February 21, 2012 Stefanie 4 Comments

I am simply awed. And so very grateful. My friend and website-designer extraordinaire, Lauren from Restored 316 Designs, has just finished her overhaul of No Hands But Ours. I gave her some ideas when we first got started, but I was blown away when I saw the finished product. Thank. You. Lauren. Even our button …Read More

What we're reading Wednesday: links

February 8, 2012 Stefanie, What We're Reading 0 Comments

From the last few weeks, some good stuff we’ve read that relates to adoption and/or parenting a special needs child. As always, if you are a traveling family, or have posted something, or read something, that you’d like to share here on No Hands But Ours, please let us know at From the blog …Read More

Adoption Tax Credit for 2011

January 27, 2012 affording adoption, Stefanie 0 Comments

Anyone who has adopted should know about the Adoption Tax Credit. It’s a huge blessing for adopting families to recoup a portion of expenses when adopting a child. But if you’re most of us, that’s about where your knowledge ends. Internet to the rescue. With tax season upon us, here are some links to help …Read More

What we're reading Wednesday: links

January 11, 2012 Stefanie, What We're Reading 0 Comments

From the last few weeks, some good stuff we’ve read that relates to adoption from China and/or parenting a special needs child from China. As always, if you are a traveling family, or have posted something, or read something, that you’d like to share here on No Hands But Ours, please let us know at …Read More

one year with my sweet Vivi Kate

January 3, 2011 dwarfism, Stefanie 0 Comments

Vivienne officially joined our family on January 11, 2010. That was a glorious day for our family: we were gaining a precious daughter. It was a tragic day for her: she lost everything she knew. A month later, I shared more about the reality of that day. By early spring we were both emerging from …Read More

a blessed surprise

August 28, 2010 Stefanie 0 Comments

Since entering the adoption realm in 2004, admittedly painfully unaware, I’ve done my share of reading. My share of gleaning. My share of asking. Since then I have also been asked many questions about adoption by potential adoptive parents. And one question in particular has always stood out to me. Maybe because it was one …Read More

loving China

June 28, 2010 Chinese Culture, Stefanie 2 Comments

We have five children from China, ranging in age from 2 to 6. While none of them have come to us with a desire to explore their heritage, we have taken it upon ourselves to at least crack open the door to their roots. In a small way, embracing not only our children, but where …Read More

how do you know?

June 3, 2010 referral, Stefanie 15 Comments

What will my child look like? Will I recognize my child when I ‘see’ them for the first time? These are questions that I think all adoptive parents ask at one time or another, especially in the special needs program. If you’re anything like I was, you manage to find sweet little faces, faces that …Read More

special needs?

April 30, 2010 Stefanie 10 Comments

I am a most ordinary person. I drink Diet Coke with my McDonald’s French fries. I love Target and People Magazine. I drive a mini-van for goodness sakes. Back when we were just starting out on our adoption journey, I began to hear bits and pieces about the ‘Waiting Child’ program that the CCAA has …Read More

a visit to the orthotist

March 25, 2010 clubfoot, Stefanie 4 Comments

Our daughter Vivienne was born with bilateral clubfoot. Her feet were successfully casted, using the Ponseti Method, while she was still in China. But she has a condition that is a relatively common sequela of clubfoot, known as foot drop. She is missing the muscles on the top of her foot that help her to …Read More

first words

February 25, 2010 ASL, attachment activities, Stefanie, travel tips 8 Comments

Adoption is a roller coaster. And meeting and spending those first few day getting to know your child can be one of the most wonderful times of your life. It can also be pretty tough. One of the issues we’ve encountered with almost all of our adoptions is difficultly in the department of communication. Obviously, …Read More

adopting SN step two: the paperchase

January 25, 2010 adopting SN: the process, Stefanie 2 Comments

This is the second post (read first post here) that attempts to answer the oft asked question:“How do I get started? We have decided we want to adopt a child from China through the special needs program, but what do we do next?” Once you’ve chosen an agency, the real work begins. It’s time to …Read More

Non-recurring Adoption Expense Reimbursements

December 30, 2009 affording adoption, Stefanie 1 Comments

I know, it’s a mouthful. But it’s worth taking the time to toss around as many families adopting special needs kids from China qualify for up to $2000 back from their state. Special needs domestic adoptions are eligible in every state for a one time reimbursement of non-recurring adoption expenses. But many states also reimburse …Read More


December 25, 2009 Stefanie 13 Comments

I will be leaving in 2 weeks to bring home our new daughter, Vivienne. And I am scared. She is 26 months old, 30 inches and 22 pounds. And she seriously scares me. This will be our fifth adoption, so you might think I know enough about adoption not to be scared. The truth is, …Read More

a few ideas

December 2, 2009 Stefanie 1 Comments

I’ve spent the last month working up a Christmas list. Not of my own ideas, but of ideas from other moms. It’s been really fun, and even more than that, it’s been really interesting. I’ve found some things I had no idea were out there: some I just had to have… and some others I …Read More

giveaway winner: week 5!

November 22, 2009 giveaways, Stefanie 2 Comments

How can it be? It’s already week 5 of our Wild Olive giveaway. Which means this is our last winner…. Congratulations Amy Jo! Email me at and let me know what Wild Olive Tee you’d like! Be sure to check out our site, we’ve got a brand new design. Just in time for Christmas. …Read More

adopting SN step one: choosing an agency

November 17, 2009 adopting SN: the process, Stefanie 4 Comments

Often I am asked, “How do I get started? We have decided we want to adopt a child from China through the special needs program, but what do we do next?” So, although I am definitely no expert, I offer my best effort in answering that very question. The entire China program (NSN and SN) …Read More

Wild Olive winner week #3!

November 7, 2009 giveaways, Stefanie 5 Comments

It’s Saturday. You know what that means… a new Wild Olive winner! Congratulations to Sara at Football and Fried Rice! Email me at and let me know what Wild Olive Tee you’d like! We will be giving away two more tees over the next two weeks, so there is still plenty of time to …Read More


November 3, 2009 large families, Stefanie 22 Comments

Why? Some of you might know me from my personal blog, Ni Hao Y’all. But I am sure many more of you do not. So a quick run down is in order, lest there be some confusion as I share my story. Our story. My husband and I met in 1997, each having endured a …Read More

our first winner!

October 24, 2009 giveaways, Stefanie 3 Comments

Congratulations to Jill from Life at Killeny Glen! You’re our first Wild Olive Tees winner! Contact me at and I’ll hook you up with the shirt of your choice. Thanks for playing, everyone! We’ll have another winner next week… And the next!

good stuff

October 24, 2009 giveaways, older child adoption, Stefanie 0 Comments

Amie and I are buds. We’ve partnered up on a few things, God-led things. One is No Hands But Ours, and the other is Wild Olive. Since she and I both have a passion for both, we came up with a way to combine the two… For the next five weeks, we’ll be giving away …Read More


October 20, 2009 Stefanie 19 Comments

Are we making adoption too hard? Too overwhelming? Too complicated? I make an effort to read as much as I can about adoption, specifically trans racial adoption. Being the mom of 4, almost 5, Chinese children, I think it’s part of my job description to be informed and aware. And I’ve been reading a lot …Read More

contributing blogger mommas!

October 4, 2009 Stefanie 0 Comments

If you haven’t noticed yet, take a look to the left and check out all our new contributors! We’ve asked some fellow blogging moms to join us here at the No Hands But Ours blog to share their thoughts on the journey of being a mom. I can. not. wait. to read all the posts …Read More

Travel Alert issued by the US Department of State

September 29, 2009 Stefanie 0 Comments

Seems that precautionary measures might pick up in China as the winter approaches in order to slow the transmission of the H1N1 virus. Although situations where Americans have been quarantined have diminished since September, those numbers might rise again as we head into the winter months. The US Department of State warns travelers that children …Read More

A Helping Hand

September 26, 2009 A Helping Hand, CCAA, older child adoption, Stefanie 0 Comments

A Helping Hand Adoption Agency has updated their current list of waiting children.Additionally, they are participating in the CCAA’s “Trip of Hope” program. Read more here. For more information, contact:Dana Woods:

New Protocol for TB Testing

September 22, 2009 CDC, Stefanie, TB testing 0 Comments

There is newly released protocol for TB testing, dated September 18, 2009.It applies to children age 10 and younger.Visit here for more info.

story in LA Times

September 20, 2009 Stefanie 2 Comments

Chinese babies stolen by officials for foreign adoptionBy Barbara Demick :: September 20, 2009 The man from family planning liked to prowl around the mountaintop village, looking for diapers on clotheslines and listening for the cry of a hungry newborn. One day in the spring of 2004, he presented himself at Yang Shuiying’s doorstep and …Read More

HTS news

August 22, 2009 Half the Sky, Stefanie 3 Comments

Amazing news from Half The Sky… they have received special permission from CCAA and are seeking very special homes for three very special girls with very complex heart conditions. Read more here.

New list posted

July 24, 2009 Stefanie 0 Comments

AAI (Adoption Advocates International) has a new list posted on the Children Who Wait page!

"Portrait of a Family"

May 24, 2009 older child adoption, Stefanie, video 0 Comments

Click here to watch an incredibly sweet video about a family that adopted a boy from China. And not a minute too soon.

Homeland's XingFu Program

April 14, 2009 adoption situations, Agencies, Homeland, Stefanie 0 Comments

Homeland Adoption Services has just received an invitation to place a large number of waiting children from Shanghai. Homeland’s clinical director, Nancy Reffsin, will be traveling there in a few weeks to see the children and gather information. Once she returns, the matching will begin. Families who wish to be considered for the children must …Read More

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