Round is the Moon, and the Chocolate Chip Cookie

October 5, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Whitney 2 Comments

If you’re the parent to a child born in a different country, you may have some of the same thoughts I have regarding keeping your child in touch with their birth culture. My daughter was born in China, and though she did not experience much of her own birth culture as a small child, I …Read More

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival: A Celebration of Family

October 4, 2017 adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Perspectives 2 Comments

For as long as humans have inhabited the earth (I assume), the moon has been a source of wonder and mystery. I imagine my ancestors staring up at the same moon, hundreds and even thousands of years ago in China. This year, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival falls on October 4, within the National holiday for …Read More

On Mooncakes, Brokenness and Belonging

October 3, 2017 Attachment, Carrie, Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, protecting their story, telling their life story 4 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

Asian Market Love

September 29, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Kelley B. 4 Comments

One of the many unexpected surprises that came along with adopting three children from China has been my new love for Chinese culture – and an absolute adoration for Asian markets! If you know me on Facebook, you know my best friend and I (also a China mom) have been known to do a Facebook …Read More

Weaving In Chinese Culture: Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

September 28, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Nicole, recipes 0 Comments

Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is quickly approaching – this year it falls on October 4th! As we send our children off to school with love (or in my case, send them to the dining room table), I can’t help but reflect on all for which I’m thankful. During this incredibly busy season, the famous Moon …Read More

The Story of You Before Us: Writing an Adoption Lifebook

September 23, 2017 attachment activities, birth family, Chinese Culture, embracing their story, protecting their story, telling their life story 2 Comments

I often see posts in the various adoption groups I am in where parents are looking for suggestions for favorite adoption themed books for their waiting or newly home children. While in process for our first daughter to come home from China, we received a list of children’s books that addressed adoption during one of …Read More

Celebrating China: Homemade Bāozi

September 21, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Nicole, recipes 1 Comments

Chinese Bāozi is a much-loved dish in our family, so I was really looking forward to making it from scratch! Homemade always tastes more delicious than store-bought, at least in my opinion. There’s something special about freshly-made homemade dough, though it can be somewhat time consuming to pull together. Stuffing the buns could be a …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

A Cultural Exchange: Incorporating Chinese Culture Into Your Home

September 14, 2017 Brandie, Chinese Culture, orphan hosting, other ways to care for the orphan 1 Comments

“We are very fond of Chinese culture.” It was a statement I wrote sitting at a table in Nanjing, Jiangsu China on one of the many documents we signed in order to adopt our son in 2015. I promised to love him and protect him. I promised never to harm him or abuse him. And …Read More

It’s Children’s Day!

June 1, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Nicole 0 Comments

Értóng Jié Kuàilè! Happy Children’s Day! On June 1, the Chinese celebrate Children’s Day. Internationally, it is celebrated on several different days. It’s a day to remember and celebrate children, the future custodians of the country. The holiday’s origins date back to a 1925 international conference, with the intention to bring about child welfare awareness. …Read More

Celebrating China: The Dragon Boat Festival

May 30, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Nicole 0 Comments

My first introduction to Duān Wǔ Jié, or Dragon Boat Festival, was in June of 2011 when my husband and I were in China to adopt our daughter. It was the first time I had ever stepped foot on Chinese soil. I knew very little about Chinese holidays and even less about Chinese culture. So …Read More

Celebrating The Dragon Boat Festival

May 3, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Faith, recipes 1 Comments

The Dragon Boat Festival (Duānwǔjié, or 端午节) falls on the fifth day of the fifth Lunar month each year. This year, the festival falls on Tuesday, May 30. For adoptive families in the paperwork process, that means that the CCCWA will close down for a couple of days in observance of the holiday. China will …Read More

On Bundling Babies and Snap Judgments

April 29, 2017 Carrie, Chinese Culture, orphanage realities, orphanage visit 9 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

A New Year in China!

January 28, 2017 adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Chinese New Year 0 Comments

Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! Happy Chinese New Year to you all! Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival or Chun jie. There is nothing more exciting or anticipated in China than the New Year celebrations with all of their traditions and activities! It’s an important familiar and societal tradition to reflect upon …Read More

An American-Chinese Treat: Fried Crab Wontons

January 26, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Nicole, recipes 0 Comments

Although Fried Crab Wontons are not authentic Chinese food, they make an appearance at many of our family gatherings, especially the ones celebrating Chinese holidays. We’ll definitely be making them for Spring Festival, coming up in just a few days! A friend taught us how to make his recipe years ago, and we’ve been using …Read More

Chinese New Year: Finding Your Own Way to Celebrate

January 25, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Chinese New Year, embracing their story, recipes, Stefanie 1 Comments

We love China for a million reasons. The biggest is that it is the birth country of nine of our thirteen children. But we haven’t always done the best job at reflecting that love in how we celebrate Chinese holidays and/or incorporate China into our day-to-day life. Because, honestly, with a big, busy, and on-a-budget …Read More

Homemade Jiǎozi: Making Chinese New Year a Family Affair

January 14, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Chinese New Year, Nicole, recipes 1 Comments

I learned to make dumplings a few years ago when we hosted an exchange student from China. Everyone in the family enjoys eating them, and the process is so fun! Making dumplings, or jiǎozi, is definitely a social affair – it’s meant to be shared as a group. We enjoy making and eating them to …Read More

The Year of the Rooster

January 3, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Chinese New Year, Faith 2 Comments

Last year, we had been home for a couple of months when Chinese New Year rolled around. Still adjusting to our new normal, I remember frantically ordering a few decorations from Amazon Prime to celebrate the occasion. This year, I wanted to be much more intentional about how our family celebrates this important holiday, so …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

Making Room to Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival

September 11, 2016 Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays 0 Comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about camping as I prepare for the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 15. I love sitting around the campfire with my family after the sun sets and the stars come out. We hold mugs of hot chocolate, nibble on s’mores and steal quick glances up at the moon high overhead. Knowing …Read More

Celebrating Mid-Autumn Moon Festival: A Mooncake Alternative

September 6, 2016 Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Nicole, recipes 5 Comments

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is the second most celebrated Chinese holiday, falling on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar. This is the date of the Autumn Equinox, when the moon is at its farthest point from the earth and appears to be at its fullest and brightest. In China, …Read More

Celebrating Mid-Autumn Moon Festival: Books

September 4, 2016 books, Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Nicole 0 Comments

This year, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival falls on September 15. It is a day of Thanksgiving and gratitude for the Chinese, when families reunite and give thanks for the harvest and family unity. It falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month (in September or October) when the moon is bright and full …Read More

Egg Drop Soup Success

April 1, 2016 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Nicole, recipes 0 Comments

I’ve had a few Egg Drop Soup failures in the past, but this recipe has redeemed my attempts. I love it because it’s simple, easy to make, and still adds Chinese cuisine to our menu. Plus, I almost always have the ingredients on hand. This version is a little Americanized I think, but the additions …Read More

15 Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year

February 8, 2016 Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Chinese New Year, January 2016 Feature - Celebrating China, Nicole 0 Comments

Lunar New Year is here! Our celebrations have morphed over the years, especially depending on the season of life and ages of children. Some years are more festive, while others simply get a “Happy New Year” and a nice meal for recognition. Although we’re trying to establish a few traditions for the children, we don’t …Read More

Celebrating China: Children’s Books

February 2, 2016 books, Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Chinese New Year, January 2016 Feature - Celebrating China, Kelly 2 Comments

In years past, I’ve scoured websites and bookshelves for every Chinese New Year/Spring Festival themed kids’ book around to read to our clan in anticipation of the holiday. We found some good ones and some not so good ones. Overthinker that I am, I hope my musings help you decide which ones are worthwhile for …Read More

My Family’s First “Real” Chinese New Year

January 31, 2016 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Chinese New Year, January 2016 Feature - Celebrating China 2 Comments

My son was only 18 months old when Chinese New Year approached last year. From his perch on my shoulders, he gasped in amazement at the dragon dancers advancing along Market Street during San Francisco’s Chinese New Year parade, but he was too young to understand the cause for all the fuss. Now a year …Read More

Rejection of Culture

January 19, 2016 Chinese Culture, Katie 2 Comments

Let me start out by saying I love China. I have been obsessed with the country since I was seven years old. So, when the pieces finally fell together for us to adopt from China I was beyond excited. I was so ready to bring in the culture of China to our home. I studied …Read More

Celebrating China: Trimming the Tree

January 18, 2016 Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Chinese New Year, January 2016 Feature - Celebrating China, Nicole 1 Comments

January marks a new year and a new feature here on No Hands But Ours. This month is all about Celebrating China and how you can incorporate more Chinese culture into your home, especially during the most celebrated Chinese holiday of the year, Chinese New Year. You can read the other posts in this series …Read More

Celebrating China: Decorating for CNY

January 8, 2016 Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Chinese New Year, January 2016 Feature - Celebrating China, Nicole 0 Comments

Happy New Year! January marks a new year and a new feature here on No Hands But Ours. This month is all about Celebrating China and how you can incorporate more Chinese culture into your home, especially during the most celebrated Chinese holiday of the year, Chinese New Year. Our family has so much fun …Read More

Celebrating China: Preparing for Chinese New Year

January 1, 2016 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Chinese New Year, January 2016 Feature - Celebrating China, Nicole 0 Comments

Happy New Year! January marks a new year and a new feature here on No Hands But Ours. This month is all about Celebrating China and how you can incorporate more Chinese culture into your home, especially during the most celebrated Chinese holiday of the year, Chinese New Year. As Christmas activities come to a …Read More

Chinese Holidays: Mid-Autumn Festival

September 26, 2015 Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Hannah 2 Comments

The perfect season has arrived to China. It’s not hot and muggy anymore, and it’s too early for the coal heaters to be running and clogging up our lungs with coal dust. The fields of corn are being harvested and streets are lined with a festive yellow. Corn corn corn. As far as the eye …Read More

An Unconventional Thing To Do

August 19, 2015 China trip, Chinese Culture, July/August 2015 Feature - Going to China!, Katie 3 Comments

If you are in the process of adopting from China or have been in the past you know all about the dreaded holidays that seem to happen every month. You think you have a good timeline of when adoption/gotcha will take place and then you slam smack dab into the Autumn season of the beginning …Read More

#ohChina

July 27, 2015 China trip, Chinese Culture, July/August 2015 Feature - Going to China!, Kelly 9 Comments

China. Whether you’ve been there and back again 10 times or are anxiously awaiting that call telling you it’s time to call your travel agent, you can feel very much a foreigner in a foreign land. As we’ve been those foreigners, there are a few things I’ve learned along the way that may be helpful …Read More

Going to China: Hao Chi

July 25, 2015 China trip, Chinese Culture, Hannah, July/August 2015 Feature - Going to China! 1 Comments

Hao chi (好吃) is how someone in China is going to affirm, “This is yummy!” It’s pronounced “how chur” and all you have to do is add a “ma?” to the end to make it a sentence. Chinese food. Either you love it or you hate it, right? And then maybe you love the food, …Read More

I don’t get it.

February 25, 2015 Chinese Culture, Kelly, one-child policy 8 Comments

I get it. There was a big crisis. In 1979, facing a huge and growing population, Chinese government officials created the “family planning policy” as the solution. Things were turned upside down as families who years before had been encouraged to build China by adding to their family were now told they could have one …Read More

Chinese New Year’s Resolution

February 21, 2015 Chinese Culture, Desiree 1 Comments

I don’t know that I understood the full ramifications the day I marked the CHINA box on our adoption paperwork. I understood that I would be bringing a piece of China home with me (he was so soft and cute!), but I didn’t realize that I would also be sending a piece of myself there. …Read More

wanmei

February 13, 2015 Chinese Culture, Hannah, orphanage realities 1 Comments

We were advocating domestic adoption around the table. Somehow I had been seated to the Director’s left – the most important seat, and one much too auspicious for comfort, and our chopsticks clinked upon the same plate of celery and mushrooms. He turned to me and looked me square in the face. Of course I …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

It turns out that chicken fried rice does not count as culture

November 19, 2014 a father's perspective, adoption realities, Chinese Culture, large families, Mike, transracial adoption 10 Comments

I am the textbook definition of a white guy. Beyond simply a scarcity of melanin, I have almost every other stereotypical characteristic that one might associate with my race – a general lack of rhythm, limited vertical leap, a “John Cougar Mellencamp” playlist on my iPod, an unhealthy relationship with ketchup, and a generalized ignorance …Read More

The adoption process isn't really the hard part

June 25, 2014 adoption realities, Chinese Culture, Kelly 18 Comments

Picture it—a roomful of adoptive and preadoptive mothers. It’s a little quiet, and you’re in charge of getting some conversation going. Likely, the easiest way to start a buzz is to open up the floor to (1) odd things people have said to you about adoption or (2) the red-tape, long wait, and high costs …Read More

You’re not in Kansas anymore

May 17, 2014 adopting SN: the process, adoption realities, birthmark, Chinese Culture, hemangioma, Kayla 3 Comments

I’ve told the editors of this blog that I am running out of things to write about regarding the special need that Jubilee (that’s my daughter) has. It simply doesn’t matter to us any more that she has a skin deformity on her torso. It will matter to her one day, no doubt, but we …Read More

Yes, No, Maybe*

March 25, 2014 adoption realities, Chinese Culture, Kelly 7 Comments

Neatly laid out in Times New Roman in alphabetical order are a list of labels, special needs, what China calls diseases. Albinism…Anal atresia…Cerebral palsy…Cleft lip/cleft palate…Club foot…Congenital heart disease…Delayed development…Down syndrome…Hemofacial macrosomia…Hemangioma…Microtia…Syndactyly… Some of them you’ve heard of. Others you struggle to pronounce, and you wonder if they’re even in English. Little “x”s in columns …Read More

Children’s Adoption Books

February 25, 2014 adoption realities, books, Chinese Culture, Kelly 6 Comments

I may hesitate a little when I part with teeny tiny onesies and sneakers that have run one too many miles. But, our children’s books? They aren’t going anywhere. In fact, we converted one of our bedrooms into a “library” to house them all. They are overflowing and really need a good purging. But, I …Read More

An Advocate

January 25, 2014 adoption realities, Chinese Culture, Kelly 0 Comments

It had been a rough few days. I had advocated for a little boy once. A family stepped forward for him, traveled to China for him, and came home without him. Then, there I was, advocating for him again in a post on a Friday afternoon, after which I spent the following several days dealing …Read More

The need for adoption talk never expires

October 25, 2013 adoption realities, Chinese Culture, Kelly 5 Comments

A family for only a few months, I took my toddler daughter with me to visit a friend, an older women, a faithful woman I loved and respected. While Lydia was mesmerized with the dust in the air visible in the sun light, my friend shielded her mouth and whispered: Are you going to tell …Read More

Why you may hear me singing daily

September 25, 2013 adoption realities, Chinese Culture, Kelly 9 Comments

I love shiny. Shiny is pretty. I love shiny…. She’s the finder of pennies. Everywhere she goes, she manages to find a penny. Today’s found treasure led to a song. Your turn to sing a song, Mommy. You make up a song. Not feeling particularly like a Maria this morning, Oh, I don’t know what …Read More

Disclosure Within Reason {Adoption and Back to School}

August 25, 2013 adoption realities, Chinese Culture, Kelly 4 Comments

There are backpacks lined up in my dining room today. When backpacks are hanging on chair backs with zippers bulging with supplies and tissue boxes, even they look excited about a new year. Lydia doesn’t start kindergarten until next year. But, she’s joining me two mornings a week at a women’s Bible study. And, based …Read More

A letter to my four-year-old on her birthday

June 25, 2013 adoption realities, Chinese Culture, Kelly 0 Comments

My sweet, You are such a big girl now. 4 years old. Wow. You remind me all the time of what a big girl you are. And, I know I always agree with you. But, now that you’re 4 years old? You are really big. When I put you to bed last night, I talked …Read More

Another parenting epiphany at the fair

May 25, 2013 adoption realities, Chinese Culture, Kelly 6 Comments

He had to take her to the emergency room. We had been waiting in line at the fair for our tickets. I had told her to stay still too many times. Up and down, jump, up and down, jump. And, every time, the rickety metal steps leading up to the ticket trailer would rattle and …Read More

"What's fair {for the brother or sister of a child with special needs}"

April 25, 2013 adoption realities, Chinese Culture, Kelly 33 Comments

“Tell your mom I need to talk to her before you leave.” Please tell me I’m not the only mom who receives that message from her child and sinks a little. Come on. I figure either (a) someone wants me to do something (which I likely won’t want to do) or (b) my kid did …Read More

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