Questions and No Answers

January 5, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Tara 8 Comments

I am excited to introduce our newest member of the No Hands But Ours team, Tara. Tara is a Texas gal who’s passionate about God and adoption. She has been married to the man of her dreams for 13 years and they have five children: three “homegrown” kids, a son with cleft lip and palate …Read More

sleep deprived & living to tell about it

January 1, 2013 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam 3 Comments

It’s funny just how fast we forget the hard stuff. Like labor and delivery. Or training for an athletic goal. Or the first few weeks of full on reentry after an international adoption. We were blessed with two daughters by birth. After the first traumatic delivery, for a solid 18 months, I said “never again!” …Read More

Advent

December 1, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam 1 Comments

I’ve been pondering Christmas a lot lately. It’s December, after all, and well… it’s just been on my mind. The season of Advent… or the coming of the Lord. How long God’s people waited for it. Imagined it. Prepared for it. Prayed and asked and begged for it. For the Advent. It’s running through my …Read More

peeling back the layers

November 1, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam 0 Comments

So I’ve been MIA from here for about two months and for good reason… we went to China! And can I just say? It was absolutely amazing. We enjoyed every minute of our trip. Receiving our son, Gabe, was all that we hoped and prayed it would be. When we met our first son in …Read More

Between a Fork and a Chopstick

October 5, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Sonia 21 Comments

That’s where I find myself. Between a fork and a chopstick. And that’s where I come to you today asking for some momma advice. I love the way these boys eat. ok in truth….I could do without the slurping…..gag but other than that I have no problem with it. But here’s where I am stuck… …Read More

Keeping the Past in the Present

September 27, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Wife of the Prez 5 Comments

“It is kind of almost like a pseudo-open adoption,” the adoption professional said to me as I shared with her about our reunion with our 12-year-old son’s foster family. Absence may not have made their hearts grow stronger—I don’t think the love could be much stronger than it already was—but absence definitely made the hearts …Read More

The Myth of the "New Normal"

September 3, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Sonia 28 Comments

That’s what it feels like to me. A myth. “New” normal? Normal? Whaaa? I’m completely unfamiliar with that word at the moment. The feeling of being normal is elusive to me. Does “the new normal” really even exist? I wonder this because I cannot, for the life of me, find it. Nothing about our life …Read More

The Surgery That Wasn't

August 27, 2012 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, heart defect, older child adoption, Wife of the Prez 2 Comments

At 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, August 21, I was preparing trying to prepare for surgery #14, which was scheduled for the following day, Wednesday, August 22. Yes, that is not a typo. Fourteen surgeries since we brought Li’l Miss home and waited during her six-hour, open-heart surgery on September 30, 2008. Tomorrow was to be the …Read More

730 Days

August 13, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Laine 8 Comments

“Stick ‘em up, heart cath…” Kevin joined our family in February 2010 with pulmonary hypertension, single ventricle, heterotaxy, VSD, and a few other heart anomalies. Before we brought Kevin home, we knew there was a possibility that he would not be a candidate for a heart repair surgery. Just a few weeks after arriving home, …Read More

He Didn't Get the Memo

August 3, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Sonia 17 Comments

Have you ever seen the TV show Parenthood? I have. I like that show. Nay. I like-like that show. I love watching family dynamics play out in front of me that I don’t have to stress about or worry over or problem solve It’s a bit like how I learned to be a parent by …Read More

t-minus very soon

August 1, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam 7 Comments

I typically have a pretty good idea where I’m going with a post here. I mean, it’s only once a month, right? How hard can it be? My slot is usually the first day of each month. So by the week before it’s due, I’ve at least got a jumping-off point. But this time is …Read More

The Bed

July 13, 2012 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, heart defect, Laine, radial club hand 3 Comments

I love my bed, don’t you love your bed? Think about it for a minute. When you’ve been out of town for awhile, don’t you just look forward to your OWN BED? There’s just nothing else like it. And oh, that first night back in your bed after you’ve been away on a trip? You …Read More

When Enough is Enough

July 3, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Sonia 93 Comments

I’m confused. I’m heartbroken. I’m left feeling selfish. And in a perpetual state of prayer and wonder. I remember when John and I were discussing Joshua’s adoption and John felt like Joshua needed to be the last one and I completely agreed. We had been home only 3 months with Jacob and Joey and we …Read More

A Birthday Fully Enjoyed

June 13, 2012 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, heart defect, Laine, radial club hand 5 Comments

I remember 5 years ago on May 26th, 2007. I was at my niece’s graduation camping experience with my entire family. We were having the time of our lives. Biking, hiking, roasting marshmallows, swimming, talking, sharing…it was a wonderful day! Except for that deep void I felt in my heart. That sadness that made me …Read More

Recalculate

June 3, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Sonia 14 Comments

When you go on your adoption trip expect it expect to meet Jesus there. I did. And then I walked right past Him. A year and a half later and I am still haunted by my choice. A year and a half ago we had gone to a park one day, you know the one …Read More

Some Things You Just Can’t Get Over

May 27, 2012 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, heart defect, older child adoption, Wife of the Prez 1 Comments

My post is late. My brain feels like mush much of the time. Life is just plain hard right now. For many reasons. I have really struggled with this post. Even going back and forth on a possible topic. I thought it was going to be about foster care. Then attachment. Then our new normal …Read More

letting go

May 1, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam 4 Comments

So many aspects of the adoption process can cause you grief. The paperwork, the money, the general worry about your little one. I think there is a false sense of security in the paper chase. Something, somewhere down deep tells you that you’ve got this thing under control. You order birth certificates and schedule home …Read More

Thankful We Didn't Know…

April 15, 2012 by nohandsbutours Diana, heart defect, tethered cord 3 Comments

When we reviewed the file of Emme Jade we knew she had a minor heart defect. She had already had a repair in Shanghai at 10 months old, and our cardiologist was confident her heart looked great! Fast forward to August, 8th, 2011 when we met Emme in Nanjing. There is only one word for …Read More

At nine months

April 11, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kristi 4 Comments

Back in July I wrote about sleep (or lack thereof) in our house with our new addition. It seemed pretty dismal back then. For those in the midst of sleepless nights, I thought that a look at the light at the end of the tunnel may offer some encouragement. Sleep.  Such a precious commodity. I …Read More

The Terminal Child

March 6, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Sonia, Tetrology of Fallot 11 Comments

I still don’t really know how we got here. I still don’t understand why that label Terminal. Didn’t make me turn away from him. Somehow. Someway. I knew. He.Was.Ours. And the fact that he hadn’t been given much time left on this earth somehow didn’t frighten me. It made me sad, certainly. For him, for …Read More

I not be fraid~

February 1, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, hypospadias, Kam, urogenital defects 0 Comments

Happy February everyone! I for one can’t believe how fast time is moving. I’m sure it’s about to slow to a snail’s pace for my family though as we have just submitted our LOI for a new son this week. The wait has officially begun again. Many of you know that we lost our son, …Read More

CHD: Single Ventricle Heart (Probably more than you wanted to know!)

January 22, 2012 by nohandsbutours complex heart defect, heart defect, Wife of the Prez 12 Comments

I had a reader* (on my family blog) ask a question the other day that I figured some others may be wondering. I also think answering it could potentially help educate others about single ventricle heart disease, and education is POWER and could mean another child going from orphan to a son or daughter. So …Read More

brand spankin' new~

December 10, 2011 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kam 0 Comments

I really can’t decide where to begin. Being new here fills me with a million questions. None of which really matter to anyone but me! Still, I don’t want this “Hello” post to be about me or us or our family. But I just think it could come across rude to just pop in like …Read More

Learning to love dangerously

October 11, 2011 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kristi 0 Comments

Special needs. There’s a whole lot of weight to those two words. I’ve written a few times about how having several children with so called “special needs” doesn’t define our family.  We have more specialist appointments than some and less than others, but overall the family life of the “M6″ is mapped by four active …Read More

His heart

July 11, 2011 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, heart defect, Kristi 0 Comments

I’ll never forget meeting our Daniel for the very first time.  We had met both Caleb and Darcy around the same age and while Ian and I were thrilled, it could be said that neither of them were…  I was prepared for a similar reaction from our youngest. As we approached the courtyard, the red …Read More

SN: CHD and CL/CP

April 27, 2011 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, heart defect, Wife of the Prez 0 Comments

I see this label often on the shared list and advocacy sites. It hits close to my heart to see it. I don’t think as I used to of the FEAR. Of the what ifs. Of genetic syndromes. Of shorter lifespans. Of lower intelligence. Of open-heart surgery. Of speech delays that may take years to …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

Adoption Reality #2: Special Needs Do NOT Define Children

August 30, 2010 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, heart defect, Wife of the Prez 0 Comments

This post is a bit of a detour for me from my original plan for my #2 Adoption Reality. I feel the need to share this though, and to add a disclaimer that these Adoption Realities I’m sharing are MY realities. They may not be the same for all of us, but for me this …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

Jadyn

March 1, 2010 by nohandsbutours heart defect, TGA, VSD 0 Comments

by Sue, mom to Jadyn from China with a SN of TGA, PS and VSD (major heart condition) Our SN check list included mild and/or a correctable heart condition. 35 months after our log-in-date we received a phone call from our agency about a little girl who had recently turned 2 and had a VSD. …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

Kaylin Mei Lian

April 10, 2009 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, heart defect, Tetrology of Fallot 0 Comments

by Anita, momma to Kaylin Mei Lian from China with Tetralogy of Fallot (CHD) As we began the adoption of our daughter, Kaylin, we went into it like many families requesting a non-special needs child as young as possible from China. We had already been blessed with three older, biological children who were healthy, and …Read More

Tia

March 25, 2009 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, heart defect, VSD 0 Comments

by Ellie, mom to Tia from China with VSD If you would have told us 3 or 4 years ago that we would choose a special needs adoption I can guarantee you we would have said NO WAY! You see before we began our adoption journey we had two healthy biological children and had chosen …Read More

Ally and Alaina

March 6, 2009 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, heart defect, PDA, VSD 0 Comments

by Lucy, mom to Ally and Alaina from China with heart defects We began our adoption process like most families – waiting for a NSN “healthy” child. We never even considered ANY SN at the beginning. Early in our “wait” I began looking at children on the Waiting Child list, but was always scared away …Read More

Mya Jian

March 4, 2009 by nohandsbutours ASD, CCAI, Family Stories, heart defect, VSD 0 Comments

by Sara, mom to Mya Jian from China with ASD & VSD “Without it she wouldn’t be ours.” Her scar. Her badge of survival and hope. The 6″ line that runs the length of her chest. It’s unevenness & healed broken rib, a forever reminder. Without it, she wouldn’t be ours. I dreamed about a …Read More

Abby Grace

February 2, 2009 by nohandsbutours AWAA, cl/cp, Family Stories, heart defect 0 Comments

By Jennifer, mother to Abby Grace from China with complex unrepaired heart condition and unrepaired bi-lateral cleft lip and palate In December of 2005 a little girl was born in the city of Ping Liang in GanSu Province China. A child that was not perfect in the eyes of man but perfect in the eyes …Read More

Susannah

January 30, 2009 by nohandsbutours AWAA, cl/cp, Family Stories, heart defect 0 Comments

by Leslie, mother to Susannah from China with complex unrepaired heart defects and unrepaired cl/cp Our journey to Susannah began years ago as God was birthing the desire to adopt in both of our hearts. It is very hard to pinpoint a specific date as I can look back at so many moments when I …Read More

Fei Yan

December 10, 2008 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, heart defect, HepB+ 0 Comments

By anonymous, mom to Fei Yan from China with a heart defect (VSD) and Hep B+ When we began the adoption process we were pursuing a healthy child. God had other plans and soon opened our hearts to the children on the waiting child list. We filled out a form with our agency in April …Read More

Josie

November 24, 2008 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, heart defect, Tetrology of Fallot 0 Comments

By Kim Kenward, mother to Josie from a China with a Congenital Heart Defect ~ Tetralogy of Fallot Our Journey to Josephine Xue Kenward When we first started out in the adoption process, we didn’t start out pursuing a special needs adoption. On July 31, 2007, we found our daughter on a waiting child list …Read More

Cana

October 20, 2008 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, heart defect 0 Comments

by Stacy, mom to Cana from China with Ventricular Septal Defect The Miracle of Cana ~May 15, 2007 – WONDERFUL and DEVASTATING NEWS!!! 2 weeks since referral… The wonderful news is that we received a medical update on our little Cana (see below entry). God has healed her heart!!! Although there are still some medical …Read More

Mia

October 20, 2008 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, FTIA, heart defect 0 Comments

by Michelle, mom to Mia from China with Atrial and Ventricular Septal Defects OUR ADOPTION STORY For this particular story, I will focus on our second adoption, which was a Special Needs adoption. But I only feel it appropriate to shed some light on our first experience with adoption. When we first decided to adopt, …Read More

Maggie

October 20, 2008 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, heart defect 0 Comments

by Denise, mom to Maggie from China with Ventricular Septal Defect Let me start at the beginning. My dream of adopting from China goes back many years, but unfortunately, my husband did not feel that this was the plan for our family. We were blessed with four wonderful boys, but my longing for a daughter …Read More