Biologically Yours

January 28, 2017 Attachment, Rebecca 2 Comments

My sweet one, you and I might not share DNA, but I am forever and always, biologically yours. Biology: the science of life or living matter in all its forms and phenomena, 
especially with reference to origin, growth, reproduction, structure, and behavior.
 Dictionary.com /// If you researched our story, you’d begin with the origin of …Read More

The Skating Rink

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

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

Confessions of a Former China Director Turned Adoptive Mom

January 24, 2017 adopting a boy, Attachment, attachment activities, cognitive delay, complex medical, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, first weeks home, first year home, low muscle tone, Newly Home, should we adopt? 8 Comments

Alternately titled: What I wish I would have known, and what I would like to share with other adoptive families I first started out with adoption in 2004 when I was just 21 years old. It was the summer before my senior year of college when I got a job as an intern at All …Read More

I Am Not a Babysitter, I Am a Dad

January 7, 2017 a father's perspective, Attachment, attachment activities, Bryson, Dads, Perspectives 5 Comments

I have been unusually emotional lately. At the drop of a hat, I am tearing up. This week is our son’s “famiversary.” One year ago we stamped our thumbs in red ink and officially made him part of our family in a humid government office in Nanning, Guangxi. As I write this, today is also …Read More

Feeding Challenges, Attachment and Trust-Based Parenting

January 2, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, feeding challenges, feeding/swallowing therapy, Newly Home, oral aversion, refusing food, Sensory Processing Issues, Trust Based Parenting 1 Comments

My introduction to the world of feeding challenges coincided with me becoming a mother. My firstborn son – a perfect, squishy newborn – refused to eat. He had no physical limitations or reasons for refusing food, he just didn’t see the need nor possess the desire to fulfill his hunger by eating. The first six …Read More

Weaving

December 13, 2016 Attachment, Courtney, first year home, Newly Home 7 Comments

Adoption is not natural. There is great beauty but there is also incredible pain. It is the joining of two completely separate lives. One broken fearful child with another broken set of humans trying to very clumsily create this word “family.” For us it looked like entering a government building on a stifling hot August …Read More

Then and Now: Deklan

December 3, 2016 adopting a boy, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, November 2016 Feature - Then and Now, profound deafness, rejects mom 14 Comments

I find myself consistently caught in the deceptive trap of a compare and contrast representation of the last 345 days. Through the lens of retrospection, milestones can be simple to compartmentalize. I quickly disregard the messy tentacles that stretch from each “attained” behavior and stamp it “victorious”. I am learning that adoption carries an oceanic …Read More

Coming Home During the Holidays

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

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

Then and Now: Mila

November 18, 2016 Attachment, attachment challenges, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, feeding/swallowing therapy, November 2016 Feature - Then and Now, parent-to-child attachment, siblings, Trust Based Parenting 4 Comments

November is Adoption Awareness Month. And our focus is Then and Now… glimpses into the lives of children – children who were once orphaned – who are now beloved family members. Daughters, sons, sisters and brothers who are now blossoming in the love of a forever family… ……….. We’ve all seen those glossy magazine ads …Read More

From School Psychologist to Adoptive Mama: A Series Part Two (Trust Based Relational Intervention)

November 11, 2016 Amy A., Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, discipline, parent-to-child attachment, TBRI DVD Series, Trust Based Parenting 0 Comments

Because the majority of our NHBO readers are parents who have adopted children through the special needs program in China, part one of this series was an introduction to special education. My goal for that post was for parents to feel empowered by knowing their child’s rights. I shared links regarding the special education law …Read More

Adoptive Mama Overthinking

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

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

When Mom Works: A Working Mom Who Paused Her Career

October 31, 2016 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Mandy, October 2016 Feature - Working Moms, Theraplay, Trust Based Parenting, working mom 4 Comments

Navigating work and being a mom is tough under the best of circumstances, but it can feel even more daunting when you toss in the complex issues that accompany parenting your newly adopted child. So this month on No Hands But Ours, some been-there-done-that working mamas are here to help, with advice on everything from …Read More

When Mom Works: Juggling Work and Therapy

October 21, 2016 Attachment, Childcare scenarios, early intervention, Education, IEP, nanny, October 2016 Feature - Working Moms, pre-school, public school, working mom 0 Comments

Navigating work and being a mom is tough under the best of circumstances, but it can feel even more daunting when you toss in the complex issues that accompany parenting your newly adopted child. So this month on No Hands But Ours, some been-there-done-that working mamas are here to help, with advice on everything from …Read More

When Mom Works: Working and Attachment

October 14, 2016 Attachment, attachment activities, Courtney, first year home, October 2016 Feature - Working Moms, working mom 2 Comments

Navigating work and being a mom is tough under the best of circumstances, but it can feel even more daunting when you toss in the complex issues that accompany parenting your newly adopted child. So this month on No Hands But Ours, some been-there-done-that working mamas are here to help, with advice on everything from …Read More

Down Syndrome, Sign Language and Adoption

October 6, 2016 ASL, Attachment, attachment activities, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Family Stories, non-verbal, October 2016 Feature - Developmental, sign language, speech delay 2 Comments

When our oldest daughter, Reagan, was a baby, I had every intention of teaching her sign language. I had researched the benefits, both for parents and children, and was excited to go down that road. But then life happened, sleepless nights and other duties prevailed, and we never pursued it further. 

 Our middle daughter, Reese, …Read More

Making the Grade: High Fives and Fist Bumps Instead of Hugs, Please

September 25, 2016 attachment challenges, Education, indiscriminate affection, Kelly, pre-school, private school, public school, September 2016 Feature - Back to School 0 Comments

I still remember her. She was the best. My 1st grade self loved her big smile and her early 80s old-lady perm. Everyday, she’d stand by the classroom door at the end of the day and hug each and every one of us. I was excited to go to school everyday because of her and her …Read More

Making the Grade: Choosing a Classical Approach

September 23, 2016 attachment activities, attachment challenges, cocooning, Education, homeschool, indiscriminate affection, Nicole, September 2016 Feature - Back to School 0 Comments

Our decision to homeschool began like many other families’ journeys, I’m sure. We wanted to give our children a Biblical worldview, be a bigger part of their lives (no parents ever regret spending too much time with their children!), and have the freedom to choose our studies based on individual interests. We also hoped to …Read More

Sign Language and Adoption: The 10 Signs You Need To Know

August 31, 2016 ASL, Attachment, attachment activities, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, China trip, prepping for China, sign language, travel tips 1 Comments

My name is Becky Lloyd and God called me “to coordinate the adoption of deaf orphans in the world” on March 18, 2008. Signs for Hope, Inc. (SFH) is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that was established to carry out that call and exists to share the hope of Christ by providing care for deaf orphans …Read More

Sign Language and Adoption: Getting Started

August 28, 2016 ASL, Attachment, attachment activities, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, sign language, speech delay 1 Comments

You might think that sign language is only for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We’d like to encourage you to reconsider. Signing is an incredibly valuable tool in any adoptive parent’s tool belt. It makes communicating with your newly adopted child exponentially easier – no matter their age or special need. And …Read More

Sign Language and Adoption: The Gift of Communication

August 23, 2016 attachment activities, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, Developmental System, Down syndrome, prepping for China, sign language, speech delay, waiting to travel 1 Comments

You’ve made the decision to adopt. Your homestudy is underway or maybe even finished. You’ve taken adoption classes and read book after book. You’ve worked hard to prepare your home, your family and your hearts to bring your little one home. But what about communication? Have you prepared to communicate with your child? For most …Read More

When God Honors Our “Yes”: Our Sign Language Journey, Part Two

August 21, 2016 ASL, Attachment, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, BAHA, cl/cp, cochlear implants, hearing loss, profound deafness, Sensory System, sign language 2 Comments

In Part one I described how the adoption of our daughter, Ava, born with cleft lip and palate and deafness, set us on a journey to become skilled in sign language. Our desire to support her ability to communicate with others led us on a roller-coaster of experiences and emotions, which culminated in our decision …Read More

Kings and Queens

August 18, 2016 adopting a boy, adopting out of birth order, Attachment, disruption, failed adoption, Kelley B., older child adoption 4 Comments

“Maybe we are here to love wildly, passionately, and fearlessly,” whispered the heart. “You’re going to get us killed!” yelled the brain. This can be true for just about anything we find ourselves on the brink of but this particular quote, I believe, can be applied specifically to those taking the leap into the world …Read More

Our Journey with Reactive Attachment Disorder

August 15, 2016 Attachment, Attachment Disorder, Jean, RAD, reactive attachment disorder, Trust Based Parenting 1 Comments

I have written this post countless times in my head and on the computer, each time it’s a completely different post. At first I wondered how a post on the same topic could be so different from one day to the next and then I remembered, it’s because RAD kids are different each day… at …Read More

Going Through It: Navigating Scary and Hard Things

August 12, 2016 Amy, Attachment, China trip, sign language, Trust Based Parenting 6 Comments

We met in an alley in XinJiang. For her, the 14 days prior to our meeting consisted of 12 days in a Beijing hospital, 10 of them being in ICU alone. No nanny, no person, no mama. Just alone. IV in the head, arms restrained, and a diaper rash that was really a bedsore when …Read More

When God Honors Our “Yes”: Our Sign Language Journey, Part One

August 10, 2016 adopting as first time parents, ASL, Attachment, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, cl/cp, cochlear implants, Craniofacial, developmental delays, Family Stories, hearing loss, older child adoption, profound deafness, Sensory System, sign language 6 Comments

In May 2009, I first saw her face. She couldn’t possibly be our daughter; she didn’t “fit” any of the criteria we’d committed to on our Medical Needs Checklist and there was no way my husband would agree to adopting her. True, we’d agreed that caring for a child with cleft lip/palate was something we …Read More

Using Video Self-Modeling to Facilitate Connection

August 9, 2016 Amy A., Attachment, attachment activities 2 Comments

Before bringing our son home from China in October 2013, I worked as a school psychologist serving children, families, teachers, and administrators in the school setting. Although the majority of my work was completing special education evaluations, providing direct intervention services was one of my favorite parts about my job. While attending Indiana University for …Read More

Sign Language and Adoption: The Value of their Voice

August 7, 2016 ASL, attachment activities, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, Family Stories, Heart System, sign language, speech delay, tracheo-malacia, VSD 0 Comments

You might think that sign language is only for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We’d like to encourage you to reconsider. Signing is an incredibly valuable tool in any adoptive parent’s tool belt. It makes communicating with your newly adopted child exponentially easier – no matter their age or special need. And …Read More

Sign Language and Adoption: An Interview with New Day

August 2, 2016 ASL, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, New Day Foster Home, NGOs, sign language, Stefanie 1 Comments

You might think that sign language is only for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We’d like to encourage you to reconsider. Signing is an incredibly valuable tool in ANY adoptive parent’s tool belt. It makes communicating with your newly adopted child exponentially easier – no matter their age or special need. And …Read More

Dear Younger Me, Joy Comes with the Morning

July 29, 2016 Attachment, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, Mandy, Trust Based Parenting 2 Comments

Dear Younger Me. There you are, flying across the country to learn from Dr. Karyn Purvis and driving to Alabama to complete adoption training. There you are, reading every adoption book you can get your hands on. There you are, doing what you always do when approaching something new, you learn everything you possibly can. …Read More

Dear Younger Me, True Love is a Choice

July 15, 2016 adopting again, Attachment, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, large families 2 Comments

If you had met me when I was a little girl, and asked me, “What career do you want when you grow up?” I would have instantly told you, “A mother.” Even though infertility played a part of our early story, it wasn’t the beginning nor the ending of our desire for adoption. Adoption has …Read More

Dear Younger Me, Love Wins

July 9, 2016 Amy A., Attachment, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, parent-to-child attachment 0 Comments

Dear younger me. Where do I start? I know your knees are shaking, but I am so proud to see you step forward totally devoted and with an obedient heart to say yes to adoption. Believe me when I say that this will be one of the best decisions you will ever make. The house …Read More

Dear Younger Me, You’re Braver Than You Know

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

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

What exactly is “smart parenting”?

June 27, 2016 Attachment, Kelly, movies, Parenting Special Needs 9 Comments

I figured when I shared here on NHBO about our decision to wait to see Finding Dory on DVD that it would be a well read post. The movie had just come out which meant that there were a whole lot of mamas and dads perusing the web for reviews and the like before a …Read More

Reading with your Toddler: China-themed Board Books

June 7, 2016 attachment activities, Faith, June 2016 Feature - Books, Newly Home, toddler adoption 0 Comments

I love to read, and was so excited to share that love with our boy when we brought him home. He’s two, so we are reading board books and picture books, and there are tons that feature China themes and Chinese people. We also like books that show both the English and Chinese word for …Read More

We Love the Llama

June 5, 2016 attachment activities, June 2016 Feature - Books, older child adoption, Whitney 0 Comments

Our June featured focus is books. Books that teach us about our children’s homeland. Books that help us understand our children’s past. Books that resonate with our kids once home. This month we’ll be featuring all kinds of books. It’s sure to be fun. And if you have some recommendations for our readers, please be …Read More

Sign Language and Adoption: A Reason to Sign

June 2, 2016 ASL, Attachment, attachment activities, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, autism, China trip, Down syndrome, hearing loss, non-verbal, prepping for China, profound deafness, speech delay 6 Comments

When adopting internationally, almost every waiting parent worries, “How will I communicate with my new child?” Whether your new child is a year old or thirteen years old, if your child was not born in an English-speaking country, there will be some type of language barrier. This is even more true if you are adopting …Read More

On This Mother’s Day

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

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

One Day

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

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

Blessings in Disguise – My Journey with Sensory Issues

April 22, 2016 April 2016 Feature - Sensory Processing, Attachment, Family Stories, Sensory Processing Issues 5 Comments

If you ask most of my friends what their first memories are, they might say something like…“first baby dolls” or “bike rides.” Mine all have one thing in common – a feeling of fear and being out of control. One of my very first memories was standing in the nursery of a small church while …Read More

In Loving Memory of Dr. Karyn Purvis

April 14, 2016 Attachment, Carrie, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting 3 Comments

Last night as Cora went to bed, she was fairly short-tempered with Alea and hurt her feelings. Alea got over it rather quickly, but I harshly told Cora I was disappointed and walked out of the room, tired after a long day. A few minutes later, I came back to bring Alea a drink of …Read More

Painting White Walls White

April 13, 2016 Attachment, older child adoption, Trust Based Parenting 0 Comments

When I was 14 years old my family moved to a new state. This was a good move for me personally, as I had struggled both academically and socially where we were and it was good for our whole family. The town we were leaving was struggling, and as a result about half the town …Read More

Siblings and Adoption: 30 Ways to Ease the Transistion

March 30, 2016 adopting again, attachment activities, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, older child adoption, siblings 0 Comments

We have seven kids, four bio and three adopted. Our three children whom we have adopted are older kiddos with special needs. We’ve been home for only three months with our newest child….. so we are pretty much hands on at the moment. I have compiled a list of different things we did to help …Read More

Creating a Book to Help Children through Transitions

March 30, 2016 adopting again, Attachment, attachment activities, China trip, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, pre-adoption, prepping for China, waiting to travel 3 Comments

Children love books. The exciting pictures! The imaginative stories! The interactive tabs and hidden illustrations! The textures of a touch and feel! Typically, books allow a child to peek into an alternate reality filled with adventure but books can also be used as a tool to help guide a child through their own adventure. My …Read More

Preparing Big Sister for Our Second Adoption and the Trip to China

March 29, 2016 adopting again, attachment activities, China trip, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, Gotcha Day, Mandy, prepping for China, toddler adoption 4 Comments

Two years ago, my daughter Lydia walked into our hotel room in Nanchang, China and became our daughter. She was our first child. In that moment, three lives changed forever. When we made the decision to write a Letter of Intent to adopt our son 22 months later, I knew we would need to be …Read More

Treasure in Darkness

March 27, 2016 Attachment, cocooning, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Family Stories 2 Comments

“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” – Isaiah 45:3 It has been said that most, and I would say all, adoption journeys begin out of loss. Perhaps that is …Read More

Rupture and Repair

March 27, 2016 Attachment, parent-to-child attachment, Whitney 0 Comments

Rupture and repair is how, in the adoption world, we describe relationships when they experience a breaking and need to be mended. In some cases, it’s the child who is trying to understand the boundaries that are set, and whether or not we as the parents will still use the words, “I love you” if those …Read More

A Tale of Two Stubborn Wills

March 18, 2016 Attachment, Down syndrome, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Special Circumstances, Trust Based Parenting 1 Comments

This is a tale of two stubborn wills – one refusing to accept new and unfamiliar love, and the other refusing to stop giving it. In May of 2013 my lifelong dream of adopting a child with Down syndrome finally came true. I was 110% sure that this was the right thing to do. My …Read More

This is Real Life

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty from Ashes

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

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

© 2017 No Hands But Ours

The content found on the No Hands But Ours website is not approved, endorsed, curated or edited by medical professionals. Consult a doctor with expertise in the special needs of interest to you.