April Special Needs Focus (and Favorite Family Stories): Central Nervous System

April 1, 2017 April 2017 Feature - CNS, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Favorite Family Stories, hydrocephalus, microcephaly, moyamoya, spina bifida 0 Comments

The term special needs can sound scary. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Our goal at NHBO is to equip and inform parents – replacing fear with knowledge – as they navigate the beginning stages of special needs adoption. And then encourage and support those home with their special needs kiddos.

We do much of this through our Family Stories. In addition to our regular content, each month (except January) we feature Family Stories focused on a specific group of Special Needs. Here are some links from previous years organized by category:

February: Heart – 2017 || 2016 || 2015
March: Blood Conditions – 2017 || 2016 || 2015
April: Central Nervous System – 2017 ||2016 || 2015
May: Vascular – 2016 || 2015
June: Orthopedic – 2016 || 2015
July: Craniofacial – 2016 || 2015
August: Infectious – 2016 || 2015
September: Skin Conditions – 2016 || 2015
October: Developmental – 2016 || 2015
November: Urogenital – 2016 || 2015
December: Sensory – 2016 || 2015

April is our Central Nervous System month here on NHBO. And all month long, we’ll be featuring family stories of children with cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, spina bifida and other special needs related to the central nervous system.

Over the years, many family stories related to these special needs have been shared. And – during this month focusing on the central nervous system – we wanted to take a moment to look back at just a few of our favorites.

Let’s go.

So am I equipped for this? No. Was I born for the “good works God prepared in advance for me to do” (Ephesians 2:10)? Yes.
Will He give me the strength, patience, resilience and love I need to keep going? I have to believe He will because it is the only thing that keeps me going. That and a whole lot of coffee and chocolate.
Megan (8-14-16)


Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy: a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movement and muscle coordination.

At the end of this post from last year, mom Bethany gives a list of specific things to consider when adopting or thinking about bringing a little one with CP into your family.

We embraced his needs as part of who he was from the beginning – part and parcel with his smile and personality. – Bethany (4/29/16).

Read more NHBO posts on this special need here.



Epilepsy: a condition of the brain that causes seizures.

In this post, Sara shares how stepping out in faith to adopt a child with a need that scared them, became one of life’s greatest blessings.

The thought of having to watch helplessly as a parent while my child was having a seizure scared me to death! – Sara (4-20-14)

Read more NHBO posts on this special need here.




Hydrocephalus: the buildup of fluid in the brain’s ventricles.

Mom, Kimberly shares how although Hydrocephalus can seem scary, it is even worse to imagine her life without their daughter!

Everyday life with hydrocephalus is not very different than everyday life with any kid. – Kimberly (4-1-15)

Read more NHBO posts on this special need here.



Microcephaly: a head circumference of less than 2 standard deviations below the mean for age and sex.

Jean, a mom who adopted two sisters with a smaller head circumference, tells how for their family this special need has turned out to be a true blessing.

Every individual with microcephaly is unique. They will have their own strengths and weaknesses. Had we known her diagnosis at the time of the referral, we may have made a mistake and declined her file. We can’t imagine our lives without her. – Jean (1-24-16)

Read more NHBO posts on this special need here.




Moyamoya: a rare, progressive, cerebrovascular disease caused by occluded, or blocked, arteries in the brain. If treated properly and in a timely manner, the outlook for patients with Moyamoya is excellent.

Lindsay, whose daughter Evie was diagnosed with Moyamoya after coming home, gives a glimpse into their journey and suggests resources to learn more about this special need.

If you met my six-year-old daughter today, you would see right away is that she loves singing, dancing and all things girly… What you would not see is that she has a rare cerebrovascular disease called Moyamoya. – Lindsey (6-22-15)

Read more NHBO posts on this special need here.


Spina Bifida

2014-03-21 22.11.36

Spina Bifida: a neural tube defect that is caused by a failure of the infant’s spine to completely close during the first month of pregnancy; spina bifida can range greatly in severity.

Adrian gives an overview and dad’s perspective on raising their daughter Ping – who has Spina Bifida.

I hear the voice in my head going “Why hello spina bifida… I had almost forgotten about you. Guess I was too busy being amazed at how beautiful my daughter is.” – Adrian (8-21-11)

Read more NHBO posts on this special need here.


If you are parenting a child from China with a special need and would like to share your story on No Hands But Ours, let us know. Just complete this short form and we’ll be in touch with you soon!

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The content found on the No Hands But Ours website is not approved, endorsed, curated or edited by medical professionals. Consult a doctor with expertise in the special needs of interest to you.