Elsie Larson on the Paperchase, Special Needs and Adoption

November 30, 2017 adopting as first time parents, albinism, medical needs checklist, paperchase, Stefanie, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 0 Comments

I found Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess on Instagram (@elsielarson) on #worldadoptionday and subsequently spent an inordinate amount of time reading about all the cool stuff she does… including growing their family through adoption. When, a week or so later, I listened to her podcast (in which she shares her thoughts on special needs …Read More

Waiting for You: Waverly

November 30, 2017 Children Who Wait 1 Comments

Sweet Waverly is a nine year old girly girl! She is listed as Special Focus with Agape Adoptions. Waverly was found abandoned outside the orphanage with an amputated leg when she was four years old. Despite a heartbreaking beginning, this little girl has persevered and is thriving. Now she uses a prosthetic, and though it …Read More

Something Special this Christmas

November 29, 2017 adoption community, fundraisers, other ways to care for the orphan 0 Comments

I always dreamed of starting a ministry in our son Daniel’s memory after he left us for Heaven in 2010, but making that dream come true was another story. Even through the years of being enveloped in adoption processes, raising our kids, financial woes, and living in a constant state of transition, I always carried …Read More

The “Other Side” of Adoption… and Beyond

November 29, 2017 adopting again, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, older child adoption 0 Comments

We are nobody. No one special. What I mean is, we are not celebrities, we are not “beautiful” people, not snappy dressers, we wouldn’t stand out in a crowd, and certainly not wealthy. We are completely ordinary…. except for one thing. Trailing in our wake are six children, two of the homegrown variety and four …Read More

Waiting for You: Eva

November 28, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Prepare to fall in love with Eva, a 5-year-old girl with a beautiful smile who is described as sunny, happy, brave, and strong. Eva likes watching cartoons and listening to music and loves to dance. Eva enjoys playing outside with the neighborhood kids. She has been living with a foster family since July of 2013 …Read More

Adopting Kai: Adjusting to ARM (anorectal malformation)

November 27, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, anorectal malformation, imperforate anus, neurogenic bowel and bladder, November 2017 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 8 Comments

A while after our family adopted our daughter Hannah, we were touched by the face of a sweet boy who was living at China Little Flower in Beijing. After months of praying and searching, we were finally matched to this child that I had already fallen in love with. When we were able to read …Read More

Waiting to be Chosen: Michael

November 26, 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

Shining Light on the Dark Parts of Our Story

November 25, 2017 adoption community, adoption realities, disruption, November 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption, trauma 2 Comments

Disruption. It is a word that sends a chill down my spine. It’s also one with which I am all too familiar. When I heard the November focus was “Preparing for Adoption” I knew I needed to share my family’s story. I knew… and yet I hesitated because, although I don’t hide our story and …Read More

Waiting Child Highlight: Elena

November 24, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Meet Elena, a ray of sunshine! Elena was born in 2005 and is described as an active girl who is headstrong. Though she is sometimes quiet, she enjoys talking and spending time with other kids. She’s sensible and loves for things to be clean; before she leaves a room she will tidy things up on …Read More

Looking Back: We Could Have Missed This

November 23, 2017 adoption community, Kelley B. 0 Comments

Last year I complied a post of a little “look” into what we as adoptive parents feel we could have “missed” had we not taken the leap into adoption. We started the hashtag #wecouldhavemissedthis on Instagram and it took off! I urge you to scroll through the pictures and captions in the post below from …Read More

Waiting for You: Aubrey

November 22, 2017 Family Found 2 Comments

Aubrey is a beautiful six-year-old girl, born with beta thalassemia major and a congenital heart defect (ASD). Aubrey is receiving transfusions, but likely not nearly as often as she needs. Aubrey will probably need frequent transfusions for her first couple of months home to help get her hemoglobin back up to a good number. From …Read More

Life with VACTERL: Staying One Step Ahead

November 21, 2017 anorectal malformation, bowel management, November 2017 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System, VACTERL 0 Comments

When we are researching special needs we usually get the big stuff covered: medical necessities such as surgeries, procedures and therapies. Once we check those boxes we feel we are “good to go” and will figure out the rest on the way. At least that’s how I am! We have a son diagnosed with VACTERL …Read More

Find My Family: Jacob

November 20, 2017 Children Who Wait 2 Comments

Jacob is a handsome boy who recently turned seven years old, but just had his file prepared for adoption this year. He likely would have matched immediately had his file not listed the wording it does in the diagnosis section. But as you read through his file, you begin to notice a trend of improvement …Read More


November 19, 2017 adoption community, adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, first year home, Megan V., Newly Home, rages, trauma 6 Comments

We are not the poster children for adoption. Our process was so different from many of the moms I followed on facebook that I shut by computer one day and walked away from it, determined to not check in again until things were going better. That resolve lasted approximately 4 days and then I was …Read More

What to Expect When You Adopt

November 16, 2017 China trip, first weeks home, Gotcha Day, Newly Home, November 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption, Rebecca 6 Comments

When You Adopt, Expect… Your knees to be rubbed raw from time knelt in prayer. That every step of the way, God has something to say, if you’ll only still yourself to listen. That if He is asking you to wait, it is intentional. That your adoption story will be completely unique from everyone else’s, …Read More

Pulled in Two Directions

November 14, 2017 adopting a boy, adoption realities, China trip, first year home, Gotcha Day, Newly Home 0 Comments

The day we met our son is a day that we still remember like it was yesterday, and yet sometimes forget because it’s hard to believe that he hasn’t been with us forever. The anticipation and excitement of that moment juxtaposed with the deep grief of him saying goodbye to all he knew, his safety …Read More

A Life Donated: Part 17 and an Epilogue

November 13, 2017 A Life Donated, advanced heart failure, Andrea O., complex heart defect, end stage cardiac disease, Heart System, single ventricle heart disease, terminal diagnosis 4 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

Doubly Blessed by PWS (Prader-Willi Syndrome)

November 12, 2017 complex medical, developmental delays, Family Stories, growth hormone deficiency, hip dysplasia, Nutrition, Prader-Willi syndrome 6 Comments

Hi, I’m Kallie. I am married to David, and we have two precious sons through adoption, Jahleel and Camden. Jahleel is five and a half years old and Camden is three and a half. Camden just came home from China this past spring. Both our boys have diagnoses of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), but they present …Read More

Amazing Grace: Was Blind, But Now We See

November 11, 2017 adopting a boy, cataracts, China trip, congenital blindness, cytomegalovirus, IEP, nystagmus, Sensory System, strabismus, vision issues, vision loss 3 Comments

Blind. I immediately recoiled. We had checked a lot of things on our medical conditions checklist, and I remember vision being one of them, but blind? How could we deal with that? I studied art history and archaeology in college, and work in a very visual field. How could I share the most important and …Read More

We Needed Him

November 10, 2017 adopting a boy, Adopting Scenarios, Family Stories, first year home, Gotcha Day, Newly Home 3 Comments

One year. I still can’t believe it’s been an entire year since Brooks became ours… One year since a tiny, pale, very sick little boy reached for two strangers in a musty Chinese conference room. One year as a family of five. One year of learning and adapting and fighting for a little boy born …Read More

The Waiting Place

November 9, 2017 Brandie, pre-adoption, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 1 Comments

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long and wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place… …for people just waiting. – Dr. Seuss /// I was a soon-to-be graduating senior when …Read More

Waiting to Be Chosen: Savannah

November 8, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

This sweet smile belongs to Savannah. Savannah was found abandoned in December of 2014. At that time, she was estimated to be 6 years old. She was slightly developmentally delayed (physically) at that time. She was placed in a foster home shortly after arriving at the orphanage. She has done rather well there and has …Read More

When Battles Turn Brave

November 7, 2017 Attachment, heart defect, Heart System, keloid scarring, Sharon, surgery 2 Comments

I remember the first time I lifted her shirt to bathe her in China. And I shuttered to think how much she had endured without a mother to hold her close, to soothe her tears, or sing away her fears. As we reviewed her file, the photos were horrendous and I suspect a big reason …Read More

A Life Donated: Part 16

November 5, 2017 A Life Donated, advanced heart failure, 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

Incorporating Chinese Culture into Your Home with Chinese Food

November 4, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, guest post, recipes 17 Comments

I’m Maggie Zhu. I started Omnivore’s Cookbook in 2013. Born and raised in Beijing, now I’m a Austin based blogger, writer, recipe developer, and photographer. Learning and sharing Chinese food became a way to connect me with my roots and the rest of the world. It reminds me of who I am. I’m proud to …Read More

It’s Okay to be the Weak One: Preparing Emotionally for Adoption

November 3, 2017 adoption realities, November 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption, post-adoption depression 3 Comments

I’ve always considered myself to have a pretty large capacity. I tend to lean towards challenges and I often wear multiple hats. Sure, I know my limits, but I’ve always had high expectations for what I think I can handle. So when I found myself in a deep, dark pit a couple years after the …Read More

November Special Needs Highlight (and Favorite Family Stories): Urogenital

November 2, 2017 ambiguous genitalia, anorectal malformation, bowel management, cloaca, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Disorder of Sexual Development, Favorite Family Stories, hypospadias, imperforate anus, incontinence, November 2017 Feature - Urogenital, undescended testicle, Urogenital System, VACTERL 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

Living the Adventure I’d Never Imagined

November 1, 2017 adopting a boy, anorectal malformation, bowel management, imperforate anus, incontinence, November 2017 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 8 Comments

After six years of back-and-forth between should we and shouldn’t we, we’re done and no, we’re definitely not done, we finally decided to adopt the boy we both always dreamed we’d have. I had it all figured out: now that China had lifted the no-cancer rule, we weren’t limited to aging out or more severe …Read More

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