We Are Their World

September 30, 2019 adopting a boy, Attachment, attachment activities, parent-to-child attachment, Sensory Processing Issues 0 Comments

We are their world and they are ours….. A few months back I wrote about the first time I rocked my son to sleep. He was four and had never let me rock him in the two years we had been home with him. It was a little thing for most moms, but a huge …Read More

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

Treasuring Small Firsts

February 26, 2019 Attachment, attachment activities, co-sleeping, night terrors, parent-to-child attachment, Sensory Processing Issues, Sleep issues, speech delay 3 Comments

Tonight I rocked my baby to sleep for the first time. Ever. Yes, he may be four and he may weigh 43 pounds, but I rocked him to sleep in my arms. To most moms this is usual occurrence. However, to an adoptive mom, this can be far from usual. In fact, it can be …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

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

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

Attachment Through the Years: Unique For All

August 9, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, parent-to-child attachment 4 Comments

Attachment and parenting go hand in hand. Right? When we consider parents and their children, we assume there is an attachment. In reality, attachment looks and develops differently for all. And attachment in adoption can be an entirely different notion. I have three biological children and I would be lying if I told you I …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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: 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: 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

Cocooning is Critical: Metamorphosis of the Adopted Child

July 29, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, baby-wearing, cocooning, discipline, first weeks home, first year home, July 2017 Feature - All About Attachment, Newly Home, parent-to-child attachment, Sharon, Trust Based Parenting 2 Comments

“Where are they taking me today? It’s a long way. I’ve never seen all these places. First a car, then a train, plane, but where am I going? I miss my friends. I miss my Ayi.” I’ve often wondered what my children thought when they left the orphanage the day we met them. Could the …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

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

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

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

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

Adoption: A Dad’s Honest Viewpoint

June 13, 2017 a father's perspective, adoption realities, Courtney, Dads, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, parent-to-child attachment, Perspectives 5 Comments

As a part of our Thoughts from the Dad series, I sat down with my best friend and husband of 15 years and asked him a few questions about our adoption of our daughter, Callie. I hope his answers will be helpful to you whether you are just beginning the adoption journey or are already …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

From Death to Life

April 18, 2017 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Attachment Disorder, indiscriminate affection, older child adoption, parent-to-child attachment, rages, rejects mom, therapy, trauma 5 Comments

I glanced at the clock. It was 2:50. I felt my shoulders tighten involuntarily and a sick feeling start in my stomach. In 15 minutes, the most difficult part of my day would start: my daughter would walk through the door. It was the part of the day I dreaded the most. I wasn’t an …Read More

Deeper Than My Feet Could Ever Wander

April 15, 2017 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, first weeks home, first year home, Megan, parent-to-child attachment 1 Comments

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.” – Hillsong I am sure that many of the readers of this post …Read More

It Shouldn’t be This Easy

March 2, 2017 adoption realities, Attachment, Kelly, parent-to-child attachment, trauma, Trust Based Parenting 3 Comments

You spent hours in training. You learned about what trauma is and what it looks like. You probably even have a certificate to prove it. You spent more hours in another type of classroom, reading books that made you stop and catch your breath and blog posts that made you question what you were signing …Read More

It Shouldn’t be This Hard

March 2, 2017 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, Kelly, parent-to-child attachment, trauma, Trust Based Parenting 2 Comments

You spent hours in training. You learned about what trauma is and what it looks like. You probably even have a certificate to prove it. You spent more hours in another type of classroom, reading books that made you stop and catch your breath and blog posts that made you question what you were signing …Read More

One Year.

March 2, 2017 adopting a boy, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Family Stories, first year home, Megan, Newly Home, orphanage behaviors, parent-to-child attachment 10 Comments

We have been home one year as of January 10, 2017, and I can finally say that I love him. I can’t tell you when exactly it happened. There was not a lightening bolt moment. Nor was there an instant bond or attachment from the moment we met. I spent the better part of our …Read More

Then and Now: Mila

November 18, 2016 Attachment, attachment challenges, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, feeding/swallowing therapy, November 2016 Feature - Then and Now, parent-to-child attachment, siblings, Trust Based Parenting 4 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’ve all seen those glossy magazine ads …Read More

From School Psychologist to Adoptive Mama: A Series Part Two (Trust Based Relational Intervention)

November 11, 2016 Amy A., Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, discipline, parent-to-child attachment, TBRI DVD Series, Trust Based Parenting 1 Comments

Because the majority of our NHBO readers are parents who have adopted children through the special needs program in China, part one of this series was an introduction to special education. My goal for that post was for parents to feel empowered by knowing their child’s rights. I shared links regarding the special education law …Read More

Dear Younger Me, Love Wins

July 9, 2016 Amy A., Attachment, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, parent-to-child attachment 0 Comments

Dear younger me. Where do I start? I know your knees are shaking, but I am so proud to see you step forward totally devoted and with an obedient heart to say yes to adoption. Believe me when I say that this will be one of the best decisions you will ever make. The house …Read More

Dear Younger Me, You’re Braver Than You Know

July 6, 2016 adoption realities, Attachment, Carrie, July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, parent-to-child attachment 4 Comments

Each month at No Hands But Ours, we feature a topic to provide insight, encouragement and/or wisdom for fellow travelers on this beautiful and sometimes arduous journey of adoptive parenting. This month’s topic is sure to be full of all the aforementioned, and then some. Join us as seasoned moms share what they would say …Read More

In Loving Memory of Dr. Karyn Purvis

April 14, 2016 Attachment, Carrie, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting 3 Comments

Last night as Cora went to bed, she was fairly short-tempered with Alea and hurt her feelings. Alea got over it rather quickly, but I harshly told Cora I was disappointed and walked out of the room, tired after a long day. A few minutes later, I came back to bring Alea a drink of …Read More

Rupture and Repair

March 27, 2016 Attachment, parent-to-child attachment, Whitney 0 Comments

Rupture and repair is how, in the adoption world, we describe relationships when they experience a breaking and need to be mended. In some cases, it’s the child who is trying to understand the boundaries that are set, and whether or not we as the parents will still use the words, “I love you” if those …Read More

A Baby Sister But Six Months Older: Adopting Out of Birth Order

March 3, 2016 adopting out of birth order, adoption realities, Attachment, Family Stories, first year home, March 2016 Feature - Special Circumstances, parent-to-child attachment, virtual twins 6 Comments

Adoption has always been on my heart. Always. China? Not quite as long, but still in 2014 we found ourselves traveling around the world to meet and bring home our daughter from China. But before we talk about homecomings, siblings, bonding and all, let me back up a bit. When we found that getting pregnant …Read More

Beauty from Ashes

February 19, 2016 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment activities, Katie, parent-to-child attachment, siblings 0 Comments

“I was so angry for so long. I felt real hate, Mom!” A child in my home recently confessed in the privacy of our conversation. They were speaking about the time when adoption trauma made its way into our home. When siblings were physically injured by a new addition, when lying became a part of …Read More

Victories from the Valley: An Unexpected Journey in Adopting a Child with NF1

February 18, 2016 adoption realities, cocooning, Family Stories, first weeks home, glaucoma, neurofibromatosis, NF1, older child adoption, parent-to-child attachment 2 Comments

We had been home from China with our first daughter almost five months when we saw her picture: a sweet face with a deep downcast shown in her eyes. She was six years old. Her file had been passed over by a few families already because of the uncertainties of her medical condition. One eye …Read More

My Wounding

November 27, 2015 adoption realities, Attachment, Carrie, parent-to-child attachment 28 Comments

“I not only have my secrets, I am my secrets. And you are yours. Our secrets are human secrets, and our trusting each other enough to share them with each other has much to do with the secret of what it means to be human.” – Frederick Buechner Be gentle with me, dear reader. Please …Read More

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