We’re good

November 25, 2014 by Kelly adoption situations, Kelly, Uncategorized 2 Comments

Coats were on and heads were being counted when she shared it with me.   “Mommy, I have to tell you something. A girl in my class said, ‘Is your mom Chinese?’ I said, ‘No.’ Then, she said, ‘Well, you have Chinese eyes so your mom has to be Chinese.’ But, I told her, ‘No, …Read More

Completely Natural

April 5, 2014 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Tara, Uncategorized 1 Comments

My virtual twins are thick as thieves. And they act like an old married couple. The bond they share is amazing to behold. They actually have the same type of relationship that biological twins do. The way God has grafted their two little hearts together is most amazing. With this relationship comes lots and lots …Read More

agency closings

February 12, 2013 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 3 Comments

Two adoption agencies that have been a part of the China Special Needs program – Christian World Adoption and Homeland Adoption Services – have recently announced that they are regretfully closing their doors. The additional expenses agencies incurred to comply with the Hague Convention, the floundering economy and the recent ban on Russian adoptions have …Read More

The visit

October 25, 2012 by nohandsbutours clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy, Uncategorized 12 Comments

I’ve had occasion to look at the photos from the day we visited Mimi’s orphanage. Due to a computer snafu, I hadn’t seen these pics for quite a while. I’m not sure where God is leading me in this little trip down memory lane. Certainly there is something to be learned by seeing them and …Read More

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Being a "Special Needs" Parent

October 17, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

So this past weekend, I was driving the car, listening to the Moth story hour on NHPR and feeling lucky. I love the Moth (true stories told live). Hell, I have a story I want to tell the Moth. (The Pringle Fairy.) But mostly, I love that what I expected to be a chore—a half-hour’s …Read More

Half a Year Ago in Kunming

October 7, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

We met one sad, scared little boy. This passport photo was taken maybe thirty minutes after that traumatic first meeting.  I sat him on the stool in front of the white curtain, my arm on his back to make sure he didn’t fall.  “Smile!” I said in a cheery sing-song voice.  Although an appropriate thing …Read More

Wednesday (ok, Thursday. Again.) Links

September 22, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

In China, and desperately missing their washer/dryer (we can all get that!): the family of Okkar Life. Follow the Chryst family, and their delicious toddler, as she recovers from her first cleft surgery and prepares for the second in November. And see if you agree with Dr. Jane Aronson that “The Trouble With International Adoption …Read More


September 20, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Rory is loud. I have written about this before, but I feel that I cannot possibly have really conveyed what I meant by loud. When I say Rory, who will be six this week, and who has been with us for just over two years, is loud, I mean LOUD. I mean loud at every …Read More

Thursday Links (Just Like Wednesday Links, Only…Later.)

September 15, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

The links are belated today because—there’s a really good reason—wait for it—I forgot it was Wednesday. Travel vicariously with the Jones’ and the Westhavens, in China now, and with the Bergey Dad—warning, if you read through the lines of the Bergey’s pictures, you may weep for the foster parents, saying goodbye to a child they …Read More

Wednesday Links

September 7, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) is considered rare among China adoptees, but the family at Blue Willow Girl has finally realized what they’re dealing with, and they wonder if more parents out there should consider the possibility. And although this is a family who’ve adopted from Ethiopia, not China, this post on life “after the airport” …Read More

Language Lessons, Life Lessons, and One Unfortunate Pig

September 7, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

I knew, based on research, that XiXi would lose his ability to speak Mandarin.  I knew that on a logical, cognitive level, but on a deeper level, I had a hard time really believing it.  Or at least believing that it would happen as quickly as researchers said it would, 12 weeks.  Twelve weeks to …Read More

Wednesday (ok, Thursday) Links

August 25, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

I love this post from Cornbread and Chopsticks both for its commentary on “special” and needs (in this case, unusual hands and feet) and really for its reminder about our kids’ extra-sensitive little hearts. A fellow AP living in Shanghai finds an abandoned (probably special needs) baby. A must-read for a rare glimpse into a …Read More

The Pattern Trap

August 17, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

I’ve been re-reading some old blog and journal entries from our first weeks home with Rory. Mostly, I’m seeing how amazingly far we’ve come (and how painful it was to get there). But then there was this, taken from an incident just two months after we came home from China. (Because of her foster home, …Read More

What We're Reading Wednesday: Links

July 21, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Follow the Bergeys as Mom Selina and youngest (China) daughter travel to China to bring home their newest, almost 14-year-old daughter. They’ve just met, and they’ve still got their week in Guangzhou to go. I couldn’t stop reading. Branda at Days Made of Now has been home just one week with her 8-year-old daughter. Reading …Read More

Hey, Jealousy: The Virtual Twin Thing

July 18, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Wyatt popped out of the pool with the traditional summer blue quivering lips and begged for his towel. “Can I sit on your lap?” I beckoned him in, and he settled, warm and damp, with me in the deck chair. I turned to the friend I was with and sighed. “Twenty seconds,” I said. “What?” …Read More

ASIA – new list posted

July 18, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

… these kiddos need to find their forever families. New list from ASIA includes 3 year old twin girls. Some of the children even have $5000 grants available. Visit our Children Who Wait page for more details.

Whatever Wednesday Links

July 14, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

This large family (4 adoptions and two bios, all young and all fantastic) is helping one of their girls through her fourth surgery for the burns and head injuries she had when she came home: Oatsvall Team It’s a case of special needs being greater than the family expected, but not, as it turns out, …Read More


July 7, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

We met our son XiXi in China three months ago. It’s a trite expression but truly, I can’t remember what it was like before he came. He’s blended so seamlessly into our family and community. There are many things I can attribute this to, but one of the biggest is that he observes and then …Read More

Wednesday's Whatever: Links We Like

July 7, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

A few things that caught our attention this week: A fantastic site “Redefining Spina Bifida,” which is exactly what the blogger’s kids (with and without the disorder) do every day: Spina Bifida Kids I’m linking to this entire site because of its beauty and fantastic photography, but scroll down a few posts to read about …Read More

Everything in a Name

June 17, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

What’s in a name? Everything.Every thought your parents had about who you might be. A goodly dose of who your father’s family was, and possibly, depending on your circumstances, your mother’s as well. If you’re adopted, what’s in a name? Maybe everything, maybe nothing. Casually (as in the non-legal name you’d give, say, a gymnastics …Read More

Thursday Links (Just Like Wednesday Links, Only…Later.)

June 15, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Morgan’s Wonderland: Wheelchair accessible rides, specially designed swings and sensory activities create an amusement park for kids and adults with special needs (and free admission) outside San Antonio, TX. Special needs parents of all sorts are linking up by posting their blogs at Kelly’s Korner. It’s not adoption specific, but we all know that there’s …Read More

Whatever Wednesday Links

June 8, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Deb from By Grace We Are 6 has a daughter who may be more comforted by her lovey than by her (adoptive, and only three months in) mom. Attachment theory is silent on that one… If you have a few minutes to roll with laughter, The Womble Times has posted a delicious animated video filled …Read More

Whatever Wednesday Links

June 1, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Joy at Red Thread Thoughts posted beautifully on her daughter, a preschooler with a small hand limb difference (symbrachydactyly) who creates beautiful “handprint” projects with the prints of both her big and “little” hands. Our kids may have “special needs” (or whatever you like to call them), but as parents, we know that ordinary life …Read More

Whatever Wednesday

May 25, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Check out this bike trailer! It’s brilliant for kids with a special need that limits their balance or mobility (it’s also available with a back rest). Liz at Learning Patience is doing more than just spring clean: she’s paring down to add two new kids to her pack of four, and inspired by living more …Read More

Pack Rat or Hoarder…..When to Worry

May 23, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

We have a small, antique table that sits next to our front door in our entry foyer. Except for displaying a canister of eucalyptus branches and being a dropping off point for mail, it’s largely unused. For the past couple of weeks, the stool that normally lives in the downstairs powder room has instead been …Read More

Blowing Off Birth Order, and Thinking Twice

May 16, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

When we adopted Rory, almost two years ago now, she was 3 1/2, 6 months older than our youngest, Wyatt. All of our other kids were biological kids (Sam was 7 and Lily 5), and Rory was our first (and only) foray into adoption. We “adopted out of birth order,” and as I remember it, …Read More


April 18, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Last week it was reported that Catherine Zeta Jones checked herself into a treatment center to get support for Bipolar II disorder. My first reaction: Catherine Zeta Jones? Bipolar disorder? What? Almost everyone knows Catherine as a beautiful, talented, Academy Award winning actress with a charismatic husband (who just beat throat cancer), 2 adorable kiddos …Read More

some changes – homestudies and post placement reports

March 29, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Sounds like some changes are coming that will impact the way future adoptions are completed. This announcement, just announced by an agency, covers changes required for post-placement reports and homestudies. Post-placement Reports: This announcement indicates that these changes will affect post-placement reports for families that receive Travel Approval after August 1st, 2011. Currently, two post-placement …Read More

I Am a Million Different People

March 18, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Rory has lived with us for 21 months now, and I still feel like I don’t know her. I love her, and I’m charmed by her, and I want to scoop her up and give her raspberries, but I don’t know her. I’m not sure she knows herself. I can predict what she’ll do on …Read More

Meet Pei

February 10, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Pei came home from China last year to her forever family. Her special need is microtia with facial palsy. Her mom has shared her story on our Family Stories page. It was because of one family stepping out to share about their experience with this special need that Pei found her forever family! Please consider …Read More

Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái

February 3, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Chinese New Year begins today. It starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. From Family Fun: “The celebration of the 2011 Chinese New Year begins on February 3. Most significant festivity of the traditional Chinese holidays. This holiday is partially …Read More

new summer hosting program

January 26, 2011 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

From Cradle of Hope, some very exciting news about a brand new summer hosting program called “China Bridge of Hope”… Dear Friends,We are thrilled to announce that the CCAA has agreed to allow Chinese orphans to participate in our Bridge of Hope hosting program this summer! This will be the first time that Chinese children …Read More

Be My, Be My Baby

December 17, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Last week, inspired by lots of things–one parenting guru (Vicki Hoefle, of Parenting on Track, whose cult I am totally joining), one excellent book that purports to be about parenting the ADHD child, but is really about examining your parenting style in the middle of your kid’s childhood and figuring out who you really want …Read More

The Journey

November 20, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

About 4 weeks ago we made the decision to adopt again. We sent in our LOI on 10/21 for a precious little girl we have named Bella. On 10/27 we received our PA. Earlier this week I posted a story on my blog of how my husband and I made the decision to adopt another …Read More

'Member? 'Member, Mommy?

November 18, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Rory is bothered by conversation. She’s largely a native English speaker, since she grew up understanding and speaking more English than Chinese (she was raised in a large foster home with American parental figures and Chinese nannies), but the ebb and flow of conversation still goes over her head, and she’s hampered by a natural …Read More

National Adoption Month – a word from the White House

November 4, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Check out the Presidential Proclamation here.

Sorry For My Absence ….

October 31, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

I really hope this is still my day to post … I am so sorry for my slacking !!! I will tell you that we have brought home two amazing young angels from Uganda about 4 months ago and yet another journey began … I have often said this to many people, but when you …Read More

Confessions of a Paranoid Parent

October 29, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

When we adopted our daughter in the summer of 2006, I’d only stared at her picture for 2 months and one day before I was able to hold her in my arms.  We saw her picture on May 23rd and met her in Nanning on July 24th.  During that time, we were so busy buying …Read More

Salt and Light

October 18, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

For the past couple of days I have been thinking about what I wanted to post here. Was it a funny story about one of my kids?Was it about Luke’s MRI?Was it about Ava’s recent transition into good behavior? No. I wanted to do something more basic. Maybe answer a simple question that gets asked …Read More

Lilah's turn

October 5, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Read more about sweet Lilah on our family stories page. And please consider sharing your story with us. If you’ve adopted a special needs child from China, we’d love to add yours to our family stories page as well! It’s a huge encouragement to families considering special needs to be able to read about other …Read More

Truly Friends Forever

September 17, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

Most of us had friends as kids that we promised, with mixed results, to love forever—but what must a friend from your orphanage, from your foster home, from your past mean to a kid? We adopted Rory at nearly four, and from the first, she’s been asking for “Bethany.” As often as she cried for …Read More


September 13, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

I know this is not rocket science, but this morning a thought crossed my mind about the way an adopted child becomes FAMILY. It seems like one day you wake up and realize how far your child has come. I realize how much more a part of the family he/she is than the day, week, …Read More

If you build it, they will come

September 7, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

My husband and I are not impulsive people.  We tend to research ad-nauseum.   Then we make lists.   Then we weigh pros and cons.  Then we go in the direction that seems most logical.  If the direction we’re drawn to doesn’t seem logical, we go back to step one and start all over again. …Read More

All The Things She Doesn't Say

August 20, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 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


August 19, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

We have hit our stride. Rory has been home for almost 14 months, and it’s time to call it good. And oh, it is such a relief. The past year been like hitting my head against a wall, in that it’s so much better now that it’s stopped. I’ve never, ever been so glad that …Read More

Dads and Adoption

August 13, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 0 Comments

I admit, it is very late, and I have been at a loss on what to write! So in scrolling through my pictures, I came to a very endearing shot of Kevin and his daddy. And it got me to thinkin’… I post my thoughts, my experiences, my feelings on everything from attachment in adoption …Read More

The Proof is in the Pudding

August 1, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 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 from …Read More


July 19, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 6 Comments

***This month I decided to repost a blogpost that I published a short time ago. It got a lot of positive response on my blog and I also think it is very timely now that we have committed to adopting another child. This child, a precious little boy, will be our 6th adoption and our …Read More

Guilt, and Everything After.

July 18, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 5 Comments

Am I the only person out there that walks through her days with this constant load of guilt? I swear it’s why my back hurts all the time. My personal sack of guilt is so heavy that during the few moments of the week when it lifts, I think I should step on the scale. …Read More

She Flies!

June 25, 2010 by nohandsbutours Uncategorized 17 Comments

I know. My second post here in week. But it has occurred to me that we are, perhaps, too quick to make judgements about a child’s future based on what we see when they are two or three (or younger). Yes, dear friends, it was finally upon us. The BIG DAY. The DANCE. It has …Read More

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