Hypo-What?

November 16, 2018 adopting a boy, adopting again, ambiguous genitalia, Disorder of Sexual Development, Family Stories, hypospadias, November 2018 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 4 Comments

Two years after our first adoption, a three-year old waiting boy from China, I began searching the lists for the little girl that would complete our family. In my mind, she would be two or three years old, with a similar need to our son, as we already had trusted specialists in place. In the …Read More

Living in the Unknown

November 12, 2018 ambiguous genitalia, Disorder of Sexual Development, Family Stories, hypospadias, micropenis, November 2018 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 0 Comments

“Sensitive special need. Hypospadias.” That was the listed special need on the precious child when my husband and I first saw the advocacy post. We had different special needs at the forefront of our minds, but something made us pause. Hypospadias was something we knew and understood. Our first son received a surprise diagnosis of …Read More

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

Our Simple Yes: Adopting a Son with Hypospadias

November 8, 2018 Family Stories, hypospadias, November 2018 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 2 Comments

At the beginning of our adoption process we connected with a PA friend of ours to help us walk through our openness form. When it came to hypospadias, she explained that it’s generally a simple fix with a few minor exceptions. We felt confident with its simplicity so we checked yes. In February 2016 all …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

Adopting Kai: Adjusting to ARM (anorectal malformation)

November 27, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, anorectal malformation, imperforate anus, neurogenic bowel and bladder, November 2017 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 8 Comments

A while after our family adopted our daughter Hannah, we were touched by the face of a sweet boy who was living at China Little Flower in Beijing. After months of praying and searching, we were finally matched to this child that I had already fallen in love with. When we were able to read …Read More

Life with VACTERL: Staying One Step Ahead

November 21, 2017 anorectal malformation, bowel management, November 2017 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System, VACTERL 0 Comments

When we are researching special needs we usually get the big stuff covered: medical necessities such as surgeries, procedures and therapies. Once we check those boxes we feel we are “good to go” and will figure out the rest on the way. At least that’s how I am! We have a son diagnosed with VACTERL …Read More

November Special Needs Highlight (and Favorite Family Stories): Urogenital

November 2, 2017 ambiguous genitalia, anorectal malformation, bowel management, cloaca, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Disorder of Sexual Development, Favorite Family Stories, hypospadias, imperforate anus, incontinence, November 2017 Feature - Urogenital, undescended testicle, Urogenital System, VACTERL 0 Comments

The term special needs can sound scary. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Our goal at NHBO is to equip and inform parents – replacing fear with knowledge – as they navigate the beginning stages of special needs adoption. And then encourage and support those home with their special needs kiddos. We do …Read More

Living the Adventure I’d Never Imagined

November 1, 2017 adopting a boy, anorectal malformation, bowel management, imperforate anus, incontinence, November 2017 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 8 Comments

After six years of back-and-forth between should we and shouldn’t we, we’re done and no, we’re definitely not done, we finally decided to adopt the boy we both always dreamed we’d have. I had it all figured out: now that China had lifted the no-cancer rule, we weren’t limited to aging out or more severe …Read More

The Scoop on Poop: All About Bowel Management

June 11, 2017 anorectal malformation, bowel management, cerebral palsy, cloaca, imperforate anus, incontinence, Jennifer B., lipomyelomeningocele, myelomeningocele, neurogenic bowel and bladder, recto vaginal fistula, spina bifida, Urogenital System, VACTERL 0 Comments

This post is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Poop is a daily topic of conversation in our home. After three years of being in the trenches, I can tell you more than you’d probably ever want to know about it, but it hasn’t …Read More

Full of Surprises

May 17, 2017 Central Nervous System, Chiari 1 malformation, clubfoot, Family Stories, hydrocephalus, hydronephrosis, neurogenic bowel and bladder, spina bifida 2 Comments

When we started our adoption process we wanted a healthy child. That’s what everyone wants – adopted or biological – right? Our hearts changed when we had the privilege of working with special needs kids, and we saw so much life and strength in them that we changed our adoption papers to special needs. When …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 3 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

One Day at a Time: Adopting a Child with Posterior Urethral Valves

December 14, 2016 hydronephrosis, incontinence, November 2016 Feature - Urogenital, posterior urethral valves, undescended testicle, Urogenital System 2 Comments

Four years ago, when my husband and I started praying about adoption, there were so many decisions to be made. After some time God made His ways clear. A clear path to China! We started to interview agencies and that is when God revealed our son. We were pretty familiar with the children on the …Read More

Embracing the Unknowns

December 7, 2016 ambiguous genitalia, Disorder of Sexual Development, Family Stories, hypospadias, November 2016 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 2 Comments

Our son is adventurous, affectionate, good-natured, and strong. He loves playing outside, blowing bubbles, reading books, and playing with anything with wheels. He is absolutely amazing and the perfect addition to our family. I want the world to know all of this about him. What I choose to keep private is information about his special …Read More

Worth It: Adopting a Child with CAH

December 2, 2016 ambiguous genitalia, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Disorder of Sexual Development, November 2016 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 3 Comments

When my husband and I first reviewed our daughter’s file, our first thoughts were of disbelief. Here was a perfect, healthy, beautiful eight-year-old who had been waiting for several years on the Shared List. It seemed unbelievable that no one had snatched her up. After all, the special needs listed in her file didn’t seem …Read More

So Much More than His Diagnosis

November 30, 2016 first weeks home, first year home, hypospadias, Newly Home, November 2016 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 0 Comments

I could write for days about our journey — our growth, the process, the joy, the tears, the worries, the peace. But for today, I’ll focus a little on the medical aspect of our story because there are so many unknowns, so much research, so much hope…..and knowing you’re not alone in it helps, if …Read More

It’s Just Poop. Except It’s Not.

November 29, 2016 anorectal malformation, bowel management, imperforate anus, November 2016 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System, VACTERL 4 Comments

Has this ever happened to you? You’re scrolling through a list of sweet little Chinese faces and suddenly the photo of a completely adorable child jumps right off the screen at you! You read the profile, genuinely intrigued. Then you get to the medical need listed and you think, “I don’t know what that is, …Read More

His Real Special Need

November 22, 2016 adopting a boy, micropenis, November 2016 Feature - Urogenital, strabismus, Urogenital System, vision issues 0 Comments

Our adoption story started much like everyone’s adoption story… my husband Mark and I decided to grow our family by adopting a baby from China. Our log in year was 2007, just before the Beijing Olympics and a few months before the Hague initiative. We were originally told our adoption would take approximately eighteen months …Read More

When You Know a Child is Yours: Adopting a Child with DSD

November 15, 2016 Disorder of Sexual Development, Family Stories, hypospadias, November 2016 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 1 Comments

When my husband and I first began filling out our medical needs checklist we had no idea what most of the conditions were or what we could, as a family, even handle. We figured anything in the “mild needs” category could be managed. It’s a funny thing that happens though when you see a child’s …Read More

In the Trenches

November 1, 2016 anorectal malformation, bowel management, bronchial deformity, Family Stories, imperforate anus, incontinence, November 2016 Feature - Urogenital, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula, Urogenital System, VACTERL 1 Comments

When my husband and I were researching the needs of our would be son, we turned to various physicians, websites, and blog posts in search of not only what the diagnosis was and what it would entail medically, but also what the day to day parenting for a child with his special needs would be …Read More

He Knows

May 21, 2016 adopting a boy, clubfoot, complex heart defects, Family Stories, hypospadias, PDA, waiver request 3 Comments

Who knew ​this momma – who had once upon a time envisioned life with my husband to include ​a couple of ​children, a spacious home, and (of course!) many family vacations to tropical destinations​ – would instead​ learn (​and ​daily​ re-learn)​ that the path to the​ purest​ peace and the greatest joy​ is to​ yield …Read More

Little Man, Big Kidney

March 28, 2016 Family Stories, hydronephrosis 0 Comments

We received our referral after waiting two years. The wait was grueling. In my online groups, people continuously posted that the wait for minor needs boys was so short. Not for us. We chose minor needs for many reasons, but mostly because we have lived through two of our children being very ill in the …Read More

Older Children and Incontinence, a Family Story

November 29, 2015 bowel management, Family Stories, imperforate anus, incontinence, lipomyelomeningocele, November 2015 Feature - Urogenital, older child adoption, tethered cord, Urogenital System, VACTERL 0 Comments

Our adoption journey started with two infant adoptions from South Korea, in 2008 and 2010. Our first was a healthy baby boy; our second, a daughter with limb differences. When we considered adding to our family again, we decided to adopt an older child and looked into the China special needs program. We pondered the …Read More

Looking Beyond the Label

November 28, 2015 anorectal malformation, bowel management, Family Stories, imperforate anus, November 2015 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 1 Comments

Gastrointestinal Issues. These two words changed our world and lives forever on December 2, 2012. My husband and I had poured over the list of special needs provided by the Waiting Child Program at our adoption agency and chosen those we felt we could handle emotionally, physically, and financially. Gastrointestinal issues was a special need …Read More

Nothing Else Mattered: FAQs About Anal Atresia

November 24, 2015 anorectal malformation, bowel management, cloaca, imperforate anus, incontinence, November 2015 Feature - Urogenital, recto vaginal fistula, Urogenital System, VACTERL 2 Comments

We saw her face. We fell in love. Nothing else mattered. My husband and I simply wanted to be parents and we knew in our hearts that our children were in China; we just had to go get them. Like most parents to be, we hoped and prayed that our children would be healthy. Our …Read More

She is our JOY: Adopting a Child with CAH

November 20, 2015 ambiguous genitalia, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Disorder of Sexual Development, Family Stories, November 2015 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 1 Comments

When we began our adoption journey we had no idea where it would eventually lead. We were entirely new to the international adoption process yet seasoned parents of four children. Our placing agency encouraged us to begin our home study and fill out some essential paperwork. One form had us place a checkmark beside the …Read More

Frequently Asked Questions about Complex/Persistent Cloaca

November 13, 2015 ambiguous genitalia, bowel management, cloaca, Family Stories, November 2015 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System, VACTERL 2 Comments

Instead of beginning this article with a list of questions and daunting answers, the first thing I want to include is our most frequent ANSWER… These little girls are beyond precious! Our cloaca child is the light of our lives! They need you to come for them and you will reap a million times more …Read More

Judah’s Perfect Puzzle

November 6, 2015 Family Stories, imperforate anus, November 2015 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System, VACTERL 0 Comments

The Lord’s idea of adventure and my idea of adventure are radically different. My adventure began with a dream of flying to China, bringing home a child, doting him with love, he’d love me in return and we’d skip down the Great Wall in fairytale fashion into our happy adoptive family life that would fit …Read More

And Our Family Tree Grew

November 1, 2015 bowel management, cloaca, Family Stories, imperforate anus, November 2015 Feature - Urogenital, Urogenital System 2 Comments

Once upon a time God planted a tiny seed in my heart. A seed for adoption. That fact that it grew at all is truly miraculous. You see, my son had just been born and was in the NICU where he was recovering from his first 2 of now 13 surgeries. He has Spina Bifida. …Read More

Jo Jo: adopting a child with undiagnosed urogenital defects

March 16, 2015 Family Stories, micropenis, undescended testicle, Urogenital System 1 Comments

My name is Lynn and I asked if I could share my family’s story. Our hope is that in sharing about a sensitive special need like our son has, a family out there that is thinking of adopting a child with it will be helped. We have five children. The first three are biological followed …Read More

grace, garrison & goodbye

December 29, 2014 hypospadias, Kam 3 Comments

If you were to judge my punctuality solely on the basis of my No Hands But Ours posts, you’d be led to believe that I fail to do anything on time! I’m really pretty darn punctual actually but somehow, not here. Still, I’m sure that my last post for NHBO has just been put off …Read More

Taking Care of Business – part 2

October 17, 2014 incontinence, Jean, spina bifida 3 Comments

In my previous poop and potty post I shared with you about our son who was born with spina bifida and as a result he is incontinent. After watching him sit on the waiting child list the Lord made it clear that he was our son and that we could do this special need. And …Read More

Special Need Highlight: Adopting a Child with Complex Cloaca

September 8, 2014 ambiguous genitalia, anorectal malformation, bowel management, cloaca, Family Stories, Urogenital System 2 Comments

I have to be completely honest from the start. We did not choose this special need. We had never even heard of it! And if we had known what it might entail, I can tell you plainly, we would have chickened out. But God knew that and kept us in the dark so He could …Read More

how we deal

August 4, 2014 heart defect, Kam, Urogenital System 7 Comments

I’m not gonna lie. My world has been spinning for a few months. And I try my best during the last week of each month to settle on a topic to write about here at NHBO. But y’all. It’s just been hard lately! I walk through a scenario with our boys and I think “BAM! …Read More

Taking Care of Personal Business

June 15, 2014 incontinence, Jean, spina bifida 6 Comments

In other words this is a poop and potty post! Many of the children that sit and sit and sit on the waiting child list are there because they are incontinent. Which means they cannot control their bowels and bladder. We have brought 2 children home that were in “that situation.” One was diagnosed with …Read More

More than I could bear

June 7, 2014 Amy, esophageal stenosis, scoliosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula, VACTERL 6 Comments

Sometimes I forget that we have a child who is a “heart baby”, a lifelong cardiac patient, a survivor. I see her scars everyday. Scars from a surgery I wasn’t present for, scars from one I was; and, I have come to love what they represent. They are a daily reminder of healing, a unique …Read More

Surviving Gotcha Day

May 7, 2014 Amy, esophageal stenosis, scoliosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula, VACTERL 4 Comments

A year ago today we had spent only one day with our daughter. After arriving in China, we spent 3 days in Beijing, visited the place she called Home for almost a year and met the women she called “mama”. Then we traveled to XinJiang, her province, tried to sleep on Gotcha Day Eve, and …Read More

I had a plan

May 1, 2014 hypospadias, Kam 1 Comments

I have a personal problem. You know, one of those personality deficiencies that are just part of your makeup, part of who you are? This particular problem, though I’d still contest is a strength for the average Joe, pops up during the most inopportune times and throws me for a loop. I’m a planner. I …Read More

special need highlight: adopting a child with limited mobility

April 26, 2014 Central Nervous System, Family Stories, incontinence, mobility issues, spina bifida, wheelchair user 5 Comments

It was April 2012. We had just completed our first adoption from Uganda. The 6 month wait had been satisified for the state of Ohio and we’d just fully adopted our new son. Then…we fell in love with a story and a picture. A sweet little boy waited for us in China! 10 months later, …Read More

special need highlight: adopting a child with anal atresia

April 12, 2014 anorectal malformation, Family Stories, imperforate anus, Urogenital System 0 Comments

Until we decided to pursue a special needs adoption from China I had never heard of anal atresia (more commonly called imperforate anus or anorectal malformation in the US). My first introduction to the term was via the special needs medical checklist from our agency, and I can remember reading through the list with our …Read More

“but it said repaired”

April 7, 2014 Amy, esophageal stenosis, scoliosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula, VACTERL 0 Comments

I vividly remember reading our referral paperwork. I remember first reading the descriptions of her developmental milestones and evaluated her development through mom and teacher goggles… “she follows objects… she is tracking… she is grasping things… she is babbling and forming simple sounds… she turns her head when there is a noise… she can hear …Read More

TEF, TOF, and VACTERL, oh my

March 7, 2014 Amy, esophageal stenosis, scoliosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, tracheo-malacia, tracheoesophagel fistula, VACTERL 4 Comments

Don’t you love those acronyms? I have come to really appreciate the time they save, the space they save, and that I can safely dodge oodles of mispronunciation. For example, until 2012 those letter sequences meant nothing to me. If someone would have told me years ago how much I would come to know about …Read More

Urology Woes & Successes

March 1, 2014 heart defect, hypospadias, Kam, Urogenital System 1 Comments

So happy March, y’all! Are you as excited about spring coming to your neck of the woods as I am about it coming to mine? Whew. And I only live in the South. Can’t imagine how you folks in other parts of the country are still managing to maintain sanity right about now! But hold …Read More

saying yes to complex conditions

February 20, 2014 complex medical, Family Stories, Rebecca, Urogenital System 7 Comments

Checking off medical conditions that we would accept on our agency’s medical checklist, and not checking those we wouldn’t accept, was among the hardest tasks of our adoption process. Our human side wanted to maintain our comfortable life, and longed for easy. In our hearts though, we knew that God’s plans are always much higher …Read More

The Looking Glass

January 1, 2014 Kam, Urogenital System 7 Comments

So another year has come and gone. It never fails that I experience both highs and lows as we wave goodbye {and sometimes “Good Riddance!”} to one and a hearty “Hello, come on in!” to the other. Are you the same? A lot has taken place in our family over the last two years. At …Read More

you can't keep a good man down

December 1, 2013 hypospadias, Kam, Urogenital System 0 Comments

I’ve posted here before that I’m an idiot. There’s no denying. And my idiocy is magnified at the pedi urologist’s office. But recently, I scored one for the mommy dummies of the world, because I was right! Our Gabe wasn’t doing well. I couldn’t put my finger on it. He was cranky and pulling at …Read More

baby steps and giant leaps

November 1, 2013 heart defect, hypospadias, Kam, Urogenital System 3 Comments

I’m not sure if I’ve posted here before about the long and winding road we walk with our Joel in regards to education. In a nutshell, Joel came home to us at age 3 having spent his life in an orphanage. He was not speaking Thai at all and we were told by his pediatrician …Read More

expect the unexpected

August 1, 2013 heart defect, Kam, Urogenital System 0 Comments

So the last time we chatted, our Gabe had a surgery looming. As we say in the South, a “big, honkin’ surgery.” We knew what we wanted to have happen…a graft to be taken from our Little Prince’s mouth {ouch} to build his urethra {as well as tubes placed in his ears for recurrent and …Read More

not in a million years

April 2, 2013 heart defect, hypospadias, Kam, Urogenital System 3 Comments

So I’m a moron. I mean it. A complete and total dork. My idiocy seems to come out NOT in front of fellow idiots, but around uber smart, genius type people. You know, those who intimidate the heck out of you and before whom you know ahead of time that you should just keep your …Read More

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