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

One Small Step, One Giant Leap

March 14, 2016 by nohandsbutours beta major thalassemia, beta thalassemia, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, should we adopt?, thalassemia 0 Comments

chelsea

Our adoption story began years before we actually had the courage to take the leap and start the process to adopt internationally. On and off, literally for years, my sweet husband and I would each feel lead to adopt. Those feelings and promptings were most often followed by a conversation about the lack of finances …Read More

Learning Curve

March 12, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting as first time parents, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, hemophilia, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, referral, waiting to travel 6 Comments

nhbophoto4

After a twenty-minute speech about what our daily routine would entail, followed by a list of possible complications, the Hematologist looked at me pointedly… “You know, it will be a steep learning curve for you all, but you will settle into a routine, and more quickly than you think. You’ll see. He’s just a boy.” …Read More

More Than Blood: Adopting a Child with Thalassemia

March 11, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting again, beta major thalassemia, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, older child adoption, thalassemia 1 Comments

PIC-14

How do most kids get in a pool? They jump… full force, no holding back. They don’t know what the water temperature is, and they don’t care. They are so excited to be at the pool, they anticipate all the fun they are about to have, and it doesn’t bother them if the water is …Read More

The Story of MengYan

March 9, 2016 by nohandsbutours Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, thalassemia 1 Comments

meng2

MengYan’s story began in China, in Hunan Province. We do not know much about her birth or her birth family. She was found abandoned in a box at the front door of the local police station. She was a newborn at that time and was taken to an orphanage because her family could not be …Read More

#whatisthalassemia

March 8, 2016 by nohandsbutours beta major thalassemia, beta thalassemia, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, should we adopt?, thalassemia 1 Comments

thal4

Our Journey with Thalassemia First let me say this is not our story this is His story. If it was ours we would never know what thalassemia was nor would we ever have our precious kids. My husband and I have always wanted a large family and to grow our family through adoption, but never …Read More

This Traveled Road

March 6, 2016 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, should we adopt? 0 Comments

sam

Our journey to adoption has been a road of many fears being met by a faithful God. We talked about the possibility of adoption while we were still dating. Two and a half years into our marriage I gave birth to a baby boy. About two years later, my husband mentioned that he felt that …Read More

Ripples on the Water

March 5, 2016 by nohandsbutours beta thalassemia, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, thalassemia 1 Comments

mia1

Eight years ago I saw my daughter for the first time… a sad face standing behind metal bars. She looked scared and confused, with an expression that seemed more like an old woman than a young child. I searched her eyes and saw… nothing. No life, no twinkle, no joy. Expecting a referral for months, …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

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

March 3, 2016 by nohandsbutours 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

ETibbetts2

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

And Babies Make Four: Adopting Two Sons with PKU

March 1, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting as first time parents, adopting two at once, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, PKU, virtual twins 4 Comments

PKU2

At birth, I was diagnosed with PKU (Phenylketonuria). Most people do not know about this metabolic disorder, but all newborns in the US are tested at birth and if diagnosed, a special low-protein diet begins and should be maintained throughout life. With proper treatment, the child will escape the threat of untreated PKU which includes: …Read More

Looking Past the Needs to See the Child

February 21, 2016 by nohandsbutours cognitive delay, Family Stories, large families, LInear Nevus Sebaceous Syndrome, older child adoption 0 Comments

curry

More than a few times, my husband and I have looked around us and wondered out loud how this all happened. How on earth did we end up with 12 children? Have we really spent a cumulative three months in China and Vietnam adopting some of our children? Who plans this? Certainly not us. When …Read More

Victories from the Valley: An Unexpected Journey in Adopting a Child with NF1

February 18, 2016 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, cocooning, Family Stories, first weeks home, glaucoma, neurofibromatosis, NF1, older child adoption, parent-to-child attachment 2 Comments

ann2

We had been home from China with our first daughter almost five months when we saw her picture: a sweet face with a deep downcast shown in her eyes. She was six years old. Her file had been passed over by a few families already because of the uncertainties of her medical condition. One eye …Read More

Thoughts from a Big Sister: Life is a Gift to be Shared

February 17, 2016 by nohandsbutours Down syndrome, Family Stories, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, sibling perspective, siblings 12 Comments

pearl1

Almost three years ago, a little stranger came into my life. And then six months ago, another one joined her: Pearl and Molly, our spicy Hunan girls. It’s so hard to think that they once were strangers to us, to our love, to our family. Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like without …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

On Siblings and Adoption: From the Oldest of 14

February 13, 2016 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, large families, sibling perspective, siblings 12 Comments

hannah1

Upon learning that I am the oldest of fourteen children, six of whom are adopted from China, a typical response goes something along the lines of, “Bless your heart, that sounds crazy.” My answer is yes, it is crazy! Crazy in the most wonderful, beautiful, joyfully-chaotic way. Others might say, “Weren’t your parents busy enough? …Read More

Love for Leeya

February 12, 2016 by nohandsbutours cerebral palsy, complex heart defect, Family Stories, February 2016 Feature - Heart, Tetralogy of Fallot 3 Comments

andrea1

February is Heart Month and we continue to share stories from parents as they navigate life with their heart babies. Each story, each post, each child is special. And for today’s post, this is especially true. Andrea was in the process of writing this post when her daughter Leeya suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. Andrea …Read More

The Perfect Fit for Our Family

February 3, 2016 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, hip dysplasia, misdiagnosed SN, mobility issues, Orthopedic, port wine stain, Sturge Weber Syndrome 1 Comments

Photo-six

My husband and I were only married a year when the Lord called us to adopt. Separately, we both felt the Lord speak to us about adopting a little girl from China – we told each other a few days later. It was encouraging to hear that call, and we were both excited for the …Read More

Undiagnosed Hearing Loss: Wisdom from the Journey

January 28, 2016 by nohandsbutours BAHA, Family Stories, hearing aids, hearing loss, Nager Syndrome, undiagnosed SN 1 Comments

hear1

We always knew there were unknowns, as all adoptive parents do. But the moment we saw their faces we knew they were ours. This is important to always remember. Most of us who adopt realize that the medical records we receive are not always accurate or trustworthy. But sometimes, you just don’t know the right …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

Worth It

January 13, 2016 by nohandsbutours brain damage syndrome, Developmental System, estropia, Family Stories, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, low muscle tone, oral-motor delays, speech delay 2 Comments

worthit4

The words in Miao’s file were daunting. “Soften lesion of posterior horn” and “softening of bilateral ventricle” and “HIE”. I wasn’t sure how to pronounce them, let alone what they meant. And my trusty sidekick, Google, was having trouble explaining them as well. I had come across a picture and short description of Miao on …Read More

We’re Not Special

January 5, 2016 by nohandsbutours complex heart defect, Family Stories, Heart System, HLHS, older child adoption, orphan hosting, single atrium heart disease, single ventricle heart disease, TGA 2 Comments

special

My husband, Bobby, and I are not special. We keep being told that we are. Ever since starting the adoption process, people keep telling us we are “special”. I don’t always know how to respond. I feel embarrassed and totally unworthy. We don’t belong on that pedestal. Have they seen our very un-special home and …Read More

A Single Image

January 3, 2016 by nohandsbutours December 2015 Feature - Sensory, Family Stories, older child adoption, profound deafness, Sensory System, waiver request 1 Comments

max1

When a single image changes your whole life… We began our adoption process in a way that was, likely, different from many. I was checking my email, and literally, on a whim, I opened up an email I normally wouldn’t have. And there, staring at me, was my son. It rattled me to my core …Read More

Adopting a Child with “Low Vision”

December 31, 2015 by nohandsbutours albinism, December 2015 Feature - Sensory, Family Stories, nystagmus, Sensory System, Skin Conditions, vision issues 4 Comments

albinism2

For 2015 the NHBO team set a goal to focus on all eleven special needs systems, featuring a different system each month. We wanted to not only spotlight the needs within that system, but simultaneously grow the content here on No Hands But Ours. And with the help of the amazing adoption community, we succeeded. …Read More

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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.