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

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


December 9, 2013 birth family, Nancy, protecting their story, telling their life story 1 Comments

Tess: I remember my first mama. My mama in beitnam. Me: Oh you do? Tess: She looked like an angel, but she didn’t have any wings. She wore a white dress, and she was bootiful. Me: I imagine that your Vietnam mama was very beautiful, just like you. Tess: And I love her. And at …Read More

Part II {Genetic analysis: to test or not to test}

October 9, 2013 birth family, developmental delays, DNA and genetic testing, Nancy 1 Comments

{Part I, Dark brown hair, Light brown hair is here} It’s discussed pretty regularly in the adoption community. To test or not to test. Now just to make sure we’re all on the same page here, I’m not talking about genetic testing as advised by your doctor for medical reasons. I’m talking about genetic analysis …Read More

Light Brown Hair :: Dark Brown Hair

September 9, 2013 birth family, Nancy, telling their life story 6 Comments

I was putting Tess’s hair into pig tails, getting her ready for school and tying bows in her piggies. We live in a Caucasian community bombarded with messages about what beauty is, and in its absence what it is not, in every magazine, billboard, and television commercial. I figure I need to counter balance the …Read More

Food issues and binging 5 years later

July 9, 2013 binging, developmental delays, early intervention, feeding challenges, feeding/swallowing therapy, food issues, hoarding, Nancy 19 Comments

Feeding a child is deeply rooted within us mamas. It’s almost beyond maternal and instinctual. It’s a part of what we do, and right or wrong, it’s a part of how we measure our success. And when it didn’t go according to plan, it affected me much more than I could have imagined. Being a …Read More

Living with attachment issues long term

May 9, 2013 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, developmental delays, Nancy, parent-to-child attachment 2 Comments

I tell people all the time, especially when we’re knee deep in discussions about adoption or attachment issues. Ya know, some kiddos just don’t handle institutionalization well. Some come out of it just fine. Some go straight to their new family and never look back with smiles and enthusiasm. And others, like our sweet thing, …Read More

Perfectly Made

April 9, 2013 clubfoot, developmental delays, Education, IEP, Nancy, public school 1 Comments

Dear IEP team members, As the mama to the little girl that we just spent over an hour talking about, I want to say more than our 60-minute time slot allowed. IEP meetings are hard. {That may be the understatement of the year.} They suck. For a parent, sometimes it feels like IEP meetings are a laundry list of how …Read More

Adoption from an Older Sibling’s Perspective

February 9, 2013 Nancy, Perspectives, sibling perspective 5 Comments

This post is written by Livy, my 16-year-old amazing daughter. She traveled with us both on our first adoption trip to Vietnam to get her now 5 year old brother and sister, Jude and Tess. And 10 months ago to China to get her new baby sister, Mimi, who is 2 years old. All three …Read More

The Best Christmas Present Ever

January 11, 2013 developmental delays, early intervention, Education, IEP, Nancy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, public school, speech delay, speech therapy 6 Comments

I stood in the back of Tess’s kindergarten classroom with the other proud parents and looked on as my 5-year-old daughter performed in the class’s “holiday show”. Her part was a simple song with just a few lines and hand movements to go with it. She didn’t know all the hand movements… just like the …Read More

The Visit

October 25, 2012 China trip, foster care, Nancy, orphanage visit 12 Comments

I’ve had occasion to look at the photos from the day we visited Mimi’s orphanage. Due to a computer snafu, I hadn’t seen these pics for quite a while. I’m not sure where God is leading me in this little trip down memory lane. Certainly there is something to be learned by seeing them and …Read More

Dear Random Shopper in the Check-out Line

September 25, 2012 adoption realities, Nancy, protecting their story, questions from strangers 5 Comments

I see you. And my children see you watching them. And even though you have a smile on your face, you are still drawing attention to us. I totally get it. You see, I used to be just like you! I’d see a family that looked a bit… hmmmmm… what’s the right way to put …Read More

What loss looks like four decades later

August 25, 2012 clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 7 Comments

When I was two years old… …my mom left. When Tess and Jude were 12 months old, they were taken from the only home they knew. When Mimi was 23 months old, she was taken from the only mama she knew. So how do we process not being chosen? I don’t remember any of those …Read More

A letter to my {pre-adoption} self

July 25, 2012 adopting again, adoption realities, Nancy, Realities 23 Comments

Dear Nancy (in 2007) I know you’ve just started to seriously consider adopting a child. I know that the thought of adopting has been on your mind not just years, but since you were a little girl and heard about the abandoned baby girls in China and saw videos of the Romanian orphanages. So I …Read More


June 25, 2012 clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 2 Comments

It was 9 am, and I was still in my jammies. Everything seemed stable, everyone fed, playing nicely, so I stole a moment to get dressed and splash my face with water… or at least I tried to. Mid-pulling up my pants I heard the shrieking. Tess’s shriek is unmistakable. It’s a guttural wounding, and …Read More

Our Early Intervention

May 25, 2012 clubfoot, developmental delays, early intervention, Education, feeding/swallowing therapy, Nancy, occupational therapy, speech therapy 5 Comments

Our girly qualified for Early Intervention services. Our sweet lovely amazing daughter is delayed. I don’t want it to be that way. But it is. And it’s no surprise either. We went into international adoption with our eyes wide open, preparing for the worst and praying for the best. Her delays were completely expected. There’s …Read More

Attachment in the Trenches

April 25, 2012 Attachment, attachment activities, baby-wearing, China trip, co-sleeping, cocooning, first weeks home, first year home, Nancy, Newly Home, parent-to-child attachment, travel tips 4 Comments

When we were in China, we traveled with several other families. In our travel group, I don’t think I’m exaggerating by saying that we had “the crier.” Unlike the other happy, giggly children in the group who were quick to return their parent’s smile, our sweetie was unhappy much of the time. Despite our efforts, …Read More


March 26, 2012 adoption realities, Journey to Mazie, Nancy 6 Comments

In the middle of the night, between the screeching and the pinching and the hitting… …the sweetest moments happen. Since coming home, Mazie and I have been awake 4-6 hours every night with only 1 exception. In the middle of the night while we sit on the couch, without knowing it, my head falls backwards, …Read More

March 8, Thursday: {the orphanage visit}

March 9, 2012 Journey to Mazie, Nancy 1 Comments

There is so so much to say. I am emotionally drained and still trying to find my peace. Today was the visit to the orphanage. 3+ hours one way. So many feelings and bits of new information, and a better understanding of our girl. My head is swimming trying to process it all. Initially I …Read More

March 7, Wednesday: {grief}

March 7, 2012 adoption realities, Journey to Mazie, Nancy 4 Comments

If the posts recently have been hard to read, you may want to skip this one. I put it out there for those who might be in our shoes next. Our girl is grieving so hard. I mean very hard. So much harder than Tess or Jude ever did. Harder than the other babies in …Read More

Monday, March 5: {beginnings}

March 5, 2012 developmental delays, Journey to Mazie, Nancy 3 Comments

There was rain and then a traffic jam, and by the time the babies reached the hotel they were two hours past due. They brought Mazie directly to our`room because they were so late, and I was glad for this. On top of the trauma of being passed to us, she was overly tired, very …Read More

The Labor of Adoption

February 25, 2012 Journey to Mazie, Nancy 4 Comments

My head is absolutely full. Overflowing. T-2 1/2 days. Really, could I be leaving for China that soon? Oh yes you can. I wake up each morning, look out on the floor, and wonder who in the world spilled my brains out all over the carpet. Now how did those get there? I told myself …Read More

I am the Abductor

February 16, 2012 adoption realities, Journey to Mazie, Nancy 0 Comments

This might come off sounding awful, but here it goes. When my new daughter comes into my arms, {17 days from today!} I think it’s ok if she cries. Screaming, wailing, flailing… it’s all ok with me. And here’s the awful part, part of me is hoping there will be “a reaction” or some kind. …Read More

The Plan vs The Unknown

February 10, 2012 developmental delays, Journey to Mazie, Nancy 1 Comments

You know that saying…You want to see God laugh?  Just tell him what your plans are!I’m pretty sure it went down like that. In July of last year Papa and I carefully looked over our agency’s special need’s list.  It’s a paper that lists about 50 possible special needs.  Hepatitis C, missing limbs, cleft lip and …Read More

welcome Nancy

February 3, 2012 clubfoot, developmental delays, Nancy 0 Comments

I am excited to share that we have another new blogging mama who is joining our team at No Hands But Ours. Nancy blogs at Ordinary Miracles and the Crazy 9… and since she says it so much better than I do, here is bit more about her and her growing family!  My name is …Read More

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