“It’s Just the Way God Made Me”

September 11, 2017 amputation, Education, limb difference, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic, prosthetics, public school, September 2017 Feature - Visible Special Needs, visible special need 7 Comments

Anna Grace is five years old. She loves all things Disney and princesses. Her favorite outings are to the zoo, museum, or playground. She takes dance class and swimming lessons. When she grows up, she wants to be a doctor, dance teacher, singer, or dog trainer. She loves playing outside with her friends, especially if …Read More

Seeing Things Differently

September 9, 2017 BAHA, Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing loss, limb difference, microtia, Orthopedic, Sensory System, September 2017 Feature - Visible Special Needs, visible special need 0 Comments

Recently someone reached out to ask what I would tell a group of Boy Scouts if I could speak to them as a special needs mom. This friend, who works everyday as a speech therapist, had been invited to speak to a local Boy Scout troop about interacting with children with special needs. Upon reading …Read More

Celebrating Her Differences

July 11, 2017 amniotic band syndrome, Family Stories, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic, referral, visible special need 0 Comments

Our adoption journey began many years before the first paper was signed and sent off to our agency. My husband and I spent the summer after our junior year in college in China studying language and culture. We actually began dating at the end of our time in China and that summer holds a very …Read More

A Little Further Down the Road

July 9, 2017 homeschool, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, Laine, large families, Orthopedic, radial club hand 2 Comments

Hi there! I’m Laine and I’m a mama to ten blessings from China and four bio blessings! It’s been a really long time since I’ve written a post for NHBO. I am feeling quite rusty in my writing skills these days! (But ask me to fix a large meal or read to a bunch of …Read More

I Can’t is Not in Our Vocabulary

July 4, 2017 Family Stories, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, limb difference, Orthopedic, reluctant husband, should we adopt? 0 Comments

I can’t. Such a short phrase can carry so much defeat behind it. It’s a phrase that I was sure we would hear often when my husband and I were called to adopt a child with a limb difference. So many questions and emotions ran through my mind the day that I stared at our …Read More

Your Hand Fits Perfectly in Mine

June 30, 2017 ectrodactyly, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, limb difference, medical needs checklist, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic 2 Comments

I can remember wanting to adopt for a long time — specifically wanting to adopt a daughter from China. My amazing stepdad adopted me when I was 12 so, since I was young, adoption has been close to my heart. When my husband and I married in 2004, adoption was something we knew we wanted …Read More

“I Can Do Anything You Can Do”

June 28, 2017 Family Stories, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, Orthopedic, Poland syndrome 0 Comments

It’s funny how you remember the exact moment certain things happen in your life; a phone call about your first job, winning a special award, the first time you fell in love. Moments like these seem to be forever captured in a certain part of your brain, a place that can be retrieved and played …Read More

How Adoption Changed Our Definition of Perfect

June 27, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, adopting out of birth order, arthrogryposis, Family Stories, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, mobility issues, older child adoption, Orthopedic, should we adopt?, wheelchair user 3 Comments

My husband and I met in middle school. We didn’t date until right after high school, but were close friends from early in our relationship. We dated through college and got married right after my graduation. We met a family who had children through adoption, and that was when the seed was planted. We knew …Read More

Our Favorite Feet

June 26, 2017 clubfoot, Family Stories, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, Nancy, Orthopedic 0 Comments

Jude is amazing. He’s taken everything in stride, and I think he even has a bit of pride about his scars, that sense of I did this and not only am I okay, but I’m better and I love who I am! And, of course, I can’t disagree with him. He is awesome and a …Read More

Nothing to Fear: Seeing Beyond the Check Box

June 20, 2017 adopting again, arthrogryposis, Family Stories, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, medical needs checklist, older child adoption, Orthopedic 2 Comments

She loves bubbles and baby dolls. Her favorite color is yellow. She is a quick learner and a compassionate friend. She has the most joyful laugh, and an infectious smile. And we wouldn’t have known any of these aspects of our daughter had we been scared off by one single word… Arthrogryposis. Her story began …Read More

A Plan and a Purpose

June 17, 2017 adopting a boy, clubfoot, Orthopedic, physical therapy, surgery 0 Comments

The first time I saw him, he was ten months old, and we had gone to volunteer in the sweltering month of August. He was wearing not only a million-dollar smile, but double leg casts that stretched from his little hips to his tiny toes from a recent surgery. He was sweet, laid back, adorable. …Read More

It was Part of the Plan

June 10, 2017 arthrogryposis, clubfoot, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, mobility issues, Orthopedic, undiagnosed SN, walker user 0 Comments

If I ran out of the room right now I wonder if anyone would notice? We were standing in the civil affairs office in Guiyang, Guizhou, China and the reality of what was about to happen came crashing down as she was carried through the doors. We were seeing her in person for the first …Read More

A Leap of Faith: Adopting a Child with Osteogenesis Imperfecta

June 7, 2017 adopting again, aqua therapy, Family Stories, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, Orthopedic, osteogenesis imperfecta, physical therapy 1 Comments

My husband and I knew – 2016 was going to be the year we embarked upon another adoption journey. We’d given birth to our first child, a daughter, in 2010. In February 2013 we adopted a precious little girl from China, and we knew then that we’d adopt again. First, though, we felt like God …Read More

June Special Needs Focus (and Favorite Family Stories): Orthopedic

June 1, 2017 amniotic band syndrome, arthrogryposis, clubfoot, Favorite Family Stories, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, limb difference, Orthopedic, radial club hand, skeletal dysplasia 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

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

Twice as Lucky: Adopting a Child with Bilateral Limb Differences

April 29, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, limb difference, Mandy, Orthopedic, symbrachydactyly 1 Comments

“How does your son do it?” I am frequently asked this question by loving, curious, and experienced friends in the special needs adoption community who want to know how our son navigates the world with bilateral upper limb differences. Having already adopted one child with unilateral limb differences, we also wondered how our son would …Read More

What’s in a Word

April 11, 2017 amputation, congenital femoral deficiency, Family Stories, limb difference, missing arm/leg, Orthopedic, prosthetics, proximal femoral focal deficiency, rotationplasty 2 Comments

Driving in the car recently, I was listening to my girls’ conversation with each other and was struck by the words that came out of their mouths. Almost perfectly pronounced, and discussed quite nonchalantly, words like: prosthetic leg, surgery, backwards foot. It sort of hit me that these are words that not everyone (especially little …Read More

Life with an AFO

February 13, 2017 AFO, Courtney, limb difference, Orthopedic 2 Comments

I will never forget the day we received “the call.” I had just walked my son into preschool and came back to the car to see a missed call from our adoption agency. I quickly dialed my social worker’s number and she said she had the file of a beautiful little girl she wanted to …Read More

My Daughter, The Teacher

January 29, 2017 limb difference, Mandy, symbrachydactyly, visible special need 3 Comments

We were in the waiting room at our kids’ new pediatrician’s office when another little boy saw my daughter’s limb difference and ran away to his mom because Lydia’s limb difference scared him. Five minutes later, a little girl ran up to Lydia and Barrett, and with a grotesque look on her face said, “What …Read More

Knit Together

October 13, 2016 Amy, complex heart defect, Heart System, kyphosis, scoliosis, surgery, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula 5 Comments

“I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your eyes saw my unformed body when I was knit together in my mother’s womb.” – Psalm 139 I can count on two hands the physical diagnoses our little Chinese warrior princess has in her medical history: tetralogy of Fallot (repaired) tracheoesophageal fistula (repaired) stricture of esophagus tracheomalacia chronic …Read More

His Hands and Feet: Adopting a Child with ABS

July 26, 2016 amniotic band syndrome, Family Stories, medical needs checklist, Orthopedic, pre-adoption, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 5 Comments

Sometimes you are clearly given a gift of grace and sometimes you find yourself in it. Both are of Him and from Him and are equally overwhelming and exciting. This is a glimpse of both. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8 ….. …Read More

Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy

July 1, 2016 adopting a boy, amputation, Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, Larsen Syndrome, limb difference, older child adoption, prosthetics 1 Comments

My son, J, has Larsen syndrome, a condition of multiple joint malformations. I write this in hopes that it shows how manageable this condition is. In the summer of 2012, I saw a video that an advocate had posted, of a little boy riding a scooter around a play area. His nanny was directing him …Read More

A Child of God: Adopting a Child with Arthrogryposis

June 30, 2016 adopting a boy, arthrogryposis, clubfoot, Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, Orthopedic 1 Comments

I knew the second I saw his picture that he was my son. I still remember scrolling through my facebook feed when my heart drew me into the boy on the screen and with only seeing his hands I knew… He was mine. We were not looking to adopt and years before we would have …Read More

Part of Your World: A Mermaid Tale

June 28, 2016 amputation, Family Stories, fibular hemimelia, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, leg length discrepancy, limb difference, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic, prosthetics 4 Comments

We first saw her profile on our adoption agency’s web page. Her special need was listed as lower leg deformity, a layman’s term for fibular hemimelia, a congenital condition of missing/shortening of fibular bone, curved tibia (shin bone) and underdeveloped foot. I turned to my husband and said: “Hey, she looks kinda cute, but we …Read More

No Limits: Adopting a Child with Amniotic Band Syndrome

June 26, 2016 adopting again, amniotic band syndrome, amputation, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic, prosthetics, referral 0 Comments

As mom to four biological boys, I remember the ultrasound appointments where the heart, kidneys, bones and limbs were surveyed and carefully measured. I was blessed with healthy boys and encouraging news from each of those prenatal appointments. Often, I wonder if my girls’ China mommies had ultrasounds, and if they knew prior to birth …Read More

Cherishing Today: Adopting a Child with OI

June 16, 2016 Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, Orthopedic, osteogenesis imperfecta 3 Comments

Our littlest love, with us now for three months, has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), also known as brittle bone disease. Adopting a child with OI was not something we set out to do, nor was OI something we had ever been exposed to or educated about, but when Tessa Kate’s adorable picture appeared on the China …Read More

My Amazing Boy: Adopting a Child with Larsen Syndrome

June 13, 2016 Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, Larsen Syndrome, Orthopedic, skeletal dysplasia 3 Comments

I feel that I am not just biased when I say my son is truly inspiring. He may be only five years old, but he is braver than any grown adult I have ever met. I am so excited to share his story with you. At the beginning of our adoption process, we found our …Read More

Life’s Little Surprises: Adopting a Child with Fibular Hemimelia

June 8, 2016 adopting again, amputation, Family Stories, fibular hemimelia, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, leg length discrepancy, limb lengthening, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic 1 Comments

Our daughter had been asking for a little sister for awhile…. I had been looking at the waiting child website off and on for a few days when I just happened on his face. It was love at first sight. His diagnosis was malformed right foot. The picture in his file showed that his foot …Read More

My Warrior. My Princess.

June 4, 2016 amputation, Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, limb difference, Orthopedic, prosthetics 2 Comments

“She is the perfect combination of warrior and princess.” This phrase echoed through my mind as I watched her jump and twirl down the street, still wearing her tutu, waving her pirate sword in the air. She had just completed her first dance recital. I told her earlier that day, “Sometimes little girls get flowers …Read More

Building a Family: Adopting as a Single Mom

June 3, 2016 adopting as a single mom, diastematomyelia, Family Stories, June 2016 Feature - Orthopedic, older child adoption, Orthopedic, scoliosis, spina bifida, tethered cord, working mom 2 Comments

I am a happy and busy single mom to two wonderful daughters adopted from China. My older daughter, Corrie, was adopted in 2002 through the NSN (non-special needs) program; she is a smart, funny, and thoughtful young lady who loves animals and plans to be a veterinarian when she grows up. For years Corrie and …Read More

Do They Look Like Siblings?

May 27, 2016 adoption realities, limb difference, Mandy, siblings 4 Comments

Lots of people are curious about Lydia and Barrett’s relationship—a brother and sister relationship formed through adoption. “Do they look like siblings?” I never know if this means whether they resemble each other or what. “Are they real brother and sister?” Well, here is big sister Lydia encouraging little brother Barrett that he can climb …Read More

He Knows

May 21, 2016 adopting a boy, clubfoot, complex heart defects, Family Stories, hypospadias, PDA, waiver request 3 Comments

Who knew ​this momma – who had once upon a time envisioned life with my husband to include ​a couple of ​children, a spacious home, and (of course!) many family vacations to tropical destinations​ – would instead​ learn (​and ​daily​ re-learn)​ that the path to the​ purest​ peace and the greatest joy​ is to​ yield …Read More

The Perfect Fit for Our Family

February 3, 2016 Family Stories, hip dysplasia, misdiagnosed SN, mobility issues, Orthopedic, port wine stain, Sturge Weber Syndrome 1 Comments

My husband and I were only married a year when the Lord called us to adopt. Separately, we both felt the Lord speak to us about adopting a little girl from China – we told each other a few days later. It was encouraging to hear that call, and we were both excited for the …Read More

The Simplicity of Prosthesis

June 30, 2015 amputation, burns, contracture deformity, Family Stories, June 2015 Feature - Orthopedic, Orthopedic, prosthetics 0 Comments

That would probably not have been our reaction if you would have told us seven years ago that we would have multiple pairs of prosthetic legs in our house. In early 2009, we were researching China’s special needs adoptions after adopting twice through the non-special needs program. Some of the special needs just looked too …Read More

God’s Plans are Always Best

June 26, 2015 amniotic band syndrome, Family Stories, June 2015 Feature - Orthopedic, limb difference, Orthopedic 0 Comments

God’s plans are always best… even when we fight them. After years of dealing with infertility and finally placing our desire for children into the hands of our Father, He revealed that His plan A for us was adoption. When my husband and I first started our adoption process, we told our agency that we …Read More

Perseverance Personified

June 20, 2015 arthrogryposis, Family Stories, June 2015 Feature - Orthopedic, Orthopedic 1 Comments

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Olivia. I worked night shift then and would often stare at sweet faces when it was slow. There were so many. I often would get overwhelmed and quickly close the page because I couldn’t look at so many big brown, solemn eyes, without a feeling of loss.  A couple of …Read More

Life, Reconstructed

June 15, 2015 amniotic band syndrome, Family Stories, June 2015 Feature - Orthopedic, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic 3 Comments

My daughter is working on cursive writing. She deftly picks up her pencil with her right hand, and carefully sets it between the fingers on the left. Pressing hard, she makes one swirl after another, using her pencil to sing the song of her love for me. She writes stories, she pens love letters, she …Read More

Bumps, Bubble Wrap, and Broken Bones.

June 9, 2015 adopting as a single mom, Family Stories, June 2015 Feature - Orthopedic, Orthopedic, osteogenesis imperfecta, working mom 1 Comments

God has a sense of humor. Have you experienced it? He knows how to push and stretch us. I am learning not to say “never” because that is just about when He says, “Here you go! This is my plan!” I am blessed to be the mom of an amazing little girl from China (you …Read More

On Adopting a Child with Dwarfism

June 3, 2015 achondroplasia, dwarfism, June 2015 Feature - Orthopedic, Orthopedic 4 Comments

June is here, along with a new special need spotlight. Last month we featured posts on Vascular System special needs. This month we are focusing on the Orthopedic System.   ……. We often get asked what adopting a child with dwarfism entails. First and foremost – you have to know China did not think children …Read More

Daily Life with Burns | Not Defined

May 31, 2015 body scars, burns, contracture deformity, Family Stories, scoliosis, Skin Conditions 1 Comments

This is our family story or what the daily life of living with burns is like. I want to make sure you all know that each story is unique and the daily life for another child with burns and their family could be much different. There are many things to consider with burns; location on …Read More

Will You Love Me Forever?

January 30, 2015 amniotic band syndrome, Family Stories, older child adoption 1 Comments

Excitement, curiosity and fear of the unknown filled the eight year old boy’s mind as he entered the cold, stale room. His eyes landed on some smiling faces that looked vaguely familiar. Yes, these were the same faces that had smiled at him from the pages of the photo album he carried in his backpack, …Read More

not disabled. differently abled.

January 26, 2015 Family Stories, limb difference, missing hand/foot, Orthopedic 3 Comments

When I was fourteen I taught Sunday School for a year. One of the kids in my class of four year olds had a short left arm. The first day of class I found myself thinking “that poor little guy was born with only one arm.” It took next to no time at all for …Read More

She is Perfectly and Wonderfully Made

December 31, 2014 Family Stories, guest post, limb difference, Mandy, symbrachydactyly 6 Comments

My husband Bryson and I knew we would grow our family through adoption when we got married 12.5 years ago. His family served as a foster family welcoming 18 children into their home during his childhood, and I spent time volunteering at an orphanage in Southeast Asia as a teen. These experiences were transformational in …Read More

Surprise

November 24, 2014 Amy, kyphosis, scoliosis, tethered cord, Tetralogy of Fallot 7 Comments

I knew to be prepared for undiagnosed needs when we set out to adopt. We prepared for the reality that a heart condition would be worse than we originally anticipated it would be. While we went through the list of needs that we would consider or not consider we had to imagine that what we would believe would …Read More

The Ayers Family Writes Their Own Story

October 20, 2014 Family Stories, guest post, osteogenesis imperfecta 7 Comments

As people grow up, get married, and launch into a life together, there’s a funny series of conversations that often encircles these rights of passage. Even as a teenager, I remember the chatter. “How many kids do you think you’ll have?” And after weddings, I’ve heard, “When do you think you’ll starting trying?” Right after …Read More

More than I could bear

June 7, 2014 Amy, esophageal stenosis, scoliosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula, VACTERL 6 Comments

Sometimes I forget that we have a child who is a “heart baby”, a lifelong cardiac patient, a survivor. I see her scars everyday. Scars from a surgery I wasn’t present for, scars from one I was; and, I have come to love what they represent. They are a daily reminder of healing, a unique …Read More

Surviving Gotcha Day

May 7, 2014 Amy, esophageal stenosis, scoliosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula, VACTERL 4 Comments

A year ago today we had spent only one day with our daughter. After arriving in China, we spent 3 days in Beijing, visited the place she called Home for almost a year and met the women she called “mama”. Then we traveled to XinJiang, her province, tried to sleep on Gotcha Day Eve, and …Read More

“but it said repaired”

April 7, 2014 Amy, esophageal stenosis, scoliosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula, VACTERL 0 Comments

I vividly remember reading our referral paperwork. I remember first reading the descriptions of her developmental milestones and evaluated her development through mom and teacher goggles… “she follows objects… she is tracking… she is grasping things… she is babbling and forming simple sounds… she turns her head when there is a noise… she can hear …Read More

special need highlight: Adopting a child with Osteogenesis Impefecta

April 2, 2014 Advocacy, Family Stories, Orthopedic, osteogenesis imperfecta 2 Comments

This summer traveling in China with Superkids I met a girl with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). This was remarkable in itself because I have only met maybe 20 children with this special need in my 25+ years as a physical therapist. I have a special place in my heart for ever child with this special need. …Read More

TEF, TOF, and VACTERL, oh my

March 7, 2014 Amy, esophageal stenosis, scoliosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula, VACTERL 4 Comments

Don’t you love those acronyms? I have come to really appreciate the time they save, the space they save, and that I can safely dodge oodles of mispronunciation. For example, until 2012 those letter sequences meant nothing to me. If someone would have told me years ago how much I would come to know about …Read More

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