Siblings: Nurturing Bonds for Life

December 31, 2017 adopting again, adopting out of birth order, December 2017 Feature - Making Room for a Sibling, hospital stays, orphanage behaviors, physical therapy, siblings, virtual twinning, wheelchair user 0 Comments

My husband and I have four children, two who joined our family biologically and two who joined our family through adoption from China. As more children have joined our family, the sibling dynamics have only gotten more interesting, and are almost never what we expected. When we traveled to adopt Madeleine CaiQun in 2013, her …Read More

Waiting for You: Ajay

December 30, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Ajay is four years old and is a fabulous little guy listed with CHI! He is described as a caring and compassionate child who is kind to and concerned about other children. “Likes playing with other children, can share with others. He cares about other children, can hug other children, can comfort other crying children, …Read More

We Traveled the World for Her Twice: How We Found Our Daughter’s Birth Family

December 29, 2017 birth family, birth family, birth family search, DNA and genetic testing, embracing their story, heritage trip, Mandy, orphanage, Post-Adoption contact, telling their life story 26 Comments

“An adoptee’s curiosity about one’s past is not a rejection of one’s present nor a sign of unhappiness or dysfunction. It’s exploring what should be the adoptee’s already — knowledge of one’s personal history and family members.” – Tara Vanderwoude, Social worker, advocate, educator For Christmas this year, my five-year-old daughter asked for a special …Read More

Waiting for You: Abriana

December 28, 2017 Family Found 0 Comments

Abriana is 2 years old (girl, born May 2015) and she is postoperative for congenital heart disease. This beautiful baby needs a family as soon as possible. Though she has had the Glenn procedure, she may need urgent care upon coming home. Families should be willing to medically expedite her adoption. Abriana is listed with …Read More

I Commit Myself to Thee

December 27, 2017 Andrea O., complex heart defect, complex medical, disruption, November 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption, prepping for China, terminal diagnosis, undiagnosed SN 23 Comments

I commit myself to thee. After the adoption of our youngest child and her immediate hospitalization from end-stage heart failure, I began to receive emails and messages via social media from some of the dozens of families who had reviewed her file. One of the families wrote something that shook my soul and has remained …Read More

While Shepherds Watched

December 25, 2017 Christmas, holidays, Kelly 4 Comments

…not far away, a group of shepherds were guarding the sheep in their care in the darkness of the night. Some rested, while some stayed awake, all of them ready to defend their charges if need be. All of a sudden, without warning, the darkness was replaced by light, glorious light unlike any light of …Read More

We Have What We Prayed For: A Gratitude Prayer

December 23, 2017 Rebecca 12 Comments

Dear Lord, You did it. You really did. You gave us what we prayed for. We asked, and you answered with the adoption of three Chinese children. A glorious gift. Remember all those lifted prayers? Oh, how we prayed, and prayed, and prayed for our kids. We prayed, our friends prayed and our families prayed. …Read More

Since You Came Along: A Journey to Becoming Siblings

December 21, 2017 December 2017 Feature - Making Room for a Sibling, pre-adoption, should we adopt?, siblings 1 Comments

“I’m a brother.” I remember my oldest son telling me this, despite the fact that he was an only child. He was insistent. I heard him. My son is named after my grandpa — who had had 10 siblings after all! My son reminds me so much of my grandpa. Like my grandpa, he is …Read More

Preparing for Adoption: Therapist Q and A Part Two

December 19, 2017 Attachment, attachment challenges, Childcare scenarios, China trip, cocooning, daycare, disruption, Gotcha Day, October 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption from the Experts, parent-to-child attachment, working mom 0 Comments

You’ve dreamt for this day for months, years even. You’ve planned for it, are going to travel halfway around the world for it, and have played it out in your mind a million times. And yet, the reality of becoming a family through adoption is undoubtedly different. As we have focused on Preparing for Adoption, …Read More

The Numbers That Matter

December 18, 2017 developmental delays, Education, IEP, Megan V., public school 4 Comments

Today we sat across from a table full of people in the conference room of our beloved elementary school, screen full of numbers and goals. They were so kind, so tentative, explaining the testing process to us and how Maggie fared in each category. She’s behind. Universally behind and the numbers didn’t expose anything we …Read More

Adoption: From Siblings’ Perspectives

December 15, 2017 adopting again, December 2017 Feature - Making Room for a Sibling, sibling perspective, siblings 2 Comments

Recently, I asked three of my four kids to write “an essay that talks about how adoption has affected them: the good things about it and the things that have been hard.” I told them to be totally honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly, because it would help other families. Then, I …Read More

Two Butts Are Better Than One: A Story of Siblings

December 14, 2017 adopting again, December 2017 Feature - Making Room for a Sibling, Family Stories, siblings, virtual twins 1 Comments

“Old McDonald had a butt,” was the chorus coming from the back seat as we drove from Denver to St. Louis over Thanksgiving weekend. You pick your battles on a twelve hour road trip, and the four-year-old giggles resulting from my kids’ silly song were worth ignoring the potty humor for once. I found myself …Read More

Growing Together as Family

December 13, 2017 adopting out of birth order, December 2017 Feature - Making Room for a Sibling, Family Stories, siblings 3 Comments

Tom and I spent two weeks away from two of our children, Adele and Archer, while we traveled to China to adopt Haddie. For an entire year, our young children had waited for their new sister. They were familiar with her face, and by the time they met, they had giggled together on Facetime. Haddie, …Read More

Preparing for Adoption: Therapist Q and A Part One

December 12, 2017 Attachment, first weeks home, first year home, Kelly, marriage, Newly Home, October 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption from the Experts, pre-adoption, prepping for China, siblings, TBRI-based therapy, therapy 0 Comments

You’ve dreamt for this day for months, years even. You’ve planned for it, are going to travel halfway around the world for it, and have played it out in your mind a million times. And yet, the reality of becoming a family through adoption is undoubtedly different. As we have focused on Preparing for Adoption, …Read More

The Building of a Sisterhood

December 11, 2017 attachment challenges, cocooning, December 2017 Feature - Making Room for a Sibling, indiscriminate affection, siblings 0 Comments

These sisters. One, tall and willowy with long, curly, golden hair. The other petite and athletic, with a glossy, black bob. People often ask me if they are real sisters, and of course, I say yes. Our older daughter, Tab, was well established as the princess of the family when we brought our younger daughter, …Read More

Waiting for You: Duncan

December 10, 2017 Children Who Wait 1 Comments

“I love observing others in a big group of people and seeing others happy makes me happy. I am an easy kid who doesn’t need much to be entertained. I just like holding hands and feeling close to people. I’m a total lover, not a fighter! I always listen to what my nannies ask of …Read More

Afraid of the Dark

December 9, 2017 adoption realities, Brandie, first year home, Lifelong needs, Medical Momma, Newly Home, November 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption, undiagnosed SN 0 Comments

I was never a fan of haunted houses. I didn’t like the lack of control or the dark spaces flooded with loud, foreboding music. I didn’t like the strobe lights that gave me small glimpses of what I should fear. I didn’t like the anticipation of what was lurking around the corner, eagerly waiting to …Read More

Waiting for You: Zander

December 8, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

This curly headed little guy is an adorable one year old who waits for a family to make him their son! Zander’s special needs are listed as: postoperative hydrocephalus, intractable epilepsy and West syndrome. He needs a family to look past his long list of needs and see the potential and bright future this little …Read More

Siblings: Building the Bond

December 7, 2017 December 2017 Feature - Making Room for a Sibling, homeschool, Sharon, siblings 0 Comments

My sister just celebrated her 45th birthday and right after wishing her a happy birthday, I sent a text to my mom thanking her for one of the sweetest gifts she ever gave me… a sister, and two brothers for that matter. My sister was my first best friend and always will be! As our …Read More

Unintentional Twinning

December 6, 2017 December 2017 Feature - Making Room for a Sibling, developmental delays, Developmental System, siblings, speech therapy, trauma 0 Comments

The terms virtual or artificial twinning are common terms in the adoption world for when a family brings a child home that is born in the same year as a child already in the home. But have you heard of unintentional twinning? It’s OK if you haven’t, because as far as I know I just …Read More

Waiting for You: Magellan

December 6, 2017 Children Who Wait 0 Comments

Magellan was born January of 2009 and is waiting for a family to choose him as their son. His special needs are listed as: Imperforate Anus and a disability of the right lower limb. His sweet smile will surely brighten your day! Have you ever seen sweeter dimples?! Magellan is a charming, talkative boy who …Read More

De-stressing Out Over Christmas

December 5, 2017 Attachment, attachment challenges, holidays, hypervigilance, siblings, Whitney 0 Comments

The first Christmas we had our daughter home with us, we went into the season with high anticipation of the joy she would experience. Family time, cookie decorating, church, gifts, hot chocolate… just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Christmas season fun. Just kidding! It was terrible. Stressful. High anxiety. Lots of …Read More

Getting In the Groove: Transitioning As a Family through Adoption

December 4, 2017 December 2017 Feature - Making Room for a Sibling, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Family Stories, large families, siblings 2 Comments

“Mommy, when Adeline go back to China? We say bye bye to her tomorrow?” His chubby little 4-year-old hands cupped my face as his big eyes looked intently and earnestly into mine. I had a feeling these questions were coming, but they still kind of caught me by surprise, and my heart ached for his …Read More

Adopting a Deaf Child: What We’ve Learned So Far

December 2, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, ASL, cochlear implants, cued speech, December 2017 Feature - Sensory, hearing aids, hearing loss, profound deafness, Sensory System 4 Comments

We entered the deaf/hoh (hard of hearing) world three years ago when we adopted our first son. He was five years old with severe to profound hearing loss. His file stated that he was hard of hearing but could hear and talk with hearing aids. No big deal, we thought! If he can hear and …Read More

Our Leap of Faith: Adopting Our Son With Bilateral Microtia and Atresia

December 1, 2017 adopting a boy, ASL, BAHA, December 2017 Feature - Sensory, early intervention, Family Stories, hearing aids, hearing loss, microtia, Ponto, Sensory System, sign language, speech therapy 0 Comments

About five years ago, my husband and I began considering international adoption. We had two biological daughters, yet we both started feeling like our family wasn’t complete. During that time we researched many countries and decided China’s program would be the best fit for our family. However, the process was daunting and there was still …Read More

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