Elsie Larson on the Paperchase, Special Needs and Adoption

November 30, 2017 adopting as first time parents, albinism, medical needs checklist, paperchase, Stefanie, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 0 Comments

I found Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess on Instagram (@elsielarson) on #worldadoptionday and subsequently spent an inordinate amount of time reading about all the cool stuff she does… including growing their family through adoption. When, a week or so later, I listened to her podcast (in which she shares her thoughts on special needs …Read More

One Year Home: A First-Time Mom’s Thoughts on “Gotcha Day”

July 27, 2017 adopting as first time parents, China trip, cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, first year home, Gotcha Day, infertility, July 2017 Feature - Craniofacial, Newly Home, referral, toddler adoption, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 3 Comments

We’re finally here, we’re already here. The road to this day, the first anniversary of Willa’s “Gotcha Day,” has been slow, and yet in other ways, I feel like I blinked, and here we are. I’m not exactly sure what meeting your adopted child feels like for many moms, the ones with a gaggle of …Read More

Please Don’t Poke the Bear

July 23, 2017 adopting as first time parents, BAHA, Craniofacial, declining a referral, Family Stories, hearing loss, hemifacial microsomia, July 2017 Feature - Craniofacial, medical needs checklist, microtia, referral, speech therapy, waiting for referral 1 Comments

I call my daughter baby bear. For my first Mother’s Day, my husband presented us with matching mama bear/baby bear bracelets. SJ saw them and exclaimed: “SJ. Mama. Same!” Though I’ve never considered myself a shrinking violet by any means, this process, this crazy-beautiful, seemingly impossible way of becoming parents, has seemed to draw out …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

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

The Real Worst Case Scenario

April 9, 2017 adopting as a single mom, adopting as first time parents, April 2017 Feature - CNS, Central Nervous System, Chiari 2 malformation, Family Stories, hydrocephalus, medical needs checklist, mobility issues, neurogenic bowel and bladder, spina bifida, waiting for referral, wheelchair user 1 Comments

When I began the adoption process, in the fall of 2013, I filled out my agency’s medical conditions checklist, or MCC. I was only open to a girl up to age 18 months, but being a special education teacher, I was familiar with and open to a wide variety of medical needs. At the time, …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

After the Honeymoon: Adopting a Child with Complex CHD

February 14, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting as first time parents, complex heart defect, Family Stories, February 2017 Feature - Heart, first year home, Heart System, heterotaxy, medical needs checklist, Morning Star Foster Home, pulmonary atresia, should we adopt?, surgery, waiting for referral 0 Comments

Prologue: In our son’s room, we have a picture that reads: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) We chose this verse for him, but in reality it applies more to us. My husband, Derek, and …Read More

My Plan vs. His Plan

January 11, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting as a single mom, adopting as first time parents, December 2016 Feature - Adopting a Boy, either gender, working mom 0 Comments

You know how you make plans for your life and then God has something completely different in mind (and probably laughs at you for thinking your plan would measure up)? That was me. In fact, I had my whole life figured out. I was going to go to college, fall in love, get married, and …Read More

No More Fear in Saying Yes

December 17, 2016 2016 Featured Fundraising Families, adopting as first time parents, fundraisers, other ways to care for the orphan, pre-adoption, reluctant husband, should we adopt? 0 Comments

There are some conversations you have, and you know you’ll remember them long after they’re gone. Something about them seems like deja vu or like they’re happening in slow motion, and you can just feel the permanency in that moment. I had one of those conversations with a dear friend last spring, telling her I …Read More

Single, 30 and About to be Mom to a 3 Year Old Boy

December 9, 2016 adopting a boy, adopting as a single mom, adopting as first time parents, Adopting Scenarios, December 2016 Feature - Adopting a Boy 1 Comments

In October 2015, I was beginning to think about pursuing adoption through foster care or international adoption. I was single, and I wasn’t completely sure it was the right time, but I had a full time job, a house, a car, and it seemed like I would be ready “soon”. I started poking around for …Read More

When Mom Works and Dad Stays Home

October 26, 2016 adopting a boy, adopting as first time parents, October 2016 Feature - Working Moms, stay-at-home dad, working mom 8 Comments

Navigating work and being a mom is tough under the best of circumstances, but it can feel even more daunting when you toss in the complex issues that accompany parenting your newly adopted child. So this month on No Hands But Ours, some been-there-done-that working mamas are here to help, with advice on everything from …Read More

When God Honors Our “Yes”: Our Sign Language Journey, Part One

August 10, 2016 adopting as first time parents, ASL, Attachment, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, cl/cp, cochlear implants, Craniofacial, developmental delays, Family Stories, hearing loss, older child adoption, profound deafness, Sensory System, sign language 6 Comments

In May 2009, I first saw her face. She couldn’t possibly be our daughter; she didn’t “fit” any of the criteria we’d committed to on our Medical Needs Checklist and there was no way my husband would agree to adopting her. True, we’d agreed that caring for a child with cleft lip/palate was something we …Read More

Learning Curve: Adopting a Child with Hemophilia

March 12, 2016 adopting as first time parents, Blood Conditions, Faith, Family Stories, hemophilia, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, referral, waiting to travel, working mom 6 Comments

After a twenty-minute speech about what our daily routine would entail, followed by a list of possible complications, the Hematologist looked at me pointedly… “You know, it will be a steep learning curve for you all, but you will settle into a routine, and more quickly than you think. You’ll see. He’s just a boy.” …Read More

And Babies Make Four: Adopting Two Sons with PKU

March 1, 2016 adopting as first time parents, adopting two at once, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, March 2016 Feature - Blood Conditions, PKU, virtual twins 4 Comments

At birth, I was diagnosed with PKU (Phenylketonuria). Most people do not know about this metabolic disorder, but all newborns in the US are tested at birth and if diagnosed, a special low-protein diet begins and should be maintained throughout life. With proper treatment, the child will escape the threat of untreated PKU which includes: …Read More

Two. Together.

July 17, 2015 adopting as first time parents, adopting two at once, cl/cp, Family Stories, heart defect, Tetralogy of Fallot, virtual twinning 0 Comments

Two together. Twinning. First time parents. In the beginning, these were not words or phrases that I would have put together in any combination in regards to adoption and expect success. And yet, my husband and I did them all. (And you’re reading this on an adoption advocacy site, so you know know I am …Read More

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