Pondering the “What-Ifs”

July 21, 2016 by nohandsbutours coloboma, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, micropthalmia, prosthetic eye, Sensory System, siblings, vision loss 10 Comments


I remember reading all the recommended adoption books, watching all the training videos, stalking all the mom blogs, and talking to other adoptive moms during the time leading up to our own adoption. I got myself familiar with so many new terms and tried to educate myself on any possibility of trouble our future daughter …Read More

What I Didn’t Expect

July 17, 2016 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Craniofacial, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, siblings, virtual twins 0 Comments


Have you heard of that book, What To Expect When You’re Expecting for newly pregnant moms-to-be? Have you ever wondered why there isn’t a book written on what to expect when adopting? Hmmm…..I think it’s because the adoption process is about letting go of expectation and putting plans on hold….or embracing detours. It’s a wild …Read More

Do They Look Like Siblings?

May 27, 2016 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, limb difference, Mandy, siblings 4 Comments


Lots of people are curious about Lydia and Barrett’s relationship—a brother and sister relationship formed through adoption. “Do they look like siblings?” I never know if this means whether they resemble each other or what. “Are they real brother and sister?” Well, here is big sister Lydia encouraging little brother Barrett that he can climb …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


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

When {Older} Siblings Aren’t Supportive

February 29, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting again, adopting later in life, Chris, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, sibling perspective, siblings 4 Comments


Wait. What? You’re not excited that we’re adopting again? But how could this be? Why? What’s the problem here? You were super excited when we adopted before… what’s so different this time? These were the questions we asked when we told our older children almost two years ago that we were growing our family through …Read More

A Second Chance to be a Big Brother

February 27, 2016 by nohandsbutours February 2016 Feature - Siblings, sibling perspective, siblings 0 Comments


Not many people get two chances to be a big brother. Let me explain. I’m the oldest of three siblings that turned into four, then five, then six. Nearly 20 years are present in the gap between kids three and four. This gap has rendered and blessed me with such an unique and amazing opportunity. …Read More

China Trip: When Brother and Sister Travel, Too

February 26, 2016 by nohandsbutours Andrea Y., China trip, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, siblings 6 Comments


It was the best decision we made concerning travel for our last adoption. It would double our travel cost — but as we prayed about it, we felt certain we should extend the offer if they were ready. We sat our seven year old daughter and eight year old son down and simply asked if …Read More

What God Has Taught Me Through My Sisters With Special Needs

February 25, 2016 by nohandsbutours February 2016 Feature - Siblings, sibling perspective, siblings 0 Comments


“How has adopting your sisters really affected your life?” I think the phrase, “If I had a dime for every time someone asked me that question,” is one I can relate to. Well-meaning strangers, social workers, family members, friends, church members, discussion panels, you name it and they’ve asked. It’s not a question I take …Read More

Parenting Birth Children in a Transracial Family

February 23, 2016 by nohandsbutours February 2016 Feature - Siblings, Rebecca, sibling perspective, siblings 1 Comments


“It’s kind of weird being the only kid born in the USA.” She stopped me in my tracks. I was a trained adoptive parent. I read the books, took our agency’s assigned courses on transracial families, and attended conferences. I’d also read about preparing my biological daughter for the adoption of siblings. We purchased Asian …Read More

Beauty from Ashes

February 19, 2016 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Attachment, attachment activities, Katie, parent-to-child attachment, siblings 0 Comments


“I was so angry for so long. I felt real hate, Mom!” A child in my home recently confessed in the privacy of our conversation. They were speaking about the time when adoption trauma made its way into our home. When siblings were physically injured by a new addition, when lying became a part of …Read More

Thoughts from a Big Sister: Life is a Gift to be Shared

February 17, 2016 by nohandsbutours Down syndrome, Family Stories, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, sibling perspective, siblings 13 Comments


Almost three years ago, a little stranger came into my life. And then six months ago, another one joined her: Pearl and Molly, our spicy Hunan girls. It’s so hard to think that they once were strangers to us, to our love, to our family. Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like without …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

Preparing Siblings for Adoption: Five Simple Guidelines

February 9, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting again, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, guest post, referral, siblings, waiting to travel 4 Comments


If you are reading this, I am guessing you are close to saying YES to adoption or have already done so. There is a great chance you are somewhere in the middle of the paperwork race or nearing the finish line. You have countless hours under your belt thinking about how you will love, parent …Read More

When Grief Comes – Thoughts from a Mother’s Heart

January 17, 2016 by nohandsbutours Andrea Y., siblings, telling their life story 0 Comments


In four months, we will find ourselves at the hospital to bring home another baby. Baby #6. Oh I’m beside myself and can’t wait. I never thought we would have another biological baby at my age, but our sweet surprise and after 3 biological children and 2 adoptions has been quite buzz and brought much …Read More

A Letter From Us

September 13, 2015 by nohandsbutours Attachment, first weeks home, first year home, Rebecca, September 2015 Feature - Coming Home, siblings 1 Comments


When newly home two years ago with three year old, Eli, and one year old, Evelyn, life felt turned upside down for such a very long time. A few months in, I found myself focusing more heavily on the changes I was feeling and experiencing than on how my two little ones, who had been …Read More

Coming Home: Helping Siblings Bond

September 5, 2015 by nohandsbutours first weeks home, first year home, September 2015 Feature - Coming Home, siblings 0 Comments


Lord, this humble house we’d keepSweet with play and calm with sleep.Help us so that we may give Beauty to the lives we live.Let Thy love and let Thy graceShine upon our dwelling place.– Edgar Guest I have that quote framed in our downstairs bathroom. I can’t tell you how many times a week I …Read More

It’s not about you

August 11, 2015 by nohandsbutours Amy, China trip, siblings 2 Comments


This month we are highlighting time in China and coincidently, dear friends of ours are in China right now as I write, hours away from traveling to their daughter’s province and seeing her face to face. By the time this posts, they will have her and will almost have finished their time in China. So, …Read More

Going to China: Taking Siblings Along

August 3, 2015 by nohandsbutours China trip, July/August 2015 Feature - Going to China!, Nicole, siblings 2 Comments


Continuing into August with our Going to China series, because one month just isn’t long enough to cover all things China-trip related! Today Nicole shares how she successfully traveled to China as a family of 6. Upcoming topics include orphanage behaviors, undisclosed special needs, different ways children react at placement, and how to cope with feeding and attachment issues …Read More

Post-Mother’s Day Blessings: Trusting Him in Adoption Details

May 17, 2015 by nohandsbutours Andrea Y., siblings 0 Comments


Two years ago this week, I was a basket case. We were anxiously awaiting for our travel approval for China — and unfortunately… we would miss it. He would have another birthday in his orphanage — apart from us. That was this week two years ago. I did what any reasonable waiting mom would do …Read More

Attaching as a Sister

May 13, 2015 by nohandsbutours Attachment, Hannah, siblings 0 Comments


Ten days before my 10th birthday, my little sister was born. But I didn’t know her. I didn’t know what she looked like or how long it would be until I would meet her for the first time. For those first, long, ten years of my life, I prayed for a sister. I begged for …Read More

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