No Boys?

September 15, 2014 by nohandsbutours cognitive disability, heart defect, Jean, older child adoption 1 Comments

That’s what we were saying back in 2006. We had 4 biological sons and felt like that was a good number. We had one daughter and felt like the Lord had perfectly planned it… we needed more girls! I had always dreamed of a sister for Katie. Of course not one that was 20 years …Read More

Ready or Not…Kindergarten, Here I Come

September 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 2 Comments

I’m no novice when it comes to parenting. And I’m definitely not a novice when it comes to sending my kids off to Kindergarten. But this year, there was something different about the three times I’d done it previously. This time it was my China babies. Nothing could have fully prepared me for the first …Read More

Two Septembers

September 2, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam, urologic 1 Comments

He sauntered into the room While our hearts were beating fast, The papers had been signed No longer an orphan, a son at last. A grin stretched wide Across his adorable face, Straight to his daddy’s lap A picture of grace. We played, we laughed We shed a few tears, But he? He just giggled …Read More

“Cold Feet”

August 15, 2014 by nohandsbutours cognitive disability, heart defect, Jean, older child adoption 4 Comments

After adopting 13 children you would think I have it all down to a science! But I don’t… Once again I have suffered from the feelings of “cold feet”… Am I sure that it will work out adding to this large crew that somehow seems to work well together? Was it just me that thought …Read More

Find My Family: Shamus

August 12, 2014 by nohandsbutours BAAS, boys, Children Who Wait, heart defect 2 Comments

This cherubic little 3 year old is still waiting for his family! He is Shamus with BAAS, and Lucas with Reese’s Rainbow. He has a complex CHD that will require another surgery when he is 5. He had a bilateral two way Glenn procedure in 2011. As you can see from his videos (linked below), …Read More

To the Traumatized Family

August 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 9 Comments

A few days ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and saw a comment on a link for a ministry to traumatized children that broke my heart. An adoptive parent was asking where the ministry was for families who have been traumatized by bringing a traumatized child into their home. This is something I …Read More

how we deal

August 4, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam, urologic 7 Comments

I’m not gonna lie. My world has been spinning for a few months. And I try my best during the last week of each month to settle on a topic to write about here at NHBO. But y’all. It’s just been hard lately! I walk through a scenario with our boys and I think “BAM! …Read More

Somewhere to Run

July 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 9 Comments

In my adoptions circles, there is a little bit of a running joke about all the things that start going wrong once a paper chase and the commitment to adopt a child (or children) begins. Somewhere along the journey to China, an adoptive parent can guarantee that an appliance…or three…will break, the car will need …Read More

walk, don’t run.

July 1, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam, urologic 1 Comments

I’ve never been a runner. Heck, the nickname given to me in high school was “Clyde.” As in Clydesdale. Yeah, the horse. The one who trots along through life. But while I may not have been a runner, I walked fast! And with purpose. Even now, I somehow manage to leave my poor husband in …Read More

Taking Care of Personal Business

June 15, 2014 by nohandsbutours cognitive disability, heart defect, Incontinence, Jean, older child adoption 6 Comments

In other words this is a poop and potty post! Many of the children that sit and sit and sit on the waiting child list are there because they are incontinent. Which means they cannot control their bowels and bladder. We have brought 2 children home that were in “that situation.” One was diagnosed with …Read More

I like you be my mommy

June 11, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kristi, vision issues 2 Comments

“I like you be my mommy.” Those six little words, spoken with a beaming smile no less, from my four year old nearly made me come undone recently. Her heartfelt statement spoke volumes about the positive change in our relationship over the nine months we’ve known one another…because on September 2 of last year, things …Read More

Then and Now

June 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 3 Comments

As an adoptive parent there is definitely one thing that I stress over more than anything else. One might think it would have something to do with doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, surgeries, or something else of that nature. But those things come easily to me. I’m usually sipping my cup of coffee and enjoying my …Read More

Never Say Never Again

May 29, 2014 by nohandsbutours dwarfism, heart defect, large families 4 Comments

My husband, Joe, and I never set out to be parents of this many kids. If there can be such a thing as accidental adoptions, we have experienced them. Now though, our adoptions are no longer accidental. This is the way we have chosen to live. The path that led us to this decision, at …Read More

waiting child highlight: Gabriel (urgent medical need)

May 28, 2014 by nohandsbutours boys, Children Who Wait, heart defect, shared list 1 Comments

Look at this handsome boy! Gabriel is an obedient, soft-spoken ten year old boy. He loves to play with other children, but due to his complex heart condition, he has a hard time keeping up. So often he just watches the others play games while he plays with blocks and puzzles. Gabriel has normal motor …Read More

A Silent Event… A Near Drowning

May 15, 2014 by nohandsbutours cognitive disability, heart defect, Jean, older child adoption 4 Comments

And it was awful… it still haunts me… I don’t think I will EVER forget about it… the image is forever ingrained in my mind… In all of our 30 years of parenting it has happened just once. AND once is ENOUGH… I am not going into specifics. It’s private and it will always be …Read More

The Best Mama

May 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 0 Comments

I’ll never forget the first time it happened. She threw her arms around me and exclaimed, “I love you, Mama! You’re the best mama I’ve ever had!!!” And every time it’s happened since then is carved on my heart as well. Every. Single. Time. The day I met my sweet Cora…just over a year-and-a-half ago…was …Read More

Expecting

April 15, 2014 by nohandsbutours cognitive disability, heart defect, Jean, older child adoption 1 Comments

We just had our first grandchild! It is so exciting AND such an amazing feeling having her HERE! Our daughter talked to me every day (from Germany) before her delivery. The anticipation was riveting! When would she arrive, how would the delivery go, who would she look like? It was a happy moment when I …Read More

what time?

April 11, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kristi, vision issues 0 Comments

Difficult conversations. They happen in every house from time to time. Sometimes they are easy to see coming, other times they can hit just about blindsided. And then there are the times you lay your own trap… Last year I turned 40. The morning of my birthday one of my kiddos came in to wake …Read More

Completely Natural

April 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara, Uncategorized 1 Comments

My virtual twins are thick as thieves. And they act like an old married couple. The bond they share is amazing to behold. They actually have the same type of relationship that biological twins do. The way God has grafted their two little hearts together is most amazing. With this relationship comes lots and lots …Read More

she says they’re insane, but I say they ROCK

April 1, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam, urologic 5 Comments

So we have some great friends in this life. Tamara & Jason are among them. We met back in the late ‘90’s when our hubbies were attending seminary in Fort Worth. We were carefree… with good jobs, a love for coffee, and no kids between us. We played often, laughed hard, took trips and lived …Read More

How To Find Your Child

March 15, 2014 by nohandsbutours cognitive disability, heart defect, Jean, older child adoption 2 Comments

At least, this is how we found our children! We started with prayer. Prayers for strength, perseverance, guidance, grace and for the child that HE was leading us too. Once we felt God’s presence we proceeded. This is a good place to start! The NHBO site is filled with information on different special needs, parenting …Read More

the need is great

March 12, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kristi, vision issues 2 Comments

This month I meant to share with you about a difficult conversation one of my kids and I have been dancing around for months now. And I will share that conversation at some point. But it won’t be today. Today my heart is broken, my thoughts are disjointed and my emotions are raw. I just …Read More

Timing is everything

March 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 0 Comments

There’s an old saying that “timing is everything.” And it’s true. The moment at which something enters our lives does make a difference in how it is received. For better or for worse. My “baby” just celebrated his fifth birthday, which is his fourth birthday with us. This one was bittersweet to me. After nearly …Read More

Urology Woes & Successes

March 1, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam, urologic 1 Comments

So happy March, y’all! Are you as excited about spring coming to your neck of the woods as I am about it coming to mine? Whew. And I only live in the South. Can’t imagine how you folks in other parts of the country are still managing to maintain sanity right about now! But hold …Read More

wounded heart

February 11, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kristi, vision issues 1 Comments

Character band-aids. They seemed to me like a colorful slice of a pacifier that we ever so gently stick on our children’s wounds…sometimes they even actually even cover blood. I have in the past had what you could call a ‘love/hate relationship’ with character band-aids. That is until a Mother’s Day tea in one of …Read More

Holidays and Celebrations

February 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 2 Comments

I’m not exactly what you’d call a “holiday” person. I know people who have decorations ranging from Christmas trees to pumpkins to shamrocks to pink and red hearts that they put up as the seasons rotate. Bu I’m not one of them. I’m a minimalist. The only holiday I decorate for is Christmas and that’s …Read More

One Giant Leap Forward

January 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 1 Comments

It’s been three years and one month since I stood in the Civil Affairs building in Zhengzhou and took the sweetest boy into my arms. It was the end of 13 long months of waiting, and the love I felt for my son during all those agonizing months was nothing compared to the explosion that …Read More

Her New Forever

December 5, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 0 Comments

One of the hardest things…for me, at least…about being an adoptive parent is knowing that I missed out on my child(ren)’s life in China. And I’ve found that the older the child is when they join our family, the harder it is to deal with that loss of knowledge about my child’s past. Our early …Read More

you can't keep a good man down

December 1, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam, urologic 0 Comments

I’ve posted here before that I’m an idiot. There’s no denying. And my idiocy is magnified at the pedi urologist’s office. But recently, I scored one for the mommy dummies of the world, because I was right! Our Gabe wasn’t doing well. I couldn’t put my finger on it. He was cranky and pulling at …Read More

Sickness and Snuggles

November 5, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 0 Comments

There’s been some kind of virus floating through our house for the past week or so. And as I predicted it would, the illness is slowly making its rounds through the family. Last night we got hit with a “double whammy”. As my husband and I were tucking our sweet China babies into bed we …Read More

baby steps and giant leaps

November 1, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam, urologic 3 Comments

I’m not sure if I’ve posted here before about the long and winding road we walk with our Joel in regards to education. In a nutshell, Joel came home to us at age 3 having spent his life in an orphanage. He was not speaking Thai at all and we were told by his pediatrician …Read More

Always

October 5, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 0 Comments

I am the proud mama of four-year-old virtual twins, both adopted from China. And while they were adopted in two separate adoptions, 23 months apart, they are every bit as much of brother and sister as they can be. This has its benefits. The two of them always have a built-in playmate. As their mother, …Read More

Dealing With Grief

September 5, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 6 Comments

As pre-adoptive parents prepare to bring our children home, we go through hours upon hours of parent training. Not to mention meetings with our social worker, and any reading we may do on our own to help prepare for the day our new son or daughter joins their forever family. One of the topics that …Read More

Remembering

September 2, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam, urologic 0 Comments

My mind has been doing the very same thing this week that it did three years ago. In 2010, our son, Joel {aka The Thai Tornado}, would be celebrating his first year home in the coming days and I couldn’t get the images, the smells and the memories out of my head. They came flooding …Read More

Are you ready?

August 11, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kristi, vision issues 7 Comments

Our sweet Natalie. It’s been over two years now that we’ve prayed for her to find a family and nearly one year since we’ve been racing to make her part of ours. In pictures I’ve watched her go from a baby to a toddler to an adorable preschooler. While it seemed the wait would be …Read More

A Few of My Favorite Things

August 5, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 3 Comments

It all started nearly three years ago. As soon as we brought our first son home from China, I began scheduling appointments at our local children’s hospital to have specialists review the needs listed in his file. Initially there were four doctors we were working with…then three…and finally we were left only with two as …Read More

expect the unexpected

August 1, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam, urologic 0 Comments

So the last time we chatted, our Gabe had a surgery looming. As we say in the South, a “big, honkin’ surgery.” We knew what we wanted to have happen…a graft to be taken from our Little Prince’s mouth {ouch} to build his urethra {as well as tubes placed in his ears for recurrent and …Read More

The One

July 6, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 1 Comments

It’s hardly been a month since we finalized our son’s adoption. We’re still in the getting settled in and trying to discover our “new normal” phase. The jetlag has passed, we’ve had our first post placement visit with our social worker, and bonding through movies and board games is a key focus of mine. Our …Read More

perspective and prayers {7.1.13}

July 3, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam, urologic 9 Comments

I wrote most of this post at 12:37am Monday morning. Before anything happened. Before reality came. I was broken and sad and pondering some weighty things. And sleep just would not come. Do you ever do this? Does your mind spin and swirl and succumb to hard thoughts late at night? Do you see faces …Read More

Best friends

June 11, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kristi, vision issues 0 Comments

This school year one of my closest friend’s daughters has helped keep Daniel and I company one day a week. Our Mondays together have included some preschool lessons, lunch time, rest time and of course plenty of play time. Two precious kiddos, born on different continents in 2008. These “built-in best friends” now live in …Read More

Gotcha Day

June 5, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 12 Comments

It was two-and-a-half years ago that I approached the very same building and found a precious baby boy already inside waiting for me. That was the moment I had dreamed of for so many years…I was finally adopting from China. Today was a different scenario. I found myself waiting (not so patiently) in that room …Read More

miles to go

June 1, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam, urologic 1 Comments

So the little prince and I were at Target the other day when my phone rang. Our dear friends needed a little help and thought of us… Because she said, “You guys ‘get it!’” And I guess she’s right about that. They have been home from China for six months with their sweet boy and …Read More

Chinese Cowpokes

May 5, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Tara 1 Comments

The process of watching an adopted child become a part of their family is beautiful to behold. The “Gotcha Day” videos get me every time. But beyond that comes the intertwining that takes place over time. My husband and I already had three biological children when we adopted our son from China in 2010. And …Read More

why?

May 1, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam, urologic 8 Comments

So that is the question I hear out of our Thai Tornado’s mouth incessantly. Why? I can’t remember when our girls went through this stage. It seems they were much younger. Joel will be seven in four months. He seems old to me…but maybe I’m just old and can’t remember. Yeah, that’s more plausible. Why …Read More

Everyday girl

April 11, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kristi, port wine stain, vision issues 2 Comments

I watch her run across the yard, her straight, black ponytail bouncing over her self-selected outfit (which today, for once, is rather tame) and from the back she seems like just any other, everyday, six year old girl. Then something grabs her attention and she turns around. As she glances past me her face breaks into …Read More

The Broken Point

April 5, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Tara 4 Comments

My husband and I are in the throes of adoption for yet a third time.  I think any adoptive parent would tell you that the process isn’t easy.  It’s frustrating and disappointing.  Rarely are the waits shorter than you expected or the news better than you expected to hear. Last week was one of *those* …Read More

not in a million years

April 2, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, hypospadias, Kam, urologic 3 Comments

So I’m a moron. I mean it. A complete and total dork. My idiocy seems to come out NOT in front of fellow idiots, but around uber smart, genius type people. You know, those who intimidate the heck out of you and before whom you know ahead of time that you should just keep your …Read More

A Special Family

March 5, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Tara 2 Comments

Recently one of my friends directed me to a quote that ended with the phrase, “Raising a child with special needs doesn’t TAKE a special family, it MAKES a special family.” I’m a lover of quotes, but this one especially resonated with me. Not just because I’ve adopted two children with special needs and am …Read More

one thing remains

March 3, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam 5 Comments

Well, February came and went like a flash, didn’t it? And I don’t know about you, or what the neck of the woods you call home feels like today…but my neck and my woods feel COLD! So, Hello March! This mama is soooo happy to see you. Because March means spring is just around the …Read More

All About Love

February 13, 2013 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, heart defect, Laine, radial club hand 0 Comments

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so let’s talk about LOVE! One of my favorite subjects! Some say, “Actions speak louder than words.” In some cases, that may be true. But we must never underestimate the power of words. When we meet our adopted children for the first time, we always say I love you lots and …Read More