Making the Grade: Why We Homeschool

September 16, 2016 by nohandsbutours developmental delays, Education, homeschool, older child adoption, September 2016 Feature - Back to School 1 Comments

curry1

It’s September which means school is back in session. And this month at No Hands But Ours, it’s all about Education. From IEPs to OT, from homeschooling to Early Intervention, we’re covering the gamut of educational topics and how they relate to the unique needs of the children who have joined our families through adoption. …Read More

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

August 10, 2016 by nohandsbutours 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

ava

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

Pondering the “What-Ifs”

July 21, 2016 by nohandsbutours coloboma, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, micropthalmia, prosthetic eye, Sensory System, siblings, vision loss 10 Comments

jodi0

I remember reading all the recommended adoption books, watching all the training videos, stalking all the mom blogs, and talking to other adoptive moms during the time leading up to our own adoption. I got myself familiar with so many new terms and tried to educate myself on any possibility of trouble our future daughter …Read More

A Seed of Hope

April 6, 2016 by nohandsbutours ADD, April 2016 Feature - CNS, brain damage syndrome, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, cleft palate, Craniofacial, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, hemiplegia 1 Comments

sonya

Our adoption journey started in the summer of 2003. We attended an adoption fair. A family speaking that afternoon had brought their daughter with them to the meeting. The little girl, about seven years old, snuggled up to my husband with a large photo album and began to tell him her story. A story, and …Read More

Sorrow Turned to Joy

March 4, 2016 by nohandsbutours brain damage syndrome, cognitive delay, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, microcephaly, small head circumference 0 Comments

sun

I hesitate to write about my daughter’s adoption story for fear I might scare others away. However, her story is one of sorrow that has turned into joy. I want to share her joy. My daughter has a brain injury and microcephaly. She also loves to eat jelly beans, tease her siblings, and prefers to …Read More

Grace In Progress

February 16, 2016 by nohandsbutours ADHD, cl/cp, cognitive delay, developmental delays, Family Stories, microcephaly, speech delay 1 Comments

gracie

Our adoption journey has been so complicated medically that it is hard to know where to start and what to include, but here is a snippet. I hope it will help you as you make a decision for adoption. My husband Chris and I had been married 16 years and had three beautiful biological boys …Read More

Microcephaly: A Blessing In Disguise

January 24, 2016 by nohandsbutours cognitive delay, developmental delays, Family Stories, Jean, microcephaly, older child adoption 1 Comments

microcephaly1

I first learned about microcephaly while working in the newborn nursery. A sweet little boy lay in a basinet all bundled up in a white hospital blanket. As I got closer to him I noticed his head was quite small compared to the other newborns. I later found out that this dear child was diagnosed …Read More

The Truth of Parenting a Child with Unknowns

October 16, 2015 by nohandsbutours cognitive delay, developmental delays, Family Stories, low muscle tone, October 2015 Feature - Developmental, oral-motor delays, speech delay, undiagnosed SN 3 Comments

sarah1

Our daughter’s special need wasn’t on a checklist. Even today, we still don’t know what her special need is. Her medical history is a complete mystery. With no birth story, we will never have all of the pieces to the puzzle. Yet, her puzzle will not always be incomplete. In fact, as we put these …Read More

Saying Yes Was Scary, Being Her Mother Is Not

October 7, 2015 by nohandsbutours cognitive delay, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, hearing loss, non-verbal, October 2015 Feature - Developmental 0 Comments

huff-family

When my husband and I began our adoption journey in January of 2013 we, like most pre-adoptive parents, had a profile of sorts for the child we were hoping to adopt. We knew we wanted to adopt from China. We were hoping to adopt a girl and we knew we wanted to adopt a child …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

mercy6

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

My Life for Yours. Gladly

September 16, 2015 by nohandsbutours ADHD, autism, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, institutional autism 12 Comments

becker

This is a story about expectations vs. reality. A story about HIS grace in the midst of my weakness, my fear, and my anxiety. This is our story. But I don’t want our story to just be for us. In the adoption community, our expectations are almost always at least slightly different than reality. I …Read More

Bootiful

December 9, 2013 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 1 Comments

Tess: I remember my first mama. My mama in beitnam. Me: Oh you do? Tess: She looked like an angel, but she didn’t have any wings. She wore a white dress, and she was bootiful. Me: I imagine that your Vietnam mama was very beautiful, just like you. Tess: And I love her. And at …Read More

Part II {Genetic analysis: to test or not to test}

October 9, 2013 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 1 Comments

{Part I, Dark brown hair, Light brown hair is here} It’s discussed pretty regularly in the adoption community. To test or not to test. Now just to make sure we’re all on the same page here, I’m not talking about genetic testing as advised by your doctor for medical reasons. I’m talking about genetic analysis …Read More

Light Brown Hair :: Dark Brown Hair

September 9, 2013 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 6 Comments

I was putting Tess’s hair into pig tails, getting her ready for school and tying bows in her piggies. We live in a Caucasian community bombarded with messages about what beauty is, and in its absence what it is not, in every magazine, billboard, and television commercial. I figure I need to counter balance the …Read More

Food issues and binging 5 years later

July 9, 2013 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 19 Comments

Feeding a child is deeply rooted within us mamas. It’s almost beyond maternal and instinctual. It’s a part of what we do, and right or wrong, it’s a part of how we measure our success. And when it didn’t go according to plan, it affected me much more than I could have imagined. Being a …Read More

Living with attachment issues long term

May 9, 2013 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 2 Comments

I tell people all the time, especially when we’re knee deep in discussions about adoption or attachment issues. Ya know, some kiddos just don’t handle institutionalization well. Some come out of it just fine. Some go straight to their new family and never look back with smiles and enthusiasm. And others, like our sweet thing, …Read More

Perfectly Made

April 9, 2013 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Education, IEP, Nancy, public school 1 Comments

Dear IEP team members, As the mama to the little girl that we just spent over an hour talking about, I want to say more than our 60-minute time slot allowed. IEP meetings are hard. {That may be the understatement of the year.} They suck. For a parent, sometimes it feels like IEP meetings are a laundry list of how …Read More

Adoption from an Older Sibling's Perspective

February 9, 2013 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 5 Comments

This post is written by Livy, my 16-year-old amazing daughter. She traveled with us both on our first adoption trip to Vietnam to get her now 5 year old brother and sister, Jude and Tess. And 10 months ago to China to get her new baby sister, Mimi, who is 2 years old. All three …Read More

The Best Christmas Present Ever

January 11, 2013 by nohandsbutours developmental delays, early intervention, Education, IEP, Nancy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, public school, speech delay, speech therapy 6 Comments

I stood in the back of Tess’s kindergarten classroom with the other proud parents and looked on as my 5-year-old daughter performed in the class’s “holiday show”. Her part was a simple song with just a few lines and hand movements to go with it. She didn’t know all the hand movements… just like the …Read More

The visit

October 25, 2012 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 12 Comments

I’ve had occasion to look at the photos from the day we visited Mimi’s orphanage. Due to a computer snafu, I hadn’t seen these pics for quite a while. I’m not sure where God is leading me in this little trip down memory lane. Certainly there is something to be learned by seeing them and …Read More

Dear random shopper in the Target check-out line*** that is staring at me and my children and is just dying to engage us in a conversation about adoption

September 25, 2012 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 5 Comments

I see you. And my children see you watching them. And even though you have a smile on your face, you are still drawing attention to us. I totally get it. You see, I used to be just like you! I’d see a family that looked a bit… hmmmmm… what’s the right way to put …Read More

What loss looks like four decades later

August 25, 2012 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 7 Comments

When I was two years old… …my mom left. When Tess and Jude were 12 months old, they were taken from the only home they knew. When Mimi was 23 months old, she was taken from the only mama she knew. So how do we process not being chosen? I don’t remember any of those …Read More

A letter to my {pre-adoption} self

July 25, 2012 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 23 Comments

Dear Nancy (in 2007) I know you’ve just started to seriously consider adopting a child. I know that the thought of adopting has been on your mind not just years, but since you were a little girl and heard about the abandoned baby girls in China and saw videos of the Romanian orphanages. So I …Read More

BABY STEPS

June 25, 2012 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 2 Comments

It was 9 am, and I was still in my jammies. Everything seemed stable, everyone fed, playing nicely, so I stole a moment to get dressed and splash my face with water… or at least I tried to. Mid-pulling up my pants I heard the shrieking. Tess’s shriek is unmistakable. It’s a guttural wounding, and …Read More

Our Early Intervention

May 25, 2012 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, early intervention, Education, feeding/swallowing therapy, Nancy, occupational therapy, speech therapy 5 Comments

Our girly qualified for Early Intervention services. Our sweet lovely amazing daughter is delayed. I don’t want it to be that way. But it is. And it’s no surprise either. We went into international adoption with our eyes wide open, preparing for the worst and praying for the best. Her delays were completely expected. There’s …Read More

Monday, March 5: {beginnings}

March 5, 2012 by nohandsbutours developmental delays, Journey to Mazie, Nancy 3 Comments

There was rain and then a traffic jam, and by the time the babies reached the hotel they were two hours past due. They brought Mazie directly to our`room because they were so late, and I was glad for this. On top of the trauma of being passed to us, she was overly tired, very …Read More

The Plan vs The Unknown

February 10, 2012 by nohandsbutours developmental delays, Journey to Mazie, Nancy 1 Comments

You know that saying…You want to see God laugh?  Just tell him what your plans are!I’m pretty sure it went down like that. In July of last year Papa and I carefully looked over our agency’s special need’s list.  It’s a paper that lists about 50 possible special needs.  Hepatitis C, missing limbs, cleft lip and …Read More

welcome Nancy

February 3, 2012 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 0 Comments

I am excited to share that we have another new blogging mama who is joining our team at No Hands But Ours. Nancy blogs at Ordinary Miracles and the Crazy 9… and since she says it so much better than I do, here is bit more about her and her growing family!  My name is …Read More

My Denial Envelope

October 15, 2010 by nohandsbutours cognitive delay, developmental delays, Developmental System, Parenting Special Needs 0 Comments

When we found Jubilee and requested her file, we were well aware of her diagnosis of  “Lower Mental Development”.  In fact, it drew us even more to her.   Somewhere in there though, I wondered if maybe Ch*na had it wrong.  I mean, “Lower Mental Development” could be just learning delayed, right?  We already had …Read More

Addie

February 22, 2010 by nohandsbutours developmental delays, disruption 0 Comments

by Lyn, mom to Addie from China with an SN of psychomotor developmental delays My husband Bob and I got married in 1995, and by 2001 had two beautiful daughters. We were content with our family and had no plans to have any more children. However, in December 2005, God showed us that He had …Read More

Can I handle this????

October 15, 2009 by nohandsbutours amblyopia, developmental delays, hypoplasia of the corpus callosum, Nicole B., vision issues 10 Comments

I can still remember the first special needs checklist we ever filled out. It was March 2005. We had just sent our first dossier to China. Our checklist was quite simple. We stated cleft lip and palate, female and As Young As Possible (AYAP). My husband and I signed it and I quickly faxed it …Read More

Chu Meng

June 5, 2009 by nohandsbutours arachnoid brain cyst, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, Family Stories, seizures 1 Comments

by Cheri, mom to Chu Meng from China with Arachnoid Brain Cyst (later to find out stroke induced Cerebral Palsy), Developmental Delay, Seizures Chu Meng’s story is a bit unusual but her story all the same. Our family like many families started out as a NSN family. Our LID was May 16, 2006. I started …Read More

John

December 4, 2008 by nohandsbutours developmental delays, Family Stories 0 Comments

By Branda, mom to John from China with a SN of developmental delay Our sweet, sweet boy When my husband and I began to fill out the forms to adopt our next child, we knew that we were adopting a “special needs” child. We checked off our checklist of what we could handle as a …Read More

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