TAKE THAT Speech Delay!

October 27, 2012 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, speech delay, Wife of the Prez 4 Comments

Never did I imagine even a year ago that our just-turned 7-year-old daughter would be preparing for a big solo on the rather large stage at our church. Never did I imagine even a few weeks ago when the children were told they could try out for solos and/or speaking parts in the 1st and …Read More

Keeping the Past in the Present

September 27, 2012 by nohandsbutours heart defect, older child adoption, Wife of the Prez 5 Comments

“It is kind of almost like a pseudo-open adoption,” the adoption professional said to me as I shared with her about our reunion with our 12-year-old son’s foster family. Absence may not have made their hearts grow stronger—I don’t think the love could be much stronger than it already was—but absence definitely made the hearts …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

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

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

CHD: Single Ventricle Heart (Probably more than you wanted to know!)

January 22, 2012 by nohandsbutours complex heart defect, heart defect, Wife of the Prez 12 Comments

I had a reader* (on my family blog) ask a question the other day that I figured some others may be wondering. I also think answering it could potentially help educate others about single ventricle heart disease, and education is POWER and could mean another child going from orphan to a son or daughter. So …Read More

Who Are You Waiting For?

December 6, 2011 by nohandsbutours advocacy; complex heart defects, advocacy; older child adoption, complex heart defect, Wife of the Prez 0 Comments

Are you waiting for a referral? Are you waiting in the Waiting Child (SN) program or the traditional (NSN) program? Are you waiting for what seems like years? Or perhaps you have been waiting for years?Do you know who you are waiting for? A daughter younger than two years old perhaps? Or maybe she could …Read More

A Valid Question Further Explained

October 18, 2011 by nohandsbutours Wife of the Prez 1 Comments

My Mom called before 8 a.m. wanting more details after reading this post. I don’t *think* she was mad when I refused to answer a specific question. Let me just say my Mom is one of the coolest and most awesome ladies I know, but man it feels good that I have the confidence to …Read More

When The FEAR Sets In

August 27, 2011 by nohandsbutours pre-adoption, Wife of the Prez 0 Comments

I have so many ideas for post topics in my head. I have even started many times only to hit DELETE–DELETE–DELETE. I just can’t get the jumbled thoughts on paper or the blog-o-sphere. I think it is due to pregnant/paperchasing brain. Or maybe I just don’t want to put it out there. Yet. So. We …Read More

Dealing with the Undisclosed Need

May 27, 2011 by nohandsbutours BAHA, hearing impairment, Wife of the Prez 0 Comments

Let me preface this post by saying that in all reality, hearing loss is NOT a total shock (or it shouldn’t be) when a child also was born with cleft lip and palate. In fact, I asked the audiologist we saw today and she confirmed to me that many of her patients have cleft lip …Read More

SN: CHD and CL/CP

April 27, 2011 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, heart defect, Wife of the Prez 0 Comments

I see this label often on the shared list and advocacy sites. It hits close to my heart to see it. I don’t think as I used to of the FEAR. Of the what ifs. Of genetic syndromes. Of shorter lifespans. Of lower intelligence. Of open-heart surgery. Of speech delays that may take years to …Read More

The A Word in Adoption

December 27, 2010 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Wife of the Prez 0 Comments

Abandoned. Webster’s defines abandoned as “given up, forsaken.” And Webster’s defines forsaken as “to renounce or turn away from entirely.” The questions have begun crashing in for our little girl. My Mom asked me if I thought her overhearing our talks with her older brother about his China Mommy had brought this about more quickly …Read More

Let's Talk About Labels

November 29, 2010 by nohandsbutours waiting children, Wife of the Prez 0 Comments

Every month the excitement quickens. Every month the chatter on groups and the *official* website for all things China adoption takes on a new level. Every month a few announce their joyous news for a referral of a child from the shared list. And that never gets old: to know a child who was once …Read More

A Journey to an IEP

October 26, 2010 by nohandsbutours IEP, Wife of the Prez 0 Comments

Wow. Shock. Joy. Sadness. R.E.L.I.E.F Developmental Delay. How should I feel? I’m not sure, but the overriding feeling today is RELIEF. We have a starting point, a place from which to MOVE FORWARD. On Thursday, my baby boy, our little five-year-old son will begin a new journey. Complete with an IEP (Individualized Education PLAN). Back …Read More

Adoption Reality #2: Special Needs Do NOT Define Children

August 30, 2010 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, heart defect, Wife of the Prez 0 Comments

This post is a bit of a detour for me from my original plan for my #2 Adoption Reality. I feel the need to share this though, and to add a disclaimer that these Adoption Realities I’m sharing are MY realities. They may not be the same for all of us, but for me this …Read More

Adoption Reality #1: When Your Vision Is NOT Your Reality

August 8, 2010 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Wife of the Prez 9 Comments

Bear with me for a few lines while I share with you about this post and hopefully a few more to follow. I mentioned in my last post on this blog that I was taking a break from posting at my personal blog … and I still am. For now. I received so many beautiful …Read More

Whoever Said Adoption Is Easy?

July 27, 2010 by nohandsbutours Parenting Special Needs, Wife of the Prez 7 Comments

The 27th day of the month. It is the day I am supposed to post. Stefanie may fire me if I don’t. Seriously I have so much I want to say and yet I can’t find the words, and even more I am so not ready to share so much. I know those who may …Read More

I'll Say It

June 12, 2010 by nohandsbutours advocacy; older child adoption, Wife of the Prez 17 Comments

This post is one that has been brewing, stewing, soaking … whatever you want to call it … in my head for a LONG time. I just read the latest update on our agency’s blog. Here is an excerpt: The current wait time from LID to referral is 50-51 months with a trend of increasing …Read More

I Can't Be Her Voice

May 25, 2010 by nohandsbutours cl/cp, Parenting Special Needs, Wife of the Prez 15 Comments

As much as I’d like to put a protective cocoon around her and be her voice among other things, I can’t. Let me preface this entry with two things: my heart is in my throat these days as we wait for our final piece of paperwork to travel to China for our sons, and our …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 Dance

April 12, 2010 by nohandsbutours Attachment, Wife of the Prez 13 Comments

OK, I’ll jump in with both feet here. Attachment is hard work. There, I said it. Now that we have that (or rather now that I have it) on the table, I will just jump in with both feet. But first, a bit of housekeeping as I like to call it on my blog. No, …Read More

Matters of the Heart

February 27, 2010 by nohandsbutours advocacy; complex heart defects, complex heart defect, Wife of the Prez 7 Comments

It is no secret that I advocate for children waiting in China, for children waiting who have unrepaired and complex congenital heart defects. I do not advocate to ever pressure anyone into considering the adoption of a child out of guilt. I advocate for the child. Period. I have recently had my heart broken nearly …Read More

The Shirt and Her Finger: Self-Soothing Comes Full Circle

January 28, 2010 by nohandsbutours Attachment, Wife of the Prez 13 Comments

I was scrolling back through the photos … photos I was given by someone, someone who cares about our daughter. I saw a detail I never noticed before. I think I have always stopped at her face. It says so much, too much for a little girl of 2 years old to understand. So much …Read More

Our Waiting Son!!

December 18, 2009 by nohandsbutours Wife of the Prez 3 Comments

I just wanted to share OUR NEWS!!! I have shared about our journey thus far to our waiting older son here on NHBO. Today, we received the wonderful, God-size news that China said YES once again to our family for which we are so grateful and thankful. Today, we received our LOA for our newly-turned …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

Not Fitting in the Mold

October 9, 2009 by nohandsbutours Wife of the Prez 6 Comments

First of all, this is my first time to guest-post on No Hands But Ours blog. I always knew Stefanie was a little crazy but now I KNOW she is, since she allowed me to post directly to the site. Other guest posters will be sharing as well, so please check back often. As I …Read More