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 0 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

Trauma and the Holidays: Have No Expectations

October 3, 2018 adoption realities, Attachment, first year home, holidays, Newly Home, October 2018 Feature - Trauma and the Holidays, Realities, trauma 3 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

Celebrating China In The Small Things

September 19, 2018 Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, first year home, Megan V., Newly Home 3 Comments

Somewhere, in the mess of paperwork I keep in an accordion file in my office, is information regarding our responsibility to celebrate our Chinese children’s culture. It may be the only paper that isn’t notarized and certified, but I’m pretty sure we promised. To go to stuff and do stuff and celebrate stuff. This promise …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

A Grand Canyon Kind Of Beauty

August 11, 2018 attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, first year home, indiscriminate affection, Newly Home, Whitney 0 Comments

My family road-tripped last summer and one of the places we stopped off at was the Grand Canyon. Visiting this place has been on my bucket list for basically my whole life, and to finally see it in person was stunning. Words fail to describe the depth, the colors, the beauty or the sheer big-ness …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

Attachment Through the Years: 4 Years Home

July 29, 2018 adopting two at once, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, July 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, Medical Momma, Newly Home, Rebecca 2 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

When All This Feels Too Heavy

July 23, 2018 a father's perspective, Dads, first weeks home, first year home, Newly Home, Randall 3 Comments

“We’re not gonna make it.” Maybe you’ve felt that. Maybe you’ve even been so desperate to say it out loud. There are times when you’ve looked around at the carnage and the chaos of your family and social worlds and have thought, “We’re not gonna make it.” Maybe you’re feeling that right now. I hope …Read More

Magic Mirror Gate: My First Half Year as a Dad

June 30, 2018 a father's perspective, adopting as first time parents, albinism, Dads, first year home, June 2018 Feature - Celebrating Dads, Newly Home, Perspectives, toddler adoption 1 Comments

Since I was super smart about being a parent before I was one, I would often compare it to bowling with bumpers. You put up boundaries, and those boundaries keep your kids in line. BAM – parenting. Done. Where’s my book deal? But so far, six months in, it feels more like I’m attempting olympic …Read More

Saying Yes to Giving Grace

April 5, 2018 adoption community, April 2018 Feature - Giving Grace, cocooning, first year home, local adoption support, local church, Newly Home, supporting adoptive families, Whitney 8 Comments

I knew when we stepped into life as a family who had experienced the gift of adoption relationships with other people would be different. I knew that some people understood the “why” behind our choice and some people didn’t. I knew that some people would understand the difficulties associated with living life with our child …Read More

Understanding Early Intervention

March 9, 2018 Brandie, developmental delays, early intervention, Education, first weeks home, first year home, Newly Home, physical therapy, public school, speech delay, speech therapy 1 Comments

On a Monday morning twenty months ago, I rushed around to tidy my house before an afternoon appointment with an Early Intervention coordinator. At the time, I had no idea what Early Intervention entailed. I just knew that in the brief month that we had known our youngest son, we identified several areas where he …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

Post-Adoption Depression: The Perfect Storm

January 23, 2018 Courtney, first weeks home, January 2018 Feature - The Uninvited Guest: Post-Adoption Depression, Newly Home, post-adoption depression 1 Comments

The long wait is over. After more than a year or two of dreaming, planning, and preparing for your child, there he or she sits at your table. The paperwork is done. The trip overseas is completed and now the real journey begins. Far too often this new adventure develops quickly into something many adoptive …Read More

Nothing Wasted: Life After Post-Adoption Depression

January 15, 2018 adopting two at once, Attachment, attachment challenges, January 2018 Feature - The Uninvited Guest: Post-Adoption Depression, Newly Home, post-adoption depression, rejects mom 1 Comments

The story I’m about to share is my battle with depression and anxiety that intensified after our first two adopted children came into our lives. I could share so many funny and sweet tales of our family and our precious kiddos, and I hope to have the opportunity to do so in the future. I …Read More

Post-Adoption Depression: Finding Our New Normal

January 13, 2018 2018 Features, first weeks home, first year home, January 2018 Feature - The Uninvited Guest: Post-Adoption Depression, Newly Home, post-adoption depression 3 Comments

After a family’s dossier is logged in and they’re officially LID, our agency provides a resource packet containing information about what to expect in the coming months, different scenarios for Gotcha/Family Day, what travel will look like, and more. When we received that packet for our first adoption, of course, I practically memorized it. That …Read More

Preparing for Adoption: Therapist Q and A Part One

December 12, 2017 Attachment, first weeks home, first year home, Kelly, marriage, Newly Home, October 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption from the Experts, pre-adoption, prepping for China, siblings, TBRI-based therapy, therapy 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

Afraid of the Dark

December 9, 2017 adoption realities, Brandie, first year home, Lifelong needs, Medical Momma, Newly Home, November 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption, undiagnosed SN 0 Comments

I was never a fan of haunted houses. I didn’t like the lack of control or the dark spaces flooded with loud, foreboding music. I didn’t like the strobe lights that gave me small glimpses of what I should fear. I didn’t like the anticipation of what was lurking around the corner, eagerly waiting to …Read More

Truth

November 19, 2017 adoption community, adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, first year home, Megan V., Newly Home, rages, trauma 6 Comments

We are not the poster children for adoption. Our process was so different from many of the moms I followed on facebook that I shut by computer one day and walked away from it, determined to not check in again until things were going better. That resolve lasted approximately 4 days and then I was …Read More

What to Expect When You Adopt

November 16, 2017 China trip, first weeks home, Gotcha Day, Newly Home, November 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption, Rebecca 6 Comments

When You Adopt, Expect… Your knees to be rubbed raw from time knelt in prayer. That every step of the way, God has something to say, if you’ll only still yourself to listen. That if He is asking you to wait, it is intentional. That your adoption story will be completely unique from everyone else’s, …Read More

Pulled in Two Directions

November 14, 2017 adopting a boy, adoption realities, China trip, first year home, Gotcha Day, Newly Home 0 Comments

The day we met our son is a day that we still remember like it was yesterday, and yet sometimes forget because it’s hard to believe that he hasn’t been with us forever. The anticipation and excitement of that moment juxtaposed with the deep grief of him saying goodbye to all he knew, his safety …Read More

We Needed Him

November 10, 2017 adopting a boy, Adopting Scenarios, Family Stories, first year home, Gotcha Day, Newly Home 3 Comments

One year. I still can’t believe it’s been an entire year since Brooks became ours… One year since a tiny, pale, very sick little boy reached for two strangers in a musty Chinese conference room. One year as a family of five. One year of learning and adapting and fighting for a little boy born …Read More

Worth It

October 25, 2017 ADHD, cl/cp, cognitive delay, Craniofacial, developmental delays, Developmental System, early intervention, Education, Family Stories, feeding challenges, October 2017 Feature - Developmental, oral-motor delays, Sensory Processing Issues, speech delay 0 Comments

Three years after coming home with our older daughter – whose special needs are unrepaired cleft palate and ear atresia and microtia – we were ready to adopt again. We were open to many things on the medical needs checklist, but not developmental delays. We had good insurance and several medical facilities nearby, so we …Read More

“A Little Bit Naughty”: Misunderstood Special Needs

October 19, 2017 ADHD, adopting a boy, age assignment, developmental delays, Developmental System, IEP, Newly Home, October 2017 Feature - Developmental, public school, Sensory Processing Issues 2 Comments

One and a half years ago my husband and I, seasoned parents with three pre-teen/teenage biological daughters, flew across the globe to China to meet our four-year-old son, Asher. He was in the Special Focus program and his special need was Developmental Delay. Being that DD is such a common and global term associated with …Read More

Say What?

October 9, 2017 attachment activities, Brandie, early intervention, Education, first weeks home, first year home, hearing aids, hearing loss, Newly Home, sign language, speech delay, speech therapy, undiagnosed SN, velopharyngeal Insufficiency 0 Comments

“I don’t get it,” I said to my friend several years ago when she mentioned she was having her toddler evaluated by an early intervention team to assess his speech. “He’s not even two. He’s a late bloomer!” I assured her. I went on with anecdotes about our first born, now 15, who at two …Read More

Taking Care of You…

September 19, 2017 adoption community, Andrea Y., Newly Home 2 Comments

One of my favorite things to do each month is to write for No Hands But Ours. I love to write. I love to share. I actually love to sit over coffee with friends and talk — but I find myself in this current season with six children ranging from toddler to teen with little …Read More

Attachment Q & A: Reaching for Strangers

August 24, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2017 Feature - Attachment Q & A, baby-wearing, cocooning, first year home, indiscriminate affection, Newly Home, Nicole 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

One Year Home: A First-Time Mom’s Thoughts on “Gotcha Day”

July 27, 2017 adopting as first time parents, China trip, cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, first year home, Gotcha Day, infertility, July 2017 Feature - Craniofacial, Newly Home, referral, toddler adoption, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 3 Comments

We’re finally here, we’re already here. The road to this day, the first anniversary of Willa’s “Gotcha Day,” has been slow, and yet in other ways, I feel like I blinked, and here we are. I’m not exactly sure what meeting your adopted child feels like for many moms, the ones with a gaggle of …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

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

When They Don’t Choose You

July 7, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, bottle feeding, cocooning, Family Stories, first weeks home, July 2017 Feature - All About Attachment, Newly Home, rejects mom, Trust Based Parenting 3 Comments

God planted the seed of adoption in my heart when I was still in elementary school. There was a single woman who did foster care and her children were in my brother’s t-ball league. The idea that children didn’t have families blew me away, and I begged my parents to adopt. That was not God’s …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

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

My Hero

May 15, 2017 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, cerebral palsy, first year home, Megan, Newly Home, orphanage realities, self-harming, trauma 3 Comments

My hero is tiny but larger than life. Tan skin, black hair and the most beautiful dark chocolate eyes you have ever seen. He is 33 inches tall and weighs 33 pounds. A perfect little pint of goodness. A little over a year ago, at age three, he left a cold gray building with my …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

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

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

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

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

An Awkward Email

March 13, 2017 adoption community, Courtney, Newly Home 1 Comments

About two and a half years ago, I sent out a really awkward e-mail to a few moms. It went a little something like this: “Hey! You don’t know me but I just got back from China with my daughter and I heard from a friend of a friend of a friend that you recently …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

After the Honeymoon: Adopting a Child with Complex CHD

February 14, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting as first time parents, complex heart defect, Family Stories, February 2017 Feature - Heart, first year home, Heart System, heterotaxy, medical needs checklist, Morning Star Foster Home, pulmonary atresia, should we adopt?, surgery, waiting for referral 0 Comments

Prologue: In our son’s room, we have a picture that reads: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) We chose this verse for him, but in reality it applies more to us. My husband, Derek, and …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

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

Family Makes a Difference

December 29, 2016 adopting a boy, age assignment, bone scan, cl/cp, Craniofacial, December 2016 Feature - Adopting a Boy, Family Stories, first year home, International Adoption Clinic, night terrors, Sleep issues, switching agencies 0 Comments

If you have read any adoption account they all contain transformation stories. Most are pretty dramatic. How could it be anything less? Family makes a difference. The love of family brings healing physical, emotional and spiritual. It is no different in our story. My family was in line to be matched with a child in …Read More

Weaving

December 13, 2016 Attachment, Courtney, first year home, Newly Home 7 Comments

Adoption is not natural. There is great beauty but there is also incredible pain. It is the joining of two completely separate lives. One broken fearful child with another broken set of humans trying to very clumsily create this word “family.” For us it looked like entering a government building on a stifling hot August …Read More

How Adoption Changed our Christmas Card List

December 8, 2016 adoption community, first year home, Newly Home 2 Comments

Make fun of me all you want, but I addressed the last of my Christmas cards and sent them out the day after Thanksgiving. We missed sending them out last year in the midst of the last minute paper push. We had LID December 1, and were in the midst of sorting through files and …Read More

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