In the Palm of My Hand

May 23, 2012 albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 8 Comments

Last month, I spent ten days with my three sisters and our mother. Just the five of us. No kids. Cheeky was quite worried about who would cook dinner, do the laundry, clean her new ear piercing, drive her to dance while I was gone. In the weeks before I left, she asked me dozens …Read More

Earrings (or Why I’m Not Ready for the Big 1-0)

March 24, 2012 albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 3 Comments

I remember when my four older kids were babies. People would ask, “How old is s/he?”, and I would respond with the number of days or weeks or months. Eventually, my babies became toddlers, and my answer changed from the number of weeks or months to the number of years. The same happened when Cheeky …Read More

Dear Cheeky, I Love You

March 31, 2011 albinism, birth family, older child adoption, Shirlee 0 Comments

Nine birthdays minus seven birthdays equals two birthdays. And Cheeky counts them. Last year. This year. Just as she counted her gifts this morning and noted that she had two more than she did on her eighth birthday. Does that mean we love her more now than we did then? Probably didn’t even cross her …Read More

The Care and Keeping of the Broken Heart

January 25, 2011 albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 0 Comments

I planned a different blog today. I planned to write about the care and keeping of Cheeky’s hair. We’ve had issues, you see. Food in the hair issues. Marker in the hair issues. Paint in the hair issues. With the big day coming up (have I mentioned that Cheeky is a firefly in a ballet?), I …Read More


October 22, 2010 older child adoption, Shirlee 2 Comments

I admit, I’ve been hesitant to post this story. There are two reasons for that. First, I didn’t want to offend those of a more squeamish nature. Second, I didn’t want to embarrass Cheeky. After a couple of months of thinking it over, though, I realized that what happened that day isn’t about embarrassment. It …Read More

All The Things She Doesn’t Say

August 20, 2010 albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 0 Comments

Sometimes the things our children don’t say are the most important. We went on a walk yesterday. Cheeky is much smaller than my other kids. Shorter legs, weaker body, sweet, sunny personality that gives her no need to move fast, those things make walking a little challenging for my youngest. She tries, though. Oh, how she …Read More

The Proof is in the Pudding

August 1, 2010 albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 7 Comments

I posted a similar version of this to my adoption blog. I think it is important for those of us who have had easy transitions and whose children have adapted brilliantly to remember that no matter how much it seems that they understand, they still wonder if what we offer is forever. I am back …Read More

She Flies!

June 25, 2010 albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee 17 Comments

I know. My second post here in week. But it has occurred to me that we are, perhaps, too quick to make judgements about a child’s future based on what we see when they are two or three (or younger). Yes, dear friends, it was finally upon us. The BIG DAY. The DANCE. It has …Read More

A Year

June 21, 2010 albinism, older child adoption, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 4 Comments

Cross Posted to my personal blog On Monday, June 22, 2009, Cheeky made the journey of a lifetime. She left the apartment she’d lived in for four years, got in a taxi and traveled to meet her new parents. Meanwhile, I was traveling, too. Riding in a car, talking to our guide and my husband, …Read More

So, This is Love

May 30, 2010 Shirlee 6 Comments

I feel like crud, but I’m of a mind to post something because I had a Skype conversation with my youngest sis. As you may (or may not) know, she’s in Ethiopia. Today, she met the bio family of her two sons, and on Monday she and her husband will meet their new daughters. If …Read More

Mean Mom

May 10, 2010 Shirlee 5 Comments

I have two daughters who were born just over a year apart. They are both smart, funny and beautiful. They love clothes and doing hair and shopping. One is dramatic and fiery and active. The other is practical and sensitive and still. One I have known her entire life. The other, I met in June …Read More

This I Can Give Her

April 6, 2010 albinism, foster care, older child adoption, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 7 Comments

Since my daughter’s birthday, I have been thinking long and hard about what she lost to be part of our family. After blogging about it, I received a number of emails asking if I feel guilty for taking my daughter from a loving foster home. The answer to that is complicated. In a perfect world, …Read More


March 18, 2010 older child adoption, Shirlee 13 Comments

I posted this to my blog two days ago but thought it might be worth posting here, as well. Especially in light of the new shared list. This blog is, of course, dedicated to special needs adoption. For older children who wait, age becomes a very specific special need. I often wonder what it is …Read More

No, She Doesn't Have Red Eyes

January 12, 2010 albinism, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 6 Comments

That’s what I said to my mother-in-law last week. Six months since Cheeky joined our family, and this stereotype of pasty-white, red-eyed people with albinism is just coming out and just being addressed. I’ve been thinking about that all weekend. My mother-in-law lives on the other side of the country. She’s never met Cheeky face …Read More

The Christmas That Almost Wasn't

December 28, 2009 albinism, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 13 Comments

Last year, there were four kids bouncing around the house Christmas morning. This year there were five. But there almost weren’t. I was thinking about that this morning. Thinking about how I didn’t even know Cheeky existed on December 25, 2008. That Christmas morning, I had a vague image in my mind of the daughter …Read More

I Do Not Want to Be Afraid

December 13, 2009 Shirlee 2 Comments

Cheeky has a favorite song. She announced that fact a few weeks ago, and I’ve been thinking about her announcement and her choice of favorite songs since then. You see, Cheeky loves many songs. She sings all the time. All the time. She has told me over and over again that she loves all the …Read More

She’s Very Albino, Isn’t She?

November 8, 2009 albinism, Shirlee, Skin Conditions 11 Comments

Why, yes. Yes, she is. Or should I have said, “What would make you say that?” Or maybe, “And you’re very rude, aren’t you?” Only the person who asked the question isn’t rude. She’s Sassy’s jazz teacher, and she’s a very nice person. So, imagine my surprise when I walked into the dance studio last …Read More

Three Strikes

October 9, 2009 Shirlee 10 Comments

Her name meant beautiful, and the cheeky little girl who smiled out from my computer was. There was mischief in her face and a joy that leaped off the screen and straight into my heart. Her eyes were closed, but I knew what color they would be. Just as I knew that in the eyes …Read More

© 2024 No Hands But Ours

The content found on the No Hands But Ours website is not approved, endorsed, curated or edited by medical professionals. Consult a doctor with expertise in the special needs of interest to you.