The Myth of the "New Normal"

September 3, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Sonia 28 Comments

That’s what it feels like to me. A myth. “New” normal? Normal? Whaaa? I’m completely unfamiliar with that word at the moment. The feeling of being normal is elusive to me. Does “the new normal” really even exist? I wonder this because I cannot, for the life of me, find it. Nothing about our life …Read More

The Surgery That Wasn't

August 27, 2012 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, heart defect, older child adoption, Wife of the Prez 2 Comments

At 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, August 21, I was preparing trying to prepare for surgery #14, which was scheduled for the following day, Wednesday, August 22. Yes, that is not a typo. Fourteen surgeries since we brought Li’l Miss home and waited during her six-hour, open-heart surgery on September 30, 2008. Tomorrow was to be the …Read More

Spread Your Wings… But Don't Fly Too Far

August 17, 2012 by nohandsbutours Kelley, older child adoption 2 Comments

On Monday, Caroline (our adopted 13-year-old) will experience her first day of middle school. While she’s admitted to being nervous once before, she now seems confident and ready. She’s decorated her locker, memorized her schedule, and organized her school supplies. We’re fortunate to be carpooling with another family (who incidentally has an adopted daughter Caroline’s …Read More

He Didn't Get the Memo

August 3, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Sonia 17 Comments

Have you ever seen the TV show Parenthood? I have. I like that show. Nay. I like-like that show. I love watching family dynamics play out in front of me that I don’t have to stress about or worry over or problem solve It’s a bit like how I learned to be a parent by …Read More

An Adoptee's Reflection on the 1st Year Home

July 20, 2012 by nohandsbutours Kelley, older child adoption 5 Comments

On June 27th, our family celebrated our 13-year-old’s first “Gotcha Day” anniversary. As I was writing out my thoughts that day to share on my personal blog, I wondered what might be going on in Caroline’s head as she reflected back over the last 12 months. I explained my blog to her and asked if …Read More

When Enough is Enough

July 3, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, large families, older child adoption, Sonia 93 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

The Overlooked "Special Need"

June 17, 2012 by nohandsbutours Kelley, older child adoption 5 Comments

The last twelve days have been filled with joy, awe, gratitude, and love as our family welcomed its sixth member, baby Maryn. We haven’t even reached a year since Caroline’s “Gotcha Day” and another little one has joined our family! Four kids in four years. A friend recently joked that it isn’t a requirement to …Read More

Recalculate

June 3, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Sonia 14 Comments

When you go on your adoption trip expect it expect to meet Jesus there. I did. And then I walked right past Him. A year and a half later and I am still haunted by my choice. A year and a half ago we had gone to a park one day, you know the one …Read More

Some Things You Just Can’t Get Over

May 27, 2012 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, heart defect, older child adoption, Wife of the Prez 1 Comments

My post is late. My brain feels like mush much of the time. Life is just plain hard right now. For many reasons. I have really struggled with this post. Even going back and forth on a possible topic. I thought it was going to be about foster care. Then attachment. Then our new normal …Read More

In the Palm of My Hand

May 23, 2012 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 8 Comments

Last month, I spent ten days with my three sisters and our mother. Just the five of us. No kids. Cheeky was quite worried about who would cook dinner, do the laundry, clean her new ear piercing, drive her to dance while I was gone. In the weeks before I left, she asked me dozens …Read More

Getting Connected

May 17, 2012 by nohandsbutours Kelley, older child adoption 1 Comments

I honestly believe that one of the most difficult parts of the adoption journey is that waiting period between being matched with your child and receiving approval to travel and meet your son or daughter face to face. Weeks seem like months as you check off the number of days passed for each step of …Read More

Ripples

May 3, 2012 by nohandsbutours older child adoption, Sonia 9 Comments

I took Jacob down to the bay a few days ago and it was as he tip toed into the water and began to play that I saw it ripples. And it occurred to me how his presence there and then in that moment on that bay was affecting change in the water. There were …Read More

He said IT

April 3, 2012 by nohandsbutours older child adoption, Sonia 10 Comments

He said it. Granted, he said it in rage. he said it anger. But regardless of why he still said it…. You are not my mama. Looked me right in the eye and screamed it into my face You are NOT my mama. Been home a little over a year and that is what came …Read More

Earrings (or Why I’m Not Ready for the Big 1-0)

March 24, 2012 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 3 Comments

cheekybirthday

I remember when my four older kids were babies. People would ask, “How old is s/he?”, and I would respond with the number of days or weeks or months. Eventually, my babies became toddlers, and my answer changed from the number of weeks or months to the number of years. The same happened when Cheeky …Read More

Measuring Progress

March 17, 2012 by nohandsbutours Kelley, older child adoption 7 Comments

In just a few weeks, we will celebrate two years since our 3-year-old daughter’s Gotcha Day. In almost every way, it feels like Grace has been in our family since the very beginning of her life. She is not only fluent in English but has an advanced vocabulary (which she shows off in her Southern …Read More

Adopting the Older Child: Questions Answered

February 29, 2012 by nohandsbutours older child adoption, Wife of the Prez 2 Comments

In the past 20 months since bringing home an older child, I have often been asked questions and a compilation of those along with my answers are below. I do answer emails sometimes, but when I don’t it is often lack of time. With this post, I hope to be able to answer some of …Read More

trust and pretty shoes

February 21, 2012 by nohandsbutours a father's perspective, Adrian, Attachment, older child adoption 1 Comments

Trust is a funny thing.  You kind of don’t notice it, until it is gone… or was never there. I think the sword and shield is the universal symbol for “I don’t trust you yet!” Me:  Okay Ping, we have to run into my work for a second, then we will go home. Ping:  Okay. …Read More

Sleepless in Beijing

November 21, 2011 by nohandsbutours a father's perspective, Adrian, older child adoption, spina bifida 0 Comments

So the wife is currently in China, and I’m still here in Canada.The Wife, BigD (our 2nd eldest son) and our new son Lukai are about 5 days away from coming home.There have been a great many thing which I’ve learned over the last few weeks.  Some of them related to adoption, most related to …Read More

Oh no, they are just like me!

May 21, 2011 by nohandsbutours a father's perspective, Adrian, older child adoption 0 Comments

Waiting at midnight for StarCraft II to be released… Son #2 (D):  Daddy!  DAD!!!Me:  What?  Is something wrong?D:  No.  I just need to know how to say something.Me:  Oh, sure.  What are you trying to say?D:  Your mother has a smooth forehead.Me:  Your mother has a what?D:  It’s Klingon!Me:  Yes, I know that.  It’s also …Read More

Dear Cheeky, I Love You

March 31, 2011 by nohandsbutours albinism, birth family, older child adoption, Shirlee 0 Comments

Nine birthdays minus seven birthdays equals two birthdays. And Cheeky counts them. Last year. This year. Just as she counted her gifts this morning and noted that she had two more than she did on her eighth birthday. Does that mean we love her more now than we did then? Probably didn’t even cross her …Read More

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Chaos

February 21, 2011 by nohandsbutours a father's perspective, Adrian, older child adoption, spina bifida 0 Comments

Wife:  I have to head back to Winnipeg for a couple of weeks.Me:  Sure, no problem.  Here, let me help you pack the bags for the kids.Wife:  Oh no, the kids are staying here.Me:  hahahaa… oh, for a second there, I thought you said the kids were staying here.Wife:  They are.Me:  hahaha… oh, that’s funny. …Read More

The Care and Keeping of the Broken Heart

January 25, 2011 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 0 Comments

hearts

I planned a different blog today. I planned to write about the care and keeping of Cheeky’s hair. We’ve had issues, you see. Food in the hair issues. Marker in the hair issues. Paint in the hair issues. With the big day coming up (have I mentioned that Cheeky is a firefly in a ballet?), I …Read More

Sink or Swim

January 21, 2011 by nohandsbutours a father's perspective, adoption realities, Adrian, older child adoption, Parenting Special Needs 0 Comments

Our daughter Ping has Spina Bifida.  Normally her Special Need doesn’t impact her day to day activities.  There have been the odd emergency trip to the Spina Bifida Clinic… and the numerous check ups, and test, and MRIs, and neurology type things… but other than that… her Spina Bifida has not been on the forefront …Read More

Catch a Grenade For You

December 21, 2010 by nohandsbutours a father's perspective, Adrian, older child adoption 0 Comments

Daughter #1 (G):  Daddy, why did that man say Grenade?Me:  Huh?  What?G:  In the song Daddy.  Listen.  He says Grenade.Me:  Okay… let me turn it up… I’d catch a grenade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)Throw my hand on a blade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)I’d jump in front of a train for ya (yeah, yeah …Read More

Collision of Two Cultures

November 7, 2010 by nohandsbutours guest post, older child adoption 0 Comments

One year ago two worlds collided in Eastern China as a 13-year-old boy met his American parents for the first time. What was to follow would be a dance of sorts, some missed footing, some stepping on toes, loss of rhythm… and finally, a year later, a harmonious blend of steps we call life. To …Read More

Puddles

October 22, 2010 by nohandsbutours older child adoption, Shirlee 2 Comments

puddles

I admit, I’ve been hesitant to post this story. There are two reasons for that. First, I didn’t want to offend those of a more squeamish nature. Second, I didn’t want to embarrass Cheeky. After a couple of months of thinking it over, though, I realized that what happened that day isn’t about embarrassment. It …Read More

All The Things She Doesn’t Say

August 20, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 0 Comments

Sometimes the things our children don’t say are the most important. We went on a walk yesterday. Cheeky is much smaller than my other kids. Shorter legs, weaker body, sweet, sunny personality that gives her no need to move fast, those things make walking a little challenging for my youngest. She tries, though. Oh, how she …Read More

The Proof is in the Pudding

August 1, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 7 Comments

I posted a similar version of this to my adoption blog. I think it is important for those of us who have had easy transitions and whose children have adapted brilliantly to remember that no matter how much it seems that they understand, they still wonder if what we offer is forever. I am back …Read More

a thank you

July 31, 2010 by nohandsbutours older child adoption 4 Comments

I was so blessed by this news of a child coming HOME from China, I wanted to share with everyone here. Last fall, Shelly learned about a little girl in need of a family on No Hands But Ours. And now, Shelly is that little girl’s mama! Now that little girl has an entire family …Read More

A Year

June 21, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 4 Comments

Cross Posted to my personal blog On Monday, June 22, 2009, Cheeky made the journey of a lifetime. She left the apartment she’d lived in for four years, got in a taxi and traveled to meet her new parents. Meanwhile, I was traveling, too. Riding in a car, talking to our guide and my husband, …Read More

Do You Really Love Me?

June 6, 2010 by nohandsbutours guest post, older child adoption 5 Comments

Today’s guest post is contributed by Connie, mom to eight children… two recently adopted (at the same time!) from China through the SN program, Kooper 14, and Kinley 2. Connie blogs about life as a mom of many at One More Ladybug. There is a pattern emerging. One that was either non-recognizable or perhaps non-existent …Read More

There IS Loss

April 27, 2010 by nohandsbutours older child adoption, pre-adoption, Wife of the Prez 4 Comments

A recent post by TongguMomma has really had me thinking A.L.O.T. Right after I read her post, which I keep going back to just to read the comments, I received a very unexpected piece of mail. As in, snail mail, all the way from the East. Long story short, we had ordered a care package …Read More

The Photo

April 25, 2010 by nohandsbutours older child adoption, telling their life story 7 Comments

There is a picture on my computer. In it, a man holds two little girls. His head is bowed, his right hand lifted toward the sky, his left arm wrapped firmly around his charges. The girls are squirming bundles of energy. A matched pair, they look to be identical twins. The photo can’t hide their …Read More

my son

April 15, 2010 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, guest post, older child adoption 0 Comments

Today’s post is a guest post, written by Amy who is in China now adopting her son, Xinran In just a few short weeks, 19 days to be exact, a 4 year old little boy with dark brown hair and black eyes will stand in front of me. He will call me Mama. I will …Read More

This I Can Give Her

April 6, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, foster care, older child adoption, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 7 Comments

Since my daughter’s birthday, I have been thinking long and hard about what she lost to be part of our family. After blogging about it, I received a number of emails asking if I feel guilty for taking my daughter from a loving foster home. The answer to that is complicated. In a perfect world, …Read More

on the road to healing

April 2, 2010 by nohandsbutours guest post, older child adoption 2 Comments

Today’s guest post is contributed by Connie, mom to eight children… two recently adopted (at the same time!) from China through the SN program, Kooper 14, and Kinley 2. Connie blogs about life as a mom of many at One More Ladybug. No doubt, adoption is full of so many unknowns. Our children from China …Read More

Firsts

March 18, 2010 by nohandsbutours older child adoption, Shirlee 13 Comments

I posted this to my blog two days ago but thought it might be worth posting here, as well. Especially in light of the new shared list. This blog is, of course, dedicated to special needs adoption. For older children who wait, age becomes a very specific special need. I often wonder what it is …Read More

The Scent Of Love

March 8, 2010 by nohandsbutours foster care, older child adoption 6 Comments

When I was little, my mother would sometimes bake cookies before I came home from school. I’d smell the chocolate and sugar and vanilla as I walked into the house, and when I saw my mother standing at the top of the stairs, I felt the love she had put into my afternoon snack. If …Read More

Not So Different

February 21, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Skin Conditions 15 Comments

At church Wednesday night, there was an argument between several girls and my older daughter. I was home sick with a migraine, and I heard about the problem Saturday morning while driving to a meeting with the pastor’s wife. Hearing about Sassy squabbling with an entire group of girls over rules to a game they’d …Read More

Kooper and Kinley

February 16, 2010 by nohandsbutours adopting two at once, cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, older child adoption 0 Comments

by Connie, mom to Kinley (2) and Kooper (13) adopted from China at the same time In August of 2003 when God instantly gripped the hearts of my husband and I for the orphan, we had no idea where He would lead us. We knew He was calling us to a task much larger than …Read More

The Past, The Present, The Future

January 29, 2010 by nohandsbutours albinism, older child adoption, Skin Conditions 14 Comments

cheekybaby2

Any good fiction writer knows that a character without a past is a cardboard cut out. No depth. No spirit. No life. An author can write all the angst and emotion she wants, but if her character comes from nowhere, her character will go nowhere. The same is true of life. Without knowledge of where …Read More

Kara

December 26, 2009 by nohandsbutours older child adoption 0 Comments

By Michelle, mom to Kara from China, adopted as an ‘older child’ December 21st marked six-months since we first met Kara. I struggle to believe it has been six months. On one hand, it seems like she has been a part of our family for far longer than that, but on the other, it seems …Read More

Jubilee

December 20, 2009 by nohandsbutours Linny, older child adoption 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 …Read More

"I Didn't Think They Gave Away Their Boys"

November 27, 2009 by nohandsbutours older child adoption, Wife of the Prez 7 Comments

I’m sorry if that title offended anyone or made your heart jump. To be honest, it offends me and makes my heart POUND. I hear it so often when I share about our waiting son in China, and often this comment is followed up with a question or more of a comment: “Oh, you aren’t …Read More

good stuff

October 24, 2009 by nohandsbutours giveaways, older child adoption, Stefanie 0 Comments

Amie and I are buds. We’ve partnered up on a few things, God-led things. One is No Hands But Ours, and the other is Wild Olive. Since she and I both have a passion for both, we came up with a way to combine the two… For the next five weeks, we’ll be giving away …Read More

A Helping Hand

September 26, 2009 by nohandsbutours A Helping Hand, CCAA, older child adoption, Stefanie 0 Comments

A Helping Hand Adoption Agency has updated their current list of waiting children.Additionally, they are participating in the CCAA’s “Trip of Hope” program. Read more here. For more information, contact:Dana Woods: dana@worldadoptions.org

ASIA's new program

July 10, 2009 by nohandsbutours ASIA, older child adoption 0 Comments

ASIA will be participating in a new program to help bring older children, with minor special needs, home from China. 20-30 children, ages 5-12, will be participating in this program. The adventure begins July 26th!! To follow along visit ASIA’s new blog, ASIA’s Hope Journey.

"Portrait of a Family"

May 24, 2009 by nohandsbutours older child adoption, Stefanie, video 0 Comments

Click here to watch an incredibly sweet video about a family that adopted a boy from China. And not a minute too soon.

Tim

March 16, 2009 by nohandsbutours CCAI, Family Stories, older child adoption 0 Comments

by Darlene, mom to Tim from China adopted as an older child Trust God Completely (Proverbs 3:5,6) Our story began in the fall of 2004. God had started to nudge my heart about adoption through circumstances that took place during this time. It seemed that I wanted to make sure He was leading me in …Read More

Candace

February 25, 2009 by nohandsbutours Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing loss, microtia, older child adoption, Sensory System 0 Comments

by Laine, mom to Candace from China with bilateral microtia/atresia Older Child Adoption (and out of birth order, too!) After experiencing toddler adoption (two at one time!), my husband and I felt the call again from the Lord to adopt… only this time He called us to an eight year old girl who has bi-lateral …Read More

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