Thank You is a Powerful Message

November 29, 2018 Attachment, discipline, homeschool, large families, Sharon, siblings 0 Comments

November is the month we all focus on being grateful and giving thanks. Everyone loves a thankful person. It can make or break our day. “God gave us a gift of 86,400 seconds in a day. Have you used one to say, ‘thank you’?” ~ William Ward As a mom of ten children, I need …Read More

Hypo-What?

November 16, 2018 adopting a boy, adopting again, ambiguous genitalia, Disorder of Sexual Development, Family Stories, hypospadias, November 2018 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 4 Comments

Two years after our first adoption, a three-year old waiting boy from China, I began searching the lists for the little girl that would complete our family. In my mind, she would be two or three years old, with a similar need to our son, as we already had trusted specialists in place. In the …Read More

Ask NHBO: Large Family Size and Orphanage Donation

November 5, 2018 Ask NHBO, CCCWA denial, Jennifer B., large families, waiver request 2 Comments

We get asked a lot of questions, both via our website and our Facebook page. And many are excellent questions too, questions we see asked again and again. Questions that deserve an answer. So we decided to try to answer some – as best as we can – in post format, so that others who …Read More

The Other Side of the Mountain: Surviving the Death of a Child

November 4, 2018 adopting again, adoption realities, Down syndrome, Family Stories, Lifelong needs, medical expedite, orphanage realities 3 Comments

It was a horrible stomach flu that took us down one by one. The kids were both sick. Ken and I were horribly sick. It was one of those “fend for yourself and hope to see you on the other side” type of illnesses. When the phone rang that morning, I had no strength to …Read More

Loving Our “Lifers”

November 1, 2018 developmental delays, large families, Lifelong needs, Linny, sibling perspective, siblings 5 Comments

Bringing these three home forever was hands down – three of the very best decisions we’ve ever made in our entire 40+ years of marriage! We affectionately refer to these three little girlies of ours as “our lifers” – because we get to keep them for the rest of our lives! I’m sure to some …Read More

Chosen, Not Forsaken

October 31, 2018 a father's perspective, adoptee perspective, adopting out of birth order, adult adoptee 0 Comments

Adoption wasn’t anything new to me when my wife and I set out to adopt our daughter. In fact, my entire life has been about adoption in some form or fashion. From being adopted myself, to being a foster family to several children as a child growing up, adoption has been one of the consistent …Read More

Life Isn’t Fair: Parenting Children with Multiple Special Needs

October 29, 2018 adopting later in life, adopting two at once, autism, cochlear implants, developmental delays, Developmental System, epilepsy, hearing loss, large families, October 2018 Feature - Developmental, Sensory Processing Issues, Sensory System, undiagnosed SN, virtual twins 6 Comments

I don’t remember the exact moment when adoption was put on my heart and in my mind. But, I do remember it was all consuming. I tried to get away from it. But, I couldn’t. It was there and it wouldn’t go away. It was 2015. By early 2016 I finally worked the nerve up …Read More

Please Just Be My Sunshine Today: Down Syndrome Adoption and the Attachment Dance

October 25, 2018 Attachment, attachment challenges, congenital blindness, developmental delays, Developmental System, disruption, Down syndrome, Family Stories, October 2018 Feature - Developmental, parent-to-child attachment, profound deafness, rejects mom, TBRI-based therapy, therapy, Trust Based Parenting, undiagnosed SN 2 Comments

The first photo I ever saw of Winnie was so ridiculously cute. She is dressed from head to toe in a hot pink puffy coat with matching pants and black boots. Her edibly adorable face was framed by such a tragically terrible haircut that made me laugh and cry at the same time. She and …Read More

When Fear Turns To Joy

October 23, 2018 22qdeletion syndrome, adopting a boy, adopting again, cognitive delay, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, hearing aids, hearing loss, IEP, older child adoption, speech delay, Tetralogy of Fallot 1 Comments

I remember sitting there staring. Staring at the notes that I had just scribbled down. My mind was racing and yet it was paralyzed. I had just gotten off the phone with the cardiologist who reviewed the file of a girl that my husband, Dan, and I had requested him to review. I was expecting …Read More

The Beauty of Owning Their Own Story

October 7, 2018 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment activities, discipline, embracing their story, homeschool, large families, questions from strangers, Sharon, siblings, telling their life story, vacation 1 Comments

Our family just enjoyed another week at the beach, and it was glorious. The gift of time since coming home for each of our children truly has made a difference in so many ways. We are able to help them feel safe in a vacation home and enjoy new experiences together. This particular trip gave …Read More

How Adoption Shaped My Life: An Adoptee Speaks

September 30, 2018 adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, embracing their story, older child adoption, orphanage, Post-Adoption contact, September 2018 Feature - Hearing From Adult Adoptees, spina bifida, telling their life story 4 Comments

I was 10 years old when I was adopted. I had spent all my life in an orphanage. I had no idea it was even possible to be adopted, let alone by American families – I thought I had everything I needed. Going to school I knew I was different. I didn’t have pretty clothes, …Read More

My Best Decision Ever: Parenting a Child with EB

September 27, 2018 adopting as first time parents, adoption community, epidermolysis bullosa, Family Stories, September 2018 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions 0 Comments

According to the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association (DEBRA), a U.S. based nonprofit organization that supports the Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) community, Epidermolysis Bullosa (or EB) is a rare, genetic connective skin condition in which not enough protein is produced to allow skin to adhere to itself. In the U.S., one of every 20,000 births are …Read More

More Than I Could See: Adopting a Non-Verbal Child

September 22, 2018 Developmental System, Family Stories, hearing loss, non-verbal, older child adoption, profound deafness, Sensory System 1 Comments

It was sentiment we shared for 15 months: we were way in over our heads with this adoption. We had said “yes” to a seven and a half year old daughter who was deaf and had never received the gift of language. There were no schools available to teach her in her province. Consequently, she …Read More

Beauty from Ashes

September 17, 2018 adoption realities, attachment challenges, disruption, first weeks home, mobility issues, Newly Home, parent-to-child attachment, rages, trauma, wheelchair user 5 Comments

This is a story of trauma and beauty and tears and hopelessness and hope. This is a story of my darkest moments, my greatest growth and the resulting joy. I cannot say that this will be everyone’s story, but I’m praying that you can see the hope in this story even in the darkness. Adoption …Read More

Special is in the Eye of the Beholder

September 11, 2018 adopting as first time parents, Adopting Scenarios, albinism, Family Stories, September 2018 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions, switching to another country 2 Comments

It was only a couple of months after we were married that my husband and I started researching adoption. We both wanted a family, and with me being over 40 and having a history of endometriosis, conception without major fertility treatments seemed nearly impossible. We decided, for us, it was more important to parent a …Read More

Meet the Contributors: Sharon

September 7, 2018 Contributor Q and A, large families, Meet the Contributors, Sharon 0 Comments

Continuing today with our series in which we share a short Q and A with one of our contributors to give y’all, our faithful readers, a little more behind-the-scenes insight into the amazing group of writers assembled here. And it will also give each of our contributors a chance to share their heart in a …Read More

The Syndrome We Never Suspected

September 5, 2018 adopting again, birthmark, developmental delays, Family Stories, linear sebaceous nevus, older child adoption, September 2018 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions, speech delay, undiagnosed SN 0 Comments

In 2011, we received the file of a little girl, age 3. Her file read “delayed mental development” and it included a very low DQ score. We were able to ask questions and receive a video of her reading flashcards and reciting the names of the items on the flashcards. “Okay,” we thought. “Yes, she’s …Read More

The Beautiful Hard Work of Bonding

August 27, 2018 adopting later in life, adopting out of birth order, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, baby-wearing, large families, Lifelong needs, Linny, older child adoption, rejects mom 2 Comments

Growing up in the 1960s the only adoptions I had heard of were people who attempted to “match” their own ethnicity with that of a potential adoptive child. I knew of no one who had adopted internationally. Yet for some reason the only desire in my little-girl-go-against-the-flow heart was to one day adopt from both …Read More

The Dance

August 23, 2018 adopting out of birth order, Central Nervous System, clubfoot, Family Stories, mobility issues, older child adoption, Orthopedic, scoliosis, spina bifida, virtual twins, wheelchair user 5 Comments

I’ll never forget the morning I found my daughter Ava and son Daniel huddled around the family computer. The screen was blocked by their two heads… “Whatcha doin’?” I inquired. They both turned around to reveal a waiting child adoption site that they had been scrolling through. “Mom, look at this little girl… isn’t she …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: Choosing to Love

August 21, 2018 adopting again, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, parent-to-child attachment 0 Comments

In the middle of August in West Virginia the weather is hot, steamy, and muggy. The mosquitoes have been bad this year, but stepping outside in the heat reminds me of Guangzhou. This beautiful, tropical city is the third largest in China. It was China’s capital three previous times and today is a strategic port …Read More

Healing in the Everyday

August 7, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, homeschool, July 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, large families, life books, parent-to-child attachment, Sharon, telling their life story 0 Comments

“The days are long, but the years are short.” Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided …Read More

Overlooking the Checklist: Saying Yes to OI

August 3, 2018 Family Stories, June 2018 Feature - Orthopedic, large families, medical needs checklist, Orthopedic, osteogenesis imperfecta, pre-adoption, wheelchair user 2 Comments

Very quickly after beginning of our adoption process we were asked to fill out a Medical Needs Checklist… a checklist of medical conditions commonly seen in China’s orphans. You must go down the checklist and check “yes”, “no” or “willing to discuss” about adopting a child with the listed condition. Nothing makes you feel more …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: 4 Years Home

July 29, 2018 adopting two at once, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, July 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, Medical Momma, Newly Home, Rebecca 2 Comments

Attachment. It’s a word that, at some point of the adoption journey, will bring every parent to their knees – either in frustration over all that seems to be lacking or gratitude for heart-shaped milestones reached. This month we are focusing on attachment over the long(er) term… not weeks or months home. But years down …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: 2 Years Home

July 25, 2018 adopting a boy, adopting again, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Brandie, cocooning, July 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, large families, rejects mom 0 Comments

Attachment. It’s a word that, at some point of the adoption journey, will bring every parent to their knees – either in frustration over all that seems to be lacking or gratitude for heart-shaped milestones reached. This month we are focusing on attachment over the long(er) term… not weeks or months home. But years down …Read More

Ten Fingers. Five Toes.

July 21, 2018 adopting a boy, adopting two at once, amniotic band syndrome, amputation, June 2018 Feature - Orthopedic, limb difference, missing arm/leg, Orthopedic, prosthetics 6 Comments

It’s summer, and time to celebrate one of my very favorite days… my “youngest little’s” birthday! I am the mama to four amazing, yet very different boys, and I relish celebrating everything about these sweet souls. Especially this little guy – Johnny. This is Johnny-Cake’s second birthday home, and I am forever humbled that God …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: 5 Years Home

July 19, 2018 adopting a boy, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Contributor Q and A, July 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, Kelley B. 4 Comments

Attachment. It’s a word that, at some point of the adoption journey, will bring every parent to their knees – either in frustration over all that seems to be lacking or gratitude for heart-shaped milestones reached. This month we are focusing on attachment over the long(er) term… not weeks or months home. But years down …Read More

The Sparkle Jar: A Simple Way to Build Connection

July 7, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, discipline, homeschool, large families, parent-to-child attachment, Sharon 3 Comments

I recently read a quote from Here We Read that said, “Give children more experiences, not things.” It got me thinking about our Sparkle Jar. I really hadn’t stop to ponder the what, why, when, where, or how because it’s something I have done in the past in my classroom and now in our home. …Read More

The Word that Shattered my White-Picket-Fence World

July 5, 2018 achondroplasia, adopting again, Developmental System, dwarfism, Family Stories, June 2018 Feature - Orthopedic 6 Comments

“We believe your baby has something called Achondroplasia.” “Achondro what?” my husband asked. I was six months pregnant at the time with our second child. Achondroplasia – it’s a word that changed our lives forever. I knew what that word was. It was a word that meant my son wouldn’t be the captain of the …Read More

Winning the Lottie-ry: Adopting a Child with Pseudoarthrosis

July 3, 2018 adopting again, amputation, Family Stories, June 2018 Feature - Orthopedic, missing hand/foot, neurofibromatosis, Orthopedic, prosthetics, pseudoarthrosis, Uncategorized 4 Comments

Newly home from China, we were settling in as a family of five. So when we realized we were going back to China for child number four, we felt quite surprised. A fellow adoptive mom uses the hilariously appropriate term “unprotected paperwork.” Uh-huh. We are happily nodding our heads over here in agreement. It all …Read More

His Story to Tell: Living Life with a Prosthetic

July 1, 2018 adopting a boy, amniotic band syndrome, amputation, Family Stories, June 2018 Feature - Orthopedic, missing arm/leg, Orthopedic, prosthetics, visible special need 0 Comments

We always thought adoption would be a part of our family’s story. After attempting a domestic adoption in between our two biological daughters, we read a story that pulled our hearts toward China. After a lot of prayer, we took a leap of faith. Just a few months later, we were matched with our sweet …Read More

Magic Mirror Gate: My First Half Year as a Dad

June 30, 2018 a father's perspective, adopting as first time parents, albinism, Dads, first year home, June 2018 Feature - Celebrating Dads, Newly Home, Perspectives, toddler adoption 1 Comments

Since I was super smart about being a parent before I was one, I would often compare it to bowling with bumpers. You put up boundaries, and those boundaries keep your kids in line. BAM – parenting. Done. Where’s my book deal? But so far, six months in, it feels more like I’m attempting olympic …Read More

A Dad’s Heart on Adoption

June 17, 2018 a father's perspective, Dads, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Family Stories, June 2018 Feature - Celebrating Dads, large families, reluctant husband, should we adopt? 0 Comments

Almost 15 months ago we brought home one of the biggest blessings of my life. Our daughter, Willow, has changed me forever and has made me a better man, father, husband and drawn me closer to our Heavenly Father. Her unconditional grace, love and pure joy for life are a daily reminder of how true …Read More

When There is No Word

June 13, 2018 adopting again, CCCWA denial, Family Stories, large families, May 2018 Feature - Now What? Life After China Program Changes, no longer eligible 4 Comments

There is a beauty in language when precisely the right word is found to convey your thoughts. When you can convey a complex feeling or idea in a perfect word or phrase, people nod with understanding and experiences can be shared, relationships can be built. Yet, I cannot find the appropriate words to describe The-Boy-I-Thought-Would-Be-My-Son. …Read More

One Day At A Time

June 11, 2018 a father's perspective, Dads, June 2018 Feature - Celebrating Dads, large families, Lifelong needs 1 Comments

Throughout my years in elementary school and high school, I always knew what I wanted to be… a professional actor. I don’t know why my hand went up, but in second grade, I volunteered to play Jesus in a skit, and then went on to land the lead roles in two high school plays. Later, …Read More

Unstoppable: Our Club Foot Warrior

June 9, 2018 adopting as first time parents, clubfoot, Family Stories, June 2018 Feature - Orthopedic, medical needs checklist, Orthopedic, waiting for referral 0 Comments

Preslie’s story began in November of 2013. She was born to parents in China who I’m sure loved her so much but chose to give her up so that so that she could get the medical help that she so desperately needed. My husband and I also started the adoption process in November of 2013. …Read More

Suntans, Shells, and Stories: 10 Tips for a Happier Vacation

June 7, 2018 adopting again, adopting later in life, holidays, homeschool, large families, Sharon, vacation 3 Comments

Are you going on vacation this summer? I’m sitting on the beach gazing out over the ocean relaxing in the sun as I write this. Well… actually I’m constantly counting 7 kids or helping someone find a shovel or looking at the 1000th shell they’ve found. And… I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the …Read More

Limb Different – But Beautiful

June 3, 2018 adopting a boy, Family Stories, June 2018 Feature - Orthopedic, medical needs checklist, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic, should we adopt?, symbrachydactyly, visible special need 2 Comments

It was early 2015 when our journey toward our son Noah began. Unlike so many families that adopt, it was not a lifelong dream of mine that was finally going to become a reality. No, it was a rather quick process that began one night as I laid in bed watching the evening news. Images …Read More

Older Child Adoption: Teaching My Child What a Parent Is

May 19, 2018 Attachment, attachment challenges, discipline, Family Stories, older child adoption 2 Comments

It was just about a year ago when our family needed to seek out respite. Our teenage son had been home a year, and emotions were at an all time high – for everyone. On many occasions, we’d reached out to those who could help us or him, but it was time to really take …Read More

A Particularly Bad Day

May 17, 2018 adoption realities, attachment challenges, complex heart defect, food issues, hoarding, hypervigilance, Megan V., older child adoption, orphanage behaviors, trauma 1 Comments

There is a constant editing process that goes on when your adoption isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. It is a dance between saying enough and not saying too much. Between protecting his privacy and helping others by sharing our experiences. We’ve just celebrated Abe’s three year Family Day this week and it’s triggered stuff in …Read More

When No Means No

May 12, 2018 CCCWA denial, large families, May 2018 Feature - Now What? Life After China Program Changes 1 Comments

July 6, 2017 will be forever imprinted on my heart. But let me take you back to August 2003… I was minding my own business, listening to a radio broadcast, which had been my habit since becoming a Christian just two years earlier. Little did I know that day would mark a change in the …Read More

Carrying Hope High

May 10, 2018 Family Stories, fundraisers, May 2018 Feature - Now What? Life After China Program Changes, other ways to care for the orphan, Stefanie, terminal diagnosis 3 Comments

I recently reached out to my friend Emily to ask if she’d be willing share her story here on NHBO. Hers is a story that we – as the adoption community – need to hear… especially during this time of such significant and devastating changes in the China program. We need to cling to hope, …Read More

China Adoption: A Season of Change

May 9, 2018 Adopting Scenarios, adoption community, Brandie, CCCWA denial, May 2018 Feature - Now What? Life After China Program Changes, no longer eligible 0 Comments

We started the process for our first China adoption in May of 2013. It’s crazy to me to think that five years have passed since we made our initial application to an agency for their China adoption program. We did hit some speed bumps and detours throughout our process: a move to another state, an …Read More

Meeting Our Girl With Special Eyes: Part 2

May 3, 2018 attachment activities, China trip, congenital blindness, Family Stories, Gotcha Day, micropthalmia, older child adoption, Sensory System, sign language, vision issues, vision loss 5 Comments

In July of 2017, my husband and I adopted a 7 year old girl with micropthalmia. She was born blind. In Part 1 of this series, I talked about what it was like to meet Lydia as well as some of the activities we discovered to help with early bonding. Here is more of our …Read More

“Will Adoption Be Good For My Kids?”

April 15, 2018 complex heart defect, double outlet right ventricle, Heart System, heart transplant, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, large families, Lifelong needs, Megan V., older child adoption, siblings 1 Comments

As I type, I’m sitting still in a sun puddle, watching my 12 year old take Abe’s blood pressure because we are at nearly 10,000 feet elevation on a ski vacation and his heart is faltering as it is, even without the elevation change putting undue stress on his valves. And this is a monitoring …Read More

Love Over Obedience

April 7, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, cocooning, discipline, large families, parent-to-child attachment, Sharon, siblings 0 Comments

In case it hasn’t been said lately ~ adoption is hard, messy, ugly, and hurtful at times but so worth the fight. The fight for love. The fight for hearts. The fight for value. I had a messy situation not long ago, and I thought I’d share in hopes it might help someone in the …Read More

The Surprise Adoption

April 2, 2018 adopting again, Family Stories, older child adoption, pre-adoption, should we adopt?, virtual twins 4 Comments

Me: Surprise, we are adopting again! My friend: I’m shocked! Me: So are we!!! Friend: How does this happen? The short answer is God! I want to document the longer answer so that I don’t forgot but also as a testimony to each of you about God’s goodness and His attention to detail. Just when …Read More

Our Journey to Spina Bifida

April 1, 2018 adopting again, April 2018 Feature - CNS, Central Nervous System, Family Stories, hip dysplasia, hydrocephalus, leg length discrepancy, older child adoption, reluctant husband, spina bifida 3 Comments

Our journey to spina bifida started with a book — Knowing God by J.I. Packer. I was reading the book for an online book/Bible study. It was a meaty book, and I struggled to get through many parts of it. But then I read these words: “Nor is it the spirit of those Christians – …Read More

Beauty in the Unknown

March 25, 2018 adopting a boy, alpha thalassemia, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2018 Feature - Blood Conditions, older child adoption, thalassemia 0 Comments

I remember the long days of waiting to be matched with our son. I remember every time the shared list would come out in China, and every time our amazing social worker would tell us we did not have a match yet, and the battle between grief and trust. Trusting that God had this. He …Read More

Gaining Independence: Living with Hemophilia

March 23, 2018 adopting a boy, Blood Conditions, Faith, hemophilia, hemophilia A, March 2018 Feature - Blood Conditions, Medical Momma 0 Comments

It’s hard to believe that our oldest son has been home for almost two and a half years. Before we adopted him, my biggest worry was his medical condition. He has Severe Hemophilia, a genetic bleeding disorder. In a nutshell, this means that his blood is missing one of the proteins that help it to …Read More

An Answered Prayer

March 21, 2018 adopting a boy, beta thalassemia, beta thalassemia major, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2018 Feature - Blood Conditions, pre-adoption, reluctant husband, should we adopt?, thalassemia 1 Comments

Our adoption story began three years ago when God first planted the seed of adoption in my heart. I remember it so clearly, it was during the 2015 IF:Gathering live simulcast. I had watched the entire conference alone in my living room, soaking in all of the content from the amazing speakers. At the very …Read More

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