The Art of Celebration (And a Chinese Christmas Ornament Giveaway!)

December 1, 2014 by encompass Carrie, Chinese culture, giveaways 24 Comments

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*You won’t want to miss the giveaway details at the end of this post* We just celebrated our daughter’s first birthday in our family… and now we are headed into our first Christmas, first Chinese New Year, and first all-around hectic holiday season with our wide-eyed and curious 2 year old. It’s been 8 months …Read More

It turns out that chicken fried rice does not count as culture

November 19, 2014 by Mike adoption realities, Chinese culture, large families, Mike, transracial adoption 9 Comments

I am the textbook definition of a white guy. Beyond simply a scarcity of melanin, I have almost every other stereotypical characteristic that one might associate with my race – a general lack of rhythm, limited vertical leap, a “John Cougar Mellencamp” playlist on my iPod, an unhealthy relationship with ketchup, and a generalized ignorance …Read More

The adoption process isn't really the hard part

June 25, 2014 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Chinese culture, Kelly 18 Comments

Picture it—a roomful of adoptive and preadoptive mothers. It’s a little quiet, and you’re in charge of getting some conversation going. Likely, the easiest way to start a buzz is to open up the floor to (1) odd things people have said to you about adoption or (2) the red-tape, long wait, and high costs …Read More

You’re not in Kansas anymore

May 17, 2014 by nohandsbutours adopting SN: the process, adoption realities, birthmark, Chinese culture, hemangioma, Kayla 3 Comments

I’ve told the editors of this blog that I am running out of things to write about regarding the special need that Jubilee (that’s my daughter) has. It simply doesn’t matter to us any more that she has a skin deformity on her torso. It will matter to her one day, no doubt, but we …Read More

Yes, No, Maybe*

March 25, 2014 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Chinese culture, Kelly 7 Comments

Neatly laid out in Times New Roman in alphabetical order are a list of labels, special needs, what China calls diseases. Albinism…Anal atresia…Cerebral palsy…Cleft lip/cleft palate…Club foot…Congenital heart disease…Delayed development…Down syndrome…Hemofacial macrosomia…Hemangioma…Microtia…Syndactyly… Some of them you’ve heard of. Others you struggle to pronounce, and you wonder if they’re even in English. Little “x”s in columns …Read More

Children's Adoption Books

February 25, 2014 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Chinese culture, Kelly 6 Comments

I may hesitate a little when I part with teeny tiny onesies and sneakers that have run one too many miles. But, our children’s books? They aren’t going anywhere. In fact, we converted one of our bedrooms into a “library” to house them all. They are overflowing and really need a good purging. But, I …Read More

An Advocate

January 25, 2014 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Chinese culture, Kelly 0 Comments

It had been a rough few days. I had advocated for a little boy once. A family stepped forward for him, traveled to China for him, and came home without him. Then, there I was, advocating for him again in a post on a Friday afternoon, after which I spent the following several days dealing …Read More

The need for adoption talk never expires

October 25, 2013 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Chinese culture, Kelly 5 Comments

A family for only a few months, I took my toddler daughter with me to visit a friend, an older women, a faithful woman I loved and respected. While Lydia was mesmerized with the dust in the air visible in the sun light, my friend shielded her mouth and whispered: Are you going to tell …Read More

Why you may hear me singing daily

September 25, 2013 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Chinese culture, Kelly 9 Comments

I love shiny. Shiny is pretty. I love shiny…. She’s the finder of pennies. Everywhere she goes, she manages to find a penny. Today’s found treasure led to a song. Your turn to sing a song, Mommy. You make up a song. Not feeling particularly like a Maria this morning, Oh, I don’t know what …Read More

Disclosure Within Reason {Adoption and Back to School}

August 25, 2013 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Chinese culture, Kelly 4 Comments

There are backpacks lined up in my dining room today. When backpacks are hanging on chair backs with zippers bulging with supplies and tissue boxes, even they look excited about a new year. Lydia doesn’t start kindergarten until next year. But, she’s joining me two mornings a week at a women’s Bible study. And, based …Read More

A letter to my four-year-old on her birthday

June 25, 2013 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Chinese culture, Kelly 0 Comments

My sweet, You are such a big girl now. 4 years old. Wow. You remind me all the time of what a big girl you are. And, I know I always agree with you. But, now that you’re 4 years old? You are really big. When I put you to bed last night, I talked …Read More

Another parenting epiphany at the fair

May 25, 2013 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Chinese culture, Kelly 6 Comments

He had to take her to the emergency room. We had been waiting in line at the fair for our tickets. I had told her to stay still too many times. Up and down, jump, up and down, jump. And, every time, the rickety metal steps leading up to the ticket trailer would rattle and …Read More

"What's fair {for the brother or sister of a child with special needs}"

April 25, 2013 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Chinese culture, Kelly 33 Comments

“Tell your mom I need to talk to her before you leave.” Please tell me I’m not the only mom who receives that message from her child and sinks a little. Come on. I figure either (a) someone wants me to do something (which I likely won’t want to do) or (b) my kid did …Read More

Dear Teachers {what I wanted to say and what I actually said}

March 25, 2013 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Chinese culture, Kelly 5 Comments

I was tracking with her. Lydia runs away. She can’t stay still. She’s not listening. I nodded my head, identifying with her sympathetically, “Yeah, I know what you are seeing because we see that at home too.” “Well, it’s not okay here.” (Apparently, time outs are though.) Okay, no longer tracking. It was dismissal, moms …Read More

the counted

February 25, 2013 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Chinese culture, Kelly 3 Comments

Forever changed by the experience of being adopted and adopting, Kelly Raudenbush is a stay-at-home mom to 4 children and a professional juggler, juggling her calling as wife and mother with her secondary callings (editing professionally and serving adoptive families through The Sparrow Fund). You can learn more about their adoption story, how they’ve been …Read More

Moon Festival Links

September 17, 2010 by nohandsbutours Chinese culture, TongguMomma 0 Comments

The Mid-Autumn Festival will occur this coming Wednesday, September 22. Check out these links for some ideas as to how to incorporate this Chinese holiday into your family’s traditions. Autumn Moon Festival is coming! … Malinda also compiled a list of links; I don’t want to repeat too many, so be sure to check out …Read More

Contradictions

July 6, 2010 by nohandsbutours Chinese culture, guest post 2 Comments

Our newest guest contributor is Katherine, who is currently living and teaching in China. She also has the unique opportunity to spend time volunteering at a local orphanage. Katherine blogs over at Life of a Pilgrim and although she is not an adoptive mother, she has a unique perspective and invaluable insights into life in China. I’m …Read More

loving China

June 28, 2010 by nohandsbutours Chinese culture, Stefanie 2 Comments

We have five children from China, ranging in age from 2 to 6. While none of them have come to us with a desire to explore their heritage, we have taken it upon ourselves to at least crack open the door to their roots. In a small way, embracing not only our children, but where …Read More