Trusting My Instincts

July 19, 2017 ABA therapy, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, autism, cocooning, developmental delays, Developmental System, early intervention, Education, Family Stories, IEP, indiscriminate affection, occupational therapy, speech delay, speech therapy 1 Comments

My husband Derrick and I had been married for almost eight years when, in the summer of 2015, our path to parenthood ultimately led us to adopt from the China Special Needs program. Up to that point, we had never considered what life would be like for our growing family outside of the “typical” narrative. …Read More

For Life: Unexptected Treasures

June 4, 2017 Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, Developmental System, Lifelong needs, low muscle tone, May 2017 Feature - For Life, seizures, undiagnosed SN 1 Comments

Adopting a child with special needs can be scary. And even scarier when that child has needs that just might require a lifetime of parental care. In our For Life series, we are hearing from those whose parenting journey has diverged from what most would think typical. They’re parenting children who require more than what …Read More

For Life: The Road God Had For Us

May 10, 2017 developmental delays, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Lifelong needs, May 2017 Feature - For Life, medical needs checklist, waiting for referral 2 Comments

Adopting a child with special needs can be scary. And even scarier when that child has needs that just might require a lifetime of parental care. This month we are hearing from those whose parenting journey has diverged from what most would think typical. They’re parenting children who require more than what many would believe …Read More

Severe Feeding Challenges: The Hardest Part

April 23, 2017 developmental delays, Developmental System, feeding challenges, feeding/swallowing therapy, food issues, oral aversion, oral-motor delays, orphanage behaviors, refusing food, Sensory Processing Issues, speech therapy, undiagnosed SN 8 Comments

We started the adoption process in 2005, right before the big slowdown. We didn’t end up traveling until 2007, so I spent every free moment reading adoption stories and joining every adoption-related yahoo group out there. I felt as well-educated as one could possibly be. Unfortunately, there were only the “ladybugs and unicorns” stories out …Read More

When My Non-Verbal Daughter Dreamed About a Butterfly

April 14, 2017 ASL, Attachment, attachment activities, developmental delays, Developmental System, low muscle tone, non-verbal, sign language 3 Comments

Talking is my strong suit. I love to talk. My grandmothers would both comment on my ability to talk, even at a very young age. I remember being at a Shoney’s (a restaurant) when I was around five or six years old. My grandmother shushed me several times. It was then I realized how much …Read More

Feeding Challenges: “I’ve Got This” and Other Things I Once Believed

March 26, 2017 complex heart defect, developmental delays, early intervention, failure to thrive, feeding tube, feeding/swallowing therapy, malnourishment, March 2017 Feature - Feeding Challenges, Nutrition, oral aversion, paralyzed vocal chords, refusing food, surgery 4 Comments

Major cardiac defects? That’s a little more intimidating than we initially signed up for but nothing a good surgeon can’t fix. Plus I’m a nurse, I can handle the hard. God prepared me for this. Poor oxygenation? That’ll correct itself once her heart is repaired. Severe developmental delays? Of course she’s delayed, but look at …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

Pictures, Songs, and God’s Goodness

November 25, 2016 complex medical, developmental delays, Developmental System, encephalocele, hypothyroidism, November 2016 Feature - Then and Now 0 Comments

After several adoptions, I’ve realized there is not a “standard” Then and Now story. We have a heart hero, a tiny miracle with the biggest and brightest joy, a precious daughter who struggles with significant PTSD, and a daughter with great needs who is a two steps forward, ten steps back – kind of girl. …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

Then and Now: Ayla

November 9, 2016 beta thalassemia, beta thalassemia major, Blood Conditions, developmental delays, November 2016 Feature - Then and Now, thalassemia 0 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… ……….. “I do not think she will live …Read More

Every Life Has Value: Adopting a Child with Lifelong Needs

October 18, 2016 cerebral palsy, cognitive delay, developmental delays, Developmental System, Lifelong needs, non-verbal 9 Comments

I have to be honest and tell you up front that I am writing this while nursing some sore feelings. One too many times over the last month or so I’ve had to fight for my girl. I have had to hear hurtful words. So my heart is tender and a little broken so be …Read More

1 in 1000: Adopting a Child with Childhood Apraxia of Speech

October 17, 2016 apraxia of speech, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, early intervention, Education, Family Stories, non-verbal, October 2016 Feature - Developmental, speech delay, speech therapy 0 Comments

Like so many of us who are part of the adoption community, we have learned so very much in the time our two youngest kiddos have been part of our family. Our son, Liam, who is now eight years old, joined our family at the age of 28 months. His special need was listed as …Read More

Making the Grade: Special Education and Adoption

September 30, 2016 agenesis of the corpus callosum, autism, brain damage syndrome, cerebral palsy, cognitive delay, developmental delays, early intervention, Education, hypothyroidism, IEP, institutional autism, non-verbal, public school, September 2016 Feature - Back to School 1 Comments

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

Making the Grade: Why We Homeschool

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

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 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

Pondering the “What-Ifs”

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

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 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

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 brain damage syndrome, cognitive delay, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, microcephaly, small head circumference 0 Comments

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 ADHD, cl/cp, cognitive delay, developmental delays, Family Stories, microcephaly, speech delay 1 Comments

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 cognitive delay, developmental delays, Family Stories, Jean, microcephaly, older child adoption 1 Comments

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

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

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

Most Frequently Asked Questions About Adopting a Child With Down Syndrome

October 7, 2015 developmental delays, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Education, IEP, October 2015 Feature - Developmental, physical therapy, public school, speech delay, speech therapy 5 Comments

October has always been my favorite month of the year. I love everything about the cooler temperatures, family time carving pumpkins and roasting marshmallows over a backyard fire. October is also Down syndrome awareness month, and as a Ds adoption advocate, this is one more reason for me to love October. Since adopting my daughter …Read More

Mercy: Adopting a Child with Albinism

September 30, 2015 albinism, developmental delays, Family Stories, September 2015 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions 10 Comments

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 ADHD, autism, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, institutional autism 12 Comments

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

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

October 9, 2013 birth family, developmental delays, DNA and genetic testing, 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

Food issues and binging 5 years later

July 9, 2013 binging, developmental delays, early intervention, feeding challenges, feeding/swallowing therapy, food issues, hoarding, 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 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, developmental delays, Nancy, parent-to-child attachment 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 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

The Best Christmas Present Ever

January 11, 2013 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

What loss looks like four decades later

August 25, 2012 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

BABY STEPS

June 25, 2012 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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

© 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.