For Life: What Families of Children with Lifelong Needs Need

May 31, 2017 Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, Lifelong needs, May 2017 Feature - For Life 1 Comments

Adopting a child with special needs can be scary. And even scarier when that child has needs that just might require a lifetime of parental care. This month we are hearing from those whose parenting journey has diverged from what most would think typical. They’re parenting children who require more than what many would believe …Read More

Celebrating China: The Dragon Boat Festival

May 30, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Nicole 0 Comments

My first introduction to Duān Wǔ Jié, or Dragon Boat Festival, was in June of 2011 when my husband and I were in China to adopt our daughter. It was the first time I had ever stepped foot on Chinese soil. I knew very little about Chinese holidays and even less about Chinese culture. So …Read More

Embracing a Traumaversary

May 29, 2017 adoption realities, attachment activities, Mandy, parent-to-child attachment, TBRI-based therapy, Theraplay, trauma, Trust Based Parenting 6 Comments

For me, there is something about the month of April. The grass in Oklahoma seems to grow in neon green, the dark tree branches of winter are graced with life, the redbud trees begin to blossom with delicate purple flowers, and the sunshine starts to kiss my skin with hints of summer. I can literally …Read More

Find My Family: Sweet Mel

May 28, 2017 Children Who Wait 1 Comments

Precious Mel is one year old with Down syndrome. Mostly she enjoys playing by herself quietly, and has a big smile. She can been seen waving her hands to music when she is listening. Mel is able to roll over on her own and can grab toys readily when they are near her. She is …Read More

A Life Donated: Part 1

May 27, 2017 A Life Donated, Andrea O., end stage cardiac disease, heart transplant, single ventricle heart disease, terminal diagnosis 2 Comments

Rini, our youngest of six children, was adopted in August of 2013 at end stage heart failure stemming from complex, single ventricle congenital heart disease. She was admitted to the hospital immediately upon arrival home and within two weeks it was determined that she was inoperable, her only hope would come through cardiac transplant. She …Read More

For Life: What Happened When We Killed Our Dreams

May 26, 2017 a father's perspective, ASD, Dads, Developmental System, Down syndrome, feeding challenges, heart defect, May 2017 Feature - For Life, medical needs checklist, Randall, should we adopt? 3 Comments

Finish high school. Graduate from college. Get a job. Get married. Have a couple kids. Maybe even adopt one. Send them all to college. Celebrate their weddings. Spoil the grandkids. Retire. That’s the plan. Well… that was the plan. When I was getting ready to finish high school, I realized I had no idea what …Read More

Waiting to be Chosen: Mr. Scientist

May 25, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Cal (who also goes by Mr. Scientist) is a science-loving 10-year-old little math whiz. My family had the pleasure of being his hosts from December 2015 – January 2016, and in that short amount of time, he demonstrated so much growth. When Cal came to the U.S., he was able to write some words in …Read More

Meet the Contributors: Jennifer

May 24, 2017 Contributor Q and A, Jennifer B., Meet the Contributors 0 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

Thankful We Didn’t Know

May 23, 2017 adopting again, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, heart defect, May 2017 Feature - Vascular, Takayasu’s arteritis‎, undiagnosed SN, Vascular System, Von Willebrand 1 Comments

Almost four years ago, my husband finally said yes. Again. We had talked, I had prayed. I’d promised not to nag, prayed some more, and waited for that yes. When he agreed to begin our second adoption, he had limits. He had the idea to draw some lines in the sand of what special needs …Read More

Waiting Child: Billy

May 22, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Five year old Billy needs a family to give him unconditional love and affection. Billy lives in a foster family and was born with microtia of his ears, which impacts his hearing and speech. Billy is the definition of adorable! He’s a handsome, happy, cuddly, active, helpful, and athletic 5-year-old boy. Billy lives in a …Read More

Returned to the Orphanage: the Children of Guangdong

May 21, 2017 Children Who Wait, Lifeline, orphan ministry, other ways to care for the orphan 0 Comments

On March 21st, I came across a post from Lifeline’s China program director that said: “Please join us in praying for the precious children who are being cared for in our Foster Center in Zhanjiang, China. Because of some new laws being implemented this year in China, we were notified very unexpectedly last night that …Read More

Sofia Waits for a Family

May 20, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Sofia is an extroverted 3-year-old who always has a smile on her face. She gets along with her friends and she likes to climb and play outdoors. Since Sofia likes climbing so much, she tries her best to walk by holding onto objects and can climb up a table and climb down. Sofia is expressive …Read More

Find My Family: Jude

May 19, 2017 Children Who Wait 1 Comments

Oh goodness, just look at this sweet smile. Read on… he’s even sweeter on the inside. Sweet-natured Jude celebrated his 11th birthday in October and is living in a foster family at an excellent facility in Beijing. Diagnosed with mild CP, Jude has worked tirelessly to overcome the challenges he faces. Recently he has taken …Read More

For Life: When Exhaustion Meets Glory

May 19, 2017 Katie, May 2017 Feature - For Life, undiagnosed SN 2 Comments

Are you one of the Mamas who thought that the orphanage delays would relent? You thought a year later you would stand on mountain tops and shout of the greatness and miracles of our God? And a year came and went and then another. And suddenly you wake up feeling like you are living your …Read More

Waiting for You: Wes

May 18, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Precious little Wes just celebrated his third birthday! Wes is described by his caregivers as sweet, gentle, and good natured. He was born with a spinal lumbar meningocele. He was found as a newborn and received surgery around one year. His legs are weak and have poor sensory input but he can stand with assistance. …Read More

Full of Surprises

May 17, 2017 Central Nervous System, Chiari 1 malformation, clubfoot, Family Stories, hydrocephalus, hydronephrosis, neurogenic bowel and bladder, spina bifida 2 Comments

When we started our adoption process we wanted a healthy child. That’s what everyone wants – adopted or biological – right? Our hearts changed when we had the privilege of working with special needs kids, and we saw so much life and strength in them that we changed our adoption papers to special needs. When …Read More

Love Stories: A Shared Love

May 16, 2017 April 2017 Feature - Love Stories, orphanage, Post-Adoption contact, waiting to travel 1 Comments

We are so quick to fill in the blanks, aren’t we? We get one part of a story, and we use our imagination to complete the rest. But it’s too simplistic to do that with the care of orphaned children halfway around the world… to see an image and create a tragic narrative, hear a …Read More

My Hero

May 15, 2017 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, cerebral palsy, first year home, Megan, Newly Home, orphanage realities, self-harming, trauma 3 Comments

My hero is tiny but larger than life. Tan skin, black hair and the most beautiful dark chocolate eyes you have ever seen. He is 33 inches tall and weighs 33 pounds. A perfect little pint of goodness. A little over a year ago, at age three, he left a cold gray building with my …Read More

For Life: He Makes Things Beautiful

May 14, 2017 adopting again, large families, Lifelong needs, May 2017 Feature - For Life, medical needs checklist, older child adoption 2 Comments

Adopting a child with special needs can be scary. And even scarier when that child has needs that just might require a lifetime of parental care. This month we are hearing from those whose parenting journey has diverged from what most would think typical. They’re parenting children who require more than what many would believe …Read More

Which Child Is His “Yes” For Us?

May 13, 2017 Courtney, declining a referral, paperchase, referral, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 1 Comments

Any time I look at a file of a child, my heart starts to beat a little faster. I immediately wonder, “is this the one?” As my husband and I wade through pages and pages of medical information, reports, doctor assessments, places of abandonment, finding dates, pictures, and videos, we often find ourselves wondering if …Read More

Trusting God To Number Our Days

May 12, 2017 complex heart defect, Family Stories, pulmonary stenosis, TGA, VSD 4 Comments

I remember looking at pictures of children and wondering if they were mine. I knew God wanted us to adopt a child. I knew He had a specific child for us. Every time I would look at a picture of a waiting child, I would ask myself, “Are you mine?” God, how will I know …Read More

Finding Your Tribe

May 11, 2017 adoption community, local adoption support, Stefanie 2 Comments

Community is important. And for someone walking the often bumpy and occasionally tumultuous road of adoption, it’s essential. Our goal at No Hands But Ours has always been to encourage a sense of community for our adoptive families online; we also want to do all we can to encourage community in person. Face to face. …Read More

For Life: The Road God Had For Us

May 10, 2017 developmental delays, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Lifelong needs, May 2017 Feature - For Life, medical needs checklist, waiting for referral 2 Comments

Adopting a child with special needs can be scary. And even scarier when that child has needs that just might require a lifetime of parental care. This month we are hearing from those whose parenting journey has diverged from what most would think typical. They’re parenting children who require more than what many would believe …Read More

Weathering Medical Surprises

May 9, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, Brandie, hearing aids, hearing loss, heart defect, oral aversion, Sensory Processing Issues, speech delay, undiagnosed SN, VSD 2 Comments

At the first sign of a chilly night in the fall, my husband and daughter take tarps to their little garden to cover her cherished tomato plants, hoping to buy them a little more time before the cold winter claims them. Around the same time, my husband and son begin the preparation for winter. They …Read More

So Thankful: Thoughts From A Big Sister

May 8, 2017 adoption realities, sibling perspective, siblings 8 Comments

As I sit here thinking how much my life has changed over the past five years I am flooded with so many thoughts and emotions. As a fifteen year old there are many things I have experienced that so many never will. I have seen firsthand the amazing change in my three siblings from orphan …Read More

Waiting for You: Leo

May 8, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Two and a half year old Leo is a huggable, happy little boy! Leo is a Special Focus (SF) child listed on Agape Adoptions’ individual list. Leo’s Chinese name was given to him “in the hopes that he can soar to great heights just like a bird.” Leo is an outgoing little boy who has …Read More

Tackling Feeding Challenges: Feeding Therapy and Finding the Right Fit

May 7, 2017 early intervention, feeding/swallowing therapy, Guest Series, March 2017 Feature - Feeding Challenges, oral aversion, oral-motor delays, refusing food, Sensory Processing Issues, speech therapy, swallow study, Tackling Feeding Challenges 0 Comments

Feeding your child is one of the most basic ways you can bond, and yet can become the one most challenging aspects of parenting for many adoptive families. In this three-part series, Speech Therapist Melissa Pouncey will provide practical places to start working towards peaceful and healthy eating habits, along with more therapeutic information regarding …Read More

From Inconvenient to Eternal

May 6, 2017 AFO, April 2017 Feature - CNS, bowel management, Central Nervous System, Family Stories, incontinence, medical needs checklist, referral, spina bifida, waiting for referral, wheelchair user 3 Comments

We had the same picture as so many others at the start: we envisioned a perfect, beautiful, raven-haired little girl from China. When we started exploring adoption and saw that the face of adoption had really changed to be all about special needs, we shifted our thinking. Minor, correctable needs, we thought. Our perfect, beautiful, …Read More

This Is Why We Adopt

May 5, 2017 adopting out of birth order, aging out expedite, Family Stories, older child adoption, should we adopt? 6 Comments

Terrified, I sat on our bed staring at a 13 year old little girl’s picture. The Lord stopped me in my tracks as I read the brief description about her. Father, surely she is meant for another family… I am hearing your voice wrong, right? People will think we are irresponsible… they will think we …Read More

Conquering Oral Aversions

May 4, 2017 attachment activities, cleft lip, cleft palate, feeding/swallowing therapy, March 2017 Feature - Feeding Challenges, oral aversion, oral-motor delays, refusing food, Sensory Processing Issues, speech therapy 0 Comments

Originally posted on Under the Sycamore When we arrived in China (almost 5 years ago), I thought she would try new foods pretty quickly. She didn’t. I thought once she was settled in at home, she’d be ready. She wasn’t. After several months of no progress, I joked that I was sure she’d eat a …Read More

Celebrating The Dragon Boat Festival

May 3, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Faith, recipes 1 Comments

The Dragon Boat Festival (Duānwǔjié, or 端午节) falls on the fifth day of the fifth Lunar month each year. This year, the festival falls on Tuesday, May 30. For adoptive families in the paperwork process, that means that the CCCWA will close down for a couple of days in observance of the holiday. China will …Read More

Find My Family: Sweet Holly

May 2, 2017 Children Who Wait, Chris 0 Comments

I’m so thrilled to advocate for sweet Holly. I met this precious little girl when she was a baby! Let me introduce you to her…. Holly is a beautiful 7 year old little girl with CP. She arrived at the orphanage as a newborn and was transferred as a one-week old infant to a group …Read More

Elijah’s Story: You Don’t Have to Hide

May 2, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting out of birth order, aging out expedite, Family Stories, Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome, May 2017 Feature - Vascular, older child adoption, should we adopt?, Vascular System 7 Comments

We had no clue what was about to happen. We have many folks in our circle of friends and family who have fostered and adopted, both domestically and internationally. We have loved supporting them, praying for them, and wearing the t-shirts. Shared stories and advocacy posts were a regular occurrence on our news feeds, but …Read More

Dear Driver… (and an update)

May 1, 2017 April 2017 Feature - Love Stories, foster care, foster family, Kelly, Post-Adoption contact 6 Comments

Originally published at the end of December, regular NHBO contributor Kelly Raudenbush shared a letter to an orphanage driver who was searching for information about the child he had once fostered over a decade earlier. Given our April theme of Love Stories, we wanted to share this post once again as well as a remarkable …Read More

May Special Needs Focus (and Favorite Family Stories): Vascular

May 1, 2017 Favorite Family Stories, hemangioma, Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome, May 2017 Feature - Vascular, port wine stain, Sturge Weber Syndrome, Vascular System 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 …Read More

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