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, Trust Based Parenting 1 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 9 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

Love Beyond Sight

December 6, 2016 cataracts, congenital blindness, December 2016 Feature - Sensory, Family Stories, first year home, hypoplasia, medical needs checklist, micropthalmia, Newly Home, prosthetic eye, referral, Sensory System, vision loss 1 Comments

I have always been a planner, always been cautious. I had even been planning this adoption since I was 12! What I hadn’t planned was that China would become a special needs adoption program by the time my husband and I were able to adopt. It was daunting looking over the Medical Checklist. I could …Read More

So Much More than His Diagnosis

November 30, 2016 first weeks home, first year home, hypospadias, Newly Home, November 2016 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 0 Comments

I could write for days about our journey — our growth, the process, the joy, the tears, the worries, the peace. But for today, I’ll focus a little on the medical aspect of our story because there are so many unknowns, so much research, so much hope…..and knowing you’re not alone in it helps, if …Read More

Coming Home During the Holidays

November 29, 2016 adoption realities, China trip, first weeks home, first year home, holidays, Mandy, Newly Home 2 Comments

To the family coming home during the holidays, During the past several months you have longed for and dreamt about those first precious moments when your child would join your family. You’ve dreamt what his hair would feel like and you have imagined kissing his kissable cheeks. And now, your family is plus one in …Read More

When Mom Works: Working and Attachment

October 14, 2016 Attachment, attachment activities, Courtney, first year home, October 2016 Feature - Working Moms, working mom 2 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

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

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

A Treasured Son: Adopting a Child with Cleft Lip and Palate

July 18, 2016 adopting a boy, cl/cp, Craniofacial, feeding challenges, first weeks home, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, Newly Home 6 Comments

I like to say our son, Bo, is an answer to a prayer I didn’t even know I had until we began the process to adopt him. ……. In 2004, my husband, Peet, and I became parents for the first time in a courtroom in Tomsk, Siberia, to a beautiful baby girl. Then in 2010, …Read More

Different Than What We Asked for, Better Than We Imagined

June 20, 2016 adopting a boy, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, first weeks home, Megan, Newly Home, pre-adoption, referral, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 5 Comments

When considering the orphans of China, many think of the the one child policy and specifically the incredible amount of girls that were abandoned as a result. When my husband and I began our adoption process we too thought that it was the girls most in need of homes and loving families. Like many others, …Read More

Reading with your Toddler: China-themed Board Books

June 7, 2016 attachment activities, Faith, June 2016 Feature - Books, Newly Home, toddler adoption 0 Comments

I love to read, and was so excited to share that love with our boy when we brought him home. He’s two, so we are reading board books and picture books, and there are tons that feature China themes and Chinese people. We also like books that show both the English and Chinese word for …Read More

One Day

May 5, 2016 adoption realities, Attachment, first weeks home, first year home, Newly Home, Whitney 1 Comments

Dear little boy of mine, We knew before we brought your sister home you might struggle a bit. We prepared you for this transition as best we could, using all of the information we could obtain. We talked using big words you couldn’t yet fully understand, words your heart wanted to understand. We prayed for …Read More

16 Ways to Prepare During the Wait

May 2, 2016 first weeks home, International Adoption Clinic, Jennifer B., Newly Home, referral, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 3 Comments

Those who have adopted, as well as those currently knee deep in the adoption process, know all about a little thing called waiting. Only it really is not a little thing; it is a big, difficult thing. The good news is that although the wait is hard, it gives families the opportunity to prepare for …Read More

International Adoption Clinics: Services and Locations

April 29, 2016 first weeks home, first year home, International Adoption Clinic, Jennifer B., Newly Home, referral, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 4 Comments

I can still remember getting ‘the call’ during our first adoption process. Our agency coordinator was on the phone and they had a file for us to review. I remember the many different emotions I felt as we opened the file and photos and began to read. Within an hour of opening the file I …Read More

This is Real Life

March 13, 2016 adoption realities, Amy A., Attachment, attachment activities, first weeks home, first year home 2 Comments

When my husband and I stepped across the chasm – our old life on one side and our new life on the other – we had no idea what awaited us. Three and a half years later, we have a better understanding of the world we entered after saying Yes to adoption. So, in honor …Read More

A Baby Sister But Six Months Older: Adopting Out of Birth Order

March 3, 2016 adopting out of birth order, adoption realities, Attachment, Family Stories, first year home, March 2016 Feature - Special Circumstances, parent-to-child attachment, virtual twins 6 Comments

Adoption has always been on my heart. Always. China? Not quite as long, but still in 2014 we found ourselves traveling around the world to meet and bring home our daughter from China. But before we talk about homecomings, siblings, bonding and all, let me back up a bit. When we found that getting pregnant …Read More

A Tribute to Primrose

February 25, 2016 adoption realities, first weeks home, glaucoma, Newly Home, Sensory System, vision issues, vision loss 4 Comments

Eryn is married to Chris and they have two bio kids – Madelyn and River – in addition to their new daughter, Primrose, who just came home from China. This was Eryn’s tribute to adoption on Primrose’s 2nd birthday. ………. These are mama eyes that only shut for 4 hours last night. And hands that …Read More

Victories from the Valley: An Unexpected Journey in Adopting a Child with NF1

February 18, 2016 adoption realities, cocooning, Family Stories, first weeks home, glaucoma, neurofibromatosis, NF1, older child adoption, parent-to-child attachment 2 Comments

We had been home from China with our first daughter almost five months when we saw her picture: a sweet face with a deep downcast shown in her eyes. She was six years old. Her file had been passed over by a few families already because of the uncertainties of her medical condition. One eye …Read More

Rock-a-Bye, Baby

February 7, 2016 Amy A., attachment activities, first weeks home, first year home, head banging, orphanage behaviors 5 Comments

I love how furniture has a history – how it tells a story – and nursery room furniture is no exception. When I was pregnant with my first child, I received a rocking chair from my sister-in-law, who had used it to rock her three babies. So many middle of the night feedings have taken …Read More

Kaleidoscope: One Year Home

February 5, 2016 first weeks home, first year home, Newly Home, Whitney 0 Comments

Today our family celebrates our One Year Home anniversary! I’ve often imagined what it would be like if I could travel back in time to those early days; what would I say to myself? What words of encouragement would One-Year-Home-Me have to say to Me-From-A-Year-Ago? This is how I imagine it would go… //// Hi …Read More

A Plan to Survive the First Weeks Home

December 29, 2015 Attachment, China trip, cocooning, first weeks home, Mandy, Newly Home, prepping for China, Theraplay, toddler adoption, waiting to travel 11 Comments

Adoption is hard. The first few weeks home can be brutal or not. For us, it is hard, but I am not super mom. I am so tired. The kind of tired that makes your bones ache and makes you laugh when things aren’t really that funny. We adopted our second child, a son, 21 …Read More

The Middle of the Road

December 5, 2015 first weeks home, first year home, Whitney 0 Comments

I survived a half marathon a few weeks ago. That’s right. SURVIVED. I trained for it for MONTHS. Really! Since July, a friend and I had been diligently setting our alarm clocks and waking long before the sun rose to hit the pavement. The morning of the race dawned warm and sticky. November in South …Read More

Just One Thing

November 17, 2015 Andrea Y., Attachment, attachment activities, China trip, first year home, prepping for China 3 Comments

It was a rainy Sunday. A day of rest. I told the children to go grab books and have “reading and rest time” after church. All was quiet — and then our littlest who is now four and a half came quietly in my room. He came home when he was just over 2 years …Read More

A Prescription for Holiday Success

November 5, 2015 Attachment, cocooning, first weeks home, first year home, holidays, Whitney 0 Comments

This is our first round of fall/winter holidays with our daughter. If Halloween was any indicator at all, I know that the next two months are going to be filled with wondering… • what should we do? • how should we celebrate? • how do I explain to others why we do or don’t do …Read More

The What, Why and How of International Adoption Clinics

November 4, 2015 China trip, first weeks home, International Adoption Clinic, October 2015 Feature - It Takes a Village, referral 0 Comments

International Adoption Clinics (IACs) were initially founded by a group of adoptive parents who were also physicians. We saw a huge gap in the health care given to our own internationally adopted children. Before IACs opened their doors we were trying to see international adoptees by squeezing them into the 15 minute or less appointment …Read More

From the Pediatrician: 10 Things Parents Should Know

October 27, 2015 China trip, first weeks home, Newly Home, October 2015 Feature - It Takes a Village, travel tips 0 Comments

When we traveled to China in September of 2014 to adopt our son, we took a car seat and a vest that can be used as a restraint device for car travel – the guides loved the extra 10-15 minutes we took loading up our kids. I took along so much medication that I almost …Read More

Be the Village

October 23, 2015 first weeks home, Medical Momma, October 2015 Feature - It Takes a Village, Rebecca, supporting adoptive families, surgery 2 Comments

“Let me know what I can do.” 

We make the offer to newly home adoptive families and families facing medical challenges or hospital stays. We all say it, and mean it, but we know they won’t take us up on. Not a matter of gratitude, help offers are always appreciated. And support is likely needed, …Read More

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