Unstoppable: Our Club Foot Warrior

June 9, 2018 adopting as first time parents, clubfoot, Family Stories, June 2018 Feature - Orthopedic, medical needs checklist, Orthopedic, waiting for referral 0 Comments

Preslie’s story began in November of 2013. She was born to parents in China who I’m sure loved her so much but chose to give her up so that so that she could get the medical help that she so desperately needed. My husband and I also started the adoption process in November of 2013. …Read More

Limb Different – But Beautiful

June 3, 2018 adopting a boy, Family Stories, June 2018 Feature - Orthopedic, medical needs checklist, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic, should we adopt?, symbrachydactyly, visible special need 2 Comments

It was early 2015 when our journey toward our son Noah began. Unlike so many families that adopt, it was not a lifelong dream of mine that was finally going to become a reality. No, it was a rather quick process that began one night as I laid in bed watching the evening news. Images …Read More

A New Song

March 13, 2018 adopting again, medical needs checklist, parent restrictions, should we adopt?, switching to another country 3 Comments

“Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” – Isaiah 43:19 When Robert and I were on our way home with our son, Howie, we started talking about going back. When we found out Howie’s special need was nonexistent, we knew we would have the energy, room, …Read More

Dear Could-Be Heart Mama…

February 14, 2018 complex heart defect, February 2018 Feature - Heart, Heart System, heterotaxy, major aorto-pulmonary collateral arteries, medical needs checklist, Morning Star Foster Home, pulmonary hypertension, referral, single atrium heart disease, single ventricle heart disease 1 Comments

Dear Could-Be Heart Mama, thinking of bringing home your own little Broken-Hearted Brave, It’s the morning here, on this Celebration of Hearts, and I wake up to a house full of little hearts — brave and broken ones, that is. We like to call ourselves this “Little House of Brave” — like a warrior rally …Read More

The Checklist

January 19, 2018 aortic stenosis, complex heart defect, double outlet right ventricle, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Lifelong needs, medical needs checklist, Megan V., pulmonary stenosis, TGA 0 Comments

There is a checklist. It is several pages long and includes medical jargon I don’t know and hope I never have to understand. Every person who has adopted has been faced with this list. What are you willing to weather? I agonized over that list, checking and unchecking things depending how I felt in that …Read More

Elsie Larson on the Paperchase, Special Needs and Adoption

November 30, 2017 adopting as first time parents, albinism, medical needs checklist, paperchase, Stefanie, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 0 Comments

I found Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess on Instagram (@elsielarson) on #worldadoptionday and subsequently spent an inordinate amount of time reading about all the cool stuff she does… including growing their family through adoption. When, a week or so later, I listened to her podcast (in which she shares her thoughts on special needs …Read More

What We Didn’t Know

October 14, 2017 developmental delays, Developmental System, early intervention, Education, failure to thrive, heart defect, medical needs checklist, October 2017 Feature - Developmental, sign language, speech delay, virtual twinning 0 Comments

Every child is different, and those differences make life a beautiful kaleidoscope. Our family was formed through adoption and through our most recent adoptions we have become familiar with various aspects of developmental delays. We adopted our sons domestically, and then we adopted our two two year old daughters from China one year apart. With …Read More

Please Don’t Poke the Bear

July 23, 2017 adopting as first time parents, BAHA, Craniofacial, declining a referral, Family Stories, hearing loss, hemifacial microsomia, July 2017 Feature - Craniofacial, medical needs checklist, microtia, referral, speech therapy, waiting for referral 1 Comments

I call my daughter baby bear. For my first Mother’s Day, my husband presented us with matching mama bear/baby bear bracelets. SJ saw them and exclaimed: “SJ. Mama. Same!” Though I’ve never considered myself a shrinking violet by any means, this process, this crazy-beautiful, seemingly impossible way of becoming parents, has seemed to draw out …Read More

Bringing Benjamin Home

July 22, 2017 adopting a boy, cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2017 Feature - Craniofacial, medical needs checklist, surgery 2 Comments

We are the Young Family. We live in a small town in North Carolina with our two biological daughters ages 16 and 11, and our adopted son Benjamin who is 4. Our story begins like may others. God’s call to expand our family through adoption, a reluctant spouse, no funds, paperwork, and the “What special …Read More

Cool Hats and Shaggy Haircuts: Adopting a Child with Microtia

July 18, 2017 adopting a boy, BAHA, Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing loss, July 2017 Feature - Craniofacial, medical needs checklist, microtia, Sensory System, visible special need 2 Comments

(Let me start by saying I are so far from an expert on the topic of microtia and atresia. Just know that I am a loving mother with a son who happens to have this special bonus feature, not an ENT doctor.) When my husband and I filled out a medical checklist in February of …Read More

Your Hand Fits Perfectly in Mine

June 30, 2017 ectrodactyly, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, limb difference, medical needs checklist, missing fingers/toes, Orthopedic 2 Comments

I can remember wanting to adopt for a long time — specifically wanting to adopt a daughter from China. My amazing stepdad adopted me when I was 12 so, since I was young, adoption has been close to my heart. When my husband and I married in 2004, adoption was something we knew we wanted …Read More

Nothing to Fear: Seeing Beyond the Check Box

June 20, 2017 adopting again, arthrogryposis, Family Stories, June 2017 Feature - Orthopedic, medical needs checklist, older child adoption, Orthopedic 2 Comments

She loves bubbles and baby dolls. Her favorite color is yellow. She is a quick learner and a compassionate friend. She has the most joyful laugh, and an infectious smile. And we wouldn’t have known any of these aspects of our daughter had we been scared off by one single word… Arthrogryposis. Her story began …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

For Life: He Makes Things Beautiful

May 14, 2017 adopting again, large families, Lifelong needs, May 2017 Feature - For Life, medical needs checklist, older child adoption 2 Comments

Adopting a child with special needs can be scary. And even scarier when that child has needs that just might require a lifetime of parental care. This month we are hearing from those whose parenting journey has diverged from what most would think typical. They’re parenting children who require more than what many would believe …Read More

For Life: The Road God Had For Us

May 10, 2017 developmental delays, Developmental System, Down syndrome, Lifelong needs, May 2017 Feature - For Life, medical needs checklist, waiting for referral 2 Comments

Adopting a child with special needs can be scary. And even scarier when that child has needs that just might require a lifetime of parental care. This month we are hearing from those whose parenting journey has diverged from what most would think typical. They’re parenting children who require more than what many would believe …Read More

From Inconvenient to Eternal

May 6, 2017 AFO, April 2017 Feature - CNS, bowel management, Central Nervous System, Family Stories, incontinence, medical needs checklist, referral, spina bifida, waiting for referral, wheelchair user 2 Comments

We had the same picture as so many others at the start: we envisioned a perfect, beautiful, raven-haired little girl from China. When we started exploring adoption and saw that the face of adoption had really changed to be all about special needs, we shifted our thinking. Minor, correctable needs, we thought. Our perfect, beautiful, …Read More

The Real Worst Case Scenario

April 9, 2017 adopting as a single mom, adopting as first time parents, April 2017 Feature - CNS, Central Nervous System, Chiari 2 malformation, Family Stories, hydrocephalus, medical needs checklist, mobility issues, neurogenic bowel and bladder, spina bifida, waiting for referral, wheelchair user 1 Comments

When I began the adoption process, in the fall of 2013, I filled out my agency’s medical conditions checklist, or MCC. I was only open to a girl up to age 18 months, but being a special education teacher, I was familiar with and open to a wide variety of medical needs. At the time, …Read More

Seriously Blessed

March 4, 2017 adopting again, adopting later in life, adopting out of birth order, adopting two at once, complex heart defect, complex medical, large families, medical needs checklist, November 2016 Feature - Then and Now, older child adoption, should we adopt? 9 Comments

In 2011, our family looked like this. We were considered a large family by our friends and family. Dan and I had been married for 27 years at this point. We had been through a great deal during those 27 years. Our twin boys were born prematurely, three months before their due date. Our son …Read More

After the Honeymoon: Adopting a Child with Complex CHD

February 14, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting as first time parents, complex heart defect, Family Stories, February 2017 Feature - Heart, first year home, Heart System, heterotaxy, medical needs checklist, Morning Star Foster Home, pulmonary atresia, should we adopt?, surgery, waiting for referral 0 Comments

Prologue: In our son’s room, we have a picture that reads: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) We chose this verse for him, but in reality it applies more to us. My husband, Derek, and …Read More

Adopting a Child with Unpredictable Special Needs

January 31, 2017 adoption realities, bronchiectasis, dysphagia, Family Stories, medical needs checklist, referral, swallow study, undiagnosed SN 1 Comments

When you visit a carnival, some rides are very predictable. The frog hopper, bumper cars, flying elephants, and even the tea cups come with a high level of predictability. You hand over the ticket and, with almost 100% certainty, you can foresee what the outcome of the ride will be… steady, smooth, and timely. Then …Read More

Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

January 1, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, adopting out of birth order, December 2016 Feature - Adopting a Boy, either gender, medical needs checklist, older child adoption, referral, waiting for referral 3 Comments

I sat down one afternoon after our decision to adopt and filled out the application and MCC. The MCC is a Medical Conditions Checklist where you check boxes of special needs that you and your family are comfortable with. There are also boxes to fill out for age preference that range (from 0-13 years old) …Read More

Reluctant No More

December 27, 2016 adopting a boy, adopting again, Andrea O., December 2016 Feature - Adopting a Boy, either gender, medical needs checklist, referral, waiting for referral 1 Comments

Back in early 2005 when we first decided to adopt, we researched the different avenues of adoption and for many reasons we chose China. If I’m completely honest with myself, one of the reasons is that we were practically assured to be matched with the type of child we had already decided that we wanted: a …Read More

Love Beyond Sight

December 6, 2016 cataracts, congenital blindness, December 2016 Feature - Sensory, Family Stories, first year home, hypoplasia, medical needs checklist, micropthalmia, Newly Home, prosthetic eye, referral, Sensory System, vision loss 1 Comments

I have always been a planner, always been cautious. I had even been planning this adoption since I was 12! What I hadn’t planned was that China would become a special needs adoption program by the time my husband and I were able to adopt. It was daunting looking over the Medical Checklist. I could …Read More

Leaps of Faith: Adopting a Child with Micropthalmia

October 27, 2016 Chiari 1 malformation, Developmental System, medical needs checklist, micropthalmia, October 2016 Feature - Developmental, prosthetic eye, referral, Sensory System, vision loss 4 Comments

No two families start exactly the same. In some sense, every decision to have children involves a leap of faith. Nothing in this world is a guarantee; as plenty of parents have learned, there is much that can go wrong during a baby’s formative nine months in the womb and truly, through their entire lives, …Read More

Beautiful Scars: Adopting a Child with a Congenital Nevus

September 7, 2016 birthmark, Congenital nevus, Family Stories, giant congenital nevus, medical needs checklist, medical waiver, referral, September 2016 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions 4 Comments

When my husband and I first started looking into adoption, we were told that because of my epilepsy, we could only apply for a special focus child. In Adoption circles, Special Focus means either that the child has more than one medical condition, or has a more severe medical condition. Sometimes the label is given …Read More

A Beginner’s Guide to Special Needs Adoption: Post Five

August 13, 2016 A Beginner's Guide to Special Needs Adoption, Agencies, agency-orphanage partnership, dossier, Faith, I'm Ready to Adopt, medical needs checklist, paperchase, pre-adoption, referral, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 1 Comments

Becoming a parent, no matter how it happens, is never easy. But for those just looking into the possibility of adoption it can seem positively overwhelming. It is our hope to change all that. This 8-post series will go step-by-step through the process to adopt through the special needs program for those of you who …Read More

A Beginner’s Guide to Special Needs Adoption: Post Four

August 3, 2016 A Beginner's Guide to Special Needs Adoption, Agencies, Faith, I'm Ready to Adopt, medical needs checklist, pre-adoption, referral, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 0 Comments

Becoming a parent, no matter how it happens, is never easy. But for those just looking into the possibility of adoption it can seem positively overwhelming. It is our hope to change all that. This 8-post series will go step-by-step through the process to adopt through the special needs program for those of you who …Read More

His Hands and Feet: Adopting a Child with ABS

July 26, 2016 amniotic band syndrome, Family Stories, medical needs checklist, Orthopedic, pre-adoption, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 5 Comments

Sometimes you are clearly given a gift of grace and sometimes you find yourself in it. Both are of Him and from Him and are equally overwhelming and exciting. This is a glimpse of both. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8 ….. …Read More

A Beginner’s Guide to Special Needs Adoption: Post Three

July 3, 2016 A Beginner's Guide to Special Needs Adoption, agency-orphanage partnership, Faith, LID vs. SF, medical needs checklist, pre-adoption, referral, shared list, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 0 Comments

Becoming a parent, no matter how it happens, is never easy. But for those just looking into the possibility of adoption it can seem positively overwhelming. It is our hope to change all that. This 7-post series will go step-by-step through the process to adopt through the special needs program for those of you who …Read More

A Beginner’s Guide to Special Needs Adoption: Post Two

June 1, 2016 A Beginner's Guide to Special Needs Adoption, Faith, I'm Ready to Adopt, medical needs checklist, pre-adoption, referral, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 3 Comments

Becoming a parent, no matter how it happens, is never easy. But for those just looking into the possibility of adoption it can seem positively overwhelming. It is our hope to change all that. This 8-post series will go step-by-step through the process to adopt through the special needs program for those of you who …Read More

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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.