For Kids, By Kids

August 28, 2019 adoption community, Beyond Adoption, other ways to care for the orphan 0 Comments

“Mom, can we please do a lemonade stand today?” begged the kids. They had been wanting to do one for a long time, so I reluctantly agreed to do a stand that hot day in May 2015. We got a poster board, some lemonade, a table, and headed down to a park in our neighborhood. …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

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

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

20 Simple and Fun Ways to Support Newly Home Adoptive Families

January 21, 2019 adoption community, first year home, local adoption support, local church, Newly Home, Rebecca 0 Comments

Do you have friends who are a newly adoptive family and want to show them some love? (If they are still in the paperwork process, start here.) Every family is unique, but one thing is certain: they needed you while they were in process and they need you now. Their knees are wobbly because the …Read More

The Greatest Gift

November 26, 2018 adoption community, Beyond Adoption, Megan V., National Adoption Month, orphan ministry, other ways to care for the orphan 2 Comments

This November we are highlighting the work of NGOs in China doing work on behalf of orphans. I have absolutely no first hand knowledge of any. How can this be? Meredith Toering is one my favorite Instagrammers, but I don’t know her or the precious work she’s doing for kiddos with heart issues beyond that. …Read More

A Violet Covering

October 9, 2018 adoption community, adoption realities, Developmental System, Down syndrome, October 2018 Feature - Developmental, trauma 0 Comments

Everyone wears a hat in life. No matter your age, race, socioeconomic status, or place you live. Some people wear their hat with pride, some wish their hat was invisible, and some of us wear hat that seems more like a sombrero and everyone can see it. There are times we have the opportunity to …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

MaeBeSew: Every Stitch Has Meaning

September 1, 2018 adoption community, fundraising for adoption, other ways to care for the orphan, Stefanie 0 Comments

The adoption community is an amazing thing. And at NHBO, we love it when we get an opportunity to spotlight someone in the community doing something especially amazing. I recently got the chance to interview someone who is not only part of the adoption community but who is also using her gifts and talents to …Read More

10 Ways to Support a Family That Has Decided to Adopt
 (In-Process Families)

May 23, 2018 adoption community, local adoption support, other ways to care for the orphan, Rebecca 0 Comments

1. Prayer. It is our most powerful weapon, so let’s use it. Regularly ask, “How can I pray for you today?” Snap a photo of the family’s name on your prayer list. Remember to let them know, “Our family prayed for you last night.” Have kids make cards promising to pray. Best, invite the family …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

Love Over Obedience: Part 2 {Stories from Six Friends in the Trenches}

May 7, 2018 adoption community, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, cocooning, discipline, rages, Sharon 0 Comments

Bonding is some of the most important work we will ever do with our children. Healthy bonds build the ability to create other relationships, learn to express emotions, and face difficult challenges. Sometimes when a child is pitching a fit for no apparent reason, the temptation is to focus on the fit instead of the …Read More

Three Shifts Any Church Can Make Right Now To Prioritize Adoption

April 25, 2018 a father's perspective, adoption community, Dads, other ways to care for the orphan, Randall 0 Comments

I know many of us are part of great churches. In an ideal world, you probably feel supported and loved all the way through the process and post-placement. If you find yourself in one of these churches, your pastor has probably talked from stage on a regular basis about the value of adoption. They know …Read More

Saying Yes to Giving Grace

April 5, 2018 adoption community, April 2018 Feature - Giving Grace, cocooning, first year home, local adoption support, local church, Newly Home, supporting adoptive families, Whitney 8 Comments

I knew when we stepped into life as a family who had experienced the gift of adoption relationships with other people would be different. I knew that some people understood the “why” behind our choice and some people didn’t. I knew that some people would understand the difficulties associated with living life with our child …Read More

Guo Nian: Passing a Year

February 16, 2018 adoption community, Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Chinese Language, Chinese New Year, February 2018 Feature - Honoring China in the Everyday 0 Comments

“Nian (Year) was a ferocious beast who would come out once every twelve moons, cause destruction and kill everything that crossed its path. However, Nian was afraid of the color red. So people put red strips of paper around their door frames so the destructive beast would pass over their house when it saw red …Read More

Glory Strength: A Gift For the Long Haul of Adoption

January 17, 2018 adoption community, adoption realities, Rebecca 2 Comments

You stepped up boldly in faith to adopt, so I am going to venture to say that you are strong. Probably brave too, though you might not feel it. You most likely hold it all together for a whole band of people. But, I also know that adoption is a long haul. A journey that …Read More

A Few of Our Favorites

January 1, 2018 adoption community, books, Contributor Q and A, Stefanie 0 Comments

Happy 2018! It’s a brand new year, bubbling over with possibilities and, most likely, a smidge of regret and hope to make a few changes. Maybe some of those hopes include reading more. Or getting connected with other adoptive families locally or online. We’ve put together a few of our favorite (adoption-related) things: books, websites, …Read More

Something Special this Christmas

November 29, 2017 adoption community, fundraisers, other ways to care for the orphan 0 Comments

I always dreamed of starting a ministry in our son Daniel’s memory after he left us for Heaven in 2010, but making that dream come true was another story. Even through the years of being enveloped in adoption processes, raising our kids, financial woes, and living in a constant state of transition, I always carried …Read More

Shining Light on the Dark Parts of Our Story

November 25, 2017 adoption community, adoption realities, disruption, November 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption, trauma 2 Comments

Disruption. It is a word that sends a chill down my spine. It’s also one with which I am all too familiar. When I heard the November focus was “Preparing for Adoption” I knew I needed to share my family’s story. I knew… and yet I hesitated because, although I don’t hide our story and …Read More

Looking Back: We Could Have Missed This

November 23, 2017 adoption community, Kelley B. 0 Comments

Last year I complied a post of a little “look” into what we as adoptive parents feel we could have “missed” had we not taken the leap into adoption. We started the hashtag #wecouldhavemissedthis on Instagram and it took off! I urge you to scroll through the pictures and captions in the post below from …Read More


November 19, 2017 adoption community, adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, first year home, Megan V., Newly Home, rages, trauma 6 Comments

We are not the poster children for adoption. Our process was so different from many of the moms I followed on facebook that I shut by computer one day and walked away from it, determined to not check in again until things were going better. That resolve lasted approximately 4 days and then I was …Read More

How To Trust When God Changes Course

October 10, 2017 a father's perspective, adoption community, Randall 3 Comments

I wish I could tell you it was easy… what you’re about to do… I want to. I want to sell you. Because it sounds like such an easy thing to sell. But I can’t do it. I can’t. I want to but I can’t. Because what you’re about to do is one of the …Read More

White Momma, Asian Kids: Reflections on Race

September 20, 2017 adoption community, books, Chinese Culture, Rebecca 4 Comments

I pulled at the corners of my eyes, slanting them until all I could see was light and distorted faces. Then, I strung together a long chain of “Chinese-Japanese” words, “Ching, ching, chong, chang, chong.” It got me some laughs. Other kids did it too, so I guessed it was no big thing. I was …Read More

Taking Care of You…

September 19, 2017 adoption community, Andrea Y., Newly Home 2 Comments

One of my favorite things to do each month is to write for No Hands But Ours. I love to write. I love to share. I actually love to sit over coffee with friends and talk — but I find myself in this current season with six children ranging from toddler to teen with little …Read More

Help Bring Audrey Home

September 18, 2017 adoption community, fundraisers, other ways to care for the orphan 0 Comments

We saw this fundraiser on Facebook and were so intrigued by it we just had to share. Yih-Pai has shared on NHBO before (here and here) and we were so touched by her desire to help this sweet girl come home. Please consider getting (or gifting!) one of these beautiful pieces of art and you’ll …Read More

How To Regain Margin for Your Marriage

August 27, 2017 a father's perspective, adoption community, books, Dads, marriage, Randall 1 Comments

Randall and Kelley Nichols live in Coastal Virginia with their five kids. They’ve been in ministry for over twenty years serving couples and families. Recently they celebrated the release of their first book, Prayers of a Village, a 30-day devotional for adoptive parents. Learn more here. ….. Look… There are countless marriage resources out there. …Read More

Drawing a Wider Circle

July 31, 2017 adoption community, books, Carrie 8 Comments

I met Heba in a park a few months after we brought our youngest daughter home from China. I didn’t notice her playing with her young daughters, even though under normal circumstances I probably would have. I’ve always been drawn to people from other cultures and backgrounds, and her musical Arabic would have captured my …Read More

In Grief and Joy: Why We Need Each Other

July 14, 2017 adoption community, adoption realities, Attachment, Kelley B., parent-to-child attachment, trauma, Uncategorized 8 Comments

“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued – when they can give and receive without judgment.” – Brene’ Brown …… Long after the helium in the balloons from the airport homecoming is gone; long after the meal train has dried up, the cocooning has subsided, and …Read More

What I Wish I’d Known About the Special Needs Adoption Community

July 2, 2017 adoption community, Dads, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, should we adopt? 0 Comments

My wife and I sat there staring at the computer screen. We had filled out an application to adopt a two-year old orphan with arthrogryposis from China. All that was left was to click the “send” button. That’s it. Just click that button. Our hesitation wasn’t because pressing a button was a hard thing to …Read More

Finding Your Tribe

May 11, 2017 adoption community, local adoption support, Stefanie 2 Comments

Community is important. And for someone walking the often bumpy and occasionally tumultuous road of adoption, it’s essential. Our goal at No Hands But Ours has always been to encourage a sense of community for our adoptive families online; we also want to do all we can to encourage community in person. Face to face. …Read More

Stay the course. Help is on the way.

April 27, 2017 a father's perspective, adoption community, orphan ministry, Randall 2 Comments

In an article posted by on it’s noted that 90% of people with special needs do not attend church. A study concluded in 2014 shows that 1 in 6 people in the US have a diagnosed special need. That means for my small city of 160,000 people there are roughly 26,000 with a diagnosed …Read More

Advocacy: The Profound Ripple Effect

April 20, 2017 a father's perspective, adopting a boy, adoption community, Advocacy, Beyond Adoption, other ways to care for the orphan 1 Comments

“Why are we here?” It is a question many people ask themselves through their life journey. Answers come in many forms through prayer, hope, and helping others.   But now imagine yourself as a person who was abandoned by his or her biological parents. How can you, and that child, find solace? You are reading …Read More

An Awkward Email

March 13, 2017 adoption community, Courtney, Newly Home 1 Comments

About two and a half years ago, I sent out a really awkward e-mail to a few moms. It went a little something like this: “Hey! You don’t know me but I just got back from China with my daughter and I heard from a friend of a friend of a friend that you recently …Read More

T-shirts. Because you can never have too many.

March 3, 2017 adoption community, Beyond Adoption, fundraisers, Kelley B., other ways to care for the orphan 0 Comments

Adoption t-shirts are one of the most fun ways to support adopting families. I have lost count how many adoption t-shirts we have purchased over the years. You never can have too many right? And what a great way to support families in process of making a once-orphaned child a beloved son or daughter. Here …Read More

How Adoption Changed our Christmas Card List

December 8, 2016 adoption community, first year home, Newly Home 2 Comments

Make fun of me all you want, but I addressed the last of my Christmas cards and sent them out the day after Thanksgiving. We missed sending them out last year in the midst of the last minute paper push. We had LID December 1, and were in the midst of sorting through files and …Read More

How to Find Your Tribe

August 25, 2016 a father's perspective, adoption community, Dads, Developmental System, Down syndrome, first weeks home, first year home, Newly Home, Perspectives, Randall 0 Comments

“Your people are my people, your God my God. Not even death itself is going to come between us.” Ruth 1:16-17 When we started the adoption process, we were not even considering Down syndrome. It was too scary. In fact, the irony of it, is we decided our cut-off for having bio kids was age …Read More

I See Love By Choice

June 25, 2016 adoption community, Rebecca 7 Comments

Sometimes I can’t bear CNN. I can’t stomach Facebook. My heart can’t hold another story of gut-wrenching loss, more video of violence, another photo of a child swollen from hunger, yet more stories of families fleeing from hate in their homelands. I can’t read another word about ugly politics or strands of hateful, intolerant status …Read More

Many in My Tribe, But Just One Chief

October 15, 2015 adopting as a single mom, adoption community, October 2015 Feature - It Takes a Village, supporting adoptive families, working mom 2 Comments

In his sermon a few weeks ago, my pastor preached from 1 Peter 4. He spoke in part about using our gifts to serve others, “Each one of us should use the gifts they have been given so that they can see and serve Him.” What, you may ask, does this have to do with …Read More

Not Okay

October 11, 2015 adoption community, adoption realities, Amy 1 Comments

I think a good lot of us have a little habit of telling un-truths. Specifically, when asked a common question such as, “how are you?”, we respond with “I’m ok” or “I’m good” or “I’m fine” – when in fact, we are not. Sometimes we are not ok. It might be a day, a week, …Read More

It Takes a Village: Showering the Adoptive Mom

October 2, 2015 adoption community, Nicole, October 2015 Feature - It Takes a Village, supporting adoptive families 0 Comments

Last year, when I was asked to help plan a sprinkle shower for my sweet friend, I was happy for the chance to celebrate another special child coming home from China! I didn’t take many pictures at the event unfortunately, but we had a great time celebrating with my dear mama friend. I pulled out …Read More

Coming Home: A Letter to Friends and Family

September 21, 2015 adoption community, Andrea Y., Attachment, cocooning, first weeks home, first year home, September 2015 Feature - Coming Home 1 Comments

To help our friends and family understand attachment and our transition, we sent this letter to friends and family just before traveling. Please feel free to personalize if for your family if you are preparing to bring home a little one too… …… Dear Family and Friends, After so much preparing, hoping and waiting – …Read More

Kingdom to the Chaos

March 9, 2015 adoption community, Amy A., orphan ministry 2 Comments

Exactly one year ago, I had the privilege of hearing Beth Guckenberger speak at Created For Care. While many things she shared became engraved in my heart, one of my favorites was her illustration of bringing the Kingdom to the Chaos. When God created the world, everything was good and in perfect peace. Then, Adam …Read More

A Letter to My Daughter

February 5, 2015 adoption community, adoption realities, Attachment, Carrie 0 Comments

Darling Girl, I walked into your room the other night, well after you had gone to sleep. I could hear your quiet breathing and the whole room smelled like you. There’s something about the way my babies smell that makes me feel peaceful and comforted and deeply at home, and when it dawned on me …Read More

connections and community

January 9, 2015 adoption community, Amy A. 0 Comments

Hello everyone! I feel so excited and honored to serve as a monthly contributor for No Hands But Ours. The NHBO team permeates passion while advocating and providing information, all for the sake of the least of these. I can’t imagine any place I would rather be than working alongside these men and women. Please …Read More

Caring Creatively

November 21, 2014 adoption community, Advocacy, Desiree, orphan ministry, orphan prevention 0 Comments

November is National Adoption Month. Pretty cool, huh? You would think that this is primarily a “Christian holiday” but I’ve been thrilled to see the secular media highlighting adoption & foster care and even adoption ministries throughout the month. (See Huffington Post article HERE.) But adoption is just one, albeit amazing, facet of God’s call to …Read More

Fish Out of Water {adoption mommas – we need each other}

November 10, 2014 adoption community, Andrea Y., guest post 3 Comments

Six years ago this week — my third child was born. We were done — we thought. Outnumbered. Three made sense to us and to the world around us. I would have never guessed in that hospital room that just 4 months later we would be filling out mounds and mounds of paperwork to grow …Read More

Getting Connected

May 17, 2012 adoption community, Kelley, older child adoption, paperchase, referral, waiting to travel 1 Comments

I honestly believe that one of the most difficult parts of the adoption journey is that waiting period between being matched with your child and receiving approval to travel and meet your son or daughter face to face. Weeks seem like months as you check off the number of days passed for each step of …Read More

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