A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Being a "Special Needs" Parent

October 17, 2011 by nohandsbutours KJ 0 Comments

So this past weekend, I was driving the car, listening to the Moth story hour on NHPR and feeling lucky. I love the Moth (true stories told live). Hell, I have a story I want to tell the Moth. (The Pringle Fairy.) But mostly, I love that what I expected to be a chore—a half-hour’s …Read More


September 20, 2011 by nohandsbutours KJ 0 Comments

Rory is loud. I have written about this before, but I feel that I cannot possibly have really conveyed what I meant by loud. When I say Rory, who will be six this week, and who has been with us for just over two years, is loud, I mean LOUD. I mean loud at every …Read More

The Pattern Trap

August 17, 2011 by nohandsbutours KJ 0 Comments

I’ve been re-reading some old blog and journal entries from our first weeks home with Rory. Mostly, I’m seeing how amazingly far we’ve come (and how painful it was to get there). But then there was this, taken from an incident just two months after we came home from China. (Because of her foster home, …Read More

Hey, Jealousy: The Virtual Twin Thing

July 18, 2011 by nohandsbutours KJ, virtual twinning 0 Comments

Wyatt popped out of the pool with the traditional summer blue quivering lips and begged for his towel. “Can I sit on your lap?” I beckoned him in, and he settled, warm and damp, with me in the deck chair. I turned to the friend I was with and sighed. “Twenty seconds,” I said. “What?” …Read More

Everything in a Name

June 17, 2011 by nohandsbutours KJ 0 Comments

What’s in a name? Everything. Every thought your parents had about who you might be. A goodly dose of who your father’s family was, and possibly, depending on your circumstances, your mother’s as well. If you’re adopted, what’s in a name? Maybe everything, maybe nothing. Casually (as in the non-legal name you’d give, say, a …Read More

Blowing Off Birth Order, and Thinking Twice

May 16, 2011 by nohandsbutours adopting out of birth order, KJ 0 Comments

When we adopted Rory, almost two years ago now, she was 3 1/2, 6 months older than our youngest, Wyatt. All of our other kids were biological kids (Sam was 7 and Lily 5), and Rory was our first (and only) foray into adoption. We “adopted out of birth order,” and as I remember it, …Read More

I Am a Million Different People

March 18, 2011 by nohandsbutours KJ 0 Comments

Rory has lived with us for 21 months now, and I still feel like I don’t know her. I love her, and I’m charmed by her, and I want to scoop her up and give her raspberries, but I don’t know her. I’m not sure she knows herself. I can predict what she’ll do on …Read More

But I Don't Even Want to Control You. Do I?

February 18, 2011 by nohandsbutours KJ 0 Comments

I’ve been storing up examples of Rory’s need for control, in part to prove to myself that I’m not imagining things, and to gain, of course, additional verification that she is trying to drive me crazy: 1. In a restaurant, I ordered her chicken fingers, and she pitched a fit. “I not want you do …Read More

How Old Are You Now?

January 17, 2011 by nohandsbutours KJ 0 Comments

When we set out to adopt, we initially thought of a baby. Not an infant–our thought was that there were many, many parents out there who wanted, even needed a baby. A baby, we figured, didn’t need us. Plus, we’d had babies: three of them. We didn’t need the neediness, the sleepless nights, the crying, …Read More

Be My, Be My Baby

December 17, 2010 by nohandsbutours KJ 0 Comments

Last week, inspired by lots of things–one parenting guru (Vicki Hoefle, of Parenting on Track, whose cult I am totally joining), one excellent book that purports to be about parenting the ADHD child, but is really about examining your parenting style in the middle of your kid’s childhood and figuring out who you really want …Read More

‘Member? ‘Member, Mommy?

November 18, 2010 by nohandsbutours KJ 0 Comments

Rory is bothered by conversation. She’s largely a native English speaker, since she grew up understanding and speaking more English than Chinese (she was raised in a large foster home with American parental figures and Chinese nannies), but the ebb and flow of conversation still goes over her head, and she’s hampered by a natural …Read More

No Messing With Heaven

October 18, 2010 by nohandsbutours KJ 0 Comments

First, let me say that I know from tough questions bubbling up from the back seat. I have already handled, on previous occasions, the question of what war is, an explanation of gay marriage and, regarding racial discrimination, “but that was all a long time ago, right?” And I have fielded, also while driving, a …Read More

Truly Friends Forever

September 17, 2010 by nohandsbutours KJ 0 Comments

Most of us had friends as kids that we promised, with mixed results, to love forever — but what must a friend from your orphanage, from your foster home, from your past mean to a kid? We adopted Rory at nearly four, and from the first, she’s been asking for “Bethany.” As often as she …Read More


August 19, 2010 by nohandsbutours KJ 0 Comments

We have hit our stride. Rory has been home for almost 14 months, and it’s time to call it good. And oh, it is such a relief. The past year been like hitting my head against a wall, in that it’s so much better now that it’s stopped. I’ve never, ever been so glad that …Read More

Guilt, and Everything After.

July 18, 2010 by nohandsbutours KJ 5 Comments

Am I the only person out there that walks through her days with this constant load of guilt? I swear it’s why my back hurts all the time. My personal sack of guilt is so heavy that during the few moments of the week when it lifts, I think I should step on the scale. …Read More

That Gon' Make Me ANNOYING!

June 18, 2010 by nohandsbutours KJ 1 Comments

Well, yes, yes it is. In fact (and this is awful, and I know it), you were already annoying. Far more annoying than your brothers and sisters. and I’m trying to figure out why. (Of course, when you’re pouting, as here, you really ARE annoying. Nothing tough to get about that one.) Rory doesn’t mean …Read More

The One Thing Rory Doesn’t Have That Her Siblings Do, Still.

May 17, 2010 by nohandsbutours KJ 4 Comments

Friends. That’s not entirely accurate–Rory has friends at school, and she has plenty of kids her age who come over often and romp through our house for various family events and family playdates–but she has no friends of her very own, who would invite her and only her over for a playdate or…the ultimate…a birthday …Read More

Explaining "I Did Not Love My Adopted Child" to My Very Real, Very Loved Daughter

May 2, 2010 by nohandsbutours Attachment, guest post, KJ 4 Comments

A final guest post, contributed by KJ Dell’Antonia (aka Lola Granola). KJ is now a regular contributor at NHBO, so you’ll hear from her monthly beginning this month. KJ is a writer and mother to four children. Her youngest, Rory, was adopted from China in July 2009. She blogs about real life at Raising Devils. …Read More

That Rare, Highly Desirable Commodity: Me.

March 28, 2010 by nohandsbutours Attachment, guest post, KJ 8 Comments

A guest post, contributed by KJ Dell’Antonia (aka Lola Granola). KJDA is a writer (for numerous publications) and is mother to four children. Her youngest, Rory, was adopted from China in July 2009. She blogs about life at Raising Devils. It has been a rough trip, these last six or seven months, and there were …Read More

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