Answers in a Pink Backpack

August 17, 2018 birth family, birth family search, Carrie, Chinese Culture, heritage trip, orphanage, Post-Adoption contact, telling their life story 1 Comments

It’s a strange thing, this not having answers about the beginning. A mother is supposed to know the story of the day her daughter was born and the first days of her life. It’s the natural order of things. And the questions have stacked up in my mind these last few years… Was she left …Read More

On Mooncakes, Brokenness and Belonging

October 3, 2017 Attachment, Carrie, Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, protecting their story, telling their life story 5 Comments

It’s Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in the land where you were born, Alea, and one thought keeps running through my head: My favorite moons are the perfect crescents your eyes make when you are happy and your face crinkles with joy. You are beautiful, child, inside and out — pure light, like the fullest of moons …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

1,000 Ways to Lose a Father

June 23, 2017 birth family, Carrie, Dads, telling their life story 1 Comments

In the days after Father’s Day, I’ve been thinking… there are a thousand ways to lose a father. My youngest girl will probably never know the man who gave her the curve of her smile; the crinkle in her nose; her ability to cross her eyes to seemingly impossible degrees when she’s being silly. Truthfully, …Read More

On Bundling Babies and Snap Judgments

April 29, 2017 Carrie, Chinese Culture, orphanage realities, orphanage visit 10 Comments

The day we were set to leave the hospital with our newborn daughter, no one asked us about our car seat. She was our first baby, and so I didn’t understand at the time how significant this insignificant thing would become to me. At the time, I didn’t realize that had she been born on …Read More

Celebrating China: Carrot-Ginger Dumplings!

September 13, 2016 Carrie, Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, recipes 4 Comments

When it’s time for a Chinese holiday, I think of only one thing… my stomach. Our first Chinese New Year in China was a never-ending stream of every kind of jiaozi (dumpling) imaginable – pork and leek, lamb and cilantro, shrimp and radish, pork and cabbage, pork and cucumber, pork and pork and pork and …Read More

Q & A with the Four Agencies in the FSL Program

August 19, 2016 Agencies, Carrie, CCAI, former shared list program, Gladney, Holt, Lifeline, shared list 0 Comments

With the new Former Shared List (FSL) program unrolled, many people within the Chinese adoption community have questions about what it means for future placements. Over the last three weeks, we’ve looked at these changes from a few different perspectives. First we interviewed Martha Osborne, the founder of RainbowKids, the advocacy site which will host …Read More

Thoughts on the Former Shared List Program

August 12, 2016 Advocacy, Agencies, Carrie, CCAI, former shared list program, Gladney, Holt, Lifeline, referral, shared list, special focus 2 Comments

CCCWA has always shown a willingness to try new programs and methods in order to give more children a chance to be adopted. Through the years, many different aspects of the program have changed – sometimes quite suddenly – which initially can cause confusion and anxiety. But with time, agencies and families have adapted to …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

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

An Uncertain Journey with a Certain Guide

September 27, 2015 Carrie, China trip, Gotcha Day, Parenting Special Needs 2 Comments

I’m writing this to my fellow Jesus-followers who are adopting. I understand and respect that might not apply to everyone, but I have to take a moment to speak to those of you who share my fundamental faith.   “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who …Read More

A Back-to-School Letter

August 27, 2015 Carrie, Education, hearing loss, pre-school, public school, speech delay 2 Comments

Dear Teachers, Here we go! The start of a new year! First of all, you both have my great admiration. I do not know how you do it. The energy, patience, and creativity it takes to shape, mold, and sometimes just wrangle a whole crew of almost-three-year-olds is something I do not possess. I’m so …Read More

488 Days

July 25, 2015 Carrie 3 Comments

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. – Ephesians 3:18, NLT On a crystal clear night with no humidity, you can almost feel the planet spinning. Staring up at one of the blackest skies and the brightest …Read More

Mama’s Not Feelin’ It: 6 Things I’ve Learned in My Journey to Attach

April 27, 2015 Attachment, Carrie, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting 10 Comments

We just hit our one year anniversary with our daughter, and I have told more than one person that I think we all deserve medals. We didn’t have a dramatic first year full of major medical challenges or severe behaviors. Ours was the more everyday-garden-variety of adoption stress and trauma. I’m thankful we didn’t walk …Read More

burst into bloom

March 27, 2015 Carrie 2 Comments

The waste-land and the dry land will be glad. The desert will be full of joy and become like a rose.  Many flowers will grow in it, and it will be filled with joy and singing. The greatness of Lebanon will be given to it, and the beauty of Carmel and Sharon. They will see …Read More

out of the darkness

February 27, 2015 Attachment, birth family, Carrie 3 Comments

I don’t think I will ever be the mom who believes God’s original and best plan for my daughter was for her to be in my home. I realize that’s a controversial statement, and perhaps many of the people reading this will feel something bristle inside of them as they think about their own precious …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

He is Here

January 1, 2015 adoption realities, Attachment, Carrie 10 Comments

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a …Read More

we have a winner…

December 9, 2014 Carrie, giveaways 0 Comments

We have selected a winner from our Scarlet Threads Giveaway. Congratulations to Lora, commenter #19, you have won a complete collection of Scarlet Thread’s Chinese character Christmas ornaments. Contact us via comment or email so we can get your ornaments on their merry way! If you would like to purchase a set for yourself, or …Read More

The Art of Celebration (And a Chinese Christmas Ornament Giveaway!)

December 1, 2014 Carrie, Chinese Culture, giveaways 25 Comments

*You won’t want to miss the giveaway details at the end of this post* We just celebrated our daughter’s first birthday in our family… and now we are headed into our first Christmas, first Chinese New Year, and first all-around hectic holiday season with our wide-eyed and curious 2 year old. It’s been 8 months …Read More

the promise

November 2, 2014 Carrie, Orphan Sunday 1 Comments

It’s Orphan Sunday, and the internet is ablaze with happy adoption stories, mind-boggling orphan statistics, and pictures of children eligible for adoption. In many churches around the country today, there were sermons leaning heavily on James 1:27 and special presentations calling congregations to action. I have no doubt that some hearts will be changed and …Read More

When Labels Don’t Stick

October 15, 2014 Carrie, hearing loss, hemifacial microsomia, microtia, sedated ABR, Sensory System 4 Comments

It’s been a year since I paused while writing a post for this very site and glanced at the photo-listings for children on our agency’s website. And I saw her. It was a morning exactly like this one. I was up early, before the sun came up. The cup of coffee growing cold beside the …Read More

Sometimes Love Is War

August 27, 2014 Attachment, Carrie, first year home, journey to adoption, microtia 48 Comments

She’s been clawing – literally, until I cut her fingernails – at my legs all day long. Whining and whimpering and the hours go so slow I sometimes wonder if the clock is moving at all. Cora entertains herself, like she does almost every day lately, and I squelch the feelings that I’m letting her …Read More

Not Bad For 3 Months

June 27, 2014 Carrie, journey to adoption, microtia 3 Comments

It’s only been three months, but she looks like a different child. I can hardly believe how Alea has transformed in the 90 days since she joined our family. She has gained 4 pounds, for one. She’s developed a bit of a pot belly and pudgy little cheeks. Alea’s such a little dumpling in more …Read More

A Birth Story

May 27, 2014 Carrie, journey to adoption 13 Comments

Motherhood always starts with a birth story. Because no matter if you pull your baby out of a birthing pool with your own two hands, receive her from the arms of a social worker outside the hospital nursery, or pull him – screaming – from the arms of the orphanage worker who brought him halfway …Read More

like rain in the desert

April 20, 2014 Attachment, Carrie 1 Comments

It seems fitting to me that it’s raining in the desert the night before Easter. I can’t remember the last time it rained, and I’ve opened the windows wide in our house. Propped the back door open. I’m inhaling the scent of the air washed clean of all the dust it usually carries; listening to …Read More

Coloring in the Back Seat

February 27, 2014 Carrie, journey to adoption 1 Comments

This time next month, we should have our little one in our arms. Those words don’t feel real even as I type them. Our application was approved on April 26,2013, and we settled in to what we thought would be a 2-3 year process. But if all goes as planned, we should be back in …Read More

As They Should Be

December 27, 2013 Carrie, journey to adoption 0 Comments

Last year, I was in China with Cora when Alea was born. Of course, I didn’t know it at the time, but we were there. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the fact that I was standing on the same hard ground as her for those few days she spent with her mother. …Read More

Finding Her

November 27, 2013 Carrie, journey to adoption 3 Comments

A funny thing happened while I was writing my last post for NHBO. I found my daughter. It wasn’t at all how I expected it to happen. I paused in the middle of writing and clicked over to our agency’s waiting child page… my eyes drifted over the photos; most had been there several weeks …Read More

Broken Hearts

October 27, 2013 Carrie, journey to adoption 2 Comments

A few months ago, I was visiting friends at the courtside of a pick-up basketball game happening in our church gym. Our children were playing in the out-of-bounds area at the opposite end of the court from the game, rolling a ball and engrossed in the kind of game toddlers contrive. At one point, without …Read More


October 1, 2013 Carrie, journey to adoption 6 Comments

So excited to welcome our newest contributor Carrie, a friend and fellow orphan advocate. Carrie and her husband Jacob spent four years caring for orphans at New Day Foster home in China, where they also welcomed daughter Cora. Now, back in the US, Carrie and Jacob are beginning the journey to adopt through China’s special …Read More

A Greater Tragedy {Carrie}

March 1, 2010 Carrie, guest post 11 Comments

We are excited to share that Carrie will be joining us as a guest poster here at No Hands But Ours. Carrie works in China at New Day Foster Home and chronicles her life in China on her blog Signs of Hope. A Greater Tragedy She was talking about AIDS orphans. Maybe that’s what caught …Read More

© 2024 No Hands But Ours

The content found on the No Hands But Ours website is not approved, endorsed, curated or edited by medical professionals. Consult a doctor with expertise in the special needs of interest to you.