Uncommon Visible Difference

November 19, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, adopting again, Craniofacial, craniofacial cleft, Family Stories, large families, lateral proboscis, referral, surgery, visible special need 6 Comments


There is an art to a successful adoption announcement when you are adopting a child with a visible difference. You learn to manage the situation, to set up the encounter in ways that you would never think about when you adopt a child who looks more typical. You mention your referral. Your friend expresses excitement …Read More

Changed By Our Children

November 17, 2016 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Andrea Y., large families 0 Comments


I sat at the red light waiting patiently and the sign caught my eye. “Tour of Homes”… an event most of our towns have during the holidays, and I imagined for a moment what those homes might be like. I pictured myself going with friends — something the mom with just one or two little …Read More

Dear Younger Me, True Love is a Choice

July 15, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting again, Attachment, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, large families 2 Comments


If you had met me when I was a little girl, and asked me, “What career do you want when you grow up?” I would have instantly told you, “A mother.” Even though infertility played a part of our early story, it wasn’t the beginning nor the ending of our desire for adoption. Adoption has …Read More

Meet the Contributors: Jean

July 8, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting later in life, adopting out of birth order, adopting two at once, Contributor Q and A, Jean, large families, Meet the Contributors, older child adoption 4 Comments


Continuing today with our series in which we share a short Q and A with one of our contributors to give y’all, our faithful readers, a little more behind-the-scenes insight into the amazing group of writers assembled here. And it will also give each of our contributors a chance to share their heart in a …Read More

A Message to the New Momma by Adoption

May 25, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting two at once, Down syndrome, large families, May 2016 Feature - Large Families 10 Comments


Hey fellow adoptive mama! I’m Erin. I’m writing this post today because I was asked to share what it’s like to have a large family by adoption. In the world of adoption, my family is considered fairly mid-sized: six kids and two parents. In March 2015, I jumped from mama of four to six when …Read More

Large Families: the Good, the Bad, the Blessing (part two)

May 19, 2016 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, large families, May 2016 Feature - Large Families, toddler adoption 4 Comments


Today we continue with the second post of our two-part series featuring Large Families. This mom of six shares some fun, creative, and pragmatic ideas that will help us all (whatever the size of our family) to keep things running smoothly. You can find part-one here. I’d like to share some of the things we’ve …Read More

Large Families: the Good, the Bad, the Blessing (part one)

May 7, 2016 by nohandsbutours large families, May 2016 Feature - Large Families, toddler adoption 4 Comments


This is part one of a two part series. Part-one shows us the everyday nuances of life with a large family. It also shares this family’s story of how God led them to their sixth child who was waiting for them in China. Part-two will share with us an abundance of practical and fun ideas …Read More

8 Questions Frequently Asked About Our Large Family

May 1, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting again, large families, May 2016 Feature - Large Families 1 Comments

Family Photo- with CA

May is here and this month on NHBO we are focusing on Large Families. The China special needs program has changed significantly over the years, and one of the big ways is that family size is no longer an issue for those in process to adopt a child with special needs. Gone are the days …Read More

The Best Decision We’ve Ever Made

April 15, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting again, adopting later in life, adopting out of birth order, adopting two at once, Jean, large families, older child adoption 7 Comments


In September of 2006, hubby and I walked into our first adoption introductory meeting at Children’s Home Society in St Paul, MN. It was for families that were interested in adoption and wanted to learn more about it. We met four wonderful couples at that meeting. At that time we had five birth children, ranging …Read More

Adopting Out Of Birth Order… Times Three

March 26, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting out of birth order, adopting two at once, age assignment, large families, March 2016 Feature - Special Circumstances, older child adoption, virtual twins 0 Comments

Sometimes I look around at my kids and think how did this happen? How did I deserve to have 10 amazingly perfect children? We struggled in our marriage, we worked it out, and promised God that where He led, we would follow. And He has not disappointed. He continues to bless us with his amazing …Read More

And 2 Makes 9

March 25, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, adopting out of birth order, adopting two at once, aging out expedite, Family Stories, large families, March 2016 Feature - Special Circumstances, older child adoption, should we adopt? 2 Comments


Where do I even start? Our family began our first adoption in 2004, a few years after the birth of our third son. We thought it would be our first and last adoption. We always had the heart for adoption, but surprised ourselves as we actually went through with our heart’s desire. My husband, Russ, …Read More


March 19, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting again, asset waiver, income waiver, large families, March 2016 Feature - Special Circumstances, waiver request 0 Comments


Our adoption journey started while my husband and I were still dating, though we did not know it. At one point, we had discussed family size – three children sounded about right. Then my husband-to-be said, “What if we can’t have kids?” My quick answer: “Then we’ll adopt.” That subject did not come up again …Read More

Looking Past the Needs to See the Child

February 21, 2016 by nohandsbutours cognitive delay, Family Stories, large families, LInear Nevus Sebaceous Syndrome, older child adoption 0 Comments


More than a few times, my husband and I have looked around us and wondered out loud how this all happened. How on earth did we end up with 12 children? Have we really spent a cumulative three months in China and Vietnam adopting some of our children? Who plans this? Certainly not us. When …Read More

Losing Sight of the Why

February 15, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting later in life, adopting two at once, Jean, large families 8 Comments


In 2006 my husband and I heard the call to adopt. Our plan was to bring home two daughters from China. That sounded reasonable, right? But God had another plan for us and He was loud and clear. Over and over again I could hear Him say, “Bring home the children.” And so we did. …Read More

On Siblings and Adoption: From the Oldest of 14

February 13, 2016 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, large families, sibling perspective, siblings 12 Comments


Upon learning that I am the oldest of fourteen children, six of whom are adopted from China, a typical response goes something along the lines of, “Bless your heart, that sounds crazy.” My answer is yes, it is crazy! Crazy in the most wonderful, beautiful, joyfully-chaotic way. Others might say, “Weren’t your parents busy enough? …Read More

To the Adopting Family With Lots of Kids

October 15, 2015 by nohandsbutours Jean, large families 20 Comments


Congratulations! “That is so wonderful! I’m so happy for your family and for that sweet child that has been waiting for so long!” This is the correct response. This (or a version of this) is what others should say to you when you share your adoption news. If you have adopted more than twice you …Read More

Attachment: What’s Worked For Us

April 15, 2015 by nohandsbutours April/May 2015 Feature Attachment, Jean, large families, older child adoption 2 Comments


I would say we are experienced in attachment but we are by no means experts. After adopting 13 children we have had quite a bit of “on the job” training! Ten of our adoptions have been with children between the ages of 5-11. Our daughter adopted at 11 years 3 months was not prepared to …Read More

Adoption: Hard to Start. Harder to Stop.

February 19, 2015 by nohandsbutours a father's perspective, adoption realities, large families, Mike 35 Comments

Chinese Village

“When you go back…” In the weeks before we left for China for our first adoption, Anne and I met with some family friends who had adopted three Chinese daughters. The goal of our time with Kevin and Vicki was to better understand what to expect on the trip and in the months to follow. …Read More

Adopting Later In Life: part two

February 15, 2015 by nohandsbutours adopting later in life, Jean, large families 7 Comments


This is the second part in a two-part series. Read part one here. I hear words like “insane”, “crazy”, “midlife crisis”, “out of your mind”, and “out of control”. Most of these comments are said kindly and with humor! If you are talking to or hearing it from the older adoptive parent and they are …Read More

Adopting Later in Life

January 16, 2015 by nohandsbutours adopting later in life, Jean, large families 8 Comments

How do I begin this post? You see, I think I am a lot younger than I actually am. I feel great, I’m energetic and loving life! My eyesight is perfectly blurred, so when I look in the mirror I see a softened version of myself- I like that! The woman in the mirror could …Read More

It turns out that chicken fried rice does not count as culture

November 19, 2014 by Mike a father's perspective, adoption realities, Chinese Culture, large families, Mike, transracial adoption 10 Comments

I am the textbook definition of a white guy. Beyond simply a scarcity of melanin, I have almost every other stereotypical characteristic that one might associate with my race – a general lack of rhythm, limited vertical leap, a “John Cougar Mellencamp” playlist on my iPod, an unhealthy relationship with ketchup, and a generalized ignorance …Read More

“Cold Feet”

August 15, 2014 by nohandsbutours adopting again, heart defect, Jean, large families, older child adoption 5 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

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: 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

Done Or Not?

August 15, 2013 by nohandsbutours adopting again, Jean, large families 11 Comments

We have brought home 11 children in 5.5 years. We have 2 more still waiting for us in China and we hope to bring them home in November or December. I thought at this point I’d feel peaceful. That somewhere down deep inside of me I would know that we did all that we could …Read More

When Enough is Enough

July 3, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, large families, older child adoption, orphanage realities, Realities, should we adopt?, Sonia 104 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


November 3, 2009 by nohandsbutours large families, Stefanie 22 Comments

Why? Some of you might know me from my personal blog, Ni Hao Y’all. But I am sure many more of you do not. So a quick run down is in order, lest there be some confusion as I share my story. Our story. My husband and I met in 1997, each having endured a …Read More

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