When it all hits the fan in China…

July 11, 2015 by nohandsbutours Amy, China trip, July/August 2015 Feature - Going to China! 3 Comments

lock

I’m a planner. I plan ahead. I troubleshoot before there is trouble to even shoot. Clearly, setting out on the journey of adoption is like shock therapy, am I right? If this is true, you would think I’d be cured by now. Before we went to China to bring home our daughter Grace, I had …Read More

Lucky

June 11, 2015 by nohandsbutours Amy 6 Comments

love

Things kind and well meaning people say to, about, or in front of our adopted daughter: “What a lucky little girl to be in your family.” “She is very lucky that you adopted her.” “Aren’t you so lucky to live here?” “She is really lucky to have you.” “You are so lucky, Grace. Do you …Read More

Mothers Day

May 11, 2015 by nohandsbutours Amy, birth family 2 Comments

Eye dimples

I know it’s really spelled “Mother’s Day”. Everyone knows that. The apostrophe means it’s a day for a Mother. It’s her day. It’s the day to reflect on what a Mother means to their child. It’s a day to remember a Mother or a Grandmother who is no longer with us and how her life …Read More

Getting Closer

April 11, 2015 by nohandsbutours Amy, Attachment, co-sleeping, cocooning, Trust Based Parenting 3 Comments

shadows

Our daughter was nineteen months and four days old when she was handed to us in an alley outside the Civil Affairs office in north west China. We read and prepared as much as we could to attach to each other in a healthy way. We followed all of the rules as best we could. …Read More

Golden Time

March 11, 2015 by nohandsbutours Amy, referral 1 Comments

goldentime

I was texting with a friend yesterday who is a few months away from one year anniversary of her LID (log in date). She still has no referral. Their story is very different than ours because we sent the dossier on a Monday and 10 days later had our referral call. We weren’t logged in. Our entire …Read More

My Warrior

February 11, 2015 by nohandsbutours Amy, heart defect, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheoesophagel fistula 0 Comments

amy3

“She is a fighter. It’s what kept her alive. We love it when our heart babies are fighters. Her body has adapted wonderfully for as long as she has lived without this surgery.” ~ Pediatric Cardiologist I knew Grace was a warrior before we even laid eyes on each other in person. I knew enough …Read More

All Things New

January 11, 2015 by nohandsbutours Amy, toddler adoption 1 Comments

GraceandDad

It seems as though it’s becoming popular to claim a “word” for the new year rather than a resolution. I get it. There have been some years where I was certain that a word cycled intentionally through my soul from Jesus Himself. I would encounter it in music and feel that stirring in my soul. …Read More

A Beautiful Mess

December 7, 2014 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Amy, Attachment 16 Comments

grace bw

“Imagine the exhaustion of Christmas, Thanksgiving, a wedding, a funeral, and childbirth in one day, and that would almost be Gotcha Day.” This is how I recently described Gotcha Day on a friend’s facebook feed, mostly for the benefit of their family and friends to get a perspective beyond the dramatic and romanticized “Gotcha Day” …Read More

Surprise

November 24, 2014 by nohandsbutours Amy, Featured, kyphosis, scoliosis, tethered cord, Tetralogy of Fallot 7 Comments

I knew to be prepared for undiagnosed needs when we set out to adopt. We prepared for the reality that a heart condition would be worse than we originally anticipated it would be. While we went through the list of needs that we would consider or not consider we had to imagine that what we would believe would …Read More

Daddy Issues

November 7, 2014 by nohandsbutours Amy, Attachment 3 Comments

grace1

When we first met our little one in Urumqi, a northwestern city in the XinJiang province, she quickly attached to our oldest child, our then 14 year old daughter. Next in line was me, then our then 12 year old son, and coming in dead last was my husband. We fiercely loved this child for …Read More

everyone stared

October 7, 2014 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Amy 14 Comments

Grace3-5291

There was a time when I had two children ages 3 and under. They were born healthy with no delays of any kind. They were held from the moment they were born, I nursed them both, I was a stay at home mom until they were in school, and for the most part they were …Read More

This too shall pass

August 7, 2014 by Amy Amy 11 Comments

We have been so blessed with a latent case of “the terrible twos”. We have survived post adoption adjustments, attachment business, health-related-drama, and we have settled uncomfortably into some terrible-two kind of living. Lord have mercy. And when I say terrible – I mean terrible, horrible, nogood, very bad. I’m talking screaming, throw down tantrums, …Read More

More than I could bear

June 7, 2014 by Amy Amy, esophageal stenosis, scoliosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula, VACTERL 5 Comments

Sometimes I forget that we have a child who is a “heart baby”, a lifelong cardiac patient, a survivor. I see her scars everyday. Scars from a surgery I wasn’t present for, scars from one I was; and, I have come to love what they represent. They are a daily reminder of healing, a unique …Read More

become a Mentoring Mom

June 2, 2014 by Amy Amy, Mentoring Moms, Rebecca, Stefanie 7 Comments

MentoringMom

I am so. excited. This project has been in the *dream* stage for a long time. But with a website overhaul pending, and realizing our need for more organizational and informational supports to make NHBO all it can be, the time to turn this dream into reality is now. Joining me on this adventure are …Read More

Surviving Gotcha Day

May 7, 2014 by Amy Amy, esophageal stenosis, scoliosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula, VACTERL 4 Comments

A year ago today we had spent only one day with our daughter. After arriving in China, we spent 3 days in Beijing, visited the place she called Home for almost a year and met the women she called “mama”. Then we traveled to XinJiang, her province, tried to sleep on Gotcha Day Eve, and …Read More

“but it said repaired”

April 7, 2014 by Amy Amy, esophageal stenosis, scoliosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula, VACTERL 0 Comments

I vividly remember reading our referral paperwork. I remember first reading the descriptions of her developmental milestones and evaluated her development through mom and teacher goggles… “she follows objects… she is tracking… she is grasping things… she is babbling and forming simple sounds… she turns her head when there is a noise… she can hear …Read More

TEF, TOF, and VACTERL, oh my

March 7, 2014 by nohandsbutours Amy, esophageal stenosis, scoliosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula, VACTERL 4 Comments

Don’t you love those acronyms? I have come to really appreciate the time they save, the space they save, and that I can safely dodge oodles of mispronunciation. For example, until 2012 those letter sequences meant nothing to me. If someone would have told me years ago how much I would come to know about …Read More

the greatest special need of all

February 7, 2014 by nohandsbutours Amy, Attachment, scoliosis, Tetralogy of Fallot 8 Comments

Welcome to Amy, mom to Grace adopted from China 8 months ago, and our newest contributor at No Hands But Ours. Amy blogs at Stops Along the Journey. Special needs. We hear those words so often in so many places; schools, adoption agencies, the work place, fast food restaurants, and facebook. Adoptive parents who choose …Read More

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