One Wild and Precious Life: Adopting a Child with Albinism

May 19, 2015 by nohandsbutours albinism, Family Stories, Skin Conditions 5 Comments


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


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

Dear Cheeky, I Love You

March 31, 2011 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption 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 advocacy; older child adoption, albinism 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 …Read More

A Year

June 21, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, Shirlee 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 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 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 14 Comments

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 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 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 11 Comments

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 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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