Being a Mom to Special Kids

September 15, 2017 autism, cerebral palsy, Megan, Parenting Special Needs, siblings 1 Comments

All of our children our special, but some of us know just how hard it is having extra special kids. Anyone who has adopted, whether your child was listed as having special needs or not, knows what it’s like to parent an atypical and often difficult child. Sometimes it is just plain hard. Whether your …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

Walking His Road

July 21, 2017 adopting again, cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2017 Feature - Craniofacial, should we adopt?, speech delay, undiagnosed SN 0 Comments

It was Memorial Day 2012 the first time my husband, Robert, told me he wanted to adopt. We lived in a delightful little suburb of Dallas and had spent the afternoon watching our three young boys play at the splash park. We were all hot and sticky as we drove home and he said, “I’d …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

For Life: Unexptected Treasures

June 4, 2017 Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, Developmental System, Lifelong needs, low muscle tone, May 2017 Feature - For Life, seizures, undiagnosed SN 1 Comments

Adopting a child with special needs can be scary. And even scarier when that child has needs that just might require a lifetime of parental care. In our For Life series, we are hearing from those whose parenting journey has diverged from what most would think typical. They’re parenting children who require more than what …Read More

For Life: What Happened When We Killed Our Dreams

May 26, 2017 a father's perspective, ASD, Dads, Developmental System, Down syndrome, feeding challenges, heart defect, May 2017 Feature - For Life, medical needs checklist, Randall, should we adopt? 3 Comments

Finish high school. Graduate from college. Get a job. Get married. Have a couple kids. Maybe even adopt one. Send them all to college. Celebrate their weddings. Spoil the grandkids. Retire. That’s the plan. Well… that was the plan. When I was getting ready to finish high school, I realized I had no idea what …Read More

Full of Surprises

May 17, 2017 Central Nervous System, Chiari 1 malformation, clubfoot, Family Stories, hydrocephalus, hydronephrosis, neurogenic bowel and bladder, spina bifida 2 Comments

When we started our adoption process we wanted a healthy child. That’s what everyone wants – adopted or biological – right? Our hearts changed when we had the privilege of working with special needs kids, and we saw so much life and strength in them that we changed our adoption papers to special needs. When …Read More

For Life: The Road God Had For Us

May 10, 2017 developmental delays, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Lifelong needs, May 2017 Feature - For Life, medical needs checklist, waiting for referral 2 Comments

Adopting a child with special needs can be scary. And even scarier when that child has needs that just might require a lifetime of parental care. This month we are hearing from those whose parenting journey has diverged from what most would think typical. They’re parenting children who require more than what many would believe …Read More

Weathering Medical Surprises

May 9, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, Brandie, hearing aids, hearing loss, heart defect, oral aversion, Sensory Processing Issues, speech delay, undiagnosed SN, VSD 2 Comments

At the first sign of a chilly night in the fall, my husband and daughter take tarps to their little garden to cover her cherished tomato plants, hoping to buy them a little more time before the cold winter claims them. Around the same time, my husband and son begin the preparation for winter. They …Read More

Tackling Feeding Challenges: Feeding Therapy and Finding the Right Fit

May 7, 2017 early intervention, feeding/swallowing therapy, Guest Series, March 2017 Feature - Feeding Challenges, oral aversion, oral-motor delays, refusing food, Sensory Processing Issues, speech therapy, swallow study, Tackling Feeding Challenges 0 Comments

Feeding your child is one of the most basic ways you can bond, and yet can become the one most challenging aspects of parenting for many adoptive families. In this three-part series, Speech Therapist Melissa Pouncey will provide practical places to start working towards peaceful and healthy eating habits, along with more therapeutic information regarding …Read More

Conquering Oral Aversions

May 4, 2017 attachment activities, cleft lip, cleft palate, feeding/swallowing therapy, March 2017 Feature - Feeding Challenges, oral aversion, oral-motor delays, refusing food, Sensory Processing Issues, speech therapy 0 Comments

Originally posted on Under the Sycamore When we arrived in China (almost 5 years ago), I thought she would try new foods pretty quickly. She didn’t. I thought once she was settled in at home, she’d be ready. She wasn’t. After several months of no progress, I joked that I was sure she’d eat a …Read More

Severe Feeding Challenges: The Hardest Part

April 23, 2017 developmental delays, Developmental System, feeding challenges, feeding/swallowing therapy, food issues, oral aversion, oral-motor delays, orphanage behaviors, refusing food, Sensory Processing Issues, speech therapy, undiagnosed SN 8 Comments

We started the adoption process in 2005, right before the big slowdown. We didn’t end up traveling until 2007, so I spent every free moment reading adoption stories and joining every adoption-related yahoo group out there. I felt as well-educated as one could possibly be. Unfortunately, there were only the “ladybugs and unicorns” stories out …Read More

When My Non-Verbal Daughter Dreamed About a Butterfly

April 14, 2017 ASL, Attachment, attachment activities, developmental delays, Developmental System, low muscle tone, non-verbal, sign language 3 Comments

Talking is my strong suit. I love to talk. My grandmothers would both comment on my ability to talk, even at a very young age. I remember being at a Shoney’s (a restaurant) when I was around five or six years old. My grandmother shushed me several times. It was then I realized how much …Read More

The Real Worst Case Scenario

April 9, 2017 adopting as a single mom, adopting as first time parents, April 2017 Feature - CNS, Central Nervous System, Chiari 2 malformation, Family Stories, hydrocephalus, medical needs checklist, mobility issues, neurogenic bowel and bladder, spina bifida, waiting for referral, wheelchair user 1 Comments

When I began the adoption process, in the fall of 2013, I filled out my agency’s medical conditions checklist, or MCC. I was only open to a girl up to age 18 months, but being a special education teacher, I was familiar with and open to a wide variety of medical needs. At the time, …Read More

Nourish

April 4, 2017 feeding tube, Hillary, March 2017 Feature - Feeding Challenges, Nutrition, oral aversion, oral-motor delays, refusing food 1 Comments

nour·ish ˈnəriSH/ 1. provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition. This is what a mama does, right? We offer ourselves to nourish our children. Biologically, our bodies were made to do this. Emotionally, our hearts were made to do this, too. But a mama is finite. The whole …Read More

He Will Provide: Part Two

April 3, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting two at once, brain injury, ESL, Family Stories, older child adoption, public school, undiagnosed SN 4 Comments

I have needed regular reminders since we brought David and Daniel home to keep trusting that – because our adoption was God’s miracle – He will provide all that we need. God has been helping me to keep holding on to hope and to keep believing that His plans for our family are always good. …Read More

April Special Needs Focus (and Favorite Family Stories): Central Nervous System

April 1, 2017 April 2017 Feature - CNS, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Favorite Family Stories, hydrocephalus, microcephaly, moyamoya, spina bifida 0 Comments

The term special needs can sound scary. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Our goal at NHBO is to equip and inform parents – replacing fear with knowledge – as they navigate the beginning stages of special needs adoption. And then encourage and support those home with their special needs kiddos. We do …Read More

The Battle Inside: Parenting a Child with Feeding Challenges

March 31, 2017 failure to thrive, Family Stories, feeding challenges, feeding tube, feeding/swallowing therapy, first weeks home, food issues, H-Pylori, malnourishment, March 2017 Feature - Feeding Challenges, Nutrition, oral aversion, refusing food 0 Comments

We began our adoption journey about three years ago and in that time we completed two separate adoptions. We first traveled to China in 2015 to bring home our son who was just a year old at the time and in 2016 we re-used our dossier bringing home our daughter who had just turned two. …Read More

He Will Provide: Part One

March 31, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting two at once, brain injury, Developmental System, older child adoption, undiagnosed SN 4 Comments

I was acutely aware of my lack of motherly connection to Daniel, as I watched him lying there with vacant eyes on the hospital bed. “God, is it even possible for me to love this boy?” My husband Charly was working on his PhD at Lanzhou University when we learned about our sons David and …Read More

Tackling Feeding Challenges: Oral Motor Differences and Feeding

March 28, 2017 Education, feeding challenges, feeding/swallowing therapy, food issues, Guest Series, March 2017 Feature - Feeding Challenges, Newly Home, Nutrition, occupational therapy, oral aversion, physical therapy, refusing food, Sensory Processing Issues, Tackling Feeding Challenges 0 Comments

Feeding your child is one of the most basic ways you can bond, and yet can become the one most challenging aspects of parenting for many adoptive families. In this three-part series, Speech Therapist Melissa Pouncey will provide practical places to start working towards peaceful and healthy eating habits, along with more therapeutic information regarding …Read More

Feeding Challenges: “I’ve Got This” and Other Things I Once Believed

March 26, 2017 complex heart defect, developmental delays, early intervention, failure to thrive, feeding tube, feeding/swallowing therapy, malnourishment, March 2017 Feature - Feeding Challenges, Nutrition, oral aversion, paralyzed vocal chords, refusing food, surgery 4 Comments

Major cardiac defects? That’s a little more intimidating than we initially signed up for but nothing a good surgeon can’t fix. Plus I’m a nurse, I can handle the hard. God prepared me for this. Poor oxygenation? That’ll correct itself once her heart is repaired. Severe developmental delays? Of course she’s delayed, but look at …Read More

Crying Over Cheerios: Overcoming Feeding Challenges

March 17, 2017 adopting a boy, Brandie, early intervention, Education, Family Stories, feeding challenges, feeding/swallowing therapy, first weeks home, first year home, March 2017 Feature - Feeding Challenges, Newly Home, oral-motor delays 2 Comments

Where I grew up, food was a love language. I learned at a very young age that food was the center of any worthwhile gathering. I remember once in the sweltering heat of a Mississippi summer, we attended a family reunion. It was a potluck, and table after table was overflowing with plates of styrofoam …Read More

Tackling Feeding Challenges: The Basics

March 14, 2017 Education, feeding challenges, feeding/swallowing therapy, food issues, Guest Series, March 2017 Feature - Feeding Challenges, Newly Home, occupational therapy, oral aversion, oral-motor delays, refusing food, Sensory Processing Issues, speech therapy, Tackling Feeding Challenges 0 Comments

Feeding your child is one of the most basic ways you can bond, and yet can become the one most challenging aspects of parenting for many adoptive families. In this three-part series, Speech Therapist Melissa Pouncey will provide practical places to start working towards peaceful and healthy eating habits, along with more therapeutic information regarding …Read More

Putting the Pieces Together

March 11, 2017 brain injury, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, cleft palate, hemiplegia, older child adoption 3 Comments

One of the ways in which we fundraised to bring our daughter, Lulu, home last year was through a jigsaw puzzle fundraiser, suggested by a fellow adoptive Mama. Perhaps you’re familiar with it — we reached out to family and friends asking them to sponsor pieces of a puzzle to raise the $5,800 orphanage donation …Read More

Yes, I Did. I Asked For This.

February 17, 2017 Developmental System, Down syndrome, Family Stories, large families 15 Comments

Someone finally said out loud what I assumed people might be thinking all along. I was asked, “How are you?” Careful not to ever come across as complaining about this beautiful mess God has called me to, I simply answered, “Good.” I never want to appear to have it all together (which isn’t hard); however, …Read More

Confessions of a Former China Director Turned Adoptive Mom

January 24, 2017 adopting a boy, Attachment, attachment activities, cognitive delay, complex medical, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, first weeks home, first year home, low muscle tone, Newly Home, should we adopt? 8 Comments

Alternately titled: What I wish I would have known, and what I would like to share with other adoptive families I first started out with adoption in 2004 when I was just 21 years old. It was the summer before my senior year of college when I got a job as an intern at All …Read More

Reluctant Spouses: Worth the Wait

January 21, 2017 adopting a boy, Down syndrome, January 2017 Feature - Reluctant Spouses, pre-adoption, reluctant husband, should we adopt? 3 Comments

Choosing to grow your family is a monumental, life-altering decision. And choosing to grow your family through special-needs adoption? Even more so. Which makes this decision an understandably difficult one to make – one that is typically easier (or harder) for one spouse than the other. This month we’re focusing on Reluctant Spouses. Or, when …Read More

Feeding Challenges, Attachment and Trust-Based Parenting

January 2, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, feeding challenges, feeding/swallowing therapy, Newly Home, oral aversion, refusing food, Sensory Processing Issues, Trust Based Parenting 1 Comments

My introduction to the world of feeding challenges coincided with me becoming a mother. My firstborn son – a perfect, squishy newborn – refused to eat. He had no physical limitations or reasons for refusing food, he just didn’t see the need nor possess the desire to fulfill his hunger by eating. The first six …Read More

Mothering Zhou: Adopting a Child with Oral Aversion

December 24, 2016 cl/cp, Craniofacial, early intervention, feeding/swallowing therapy, occupational therapy, oral aversion, oral-motor delays, refusing food, Sensory Processing Issues, speech delay, speech therapy 0 Comments

Five and a half years ago, my arms ached to hold my son, a world away in China… When I couldn’t sleep, and I had said everything to God I could think of, I would do three things: 1. visit Google maps to zoom in on a city that is as far away as it …Read More

Pictures, Songs, and God’s Goodness

November 25, 2016 complex medical, developmental delays, Developmental System, encephalocele, hypothyroidism, November 2016 Feature - Then and Now 1 Comments

After several adoptions, I’ve realized there is not a “standard” Then and Now story. We have a heart hero, a tiny miracle with the biggest and brightest joy, a precious daughter who struggles with significant PTSD, and a daughter with great needs who is a two steps forward, ten steps back – kind of girl. …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

Then and Now: Ayla

November 9, 2016 beta thalassemia, beta thalassemia major, Blood Conditions, developmental delays, November 2016 Feature - Then and Now, thalassemia 0 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… ……….. “I do not think she will live …Read More

Changing Hearts Near and Far: Adopting a Child with Down Syndrome

October 28, 2016 Developmental System, Down syndrome, October 2016 Feature - Developmental 0 Comments

I’ve typed and deleted so many times trying to find the right words for this post. You see, the truth is, our adoption of a child with Down syndrome has really been no different than any of our other adoptions. From impatiently waiting to bring her home, to bonding, to doctors appointments, and even our …Read More

Leaps of Faith: Adopting a Child with Micropthalmia

October 27, 2016 Chiari 1 malformation, Developmental System, medical needs checklist, micropthalmia, October 2016 Feature - Developmental, prosthetic eye, referral, Sensory System, vision loss 4 Comments

No two families start exactly the same. In some sense, every decision to have children involves a leap of faith. Nothing in this world is a guarantee; as plenty of parents have learned, there is much that can go wrong during a baby’s formative nine months in the womb and truly, through their entire lives, …Read More

Every Life Has Value: Adopting a Child with Lifelong Needs

October 18, 2016 cerebral palsy, cognitive delay, developmental delays, Developmental System, Lifelong needs, non-verbal 9 Comments

I have to be honest and tell you up front that I am writing this while nursing some sore feelings. One too many times over the last month or so I’ve had to fight for my girl. I have had to hear hurtful words. So my heart is tender and a little broken so be …Read More

1 in 1000: Adopting a Child with Childhood Apraxia of Speech

October 17, 2016 apraxia of speech, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, early intervention, Education, Family Stories, non-verbal, October 2016 Feature - Developmental, speech delay, speech therapy 0 Comments

Like so many of us who are part of the adoption community, we have learned so very much in the time our two youngest kiddos have been part of our family. Our son, Liam, who is now eight years old, joined our family at the age of 28 months. His special need was listed as …Read More

When Mom Works: Infinitely Better Off

October 16, 2016 congenital blindness, Education, non-verbal, October 2016 Feature - Working Moms, orphanage realities, pre-school, Sensory System, vision loss, working mom 1 Comments

Navigating work and being a mom is tough under the best of circumstances, but it can feel even more daunting when you toss in the complex issues that accompany parenting your newly adopted child. So this month on No Hands But Ours, some been-there-done-that working mamas are here to help, with advice on everything from …Read More

The Blessing of Parenting a Child with Down Syndrome

October 11, 2016 adopting a boy, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Family Stories, Morning Star Foster Home, October 2016 Feature - Developmental 5 Comments

I was sixteen weeks pregnant with our second child sitting outside Panera sipping my tomato basil soup when an elementary aged boy walked by smiling and holding his mother’s hand. The boy had Down syndrome. As they walked past a question entered my mind I had never thought in my life, “What if my child …Read More

When Mom Works: Six Truths to Hold On To

October 8, 2016 adopting as a single mom, Desiree, Down syndrome, October 2016 Feature - Working Moms, working mom 1 Comments

Navigating work and being a mom is tough under the best of circumstances, but it can feel even more daunting when you toss in the complex issues that accompany parenting your newly adopted child. So this month on No Hands But Ours, some been-there-done-that working mamas are here to help, with advice on everything from …Read More

Down Syndrome, Sign Language and Adoption

October 6, 2016 ASL, Attachment, attachment activities, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Family Stories, non-verbal, October 2016 Feature - Developmental, sign language, speech delay 2 Comments

When our oldest daughter, Reagan, was a baby, I had every intention of teaching her sign language. I had researched the benefits, both for parents and children, and was excited to go down that road. But then life happened, sleepless nights and other duties prevailed, and we never pursued it further. 

 Our middle daughter, Reese, …Read More

Making the Grade: Special Education and Adoption

September 30, 2016 agenesis of the corpus callosum, autism, brain damage syndrome, cerebral palsy, cognitive delay, developmental delays, early intervention, Education, hypothyroidism, IEP, institutional autism, non-verbal, public school, September 2016 Feature - Back to School 1 Comments

It’s September which means school is back in session. And this month at No Hands But Ours, it’s all about Education. From IEPs to OT, from homeschooling to Early Intervention, we’re covering the gamut of educational topics and how they relate to the unique needs of the children who have joined our families through adoption. …Read More

Making the Grade: Links for Parents of Kids with Special Needs Part Two

September 20, 2016 504 Plan, early intervention, Education, ESL, feeding challenges, feeding/swallowing therapy, first year home, IEP, Jennifer B., occupational therapy, physical therapy, public school, Sensory Processing Issues, September 2016 Feature - Back to School, speech therapy 0 Comments

It’s September which means school is back in session. And this month at No Hands But Ours, it’s all about Education. From IEPs to OT, from homeschooling to Early Intervention, we’re covering the gamut of educational topics and how they relate to the unique needs of the children who have joined our families through adoption. …Read More

God’s Path: Adopting a Child with Down Syndrome

September 19, 2016 Developmental System, Down syndrome, Family Stories 1 Comments

Four years ago, we were a family of five. My husband and I had two biological sons who are now 15 and 13 and one daughter who is now ten. We had adopted our daughter from China when she was only one year old. She had a hole in her heart, but God healed her. …Read More

Making the Grade: Why We Homeschool

September 16, 2016 developmental delays, Education, homeschool, older child adoption, September 2016 Feature - Back to School 1 Comments

It’s September which means school is back in session. And this month at No Hands But Ours, it’s all about Education. From IEPs to OT, from homeschooling to Early Intervention, we’re covering the gamut of educational topics and how they relate to the unique needs of the children who have joined our families through adoption. …Read More

Sign Language and Adoption: Getting Started

August 28, 2016 ASL, Attachment, attachment activities, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, sign language, speech delay 1 Comments

You might think that sign language is only for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We’d like to encourage you to reconsider. Signing is an incredibly valuable tool in any adoptive parent’s tool belt. It makes communicating with your newly adopted child exponentially easier – no matter their age or special need. And …Read More

How to Find Your Tribe

August 25, 2016 a father's perspective, adoption community, Dads, Developmental System, Down syndrome, first weeks home, first year home, Newly Home, Perspectives, Randall 0 Comments

“Your people are my people, your God my God. Not even death itself is going to come between us.” Ruth 1:16-17 When we started the adoption process, we were not even considering Down syndrome. It was too scary. In fact, the irony of it, is we decided our cut-off for having bio kids was age …Read More

Sign Language and Adoption: The Gift of Communication

August 23, 2016 attachment activities, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, Developmental System, Down syndrome, prepping for China, sign language, speech delay, waiting to travel 1 Comments

You’ve made the decision to adopt. Your homestudy is underway or maybe even finished. You’ve taken adoption classes and read book after book. You’ve worked hard to prepare your home, your family and your hearts to bring your little one home. But what about communication? Have you prepared to communicate with your child? For most …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

When God Honors Our “Yes”: Our Sign Language Journey, Part One

August 10, 2016 adopting as first time parents, ASL, Attachment, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, cl/cp, cochlear implants, Craniofacial, developmental delays, Family Stories, hearing loss, older child adoption, profound deafness, Sensory System, sign language 6 Comments

In May 2009, I first saw her face. She couldn’t possibly be our daughter; she didn’t “fit” any of the criteria we’d committed to on our Medical Needs Checklist and there was no way my husband would agree to adopting her. True, we’d agreed that caring for a child with cleft lip/palate was something we …Read More

Sign Language and Adoption: The Value of their Voice

August 7, 2016 ASL, attachment activities, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, Family Stories, Heart System, sign language, speech delay, tracheo-malacia, VSD 0 Comments

You might think that sign language is only for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We’d like to encourage you to reconsider. Signing is an incredibly valuable tool in any adoptive parent’s tool belt. It makes communicating with your newly adopted child exponentially easier – no matter their age or special need. And …Read More

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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.