A Million Times Yes

November 10, 2018 Family Stories, hypospadias, intersex, medical needs checklist, November 2018 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System, waiting for referral 2 Comments

“That is a need I could never handle, Lord.” It all began with a checklist. You know, the dreaded medical needs checklist we all fill out in the beginning of the China adoption process that kickstarts the journey to our child. The very checklist we dwell over, pour research over, stress over, and pray over. …Read More

Joke’s on Me: Fibular Hemimelia

June 21, 2018 AFO, Family Stories, fibular hemimelia, June 2018 Feature - Orthopedic, leg length discrepancy, limb difference, medical trauma, Orthopedic, referral, should we adopt?, surgery, trauma, waiting for referral 12 Comments

If you have adopted, you know the overwhelming process of filling out the medical needs checklist (MCC). For those that haven’t, this is a piece of paper with a wide range list of medical needs, each having little boxes beside them, and your job is to check the ones you are open to within adoption. …Read More

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

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

The Waiting Place

November 9, 2017 Brandie, pre-adoption, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 1 Comments

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long and wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place… …for people just waiting. – Dr. Seuss /// I was a soon-to-be graduating senior when …Read More

Organized Chaos: Managing Adoption Paperwork

August 13, 2017 Courtney, paperchase, referral, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 3 Comments

Call me weird but there is something about adoption paperwork that I actually enjoy. My personality thrives on checklists and deadlines. I love completing a task and knowing that the work is bringing me one step closer to my son. Paperwork is a tangible way to show that I am making progress in our adoption. …Read More

One Year Home: A First-Time Mom’s Thoughts on “Gotcha Day”

July 27, 2017 adopting as first time parents, China trip, cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, first year home, Gotcha Day, infertility, July 2017 Feature - Craniofacial, Newly Home, referral, toddler adoption, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 3 Comments

We’re finally here, we’re already here. The road to this day, the first anniversary of Willa’s “Gotcha Day,” has been slow, and yet in other ways, I feel like I blinked, and here we are. I’m not exactly sure what meeting your adopted child feels like for many moms, the ones with a gaggle of …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

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Our Cleft Story

July 10, 2017 cl/cp, Craniofacial, early intervention, either gender, Family Stories, fistula, July 2017 Feature - Craniofacial, referral, speech therapy, waiting for referral 2 Comments

Adoption had been on our heart for years. And in August of 2014, after lots of prayer, we accepted God’s call to adopt. We completed our home study, filled out the medical checklist, put together lots of paperwork, prepared our home for another child, and waited to see our child’s face for the first time. …Read More

Hearing Loss: An Almost-Missed Diagnosis

June 5, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, Brandie, hearing aids, hearing loss, undiagnosed SN, waiting for referral 4 Comments

In late August 2014, I loaded up my three children and drove an hour to hand deliver our completed dossier to my adoption agency. After the months of meetings, paper chasing, notarizing, and certifying documents, I would only let those precious papers leave the firm grip of my fingers if they were placed directly in …Read More

Which Child Is His “Yes” For Us?

May 13, 2017 Courtney, declining a referral, paperchase, referral, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 1 Comments

Any time I look at a file of a child, my heart starts to beat a little faster. I immediately wonder, “is this the one?” As my husband and I wade through pages and pages of medical information, reports, doctor assessments, places of abandonment, finding dates, pictures, and videos, we often find ourselves wondering if …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

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

April 6, 2017 A Beginner's Guide to Special Needs Adoption, adopting again, dossier, Faith, homestudy, paperchase, pre-adoption, Theraplay, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 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

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

In the Meantime

January 13, 2017 adopting again, Courtney, either gender, referral, waiting for referral 8 Comments

Right now I am in a place I like to call the sweet spot. The paper chase is finished. There are no more adoption documents to sign or forms to fill out or fingerprints appointments to attend. All of our paperwork is submitted and everything on our end is done and out of our hands. …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

Blessed by Boys

December 12, 2016 adopting a boy, adopting again, Brandie, December 2016 Feature - Adopting a Boy, dossier reuse, Family Stories, referral, should we adopt?, virtual twins, waiting for referral 1 Comments

I completed my first adoption in the fall of 1983. Cradling my new baby, I raised my right hand as I stood in front of my mother pledging, “I promise to love my Cabbage Patch Kid with all my heart. I promise to be a good and kind parent. I will always remember how special …Read More

Not What I Expected

October 30, 2016 Family Stories, infertility, pre-adoption, referral, should we adopt?, waiting for referral, working mom 0 Comments

Our family story. It’s not what I expected. Ten years ago when my husband and I decided it was time to start a family, “my time” likely caused God to laugh because nothing, really, has happened according to my desired schedule. Ten years ago we were the ideal parents. My husband and I went to …Read More

When Mom Works: Every Single One Needs a Family

October 5, 2016 albinism, declining a referral, Family Stories, October 2016 Feature - Working Moms, referral, Skin Conditions, TVI, waiting for referral, working mom 20 Comments

Navigating work and being a mom is tough under the best of circumstances, but it can feel even more daunting when you toss in the complex issues that accompany parenting your newly adopted child. So this month on No Hands But Ours, some been-there-done-that working mamas are here to help, with advice on everything from …Read More

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

October 5, 2016 A Beginner's Guide to Special Needs Adoption, dossier, Faith, homestudy, I'm Ready to Adopt, paperchase, pre-adoption, referral, should we adopt?, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 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

The Gift of Waiting

September 29, 2016 adopting again, Courtney, paperchase, referral, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 2 Comments

When I was four I asked for a calendar. Just writing that sentence seems ridiculous. I asked my mom to keep track of my activities so I could know which event happened on what day. Sundays and Wednesdays were church and in between there was preschool, a plethora of playdates, and ballet practice. As long …Read More

Our Red Thread of Hope: An Advocacy Success Story

September 21, 2016 adopting a boy, Advocacy, Family Stories, pre-adoption, referral, should we adopt?, switching agencies, waiting for referral 4 Comments

The Chinese have an ancient proverb that says, “An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break.” Back in July 2015, the Lord called our family out of the Ethiopia adoption program, where had waited for over …Read More

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

September 3, 2016 A Beginner's Guide to Special Needs Adoption, dossier, Faith, homestudy, I'm Ready to Adopt, paperchase, pre-adoption, referral, should we adopt?, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 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 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

Saying Yes

July 10, 2016 cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, referral, waiting for referral 5 Comments

Our journey to Claire has been one of unexpected turns in directions we didn’t know God would take us…. Six years ago we were blessed with our first daughter, Evangeline. My pregnancy with her was extremely difficult. Adoption was something we had always talked about and seemed like the best choice for us to grow …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

Different Than What We Asked for, Better Than We Imagined

June 20, 2016 adopting a boy, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, first weeks home, Megan, Newly Home, pre-adoption, referral, should we adopt?, waiting for referral 5 Comments

When considering the orphans of China, many think of the the one child policy and specifically the incredible amount of girls that were abandoned as a result. When my husband and I began our adoption process we too thought that it was the girls most in need of homes and loving families. Like many others, …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

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

May 3, 2016 A Beginner's Guide to Special Needs Adoption, Faith, I'm Ready to Adopt, 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

16 Ways to Prepare During the Wait

May 2, 2016 first weeks home, International Adoption Clinic, Jennifer B., Newly Home, referral, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 4 Comments

Those who have adopted, as well as those currently knee deep in the adoption process, know all about a little thing called waiting. Only it really is not a little thing; it is a big, difficult thing. The good news is that although the wait is hard, it gives families the opportunity to prepare for …Read More

International Adoption Clinics: Services and Locations

April 29, 2016 first weeks home, first year home, International Adoption Clinic, Jennifer B., Newly Home, referral, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 4 Comments

I can still remember getting ‘the call’ during our first adoption process. Our agency coordinator was on the phone and they had a file for us to review. I remember the many different emotions I felt as we opened the file and photos and began to read. Within an hour of opening the file I …Read More

Mine In China: Your Comprehensive Guide to Adopting from China

March 31, 2016 books, China trip, pre-adoption, prepping for China, referral, waiting for referral, waiting to travel 3 Comments

Talking today with Kelly, who authored our 10-part series I’m Ready to Adopt: Choosing an Agency as she shares about her new book Mine in China: Your comprehensive guide to adopting from China, which is available now for pre-order and will be released April 4th. Q: Tell us a little about your family. A: My …Read More

All for One, One for All

March 9, 2016 Amy, pre-adoption, should we adopt?, sibling perspective, waiting for referral 2 Comments

I remember several times over about 5 years talking to Jesus about adoption. I remember telling Him that I would if I could, but… my husband wasn’t on board. it was too expensive. it wasn’t the right time. the kids are too old. the kids are too young. our house doesn’t have any more room …Read More

Heart Month: Little Hearts Medical

February 1, 2016 February 2016 Feature - Heart, Heart System, Little Hearts Medical, other ways to care for the orphan, referral, waiting for referral 0 Comments

It’s February 1. Happy American Heart Month! To start off heart month here at NHBO, I asked Andrea to share. Andrea has shared here before, as mom to four children with complex (some with very complex) heart needs. But today Andrea is sharing as the Executive Director of Little Hearts Medical. One of her roles …Read More

Right On Time

December 11, 2015 Amy, referral, waiting for referral 6 Comments

I was messaging with a friend who is in the paperwork portion of their adoption. I love being a resource for people who have questions or need encouragement because those people for me were lifelines during a time in our life where we sometimes needed one. Sometimes I just needed someone who had gone before …Read More

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