No Hands But Ours: Looking Back at 2017

February 24, 2018 2017 in review, Year in Review 0 Comments

2017 was a fantastic year for this little corner of the interwebs. Over 400 posts shared. Twelve special topics featured. Guest series. Family stories. Book reviews. Recipes. And advocacy posts shared that helped turn waiting children into cherished sons and daughters.

And here is just a glimpse…


A Look Back by the Numbers

No Hands But Ours on Instagram

Our Instagram page has continued to grow and now has over 2200 followers! Yay! If you haven’t already connected with us on Instagram, you should!

No Hands But Ours on Facebook

Our likes grew from 8758 to 10743. Woot! In a climate of such significant change in the China program, we are grateful to see continued growth in our little community! (If you haven’t liked us yet, please do. It’s an incredibly easy way to keep up with the NHBO content as well as help get the word out about orphan care, adoption, special needs and children who wait.)

Our 2017 post with the largest Facebook reach – at 90,882 – and with 2643 reactions and 27,719 post clicks was China Releases New Requirements for Adoptive Parents

No Hands But Ours Blog

A total of 419 posts were published in 2017.

The NHBO blog was viewed 785,731 times and had 306,374 visitors.

The top ten (okay, eleven) posts were:

1. China Releases New Requirements for Adoptive Parents

2. Yes, I Did. I Asked For This.

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

4. Seriously Blessed

5. In Grief and Joy: Why We Need Each Other

6. An Orphan’s Courtroom

7. One Year

8. “I Remember!”

9. Adoption Is…

10. On Bundling Babies and Snap Judgments

11. What If It Ruins Everything?


A Look Back at a Few of Our Favorite Contributor Posts

We asked each of our regular contributors to share the post that the had written in 2017 that they liked most, and here’s what they had to say…

Andrea O. – A Life Donated: Part 17 and an Epilogue

Andrea Y. – Still Connecting: What Attachment Looks Like Years Later

Brandie – Weathering Medical Surprises

Carrie – On Mooncakes, Brokenness and Belonging

Courtney – Which Child Is His “Yes” For Us?

Faith – Not-A-Baby-Anymore, But Still My Baby

Hillary – A Life We Never Expected

Jean – I Remember!

Jennifer – Help for Special Needs Families: Grants, Programs and Services

Kelley B. – In Grief and Joy: Why We Need Each Other

Kelly – Attachment Q & A: What can I do to try to attach myself?

Mandy – Speaking Blessings

Megan – The Numbers That Matter

Nicole – Attachment Q & A: Reaching for Strangers

Rebecca – Biologically Yours

Sharon – Reluctant Spouses: Waiting on God’s Story to be Written

Stefanie – Chinese New Year: Finding Your Own Way to Celebrate

Whitney – This is What I Know


A Look Back at our Special Features

During 2017 we had twelve special feature series. Each series was a collection of stories from parents and/or professionals who shared wisdom, insight and information on an adoption-related topic, one for each month of the year.

January – Reluctant Spouses

February – Medical Interventions

March – Feeding Challenges

April – Love Stories

May – For Life

June – Thoughts From The Dad

July – All About Attachment

August – Attachment Q & A

September – Visible Special Needs

October – Preparing for Adoption: From the Experts

November – Preparing for Adoption: From the Parents

December – Making Room for a Sibling


A Look Back to Advocacy

104 of our 419 posts were advocacy posts. Our advocacy team, led by Liberty Joy, highlighted hundreds of children. And some of those children found their forevers right here on No Hands But Ours! We reached out to a few of those families to hear a little more of their stories…

Aubrey: In November of 2016 my husband and I had just recently signed with an adoption agency and started our home study when I came across a Facebook advocacy post on NHBO for a beautiful three-year-old girl. I contacted the agency advocate listed and she emailed us her file the very same day.

Aubrey in China and after coming home to her family

As soon as I opened her file I knew this was our daughter. We switched agencies and started the paperwork to bring our daughter home. It was amazing to see God open the doors and smooth the path for us to adopt “Aubrey” in June 2017.

Only seven months after seeing her advocacy post, we were in China meeting our precious daughter! We are so blessed to have her in our lives and God has shown us over and over again that He intended for us to be her forever family.


Jediah: This past March we were just beginning our China adoption journey, we hadn’t even chosen an agency yet. We were researching different special needs on No Hands But Ours and I saw Jediah’s post. His special need was something that we had originally thought was too complex for us, and the post was already almost a month old, so we knew that he might already be matched with a family. We also were not sure we were financially prepared to start the process right away.

But, my husband and I could not get his sweet little face out of our minds.

Jediah in China and after coming home to his family

After much prayer we decided to contact the agency. We found that although he had been matched with a family, they had just decided they couldn’t complete the adoption. We took that as confirmation and quickly moved forward.

It was truly amazing and humbling to watch how God provided for everything. With the help of friends, family, our community and people we’d never even met we were able to bring our little guy home! We came home with him December 8th and cannot imagine life without him! He is truly a blessing and I am so thankful that we took a leap of faith and said “Yes”!


Mary Beth: I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed early one morning and saw the NHBO advocacy post for Mary Beth. The post caught my eye immediately – my name is MaryBeth also.

This child’s smile was just precious. I opened the post with no real intentions other than to read about her and share the post on my page. We had completed our first adoption just over a year prior, so a dossier reuse was officially out of the question. In fact, my husband and I had literally had a discussion earlier in the week about adopting again. We decided we were not ready but did not rule it out for the future (but we were thinking far off, distant future, if ever… ha!).

I read the post and was intrigued by the similarities between Mary Beth and our adopted daughter – but I still had no real intentions beyond advocating for her.

After sharing her post on our page, I texted my husband and told him he should read about her. I didn’t really expect to hear back from him at all – I could actually picture him rolling his eyes at my text because I tend to fall in love with all the kids! I was shocked when he texted me and had questions about her.

Mary Beth in China and after coming home to her family

We emailed the agency, asked for her file and the rest is history. We prayed that God would open doors if this was the direction He was leading us and He more than answered that prayer. Nine and a half months later, we are home with our Lia Rin.

We are so blessed to be able to call this precious girl our daughter.


What a year! So much to be thankful for, and so much to look forward to in 2018!

Thank you to everyone who has read, shared, liked, commented and tweeted, we are so grateful for you as we joyfully continue on this mission – His mission – of loving and advocating for the most vulnerable, and supporting and encouraging those families who have been called to love them forever.

May 2018 – the year NHBO marks 10 years of working on behalf of the fatherless – our best year yet!

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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.