Hearts to Listen: Parenting a Non-Verbal Child

October 31, 2017 autism, cl/cp, Developmental System, non-verbal, October 2017 Feature - Developmental, older child adoption 4 Comments

I lie awake with a bewildered mind, but know the feeling that has been laid upon my face like I have been awake all day – I climb out of bed with the biggest smile looking up at me. She has been heard. The feeling on my face is from my non-verbal child that has …Read More

Waiting for You: Michael

October 30, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Michael is an absolutely adorable three-year-old boy! His cognitive development is said to be normal and he is progressing developmentally as well. Michael was able to scoot on his belly to get where he wanted to be when he was a baby, and, as of the latest report, he was walking while holding onto things. …Read More

Preparing for Adoption: Wisdom From a Physical Therapist and a Speech Therapist

October 30, 2017 China trip, early intervention, October 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption, packing list, physical therapy, prepping for China, speech delay, speech therapy, waiting to travel 1 Comments

You’ve dreamt for this day for months, years even. Planned for it, traveled halfway around the world for it and played it out in your mind a million times. And yet, the reality of becoming a family through adoption is undoubtedly different. What happens next depends much on how you, as the adoptive parent, process …Read More

From “What If” to “What Is”

October 29, 2017 apraxia of speech, developmental delays, Developmental System, non-verbal, October 2017 Feature - Developmental, siblings, speech delay, speech therapy 2 Comments

The doors open, and all of the 3 year old preschoolers come running out… “Mama, I painted today!” “Mama, we ate cookies at snack!” “Mama, I played on the slide outside!” “Mama, I had so much fun today!” My little girl also comes running out. Her mega-watt smile is turned on high. She hugs my …Read More

The Upside of Down Syndrome

October 28, 2017 Developmental System, Down syndrome, Education, homeschool, October 2017 Feature - Developmental 1 Comments

If you asked me three years ago what I expected life to be like after adopting a child with Down syndrome, I may have said something like, “Our lives will have to slow down a lot.. We’ll have to make time for lots of doctors appointments, therapies, etc.. and we’ll definitely have to have a …Read More

A Life Donated: Part 15

October 27, 2017 A Life Donated, advanced heart failure, Andrea O., end stage cardiac disease, heart transplant, single ventricle heart disease 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

Revealing Hidden Treasures

October 26, 2017 adopting again, adopting two at once, Advocacy, Developmental System, Down syndrome, large families, October 2017 Feature - Developmental 1 Comments

I wasn’t one of those amazing people who aspires to adopt a child with Down syndrome from a young age. Neither did I ever imagine that I would become an advocate for children with Down syndrome waiting to be adopted. I, like most people, was fairly ignorant of what Down syndrome, or “Trisomy 21” actually …Read More

Worth It

October 25, 2017 ADHD, cl/cp, cognitive delay, Craniofacial, developmental delays, Developmental System, early intervention, Education, Family Stories, feeding challenges, October 2017 Feature - Developmental, oral-motor delays, Sensory Processing Issues, speech delay 0 Comments

Three years after coming home with our older daughter – whose special needs are unrepaired cleft palate and ear atresia and microtia – we were ready to adopt again. We were open to many things on the medical needs checklist, but not developmental delays. We had good insurance and several medical facilities nearby, so we …Read More

Preparing for Adoption Q and A: WACAP

October 25, 2017 Agencies, China trip, choosing a China adoption agency, Gotcha Day, I'm Ready to Adopt, October 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption, prepping for China, Stefanie, WACAP 0 Comments

You’ve dreamt for this day for months, years even. Planned for it, traveled halfway around the world for it and played it out in your mind a million times. And yet, the reality of becoming a family through adoption is undoubtedly different. What happens next depends much on how you, as the adoptive parent, process …Read More

Worry Turned to Joy

October 24, 2017 Developmental System, Down syndrome, Family Stories, October 2017 Feature - Developmental 1 Comments

One year ago, we chose a file of a little girl half way around the world we didn’t know. We knew her diagnosis, her given name, her age, and a little about her personality. What can you really know from a file, truly? With the months passing and preparing paperwork, my mind was racing. What …Read More

Just As You Are

October 24, 2017 cognitive delay, developmental delays, Developmental System, homeschool, non-verbal, October 2017 Feature - Developmental, sign language, speech therapy 5 Comments

I left church early this past Sunday. For some reason the transition from Sunday school to big church has been difficult for our daughter for the last month or so. She is non-verbal and, although she is mine, cannot communicate to me what is making this transition so hard. Usually I can pull from my …Read More

Preparing for Adoption: A Family Therapist’s Perspective

October 23, 2017 books, China trip, guest post, I'm Ready to Adopt, Lifeline, October 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption, pre-adoption, prepping for China, TBRI-based therapy 0 Comments

You’ve dreamt for this day for months, years even. Planned for it, traveled halfway around the world for it and played it out in your mind a million times. And yet, the reality of becoming a family through adoption is undoubtedly different. What happens next depends much on how you, as the adoptive parent, process …Read More

Fighting to Slow Down

October 21, 2017 attachment challenges, developmental delays, Developmental System, discipline, early intervention, Education, Family Stories, feeding/swallowing therapy, IEP, October 2017 Feature - Developmental, oral-motor delays, refusing food, seizures, Sensory Processing Issues, sign language, speech delay, speech therapy 2 Comments

“Wow, you’re really quick!” It was one of the first thoughts I had about my daughter. We were standing in the provincial civil affairs office. The nanny from the orphanage had just placed her in my arms. I tried to hold her facing me and she spun around to face outward with a speed I’d …Read More

Meet the Contributors: Andrea

October 20, 2017 Andrea Y., Contributor Q and A, Meet the Contributors 1 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

“A Little Bit Naughty”: Misunderstood Special Needs

October 19, 2017 ADHD, adopting a boy, age assignment, developmental delays, Developmental System, IEP, Newly Home, October 2017 Feature - Developmental, public school, Sensory Processing Issues 2 Comments

One and a half years ago my husband and I, seasoned parents with three pre-teen/teenage biological daughters, flew across the globe to China to meet our four-year-old son, Asher. He was in the Special Focus program and his special need was Developmental Delay. Being that DD is such a common and global term associated with …Read More

You Belong, My Child

October 18, 2017 Rebecca 0 Comments

You belong, my child. 
You are loved.
 You are seen.
 You are prayed for. 
You are included. 
You are a gift. 
 You are a member of this family.
 You are unique and special, yet melted into our whole. … You belong, my child. Our last name is yours.
 Our home is yours. 
Our food …Read More

Waiting for My Family: Leo

October 18, 2017 Children Who Wait 1 Comments

This sweet little guy is Leo, and he is almost two years old. Leo was a tiny little guy when he was found and was diagnosed with a urological problem (usually requiring surgery). He waits for a family to choose him as his own. Leo is doing very well and has normal muscular strength and …Read More

Preparing for Adoption Q and A: Madison

October 17, 2017 Agencies, China trip, choosing a China adoption agency, Gotcha Day, I'm Ready to Adopt, Madison, October 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption, prepping for China, Stefanie 0 Comments

You’ve dreamt for this day for months, years even. Planned for it, traveled halfway around the world for it and played it out in your mind a million times. And yet, the reality of becoming a family through adoption is undoubtedly different. What happens next depends much on how you, as the adoptive parent, process …Read More

The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Our Family

October 16, 2017 adopting again, adopting later in life, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Family Stories, large families, October 2017 Feature - Developmental 2 Comments

A friend of mine, who happens to also have a daughter with Down syndrome, called me the other day. “Audrey! I was just realizing, not only are you about to get another child… (we currently have 7) but she is a toddler! Like – in diapers, not talking yet and she has Down syndrome!” We …Read More

A Life Donated: Part 14

October 15, 2017 A Life Donated, advanced heart failure, Andrea O., end stage cardiac disease, heart transplant, single ventricle heart disease, terminal diagnosis 0 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

What We Didn’t Know

October 14, 2017 developmental delays, Developmental System, early intervention, Education, failure to thrive, heart defect, medical needs checklist, October 2017 Feature - Developmental, sign language, speech delay, virtual twinning 0 Comments

Every child is different, and those differences make life a beautiful kaleidoscope. Our family was formed through adoption and through our most recent adoptions we have become familiar with various aspects of developmental delays. We adopted our sons domestically, and then we adopted our two two year old daughters from China one year apart. With …Read More

Usher Waits for a Family

October 14, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Meet Usher, a gorgeous baby boy who is just turning two this month. He is waiting for his family to find him. The perplexing diagnosis on his English translation says “cerebral agenesis” but his Chinese characters actually translate to “brain dysplasia” which makes a bit more sense as that is something we often see in …Read More

A Priceless Adventure

October 13, 2017 China trip, Courtney, prepping for China, siblings, travel tips 1 Comments

The question I get asked the most about our upcoming trip to China is if we are planning on taking all three of our kids with us. We have one adopted daughter and two biological boys all ages nine and under so I think people are often surprised to hear me answer “yes!” When we …Read More

Preparing for Adoption Q and A: Lifeline

October 12, 2017 Agencies, China trip, choosing a China adoption agency, Gotcha Day, I'm Ready to Adopt, Lifeline, October 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption, prepping for China, Stefanie 0 Comments

You’ve dreamt for this day for months, years even. Planned for it, traveled halfway around the world for it and played it out in your mind a million times. And yet, the reality of becoming a family through adoption is undoubtedly different. What happens next depends much on how you, as the adoptive parent, process …Read More

Waiting for You: Adrian

October 12, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Look at this crinkled up face smile. Doesn’t it make you want to tickle his belly just to see it? This sweetie is Adrian who is 3 years old and is waiting for his family to find him. He is a boy who celebrates sunshine. He adores being able to be outside and in the …Read More

When Words Don’t Come

October 11, 2017 augmentative and alternative communication, cerebral palsy, dysarthria, non-verbal, speech delay 0 Comments

The ability to speak is commonly used as a litmus test for intelligence. After all, audible language equates with the ability to form thoughts. True? Not true. Oftentimes, non-verbal children have the same thoughts and feelings as typically developing peers but don’t have the skills or ability to use words to express themselves. We have …Read More

How To Trust When God Changes Course

October 10, 2017 a father's perspective, adoption community, Randall 3 Comments

I wish I could tell you it was easy… what you’re about to do… I want to. I want to sell you. Because it sounds like such an easy thing to sell. But I can’t do it. I can’t. I want to but I can’t. Because what you’re about to do is one of the …Read More

Waiting to be Chosen: Henry

October 10, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Henry was born March of 2014 and his special need is listed as limb difference (strephenopodia or clubbing of both feet for which he recently received surgery). Henry is the most precious little mouse you are likely to see. You might squeal when you spot him but it would be with delight. Henry is 3 …Read More

Say What?

October 9, 2017 attachment activities, Brandie, early intervention, Education, first weeks home, first year home, hearing aids, hearing loss, Newly Home, sign language, speech delay, speech therapy, undiagnosed SN, velopharyngeal Insufficiency 0 Comments

“I don’t get it,” I said to my friend several years ago when she mentioned she was having her toddler evaluated by an early intervention team to assess his speech. “He’s not even two. He’s a late bloomer!” I assured her. I went on with anecdotes about our first born, now 15, who at two …Read More

A Life Donated: Part 13

October 8, 2017 A Life Donated, advanced heart failure, Andrea O., complex heart defect, end stage cardiac disease, heart transplant, single ventricle heart disease, terminal diagnosis 0 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

Choose Me: Falcon

October 8, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Goodness gracious. Look at this little love bug. Falcon is an adorable one year old little boy, who loves cuddles and hugs. He is sitting up on his and own even learning how to talk. He smiles easily with people he knows but only stares at strangers. This little guy knows his people… how sweet …Read More

Little Minutes Make the Mighty Ages

October 7, 2017 adopting again, adopting later in life, homeschool, large families, Sharon 0 Comments

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff and it’s all small stuff.” I agree that everything is small stuff in light of eternity but – instead of worrying about sweating it – what if we focused on the tiny, everyday, mundane, small things as the most important work we do as moms? …Read More

Waiting Child Spotlight: Hattie

October 6, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Oh my. Miss Hattie, you are just beautiful. This little love just turned two and is absolutely precious. She is already cruising around furniture preparing herself to walk. She can build a tower with blocks. Hattie can take her clothes off by herself (!) and enjoys looking at books and patting the picture. When this …Read More

Round is the Moon, and the Chocolate Chip Cookie

October 5, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Whitney 2 Comments

If you’re the parent to a child born in a different country, you may have some of the same thoughts I have regarding keeping your child in touch with their birth culture. My daughter was born in China, and though she did not experience much of her own birth culture as a small child, I …Read More

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival: A Celebration of Family

October 4, 2017 adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Perspectives 2 Comments

For as long as humans have inhabited the earth (I assume), the moon has been a source of wonder and mystery. I imagine my ancestors staring up at the same moon, hundreds and even thousands of years ago in China. This year, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival falls on October 4, within the National holiday for …Read More

Waiting for a Family: Mason

October 4, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

This little sweetie is Mason. Mason was born in December of 2014. He is described by his nannies as cute and compliant. They also say he is “so smart”. His language development is very good. He can follow instructions well. Also, he has a good vocabulary and knows lots of words such as “auntie, good, …Read More

On Mooncakes, Brokenness and Belonging

October 3, 2017 Attachment, Carrie, Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, protecting their story, telling their life story 4 Comments

It’s Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in the land where you were born, Alea, and one thought keeps running through my head: My favorite moons are the perfect crescents your eyes make when you are happy and your face crinkles with joy. You are beautiful, child, inside and out — pure light, like the fullest of moons …Read More

Find My Family: Malik

October 2, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Malik is a very smart, lovable, and handsome six-year-old boy. Malik is bright, engaging and has the sweetest smile. He has been attending pre-school and loves to share what he knows… his colors and shapes and likes to count too. Malik’s official diagnosis is hypospadias, urethroplasty, cryptorchidism, right testis resection, and left testicular descent post-operative. …Read More

In Celebration of Down Syndrome

October 2, 2017 adopting a boy, Developmental System, Down syndrome, October 2017 Feature - Developmental 4 Comments

Five years ago, on October 6th, we welcomed our daughter Wren into the world. With Wren being our second child, we felt pretty confident that we were prepared for all that adding another child into our little family would bring. What we were not prepared for was learning shortly after Wren’s birth that she has …Read More

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