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

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? 6 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 4 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

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

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

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

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

I Am Not a Babysitter, I Am a Dad

January 7, 2017 a father's perspective, Attachment, attachment activities, Bryson, Dads, Perspectives 5 Comments

I have been unusually emotional lately. At the drop of a hat, I am tearing up. This week is our son’s “famiversary.” One year ago we stamped our thumbs in red ink and officially made him part of our family in a humid government office in Nanning, Guangxi. As I write this, today is also …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

You Can Do Hard Things

June 19, 2016 a father's perspective, Dads, Randall 2 Comments

About two months ago I stared at the number on the scale beneath my feet. I’d never seen a number that big before. Maybe the scale needed to be calibrated. Surely this wasn’t right. I stepped off. Calibrated it. Set a 10 pound dumbbell on it to confirm it’s accuracy. Then I stepped back on. …Read More

Meet the Contributors: Mandy and Bryson

February 28, 2016 a father's perspective, Bryson, Contributor Q and A, Mandy, Meet the Contributors 3 Comments

Continuing today with our series in which we share a short Q and A with one of our contributors to give y’all, our faithful readers, a little more behind-the-scenes insight into the amazing group of writers assembled here. And it will also give each of our contributors a chance to share their heart in a …Read More

What Will This Do To Your Kids

February 24, 2016 a father's perspective, Dads, Developmental System, Down syndrome, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, Randall, sibling perspective 5 Comments

SHUT YOUR MOUTH We had a striking revelation the other day. When we began talking about our adoption roadmap, we had decided we would start the process when we turned thirty-five years old because women who get pregnant after thirty-five statistically have a 1 in 400 chance of having a child with Down syndrome. And …Read More

Three Ways the Church Can Support Adoptive Families

October 25, 2015 a father's perspective, October 2015 Feature - It Takes a Village, orphan ministry, Randall, supporting adoptive families 7 Comments

A MOST NEEDED ASSET According to research data, of the tens of millions of families who have considered adoption, only 5% have walked the process through to completion. Certainly, there are a number of reasons for this. Psychology Today notes financial burden, obstacles, legal red tape, and emotional turmoil as the leading deterrents in completing …Read More

The Making of a Family

September 25, 2015 a father's perspective, Bryson, China trip, Dads, Gotcha Day 17 Comments

Bryson, dad to 3 year old Lydia and husband to Mandy, shared several months ago on the challenges of attachment. We loved his post so much we asked him to come back and contribute regularly. Today he shares with us a true labor of love, his documentary film of their adoption journey. I encourage you …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

Going Backward to Move Forward: A Dad’s Perspective on Attachment Challenges

June 23, 2015 a father's perspective, Attachment, Bryson, Dads, first year home, June 2015 Feature - Let's Hear It For Dads 12 Comments

Of the many conversations we had with our caseworker from the adoption agency, I remember one much more clearly than the others. During this phone call, our caseworker (who, by the way, was amazing) was role playing and asking questions to help us prepare for the day we would meet our daughter, Lydia. One of …Read More

Once a Superhero, Always a Superhero

June 18, 2015 a father's perspective, Dads, June 2015 Feature - Let's Hear It For Dads 0 Comments

I am an 80’s kid. I grew up watching He-Man Masters of the Universe, GI Joe, and Transformers. Growing up, the theme was always Good vs. Evil. From the Smurfs fighting Gargamel to the games we played in the backyard battling “the bad guys,” it was always about saving the ones we love. Sometimes we …Read More

Seven Things I Learned from the Adoption Process

June 12, 2015 a father's perspective, Dads, Down syndrome, June 2015 Feature - Let's Hear It For Dads, Randall 1 Comments

Hey Dads. First of all, I know you’re probably a little scared. It’s okay. You don’t have to admit it, at least not yet. Just know that there’s somebody out there who gets what you’re going through. We’ve all felt it. Trust me, you’ll find a way to lead your family through the process. Take …Read More

I Think I Know You: A Dad’s Perspective on Adopting a Child with Down Syndrome

June 5, 2015 a father's perspective, Dads, Developmental System, Down syndrome, June 2015 Feature - Let's Hear It For Dads 7 Comments

You don’t know me, but if you’re a dad (or prospective dad) considering adopting a child with Down syndrome from China, I think I know you. I think I was you. I know you worry about caring for a child with developmental disabilities and lifelong needs. I know you worry about health problems that are …Read More

On Being an Adoptive Dad

June 1, 2015 a father's perspective, Dads, hearing loss, June 2015 Feature - Let's Hear It For Dads, reluctant husband, Sensory System 3 Comments

June is here and as we move into a new month, we also begin a new Feature here on NHBO. In April and May our focus was on attachment. This month, in honor of Father’s Day, our focus will be… you guessed it, Dads. We are looking forward to sharing posts from adoptive dads all …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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Six Pills a Day: A Cure for My Ignorance Regarding HIV

March 19, 2014 a father's perspective, Advocacy, HIV, Mike 6 Comments

Mike is dad to six. Two of his children, adopted from China, have HIV. Today he shares from-the-heart about their journey. You can read a previous post he shared here. Growing up in the Midwest in the 80s, my picture of HIV was framed by after-school specials, the evening news, and MTV. I had never …Read More

How Magic Johnson Became My New Favorite Basketball Player

March 12, 2013 a father's perspective, HIV, Mike 6 Comments

— A guest post by dad-to-six Mike Jutt who is currently in China bringing home his twins! “This is going to be the most shocking phone call of your life…” Those are the first 13 words Anne said to me when I answered the phone at work that afternoon. But it was the next three …Read More

Do you Love me Big?

December 21, 2012 a father's perspective, Adrian, spina bifida 2 Comments

This, is my family. They are all pretty cute, but they also look very different. Well, not Miss G and the Wife. They look very much alike. Everyone comments that Miss G is a miniature version of the Wife. And from what I’m told, Senior K walks, talks and behaves very much like myself. But …Read More

Every mom needs a tree

August 21, 2012 a father's perspective, Adrian, spina bifida 4 Comments

If you happen to want to adopt internationally, and you live in Ontario Canada, there is a certain course you have to take. It’s called the PRIDE course. And it covers many wonderful topics. The PRIDE curriculum provides information to help prepare all adoptive parents for the responsibilities involved in raising their children and incorporates …Read More

To the Mother in WalMart with the Screaming Child…

July 21, 2012 a father's perspective, Adrian, spina bifida 2 Comments

… I’m sorry. It’s a good thing I’m cute! I’m sorry I judged you too quickly. I’m sorry that at the sight of your disheveled hair, clad in your 1972 floral print muumuu, with mismatched socks, I judged you. I’m sorry that while your child lay on the ground, feet flying up in the air, …Read More

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