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 2 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 1 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

special need highlight: adopting congenital heart disease

May 25, 2014 by nohandsbutours advocacy; complex heart defects, Children Who Wait, complex heart defect, Family Stories, Holt 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

waiting child highlight: saying yes to complex conditions

February 20, 2014 by nohandsbutours advocating, complex medical, Family Stories, special focus, 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

special need highlight: focus on dwarfism

December 18, 2013 by nohandsbutours dwarfism, Family Stories, Orthopedic 2 Comments

After adding 2 beautiful girls from China and 2 incredible boys from Ethiopia to our already full and active family of three biological kiddos. We thought for sure we were done adding to our family. We felt God leading us to care for the orphans in other ways – advocating for waiting children, meeting with …Read More

special need highlight: focus on down syndrome

December 2, 2013 by nohandsbutours Developmental System, Down syndrome, Family Stories 1 Comments

From a very young age, individuals with Down Syndrome (DS) have attracted my attention. As a result, I have spent more time with the DS population than the average 38-year-old woman. In June of 2012, when my husband and I came to a place where we were both ready to add a child through adoption …Read More

special need highlight: focus on congenital nevus

November 20, 2013 by nohandsbutours Congenital nevus, Family Stories, Skin Conditions 8 Comments

During the first few months of our adoption process, I poured through waiting child files and researched varying special needs in anticipation of finding our child.  When we finally got the call from our social worker telling us she had a file for us to look at, I was ecstatic. I thought we had a basic knowledge …Read More

Welcome to our Family Stories page

October 20, 2012 by nohandsbutours Family Stories 0 Comments

The link list below is a representation of the special needs covered by the stories shared here. Feel free to use these links to navigate to the different stories here on No Hands But Ours. You will find stories here submitted by families who have adopted children with special needs. And who have chosen to …Read More

Our adoption story

October 20, 2012 by nohandsbutours blood conditions, Family Stories, ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura), Sensory, vision issues 5 Comments

Adoption is word that has been said, discussed, and considered in our family since we have been married. Noel and I just recently celebrated 17 years of marriage, and early in our marriage we thought it would be how God would grow our family. We experienced a very trying time of infertility, but God did …Read More

Thank God they ARE mine!

October 14, 2012 by nohandsbutours cerebral palsy, Family Stories, hearing impairment, limb difference, neurofibromatosis, Sensory Issues 4 Comments

Our story starts in 2004, when I had a complicated pregnancy with my first child, Gianna, and was advised not to ever get pregnant again. This was actually fine with me because I’d always been drawn toward adoption. We adopted our second child in 2007, another daughter we named Camille, from Kazakhstan. After strong suspicions …Read More

Madelyn's adoption story

October 5, 2012 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, limb difference, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic, radial club hand 0 Comments

About eight years ago we began to consider adoption. We started by investigating foster care adoption in 2004, it didn’t work out. Fast forward to 2010—– we met a family with a precious three year old little girl from China. That afternoon we both said, it is time. We didn’t think we qualified for China, …Read More

Rachel

September 6, 2012 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, growth hormone deficiency, lysinuric protein intolerace, missing fingers/toes, reactive attachment disorder 1 Comments

By Kathy, mom to Rachel from China with a SN of missing fingers Eight years ago we adopted a little girl from China with a hand difference. We had lost our firstborn son to Trisomy 13 shortly after his birth in 1999. He had many visible anomalies, such as extra fingers and a cleft lip …Read More

Lucas

February 21, 2011 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, heart defect, VSD 0 Comments

by Lyn, mom to Lucas from China with an SN of repaired VSD I was not one of those people who longed to adopt a child my whole life. My husband Bob and I had two biological girls and thought our family was complete. Adoption had never occurred to us until December 2005. That Christmas, …Read More

Pei

February 7, 2011 by nohandsbutours Craniofacial, facial palsy, Family Stories, hearing impairment, microtia, Sensory System 0 Comments

By Nicole, mom to Pei from China with a SN of microtia and facial palsy Journeys of Faith Often Have Limited Sight We were a family of four before we traveled to Russia in July of 2008 to meet a little girl who needed a family. We had no information about this child prior to …Read More

my son

April 15, 2010 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, guest post, older child adoption 0 Comments

Today’s post is a guest post, written by Amy who is in China now adopting her son, Xinran In just a few short weeks, 19 days to be exact, a 4 year old little boy with dark brown hair and black eyes will stand in front of me. He will call me Mama. I will …Read More

Sara

April 14, 2010 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, heart defect, VSD 0 Comments

by Tricia, mom to Sara from China with an SN of congenital heart defect (VSD) My husband and I had a strong desire to grow our family via adoption and we were soon drawn to China’s program and the idea of adding a daughter to our family. We signed up with CCAI in 2007 and …Read More

Gabe

March 28, 2010 by nohandsbutours congenital glaucoma, Family Stories, Sensory, Sensory Issues, Sensory System, vision issues 0 Comments

by Jess, mom to Gabe Xulu from China with congenital glaucoma While Tim and I were paper-chasing we knew from the get go that we would be adopting SN, so even before we submitted our dossier we filled out our SN checklist. Our agency didn’t want us to submit it though until we submitted our …Read More

Joseph

March 5, 2010 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories 0 Comments

by Angie, mom to Joseph from China with an SN cleft lip and palate The word the Lord has used over and over to speak to our hearts is treasure. When He spoke to our hearts for the first time in Sept. 2003 about adoption He reminded us of our three treasures. We have three …Read More

Kooper and Kinley

February 16, 2010 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Craniofacial, dual adoption, Family Stories, older child adoption 0 Comments

by Connie, mom to Kinley (2) and Kooper (13) adopted from China at the same time In August of 2003 when God instantly gripped the hearts of my husband and I for the orphan, we had no idea where He would lead us. We knew He was calling us to a task much larger than …Read More

His Pleading Eyes…..

October 30, 2009 by nohandsbutours arthrogryposis, cl/cp, Craniofacial, Ear Deformity, Estropia, Family Stories, Linny, Orthopedic, Sensory, Sensory Issues, Sensory System 6 Comments

I had poured through a “billion” special needs kids faces, all of them drawing an “ooohh” or an “awwww”….but then I saw his face….and I gasped. (It seems that whenever I gasp I know God is up to something big.) Really. I remember staring at him and studying the expression on his sweet little face, …Read More

Hope

October 11, 2009 by nohandsbutours amniotic band syndrome, Family Stories, limb difference, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic 0 Comments

by Amy, mom to Hope from China with Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS) When we set out to adopt after having four biological children – we were looking to adopt a girl that was younger than our youngest son, who was 20 months at the time. Since we were already the parents of 4 young children …Read More

Meah

September 22, 2009 by nohandsbutours Craniofacial, Family Stories, hemifacial microsomia 0 Comments

by Melinda, mom to Meah from China with hemifacial microsomia When my husband and I were in the process of adopting again, we had looked at all the programs and chose to adopt minor special needs from Vietnam. We also thought we would adopt a 2 to 4 year old… little did we know. While …Read More

Mary's daughter

August 31, 2009 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, HepB+, Infectious, Living Hope 0 Comments

by Mary, mom to a daughter from China with Hepatitis B It all started after watching three beautiful Chinese girls in dance class with my daughter each week. I had time to sit and chat with the mother who adopted these three beautiful girls from China. Each week we talked more about the adoptions. Adoption …Read More

Ryan

June 22, 2009 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, hearing impairment, microtia 0 Comments

by Darcy, mom to Ryan from China with bilateral microtia/atresia “Such A Time As This” After several years of trying to adopt domestically, God led us to pursue international adoption. In October of 2005, our family traveled to China to adopt our daughter, Rylee. Our oldest son, my husband, and myself soaked up the experience, …Read More

Chu Meng

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

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

Ella

June 3, 2009 by nohandsbutours CWA, Family Stories, heart defect, VSD 0 Comments

by Kelly, mom to Ella from China with a congenital heart defect The decision to pursue a “special needs” adoption when we were ready to bring home our second daughter, our fifth child, was an easy one for us to make. In fact, we never even considered ‘getting back in line’ for a NSN (non-special …Read More