sleep

November 11, 2014 by nohandsbutours co-sleeping, cocooning, Kristi 2 Comments

snuggle

Thump. pitter pat, pitter pat, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, pitter pat, pitter pat. Glancing at the clock I note it is 3:57 AM, a little later than usual. In automatic response to the oh so familiar sound of little feet jumping to the floor and then making their way across the house to my room, …Read More

I like you be my mommy

June 11, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, Kristi, Trust Based Parenting, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

super mom

June 11, 2012 by nohandsbutours glaucoma, Kristi 3 Comments

I have a confession to make. On those (thankfully rare) crazy busy days, when we have more places to be at one time than I have hands, when we somehow survive the day in one piece AND I manage to get a healthy meal on the table for dinner, the kids all get a bath …Read More

I passed.

May 11, 2012 by nohandsbutours Kristi 14 Comments

I distinctly remember one of the questions that someone I once considered a close friend asked me when I told her that my husband and I decided to grow our family by adopting. “Once you get home, will you try to have ‘your own’ children so that you will really know what loving a child …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 unknown

March 12, 2012 by nohandsbutours Kristi 1 Comments

Suddenly I realized that I’d gone from smiling to wiping away tears. It all started innocently enough. I was sitting in a stuffy school gymnasium with around 100 other proud kindergarten parents watching my precious one and all of theirs in her first school performance. The first few numbers were cute enough; a celebration of …Read More

My baby

February 11, 2012 by nohandsbutours Attachment, Kristi 0 Comments

Last Sunday we celebrated five years since our oldest child was placed in my arms in a hot room in southern China.  That means that I’m precisely five years and six days into this glorious adventure called motherhood. The learning curve was vicious at first, but I’ve come a long way.  I feel that I …Read More

Ambly-what?

December 11, 2011 by nohandsbutours Amblyopia, Kristi, vision issues 0 Comments

A few months ago we assumed that our oldest son had perfectly good vision. Then I took him to his yearly check at the pediatrician’s office.  He rocked out the vision chart using both eyes, and then again with his left eye.  But when it came time for his right eye, he just giggled and …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

Not much to say

August 13, 2011 by nohandsbutours Kristi 0 Comments

Today I don’t really have much to say about special needs adoptions. Actually, that isn’t really true. I have plenty to say about special needs adoptions.  It’s just that I have this adorable little quad that keep me away from my keyboard more and more these days… You want to talk SN adoptions?  Come by …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

and we love

May 13, 2011 by nohandsbutours Kristi, Laine 0 Comments

There is something unique about the international adoption community ~ specifically the SN group. It is not uncommon for us to sacrificially give to help raise the ransom for our children. We celebrate with one another during each step of the process and especially when our children come home. Yet with great joy comes deep …Read More

New perspective on loss

April 11, 2011 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Kristi 0 Comments

It has been almost a month since my grandfather died.  Long past the the initial shock, and the trip “home” to Ohio for the funeral, the tears have continued to come, usually at unexpected times.  Most recently it was over selecting a bunch of asparagus at the grocery.  Standing there in the produce section I …Read More

Finding peace

March 13, 2011 by nohandsbutours Kristi 0 Comments

I find it funny how sometimes by the end of the day that I can hardly remember what I had for lunch, yet I know EXACTLY what I was doing three years ago right around lunch time.  To understand that day, I need to back up to 24 hours prior.  At the time we were …Read More

Conversations at Bedtime

February 11, 2011 by nohandsbutours Kristi 0 Comments

Ever have one of those nights when you’re pretty sure your kiddo(s) is(are) stalling at bedtime with random questions? Yeah, me too.  If I’m going to be honest, around here that happens pretty frequently. Take the other night’s conversation for instance. Caleb ~ “Mommy.  Hey Mommy.”Me ~ “Yes Caleb?”C ~ “What amoebas eat?”Me ~ “Um.  …Read More

My free spirit

January 12, 2011 by nohandsbutours Kristi 0 Comments

It wouldn’t take much to convince me that it was my youngest daughter who the person that coined the phrase “happy-go-lucky” had in mind. DQ at her free-spirited best just after a beach wedding we attended last fall She not only rolls with the punches, she embraces them.  Getting two busy siblings overnight after three …Read More

The one that came between

December 11, 2010 by nohandsbutours Kristi 0 Comments

My youngest child will probably not have concrete memories of her birth mother.  Today we are 9 1/2 months into a lifetime of making memories together with me as her forever mother.  And while I’m the one she will have permanent memories of, I will do all I can to help her keep memories of …Read More

A matter of the heart

November 11, 2010 by nohandsbutours Kristi 0 Comments

I was sixteen when my cousin’s son was born with a hole in his heart.  Back then I had no idea that such things were actually rather common.  Or that it was likely that the hole would close up on its own ~ which actually ended up being the situation.  All I knew was that …Read More

Mixed emotions

October 11, 2010 by nohandsbutours Kristi, port wine stain, Sturge Weber Syndrome 0 Comments

A week from today my beautiful girl will have her first appointment with the laser surgeon.  The procedure itself will last less than fifteen minutes from the time anesthesia starts until I’m called back to recovery.  Much less complicated and involved than the two eye surgeries she’s had so far. And yet I find myself …Read More

Just your average mom

September 20, 2010 by nohandsbutours Kristi, Parenting Special Needs 0 Comments

Since I’ve become a mom to a child with a visible special need, I’ve noticed something interesting about the way some people perceive me. Many people, from our guides in China to friends who know our schedules with various specialists to random strangers in grocery lines, want to promote me to sainthood. They say things …Read More

"What's wrong with him?"

August 18, 2010 by nohandsbutours Kristi 0 Comments

I have three delightful children. When I have them all in tow, we get a lot of politely curious question in public. A LOT. We hear, “Are they all siblings? Are the girls twins?  Are they all triplets? and Are they all yours?” (especially when my blond haired, blue eyed husband is with me) almost …Read More

A surprise gift

July 11, 2010 by nohandsbutours Kristi 10 Comments

I have a son. Every now and then that statement still surprises me. When my husband and I began the road to building a family through adoption from China, we simply assumed that we’d have daughters. (At the time we were oblivious to the fact that there were boys who were waiting for the love …Read More

US 35 North ~ revisited

June 11, 2010 by nohandsbutours Kristi, port wine stain, Sturge Weber Syndrome 3 Comments

I bet that I’ve ridden the stretch of US 35 North between Charleston, WV and Dayton, OH at least 100 times in my life.  It’s familiar.  I know where to expect the power plants, glimpses of the river, the convenience stores, and the grand farm houses as we make our way “home” to western Ohio. …Read More

A new look on life

May 11, 2010 by nohandsbutours congenital glaucoma, Kristi, vision issues 2 Comments

Well, the most recent eye exam didn’t give quite the results we were hoping for. At the last visit three weeks ago Dr. F was encouraged by the reduction in pressure in our little one’s eye and hoped that we’d be able to avoid further surgery for months, possibly even years. But the pressure has …Read More

Reflections from my first time in "the waiting chair"

April 11, 2010 by nohandsbutours congenital glaucoma, Kristi, port wine stain, surgery, vision issues 7 Comments

Welcome to Kristi, our newest contributing blogger. Kristi has three children adopted from China and her newest daughter, Darcy, joined their family in February. Kristi blogs about their family at Fireworks and Fireflies. Wednesday of this past week I joined a club. A club I never would have imagined myself in just a few short …Read More