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

Preparing For Children’s Surgeries and Hospital Stays

October 15, 2016 by nohandsbutours hospital stays, Medical Momma, surgery 0 Comments

When you have children with medical needs, surgeries and overnight hospital stays become something of a given. The first time one of my kids had surgery, I packed a bag for the hospital and thought I’d gone prepared – that is until the next morning when I had to dry my face on hospital-grade paper …Read More

Knit Together

October 13, 2016 by nohandsbutours Amy, complex heart defect, Heart System, kyphosis, scoliosis, surgery, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula 4 Comments

“I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your eyes saw my unformed body when I was knit together in my mother’s womb.” – Psalm 139 I can count on two hands the physical diagnoses our little Chinese warrior princess has in her medical history: tetralogy of Fallot (repaired) tracheoesophageal fistula (repaired) stricture of esophagus tracheomalacia chronic …Read More

Her First Smile

July 30, 2016 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, guest post, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, surgery 5 Comments

It was the morning before my daughter’s cleft lip repair. Alongside my husband and with my daughter in my arms, we walked into her surgeon’s office. We had intentionally waited four months after her adoption before scheduling the surgery. I wanted to give her time to begin to know and trust us. I also wanted …Read More

Dear Younger Me, Let Your Heart be Broken

July 28, 2016 by nohandsbutours adopting a boy, adopting again, Andrea O., heart transplant, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, Little Hearts Medical, surgery 5 Comments

Hey there, shadow of myself. Yes, I’m talking to you, the woman who is spending countless hours picking out the perfect color for the walls of the nursery where, in a few months, you will rock your “healthy, as young as possible” baby girl from China. I’m smiling right now, thinking of the woman I …Read More

More Beautiful For Having Been Broken

March 23, 2016 by nohandsbutours Rebecca, surgery 3 Comments

Dear Daughter, As I stood watching you, little one, tears rolled down my cheeks. You stood before my mirror all dolled up in your pink plastic dress-up shoes, hot pink, sparkly tutu, mismatched head bands, some bracelets, as many necklaces as you could gather, and your big sister’s glittery lip gloss. With your hip popped …Read More

Be the Village

October 23, 2015 by nohandsbutours first weeks home, Medical Momma, October 2015 Feature - It Takes a Village, Rebecca, supporting adoptive families, surgery 2 Comments

“Let me know what I can do.” 

We make the offer to newly home adoptive families and families facing medical challenges or hospital stays. We all say it, and mean it, but we know they won’t take us up on. Not a matter of gratitude, help offers are always appreciated. And support is likely needed, …Read More

Adopting a Child with Cancer: Easton’s Story

October 11, 2015 by nohandsbutours cancer, Family Stories, retinoblastoma, surgery 1 Comments

Cancer. I went over and over it in my mind when I felt that familiar tug on my heart. Dear Lord you cannot be serious. You’re kidding right?!? I watched my dad die from cancer and now I’m going to adopt a child that could be dying too? Yes. And not only yes, but urgently. …Read More

Coming Home: Tips for Medical Needs Parents

September 23, 2015 by nohandsbutours first weeks home, first year home, Medical Momma, Rebecca, September 2015 Feature - Coming Home, surgery 0 Comments

You are a newly home medical needs parent, and life might be feeling like triage. Your child needs to be catheterized, tube fed, dilated and medicated. They need therapy, glasses, wheelchairs, oxygen, blood transfusions, walkers, cochlear implants, casts, g-tubes and ostomy bags. They’ll need MRIs, IVs, ultrasounds, sleep studies, anesthesia, echocardiograms, X-rays, EEGs, CT scans, …Read More

Coming Home: With a Sick Child

September 11, 2015 by nohandsbutours Amy, Attachment, cocooning, Medical Momma, September 2015 Feature - Coming Home, surgery 0 Comments

We all imagine what it will be like when finally the paperwork is complete and we can see the face of our new child and begin to prepare for him or her. Then, after referral (if that is the order for you, it was for us) we make plans, consult specialists, send photos or stuffed …Read More

God of My Children

June 27, 2015 by nohandsbutours Medical Momma, Rebecca, surgery 1 Comments

Ever learn something, quickly forget it, and need to be reminded again? During our daughter’s extensive surgery last November, God tapped into my medical momma’s fearful heart, comforting me with the revelation that I don’t have to be God of my children. It was a breakthrough parenting moment.  Little by little though, I again started mentally and …Read More

Lilah’s Journey: ten weeks post surgery

August 25, 2011 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, surgery, tessier cleft 0 Comments

 Lilah’s mom, Paige, has chronicled her daughter’s journey to repair her Tessier Cleft. We have shared Lilah’s story here, as the treatment has progressed. Lilah’s final surgery was to repair her eye, complete a bone graft for her cleft and make some soft tissue changes. To see Lilah’s journey unfold, be sure to read the …Read More

Lilah's Journey – Surgery

June 8, 2011 by nohandsbutours surgery, tessier cleft 0 Comments

 Lilah’s mom, Paige, has chronicled her daughter’s journey to repair her Tessier Cleft. We have shared Lilah’s story here, as the treatment has progressed. Lilah’s final surgery was to repair her eye, complete a bone graft for her cleft and make some soft tissue changes. To see Lilah’s journey unfold, be sure to read the …Read More

Reflections from my first time in "the waiting chair"

April 11, 2010 by nohandsbutours congenital glaucoma, Kristi, port wine stain, surgery, vision issues 7 Comments

Welcome to Kristi, our newest contributing blogger. Kristi has three children adopted from China and her newest daughter, Darcy, joined their family in February. Kristi blogs about their family at Fireworks and Fireflies. Wednesday of this past week I joined a club. A club I never would have imagined myself in just a few short …Read More

The wanted one

October 6, 2009 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Maia, surgery 10 Comments

Possibly the most unexpected revelation in the course of our special-needs adoption came when the three of us, my husband, our daughter and I, waltzed in to our first cleft clinic at the hospital we had chosen for our daughter’s surgeries, eager and full of anticipation. At the time, we had been home for just …Read More

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