Dear Younger Me, Walk Unafraid

July 31, 2016 Developmental System, Down syndrome, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me 3 Comments

Don’t be afraid, For I am with you. Don’t be discouraged because I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 ……. My husband Chris and I recently took a much needed respite trip to Portland, Oregon. We live in Austin, …Read More

Her First Smile

July 30, 2016 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, Joy Comes with the Morning

July 29, 2016 Attachment, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, Mandy, Trust Based Parenting 3 Comments

Dear Younger Me. There you are, flying across the country to learn from Dr. Karyn Purvis and driving to Alabama to complete adoption training. There you are, reading every adoption book you can get your hands on. There you are, doing what you always do when approaching something new, you learn everything you possibly can. …Read More

Dear Younger Me, Let Your Heart be Broken

July 28, 2016 adopting a boy, adopting again, Andrea O., heart transplant, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, Little Hearts Medical, surgery 6 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

Find My Family: Matt

July 28, 2016 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Sweet Matt is a quiet and gentle little boy. He is 3 years old. He is very active and loves listening to music and is often found engaged in reading picture books. Matt loves to crawl and can also walk with assistance. Matt has Down syndrome and is a great sleeper and gets along well …Read More

Dear Younger Me, Don’t Look Back

July 27, 2016 July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, Whitney 2 Comments

Recently, one of my little ones was walking backwards while also conducting a conversation with a sibling. After nearly tripping and tumbling, I warned him, “Turn around… you need to face the direction you are headed.” And, as so often happens, the gentle voice of the Lord whispered the same thing to me… “Keep walking …Read More

His Hands and Feet: Adopting a Child with ABS

July 26, 2016 amniotic band syndrome, Family Stories, medical needs checklist, Orthopedic, pre-adoption, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 5 Comments

Sometimes you are clearly given a gift of grace and sometimes you find yourself in it. Both are of Him and from Him and are equally overwhelming and exciting. This is a glimpse of both. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8 ….. …Read More

Dear Younger Me, You are Enough

July 25, 2016 July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, Kelly 0 Comments

I’ve been thinking about you lately. Images of you have been coming to mind, and I’ve been remembering little things I heard you say here and there, moments when you said nothing at all, and sighs that said it all. All the memories led me to reach out to you. I think bridging the gap …Read More

Dear Younger Me, You Were Wrong

July 24, 2016 July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, Rebecca 1 Comments

Dear Younger Me, You were wrong about many things, and I am oh so very glad you were. /// You got married and designed a life plan. It was a dreamy projection, and you believed you had control of how it all would go. You had a timeline, a number of kids in mind, visions …Read More

Thoughts from an Adult Adoptee: Two Sides of One Coin

July 23, 2016 adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, Perspectives, protecting their story, telling their life story 10 Comments

Hello Readers, I am new here at guest posting on No Hands But Ours. First, let me introduce myself. My name is Parrie Liu and I am a Chinese adoptee. Since the age of almost four, I have lived in Texas with a loving family. Currently, I am attending university and pursing a degree in …Read More

Dear Younger Me, Enjoy Them

July 22, 2016 July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me 0 Comments

After I agreed to write this guest post on what I would tell my younger self, I wondered how I could narrow down all the things I would tell my younger self. Here is all the advice that people gave me about life with children that I now know was actually helpful. These are the …Read More

Waiting to be Chosen: Nikki and Katie

July 22, 2016 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Meet sweet Nikki. Nikki is an adorable six year old girl with a tender heart for others. Nikki’s special need is Down syndrome and esotropia. Nikki came to Lifeline’s March Kids Camp and was a joy to be around. She is described as outgoing, active, and full of spunk. She is strong willed and has …Read More

Pondering the “What-Ifs”

July 21, 2016 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

Luke Waits

July 20, 2016 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Meet seven year old Luke! Luke is a charming boy who has a close relationship with his caregivers and is known around the orphanage for his helpfulness. He is attentive when the little ones cry and runs errands for his caregivers when they need an extra hand. Luke likes to play games with others, especially …Read More

Waiting to be Chosen: Lana and Josiah

July 19, 2016 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Meet little Lana. Lana is a precious 15 month old little girl who loves to smile. Lana’s special need is Down syndrome and congenital heart disease. The Chinese name that was chosen for this sweet girl means beautiful and smart — she has definitely lived up to her name. She is described as gentle, very …Read More

Dear Younger Me, You Won’t be the Same

July 19, 2016 July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, Katie 0 Comments

If I could go back to when we started this journey, way back to sitting in those first adoption classes, I would want to take my hand and sit down and say, “Sweet thing, I love you. You are throwing yourself into changing this world. You have a grand vision. But you should know something. …Read More

A Treasured Son: Adopting a Child with Cleft Lip and Palate

July 18, 2016 adopting a boy, cl/cp, Craniofacial, feeding challenges, first weeks home, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, Newly Home 6 Comments

I like to say our son, Bo, is an answer to a prayer I didn’t even know I had until we began the process to adopt him. ……. In 2004, my husband, Peet, and I became parents for the first time in a courtroom in Tomsk, Siberia, to a beautiful baby girl. Then in 2010, …Read More

What I Didn’t Expect

July 17, 2016 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

A Little Piece of a Big Plan

July 16, 2016 adopting a boy, BAHA, Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing aids, hearing loss, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, microtia, older child adoption, Ponto, Sensory System 0 Comments

“I just spoke to the director. He will call me when they’re about five minutes away.” It’s almost time. My heart is almost uncontainable. Everything. All of this. It’s about to happen. So many months, years, planning for this moment… Even though I shouldn’t be surprised, being a part of and seeing just a tiny …Read More

Find My Family: Calvin

July 16, 2016 Family Found 0 Comments

Calvin is a precious little guy from Southern China. He was born February of 2014 and has thalassemia. He has received blood transfusions to help raise his hemoglobin numbers. This cute little guy can walk alone steadily and scribble with a pen. He speaks in short sentences and understands what others are saying to him. …Read More

Dear Younger Me, True Love is a Choice

July 15, 2016 adopting again, Attachment, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, large families 2 Comments

If you had met me when I was a little girl, and asked me, “What career do you want when you grow up?” I would have instantly told you, “A mother.” Even though infertility played a part of our early story, it wasn’t the beginning nor the ending of our desire for adoption. Adoption has …Read More

Find My Family: Tilly

July 14, 2016 Family Found 1 Comments

This precious girl is 2-year-old Tilly! Tilly is newly listed with Madison Adoption Associates and is diagnosed as having Down syndrome. Tilly has a good mental state, good diet, and is a deep sleeper. She is quiet, likes to be teased, and has a ready smile. Tilly is able to hold toys on her own …Read More

What Can Grow in the Dark?

July 13, 2016 Developmental System, Family Stories, low muscle tone 1 Comments

Thunderstorms – you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. It was 5:00 am when the crack of thunder woke us all up. My six-year-old crawled into our bed for the very first time. Yes, it’s normal for some children to be frightened by thunderstorms, but for some reason, he really hates them. Even the mention …Read More

Letter to my Chinese Birthmother

July 12, 2016 adoptee perspective, adoption realities, adult adoptee, Perspectives, telling their life story 1 Comments

Ni Hao and hello! I’d like to introduce myself. I am the Happy Panda from Europe. I was adopted when I was two from Sichuan. I am now 24 years old and just graduated as a social worker. I studied social work and during the lessons we learned to create/stimulate awareness. My goal is to …Read More

Dear Younger Me: Five Things I Want You to Know

July 11, 2016 adoption realities, Amy, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula 1 Comments

I have been a mother for eighteen years because I count pregnancy as motherhood. Our oldest daughter is 17 1/2, currently college shopping, and heading into her senior year of high school. Our son is a 185 pound football-and-basketball playing, learning to drive, almost 16 year old. Then in May of 2013, after a 12 …Read More

Saying Yes

July 10, 2016 cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, referral, waiting for referral 5 Comments

Our journey to Claire has been one of unexpected turns in directions we didn’t know God would take us…. Six years ago we were blessed with our first daughter, Evangeline. My pregnancy with her was extremely difficult. Adoption was something we had always talked about and seemed like the best choice for us to grow …Read More

Dear Younger Me, Love Wins

July 9, 2016 Amy A., Attachment, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, parent-to-child attachment 0 Comments

Dear younger me. Where do I start? I know your knees are shaking, but I am so proud to see you step forward totally devoted and with an obedient heart to say yes to adoption. Believe me when I say that this will be one of the best decisions you will ever make. The house …Read More

Meet the Contributors: Jean

July 8, 2016 adopting later in life, adopting out of birth order, adopting two at once, Contributor Q and A, Jean, large families, Meet the Contributors, older child adoption 5 Comments

Continuing today with our series in which we share a short Q and A with one of our contributors to give y’all, our faithful readers, a little more behind-the-scenes insight into the amazing group of writers assembled here. And it will also give each of our contributors a chance to share their heart in a …Read More

Dear Younger Me, His Plans are Good

July 7, 2016 adopting a boy, adopting later in life, aging out expedite, guest post, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, older child adoption 0 Comments

“When I think back over the years since marrying Tom Rylands, it is almost surreal to me the path that God chose for our family. It was a path that was such a grand departure from any plans that we had for ourselves. When Tom, 28 years my senior, and I approached marriage, neither of …Read More

Dear Younger Me, You’re Braver Than You Know

July 6, 2016 adoption realities, Attachment, Carrie, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, parent-to-child attachment 4 Comments

Each month at No Hands But Ours, we feature a topic to provide insight, encouragement and/or wisdom for fellow travelers on this beautiful and sometimes arduous journey of adoptive parenting. This month’s topic is sure to be full of all the aforementioned, and then some. Join us as seasoned moms share what they would say …Read More

Find My Family: ZR

July 6, 2016 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

“ZR,” a little boy who will turn 5 next month, has captured the heart of agency staff who met him through their one-on-one orphanage partnership. His name means “unstoppable” and he certainly doesn’t let his medical need slow him down. ”ZR” was observed to have a bright personality, has a lot of curiosity and loves …Read More

Our Butterfly is a Beach Bum

July 5, 2016 epidermolysis bullosa, Skin Conditions, Whitney 5 Comments

(Alternately titled: Taking a Child with EB to the Beach) Our family loves the beach. The sun, the sand, the salt-water burning in our eyes. The souvenir shopping, the jellyfish spotting, the ritual of going to eat ice cream on our last night of vacation. Taking that first glimpse of the ocean at the end …Read More

Is That Really All?

July 4, 2016 cleft gumline, cleft lip, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial 1 Comments

I remember sitting down – just my husband and I – and looking through the special needs checklist. Although we didn’t check off everything, for young first-time parents, I think that we had a pretty large list of special needs that we would consider. I envisioned us being matched to a child with a heart …Read More

A Beginner’s Guide to Special Needs Adoption: Post Three

July 3, 2016 A Beginner's Guide to Special Needs Adoption, agency-orphanage partnership, Faith, LID vs. SF, medical needs checklist, pre-adoption, referral, shared list, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 0 Comments

Becoming a parent, no matter how it happens, is never easy. But for those just looking into the possibility of adoption it can seem positively overwhelming. It is our hope to change all that. This 7-post series will go step-by-step through the process to adopt through the special needs program for those of you who …Read More

Accepting the Unexpected

July 2, 2016 adopting a boy, cleft palate, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, Pierre Robin Sequence 2 Comments

Expect the unexpected. Can that even be accomplished? Doubtful, but with preparedness, an open heart, and faith in God’s greater plan, we can accept the unexpected. Our adoption journey began by filling out a medical conditions checklist with mostly surgically repairable needs. Phillip and I were expecting to adopt a baby girl someday, until we …Read More

Find My Family: Sullivan

July 2, 2016 Family Found 0 Comments

Sullivan, born April 2008, is a shy boy who seemed nervous to talk with agency staff on their trip in April 2016. He stood rocking a little on his feet. He is diagnosed with epidermis bullosa, and had several painful looking blisters on his hands. Caregivers say the blisters mainly appear in the same areas, …Read More


July 1, 2016 adopting a boy, amputation, Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, Larsen Syndrome, limb difference, older child adoption, prosthetics 1 Comments

My son, J, has Larsen syndrome, a condition of multiple joint malformations. I write this in hopes that it shows how manageable this condition is. In the summer of 2012, I saw a video that an advocate had posted, of a little boy riding a scooter around a play area. His nanny was directing him …Read More

Favorite Books for Readers in 1st – 8th Grade

July 1, 2016 adoptee perspective, books, June 2016 Feature - Books, Perspectives, TongguMomma 1 Comments

Anyone who knows me knows that I love books. Goodness, we own so many children’s books, we actually created a Dewey Decimal System for our home library so that we can find them! Thankfully both of my girls also love reading and books and all things literary. This list reflects many of my oldest daughter’s …Read More

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