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

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

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

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

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

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

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 6 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 from the Experts, 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 4 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 2 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

Revealing Hidden Treasures

October 26, 2017 adopting again, adopting two at once, Advocacy, Developmental System, Down syndrome, large families, October 2017 Feature - Developmental 3 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 from the Experts, 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 from the Experts, 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

“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

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 from the Experts, 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

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

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 from the Experts, 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

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

Attachment Q & A: Communicating and Cocooning

September 17, 2017 ASL, attachment activities, August 2017 Feature - Attachment Q & A, cocooning, Kelley B., sign language 1 Comments

Attachment. Not much more could not be packed into one single word, especially in the adoption world. We spent all of July focusing on this most-important topic and decided to continue into August – but with a bit of a twist. This month, we’re answering your attachment questions. Because we all have them – we …Read More

“It’s Just the Way God Made Me”

September 11, 2017 amputation, Education, limb difference, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic, prosthetics, public school, September 2017 Feature - Visible Special Needs, visible special need 7 Comments

Anna Grace is five years old. She loves all things Disney and princesses. Her favorite outings are to the zoo, museum, or playground. She takes dance class and swimming lessons. When she grows up, she wants to be a doctor, dance teacher, singer, or dog trainer. She loves playing outside with her friends, especially if …Read More

Seeing Things Differently

September 9, 2017 BAHA, Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing loss, limb difference, microtia, Orthopedic, Sensory System, September 2017 Feature - Visible Special Needs, visible special need 0 Comments

Recently someone reached out to ask what I would tell a group of Boy Scouts if I could speak to them as a special needs mom. This friend, who works everyday as a speech therapist, had been invited to speak to a local Boy Scout troop about interacting with children with special needs. Upon reading …Read More

More Than the Girl with the White Hair

September 4, 2017 albinism, Family Stories, IEP, public school, September 2017 Feature - Skin Conditions, September 2017 Feature - Visible Special Needs, Skin Conditions, TVI, visible special need 2 Comments

Emily loves dolls, dress-up, panda bears, ballet, singing while playing her brother’s ukulele upside down, blowing bubbles, Disney World, soccer, and “preaching” to us from her children’s Bible. She has a quick wit and makes us laugh every day. And, she was born with a condition called albinism. And that’s really it. Albinism is just …Read More

September Special Needs Focus (and Favorite Family Stories): Skin Conditions

September 1, 2017 albinism, birthmark, burns, Congenital nevus, epidermolysis bullosa, Favorite Family Stories, ichthyiosis, September 2017 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions 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

Attachment Q & A: Eye Contact and Attachment

August 31, 2017 attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2017 Feature - Attachment Q & A, congenital blindness, Katie, Sensory System, vision issues, vision loss 3 Comments

Attachment. Not much more could not be packed into one single word, especially in the adoption world. We spent all of July focusing on this most-important topic and decided to continue into August – but with a bit of a twist. This month, we’re answering your attachment questions. Because we all have them – we …Read More

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

August 26, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2017 Feature - Attachment Q & A, Kelly, parent-to-child attachment 2 Comments

Attachment. Not much more could not be packed into one single word, especially in the adoption world. We spent all of July focusing on this most-important topic and decided to continue into August – but with a bit of a twist. This month, we’re answering your attachment questions. Because we all have them – we …Read More

Attachment Q & A: Reaching for Strangers

August 24, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2017 Feature - Attachment Q & A, baby-wearing, cocooning, first year home, indiscriminate affection, Newly Home, Nicole 0 Comments

Attachment. Not much more could not be packed into one single word, especially in the adoption world. We spent all of July focusing on this most-important topic and decided to continue into August – but with a bit of a twist. This month, we’re answering your attachment questions. Because we all have them – we …Read More

Living with HIV: From Medical Professionals

August 22, 2017 August 2017 Feature - Infectious, HIV, HIV Q and A, Infectious 0 Comments

As we see more and more HIV+ children become available for international adoption, we thought that it would be beneficial to hear first hand experience on parenting this need. So we asked prospective adoptive parents what they really wanted to know about having a child with HIV; then posed those questions to both adoptive parents …Read More

Attachment Q & A: Still Not Attached

August 18, 2017 Attachment, attachment challenges, Attachment Disorder, August 2017 Feature - Attachment Q & A, Jean, parent-to-child attachment, RAD, reactive attachment disorder, Trust Based Parenting 3 Comments

Attachment. Not much more could not be packed into one single word, especially in the adoption world. We spent all of July focusing on this most-important topic and decided to continue into August – but with a bit of a twist. This month, we’re answering your attachment questions. Because we all have them – we …Read More

© 2019 No Hands But Ours

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.