Matt and Whitney went on their first date in June of 1996 when she was sixteen! Six years later, they tied the knot and a few years afterwards, started a family that grew by three precious kiddos rather quickly. Adoption has been a part of their story for a long time in various capacities. She and her husband, Matt, always knew they had a role to play in caring for orphans, they never suspected that God’s plans for them extended beyond financially supporting and encouraging those on their adoption journeys! In January of 2015, their family grew by one more when Julianne (age 6) walked into their lives to join sister Rachel (9), and brothers Eli (8) and Brady (6). Life has never been the same, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.Things she cannot live without on a daily basis are: coffee, Jesus, Almond Joy miniatures, and, according to the DMV, her glasses.
Amy has been married to Robert for almost 17 years. Together they raise three children: Maddie is 15, Jake is 13 and in May of 2013 they brought 2 year old Grace home from Xinjiang, China. They first laid eyes on Grace’s sweet face when she was named the recipient of the “So loved” funds in July of 2012 and how God knit their family together is both miraculous and a testimony of His faithfulness. You can read about it in Amy’s blog. Amy first taste of NHBO came when they were reviewing and researching medical conditions to accept during their adoption process. Now coming full circle as a contributor, Amy is passionate about sharing her family’s experiences throughout this journey, advocating about adoption and orphan care, debunking myths about special needs, and being a resource for families about adoption and the medical conditions that she has encountered as a Mama.
Blog: Little Hearts Medical
Facebook: Andrea Duke Olson
Living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband of 19 years, Andrea is the stay-at-home mom to six precious children and serves as Executive Director of Little Hearts Medical. She and Eric began building their family through adoption when their biological daughter was four years old. They adopted a daughter from China in 2007, followed by sons in 2010 and 2011, and two more daughters in 2012 and 2013. Their eyes were opened and their hearts broken by the plight of children born with medical conditions, particularly congenital heart disease, leading to Andrea’s current role at LHM. Andrea enjoys serving the underserved, mentoring families and cooking, all with little arms wrapped around her.
Blog: The Young Family Farm
Andrea is a stay-at-home momma of five who loves homeschooling her kiddos. She’s orphan/widow advocate giving of her time to Wiphan Ministries and ministering to adoptive mommas through Created 4 Care which she started 5 years ago, after their first adoption, to connect moms to one another and more deeply to The Lord. You can find her on her blog and on Instagram.
Blog: Mommy and the Mess Makers
Facebook: Mommy and the Mess Makers
Brandie and her husband Kevin met in college in Mississippi, and they will soon celebrate 18 years of wedded bliss. Since their “I dos” they have called five states home, but a part of their hearts will always remain a little homesick for China. A few years ago, Brandie and Kevin were exceeding the American dream with their three children living in the suburbs when God began whispering that there was more to life than organizing soccer carpool and coordinating outfits for the annual Christmas cards. They adopted a son from China in 2015 and quickly returned 13 months later to adopt another son, their “surprise baby.” In the not too distant future, their first born will begin college the same year that their youngest starts kindergarten. While the child spacing has presented its challenges at times (like when the two year old repeatedly shouted at the middle school athletic director to “STOP TALKING!” during a mandatory parent meeting), it has made for excellent use of hand-me-down clothes, snow boots, and baseball cleats. Although life as a mother of five is sometimes crazy and chaotic, Brandie devotes intentional time to one of her biggest passions —adoption. God wrecked her heart for orphans on her first trip to China and, ever since, she has been educating others about special needs adoption, advocating for those left behind, mentoring families throughout the adoption process, and sharing her family’s adoption experience through her blog Mommy and the Mess Makers.
Blog: Moore to Love
Facebook: Bryson Moore
Bryson is a husband, dad, entrepreneur, and creative soul. Somehow, he convinced his college sweetheart Mandy, a contributor for NHBO, to marry him and spend their lives finding adventure together. In 2014, they experienced their biggest adventure yet when they adopted their daughter, Lydia Grace, from China. Their next big adventure was going back to China to adopt their son, Barrett. Becoming a dad through adoption has been on Bryson’s mind since he was 12 years old, when his family decided to open their home to foster care. His parents helped raise 18 foster children, along with 3 biological sons, and a handful of others who just needed a family for a while. Needless to say, there was rarely a dull moment.
Facebook: Carrie McKean
Mama to two bursting-with-life little girls who are quick to tell you they were both born in China. (But only one was adopted.) Married to Jacob, a wise, quiet, and wickedly-smart engineer who likes dirt bikes. Favorite human of one dog, LeLe, who was also born in China and doesn’t obey commands in either Chinese or English. Enjoys writing, reading, and a really good cheese tray. Lover of Jesus and people (and food!) from all corners of this beautiful world, with an extra-special-soft-spot for refugees.
Blog: The Layers of Life
Facebook: Chris Beringer
Chris and her husband, Dave, have been married for quite some time now. Their oldest child is 30 years old and their youngest is 3. They started out married life just like like everyone else – with lots of love and big dreams. Soon some of their dreams came true with the births of their three children. Then many years later, in 2006, another dream came true – they brought home their first daughter from China. Who knew that they would go back to China two more times? The Lord graciously blessed them with another daughter and then a son. Altogether they have six children, two in-law kids, another soon-to-be in-law kid, and one grandchild. Together, they make up quite an amazing family. Chris is so grateful to be a part of NHBO, helping others who have adopted or who hope to adopt is her sweet spot. Beside all of this, Chris teaches middle school Spanish and is usually late to just about everything because, you know, she is always trying to do that “one last thing”.
Courtney and her husband, Charles, live in Athens, GA where they are loving the adventure of raising their three young children. Their home is fun, silly, active, and loud and they wouldn’t have it any other way! Their eyes were opened to adoption after reading the Bible, blogs, books, traveling to other parts of the world, and even seeing the beautiful picture of adoption firsthand through friends and family. They realized how many children truly need a home. Their hearts went from wondering if they should adopt to how could they not? Charles and Courtney wanted to leverage the gifts God had given them of a house, a job, insurance, a healthy marriage, and an incredible family support system, and open up their home and their lives to a child. Their youngest daughter was adopted from China in 2014 through the special needs program and they are currently in the process of bringing home another child. Courtney is a self-employed producer, editor and videographer. She began reading the No Hands But Ours blog before her daughter came home to learn and glean wisdom from other adoptive parents. She has been reading the blog for several years now and credits it as a source of encouragement, education, and inspiration in her family’s adoption journey.
Facebook: Faith Shaw Winstead
Faith and her husband, Keith, have one child who they adopted from Nanchang, China in 2015. Shaw “Cheng Cheng” is 2 years old, and he is the light of their lives. By day, Faith works as a public defender specializing in representing clients charged with capital murder and facing the death penalty. Faith left a huge piece of her heart in China last fall when she traveled to meet Shaw, and is very blessed to volunteer as a Coordinator for the Love Without Boundaries Foster Care Program in Loudi, China. Faith also feels called to advocate for orphans with Hemophilia, and would love to talk about adopting one of these very special boys. (You can send her an email any time.) Faith is a voracious reader, she loves camping with her family in their tiny teardrop trailer, she is an alto in the choir, and she can’t wait to return to China.
Facebook: Hillary Minden
Hillary and John are mama and baba to five sweet blessings from China adopted through China’s special needs program. The journey of adoption was in their hearts from the start, and they feel so, so grateful to have the great joy and privilege of walking it. It’s been way more scenic than they imagined — the valleys and the mountains and the breathtaking view of His Majesty. Hillary is most passionate about her people, and aside from sharing life with them, she is happy to be involved in advocacy for children, teaching all things molecular biology to the best university students ever, sipping tea and coffee, reading books and looking up at the big, big sky.
Blog: There’s No Place Like Home
Facebook: Jean Mulvahill
Jean is one of those “older parents” that decided to adopt later in life. Back in 2006, God directed her and her husband toward adoption. Between 2007 and 2013, they have brought home 13 beautiful waiting children from China! Their original plan was to adopt 2-3 children, but God has a way of clarifying His plan over their plan. They are extremely blessed to have these precious treasures in their lives. They also have 5 older biological children that have embraced their new younger siblings. Along the way each older child has had their reservations, but whenever a child has come home, they have more than risen to the occasion. Her heart hurts for those that are left behind and advocating for them is a priority in her life. NHBO is one of the ways she advocates for the children, along with her family blog. There is nothing better than a child finding their forever family, or a family finding their child – after all this is how they found their children!
Blog: Barnett Bits and Pieces
Facebook: Jennifer Barnett
There is a sign in Jennifer’s kitchen that says “GATHER.” And so they gather…she and her husband Cory and their four fantastic children, with a constant extra seat or two (or twenty) that is filled with those who visit and gather with them. Their youngest child loves her seat at the table. She was a thought, that became a hope, that turned into a no question about it journey to gather her from China and into their arms and into her seat at the table. Their table is messy and real and loud and loving. Spilled milk and singing, deep thoughts and please pass the rolls (or kale, when I pretend to be that kind of mom) and they gather there and belong.
Blog: 5 Potatoes
Jennifer has been married to her high school sweetheart, Jason, for fifteen years and together they are raising five amazing kids. Their journey to adoption began as foster parents, and shortly after God led them to China and their two youngest blessings who came home in 2014 and 2015. Jennifer is a teacher by profession, but now spends her days as a stay home mama and teacher to her five favorite students. Besides her family, Jennifer’s two biggest passions are homeschooling and adoption, and she divides her time between serving on their homeschool group’s leadership team and volunteering for No Hands But Ours and Love Without Boundaries. Jennifer loves giving families resources and tools to help them on their adoption journeys, and coordinating the NHBO mentor moms program and site resources allow her to do just that.
Blog: Surviving Adoption
Facebook: Katie Hurst
Katie married her college sweetheart and they hoped and prayed right from the start that God would allow adoption to be a part of their story. They have six children now, three were born in China. Their family life is one filled with laughter, trauma, doctors and therapy appointments and soccer, never forget soccer. Through it all God is good and has blessed their home with so much love. Her heart broke years ago, as a seven year old girl, for orphans in China and her greatest wish is to help find them homes. She assists over on Reece’s Rainbow by fielding inquiries on children. Since coming home and dealing with all that adoption entails Katie is passionate about assisting other moms in a healthy journey of working through what God has allowed into their home through adoption. She runs a support group for moms on Facebook called Surviving Adoption.
Blog: My Life Song
Kelley and her husband have been married almost 17 years, live in the south and have two children biologically and three through adoption. In 2013 they brought home their first son from China. It was a visit to his orphanage that opened up their eyes to the reality of just how many kids in this world are without families. Within weeks of arriving home they felt the Lord asking them if they could do this again, and quickly, for a little 7 year old girl. It would be through her adoption that they learned what it meant to love BIG and entered the world of parenting a child with special needs. They recently arrived home with their third child from China, a boy with clubfoot and a limb difference, and they are all completely smitten. Kelley is a stay at home momma and when she isn’t juggling carpool, doctor visits and therapies, she enjoys bringing her own southern flare to her new love of Chinese food. Days in the Berry home are filled with laughter, fun and a “new normal” they wouldn’t change for the world. Kelley feels called to help those who think they can’t adopt to see that they can through fundraising, encouragement and lots of support.
Blog: My Overthinking
Facebook: My Overthinking
Kelly has a passion for supporting adoptive families, specifically to encourage and empower parents to be intentional and understand their own hearts more clearly as they seek to care for their hearts of their children. Kelly founded The Sparrow Fund along with her husband Mark in 2011. While she serves alongside Mark in his full-time purposeful work to serve students in China and comes alongside adoptive families as a therapist at the Attachment & Bonding Center of PA, Kelly has a particular interest in encouraging parents who are struggling with attachment, helping parents walk with their children in understanding their own stories and guarding those stories, helping couples continue to pursue each other and grow together while they parent their children as a team, and training and supporting orphanage staff in China to build relationships with children and each other. Kelly and Mark have been married since 1998 and have 3 biological children and 1 daughter who was adopted from China in 2010. You can learn more about their journey and many ongoing trips to China on Kelly’s blog My Overthinking.
|Facebook: Liberty Joy
Liberty considers herself a very blessed mama! She and her husband have three daughters, one son who was adopted as a newborn in Alaska, and three little ones who were adopted through the China special needs program (2013, 2014 and 2016). Liberty is a Registered Nurse by profession and works part-time in home health. However, she considers her full-time job to be the one in her own home, bandaging the physical and emotional ouchies of her children. Several years ago she prayed that The Lord would break her heart for what breaks His, and her life has never been the same. She loves adoption and advocating for children who are waiting for their family. Liberty has relied upon No Hands But Ours during her own adoption process, especially while researching special needs. She is delighted to be coordinating the Advocacy portion of NHBO and hopes it brings awareness in regard to the precious Children Who Wait.
Blog: Moore to Love
Facebook: Professor Mandy
Mandy married her college sweetheart, Bryson, nearly 13 years ago. For the first 12 years of their marriage, Mandy was busy finishing graduate school and her doctorate while working as a college professor. Throughout that busy time in her life, there was always a longing in her heart to be a mom — but she wondered if the Lord was directing her to become a mom biologically or through adoption. And so, for over 10 years, she and her husband asked the Lord to direct their paths, to shut doors He needed to shut to direct them to where He wanted them to be. When their doctors told them they have a 0% chance of having a biological child together, they understood why those years of longing to adopt were there. During both of their childhood and teen years, adoption and foster care had a significant impact on both of them. The Lord in His goodness began planting the seeds for adoption so many years before. Mandy is the proud momma to Lydia Grace, a three year old born with symbrachydactyly, adopted from China last year. Mandy left her career as a college professor to spend her days taking care of Lydia and helping her husband run a video production company. Mandy and Bryson are in the process of adopting another child from China.
Facebook: Megan Rathbone
Megan and her high school sweet heart David have been married for almost 11 years. They have four children ranging from age four to eight. Their youngest son Elijah was adopted from Yangling, China. Megan has had the desire to adopt since she was a child. However, the couple knew for certain it was something God was calling them to after David began working for America World Adoption Association coordinating trips to orphanages in China. They became open to special needs adoption after their second biological son was diagnosed with Autism at age three. The family began the adoption process in March 2015 and their four year old son Elijah, who is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, has been home since January 2016. Megan works at home balancing doctors appointments, therapy sessions and school schedules for her four kids, and enjoys reading, writing poetry and drinking coffee to decompress.
Blog: Living Out His Love
Nicole is a daughter to the King and a wife to an amazing man. She is a classical homeschooling mama to four, by birth and adoption. She is a part-time newborn photographer, a founder and adoption photographer at Red Thread Sessions, a board member of The Sparrow Fund and an advocate of orphan care and adoption. When she’s not with her family, homeschooling, or behind her camera, she loves to blog, create, give life to old furniture, spend time at the beach and read. She strives to live her life to glorify our Heavenly Father. With His love, all things are possible.
Blog: The Sweet Life
Facebook: Rebecca Radicchi
Mark and Rebecca are the parents of four little people, three of which are gifts from China. God has used adoption to expand the borders of their hearts. Each journey has been filled with beauty and challenges, laughter and weight, each showing them the heart of their Father in a new way. He’s drawn them closer to Himself, and never seems to stop pushing them to step beyond their comfort zones to serve the fatherless in new ways. For years she has followed NHBO, and have been so inspired and challenged. If she might “pay it forward” and offer encouragement to others, she’ll call herself abundantly blessed. She’s so grateful for this opportunity to serve, this creative stretching, and this way to connect with families who share a heartbeat for adoption and orphan advocacy.
Blog: Ni Hao Y’all
Facebook: Stefanie Hanen
Stefanie and Chris were leading relatively “normal” lives as parents to four kids – he flew for the Air Force, she stayed home with the kids – when God laid adoption on their hearts in a mighty way. And the impact has colored everything in their lives since. They began the paperwork immediately and in 2005 they brought Isabelle, 11 months old with a heart defect, home from China. In 2006 they brought home Sophie, followed the next year by Jude, then Shepherd, Vivienne, Poppy and, in 2012, Tallula. Clementine came home in 2014 and a little sister, Magnolia, became the caboose of their family in May 2016. Their daughter Esther was to join their family in 2011, but she passed away two months before they could bring her home. Chris retired from the military in 2012 and now they are settled in Birmingham where Chris works for Lifeline Children’s Services. Stefanie also works on behalf of the fatherless, but does it from her desk at home, in sweats. She began No Hands But Ours in 2008 as a way to encourage others to consider special needs adoption and continues to advocate for orphans in any way the Lord leads. Stefanie loves her Savior, her family and anything with frosting. She also enjoys chasing her kids around with her camera, and writing about their anything-but-normal family on her blog Ni Hao Y’all.