With Open Doors and Open Arms

September 2, 2019 adopting a boy, cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2019 Feature - Craniofacial, should we adopt? 0 Comments

Our son Falcon’s adoption story began three years before he was born. We were in China adopting our first child, a baby girl, through the NSN program. Touring her orphanage, I remember cresting the top of the four flights of stairs, excited to hear the sound of little voices. We asked our guide if we …Read More

Letting God Write Our Story

August 23, 2019 adopting a boy, clubfoot, Education, Family Stories, feeding/swallowing therapy, June 2019 Feature - Orthopedic, Nail Patella Syndrome, Orthopedic, speech therapy 4 Comments

Life is full of things we thought we could never handle… until we have to. As we considered growing our family via adoption, one thing we thought we “couldn’t handle” was a child with limited mobility. We already had three very active children. We love to hike, bike, go to the beach or spend a …Read More

Treasuring the Gift of Communication

August 19, 2019 adopting a boy, adoption community, cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2019 Feature - Craniofacial, speech therapy 0 Comments

My husband and I love talking about adoption. Among our greatest joys is sharing our journey with others and communicating that God uses the most ordinary of people (like us!) to participate in something extraordinary. I always feel a deep need to impress upon those who are considering the call to adopt that every family’s …Read More

Ethan: Adopting a Son with Cleft Lip and Palate

August 14, 2019 adopting a boy, cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2019 Feature - Craniofacial, pre-adoption, reluctant husband, should we adopt? 2 Comments

Early in our marriage, my husband showed interest in the idea of adopting. “Wouldn’t it be great to be able to give a family to a child who doesn’t have one?” he said one day. I remember thinking, “I don’t know if adoption is for me. I don’t know if I could do that.” Throughout …Read More

The Sky is the Limit

July 26, 2019 BAHA, Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing loss, July 2019 Feature - Craniofacial, microtia, older child adoption, Sensory System 0 Comments

Ever since I was a young girl, I knew that I wanted to someday get married and to be a mom. I dreamed of having children born from my womb and children born from my heart. After college, I met the man of my dreams and we married in March 2006. A year and half …Read More

Our Greatest Adventure

July 8, 2019 cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2019 Feature - Craniofacial, orphanage realities, speech therapy, velopharyngeal Insufficiency 2 Comments

A little about us – we both got married for the first time in our 40s. I think of ourselves as late bloomers. Although we both had nieces and nephews, neither of us had a lot of experience with children. So, each of us entered the adoption process with trepidation and thoughtfulness. Our process took …Read More

A Brave Girl With A Big Dream

June 30, 2019 arthrogryposis, Family Stories, June 2019 Feature - Orthopedic, older child adoption, Orthopedic 4 Comments

“Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice.”– Bethany Hamilton Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. It’s a mouthful; most people shorten it to Arthrogryposis. Essentially, it means multiple joint contractures that affect two or more body areas. According to the Genetic and Rare Disease …Read More

Our Plan vs. God’s Plan

June 24, 2019 adopting a boy, arthrogryposis, clubfoot, Family Stories, June 2019 Feature - Orthopedic, medical needs checklist, Orthopedic 2 Comments

Staring at the long list of special needs, trying to decide which boxes to check we were open to, seemed overwhelming. Researching each medical condition was just as daunting. Did we check the right boxes? How can we “decide” which special need our child will have? Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC) first seemed like a big …Read More

A Tale of Two Limb Differences

June 17, 2019 adopting a boy, Education, Family Stories, IEP, June 2019 Feature - Orthopedic, limb difference, occupational therapy, Orthopedic, radial aplasia, radial club hand 4 Comments

Limb difference was one of the boxes we checked for our first China adoption in 2013. So when we received our son’s file, it was relatively easy to say yes. Our soon-to-be son, at 10 months of age, was the youngest child on the shared list that day. We were open to a boy or …Read More

What to Expect in China: Things We Wish Adopters of Our Little Ones Knew

March 31, 2019 March 2019 Feature - In China, orphanage realities, What To Expect 18 Comments

For so many brand new parents of Chinese adoptees, the time spent in China is the most anticipated and intimidating portion of the adoption process. You’re finally able to hold your child in your arms; to emotionally and legally welcome them into your family. But, well…it’s China. It’s pretty different. As we adopted our beautiful …Read More

What to Expect: The Sisterhood

March 23, 2019 adoption community, China trip, March 2019 Feature - In China, Megan V., prepping for China, What To Expect 0 Comments

Trying to prepare someone for an adoption trip to China is literally like trying to prepare someone for giving birth. It will hurt. It will be expensive. It will be smelly and there might be blood and there will be tears. It will be so sweet. It will be surreal; you will come as one …Read More

What to Expect: A Letter to Traveling Families

March 14, 2019 China trip, Gotcha Day, March 2019 Feature - In China, prepping for China, Rebecca, travel tips, What To Expect 4 Comments

Dear Soon to Travel Adoptive Family, If I could go back now, these are the words that I’d whisper to my own pre-trip heart. My hope is that they’ll fall gently, offer a bucket of grace, excite your spirit, and speak to your heart. Before our first adoption trip, I was giddy with joy and …Read More

The Beginning of Forever: What to Expect in China

March 6, 2019 China trip, Gotcha Day, March 2019 Feature - In China, prepping for China, travel tips, What To Expect 0 Comments

I had read all our agency’s material, devoured everything I could find on NHBO that may prepare us, had my parents retell their stories of China over the course of adopting five times. I even dug deep in the recesses of my memory to relive every detail of my time in Beijing, Xi’an, Guangzhou and …Read More

What to Expect: the Homestudy

February 28, 2019 dossier, February 2019 Feature - The Paperchase, homestudy, I'm Ready to Adopt, Lifeline, What To Expect 0 Comments

I have been a licensed social worker practicing in international adoptions for over six years now, and I must confess that I absolutely love paperwork! I recognize that I am probably in the minority. I tell families that the beginning of the adoption process might feel like you are trying to sip from a fire …Read More

Finding our Place in the Post-Adoption World

February 23, 2019 ASD, February 2019 Feature - Heart, Heart System, pulmonary atresia, pulmonary stenosis, VSD 0 Comments

Honestly, I don’t feel like I quite fit in the special needs community. Or even the adoption community. Our lives at one point were very much impacted by both of those things, but now it looks very normal. I drive my four kids – all in school – and I drive them all over creation. …Read More

Your Broken-Hearted Brave Hope

February 18, 2019 advanced heart failure, complex heart defect, end stage cardiac disease, February 2019 Feature - Heart, Heart System 0 Comments

Dear Heart Warrior Mamas, Before we adopted our daughter, who was born with congenital heart disease (CHD), I didn’t know so many things. But you and my daughter have taught me.. I didn’t know what it meant to advocate for your own child. I have watched you learn medical terminology. I have witnessed your brave …Read More

From Organ Donation To Graduation

February 13, 2019 2019 Features, advanced heart failure, complex heart defect, February 2019 Feature - Heart, Heart System, heterotaxy, large families, malnourishment, pulmonary stenosis, single ventricle heart disease, terminal diagnosis 0 Comments

Have you ever received news that was so hard to hear you actually felt like you were having an out of body experience? The afternoon of Evelyn’s heart catheterization, the day that doctors and surgeons came into a small room to explain to my husband and I that our little girl was more critical than …Read More

What to Expect: the Paperchase

February 5, 2019 adopting again, dossier, February 2019 Feature - The Paperchase, homestudy, referral, waiting for referral, waiting to travel, What To Expect 3 Comments

What often scares people away from adoption? The paperwork. Guess what scared me away from adoption? Among other things, the paperwork. There is a cloud of dread that hangs over prospective parents when the topic of adoption comes up because they have “heard” about the extensive amount of grueling paperwork involved. And to be honest, …Read More

For Ivy: Honoring our Hero

February 3, 2019 adoption community, advanced heart failure, complex heart defect, Family Stories, February 2019 Feature - Heart, Heart System 0 Comments

It is with great joy that I share that Madison Adoption Agency is offering an adoption grant in honor of our daughter, and forever hero, Ivy Joy. For those of you who are new to our story, our precious Ivy Joy went home to Jesus on March 20, 2017. Ivy had a complex heart defect …Read More

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