Adopting a Child with a Lipomyelomeningocele

April 20, 2015 by nohandsbutours April 2015 Feature CNS, Family Stories, lipomyelomeningocele 1 Comments

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We knew we felt called to adopt, and called to China, but when we found out we’d need to go through the special focus route, we were afraid… Special needs? Those words encompass a lot. Locally we had a friend who had a precious daughter from China with spina bifida. This friend had spent a …Read More

Adopting a Child with Tuberous Sclerosis

April 14, 2015 by nohandsbutours April 2015 Feature CNS, Children Who Wait, epilepsy, Family Stories, seizures, tuberous sclerosis 1 Comments

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If you have ever adopted from China before, you remember sitting at the table staring at that dreaded form asking you what special needs you thought you and your family could handle. Filling it out seemed cruel. On the one hand most of them scared me to death and at the same time it filled …Read More

Adopting a Child with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

April 8, 2015 by nohandsbutours April 2015 Feature CNS, Central Nervous System, Family Stories, HIE, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, strabismus 2 Comments

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There are the ‘facts,’ and then there’s the reality. The file says HIE, Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, but what does it really mean? Brain damage that occurs when an infant’s brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen and blood, either immediately before, during or after birth, is commonly called HIE. But our Creator fashioned our brain in such …Read More

Adopting a Child with Hydrocephalus

April 1, 2015 by nohandsbutours April 2015 Feature CNS, Central Nervous System, Children Who Wait, Family Stories, hydrocephalus, myelomeningocele, spina bifida 1 Comments

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I’ve had this conversation with prospective adoptive parents at least six times in six months, after they hear that my sweet two-year-old girl has Spina Bifida (but before they realize she has hydrocephalus). Me: Oh, so, you have Spina Bifida on your medical checklist? Them: Yep! Me:  Do you have hydrocephalus too? Them:  No…it’s scary. …Read More

Fighting for HIV+ Orphans

March 30, 2015 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, HIV, Infectious 0 Comments

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I want to see HIV+ orphans adopted into forever families. I can’t say this was always a goal of mine, but God has a way of getting us to where He wants us to be. For my wife and I that journey started in January 2011, while we were living in Asia, and friends of …Read More

“Your Daughter Has Autism”

March 28, 2015 by nohandsbutours autism, cognitive delay, Developmental System, Family Stories 2 Comments

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My husband and I were high school sweethearts. We met young, married quickly while in college, and had plans for our life together from the start. Our plans included chasing the American dream and one child. Years went by and we were doing fine! We had our one child, a few advanced degrees, stable jobs, …Read More

Adopting a Child with Vision Impairment: 8 Things to Consider

March 23, 2015 by nohandsbutours Family Found, Family Stories, retinoblastoma, Sensory System, vision issues, vision loss 6 Comments

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December 11, 2011 in Fujian was cool, damp and grey. We were waiting in a conference room at the hotel with another couple from the US. This wasn’t the first time we’d done this. We had waited in similar rooms four times prior to this; however, this time was very different. Long after, we would …Read More

Ridiculous Faith

March 18, 2015 by nohandsbutours Family Found, Family Stories 10 Comments

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How this all began. The story… we simply didn’t even begin to write. Dean and I went out for a date at Olive Garden. On this date I mentioned to Dean that I keep getting this strong impression about adopting an older girl. We talked. We laughed. We both agreed this would have to be …Read More

the sea in our blood

March 17, 2015 by nohandsbutours blood conditions, Family Stories, March 2015 Feature, March 2015 Feature - Blood Conditions, thalassemia 1 Comments

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When I was very young, I knew that I wanted to adopt a little girl from China. Stories of baby girls being abandoned because of the one-child policy made a strong impact on me. I grew up, got married to a wonderful man, and we spent 9 years having “the longest honeymoon ever,” rarely even …Read More

Jo Jo: adopting a child with undiagnosed urogenital defects

March 16, 2015 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, micropenis, undescended testicle, urogenital defects 1 Comments

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My name is Lynn and I asked if I could share my family’s story. Our hope is that in sharing about a sensitive special need like our son has, a family out there that is thinking of adopting a child with it will be helped. We have five children. The first three are biological followed …Read More

Binding Her Wounds: Adopting a Child with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB)

March 12, 2015 by nohandsbutours epidermolysis bullosa, Family Stories, Skin Conditions, Whitney 6 Comments

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Our journey as a family into EB adoption started with eczema. True story. Out of the three biological children we already had, two of them had big time problems with eczema. So, when one day I was scrolling down the waiting child list on our agency’s website and saw “dermatitis”, my heart leapt. Dermatitis? I …Read More

Adopting a Child with Hemophilia: What I Wish I Had Known

March 7, 2015 by nohandsbutours blood conditions, Family Stories, hemophilia, March 2015 Feature, March 2015 Feature - Blood Conditions 1 Comments

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In honor of Hemophilia Awareness Month, I wanted to write a post to help other adoptive parents understand what can be involved in adopting a child with hemophilia. My son, who came home from China in 2013, has severe Hemophilia A (the most common type of hemophilia), which means that his body does not make …Read More

Gia: Adopting a Child with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB)

March 4, 2015 by nohandsbutours epidermolysis bullosa, Family Stories, Skin Conditions 3 Comments

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When my husband and I began the adoption process, we knew we were open to adopting a child with special needs, but we didn’t have any specific need in mind. We had a very broad medical checklist, and we planned on getting our LID and having our agency match us with a child. But then …Read More

Cleo: adopting a child with burns

February 18, 2015 by nohandsbutours body scars, burns, contracture deformity, Family Stories, Skin Conditions 3 Comments

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In looking back I can see now that the seed was carefully planted long before we knew of her. The unknown preparation came in the forms of books, a family story from a friend, career decisions and a few other situations that seemed of random nature at the time. It wasn’t in our initial scope …Read More

Cardiac Transplant: part two

February 16, 2015 by nohandsbutours advanced heart failure, complex heart defect, end stage cardiac disease, Family Stories, February 2015 Feature, heart defect, heart transplant, single ventricle heart disease 0 Comments

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This is the second half of a two-part post written by two mamas who have walked a similar – and yet very different – path. Both of their daughters, adopted from China with complex heart defects, required what most parents would consider a worst case scenario: a cardiac transplant. Each shares their experience below. Andrea, …Read More

adopting a child with congenital nevus

February 12, 2015 by nohandsbutours Congenital melanocytic nevus, Congenital nevus, Family Stories 2 Comments

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My husband was adopted domestically as an infant. As high school sweethearts, I heard him share his personal testimony several times. His testimony centered around his physical and spiritual adoption. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us …Read More

Cardiac Transplant: Two Little Girls, Two New Lives

February 9, 2015 by nohandsbutours advanced heart failure, complex heart defect, end stage cardiac disease, Family Stories, February 2015 Feature, heart defect, heart transplant, single ventricle heart disease 0 Comments

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February is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Month, so this month we will be featuring several posts from moms parenting children with heart defects. Our goal is to inform and equip those considering or home with children with this special need by sharing the real-life experiences of those already parenting a child with a CHD. This …Read More

Little Girl Red

February 6, 2015 by nohandsbutours complex heart defect, Family Stories, February 2015 Feature, heart defect, PDA, VSD 0 Comments

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Sometimes I put my head to her chest and listen. Lub, dub. Lub, dub. Oh the beauty of that sound. It sounds like life and hope, sadness and struggle. I think about her heart in the first months of her life. Her first breath in the world, a whoosh of air into her (most likely …Read More

Will You Love Me Forever?

January 30, 2015 by nohandsbutours amniotic band syndrome, Family Stories, older child adoption 1 Comments

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Excitement, curiosity and fear of the unknown filled the eight year old boy’s mind as he entered the cold, stale room. His eyes landed on some smiling faces that looked vaguely familiar. Yes, these were the same faces that had smiled at him from the pages of the photo album he carried in his backpack, …Read More

not disabled. differently abled.

January 26, 2015 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, limb difference, Missing hand/foot, Orthopedic 3 Comments

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When I was fourteen I taught Sunday School for a year. One of the kids in my class of four year olds had a short left arm. The first day of class I found myself thinking “that poor little guy was born with only one arm.” It took next to no time at all for …Read More

Looking back on adopting my child with HBV

January 17, 2015 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, guest post, HepB+, Infectious, January 2015 Feature 1 Comments

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When my husband and I decided in 2008 to adopt from China’s Special Needs Program, we knew we would have to fill out a medical check list. One of the needs we readily checked was Hepatitis B. I had contacted HepB as an adult and had cleared the virus without really getting sick. Of course, …Read More

She is Perfectly and Wonderfully Made

December 31, 2014 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, guest post, limb difference, Mandy, symbrachydactyly 6 Comments

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My husband Bryson and I knew we would grow our family through adoption when we got married 12.5 years ago. His family served as a foster family welcoming 18 children into their home during his childhood, and I spent time volunteering at an orphanage in Southeast Asia as a teen. These experiences were transformational in …Read More

Unspeakable Joy: adopting a child with complex special needs

December 19, 2014 by nohandsbutours cognitive delay, Family Stories, hypothyroidism, non-verbal 3 Comments

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Sometimes life takes us places we never expected to go and in those places God writes a story we never thought would be ours. — Renee Swope I never viewed myself as “special needs” parent. Our biological daughter was born healthy and our adopted son has a complex heart condition. I believed special needs to …Read More

Willow: adopting a child with complex heart defects

December 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours ASD, complex heart defect, Family Stories, Featured, TGA, VSD 4 Comments

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We are all transformed. Every day that goes by, I know that more clearly in my heart and mind than the day before. We have only been home with Willow for five months. My husband and I married right out of college, and we waited a while before deciding we wanted to have children. He’s …Read More

Adopting a Child with Albinism

November 19, 2014 by nohandsbutours albinism, Family Stories, Skin Conditions 0 Comments

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Our daughter Phoebe was almost nine years old when we adopted her. She is our sixth adoptive child from China, our fifth adoption of an older child, and our first with albinism and with severe visual impairment. The only previous experience my husband and I had with visual impairments is one of our teenage daughters …Read More

A Dream Come True: Adopting a Child with Down Syndrome

October 27, 2014 by nohandsbutours Down syndrome, Family Stories, guest post 3 Comments

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Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I always knew I would adopt from China. From a very young age, I remember being drawn to families who had done so, and …Read More

The Ayers Family Writes Their Own Story

October 20, 2014 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, guest post, Osteogenesis Imperfecta 7 Comments

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As people grow up, get married, and launch into a life together, there’s a funny series of conversations that often encircles these rights of passage. Even as a teenager, I remember the chatter. “How many kids do you think you’ll have?” And after weddings, I’ve heard, “When do you think you’ll starting trying?” Right after …Read More

A Missing Piece: Adopting a Child with 22q Deletion Syndrome

October 9, 2014 by nohandsbutours 22qdeletion syndrome, Developmental System, Family Stories, velocardiofacial syndrome 3 Comments

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In May of 2013, we were asked if we wanted to review the file of a little girl with a repaired Congenital Heart Defect, Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). We had been waiting several months and were so ready for THE phone call. When our doctor reviewed the file, she told us about Velo Cardio Facial …Read More

Adopting Two Boys with Tethered Cord

October 4, 2014 by nohandsbutours Central Nervous System, Family Stories, spina bifida, tethered cord 0 Comments

It was December 2010, exactly one year since we had brought home our first child from China. I happened to be on New Day Foster Home’s site, and this face popped up on the screen. His eyes captured my heart. Immediately, all of our children and I began praying for this little guy, wondering if …Read More

Adopting a Toddler with Hemophilia

September 26, 2014 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, hemophilia 2 Comments

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Our household looks a lot like the average family; a coupe of kids, a beloved pet and constant chaos.  We ever so skillfully (insert sarcasm) navigate pre-school, after school activities and a whole lot of fun.  By all accounts our life is pretty “normal”.   A new addition to our normal has been the management …Read More

special need highlight: adopting a child with ichthyosis

September 16, 2014 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, Ichthyiosis, Skin Conditions 3 Comments

Every adoption story is unique but if there’s one common thread, it has to be all the waiting that is involved. Waiting for the home study to be completed, waiting for the dossier to be sent, and waiting to travel. But waiting to find out who your son or daughter is may be the hardest …Read More

Special Need Highlight: Adopting a Child with Complex Cloaca

September 8, 2014 by nohandsbutours advocating, ambiguous genitalia, cloaca, Family Stories, girls, urogenital defects, urologic 2 Comments

I have to be completely honest from the start. We did not choose this special need. We had never even heard of it! And if we had known what it might entail, I can tell you plainly, we would have chickened out. But God knew that and kept us in the dark so He could …Read More

Special Need Highlight: Adopting a Child with Congenital Syphilis

August 28, 2014 by nohandsbutours Congenital Syphilis, Family Stories, Infectious 0 Comments

When we were in the beginning of our adoption journey, we wanted a child young as possible, and as healthy as possible. We wanted to see far ahead and be completely prepared for anything. The fear of the unknown was gripping, especially with a first adoption, and let’s be honest, I loved being in control …Read More

Training Wheels: Learning to Live with Severe Hemophilia

June 30, 2014 by nohandsbutours Adopting hemophilia, blood conditions, Family Stories, hemophilia 0 Comments

One year ago I was in China meeting my little boy. When I saw his precious picture on the waiting child list in the summer of 2012, I gasped and immediately requested his file. The blurb next to his picture said that he had hemophilia. I didn’t really know much about this condition, and in …Read More

adopting a child with congenital heart disease

May 25, 2014 by nohandsbutours complex heart defect, Family Stories, heart defect 0 Comments

Four years ago, I could not describe the structure or mechanism of the human heart. Now, that magical and miraculous pump that provides the essence of life is something I think about every day. What an amazing odyssey it has been! This post is not enough to do justice to the complexity of the topic …Read More

Exposed to Hope: Girls with Vision Impairment

May 16, 2014 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, girls, Sensory System, vision issues 0 Comments

In 2005 we submitted our application for a Non Special Need (NSN) adoption from China but five years later we were still waiting. Afraid that our time would never come, we started discussing Special Needs (SN) adoption. We got all the necessary papers and permissions but struggled trying to figure out what kind of special …Read More

special need highlight: adopting a child with limited mobility

April 26, 2014 by nohandsbutours Central Nervous System, Family Stories, Incontinence, spina bifida, wheelchair bound 5 Comments

It was April 2012. We had just completed our first adoption from Uganda. The 6 month wait had been satisified for the state of Ohio and we’d just fully adopted our new son. Then…we fell in love with a story and a picture. A sweet little boy waited for us in China! 10 months later, …Read More

special need highlight: adopting a child with spina bifida

April 22, 2014 by nohandsbutours Central Nervous System, Family Stories, spina bifida 0 Comments

In 2012 we started our adoption journey. We have four biological children and wanted to add a special needs baby to the mix! It was very difficult for us to go through the medical list of possible special needs, but we left it in God’s hands. When we received our daughter’s file from our agency …Read More

special need highlight: adopting a child with epilepsy

April 20, 2014 by nohandsbutours Central Nervous System, epilepsy, Family Stories 0 Comments

When my husband and I first decided we were going to adopt we were given the long check list of the needs we thought we could handle. I thought this was a daunting task as I knew there would be children we would essentially saying no to a child by not checking off that box, …Read More

special need highlight: adopting a child with anal atresia

April 12, 2014 by nohandsbutours anorectal malformation, Family Stories, imperforate anus, urogenital defects, urologic 0 Comments

Until we decided to pursue a special needs adoption from China I had never heard of anal atresia (more commonly called imperforate anus or anorectal malformation in the US). My first introduction to the term was via the special needs medical checklist from our agency, and I can remember reading through the list with our …Read More

special need highlight: Adopting a child with Osteogenesis Impefecta

April 2, 2014 by nohandsbutours advocating, Family Stories, Orthopedic, Osteogenesis Imperfecta 2 Comments

This summer traveling in China with Superkids I met a girl with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). This was remarkable in itself because I have only met maybe 20 children with this special need in my 25+ years as a physical therapist. I have a special place in my heart for ever child with this special need. …Read More

special need highlight: children with cancer (or in remission)

March 30, 2014 by nohandsbutours blood conditions, cancer, Family Stories, retinoblastoma 4 Comments

We tend to forget that our daughter had cancer. There are reminders, like the huge scar across her belly, but to us she is just our lively, lovable two-year daughter. We know that cancer is a scary word, and it was a scary time that Maya went through, but she survived it and we would …Read More

special need highlight: adopting a child with brain scan issues

March 16, 2014 by nohandsbutours brain damage syndrome, Central Nervous System, enlarged ventricle, Family Stories 5 Comments

We adopted our son, Jackzhen, in 2012. We met parents on that journey that were already talking about their next adoption, while still in China. I couldn’t fathom returning so soon. Jackzhen was our 4th child and all the adjustments that we were about to endure was all I could handle at that point, especially …Read More

saying yes to complex conditions

February 20, 2014 by nohandsbutours complex medical, Family Stories, Rebecca, urogenital defects, urologic 7 Comments

Checking off medical conditions that we would accept on our agency’s medical checklist, and not checking those we wouldn’t accept, was among the hardest tasks of our adoption process. Our human side wanted to maintain our comfortable life, and longed for easy. In our hearts though, we knew that God’s plans are always much higher …Read More

special need highlight: adopting a child with cerebral palsy

February 18, 2014 by nohandsbutours Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, Family Stories 4 Comments

At the end of a long road of infertility, miscarriage, miracle daughters, and a Korean-born son, we found ourselves at the end of an adoption attempt, that after 4 years, had resulted in a son forever in his birth country due to political reasons. We were devastated. That long process that ended in heartbreak was …Read More

special need highlight: adopting a child with cleft lip and palate

February 12, 2014 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, cleft lip, Craniofacial, Family Stories 1 Comments

Two years ago I fell in love with a very small 7 month old little boy with big sad eyes and the hiccups. He didn’t cry much and loved to be held. He was the most beautiful little boy. He also had a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate. At that time, I was on …Read More

waiting child highlight: adopting a deaf child

February 2, 2014 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, hearing impairment, Sensory, Sensory System, shared list, special focus 2 Comments

For as long as I can remember, I have always dreamed of having a little girl. I also dreamed of adopting an Asian girl, but I wasn’t sure where she’d be from- China, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or the Philippines? In September of 2010, I stumbled on an advocacy blog for children waiting in China. …Read More

Waiting child highlight: Can a Blind Kid Really do That?

January 24, 2014 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, vision issues, vision loss 2 Comments

Before I started working for Bethel China, I had never had any interaction with children or adults who are blind or visually impaired (VI). Spending time with these kids has been a huge learning curve for me in changing my perceptions about what a child with a visual impairment can do. As a sighted person, …Read More

Special need highlight: adopting a child with club feet

January 22, 2014 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, Family Stories, Orthopedic 0 Comments

It was a day in October of 2012 that I will never forget. We had been in the process to adopt a special needs child from China, and we got the call that changed our lives for the better! We were told about a little boy with club foot. Two things about this call were …Read More

waiting child highlight: older girls

January 4, 2014 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, girls, large families, older child adoption, shared list 5 Comments

To open your heart to a child who may or may not remember her biological parents. Or is attached to an auntie. To be bringing home a child who has already developed a personality and habits. To be bringing home a child whom you may have chosen to name after yourself (Ruthi) only to have …Read More