The Power of Touch

August 7, 2019 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Kelly, parent-to-child attachment 0 Comments

Touch is a powerful thing. It can hurt tragically, and it can heal supernaturally. It makes neurons fire in our brain like the fourth of July. Touch is a remarkable God-given tool to build relationship and connection from the neighborly casual to the most intimate. And, it’s something our children who have had hard starts often have …Read More

Six Guiding Principles for Celebrating this Season

October 30, 2018 Attachment, attachment challenges, holidays, October 2018 Feature - Trauma and the Holidays, Trust Based Parenting, vacation 0 Comments

Holidays can be beautiful times of family togetherness, traditions, and celebrations – but they can also be times of disrupted routines, sensory overload, and expectations that don’t quite line up with reality. As parents, we need to prepare ourselves to walk our children through these times – and the first step in doing so is …Read More

Trauma and the Holidays: The Opposite of Indiscriminate Affection

October 27, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, cocooning, October 2018 Feature - Trauma and the Holidays 3 Comments

We met our daughter in a hotel room in July 2017. She was 20 months old. She clung to the orphanage ayi as she said hello to her new Mama and Baba in the meekest voice we’d ever heard. She waved and smiled and appeared happy to see us but, when her ayi tried to …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

Trauma and the Holidays: Tips for Navigating the Holidays Well

October 15, 2018 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, cocooning, first year home, holidays, Newly Home, October 2018 Feature - Trauma and the Holidays, parent-to-child attachment, Realities, trauma 1 Comments

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, right? But with a child who has experienced trauma, the holidays can be everything except wonderful. This month we are focusing on the impact of trauma and how it can be exacerbated by the chaos and busyness of the holiday season. It is our hope …Read More

A Heart to Heart: Explaining Attachment to a Teenager

September 25, 2018 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Kelly, orphanage realities, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting 5 Comments

A similar post about explaining attachment to a younger child can be found here. Parents talk about a lot of things with other parents. You know that already. Some kids might feel a little annoyed at all the talking. That makes sense to me. If kids think their parents are talking all about them and …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

Attachment Through the Years: Just an “Ordinary” Family

September 3, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, baby-wearing, bottle feeding, cocooning 1 Comments

It’s been four and a half years since we first met our son in China. Sometimes that feels like a split-second ago. I freshly recall the nervous, excited electricity passing between four interlocked sets of hands. Silently waiting, reminding ourselves to breathe as we filed into an unremarkable government building amid a foreign grid of …Read More

When Attachment Is Not What You Expected

August 30, 2018 Andrea Y., Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, July 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, parent-to-child attachment 5 Comments

Send. I remember exhaling after I completed his five year home post-placement report and sent it to our adoption agency. Five years — and the last of seven post adoption reports – was done. Barely in time… because you know how life gets. You get the reminder it is due and suddenly you find yourself …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: 7 Years Home

August 29, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Contributor Q and A, July 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, Nicole, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting 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

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

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

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

August 19, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, Megan V., parent-to-child attachment 0 Comments

I thought bonding would be so natural. When I became a mom, they laid that freshly born boy in my arms and it was magic. The love had been growing for nine months. As sinews and tendons were knitted together to become our son, my heart was expanding to make room for the love that …Read More

A Grand Canyon Kind Of Beauty

August 11, 2018 attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, first year home, indiscriminate affection, Newly Home, Whitney 0 Comments

My family road-tripped last summer and one of the places we stopped off at was the Grand Canyon. Visiting this place has been on my bucket list for basically my whole life, and to finally see it in person was stunning. Words fail to describe the depth, the colors, the beauty or the sheer big-ness …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: What I Wish I Had Known

August 5, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, first year home, Newly Home, parent-to-child attachment 6 Comments

No one said this would be easy… and it isn’t. For our family, attachment has happened, is happening and will continue to happen. The Lord is showing us how to love without expectation, regardless of feelings and it is not easy. It is blessed but it is not easy. However, in the fluidity of attachment, …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

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

Dear Daughter: Explaining Attachment to My Child

July 9, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Kelly, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting 7 Comments

Parents talk about a lot of things with other parents. You know that already. Talking while we drink coffee together, talking over the phone, commenting on each other’s blog posts, commenting back and forth with friends on Facebook —believe it or not, all of that can help us help each other learn how to be …Read More

Our Boy Forever

June 19, 2018 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, Megan V., older child adoption, rages, trauma 1 Comments

The end of the school year can do crazy things to us. Make us do and say things we cringe about later, our brains and hearts a haze of goodbyes and remembering to bring sprinkles to the Kindergarten Memory Day. And then there are the days afterward, in which no one is getting enough sleep …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

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

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

When the Days are Long… And We Forget What He Has Done

March 6, 2018 Andrea Y., Attachment, attachment challenges, TBRI-based therapy, Trust Based Parenting 2 Comments

There is nothing more exciting than those first years of just about anything. First years dating… first years of marriage… and your first years of parenthood. As I think back to some of the first years of the sweetest times in my life when things were “new” — I get nostalgic and I almost always …Read More

Post-Adoption Depression: Finding My Way Back

January 25, 2018 attachment challenges, first weeks home, first year home, January 2018 Feature - The Uninvited Guest: Post-Adoption Depression, Newly Home, orphanage behaviors, parent-to-child attachment, post-adoption depression, rejects mom 0 Comments

When I think of depression, I think of sadness, tears, poor appetite, and withdrawing from friends and loved ones. But what I went through was profoundly different. So much so that my family and closest friends didn’t recognize it. And, as the one going through it, I didn’t want to admit it — to myself, …Read More

Nothing Wasted: Life After Post-Adoption Depression

January 15, 2018 adopting two at once, Attachment, attachment challenges, January 2018 Feature - The Uninvited Guest: Post-Adoption Depression, Newly Home, post-adoption depression, rejects mom 1 Comments

The story I’m about to share is my battle with depression and anxiety that intensified after our first two adopted children came into our lives. I could share so many funny and sweet tales of our family and our precious kiddos, and I hope to have the opportunity to do so in the future. I …Read More

Preparing for Adoption: Therapist Q and A Part Two

December 19, 2017 Attachment, attachment challenges, Childcare scenarios, China trip, cocooning, daycare, disruption, Gotcha Day, October 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption from the Experts, parent-to-child attachment, working mom 0 Comments

You’ve dreamt for this day for months, years even. You’ve planned for it, are going to travel halfway around the world for it, and have played it out in your mind a million times. And yet, the reality of becoming a family through adoption is undoubtedly different. As we have focused on Preparing for Adoption, …Read More

The Building of a Sisterhood

December 11, 2017 attachment challenges, cocooning, December 2017 Feature - Making Room for a Sibling, indiscriminate affection, siblings 0 Comments

These sisters. One, tall and willowy with long, curly, golden hair. The other petite and athletic, with a glossy, black bob. People often ask me if they are real sisters, and of course, I say yes. Our older daughter, Tab, was well established as the princess of the family when we brought our younger daughter, …Read More

De-stressing Out Over Christmas

December 5, 2017 Attachment, attachment challenges, holidays, hypervigilance, siblings, Whitney 0 Comments

The first Christmas we had our daughter home with us, we went into the season with high anticipation of the joy she would experience. Family time, cookie decorating, church, gifts, hot chocolate… just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Christmas season fun. Just kidding! It was terrible. Stressful. High anxiety. Lots of …Read More

Truth

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

Fighting to Slow Down

October 21, 2017 attachment challenges, developmental delays, Developmental System, discipline, early intervention, Education, Family Stories, feeding/swallowing therapy, IEP, October 2017 Feature - Developmental, oral-motor delays, refusing food, seizures, Sensory Processing Issues, sign language, speech delay, speech therapy 2 Comments

“Wow, you’re really quick!” It was one of the first thoughts I had about my daughter. We were standing in the provincial civil affairs office. The nanny from the orphanage had just placed her in my arms. I tried to hold her facing me and she spun around to face outward with a speed I’d …Read More

When All That’s Left is Relationship: Attachment with Adult Children

September 3, 2017 adult adoptee, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, older child adoption, parent-to-child attachment 2 Comments

When my dear friend Andrea recommended that I write this article for No Hands But Ours, I was intimidated. I still am. As a mom of eight young adult daughters (ages 21 – 25), seven that joined our family through the gift of adoption — five after the age of 18 — I still feel …Read More

Attachment Q & A: Eye Contact and Attachment

August 31, 2017 attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2017 Feature - Attachment Q & A, congenital blindness, Katie, Sensory System, vision issues, vision loss 3 Comments

Attachment. Not much more could not be packed into one single word, especially in the adoption world. We spent all of July focusing on this most-important topic and decided to continue into August – but with a bit of a twist. This month, we’re answering your attachment questions. Because we all have them – we …Read More

Attachment Q & A: What can I do to try to attach myself?

August 26, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2017 Feature - Attachment Q & A, Kelly, parent-to-child attachment 2 Comments

Attachment. Not much more could not be packed into one single word, especially in the adoption world. We spent all of July focusing on this most-important topic and decided to continue into August – but with a bit of a twist. This month, we’re answering your attachment questions. Because we all have them – we …Read More

Attachment Q & A: Reaching for Strangers

August 24, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2017 Feature - Attachment Q & A, baby-wearing, cocooning, first year home, indiscriminate affection, Newly Home, Nicole 0 Comments

Attachment. Not much more could not be packed into one single word, especially in the adoption world. We spent all of July focusing on this most-important topic and decided to continue into August – but with a bit of a twist. This month, we’re answering your attachment questions. Because we all have them – we …Read More

Attachment Q & A: Still Not Attached

August 18, 2017 Attachment, attachment challenges, Attachment Disorder, August 2017 Feature - Attachment Q & A, Jean, parent-to-child attachment, RAD, reactive attachment disorder, Trust Based Parenting 3 Comments

Attachment. Not much more could not be packed into one single word, especially in the adoption world. We spent all of July focusing on this most-important topic and decided to continue into August – but with a bit of a twist. This month, we’re answering your attachment questions. Because we all have them – we …Read More

Attachment Q & A: Connecting With The Child Who’d Rather Not

August 9, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2017 Feature - Attachment Q & A, baby-wearing, Brandie, parent-to-child attachment, rejects mom, sign language, Theraplay 0 Comments

Attachment. Not much more could not be packed into one single word, especially in the adoption world. We spent all of July focusing on this most-important topic and decided to continue into August – but with a bit of a twist. This month, we’re answering your attachment questions. Because we all have them – we …Read More

On Attachment…

August 8, 2017 Attachment, attachment challenges, Jennifer, parent-to-child attachment 1 Comments

Dear child, When I watch you react, reject, rage, hoard, lie, shut down, numb, and scream – I will remember. I will remember that this is not what separates us, but I will recall that this is common ground. This broken response to unconditional love. And I will not expect you to rebuild a scaffolding …Read More

Attachment Q & A: Freefall

August 5, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2017 Feature - Attachment Q & A, Contributor Q and A, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting, Whitney 0 Comments

Attachment. Not much more could not be packed into one single word, especially in the adoption world. We spent all of July focusing on this most-important topic and decided to continue into August – but with a bit of a twist. This month, we’re answering your attachment questions. Because we all have them – we …Read More

Answers to My Attachment Questions

July 25, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, first weeks home, first year home, July 2017 Feature - All About Attachment, Kelly, Newly Home, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting 2 Comments

4am this morning. Lydia starts crying, not the kind of crying you can hope just quiets on its own. I mean screaming crying, calling our names, “I’m 100% awake” kind of crying. For the third night in a row, I somehow managed to remove myself from our bed to go in there. And, I wasn’t …Read More

Trusting My Instincts

July 19, 2017 ABA therapy, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, autism, cocooning, developmental delays, Developmental System, early intervention, Education, Family Stories, IEP, indiscriminate affection, occupational therapy, speech delay, speech therapy 1 Comments

My husband Derrick and I had been married for almost eight years when, in the summer of 2015, our path to parenthood ultimately led us to adopt from the China Special Needs program. Up to that point, we had never considered what life would be like for our growing family outside of the “typical” narrative. …Read More

Still Connecting: What Attachment Looks Like Years Later

July 17, 2017 Andrea Y., attachment activities, attachment challenges, cocooning, July 2017 Feature - All About Attachment, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting 3 Comments

I think as moms, we would all say we are passionate about connecting to the hearts of our children. For me — children have always been my heartbeat. Children influenced my major, my career and later led to my putting my career with children on hold—to be a stay-at-home mom. I know this is a …Read More

What If It’s Me?

July 15, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, hypervigilance, July 2017 Feature - All About Attachment, Megan, parent-to-child attachment, rages, therapy 4 Comments

There are so many thoughts, feelings, theories and truths regarding attachment, and navigating them as an adoptive parent is no easy task. Attachment has been one of the most difficult parts of our adoption journey, however not in the way that most people discuss or assume. As parents preparing for adoption we read books, attend …Read More

Attachment: My Bumpy Journey Into Motherhood

July 12, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Faith, first year home, July 2017 Feature - All About Attachment, Newly Home, parent-to-child attachment, rejects mom, Trust Based Parenting 7 Comments

I’ve started to write this post many times. Each attempt has found me closing my computer, and telling myself that this part of my story is too real, or too raw, or maybe just too much. But over and over again, as I’ve spoken to moms who are living out this journey, I realize that …Read More

Modified Cocooning: It’s a Small World After All

July 9, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, baby-wearing, Brandie, co-sleeping, cocooning, first weeks home, first year home, July 2017 Feature - All About Attachment, Newly Home, parent-to-child attachment 2 Comments

1. Keep his world small. I scribbled notes furiously onto the pages of the legal pad I kept for adoption related info. This particular page was titled “Attachment and Bonding.” 2. Don’t let others hold your newly adopted child. Check. 3. No hugs or kisses from friends and family. Waves or high fives are ok. …Read More

When They Don’t Choose You

July 7, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, bottle feeding, cocooning, Family Stories, first weeks home, July 2017 Feature - All About Attachment, Newly Home, rejects mom, Trust Based Parenting 4 Comments

God planted the seed of adoption in my heart when I was still in elementary school. There was a single woman who did foster care and her children were in my brother’s t-ball league. The idea that children didn’t have families blew me away, and I begged my parents to adopt. That was not God’s …Read More

Reflections: Attachment After Two Years Home

July 5, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, first weeks home, first year home, holidays, July 2017 Feature - All About Attachment, parent-to-child attachment, TBRI-based therapy, therapy, Trust Based Parenting, Whitney 1 Comments

We have been home with our daughter for almost two and a half years. My oh my… how that time has seemed to fly. If I’m being completely honest, there are many days when time creeps by at a pace much more snail-like that I’d prefer. Attachment and bonding to a newly adopted child for …Read More

What I Wasn’t Prepared For

June 29, 2017 a father's perspective, adoption realities, Dads, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, rages, trauma 5 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. ……… The email came in the middle of the night. Only halfway awake, I did one of those early morning …Read More

What is Attachment?

June 25, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Attachment Disorder, Kelly, RAD, TBRI-based therapy, Trust Based Parenting 0 Comments

Attachment. It’s a buzz word. Outside the adoption world, people probably have heard it paired with the word parenting to refer to a lifestyle of co-sleeping with toddlers and discouraging mothers and fathers from the cry-it-out method to get their infants to sleep through the night. But, attachment at its core is way more than …Read More

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