Lessons Learned from an Internal Processor

November 23, 2018 a father's perspective, Dads, developmental delays, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Lifelong needs, October 2018 Feature - Developmental, Perspectives, Randall, should we adopt? 0 Comments

Down syndrome is scary. I said that to myself five years ago. It took me awhile to admit it. But I was pretty opposed to all lifelong diagnoses. I had very little information about Down syndrome back then. And the information gaps gave my imagination plenty of space to run freely. I saw the shadows …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

Chosen, Not Forsaken

October 31, 2018 a father's perspective, adoptee perspective, adopting out of birth order, adult adoptee 0 Comments

Adoption wasn’t anything new to me when my wife and I set out to adopt our daughter. In fact, my entire life has been about adoption in some form or fashion. From being adopted myself, to being a foster family to several children as a child growing up, adoption has been one of the consistent …Read More

How Adoption Shaped My Life: An Adoptee Speaks

September 30, 2018 adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, embracing their story, older child adoption, orphanage, Post-Adoption contact, September 2018 Feature - Hearing From Adult Adoptees, spina bifida, telling their life story 4 Comments

I was 10 years old when I was adopted. I had spent all my life in an orphanage. I had no idea it was even possible to be adopted, let alone by American families – I thought I had everything I needed. Going to school I knew I was different. I didn’t have pretty clothes, …Read More

Chosen and Loved: An Adoptee’s Perspective

September 29, 2018 adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, arthrogryposis, heritage trip, orphanage, orphanage visit, Post-Adoption contact, September 2018 Feature - Hearing From Adult Adoptees, telling their life story 3 Comments

I was adopted at two years so I don’t really have memories before coming to America. But I have always had a memory of being in a bathtub surrounded by colorful plastic balls. I also remember laying in a crib with a purple blanket draped over the top like a tent watching my mom on …Read More

O Father, Where Art Thou?

September 13, 2018 adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, birth family, Perspectives, September 2018 Feature - Hearing From Adult Adoptees, Uncategorized 0 Comments

My husband and I had the privilege of studying abroad in the country of Austria when we were students in college. We were dating at the time and visiting the quaint little town of Pochlarn. As we walked through the streets we talked about my adoption story, specifically my birth mother and my desire to …Read More

A Kaleidoscope of Color and Culture

September 9, 2018 a father's perspective, adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, fundraisers, fundraising for adoption, other ways to care for the orphan, September 2018 Feature - Hearing From Adult Adoptees 3 Comments

Over many years, long before Erin and I were even married, God was weaving together a beautiful story, made possible through adoption. I was unexpectedly adopted from the Congo at just a few months old, as my biological mother died in child-birth with me. In the tribe I was born into, the cultural practice, if …Read More

When All This Feels Too Heavy

July 23, 2018 a father's perspective, Dads, first weeks home, first year home, Newly Home, Randall 3 Comments

“We’re not gonna make it.” Maybe you’ve felt that. Maybe you’ve even been so desperate to say it out loud. There are times when you’ve looked around at the carnage and the chaos of your family and social worlds and have thought, “We’re not gonna make it.” Maybe you’re feeling that right now. I hope …Read More

Magic Mirror Gate: My First Half Year as a Dad

June 30, 2018 a father's perspective, adopting as first time parents, albinism, Dads, first year home, June 2018 Feature - Celebrating Dads, Newly Home, Perspectives, toddler adoption 1 Comments

Since I was super smart about being a parent before I was one, I would often compare it to bowling with bumpers. You put up boundaries, and those boundaries keep your kids in line. BAM – parenting. Done. Where’s my book deal? But so far, six months in, it feels more like I’m attempting olympic …Read More

A Dad’s Heart on Adoption

June 17, 2018 a father's perspective, Dads, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Family Stories, June 2018 Feature - Celebrating Dads, large families, reluctant husband, should we adopt? 0 Comments

Almost 15 months ago we brought home one of the biggest blessings of my life. Our daughter, Willow, has changed me forever and has made me a better man, father, husband and drawn me closer to our Heavenly Father. Her unconditional grace, love and pure joy for life are a daily reminder of how true …Read More

One Day At A Time

June 11, 2018 a father's perspective, Dads, June 2018 Feature - Celebrating Dads, large families, Lifelong needs 1 Comments

Throughout my years in elementary school and high school, I always knew what I wanted to be… a professional actor. I don’t know why my hand went up, but in second grade, I volunteered to play Jesus in a skit, and then went on to land the lead roles in two high school plays. Later, …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 posts …Read More

When an Adoptee Becomes a Parent Herself

May 27, 2018 adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, telling their life story, tracheoesophagel fistula, VACTERL 1 Comments

I can say with certainty that becoming a mother has been the most unique experience that I’ve had in my life thus far. That sentence sounds strange to me as I write it because people becoming parents is maybe the oldest and most common experience known to the human race. We still exist after all. …Read More

Three Shifts Any Church Can Make Right Now To Prioritize Adoption

April 25, 2018 a father's perspective, adoption community, Dads, other ways to care for the orphan, Randall 0 Comments

I know many of us are part of great churches. In an ideal world, you probably feel supported and loved all the way through the process and post-placement. If you find yourself in one of these churches, your pastor has probably talked from stage on a regular basis about the value of adoption. They know …Read More

When I Feel Like a Failure at Winning

March 11, 2018 a father's perspective, adoption realities, Dads, Randall 4 Comments

I’m training for a half marathon. Actually, I’m starting today. And what I mean by that is, I downloaded an app today that tells me what I need to do. I look at Pins of runners and what forty-year-old dads can look like if they put in the work. I know how I want to …Read More

Everyone Has A Plan

February 26, 2018 a father's perspective, adopting as first time parents, adoption realities, albinism, China trip, Dads, Family Stories, Gotcha Day, Skin Conditions 17 Comments

Elsie and I had very different ways of preparing for our China adoption. She spent the better part of a year setting up a nursery in our home, buying clothes, and watching other “family day” videos on Youtube. She is an optimist and a planner, which makes her the perfect counterpart to a cynical procrastinator. …Read More

The Birth Day Surprise

February 17, 2018 bilateral cleft, cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, sibling perspective, virtual twins 16 Comments

As the doctor performed an emergency C-section and delivered our sub-four pound premie son, I heard her whisper to the nurse, “Did they know he would have a bi-lateral cleft lip and palate?” Without pausing to let that birthday surprise sink in, I responded, “That’s ok! So does my three year old sister!” “So this …Read More

Are they American? Or Chinese? Or both? Or maybe we shouldn’t ask…

January 31, 2018 adoptee perspective, books, Chinese Culture, embracing their story, guest post, heritage trip, orphanage, Post-Adoption contact, telling their life story 0 Comments

Patti Waldmeir, award winning author and foreign correspondent, raised her adopted Chinese daughters Grace and Lucy for half their life in China. She’s just published a book about raising them in the country that could not keep them… The Waldmeir family visiting Grace’s hometown of Yangzhou in 2008 /// “Do they know they’re adopted?” Soaking …Read More

Adoption: From Siblings’ Perspectives

December 15, 2017 adopting again, December 2017 Feature - Making Room for a Sibling, sibling perspective, siblings 2 Comments

Recently, I asked three of my four kids to write “an essay that talks about how adoption has affected them: the good things about it and the things that have been hard.” I told them to be totally honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly, because it would help other families. Then, I …Read More

How To Trust When God Changes Course

October 10, 2017 a father's perspective, adoption community, Randall 3 Comments

I wish I could tell you it was easy… what you’re about to do… I want to. I want to sell you. Because it sounds like such an easy thing to sell. But I can’t do it. I can’t. I want to but I can’t. Because what you’re about to do is one of the …Read More

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival: A Celebration of Family

October 4, 2017 adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Perspectives 2 Comments

For as long as humans have inhabited the earth (I assume), the moon has been a source of wonder and mystery. I imagine my ancestors staring up at the same moon, hundreds and even thousands of years ago in China. This year, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival falls on October 4, within the National holiday for …Read More

When All That’s Left is Relationship: Attachment with Adult Children

September 3, 2017 adult adoptee, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, older child adoption, parent-to-child attachment 2 Comments

When my dear friend Andrea recommended that I write this article for No Hands But Ours, I was intimidated. I still am. As a mom of eight young adult daughters (ages 21 – 25), seven that joined our family through the gift of adoption — five after the age of 18 — I still feel …Read More

How To Regain Margin for Your Marriage

August 27, 2017 a father's perspective, adoption community, books, Dads, marriage, Randall 1 Comments

Randall and Kelley Nichols live in Coastal Virginia with their five kids. They’ve been in ministry for over twenty years serving couples and families. Recently they celebrated the release of their first book, Prayers of a Village, a 30-day devotional for adoptive parents. Learn more here. ….. Look… There are countless marriage resources out there. …Read More

When Enough Is Enough

July 28, 2017 a father's perspective, Dads, Randall 8 Comments

I’m not overwhelmed and throwing in the towel. Not yet. Not exactly. I really want to talk about our clawing for more. For constant progress. For trying to be the best or at least better than you are. The question I’m asking myself and I’m asking you is this: “What if exactly what you are, …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

What I Wasn’t Prepared For

June 29, 2017 a father's perspective, adoption realities, Dads, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, rages, trauma 5 Comments

In honor of Father’s Day, the month of June is dedicated to Dads. During our Thoughts from the Dad series, we’ll feature stories written by fathers sharing their unique perspective on the journey of adoption. ……… The email came in the middle of the night. Only halfway awake, I did one of those early morning …Read More

How to Leave a Legacy for Your Children

June 24, 2017 a father's perspective, Dads, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, Perspectives, Randall 0 Comments

I’ll never forget it as long as live. When I was little, my family would travel from Alabama to North Georgia at the end of every summer to visit my great grandparents. My great grandfather, Wiley was his name, lived on a hillside off US Highway 27. He was the original DIYer. There was nothing …Read More

More Than Meets the Eye

June 18, 2017 a father's perspective, adopting a boy, Dads, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, Perspectives, should we adopt? 1 Comments

In honor of Father’s Day, the month of June is dedicated to Dads. During our Thoughts from the Dad series, we’ll feature stories written by fathers sharing their unique perspective on the journey of adoption. ……… “God is spirit and exists at the level of reality where the human heart, or spirit, also exists, serving …Read More

Thoughts from The Dad: Worth It

June 16, 2017 a father's perspective, Dads, Family Stories, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, Perspectives, should we adopt? 0 Comments

Welcome June! And, in honor of Father’s Day later this month, June is all about Dads. During our Thoughts from the Dad series, we’ll feature stories written by fathers sharing their unique perspective on the journey of adoption. ……… What is my perspective, as a dad, on adoption? Since perspective is defined as an attitude …Read More

Adoption: A Dad’s Honest Viewpoint

June 13, 2017 a father's perspective, adoption realities, Courtney, Dads, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, parent-to-child attachment, Perspectives 4 Comments

As a part of our Thoughts from the Dad series, I sat down with my best friend and husband of 15 years and asked him a few questions about our adoption of our daughter, Callie. I hope his answers will be helpful to you whether you are just beginning the adoption journey or are already …Read More

“I Remember!”

June 12, 2017 adoptee perspective, Jean, telling their life story 3 Comments

When we leave China with our newly adopted children, we leave part of their history behind. Oftentimes, it’s a black hole and we will never know the details about their lives before we met them. Any tidbit of information from another adopting family, a picture, a single moment they may remember, is a treasured gift. …Read More

The Most Important Job: The Making of a Father

June 9, 2017 a father's perspective, adopting a boy, adopting again, adopting as first time parents, Dads, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, Perspectives, should we adopt? 1 Comments

Welcome June! And, in honor of Father’s Day later this month, June is all about Dads. During our Thoughts from the Dad series, we’ll feature stories written by fathers sharing their unique perspective on the journey of adoption. ……… “They’re so lucky,” I often hear, once someone learns of my two adopted boys. “You’ve given …Read More

What Every Adoptive Dad is Really Telling the World

June 2, 2017 a father's perspective, Dads, June 2017 Feature - Thoughts From The Dad, Perspectives 7 Comments

Welcome June! And, in honor of Father’s Day later this month, June is all about Dads. During our Thoughts from the Dad series, we’ll feature stories written by fathers sharing their unique perspective on the journey of adoption. ……… Think about this… What’s a real father? Sometimes us men may not feel like a “real” …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

So Thankful: Thoughts From A Big Sister

May 8, 2017 adoption realities, sibling perspective, siblings 8 Comments

As I sit here thinking how much my life has changed over the past five years I am flooded with so many thoughts and emotions. As a fifteen year old there are many things I have experienced that so many never will. I have seen firsthand the amazing change in my three siblings from orphan …Read More

Stay the course. Help is on the way.

April 27, 2017 a father's perspective, adoption community, orphan ministry, Randall 2 Comments

In an article posted by on orangeblogs.com it’s noted that 90% of people with special needs do not attend church. A study concluded in 2014 shows that 1 in 6 people in the US have a diagnosed special need. That means for my small city of 160,000 people there are roughly 26,000 with a diagnosed …Read More

Advocacy: The Profound Ripple Effect

April 20, 2017 a father's perspective, adopting a boy, adoption community, Advocacy, Beyond Adoption, other ways to care for the orphan 1 Comments

“Why are we here?” It is a question many people ask themselves through their life journey. Answers come in many forms through prayer, hope, and helping others.   But now imagine yourself as a person who was abandoned by his or her biological parents. How can you, and that child, find solace? You are reading …Read More

Love Stories: My Happily Ever After

April 19, 2017 adoptee perspective, April 2017 Feature - Love Stories, birth family, foster care, older child adoption, orphanage realities, telling their life story 4 Comments

We are so quick to fill in the blanks, aren’t we? We get one part of a story, and we use our imagination to complete the rest. But it’s too simplistic to do that with the care of orphaned children halfway around the world… to see an image and create a tragic narrative, hear a …Read More

Three Simple Essentials for Your Hospital Stay

March 29, 2017 a father's perspective, February 2017 Feature - Preparing Your Child for Medical Interventions, hospital stays, Randall, surgery 0 Comments

We live in a wonderful country. It doesn’t always feel wonderful, but when we realize how easily accessible basic healthcare is for us we are reminded that it truly is a privilege to call this place home. Many of the children in our adoption communities have been given a shot at a better life because …Read More

An Unfinished Family Portrait

March 25, 2017 a father's perspective, adopting a boy, Blood Conditions, Dads, Family Stories, hemophilia, hemophilia A, March 2017 Feature - Blood Conditions, older child adoption, reluctant husband, should we adopt? 2 Comments

Looking up from a pile of leaves, a young, beautiful blonde-haired college girl smiles while being kissed on the cheek by a “somewhat handsome” college-aged boy. That young, twenty-year old girl, now even more beautiful than ever, is my wife, Amber. That college kid, who has not graced the twenty years since quite as well, …Read More

How to Know When It’s Time to Adopt

January 30, 2017 a father's perspective, adopting again, Dads, January 2017 Feature - Reluctant Spouses, Perspectives, pre-adoption, Randall, reluctant husband, should we adopt? 3 Comments

January last year, my wife sat across the couch from me as we do most every night. She has a way of asking a question that doesn’t leave you alone, even after you’ve answered it. The lights in the living room were dim and an episode of The Office was playing in the background. I was …Read More

A New Year in China!

January 28, 2017 adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Chinese New Year 0 Comments

Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! Happy Chinese New Year to you all! Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival or Chun jie. There is nothing more exciting or anticipated in China than the New Year celebrations with all of their traditions and activities! It’s an important familiar and societal tradition to reflect upon …Read More

Reluctant Spouses: Am I Ready To Be Ready Too?

January 9, 2017 a father's perspective, adopting again, January 2017 Feature - Reluctant Spouses, reluctant husband 6 Comments

Choosing to grow your family is a monumental, life-altering decision. And choosing to grow your family through special-needs adoption? Even more so. Which makes this decision an understandably difficult one to make – one that is often easier (or harder) for one spouse to come to than the other. This month we’re focusing on Reluctant …Read More

Survivor’s Guilt

December 16, 2016 adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, Perspectives, protecting their story, telling their life story 2 Comments

One question that plagued me into adulthood was this; “Why was I one of the lucky ones?” After visiting China and seeing many children in poverty or abandoned and in orphanages, thinking about the ones who wouldn’t make it because of sickness or because of a broken system that can’t care for it’s own children, …Read More

From an Adoptee With Love

December 9, 2016 adoptee perspective, adoptee Q and A, adult adoptee, Perspectives, protecting their story, telling their life story 1 Comments

I just recently entered the world of adoptive family forums and Facebook groups and am amazed at the number and the commitment of adoptive parents who would do anything to protect, and give the best life possible to their children. As an adult adoptee from China, I’ve “met” parents who have shared their stories with …Read More

The Greatest Fear of Every Dad

October 25, 2016 a father's perspective, Dads, Perspectives, Randall, should we adopt? 2 Comments

The morning was cool. The sounds of the city were waking up. But they hadn’t slept a wink last night. They huddled together under cover of night making the final plans for their new life. For years they’ve been overwhelmed by a life dictated by someone else’s dream. Forced to work for an ideal that …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

Lessons in Fatherhood

August 22, 2016 a father's perspective, August 2016 - Infectious, Dads, HIV, Infectious, TB testing, tuberculosis 1 Comments

While it seems like forever ago now, in reality it was only about three and a half years ago that my wife and I began praying about adoption…. Like all parents my wife and I had dreams of healthy babies, healthy incomes, and a healthy marriage. Well, after fifteen, almost sixteen, years of marriage we’ve …Read More

The Fear in Me: Adopting a Child with HIV

August 5, 2016 a father's perspective, August 2016 - Infectious, Dads, HIV, Infectious 2 Comments

I’m an accidental parent. To be more precise, I’m an accidental adoptive parent of two children with special needs. No, my two adoptive kiddos didn’t just show up one day in a basket with a note tied to it (although, I’m sure that would have cut down on paperwork and the timeline). But I never …Read More

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