Our Fair-Haired Hero: Adopting a Child with Albinism

September 17, 2016 by nohandsbutours albinism, Education, Family Stories, older child adoption, public school, September 2016 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions, TVI, vision issues 0 Comments

martha

Her name was spoken to us before we even knew who she was…. We had adopted from China in 2011 and just started the process to adopt again. One night I let myself start thinking about names for our new little one and after spending more time than I care to admit looking at baby …Read More

Making the Grade: Why We Homeschool

September 16, 2016 by nohandsbutours developmental delays, Education, homeschool, older child adoption, September 2016 Feature - Back to School 1 Comments

curry1

It’s September which means school is back in session. And this month at No Hands But Ours, it’s all about Education. From IEPs to OT, from homeschooling to Early Intervention, we’re covering the gamut of educational topics and how they relate to the unique needs of the children who have joined our families through adoption. …Read More

Making the Grade: Educating Liam

September 12, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, Education, ESL, older child adoption, public school, September 2016 Feature - Back to School 0 Comments

Stevenson06

It’s September which means school is back in session. And this month at No Hands But Ours, it’s all about Education. From IEPs to OT, from homeschooling to Early Intervention, we’re covering the gamut of educational topics and how they relate to the unique needs of the children who have joined our families through adoption. …Read More

Blessed: Adopting a Child Who Isn’t “Healthy”

August 31, 2016 by nohandsbutours Family Stories, Heart System, older child adoption 1 Comments

blessed

Scrolling my newsfeed on Facebook, I see a popular thanksgiving…. In the hospital after the delivery of a new baby, I hear the same praises. In the grocery store I hear faint echoes of the same gratitude while everything else goes quiet in my head. Parents and family alike are “so blessed” by having healthy …Read More

Kings and Queens

August 18, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, adopting out of birth order, Attachment, disruption, failed adoption, Kelley B., older child adoption 4 Comments

kelleyb2

“Maybe we are here to love wildly, passionately, and fearlessly,” whispered the heart. “You’re going to get us killed!” yelled the brain. This can be true for just about anything we find ourselves on the brink of but this particular quote, I believe, can be applied specifically to those taking the leap into the world …Read More

When God Honors Our “Yes”: Our Sign Language Journey, Part One

August 10, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting as first time parents, ASL, Attachment, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, cl/cp, cochlear implants, Craniofacial, developmental delays, Family Stories, hearing loss, older child adoption, profound deafness, Sensory System, sign language 6 Comments

ava

In May 2009, I first saw her face. She couldn’t possibly be our daughter; she didn’t “fit” any of the criteria we’d committed to on our Medical Needs Checklist and there was no way my husband would agree to adopting her. True, we’d agreed that caring for a child with cleft lip/palate was something we …Read More

A Little Piece of a Big Plan

July 16, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, BAHA, Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing aids, hearing loss, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, microtia, older child adoption, Ponto, Sensory System 0 Comments

erin2

“I just spoke to the director. He will call me when they’re about five minutes away.” It’s almost time. My heart is almost uncontainable. Everything. All of this. It’s about to happen. So many months, years, planning for this moment… Even though I shouldn’t be surprised, being a part of and seeing just a tiny …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

jean1

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

Dear Younger Me, His Plans are Good

July 7, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, adopting later in life, aging out expedite, guest post, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, older child adoption 0 Comments

Angie2

“When I think back over the years since marrying Tom Rylands, it is almost surreal to me the path that God chose for our family. It was a path that was such a grand departure from any plans that we had for ourselves. When Tom, 28 years my senior, and I approached marriage, neither of …Read More

Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy

July 1, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, amputation, Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, Larsen Syndrome, limb difference, older child adoption, prosthetics 1 Comments

j2

My son, J, has Larsen syndrome, a condition of multiple joint malformations. I write this in hopes that it shows how manageable this condition is. In the summer of 2012, I saw a video that an advocate had posted, of a little boy riding a scooter around a play area. His nanny was directing him …Read More

We Love the Llama

June 5, 2016 by nohandsbutours attachment activities, June 2016 Feature - Books, older child adoption, Whitney 0 Comments

whitney1

Our June featured focus is books. Books that teach us about our children’s homeland. Books that help us understand our children’s past. Books that resonate with our kids once home. This month we’ll be featuring all kinds of books. It’s sure to be fun. And if you have some recommendations for our readers, please be …Read More

Building a Family: Adopting as a Single Mom

June 3, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting as a single mom, diastematomyelia, Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, older child adoption, Orthopedic, scoliosis, spina bifida, tethered cord 2 Comments

karen0

I am a happy and busy single mom to two wonderful daughters adopted from China. My older daughter, Corrie, was adopted in 2002 through the NSN (non-special needs) program; she is a smart, funny, and thoughtful young lady who loves animals and plans to be a veterinarian when she grows up. For years Corrie and …Read More

Two Years of Blessings

May 9, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, older child adoption 0 Comments

dolinger2

It has been two years. Two years since China said yes. Two years full of unexpected blessings. Two years of being asleep before your head hits the pillow at night. Two years of going to work with kisses on your cheeks. Two years full of learning new things for both Lock and us. Has life …Read More

We’ve Got This: Parenting a Child with CP

April 29, 2016 by nohandsbutours April 2016 Feature - CNS, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, older child adoption 3 Comments

bethany4

My son has Cerebral Palsy. Mild Right Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy to be specific, which means only the right side of his body is affected. If you see him running by on the playground or the soccer field, you might never even notice he has physical difficulties. If you have an idea in your mind of …Read More

Right in the Middle…. A Perfect Fit

April 17, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting out of birth order, March 2016 Feature - Special Circumstances, older child adoption 0 Comments

jennifer2

In 2007 with four boys already at home ages 10, 7, 2 and 1, we started the process to adopt from China. What had been a desire for quite some time in our hearts was finally coming true. We submitted paperwork to adopt a as young as possible non-special needs daughter. We expected to be …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

jean2

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

Painting White Walls White

April 13, 2016 by nohandsbutours Attachment, older child adoption, Trust Based Parenting 0 Comments

paint

When I was 14 years old my family moved to a new state. This was a good move for me personally, as I had struggled both academically and socially where we were and it was good for our whole family. The town we were leaving was struggling, and as a result about half the town …Read More

Siblings and Adoption: 30 Ways to Ease the Transistion

March 30, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting again, attachment activities, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, older child adoption, siblings 0 Comments

family2

We have seven kids, four bio and three adopted. Our three children whom we have adopted are older kiddos with special needs. We’ve been home for only three months with our newest child….. so we are pretty much hands on at the moment. I have compiled a list of different things we did to help …Read More

Thriving with Thalassemia

March 26, 2016 by nohandsbutours beta major thalassemia, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, older child adoption, thalassemia 2 Comments

naomi4

My daughter’s medical information is scary. It has words like chronic and terminal. Add that to the fact that her orphanage has never had a child with her diagnosis live past the age of 14, and you start to really get a grim picture of her life. Now, wipe all of that away, because it’s …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

jnl10

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

The Beginning of Surrender

March 24, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting later in life, adopting two at once, Down syndrome, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Special Circumstances, medical waiver, older child adoption, waiver request 4 Comments

1

“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us …Read More

We Said Yes, Anyway

March 22, 2016 by nohandsbutours beta major thalassemia, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, older child adoption, thalassemia 2 Comments

finn

“It’s so easy to live with! It barely impacts our day to day life.” “It’s a very complicated disease. It looks like it’s going to be another couple of weeks in the hospital this time…” You might think I’m referring to different disorders in the descriptions above. The truth is these were all things I …Read More

More Than Blood: Adopting a Child with Thalassemia

March 11, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting again, beta major thalassemia, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, older child adoption, thalassemia 1 Comments

PIC-14

How do most kids get in a pool? They jump… full force, no holding back. They don’t know what the water temperature is, and they don’t care. They are so excited to be at the pool, they anticipate all the fun they are about to have, and it doesn’t bother them if the water is …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

curry

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

Victories from the Valley: An Unexpected Journey in Adopting a Child with NF1

February 18, 2016 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, cocooning, Family Stories, first weeks home, glaucoma, neurofibromatosis, NF1, older child adoption, parent-to-child attachment 2 Comments

ann2

We had been home from China with our first daughter almost five months when we saw her picture: a sweet face with a deep downcast shown in her eyes. She was six years old. Her file had been passed over by a few families already because of the uncertainties of her medical condition. One eye …Read More

It’s Twins!… Or Not.

February 15, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting out of birth order, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, older child adoption, virtual twins 0 Comments

stacy1

When we entered the world of adoption in 2013, my eyes were opened to older child adoption. To the reality of spending your entire life in an institution. To the tragedy of aging out children. We were in process to bring home our then five year old, and I remember thanking the Lord for people …Read More

Microcephaly: A Blessing In Disguise

January 24, 2016 by nohandsbutours cognitive delay, developmental delays, Family Stories, Jean, microcephaly, older child adoption 1 Comments

microcephaly1

I first learned about microcephaly while working in the newborn nursery. A sweet little boy lay in a basinet all bundled up in a white hospital blanket. As I got closer to him I noticed his head was quite small compared to the other newborns. I later found out that this dear child was diagnosed …Read More

Saying Yes to a Beautiful Mess

January 11, 2016 by nohandsbutours older child adoption, tethered cord 0 Comments

allison2

We started our adoption journey after a mission trip to the Navajo nation in Arizona. Leaving our three children behind, we set out to minister to others.While we were there, we saw the “big picture of life”, as we like to call it. We saw things on our trip that were bigger than ourselves. We …Read More

We’re Not Special

January 5, 2016 by nohandsbutours complex heart defect, Family Stories, Heart System, HLHS, older child adoption, orphan hosting, single atrium heart disease, single ventricle heart disease, TGA 2 Comments

special

My husband, Bobby, and I are not special. We keep being told that we are. Ever since starting the adoption process, people keep telling us we are “special”. I don’t always know how to respond. I feel embarrassed and totally unworthy. We don’t belong on that pedestal. Have they seen our very un-special home and …Read More

A Single Image

January 3, 2016 by nohandsbutours December 2015 Feature - Sensory, Family Stories, older child adoption, profound deafness, Sensory System, waiver request 1 Comments

max1

When a single image changes your whole life… We began our adoption process in a way that was, likely, different from many. I was checking my email, and literally, on a whim, I opened up an email I normally wouldn’t have. And there, staring at me, was my son. It rattled me to my core …Read More

Older Children and Incontinence, a Family Story

November 29, 2015 by nohandsbutours bowel management, Family Stories, imperforate anus, incontinence, lipomyelomeningocele, November 2015 Feature - Urogenital, older child adoption, tethered cord, Urogenital System, VACTERL 0 Comments

nov4

Our adoption journey started with two infant adoptions from South Korea, in 2008 and 2010. Our first was a healthy baby boy; our second, a daughter with limb differences. When we considered adding to our family again, we decided to adopt an older child and looked into the China special needs program. We pondered the …Read More

Embracing Her Story: Sarah

November 20, 2015 by nohandsbutours adoptee perspective, adoptee Q and A, birth family, Jean, November 2015 Feature - Embracing Their Story, older child adoption, telling their life story 0 Comments

sarah

We know that God is the only one who can heal hearts and redeem stories. But what of our role as shepherds of their hearts? One powerful, guiding gift we can dig into is the experience of others, young and old, who are willing to share their stories. As part of our Embracing Their Story …Read More

It Is What It Is, Not What it Should Be

November 18, 2015 by nohandsbutours disruption, failed adoption, November 2015 Feature - Embracing Their Story, older child adoption 3 Comments

andrea01

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 That’s been my view on most things in life: it is what it is, not what it should be. Our daughter came to us on September 1, 2013, at 8.5 years old. She’d been adopted from China at age 4.5 by another family, …Read More

Every Child is Our Child {the blessing of orphanage updates}

October 28, 2015 by nohandsbutours Kelly, older child adoption, orphanage realities 3 Comments

kelly2

It was a 100-page labor of love. For months, in anticipation of my visit back to my daughter’s orphanage, I had been collecting updates. I hoped for 25 families to be a part of the update book. In the end, there were 50. I had asked them specific things: their child’s Chinese name and the …Read More

Dear Parents-To-Be: Advice From the Front Lines

October 22, 2015 by nohandsbutours adopting two at once, adoption realities, China trip, disruption, Gotcha Day, guest post, older child adoption, orphanage behaviors 13 Comments

There’s been a rash of disruptions lately, both while still in China and shortly after the families are back in America. I’m not here to pass judgment on people, or talk about families who disrupt months or years into the process. I’m here to talk about the beginning, and to give some advice. Real advice. …Read More

A Poster Picture of… The Waiting Child…

September 15, 2015 by nohandsbutours Jean, older child adoption 5 Comments

olderchild

Every time I look at this picture I am at a loss for words… It embodies the plight of the older waiting child. A loving family visits their son’s orphanage just days after they meet him. Their daughter (being carried by her mother) has been home for over a year. Their new son is in …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

jean

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

with open arms: adopting from disruption

March 19, 2015 by nohandsbutours disruption, March 2015 Feature - Disruption, older child adoption 8 Comments

turner3

We stood shivering on a strange doorstep sixteen long hours from home. It was nerves mixed with excitement that churned inside me as we raised our hand to knock on the door. A stack of boxes and suitcases greeted us in the foyer when the door opened. We stepped inside and a little boy with …Read More

Recovering a Childhood

March 15, 2015 by nohandsbutours Jean, older child adoption, orphanage realities 7 Comments

childhood2

Recently our oldest adopted daughter from China celebrated her 15th birthday. She wasn’t excited about this birthday because she didn’t want to be fifteen. She liked being 14 and to her 15 felt too old. You see she feels a bit cheated… Her childhood began at the age of 8 yrs 8 month and 18 …Read More

Will You Love Me Forever?

January 30, 2015 by nohandsbutours amniotic band syndrome, Family Stories, older child adoption 1 Comments

IMG_3527

Excitement, curiosity and fear of the unknown filled the eight year old boy’s mind as he entered the cold, stale room. His eyes landed on some smiling faces that looked vaguely familiar. Yes, these were the same faces that had smiled at him from the pages of the photo album he carried in his backpack, …Read More

Even If They Are From A Good Orphanage…

December 16, 2014 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Jean, older child adoption 2 Comments

They need a family… When we adopted Ben we knew he was from a nice orphanage, much different than many of our other children. We also knew he had a foster family for many years. Once he was home we found out he had been with them for 6 of his 7.5 years. From Ben’s …Read More

No Boys?

September 15, 2014 by nohandsbutours gender as a special need, heart defect, Jean, older child adoption 1 Comments

That’s what we were saying back in 2006. We had 4 biological sons and felt like that was a good number. We had one daughter and felt like the Lord had perfectly planned it… we needed more girls! I had always dreamed of a sister for Katie. Of course not one that was 20 years …Read More

Ready or Not…Kindergarten, Here I Come

September 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 2 Comments

I’m no novice when it comes to parenting. And I’m definitely not a novice when it comes to sending my kids off to Kindergarten. But this year, there was something different about the three times I’d done it previously. This time it was my China babies. Nothing could have fully prepared me for the first …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

To the Traumatized Family

August 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 9 Comments

A few days ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and saw a comment on a link for a ministry to traumatized children that broke my heart. An adoptive parent was asking where the ministry was for families who have been traumatized by bringing a traumatized child into their home. This is something I …Read More

Somewhere to Run

July 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 9 Comments

In my adoptions circles, there is a little bit of a running joke about all the things that start going wrong once a paper chase and the commitment to adopt a child (or children) begins. Somewhere along the journey to China, an adoptive parent can guarantee that an appliance…or three…will break, the car will need …Read More

Then and Now

June 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 3 Comments

As an adoptive parent there is definitely one thing that I stress over more than anything else. One might think it would have something to do with doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, surgeries, or something else of that nature. But those things come easily to me. I’m usually sipping my cup of coffee and enjoying my …Read More

The Best Mama

May 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 0 Comments

I’ll never forget the first time it happened. She threw her arms around me and exclaimed, “I love you, Mama! You’re the best mama I’ve ever had!!!” And every time it’s happened since then is carved on my heart as well. Every. Single. Time. The day I met my sweet Cora…just over a year-and-a-half ago…was …Read More

Expecting

April 15, 2014 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, heart defect, Jean, older child adoption 1 Comments

We just had our first grandchild! It is so exciting AND such an amazing feeling having her HERE! Our daughter talked to me every day (from Germany) before her delivery. The anticipation was riveting! When would she arrive, how would the delivery go, who would she look like? It was a happy moment when I …Read More

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