by China once a month if you doubt that. You’ll see words like “disappointing”, “lacking”, “small” and others I won’t even type. What people are really trying to convey is there is a lack of young girls available with minor needs.

It really reminds me of supply and demand, and quite frankly it turns my stomach.

Before anyone asks, I will tell you straight up that back in September 2007, the Prez and I filled out a checklist. We marked 12 special needs, two of which were repaired heart disease and unrepaired cleft lip and palate. We later changed heart disease to unrepaired as well.

And we marked another box: GIRL.

But we didn’t know … about the boys. And we wanted a girl. And we didn’t know about the boys.

Once you know …

I will share that our little girl was NOT fought over. I know that. She waited for weeks on the shared list before we received THE CALL about her. If we ever adopt another little girl or a big girl from China, she WILL BE WAITING. We will never join the “feeding frenzy” (not my words but one you’ll see every month if you visit the forums).

No thanks.

But back to the waiting children and our agency … all of the families undergo a stringent process …one aspect of which includes a statement of faith in Christ and a letter recommendation from one’s senior pastor. And I am left to wonder: is God REALLY calling such a disproportionate number of families to ONLY be open to a little girl under the age of two?

Or are His people just not listening? Or willing? Or insert any number of words in that blank.

Sometimes the truth (at least as I see it) really, really, really hurts.

If this posts makes you angry and you are a believer and you are waiting YEARS for the *perfect* child for family, PRAY and ask God to reveal to you HIS WILL. Does it mean that you heard wrong years ago when you marked “girl under two” on your application if you now open your home and heart to a little boy?

I don’t think so.

Maybe God needed that time to shape you in some particular way. Maybe YOUR child was not ready to be adopted yet. I don’t have those kinds of answers, but I’ll never believe that there are so many BOYS waiting and so many families waiting for years and that this is God’s will.

I just can’t believe that.

I could be wrong though. I have been before.

This Thursday, The Prez and I will depart early in the morning for the first of three flights that will take us all the way to China to bring home our TWO SONS. They are 10 years old and 5 years old. They both waited a LONG time on agency lists. As far as I’m concerned, they were waiting for us and us them. And yet I know there are countless other boys just waiting on the shared listing. Your agency could give you the files of countless little and big boys who are just waiting.

Our oldest waiting son has heart disease; it was unrepaired when we sent our letter of intent to China and we found out he had heart surgery in December. Our younger waiting son has heart disease and cleft lip and palate. He has had surgery on his heart and cleft lip.

Our boys fit the description of “harder to place.” I’m not sure how I feel about that, but it is the truth. And sometimes, the truth really, really, really hurts.

Maybe your son is just waiting … for you. And you … for him.

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