Our Red Thread of Hope: An Advocacy Success Story

September 21, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, Advocacy, Family Stories, pre-adoption, referral, should we adopt?, switching agencies, waiting for referral 4 Comments

hudson1

The Chinese have an ancient proverb that says, “An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break.” Back in July 2015, the Lord called our family out of the Ethiopia adoption program, where had waited for over …Read More

God’s Path: Adopting a Child with Down Syndrome

September 19, 2016 by nohandsbutours Developmental System, Down syndrome, Family Stories 1 Comments

sullens2

Four years ago, we were a family of five. My husband and I had two biological sons who are now 15 and 13 and one daughter who is now ten. We had adopted our daughter from China when she was only one year old. She had a hole in her heart, but God healed her. …Read More

Our Fair-Haired Hero: Adopting a Child with Albinism

September 17, 2016 by nohandsbutours albinism, Education, Family Stories, older child adoption, public school, September 2016 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions, TVI, vision issues 0 Comments

martha

Her name was spoken to us before we even knew who she was…. We had adopted from China in 2011 and just started the process to adopt again. One night I let myself start thinking about names for our new little one and after spending more time than I care to admit looking at baby …Read More

Adoption – The Beautiful Paradox

September 15, 2016 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, books, Family Stories, Parenting Special Needs 5 Comments

China 2014

I just flew back from South Carolina. I went there to reunite my daughter with a friend that she had not seen in almost four years. The last time the girls saw each other, they were in an orphanage halfway around the world. The nannies who had raised them pressed the bewildered little girls into …Read More

More than White Hair: Adopting a Child with Albinism

September 14, 2016 by nohandsbutours albinism, Family Stories, September 2016 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions 1 Comments

sc1

We didn’t plan to adopt a child with white hair. I wouldn’t assume many do when they consider adopting a child from China. I fell in love with our son Noah’s face and short description one night while perusing the waiting children on RainbowKids. Adoption was something my husband and I had prayed about, discussed …Read More

Beautiful Scars: Adopting a Child with a Congenital Nevus

September 7, 2016 by nohandsbutours birthmark, Congenital nevus, Family Stories, giant congenital nevus, medical needs checklist, medical waiver, referral, September 2016 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions 4 Comments

michelle3

When my husband and I first started looking into adoption, we were told that because of my epilepsy, we could only apply for a special focus child. In Adoption circles, Special Focus means either that the child has more than one medical condition, or has a more severe medical condition. Sometimes the label is given …Read More

Journey to Gabriel: Adopting a Child with Ichthyosis

September 2, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, Family Stories, ichthyiosis, September 2016 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions 7 Comments

4

I love adoption. It’s beautiful. It’s messy. It’s hard. It’s the big stuff — hope, joy, grief, love, sacrifice… wrapped up in one. It makes a world of difference to a child in need. It builds families. It’s an example of God’s handiwork. And being part of anything God does is just, well, awesome. When …Read More

Blessed: Adopting a Child Who Isn’t “Healthy”

August 31, 2016 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, Heart System, older child adoption 1 Comments

blessed

Scrolling my newsfeed on Facebook, I see a popular thanksgiving…. In the hospital after the delivery of a new baby, I hear the same praises. In the grocery store I hear faint echoes of the same gratitude while everything else goes quiet in my head. Parents and family alike are “so blessed” by having healthy …Read More

How HIV Changed My Life – For the Better

August 17, 2016 by nohandsbutours August 2016 - Infectious, Family Stories, HIV, Infectious 2 Comments

august2

“Why would you want a child with HIV?” asked an employee from our daughter’s foster home. The question took me off guard. After all, she lived with and cared for people with HIV. Without skipping a beat, my husband spoke up, “Because she’s our daughter.” Three simple words. She’s our daughter. Words that echoed in …Read More

A Gift You Can’t Prepare For: Adopting a Child with CP

August 14, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, should we adopt? 3 Comments

megan6

“You weren’t trained for this, but you were born for it.” I keep reading these words sent to me by a dear friend the other day. She knew I was struggling with parenting our three year old son, home since January, while also trying to meet the needs of our three biological children ages four, …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

Sign Language and Adoption: The Value of their Voice

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

amber1

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

Her First Smile

July 30, 2016 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, guest post, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, surgery 5 Comments

UnderTheSycamoreCleft-01

It was the morning before my daughter’s cleft lip repair. Alongside my husband and with my daughter in my arms, we walked into her surgeon’s office. We had intentionally waited four months after her adoption before scheduling the surgery. I wanted to give her time to begin to know and trust us. I also wanted …Read More

His Hands and Feet: Adopting a Child with ABS

July 26, 2016 by nohandsbutours amniotic band syndrome, Family Stories, medical needs checklist, Orthopedic, pre-adoption, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 5 Comments

gracehands

Sometimes you are clearly given a gift of grace and sometimes you find yourself in it. Both are of Him and from Him and are equally overwhelming and exciting. This is a glimpse of both. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8 ….. …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 Little Piece of a Big Plan

July 16, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, BAHA, Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing aids, hearing loss, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, microtia, older child adoption, Ponto, Sensory System 0 Comments

erin2

“I just spoke to the director. He will call me when they’re about five minutes away.” It’s almost time. My heart is almost uncontainable. Everything. All of this. It’s about to happen. So many months, years, planning for this moment… Even though I shouldn’t be surprised, being a part of and seeing just a tiny …Read More

What Can Grow in the Dark?

July 13, 2016 by nohandsbutours Developmental System, Family Stories, low muscle tone 1 Comments

sarah3

Thunderstorms – you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. It was 5:00 am when the crack of thunder woke us all up. My six-year-old crawled into our bed for the very first time. Yes, it’s normal for some children to be frightened by thunderstorms, but for some reason, he really hates them. Even the mention …Read More

Saying Yes

July 10, 2016 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, referral, waiting for referral 5 Comments

claire

Our journey to Claire has been one of unexpected turns in directions we didn’t know God would take us…. Six years ago we were blessed with our first daughter, Evangeline. My pregnancy with her was extremely difficult. Adoption was something we had always talked about and seemed like the best choice for us to grow …Read More

Is That Really All?

July 4, 2016 by nohandsbutours cleft gumline, cleft lip, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial 1 Comments

Ellie-2

I remember sitting down – just my husband and I – and looking through the special needs checklist. Although we didn’t check off everything, for young first-time parents, I think that we had a pretty large list of special needs that we would consider. I envisioned us being matched to a child with a heart …Read More

Accepting the Unexpected

July 2, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, cleft palate, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, Pierre Robin Sequence 1 Comments

elijah2

Expect the unexpected. Can that even be accomplished? Doubtful, but with preparedness, an open heart, and faith in God’s greater plan, we can accept the unexpected. Our adoption journey began by filling out a medical conditions checklist with mostly surgically repairable needs. Phillip and I were expecting to adopt a baby girl someday, until we …Read More

Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy

July 1, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, amputation, Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, Larsen Syndrome, limb difference, older child adoption, prosthetics 1 Comments

j2

My son, J, has Larsen syndrome, a condition of multiple joint malformations. I write this in hopes that it shows how manageable this condition is. In the summer of 2012, I saw a video that an advocate had posted, of a little boy riding a scooter around a play area. His nanny was directing him …Read More

A Child of God: Adopting a Child with Arthrogryposis

June 30, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, arthrogryposis, clubfoot, Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, Orthopedic 1 Comments

lopez1

I knew the second I saw his picture that he was my son. I still remember scrolling through my facebook feed when my heart drew me into the boy on the screen and with only seeing his hands I knew… He was mine. We were not looking to adopt and years before we would have …Read More

Part of Your World: A Mermaid Tale

June 28, 2016 by nohandsbutours amputation, Family Stories, fibular hemimelia, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, leg length discrepancy, limb difference, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic, prosthetics 4 Comments

mermaid2

We first saw her profile on our adoption agency’s web page. Her special need was listed as lower leg deformity, a layman’s term for fibular hemimelia, a congenital condition of missing/shortening of fibular bone, curved tibia (shin bone) and underdeveloped foot. I turned to my husband and said: “Hey, she looks kinda cute, but we …Read More

Different Than What We Asked for, Better Than We Imagined

June 20, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, first weeks home, Newly Home, pre-adoption, referral, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 5 Comments

megan3

When considering the orphans of China, many think of the the one child policy and specifically the incredible amount of girls that were abandoned as a result. When my husband and I began our adoption process we too thought that it was the girls most in need of homes and loving families. Like many others, …Read More

Adoption Infertility: When Not Now Feels Like Not Ever

June 17, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting again, adopting later in life, adopting two at once, brain damage syndrome, Family Stories 0 Comments

Picture-1

“Come, sit amidst the ash heap; pick up your potsherd and pray.” That was a phrase borne in my heart from a season of personal lament… a time during which my own sorrowful meditations were keenly focused on the circumstances of the biblical saint of old, Job. How he must have pondered there in that …Read More

Cherishing Today: Adopting a Child with OI

June 16, 2016 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, Orthopedic, osteogenesis imperfecta 3 Comments

marie6

Our littlest love, with us now for three months, has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), also known as brittle bone disease. Adopting a child with OI was not something we set out to do, nor was OI something we had ever been exposed to or educated about, but when Tessa Kate’s adorable picture appeared on the China …Read More

My Amazing Boy: Adopting a Child with Larsen Syndrome

June 13, 2016 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, Larsen Syndrome, Orthopedic, skeletal dysplasia 3 Comments

logan1

I feel that I am not just biased when I say my son is truly inspiring. He may be only five years old, but he is braver than any grown adult I have ever met. I am so excited to share his story with you. At the beginning of our adoption process, we found our …Read More

Life’s Little Surprises: Adopting a Child with Fibular Hemimelia

June 8, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting again, amputation, Family Stories, fibular hemimelia, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, leg length discrepancy, limb lengthening, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic 0 Comments

georgette3

Our daughter had been asking for a little sister for awhile…. I had been looking at the waiting child website off and on for a few days when I just happened on his face. It was love at first sight. His diagnosis was malformed right foot. The picture in his file showed that his foot …Read More

My Warrior. My Princess.

June 4, 2016 by nohandsbutours amputation, Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, limb difference, Orthopedic, prosthetics 2 Comments

Wynne-2

“She is the perfect combination of warrior and princess.” This phrase echoed through my mind as I watched her jump and twirl down the street, still wearing her tutu, waving her pirate sword in the air. She had just completed her first dance recital. I told her earlier that day, “Sometimes little girls get flowers …Read More

Building a Family: Adopting as a Single Mom

June 3, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting as a single mom, diastematomyelia, Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, older child adoption, Orthopedic, scoliosis, spina bifida, tethered cord 2 Comments

karen0

I am a happy and busy single mom to two wonderful daughters adopted from China. My older daughter, Corrie, was adopted in 2002 through the NSN (non-special needs) program; she is a smart, funny, and thoughtful young lady who loves animals and plans to be a veterinarian when she grows up. For years Corrie and …Read More

In the Quiet Moment

May 23, 2016 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, Kristi, port wine stain, Sturge Weber Syndrome, Vascular System 1 Comments

Kristi-4

On March 20, 2009 I spent the quiet moments of nap-time looking at waiting child programs with various adoption agencies. Home from China just four months with our second child, we weren’t ready to expand our family just yet, but as a planner I wanted to have ‘all my ducks in a row’ for when …Read More

He Knows

May 21, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, clubfoot, complex heart defects, Family Stories, hypospadias, PDA, waiver request 3 Comments

Joanna-3

Who knew ​this momma – who had once upon a time envisioned life with my husband to include ​a couple of ​children, a spacious home, and (of course!) many family vacations to tropical destinations​ – would instead​ learn (​and ​daily​ re-learn)​ that the path to the​ purest​ peace and the greatest joy​ is to​ yield …Read More

Large Families: the Good, the Bad, the Blessing (part two)

May 19, 2016 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, large families, May 2016 Feature - Large Families, toddler adoption 4 Comments

Rhonda-1

Today we continue with the second post of our two-part series featuring Large Families. This mom of six shares some fun, creative, and pragmatic ideas that will help us all (whatever the size of our family) to keep things running smoothly. You can find part-one here. I’d like to share some of the things we’ve …Read More

The Blessings of an Unknown Road

May 13, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting later in life, Central Nervous System, Family Stories, reluctant husband, spina bifida, toddler adoption 20 Comments

Willis-1

Let me start by saying I am an ordinary middle aged woman living an ordinary life but just happen to have five extraordinary children, three of whom are adopted. My children have forever changed my life. My oldest son is 31 with a beautiful wife and two precious children of his own. My second oldest …Read More

Backwards

May 11, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, older child adoption 0 Comments

McCrady-3

We did everything backwards. After watching our best friends adopt two girls from China, my husband and I were very open to adoption. However, we are both “take it slow” kind of people so it wasn’t until a couple of years later that I felt ready to build our family through adoption. My husband? He …Read More

Two Years of Blessings

May 9, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, older child adoption 0 Comments

dolinger2

It has been two years. Two years since China said yes. Two years full of unexpected blessings. Two years of being asleep before your head hits the pillow at night. Two years of going to work with kisses on your cheeks. Two years full of learning new things for both Lock and us. Has life …Read More

We’ve Got This: Parenting a Child with CP

April 29, 2016 by nohandsbutours April 2016 Feature - CNS, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, older child adoption 3 Comments

bethany4

My son has Cerebral Palsy. Mild Right Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy to be specific, which means only the right side of his body is affected. If you see him running by on the playground or the soccer field, you might never even notice he has physical difficulties. If you have an idea in your mind of …Read More

I Never Felt Called to Adopt

April 27, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting again, Family Stories, orphanage realities, orphanage visit, should we adopt? 4 Comments

photo-1

I never felt called to adopt. For me, adoption was simply the way God chose to build our family. In 2011 we adopted our son Sean who is now seven years old. In 2013 we adopted our daughter Elliana who is now five. When people first started saying that adoption was a beautiful thing for …Read More

Countless Possibilities

April 23, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting as a single mom, April 2016 Feature - CNS, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, hemiplegia, working mom 3 Comments

vicky1

As long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a mom. After all, my own mom was the best mom in the world… a woman who loved her girls unconditionally and fiercely. I always wanted to be just like her. As most of us know, life isn’t always how you wish it would …Read More

Blessings in Disguise – My Journey with Sensory Issues

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

ellie1

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

The Happiest Kid on the Playground

April 11, 2016 by nohandsbutours April 2016 Feature - CNS, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, undiagnosed SN 0 Comments

Photo4

In 2009, we were ready for children, but we felt no rush. At that point, we were not concerned that there were no children ready for us. But then there was infertility, followed by an extremely painful disruption of a newborn adoption during the revocation period. In the following six months, two more domestic adoptions …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

Unknown to Us; Known to Him

April 3, 2016 by nohandsbutours agenesis of the corpus callosum, April 2016 Feature - CNS, Central Nervous System, Family Stories, nasal dermoid sinus tract 0 Comments

deanna6

Our family’s story of adopting a child with neurological and facial birth defects and God’s sovereign grace When we first viewed our daughter’s medical file, it was brief at best. It had a normal physical exam, and she was meeting all her developmental milestones. Her videos were priceless! They showed a chunky little girl wobbling …Read More

Little Man, Big Kidney

March 28, 2016 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, hydronephrosis 0 Comments

hawk1

We received our referral after waiting two years. The wait was grueling. In my online groups, people continuously posted that the wait for minor needs boys was so short. Not for us. We chose minor needs for many reasons, but mostly because we have lived through two of our children being very ill in the …Read More

Treasure in Darkness

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

amy4

“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

Thriving with Thalassemia

March 26, 2016 by nohandsbutours beta major thalassemia, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, older child adoption, thalassemia 2 Comments

naomi4

My daughter’s medical information is scary. It has words like chronic and terminal. Add that to the fact that her orphanage has never had a child with her diagnosis live past the age of 14, and you start to really get a grim picture of her life. Now, wipe all of that away, because it’s …Read More

And 2 Makes 9

March 25, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, adopting out of birth order, adopting two at once, aging out expedite, Family Stories, large families, March 2016 Feature - Special Circumstances, older child adoption, should we adopt? 2 Comments

jnl10

Where do I even start? Our family began our first adoption in 2004, a few years after the birth of our third son. We thought it would be our first and last adoption. We always had the heart for adoption, but surprised ourselves as we actually went through with our heart’s desire. My husband, Russ, …Read More

The Beginning of Surrender

March 24, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting later in life, adopting two at once, Down syndrome, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Special Circumstances, medical waiver, older child adoption, waiver request 4 Comments

1

“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us …Read More

We Said Yes, Anyway

March 22, 2016 by nohandsbutours beta major thalassemia, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, older child adoption, thalassemia 2 Comments

finn

“It’s so easy to live with! It barely impacts our day to day life.” “It’s a very complicated disease. It looks like it’s going to be another couple of weeks in the hospital this time…” You might think I’m referring to different disorders in the descriptions above. The truth is these were all things I …Read More

A Tale of Two Stubborn Wills

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

carin

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

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