Adopting a Child with “Low Vision”

December 31, 2015 by nohandsbutours albinism, December 2015 Feature - Sensory, Family Stories, nystagmus, Sensory System, Skin Conditions, vision issues 4 Comments

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For 2015 the NHBO team set a goal to focus on all eleven special needs systems, featuring a different system each month. We wanted to not only spotlight the needs within that system, but simultaneously grow the content here on No Hands But Ours. And with the help of the amazing adoption community, we succeeded. …Read More

Mercy: Adopting a Child with Albinism

September 30, 2015 by nohandsbutours albinism, developmental delays, Family Stories, September 2015 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions 10 Comments

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In 2011, my husband and I attended a banquet to benefit Ukrainian orphans. Our hearts were stirred for orphans that night. After praying for God’s direction, we chose All God’s Children International as our agency and began the process towards a special needs adoption from China. One afternoon I scrolled through the Rainbow Kids website, …Read More

One Wild and Precious Life: Adopting a Child with Albinism

May 19, 2015 by nohandsbutours albinism, Family Stories, Skin Conditions 7 Comments

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Our adoption story began about four years prior to our actual adoption. I was sitting at work one regular day and just had a random thought to research international adoption. This was not something we had previously discussed and wasn’t something at all on our radar screen. We had – at that time – two …Read More

Adopting a Child with Albinism

November 19, 2014 by nohandsbutours albinism, Family Stories, Skin Conditions 0 Comments

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Our daughter Phoebe was almost nine years old when we adopted her. She is our sixth adoptive child from China, our fifth adoption of an older child, and our first with albinism and with severe visual impairment. The only previous experience my husband and I had with visual impairments is one of our teenage daughters …Read More

In the Palm of My Hand

May 23, 2012 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 8 Comments

Last month, I spent ten days with my three sisters and our mother. Just the five of us. No kids. Cheeky was quite worried about who would cook dinner, do the laundry, clean her new ear piercing, drive her to dance while I was gone. In the weeks before I left, she asked me dozens …Read More

Earrings (or Why I’m Not Ready for the Big 1-0)

March 24, 2012 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 3 Comments

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I remember when my four older kids were babies. People would ask, “How old is s/he?”, and I would respond with the number of days or weeks or months. Eventually, my babies became toddlers, and my answer changed from the number of weeks or months to the number of years. The same happened when Cheeky …Read More

Dear Cheeky, I Love You

March 31, 2011 by nohandsbutours albinism, birth family, older child adoption, Shirlee 0 Comments

Nine birthdays minus seven birthdays equals two birthdays. And Cheeky counts them. Last year. This year. Just as she counted her gifts this morning and noted that she had two more than she did on her eighth birthday. Does that mean we love her more now than we did then? Probably didn’t even cross her …Read More

The Care and Keeping of the Broken Heart

January 25, 2011 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 0 Comments

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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 a ballet?), I …Read More

All The Things She Doesn’t Say

August 20, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 0 Comments

Sometimes the things our children don’t say are the most important. We went on a walk yesterday. Cheeky is much smaller than my other kids. Shorter legs, weaker body, sweet, sunny personality that gives her no need to move fast, those things make walking a little challenging for my youngest. She tries, though. Oh, how she …Read More

The Proof is in the Pudding

August 1, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 7 Comments

I posted a similar version of this to my adoption blog. I think it is important for those of us who have had easy transitions and whose children have adapted brilliantly to remember that no matter how much it seems that they understand, they still wonder if what we offer is forever. I am back …Read More

She Flies!

June 25, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 17 Comments

I know. My second post here in week. But it has occurred to me that we are, perhaps, too quick to make judgements about a child’s future based on what we see when they are two or three (or younger). Yes, dear friends, it was finally upon us. The BIG DAY. The DANCE. It has …Read More

A Year

June 21, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 4 Comments

Cross Posted to my personal blog On Monday, June 22, 2009, Cheeky made the journey of a lifetime. She left the apartment she’d lived in for four years, got in a taxi and traveled to meet her new parents. Meanwhile, I was traveling, too. Riding in a car, talking to our guide and my husband, …Read More

This I Can Give Her

April 6, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, foster care, older child adoption, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 7 Comments

Since my daughter’s birthday, I have been thinking long and hard about what she lost to be part of our family. After blogging about it, I received a number of emails asking if I feel guilty for taking my daughter from a loving foster home. The answer to that is complicated. In a perfect world, …Read More

Not So Different

February 21, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Skin Conditions 15 Comments

At church Wednesday night, there was an argument between several girls and my older daughter. I was home sick with a migraine, and I heard about the problem Saturday morning while driving to a meeting with the pastor’s wife. Hearing about Sassy squabbling with an entire group of girls over rules to a game they’d …Read More

The Past, The Present, The Future

January 29, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Skin Conditions 14 Comments

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Any good fiction writer knows that a character without a past is a cardboard cut out. No depth. No spirit. No life. An author can write all the angst and emotion she wants, but if her character comes from nowhere, her character will go nowhere. The same is true of life. Without knowledge of where …Read More

No, She Doesn't Have Red Eyes

January 12, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 6 Comments

That’s what I said to my mother-in-law last week. Six months since Cheeky joined our family, and this stereotype of pasty-white, red-eyed people with albinism is just coming out and just being addressed. I’ve been thinking about that all weekend. My mother-in-law lives on the other side of the country. She’s never met Cheeky face …Read More

The Christmas That Almost Wasn't

December 28, 2009 by nohandsbutours albinism, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 13 Comments

Last year, there were four kids bouncing around the house Christmas morning. This year there were five. But there almost weren’t. I was thinking about that this morning. Thinking about how I didn’t even know Cheeky existed on December 25, 2008. That Christmas morning, I had a vague image in my mind of the daughter …Read More

She’s Very Albino, Isn’t She?

November 8, 2009 by nohandsbutours albinism, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 11 Comments

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Why, yes. Yes, she is. Or should I have said, “What would make you say that?” Or maybe, “And you’re very rude, aren’t you?” Only the person who asked the question isn’t rude. She’s Sassy’s jazz teacher, and she’s a very nice person. So, imagine my surprise when I walked into the dance studio last …Read More

Thomas and Eli

November 23, 2008 by nohandsbutours albinism, CCAI, Family Stories, Skin Conditions 0 Comments

Q and A with Chris, mom to two children from China with Albinism What made you decide to pursue a child through the SN program? When we started looking at the adoption process, we thought filling out the Medical Conditions Checklist was something we were supposed to do as part of the application. When we …Read More

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