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

“I Remember!”

June 12, 2017 adoptee perspective, Jean, telling their life story 3 Comments

When we leave China with our newly adopted children, we leave part of their history behind. Oftentimes, it’s a black hole and we will never know the details about their lives before we met them. Any tidbit of information from another adopting family, a picture, a single moment they may remember, is a treasured gift. …Read More

Our Journey with Reactive Attachment Disorder

August 15, 2016 Attachment, Attachment Disorder, Jean, RAD, reactive attachment disorder, Trust Based Parenting 1 Comments

I have written this post countless times in my head and on the computer, each time it’s a completely different post. At first I wondered how a post on the same topic could be so different from one day to the next and then I remembered, it’s because RAD kids are different each day… at …Read More

Meet the Contributors: Jean

July 8, 2016 adopting later in life, adopting out of birth order, adopting two at once, Contributor Q and A, Jean, large families, Meet the Contributors, older child adoption 6 Comments

Continuing today with our series in which we share a short Q and A with one of our contributors to give y’all, our faithful readers, a little more behind-the-scenes insight into the amazing group of writers assembled here. And it will also give each of our contributors a chance to share their heart in a …Read More

Book Review: The Story I’ll Tell

June 15, 2016 books, Jean, June 2016 Feature - Books 1 Comments

I was so excited when I was asked to review this book. Our children love new books especially when they are about adoption. When it arrived at our home I caught a few of them checking it out before our reading time! The Story I’ll Tell by Nancy Tupper Ling Illustrated by Jessica Lanan The …Read More

The Best Decision We’ve Ever Made

April 15, 2016 adopting again, adopting later in life, adopting out of birth order, adopting two at once, Jean, large families, older child adoption 7 Comments

In September of 2006, hubby and I walked into our first adoption introductory meeting at Children’s Home Society in St Paul, MN. It was for families that were interested in adoption and wanted to learn more about it. We met four wonderful couples at that meeting. At that time we had five birth children, ranging …Read More

Losing Sight of the Why

February 15, 2016 adopting later in life, adopting two at once, Jean, large families 8 Comments

In 2006 my husband and I heard the call to adopt. Our plan was to bring home two daughters from China. That sounded reasonable, right? But God had another plan for us and He was loud and clear. Over and over again I could hear Him say, “Bring home the children.” And so we did. …Read More

Microcephaly: A Blessing In Disguise

January 24, 2016 cognitive delay, developmental delays, Family Stories, Jean, microcephaly, older child adoption 1 Comments

I first learned about microcephaly while working in the newborn nursery. A sweet little boy lay in a basinet all bundled up in a white hospital blanket. As I got closer to him I noticed his head was quite small compared to the other newborns. I later found out that this dear child was diagnosed …Read More

Embracing Her Story: Sarah

November 20, 2015 adoptee perspective, adoptee Q and A, birth family, Jean, November 2015 Feature - Embracing Their Story, older child adoption, telling their life story 0 Comments

We know that God is the only one who can heal hearts and redeem stories. But what of our role as shepherds of their hearts? One powerful, guiding gift we can dig into is the experience of others, young and old, who are willing to share their stories. As part of our Embracing Their Story …Read More

Embracing Their Stories

November 15, 2015 Jean, November 2015 Feature - Embracing Their Story, telling their life story 0 Comments

Thirteen children and thirteen stories, each different but with a common adoption thread. As we brought our children home there were other things (many things) to focus on. We needed to get to know each other, like each other, and eventually love each other. We needed to learn how to live as a family. On …Read More

To the Adopting Family With Lots of Kids

October 15, 2015 Jean, large families 20 Comments

Congratulations! “That is so wonderful! I’m so happy for your family and for that sweet child that has been waiting for so long!” This is the correct response. This (or a version of this) is what others should say to you when you share your adoption news. If you have adopted more than twice you …Read More

A Poster Picture of… The Waiting Child…

September 15, 2015 Jean, older child adoption 5 Comments

Every time I look at this picture I am at a loss for words… It embodies the plight of the older waiting child. A loving family visits their son’s orphanage just days after they meet him. Their daughter (being carried by her mother) has been home for over a year. Their new son is in …Read More

Bonding Tips While in China

August 15, 2015 attachment activities, China trip, Jean, orphanage behaviors, travel tips 0 Comments

Here I am writing about bonding while in China when the truth is…. I’m not so good at it! When we are in China there are so many emotions swirling around for our newly adopted child as well as myself that initial bonding is not my first priority… survival is! So maybe this is more …Read More

Orphanage vs. Foster Care … What’s Best?

July 15, 2015 foster care, Jean, July/August 2015 Feature - Going to China!, orphanage realities 2 Comments

We have experienced both options with our children from China. When first starting our adoption journeys I had the impression that one was better than the other. Foster care was better and I should want my child to be in foster care; but somehow, as we found our children the most important thing was that …Read More

What’s it Like to Have a Daddy?

June 15, 2015 Jean 0 Comments

Me: Hey kids, since Father’s Day is in June, I want to ask you a couple of questions about what it’s like to have a Daddy! Kids: Okay! (they all gather around) Me: First of all, how do you like having a Daddy? Kids all together: I like it! I like it a lot! Me, …Read More

When An Adoption Fails

May 15, 2015 failed adoption, Jean 0 Comments

God told us to name her Grace… not because her name was Grace… but because we would need His grace to get through this. He was teaching us to handle our disappointment and sorrow through His gift of grace… In May 2014 we received PA (pre approval) for a wonderful little girl that was just …Read More

Attachment: What’s Worked For Us

April 15, 2015 April/May 2015 Feature Attachment, Jean, large families, older child adoption 2 Comments

I would say we are experienced in attachment but we are by no means experts. After adopting 13 children we have had quite a bit of “on the job” training! Ten of our adoptions have been with children between the ages of 5-11. Our daughter adopted at 11 years 3 months was not prepared to …Read More

Recovering a Childhood

March 15, 2015 Jean, older child adoption, orphanage realities 7 Comments

Recently our oldest adopted daughter from China celebrated her 15th birthday. She wasn’t excited about this birthday because she didn’t want to be fifteen. She liked being 14 and to her 15 felt too old. You see she feels a bit cheated… Her childhood began at the age of 8 yrs 8 month and 18 …Read More

Adopting Later In Life: part two

February 15, 2015 adopting later in life, Jean, large families 7 Comments

This is the second part in a two-part series. Read part one here. I hear words like “insane”, “crazy”, “midlife crisis”, “out of your mind”, and “out of control”. Most of these comments are said kindly and with humor! If you are talking to or hearing it from the older adoptive parent and they are …Read More

Adopting Later in Life

January 16, 2015 adopting later in life, Jean, large families 8 Comments

How do I begin this post? You see, I think I am a lot younger than I actually am. I feel great, I’m energetic and loving life! My eyesight is perfectly blurred, so when I look in the mirror I see a softened version of myself- I like that! The woman in the mirror could …Read More

Even If They Are From A Good Orphanage…

December 16, 2014 adoption realities, Jean, older child adoption 2 Comments

They need a family… When we adopted Ben we knew he was from a nice orphanage, much different than many of our other children. We also knew he had a foster family for many years. Once he was home we found out he had been with them for 6 of his 7.5 years. From Ben’s …Read More

Taking Care of Business – part 2

October 17, 2014 incontinence, Jean, spina bifida 3 Comments

In my previous poop and potty post I shared with you about our son who was born with spina bifida and as a result he is incontinent. After watching him sit on the waiting child list the Lord made it clear that he was our son and that we could do this special need. And …Read More

No Boys?

September 15, 2014 gender as a special need, heart defect, Jean, older child adoption 1 Comments

That’s what we were saying back in 2006. We had 4 biological sons and felt like that was a good number. We had one daughter and felt like the Lord had perfectly planned it… we needed more girls! I had always dreamed of a sister for Katie. Of course not one that was 20 years …Read More

“Cold Feet”

August 15, 2014 adopting again, heart defect, Jean, large families, older child adoption 6 Comments

After adopting 13 children you would think I have it all down to a science! But I don’t… Once again I have suffered from the feelings of “cold feet”… Am I sure that it will work out adding to this large crew that somehow seems to work well together? Was it just me that thought …Read More

Diagnosed… And then Rediagnosed… And Then…

July 15, 2014 Jean, thalassemia 2 Comments

In 2010 we saw an adorable picture of a little girl with a sucker in her mouth! She immediately caught my attention. Her eyes looked straight into mine and they were calling out for a Mommy and a Daddy. I read her short bio and the word cancer was in there. I immediately said to …Read More

Taking Care of Personal Business

June 15, 2014 incontinence, Jean, spina bifida 6 Comments

In other words this is a poop and potty post! Many of the children that sit and sit and sit on the waiting child list are there because they are incontinent. Which means they cannot control their bowels and bladder. We have brought 2 children home that were in “that situation.” One was diagnosed with …Read More

A Silent Event… A Near Drowning

May 15, 2014 Jean 4 Comments

And it was awful… it still haunts me… I don’t think I will EVER forget about it… the image is forever ingrained in my mind… In all of our 30 years of parenting it has happened just once. AND once is ENOUGH… I am not going into specifics. It’s private and it will always be …Read More


April 15, 2014 adoption realities, heart defect, Jean, older child adoption 1 Comments

We just had our first grandchild! It is so exciting AND such an amazing feeling having her HERE! Our daughter talked to me every day (from Germany) before her delivery. The anticipation was riveting! When would she arrive, how would the delivery go, who would she look like? It was a happy moment when I …Read More

How To Find Your Child

March 15, 2014 cognitive delay, heart defect, Jean, older child adoption 2 Comments

At least, this is how we found our children! We started with prayer. Prayers for strength, perseverance, guidance, grace and for the child that HE was leading us too. Once we felt God’s presence we proceeded. This is a good place to start! The NHBO site is filled with information on different special needs, parenting …Read More

Bonding Goes Both Ways

February 15, 2014 Attachment, Jean, older child adoption 3 Comments

The literature on children bonding to their new parents is plentiful but it falls short when it comes to the parents bonding with the child. With our first adoption I didn’t even consider it an issue. After all she was 16 months old and completely helpless. I had bonded to her before I had ever …Read More

My Reflection

January 15, 2014 Jean, older child adoption 2 Comments

God works in mysterious ways… Sometimes I don’t always understand why HE does the things HE does BUT I do know how much HE loves me and just knowing that makes me want to trust HIM even more. In the summer of 2010 God gave us a gift. It was an unexpected gift but nevertheless …Read More

Who Do They Love More?

December 15, 2013 Jean, older child adoption 10 Comments

I have been a mom for 30 years. Yes, our oldest son just turned 30! It is hard to believe how fast the time has gone. It was just yesterday our dear baby boy was born. We spent our time… just staring at him, in awe, completely amazed at this tiny miracle that God created! …Read More

Loving Children… That Are Hard to Love

November 15, 2013 Attachment, Jean, older child adoption, parent-to-child attachment 6 Comments

Many adopted children are so easy to love. They may have a vibrant personality, a good sense of humor, a smile that lights up the room, a positive attitude or other characteristics that attractive! They may remind you of yourself, your beloved husband or siblings or someone else you love. It is easy to love …Read More

Free to Dream

September 15, 2013 Jean, older child adoption 5 Comments

What a joyful noise it is when we hear our children tell us what they want to be when they grow up! It was only a few months to a few years ago when words like that would have been completely futile. There was no future and there were no dreams. Life was purely an …Read More

Done Or Not?

August 15, 2013 adopting again, Jean, large families 11 Comments

We have brought home 11 children in 5.5 years. We have 2 more still waiting for us in China and we hope to bring them home in November or December. I thought at this point I’d feel peaceful. That somewhere down deep inside of me I would know that we did all that we could …Read More

We Can’t Do That

July 15, 2013 cognitive delay, Jean, older child adoption 2 Comments

When Hubby and I first began our adoption journeys we talked about which special needs we could do and which ones we felt that we couldn’t do. Of course as time went on we changed our minds and brought home children with needs that we had previously said no to. There was one need in …Read More


June 15, 2013 HIV, Jean 2 Comments

I remember seeing him on my friend’s blog. I emailed her about him and asked a couple questions. She gave me the information she had on him… And then she gave me a link… Which changed everything… I felt like a boy was waiting somewhere in China for us and I wondered if this was …Read More

what would you do?

May 15, 2013 congenital siderblastic anemia, Jean 13 Comments

Hubby and I knew God was calling us to bring home a second child, we just didn’t know who that child was… YET. There was a special little girl that had a daunting special need. We didn’t completely understand it but her picture was adorable and being positive thinkers we knew there was a chance …Read More

Your Waiting Child?

April 16, 2013 adopting two at once, Jean, older child adoption 2 Comments

Welcome to Jean – our newest contributor at No Hands But Ours! Jean and her husband have been married for 31 years and have raised 5 biological children. In 2006 God called them to adopt and he hasn’t stopped calling them. They now have 11 treasures home from China in addition to their 5 older …Read More

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