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 2 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

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

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

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

A New Song

March 13, 2018 adopting again, medical needs checklist, parent restrictions, should we adopt?, switching to another country 3 Comments

“Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” – Isaiah 43:19 When Robert and I were on our way home with our son, Howie, we started talking about going back. When we found out Howie’s special need was nonexistent, we knew we would have the energy, room, …Read More

Lessons Learned in Adoption

March 7, 2018 adopting again, Attachment, homeschool, large families, Sharon, virtual twinning 1 Comments

“For I know the plans I have for you,”declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 March 2018 marks 13 years of our adoption journey, and our first adopted daughter is about to be a teenager. Where have 13 years …Read More

A Season of No

February 9, 2018 adopting again, Brandie, large families, virtual twins, working mom 0 Comments

If you are old enough to have grown up during the Reagan administration, then these three words are something you will remember. They were the anti-drug and alcohol mantra that law enforcement, teachers, parents, and Nancy Reagan told us over and over again: “Just say no.” Just. Say. No. So simple, powerful, and memorable. But …Read More

Questions from Strangers: How in the World?

February 7, 2018 adopting again, adopting later in life, homeschool, large families, questions from strangers, Sharon 1 Comments

People ask all the time, “How in the world do you do what you do?” Psalm 105:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.” This verse sums up exactly my response every time I’m confronted with this question. “It’s not me, It’s God!” …Read More

Four Little Heartbeats

February 6, 2018 adopting again, amniotic band syndrome, complex heart defects, developmental delays, February 2018 Feature - Heart, Heart System, Orthopedic, profound deafness, Sensory System, toddler adoption, virtual twins 5 Comments

I’m a mama to four heart babies. And this is our story of becoming a family… our story of going from no children to four children in 15 months. This is our crazy, wonderful life. It was a big day. It was the day my husband messaged me at work and told me that he …Read More

Crossing the Line

January 9, 2018 adopting again, Brandie, pre-adoption, should we adopt? 2 Comments

36.9990° N, 109.0452° W is the only place in the United States where one can stand in four states at the same time. This was not always the case in US history. The boundaries of western territories shifted over the years, morphing into different shapes. Lines were crossed, crossed out, and redrawn as people fought …Read More

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

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

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 4 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

The “Other Side” of Adoption… and Beyond

November 29, 2017 adopting again, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, older child adoption 0 Comments

We are nobody. No one special. What I mean is, we are not celebrities, we are not “beautiful” people, not snappy dressers, we wouldn’t stand out in a crowd, and certainly not wealthy. We are completely ordinary…. except for one thing. Trailing in our wake are six children, two of the homegrown variety and four …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

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

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

Little Minutes Make the Mighty Ages

October 7, 2017 adopting again, adopting later in life, homeschool, large families, Sharon 0 Comments

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff and it’s all small stuff.” I agree that everything is small stuff in light of eternity but – instead of worrying about sweating it – what if we focused on the tiny, everyday, mundane, small things as the most important work we do as moms? …Read More

Walking His Road

July 21, 2017 adopting again, cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2017 Feature - Craniofacial, should we adopt?, speech delay, undiagnosed SN 0 Comments

It was Memorial Day 2012 the first time my husband, Robert, told me he wanted to adopt. We lived in a delightful little suburb of Dallas and had spent the afternoon watching our three young boys play at the splash park. We were all hot and sticky as we drove home and he said, “I’d …Read More

What If It Ruins Everything?

June 30, 2017 a father's perspective, adopting a boy, adopting again, Dads, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, Mike, should we adopt? 8 Comments

Finishing up our June Feature, Thoughts from the Dad, with a post by Mike, a former (and greatly missed) regular contributor. The last time Mike shared was during our dad series two years ago… we are so grateful he was up for sharing once again. You can read all Mike’s previous posts on NHBO here. …Read More

How Adoption Changed Our Definition of Perfect

June 27, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, adopting out of birth order, arthrogryposis, Family Stories, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, mobility issues, older child adoption, Orthopedic, should we adopt?, wheelchair user 4 Comments

My husband and I met in middle school. We didn’t date until right after high school, but were close friends from early in our relationship. We dated through college and got married right after my graduation. We met a family who had children through adoption, and that was when the seed was planted. We knew …Read More

An Orphan’s Courtroom

June 21, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, should we adopt? 4 Comments

In honor of Father’s Day, the month of June is dedicated to Dads. During our Thoughts from the Dad series, we’ll feature stories written by fathers sharing their unique perspective on the journey of adoption. ……… It was the spring of 2013. Our three older kids were out of the house and on their own, …Read More

Nothing to Fear: Seeing Beyond the Check Box

June 20, 2017 adopting again, arthrogryposis, Family Stories, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, medical needs checklist, older child adoption, Orthopedic 3 Comments

She loves bubbles and baby dolls. Her favorite color is yellow. She is a quick learner and a compassionate friend. She has the most joyful laugh, and an infectious smile. And we wouldn’t have known any of these aspects of our daughter had we been scared off by one single word… Arthrogryposis. Her story began …Read More

The Most Important Job: The Making of a Father

June 9, 2017 a father's perspective, adopting a boy, adopting again, adopting as first time parents, Dads, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, Perspectives, should we adopt? 1 Comments

Welcome June! And, in honor of Father’s Day later this month, June is all about Dads. During our Thoughts from the Dad series, we’ll feature stories written by fathers sharing their unique perspective on the journey of adoption. ……… “They’re so lucky,” I often hear, once someone learns of my two adopted boys. “You’ve given …Read More

A Leap of Faith: Adopting a Child with Osteogenesis Imperfecta

June 7, 2017 adopting again, aqua therapy, Family Stories, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, Orthopedic, osteogenesis imperfecta, physical therapy 1 Comments

My husband and I knew – 2016 was going to be the year we embarked upon another adoption journey. We’d given birth to our first child, a daughter, in 2010. In February 2013 we adopted a precious little girl from China, and we knew then that we’d adopt again. First, though, we felt like God …Read More

Hearing Loss: An Almost-Missed Diagnosis

June 5, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, Brandie, hearing aids, hearing loss, undiagnosed SN, waiting for referral 4 Comments

In late August 2014, I loaded up my three children and drove an hour to hand deliver our completed dossier to my adoption agency. After the months of meetings, paper chasing, notarizing, and certifying documents, I would only let those precious papers leave the firm grip of my fingers if they were placed directly in …Read More

Not-A-Baby-Anymore, But Still My Baby

June 3, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, adopting as first time parents, Attachment, attachment activities, co-sleeping, cocooning, Faith, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting 4 Comments

We still co-sleep. That’s right. My 3.5 year old, not-a-baby-anymore, rapidly growing in every way, sweetest little boy still sleeps smack dab in the middle of our California King sized bed. (My husband is 6’5”, so that pretty much predetermined the bed size for us, but, yes I do recommend a big bed if you …Read More

Thankful We Didn’t Know

May 23, 2017 adopting again, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, heart defect, May 2017 Feature - Vascular, Takayasu’s arteritis‎, undiagnosed SN, Vascular System, Von Willebrand 1 Comments

Almost four years ago, my husband finally said yes. Again. We had talked, I had prayed. I’d promised not to nag, prayed some more, and waited for that yes. When he agreed to begin our second adoption, he had limits. He had the idea to draw some lines in the sand of what special needs …Read More

For Life: He Makes Things Beautiful

May 14, 2017 adopting again, large families, Lifelong needs, May 2017 Feature - For Life, medical needs checklist, older child adoption 2 Comments

Adopting a child with special needs can be scary. And even scarier when that child has needs that just might require a lifetime of parental care. This month we are hearing from those whose parenting journey has diverged from what most would think typical. They’re parenting children who require more than what many would believe …Read More

Weathering Medical Surprises

May 9, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, Brandie, hearing aids, hearing loss, heart defect, oral aversion, Sensory Processing Issues, speech delay, undiagnosed SN, VSD 2 Comments

At the first sign of a chilly night in the fall, my husband and daughter take tarps to their little garden to cover her cherished tomato plants, hoping to buy them a little more time before the cold winter claims them. Around the same time, my husband and son begin the preparation for winter. They …Read More

Twice as Lucky: Adopting a Child with Bilateral Limb Differences

April 29, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, limb difference, Mandy, Orthopedic, symbrachydactyly 1 Comments

“How does your son do it?” I am frequently asked this question by loving, curious, and experienced friends in the special needs adoption community who want to know how our son navigates the world with bilateral upper limb differences. Having already adopted one child with unilateral limb differences, we also wondered how our son would …Read More

A Beginner’s Guide to Special Needs Adoption: Post Eight

April 6, 2017 A Beginner's Guide to Special Needs Adoption, adopting again, dossier, Faith, homestudy, paperchase, pre-adoption, Theraplay, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 0 Comments

Becoming a parent, no matter how it happens, is never easy. But for those just looking into the possibility of adoption it can seem positively overwhelming. It is our hope to change all that. This 8-post series will go step-by-step through the process to adopt through the special needs program for those of you who …Read More

Seeing Him in the Daily: A Transforming Perspective for the Hard Days

March 18, 2017 adopting again, Andrea Y., large families, other ways to care for the orphan, should we adopt? 2 Comments

Today. Today feels like one of those “the days are long but the years are fast” kinda days — busy, demanding, a mile long to-do-list sort of seasons of motherhood. Have you been there? Maybe you are like me and feel like you live there! It’s in these impossible laundry-piled days that’s it’s easy to …Read More

Seriously Blessed

March 4, 2017 adopting again, adopting later in life, adopting out of birth order, adopting two at once, complex heart defect, complex medical, large families, medical needs checklist, November 2016 Feature - Then and Now, older child adoption, should we adopt? 9 Comments

In 2011, our family looked like this. We were considered a large family by our friends and family. Dan and I had been married for 27 years at this point. We had been through a great deal during those 27 years. Our twin boys were born prematurely, three months before their due date. Our son …Read More

Meant for This: Parenting Children with Complex Heart Defects

February 20, 2017 adopting again, adopting as first time parents, ASD, February 2017 Feature - Heart, Heart System, infertility, surgery, TGA, toddler adoption, VSD 0 Comments

I want to start by saying that our miracle children astound me. We love them personally and uniquely. Their birthparents are revered in our home; we thank God they had the courage, strength, and compassion to have them and keep them safe. I married my college sweetheart. Kyle is way more incredible than me; I …Read More

Joy! Faith! Hope!

February 11, 2017 adopting again, atrioventricular canal defect, complex heart defect, double outlet right ventricle, February 2017 Feature - Heart, heart defect, Heart System, pulmonary atresia, Tetralogy of Fallot 1 Comments

These three little words. God planted a seed of love in our hearts, and this is the fruit that grew through the adoption of three little girls. Our story began in 2011 when our biological children were 14, 12, and 10. Our heavenly Father was teaching my husband, David, and I and our family so …Read More

Reluctant Husband Syndrome

January 31, 2017 adopting again, January 2017 Feature - Reluctant Spouses, large families, reluctant husband 7 Comments

Choosing to grow your family is a monumental, life-altering decision. And choosing to grow your family through special-needs adoption? Even more so. Which makes this decision an understandably difficult one to make – one that is typically easier (or harder) for one spouse than the other. This month we’re focusing on Reluctant Spouses. Or, when …Read More

How to Know When It’s Time to Adopt

January 30, 2017 a father's perspective, adopting again, Dads, January 2017 Feature - Reluctant Spouses, Perspectives, pre-adoption, Randall, reluctant husband, should we adopt? 3 Comments

January last year, my wife sat across the couch from me as we do most every night. She has a way of asking a question that doesn’t leave you alone, even after you’ve answered it. The lights in the living room were dim and an episode of The Office was playing in the background. I was …Read More

Reluctant Spouses: Waiting on God’s Story to be Written

January 29, 2017 adopting again, adopting later in life, January 2017 Feature - Reluctant Spouses, large families, reluctant husband, Sharon, should we adopt? 0 Comments

Choosing to grow your family is a monumental, life-altering decision. And choosing to grow your family through special-needs adoption? Even more so. Which makes this decision an understandably difficult one to make – one that is typically easier (or harder) for one spouse than the other. This month we’re focusing on Reluctant Spouses. Or, when …Read More

Reluctant Spouses: Of One Mind….

January 15, 2017 adopting again, adopting out of birth order, aging out expedite, January 2017 Feature - Reluctant Spouses, older child adoption, pre-adoption, reluctant husband, should we adopt? 0 Comments

Choosing to grow your family is a monumental, life-altering decision. And choosing to grow your family through special-needs adoption? Even more so. Which makes this decision an understandably difficult one to make – one that is typically easier (or harder) for one spouse than the other. This month we’re focusing on Reluctant Spouses. Or, when …Read More

In the Meantime

January 13, 2017 adopting again, Courtney, either gender, referral, waiting for referral 8 Comments

Right now I am in a place I like to call the sweet spot. The paper chase is finished. There are no more adoption documents to sign or forms to fill out or fingerprints appointments to attend. All of our paperwork is submitted and everything on our end is done and out of our hands. …Read More

Reluctant Spouses: Am I Ready To Be Ready Too?

January 9, 2017 a father's perspective, adopting again, January 2017 Feature - Reluctant Spouses, reluctant husband 6 Comments

Choosing to grow your family is a monumental, life-altering decision. And choosing to grow your family through special-needs adoption? Even more so. Which makes this decision an understandably difficult one to make – one that is often easier (or harder) for one spouse to come to than the other. This month we’re focusing on Reluctant …Read More

The Wonderful Blessing of Boys

January 5, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, December 2016 Feature - Adopting a Boy, Kelley B. 8 Comments

When we started our China adoption journey, I was certain we would be bringing home one tiny baby girl. Sometimes God has bigger, different, and even better things in store for us. Our journey to our two boys has proven to be one of the best things to happen to our family About four years …Read More

Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

January 1, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, adopting out of birth order, December 2016 Feature - Adopting a Boy, either gender, medical needs checklist, older child adoption, referral, waiting for referral 3 Comments

I sat down one afternoon after our decision to adopt and filled out the application and MCC. The MCC is a Medical Conditions Checklist where you check boxes of special needs that you and your family are comfortable with. There are also boxes to fill out for age preference that range (from 0-13 years old) …Read More

Reluctant No More

December 27, 2016 adopting a boy, adopting again, Andrea O., December 2016 Feature - Adopting a Boy, either gender, medical needs checklist, referral, waiting for referral 1 Comments

Back in early 2005 when we first decided to adopt, we researched the different avenues of adoption and for many reasons we chose China. If I’m completely honest with myself, one of the reasons is that we were practically assured to be matched with the type of child we had already decided that we wanted: a …Read More

Blessed by Boys

December 12, 2016 adopting a boy, adopting again, Brandie, December 2016 Feature - Adopting a Boy, dossier reuse, Family Stories, referral, should we adopt?, virtual twins, waiting for referral 1 Comments

I completed my first adoption in the fall of 1983. Cradling my new baby, I raised my right hand as I stood in front of my mother pledging, “I promise to love my Cabbage Patch Kid with all my heart. I promise to be a good and kind parent. I will always remember how special …Read More

Then and Now: Abby and Evie

November 23, 2016 adopting again, adopting out of birth order, Family Stories, food issues, Heart System, homeschool, November 2016 Feature - Then and Now, older child adoption, orphanage behaviors, port wine stain, spina bifida, VSD 0 Comments

November is Adoption Awareness Month. And our focus is Then and Now… glimpses into the lives of children – children who were once orphaned – who are now beloved family members. Daughters, sons, sisters and brothers who are now blossoming in the love of a forever family… ……….. We have been blessed with two beautiful …Read More

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