Jubilee Promise

February 15, 2011 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Miss Jubilee has been home a little over a year now. This is the place where we write about special needs and our children with special needs.  Way back when we began pursuing kids with special needs my husband, Dw, and I came to one conclusion:  The only true special need any child has is the need for a family.  

As the days have passed and Jubilee Promise has adjusted to being home, I have to say, she has blossomed.  And at some point in the last year, I suddenly realized I had really, truly bonded with her.  The deep kind of bonding that doesn’t make sense to those who have never adopted.  The kind that when I gaze at her I am overcome with emotion that I would have the privilege of being her mommy.  The kind that when I watch her struggle to do something that my pre-schoolers easily do, my heart breaks for her.  

Dw and I had wondered how it would be to bring a just-about-to-turn-eight year old home.  Although there were a few blips along the way, we couldn’t imagine our life without her.  And we would take a hundred more Jubilees.  She has added such a dimension to our family that is hard to explain, an extra sweetness.  We need her, as much as she needs us.

Her complete diagnosis is still unknown.  She will be seeing yet another specialist.  Although it would be nice to know her true diagnosis, we know that the best ‘method of treatment’ for our Jubilee was a family.

We are so very thankful she is ours.


What Happens?

March 16, 2010 by nohandsbutours 9 Comments

Special needs sound so scary to many. And truthfully, the known special needs can be pretty overwhelming. But what if there is some unknown special need? Something that isn’t discovered until your child is home?

One of the main purposes of this blog is to advocate for special needs kids and talk truthfully about special needs. So what does happen when a surprise diagnosis comes up? As a mom to a few special needs kids, this last week we found ourselves in that exact situation. A surprise life-changing diagnosis!

For starters, we look back now rather dumbfounded…how was it that we didn’t figure it all out sooner or even just suspect that our newest daughter was hearing impaired? {Of course, in our defense, the truth is that for 8 years while Jubilee lived in China no one else seemed to have a clue either!} We just didn’t put two and two together at all.

Not that knowing Jubilee was hearing impaired would have changed anything. It wouldn’t have. She was ours from the moment we saw her little face on the agency website. BUT still. A surprise is a surprise and having a daughter who is hearing impaired definitely means a “new normal”.

So what did we do when we learned of this surprise diagnosis? What would you do? How did we feel? How are we processing it all? What does it mean?

Jubilee with little sis Elizabeth {they think they are twins!}

Here’s what we have found so far……..the moment we learned that Jubilee was hearing impaired – our love for her grew exponentially. No kidding. We feel we could not love her anymore. Since we came home on December 24th the bonding process had been ever-so-slowly moving forward…but suddenly it sped to completion. Our hearts knit with hers in a deeply profound way. We were amazed that in one incredible instant a few words spoken by an audiologist and everything completely changed. Jubilee is ours. She needs us. She’s counting on us. It is almost unexplainable.

We are so thankful for this breakthrough. Jubilee needed us to know that she could not hear us talking. She needed us to know that the reason she was not learning English was because she was only reading our lips and how could she read our lips when she doesn’t know English? We had no way of knowing. She had no way of telling.

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We cannot thank the Lord enough for doctors, tests, and yes, even for a surprise diagnosis. It knit us together as a family even more than we already were….it made us determined to work together so that Jubilee understands God’s deep love for her just the way she is.

It will all be okay. The Lord has always been faithful to us. He’s not about to forget us now. Infact we are confident that He has been working behind the scenes on Jubilee and our behalf to prepare our entire family for this. We are taking one day at a time and one decision at a time and He will be faihfully walking by our side each step of the way.


December 20, 2009 by nohandsbutours 6 Comments

By Linny@A Place Called Simplicity

I am sitting writing in our dark hotel room in Guangzhou, China. Emma (our 16 yr. old) and I came to finally (!) meet and bring home our Jubilee Promise who we have been in the process of trying to adopt for over 600 days.

I was just reading my Bible (by cell phone light) and felt the need to share some thoughts. Many who read No Hands But Ours are considering special needs and many have already “taken the plunge”.

Our Jubilee has multiple special needs. Cleft lip/cleft palate (repaired), estropia (repaired), ear deformity – just for starters. There are other things too. We will wait on those till we see docs in the states. We knew there were some unknowns when we pursued adopting Jubilee. We knew that there was chance she would be with us for life. My husband, Dw and I, were good with all that. We have never liked the idea of an “empty nest” (actually sounds soooo boring to us!!). Having Jubilee in my arms….I am smitten. Whatever the doctors find? She’s ours! Forever and we are thrilled.

Anyway, yesterday we had Jubilee’s medical exam in the Guangzhou clinic – a wonderful chance to talk to other adoptive parents. While there I was talking to a couple who were adopting their 8th child (3rd adoption). The mom was sharing with me that they have a down syndrome son, which they birthed. In the midst of the conversation, the mom said something about having a son with DS. It is a wise (Biblical word)…..and I just had to mention it.

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself.” Matt. 6:34

Yes, tomorrow is not even a given. Today is all we have. Enjoy it. Love your kids. Love your spouse. Special needs kids? Today is all we have. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. And really, who knows what 20 years from now will bring. We have a faithful God who will meet each need tomorrow. He is working the night shift on your behalf, your kids behalf, Jubilee’s behalf, etc. He loves these precious treasures far more than any of us could dream or imagine. His plan for them is good. Just take one day at a time. It’s all we have.

Blessings from China,

His Pleading Eyes…..

October 30, 2009 by nohandsbutours 6 Comments

I had poured through a “billion” special needs kids faces, all of them drawing an “ooohh” or an “awwww”….but then I saw his face….and I gasped. (It seems that whenever I gasp I know God is up to something big.) Really.

I remember staring at him and studying the expression on his sweet little face, trying to see into his eyes….and realizing that they were pleading with me, all the way from across the ocean….whispering……“Could you overlook my handicaps and just love me?” I started to sob. He no longer was just one of a million faces, he was begging me. I know he was. He needed me. And I needed him just as much!

That was June 2006. I was 47 years old. My husband was 51. We had six children (3 adopted – one of whom is also special needs). This little guy had Arthrogryposis. We didn’t know anyone who had Arthrogryposis. We had never even heard of it! Yet, when we looked at his picture all we knew was that his only true special need was he needed a mommy and daddy and lots of brothers and sisters.

We overnighted the paperwork and so began the journey to bring our Isaiah Samuel home. We had no clue, but due to some serious complications, it would take 14 looooong months (Aug. 07) to finally have Isaiah safely in our arms. (Isaiah’s story is told here.)

Now having Isaiah home, we understand, first hand, a lot more about Arthrogryposis. And to us, Isaiah is a true-life hero. He maneuvers about, compensating for his handicap but never once complaining.

Remarkably, since bringing Isaiah home I have become close friends with another mom who also adopted a son (the same age as Isaiah) with Arthrogryposis. This mom and I were commenting the other day, “Isn’t it funny? We personally know so many families who birthed healthy kids, yet these “healthy” kids are the whiniest, most complaining kids, seldom happy, often miserable and even downright ornery? But here are our sons, struggling with their hands and legs to just hold simple items or tediously trying to walk and they are constantly smiling, giggling, never complaining? What is up with that?”

Could it be that the struggles are making better people out of our little ones? Could it be that Arthrogryposis is making all of our family more tender? More compassionate to the needs of those around us? More aware of the struggles that others have? I’d like to think so. Our kids, even those younger than Isaiah, are constantly watching out for their precious brother. His siblings all love him to pieces. He is the kid with the ready smile. He is a total snugglebug too!! We could not bear to think of life without our Isaiah. He is a precious treasure, his worth far greater than all the gems in the world! We wouldn’t trade him for any birth son or son we could have without Arthrogryposis!!!

Since Isaiah came home we have brought two toddlers (Elijah and Elizabeth) home from Uganda (December 08). One was known to have a very serious special need, although there is no sign of it since coming home.

We are currently waiting for our Travel Assignment for another little one with Special Needs. We have named her Jubilee Promise. She has cleft lip/cleft palate, deformed ears, Estropia and a few other very complicated things. But, again, the only real need we see is that she needs a forever family. She has waited far too long for us and we cannot wait to have her in our arms.

In a couple of weeks I will turn 51 (ugh) and my hubby is 54. Our peers are empty-nesters yet we are loving having a home filled with (at the moment) a 2, 3, 5, 10, 14, and 16 year old and soon Jubilee who is almost 8. Our cup overflows with joy! Our hearts thank Almighty God for giving us the privilege of having a boatload of kids who not only needed us – but we desperately needed them!

Do you think you’re too old? (Join our “Should Be Empty-Nesters But Would Rather Bring Home Kids Who Need Forever Families Club”) Does Special Needs sound scary? (Ask those who have been there/done that!)

My husband, Dw, and I are convinced that life just couldn’t get any sweeter with our sweet little bunch – we think it’s so sweet we’re going to keep doing it until someone says, “You’re too old, go home!”