Magnificently Good

December 13, 2018 Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, epilepsy, hydrocephalus, Lifelong needs, Linny, non-verbal 0 Comments

When people are considering special needs adoption they usually look over a list and decide what they are comfortable with. Looking at the long lists of possible medical needs fearful thoughts can overwhelm even the bravest hearts. Sometimes the uncertainty of needs, often based on misinformation, can generate an automatic “No, not that need”. Here’s …Read More

Loving Our “Lifers”

November 1, 2018 developmental delays, large families, Lifelong needs, Linny, sibling perspective, siblings 5 Comments

Bringing these three home forever was hands down – three of the very best decisions we’ve ever made in our entire 40+ years of marriage! We affectionately refer to these three little girlies of ours as “our lifers” – because we get to keep them for the rest of our lives! I’m sure to some …Read More

The Beautiful Hard Work of Bonding

August 27, 2018 adopting later in life, adopting out of birth order, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, baby-wearing, large families, Lifelong needs, Linny, older child adoption, rejects mom 2 Comments

Growing up in the 1960s the only adoptions I had heard of were people who attempted to “match” their own ethnicity with that of a potential adoptive child. I knew of no one who had adopted internationally. Yet for some reason the only desire in my little-girl-go-against-the-flow heart was to one day adopt from both …Read More

Put Me In, Coach! What One Girl In An Extra-Small Pink Jersey Taught Me About Being Fearless

June 1, 2018 a father's perspective, Dads, growth hormone deficiency, HIV, June 2018 Feature - Celebrating Dads, Mike, Perspectives 1 Comments

  So excited to kick off our June Feature, Celebrating Dads, with a post by Mike, a previous (and greatly missed) regular contributor. Mike has written some of our most well-loved posts… if it’s a post that has you both laughing and crying, there’s a good chance Mike wrote it. You can read all Mike’s …Read More

Past Contributor Throwback: Nancy

September 30, 2017 Nancy, Past Contributors, Throwback series 0 Comments

Since our inception in 2008, No Hands But Ours has relied on the shared stories of regular moms and dads as our foundational way to encourage, inform and support those in the adoption world – in any phase of the adoption process. And since our first post, the list of regular contributors has changed, well… …Read More

Past Contributor Throwback: Kelley

August 10, 2017 Kelley, older child adoption, Past Contributors, Throwback series 0 Comments

Since our inception in 2008, No Hands But Ours has relied on the shared stories of regular moms and dads as our foundational way to encourage, inform and support those in the adoption world – in any phase of the adoption process. And since our first post, the list of regular contributors has changed, well… …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

What If It Ruins Everything?

June 30, 2017 a father's perspective, adopting a boy, adopting again, Dads, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, Mike, should we adopt? 8 Comments

Finishing up our June Feature, Thoughts from the Dad, with a post by Mike, a former (and greatly missed) regular contributor. The last time Mike shared was during our dad series two years ago… we are so grateful he was up for sharing once again. You can read all Mike’s previous posts on NHBO here. …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

Favorite Books for Readers in 1st – 8th Grade

July 1, 2016 adoptee perspective, books, June 2016 Feature - Books, Perspectives, TongguMomma 1 Comments

Anyone who knows me knows that I love books. Goodness, we own so many children’s books, we actually created a Dewey Decimal System for our home library so that we can find them! Thankfully both of my girls also love reading and books and all things literary. This list reflects many of my oldest daughter’s …Read More

In the Quiet Moment

May 23, 2016 Family Stories, Kristi, port wine stain, Sturge Weber Syndrome, Vascular System 1 Comments

On March 20, 2009 I spent the quiet moments of nap-time looking at waiting child programs with various adoption agencies. Home from China just four months with our second child, we weren’t ready to expand our family just yet, but as a planner I wanted to have ‘all my ducks in a row’ for when …Read More

Sensory Processing Disorder and the Tween Years

April 30, 2016 April 2016 Feature - Sensory Processing, Sensory Processing Issues, TongguMomma 15 Comments

The most difficult thing about parenting a tween or young teen with sensory processing disorder is constantly reminding oneself that people don’t outgrow SPD. It may feel that way for a few years during upper elementary because it’s likely by then that your child learned successful coping strategies for most age-appropriate sensory experiences. But then …Read More

5 Things I Wish I’d Known 10 Years Ago

September 14, 2015 Attachment, first weeks home, first year home, September 2015 Feature - Coming Home, TongguMomma 3 Comments

I used to blog several years ago, but I dropped off the face of the earth when my oldest asked me to cease and desist. Since I want her to still love me when she’s thirty, and since my husband and I don’t want to have to pay for extensive therapy when she’s in her …Read More

Who Would Want a Dad Like Me?

June 30, 2015 a father's perspective, Dads, June 2015 Feature - Let's Hear It For Dads, Mike 15 Comments

Finishing up our June Feature, Let’s Hear it For Dads, with a post by Mike, a former (and much-missed!) regular contributor. We at NHBO enjoyed this series so much that we are working on bringing in more “dad” voices. Because dads are awesome, too. So grateful that Mike agreed to share this wit and wisdom with …Read More

“Normal” Ain’t Got Nothin On This

February 23, 2015 double outlet right ventricle, February 2015 Feature, February 2015 Feature - Heart, pulmonary atresia, Sonia, Tetralogy of Fallot 5 Comments

As we continue through February, the month of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness, we continue to share posts from moms parenting children with heart defects. Our goal is to inform and equip those considering or home with children with this special need by sharing the real-life experiences of those already parenting a child (or children) with …Read More

Adoption: Hard to Start. Harder to Stop.

February 19, 2015 a father's perspective, adoption realities, large families, Mike 39 Comments

“When you go back…” In the weeks before we left for China for our first adoption, Anne and I met with some family friends who had adopted three Chinese daughters. The goal of our time with Kevin and Vicki was to better understand what to expect on the trip and in the months to follow. …Read More

marriage: 4 simple things

February 3, 2015 February 2015 Feature, February 2015 Feature - Marriage, Linny, marriage 0 Comments

Each month in 2015, we will spotlight a special need as well as an important adoption topic. Last month, we shared posts from moms in the trenches of post-adoption depression, as well as moms of children who are HIV+ and HepB+. In February, we will share about heart defects as well as another heart issue, …Read More

The Lost Boys of China

January 19, 2015 a father's perspective, gender as a special need, Mike 8 Comments

It started with Adam It was at McDonalds on a crisp December morning in 2002, and we had just completed an ultrasound appointment for our second child. During the appointment, we learned that our first child, Abby, was going to have a baby brother. Over her tray of hash browns and an Egg McMuffin, Anne …Read More

grace, garrison & goodbye

December 29, 2014 hypospadias, Kam 3 Comments

If you were to judge my punctuality solely on the basis of my No Hands But Ours posts, you’d be led to believe that I fail to do anything on time! I’m really pretty darn punctual actually but somehow, not here. Still, I’m sure that my last post for NHBO has just been put off …Read More

What happened when Mary showed Jesus’ adoption file to Joseph

December 22, 2014 a father's perspective, Christmas, Dads, Mike, reluctant husband 4 Comments

Let me paint a picture for you. A wife comes to her husband and explains that she wants to have a child. He responds that he is not sure about the timing, but he is willing to try… or at least practice a lot. But then she explains that this isn’t that kind of child. …Read More

40 fundraising families. And a challenge for you.

December 20, 2014 affording adoption, fundraisers, fundraising for adoption, Kristi, Stefanie, the little light project 1 Comments

Last week we shared the organizations working on behalf of the fatherless in China. 19 incredible organizations that I hope you’ve had a chance to read about and consider how you might partner with one. Today we are featuring fundraising families. 40 of them. Whew. The too-many-to-count hours spent compiling and formatting the information for …Read More

the name game

December 5, 2014 adoption realities, Tara 1 Comments

My sister is due to have her first baby pretty much anytime within the next couple of weeks. Needless to say, there is much excitement in our home as the kids anticipate the arrival of their new baby cousin! Not to mention, every time they see something intended to be used or worn by a …Read More

It turns out that chicken fried rice does not count as culture

November 19, 2014 a father's perspective, adoption realities, Chinese Culture, large families, Mike, transracial adoption 10 Comments

I am the textbook definition of a white guy. Beyond simply a scarcity of melanin, I have almost every other stereotypical characteristic that one might associate with my race – a general lack of rhythm, limited vertical leap, a “John Cougar Mellencamp” playlist on my iPod, an unhealthy relationship with ketchup, and a generalized ignorance …Read More

Advocacy and Social Media: What’s not to “like”?

November 17, 2014 Advocacy, Sheryl, thalassemia 1 Comments

Ah, social media. Sometimes I don’t know whether to love it or loath it. But it’s here, and most of use it.  Think about it: how many times have you “liked” a post? How many times have you made a comment? Or even “shared” something you saw that struck you as funny, important or thought-provoking? …Read More

sleep

November 11, 2014 co-sleeping, cocooning, Kristi 2 Comments

Thump. pitter pat, pitter pat, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, pitter pat, pitter pat. Glancing at the clock I note it is 3:57 AM, a little later than usual. In automatic response to the oh so familiar sound of little feet jumping to the floor and then making their way across the house to my room, …Read More

I Want You Now

November 5, 2014 Tara 1 Comments

A couple weeks ago, we celebrated the two year anniversary of the day our daughter joined our family. As is my tradition, I shared a picture from that day on social media and my baby girl saw it. She was four years old when she was adopted and… thankfully… has some poignant memories of her …Read More

I’m Just Sad

October 28, 2014 adoption realities, Kam 2 Comments

September is always a big month for our family. Both of our sons came home in September {2009, 2012} and our 8 year old, Joel’s, birthday is on the 4th. So we generally just have lots of good talks and eat tons of yummy food in celebration all month. One evening, after having celebrated Gabe’s …Read More

Re-Aging and Un-Twinning: Sam and the Time Machine

October 19, 2014 a father's perspective, age assignment, Mike 4 Comments

Or, how my son got younger since we adopted him. We recently celebrated Round 2 of my son Sam’s fourth birthday party. On the surface, this may not seem unusual. A lot of people might have two different birthday parties – one at school and one at home, one with family and one with friends, …Read More

I’m Pretty Sure My China Mommy Cried

September 19, 2014 a father's perspective, adoption realities, Mike 11 Comments

As an adoptive parent, I sometimes forget that my adopted children had a life before me… that their life did not start when we met in a Chinese Civil Affairs building. The following essay was written last year by my 9 year old daughter, Mia, as part of a class assignment on “A Place I …Read More

Ready or Not…Kindergarten, Here I Come

September 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 2 Comments

I’m no novice when it comes to parenting. And I’m definitely not a novice when it comes to sending my kids off to Kindergarten. But this year, there was something different about the three times I’d done it previously. This time it was my China babies. Nothing could have fully prepared me for the first …Read More

Two Septembers

September 2, 2014 heart defect, Kam 1 Comments

He sauntered into the room While our hearts were beating fast, The papers had been signed No longer an orphan, a son at last. A grin stretched wide Across his adorable face, Straight to his daddy’s lap A picture of grace. We played, we laughed We shed a few tears, But he? He just giggled …Read More

The Gift of Siblings

August 19, 2014 a father's perspective, Mike 4 Comments

When we started investigating adoption, one of our greatest concerns was the impact it might have on Abby and Adam – our “bio kids.” We loved our family of four. Through the completely objective lens of all young parents, our kids seemed smarter, nicer, and better looking than all of the other kids at the …Read More

To the Traumatized Family

August 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 9 Comments

A few days ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and saw a comment on a link for a ministry to traumatized children that broke my heart. An adoptive parent was asking where the ministry was for families who have been traumatized by bringing a traumatized child into their home. This is something I …Read More

how we deal

August 4, 2014 heart defect, Kam, Urogenital System 7 Comments

I’m not gonna lie. My world has been spinning for a few months. And I try my best during the last week of each month to settle on a topic to write about here at NHBO. But y’all. It’s just been hard lately! I walk through a scenario with our boys and I think “BAM! …Read More

Quiet Times: And on the seventh hour, we rested…

July 19, 2014 a father's perspective, Mike 7 Comments

We are on the verge of a major transition in our home. For the last 14 years, we have had at least one child who needed an afternoon nap. In recent weeks, it is becoming clear that our youngest, Sam, may no longer need one. As my three-year-old transitions into a big-boy schedule, we are …Read More

Somewhere to Run

July 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 9 Comments

In my adoptions circles, there is a little bit of a running joke about all the things that start going wrong once a paper chase and the commitment to adopt a child (or children) begins. Somewhere along the journey to China, an adoptive parent can guarantee that an appliance…or three…will break, the car will need …Read More

walk, don’t run.

July 1, 2014 Kam 1 Comments

I’ve never been a runner. Heck, the nickname given to me in high school was “Clyde.” As in Clydesdale. Yeah, the horse. The one who trots along through life. But while I may not have been a runner, I walked fast! And with purpose. Even now, I somehow manage to leave my poor husband in …Read More

Loaves, Fishes, and Bedrooms

June 15, 2014 a father's perspective, adoption realities, affording adoption, Mike 13 Comments

As a dad, one of the most common concerns from prospective adoptive fathers is on the finances relative to adoption and larger families. This provides some perspective on our experience: This month will be the 10th anniversary of when we moved into our current house. We built this house, and it was the perfect size …Read More

I like you be my mommy

June 11, 2014 heart defect, Kristi, Trust Based Parenting, vision issues 2 Comments

“I like you be my mommy.” Those six little words, spoken with a beaming smile no less, from my four year old nearly made me come undone recently. Her heartfelt statement spoke volumes about the positive change in our relationship over the nine months we’ve known one another…because on September 2 of last year, things …Read More

Then and Now

June 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 3 Comments

As an adoptive parent there is definitely one thing that I stress over more than anything else. One might think it would have something to do with doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, surgeries, or something else of that nature. But those things come easily to me. I’m usually sipping my cup of coffee and enjoying my …Read More

When the voiceless break into song (from Isaiah 35)

May 19, 2014 a father's perspective, BAHA, hearing loss, microtia, Mike, Sensory System 1 Comments

As a dad of six, I know that I am not objective in assessing my own kids. Often, I see them in too favorable of a light, and I find myself measuring our family room mantle to see if it will hold six Nobel Prizes, six Olympic medals, and six Academy Awards at the same …Read More

You’re not in Kansas anymore

May 17, 2014 adopting SN: the process, adoption realities, birthmark, Chinese Culture, hemangioma, Kayla 3 Comments

I’ve told the editors of this blog that I am running out of things to write about regarding the special need that Jubilee (that’s my daughter) has. It simply doesn’t matter to us any more that she has a skin deformity on her torso. It will matter to her one day, no doubt, but we …Read More

what we're reading: 5.8.2014

May 8, 2014 Stefanie, TongguMomma, What We're Reading 0 Comments

From the last few weeks, some good stuff we’ve read that relates to adoption and/or parenting a special needs child. As always, if you’ve read or written something you think would be a good addition to a future What We’re Reading post, we’d love to hear about it… To share a blog post or news …Read More

The Best Mama

May 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 0 Comments

I’ll never forget the first time it happened. She threw her arms around me and exclaimed, “I love you, Mama! You’re the best mama I’ve ever had!!!” And every time it’s happened since then is carved on my heart as well. Every. Single. Time. The day I met my sweet Cora…just over a year-and-a-half ago…was …Read More

I had a plan

May 1, 2014 hypospadias, Kam 1 Comments

I have a personal problem. You know, one of those personality deficiencies that are just part of your makeup, part of who you are? This particular problem, though I’d still contest is a strength for the average Joe, pops up during the most inopportune times and throws me for a loop. I’m a planner. I …Read More

the fruit of your labor

April 22, 2014 Desiree, Mike, Rebecca, Stefanie 3 Comments

Two months ago, we asked for your help. We were looking for a few new bloggers to help round out the NHBO team. And boy-o-boy, did y’all come through. We received 115 nominations. And we sifted through each one. What fun to visit all those adoption blogs and read the stories of so many precious …Read More

Day 366: Trading “Likes” for Love

April 19, 2014 a father's perspective, HIV, Mike 7 Comments

It was just over one year ago that Anne and I returned home from China with Sam and Ellie. And as I reflect upon our time in China, I am struck by how much I treasure my memories from those first days together. I remember laughing at our first meal together when Sam and Ellie …Read More

You Only Live Once

April 17, 2014 birthmark, hemangioma, Kayla 4 Comments

Sometimes I think people think too much. My husband and I, on the other hand, tend to err on the side of reckless. But I have to say that in our 12 years, reckless has served us well. Our very nuptials were hasty. We jumped into love like a kid into cold water. We got …Read More

what time?

April 11, 2014 heart defect, Kristi, vision issues 0 Comments

Difficult conversations. They happen in every house from time to time. Sometimes they are easy to see coming, other times they can hit just about blindsided. And then there are the times you lay your own trap… Last year I turned 40. The morning of my birthday one of my kiddos came in to wake …Read More

Completely Natural

April 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 1 Comments

My virtual twins are thick as thieves. And they act like an old married couple. The bond they share is amazing to behold. They actually have the same type of relationship that biological twins do. The way God has grafted their two little hearts together is most amazing. With this relationship comes lots and lots …Read More

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