the name game

December 5, 2014 adoption realities, Tara 1 Comments

My sister is due to have her first baby pretty much anytime within the next couple of weeks. Needless to say, there is much excitement in our home as the kids anticipate the arrival of their new baby cousin! Not to mention, every time they see something intended to be used or worn by a …Read More

I Want You Now

November 5, 2014 Tara 1 Comments

A couple weeks ago, we celebrated the two year anniversary of the day our daughter joined our family. As is my tradition, I shared a picture from that day on social media and my baby girl saw it. She was four years old when she was adopted and… thankfully… has some poignant memories of her …Read More

Ready or Not…Kindergarten, Here I Come

September 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 2 Comments

I’m no novice when it comes to parenting. And I’m definitely not a novice when it comes to sending my kids off to Kindergarten. But this year, there was something different about the three times I’d done it previously. This time it was my China babies. Nothing could have fully prepared me for the first …Read More

To the Traumatized Family

August 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 9 Comments

A few days ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and saw a comment on a link for a ministry to traumatized children that broke my heart. An adoptive parent was asking where the ministry was for families who have been traumatized by bringing a traumatized child into their home. This is something I …Read More

Somewhere to Run

July 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 9 Comments

In my adoptions circles, there is a little bit of a running joke about all the things that start going wrong once a paper chase and the commitment to adopt a child (or children) begins. Somewhere along the journey to China, an adoptive parent can guarantee that an appliance…or three…will break, the car will need …Read More

Then and Now

June 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 3 Comments

As an adoptive parent there is definitely one thing that I stress over more than anything else. One might think it would have something to do with doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, surgeries, or something else of that nature. But those things come easily to me. I’m usually sipping my cup of coffee and enjoying my …Read More

The Best Mama

May 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 0 Comments

I’ll never forget the first time it happened. She threw her arms around me and exclaimed, “I love you, Mama! You’re the best mama I’ve ever had!!!” And every time it’s happened since then is carved on my heart as well. Every. Single. Time. The day I met my sweet Cora…just over a year-and-a-half ago…was …Read More

Completely Natural

April 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 1 Comments

My virtual twins are thick as thieves. And they act like an old married couple. The bond they share is amazing to behold. They actually have the same type of relationship that biological twins do. The way God has grafted their two little hearts together is most amazing. With this relationship comes lots and lots …Read More

Timing is everything

March 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 0 Comments

There’s an old saying that “timing is everything.” And it’s true. The moment at which something enters our lives does make a difference in how it is received. For better or for worse. My “baby” just celebrated his fifth birthday, which is his fourth birthday with us. This one was bittersweet to me. After nearly …Read More

Holidays and Celebrations

February 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 3 Comments

I’m not exactly what you’d call a “holiday” person. I know people who have decorations ranging from Christmas trees to pumpkins to shamrocks to pink and red hearts that they put up as the seasons rotate. Bu I’m not one of them. I’m a minimalist. The only holiday I decorate for is Christmas and that’s …Read More

One Giant Leap Forward

January 5, 2014 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 1 Comments

It’s been three years and one month since I stood in the Civil Affairs building in Zhengzhou and took the sweetest boy into my arms. It was the end of 13 long months of waiting, and the love I felt for my son during all those agonizing months was nothing compared to the explosion that …Read More

Her New Forever

December 5, 2013 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 0 Comments

One of the hardest things…for me, at least…about being an adoptive parent is knowing that I missed out on my child(ren)’s life in China. And I’ve found that the older the child is when they join our family, the harder it is to deal with that loss of knowledge about my child’s past. Our early …Read More

Sickness and Snuggles

November 5, 2013 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 0 Comments

There’s been some kind of virus floating through our house for the past week or so. And as I predicted it would, the illness is slowly making its rounds through the family. Last night we got hit with a “double whammy”. As my husband and I were tucking our sweet China babies into bed we …Read More


October 5, 2013 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 0 Comments

I am the proud mama of four-year-old virtual twins, both adopted from China. And while they were adopted in two separate adoptions, 23 months apart, they are every bit as much of brother and sister as they can be. This has its benefits. The two of them always have a built-in playmate. As their mother, …Read More

Dealing With Grief

September 5, 2013 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 6 Comments

As pre-adoptive parents prepare to bring our children home, we go through hours upon hours of parent training. Not to mention meetings with our social worker, and any reading we may do on our own to help prepare for the day our new son or daughter joins their forever family. One of the topics that …Read More

A Few of My Favorite Things

August 5, 2013 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 3 Comments

It all started nearly three years ago. As soon as we brought our first son home from China, I began scheduling appointments at our local children’s hospital to have specialists review the needs listed in his file. Initially there were four doctors we were working with…then three…and finally we were left only with two as …Read More

The One

July 6, 2013 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 1 Comments

It’s hardly been a month since we finalized our son’s adoption. We’re still in the getting settled in and trying to discover our “new normal” phase. The jetlag has passed, we’ve had our first post placement visit with our social worker, and bonding through movies and board games is a key focus of mine. Our …Read More

Gotcha Day

June 5, 2013 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 12 Comments

It was two-and-a-half years ago that I approached the very same building and found a precious baby boy already inside waiting for me. That was the moment I had dreamed of for so many years…I was finally adopting from China. Today was a different scenario. I found myself waiting (not so patiently) in that room …Read More

Chinese Cowpokes

May 5, 2013 heart defect, Tara 1 Comments

The process of watching an adopted child become a part of their family is beautiful to behold. The “Gotcha Day” videos get me every time. But beyond that comes the intertwining that takes place over time. My husband and I already had three biological children when we adopted our son from China in 2010. And …Read More

The Broken Point

April 5, 2013 heart defect, Tara 4 Comments

My husband and I are in the throes of adoption for yet a third time.  I think any adoptive parent would tell you that the process isn’t easy.  It’s frustrating and disappointing.  Rarely are the waits shorter than you expected or the news better than you expected to hear. Last week was one of *those* …Read More

A Special Family

March 5, 2013 heart defect, Tara 2 Comments

Recently one of my friends directed me to a quote that ended with the phrase, “Raising a child with special needs doesn’t TAKE a special family, it MAKES a special family.” I’m a lover of quotes, but this one especially resonated with me. Not just because I’ve adopted two children with special needs and am …Read More

Finding Mommy

February 5, 2013 heart defect, Tara 3 Comments

When I adopted my son in 2010, I did the “marathon tour” of Beijing before heading to his province to finalize his adoption. (Which I recommend all adoptive parents do at least once, by the way. It’s a huge insight into your child’s birth culture.) Included somewhere in that two-day blur of sight-seeing, our group …Read More

Questions and No Answers

January 5, 2013 heart defect, Tara 8 Comments

I am excited to introduce our newest member of the No Hands But Ours team, Tara. Tara is a Texas gal who’s passionate about God and adoption. She has been married to the man of her dreams for 13 years and they have five children: three “homegrown” kids, a son with cleft lip and palate …Read More

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