Thankful We Didn’t Know

May 23, 2017 adopting again, Blood Conditions, Family Stories, heart defect, May 2017 Feature - Vascular, Takayasu’s arteritis‎, undiagnosed SN, Vascular System, Von Willebrand 1 Comments

Almost four years ago, my husband finally said yes. Again. We had talked, I had prayed. I’d promised not to nag, prayed some more, and waited for that yes. When he agreed to begin our second adoption, he had limits. He had the idea to draw some lines in the sand of what special needs …Read More

Elijah’s Story: You Don’t Have to Hide

May 2, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting out of birth order, aging out expedite, Family Stories, Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome, May 2017 Feature - Vascular, older child adoption, should we adopt?, Vascular System 7 Comments

We had no clue what was about to happen. We have many folks in our circle of friends and family who have fostered and adopted, both domestically and internationally. We have loved supporting them, praying for them, and wearing the t-shirts. Shared stories and advocacy posts were a regular occurrence on our news feeds, but …Read More

May Special Needs Focus (and Favorite Family Stories): Vascular

May 1, 2017 Favorite Family Stories, hemangioma, Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome, May 2017 Feature - Vascular, port wine stain, Sturge Weber Syndrome, Vascular System 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

Glad We Didn’t Know: Adopting a Child with Von Willebrand Disease

March 22, 2017 Blood Conditions, March 2017 Feature - Blood Conditions, Takayasu’s arteritis‎, virtual twins, Von Willebrand 2 Comments

For four years I prayed that my husband would say yes to adopting again from China. And out of the blue he mentioned – in passing – that he felt like we had another child waiting for us. Within 24 hours, a friend had sent me a photo of a four year old little girl …Read More

Then and Now: Abby and Evie

November 23, 2016 adopting again, adopting out of birth order, Family Stories, food issues, Heart System, homeschool, November 2016 Feature - Then and Now, older child adoption, orphanage behaviors, port wine stain, spina bifida, VSD 0 Comments

November is Adoption Awareness Month. And our focus is Then and Now… glimpses into the lives of children – children who were once orphaned – who are now beloved family members. Daughters, sons, sisters and brothers who are now blossoming in the love of a forever family… ……….. We have been blessed with two beautiful …Read More

The Lucky Ones: Adopting a Child with a Visible Special Need

November 13, 2016 birthmark, Family Stories, hemangioma, phakomatosis pigmentovascularis, port wine stain, Vascular System 2 Comments

The Lord uses many avenues to speak to the hearts of his people and call them forward to adoption. For some that call comes from the Bible and teachings of the church, for some that call comes through knowing people who have adopted, some people meet the vulnerable in orphanages and fall in love, and …Read More

In the Quiet Moment

May 23, 2016 Family Stories, Kristi, port wine stain, Sturge Weber Syndrome, Vascular System 1 Comments

On March 20, 2009 I spent the quiet moments of nap-time looking at waiting child programs with various adoption agencies. Home from China just four months with our second child, we weren’t ready to expand our family just yet, but as a planner I wanted to have ‘all my ducks in a row’ for when …Read More

The Perfect Fit for Our Family

February 3, 2016 Family Stories, hip dysplasia, misdiagnosed SN, mobility issues, Orthopedic, port wine stain, Sturge Weber Syndrome, Vascular System 1 Comments

My husband and I were only married a year when the Lord called us to adopt. Separately, we both felt the Lord speak to us about adopting a little girl from China – we told each other a few days later. It was encouraging to hear that call, and we were both excited for the …Read More

Adopting a Child with Kassanbach Merritt Syndrome

May 20, 2015 birthmark, Family Stories, hemangioma, Kassanbach Merritt Syndrome, May 2015 Feature - Vascular, Vascular System 1 Comments

When I first read Abby’s file and read the diagnosis Hemangioma and Kassanbach Merritt Syndrome (or Phenomenon), I thought to myself, “How bad could it be?” She has a birthmark or as her file called it ‘a large hemangioma’ on her neck and chest, surely once we get her home we can ‘fix’ it! Then I did …Read More

Corina’s Story: Adopting a Child with Sturge-Weber Syndrome

May 1, 2015 birthmark, Family Stories, Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome, May 2015 Feature - Vascular, port wine stain, Sturge Weber Syndrome 2 Comments

“You can’t direct the wind but you can adjust your sails.” – Unknown No truer words have I ever read that bring home the reality of our daughter’s diagnosis. Our adoption journey is a story in itself, and best for another time. We have had several wise friends point out that the complications of even …Read More

You’re not in Kansas anymore

May 17, 2014 adopting SN: the process, adoption realities, birthmark, Chinese Culture, hemangioma, Kayla 3 Comments

I’ve told the editors of this blog that I am running out of things to write about regarding the special need that Jubilee (that’s my daughter) has. It simply doesn’t matter to us any more that she has a skin deformity on her torso. It will matter to her one day, no doubt, but we …Read More

You Only Live Once

April 17, 2014 birthmark, hemangioma, Kayla 4 Comments

Sometimes I think people think too much. My husband and I, on the other hand, tend to err on the side of reckless. But I have to say that in our 12 years, reckless has served us well. Our very nuptials were hasty. We jumped into love like a kid into cold water. We got …Read More

Wonder

March 17, 2014 birthmark, hemangioma, Kayla 1 Comments

My daughter and I reclined comfortably together at a park yesterday, beside a calm lake in which Chinese men, bent with age, stood stirring the water around their boats with long oars. A thousand Chinese faces passed us by, upturned at the sunny sky and squinting at their beloved kites in the wind. Some of …Read More

Known by name

February 17, 2014 birthmark, hemangioma, Kayla 1 Comments

We call her Jubi, or Jubi Sue, or sometimes Jubes. But her name is Jubilee, and she loves her name. The other day her daddy wrote “Jubi” on her paper cup and she was not happy. “Where are the rest of the letters, Daddy?” she asked with a frown. “My name has an l and …Read More

Cheering section

January 17, 2014 birthmark, hemangioma, Kayla 0 Comments

Jubilee didn’t just get a mom and dad when she was adopted. She got three brothers, three grandparents, three uncles, one aunt, and three cousins. But even though adoption brings children into extended families, church bodies, and communities, the most important thing adoption does is place children into immediate families. Not immediately families, mind you, …Read More

There comes a time

December 17, 2013 birthmark, hemangioma, Kayla 0 Comments

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 Adoption has seasons of its own. The first season can last for years. It starts as a seed, usually, planted in our hearts, by friends, or media, or God. During this time, we pray for wisdom, seek the counsel …Read More

THREE GENERATIONS

November 17, 2013 birthmark, hemangioma, Kayla 0 Comments

For the past three weeks, my mom and mother-in-law have been visiting from the States! Jubilee has especially loved it, with two more women in the house to offset the incessant wrestling matches and Lego building. “Let’s read magazines,” she suggests, handing each of us a copy of Good Housekeeping or Rachael Ray. We snuggle …Read More

Love Tank

October 17, 2013 birthmark, hemangioma, Kayla 1 Comments

All kids have “love tanks” – deep wells within their hearts which hold the fuel they run on: love. What happens when those tanks run low? I’m no expert, but I can tell you what happens when my Jubilee’s tank is low. “Mom, what did you buy at the store? Hi Mom. Mom? Mom, where’d …Read More

Chinese if you please

September 17, 2013 birthmark, hemangioma, Kayla 3 Comments

Once we’ve had our adopted Chinese children home for a while, they become very American, don’t they? Fluent English speakers, pudgy and healthy, faces aglow. Video games, Kraft mac-n-cheese, Gap Kids clearance clothes, and all the rest. But then there are moments when Jubilee will stop what she is doing and stare off into space, …Read More

Why did we sign up for this?

August 17, 2013 birthmark, hemangioma, Kayla 11 Comments

I do not run marathons. I do not run at all, in fact, although I used to, once upon a time. To train for soccer, I ran high school cross country; my short, muscular legs weighing me down as I trudged through sand and even snow (I lived in Michigan). While I struggled to keep …Read More

The question we are asking

July 17, 2013 birthmark, hemangioma, Kayla 3 Comments

Jubilee doesn’t throw fits, hoard her toys, act irrationally, or withdraw emotionally. In fact, on the surface she is a very “normal” child. Except when no one is looking. Then she destroys things. She tears the wheels off matchbox cars, scribbles on her brother’s artwork, takes apart completed Lego sets, sits on things, rips things, …Read More

Leap of Faith

June 17, 2013 birthmark, hemangioma, Kayla 12 Comments

Kayla is a home school mom who loves to read, write, cook, and travel. She lives in East Asia with her husband and four awesome kids – three biological sons and one daughter, Jubilee, who is adopted from China. She blogs at Life is But a Breath. We all face that moment of truth when …Read More

Everyday girl

April 11, 2013 heart defect, Kristi, port wine stain, vision issues 3 Comments

I watch her run across the yard, her straight, black ponytail bouncing over her self-selected outfit (which today, for once, is rather tame) and from the back she seems like just any other, everyday, six year old girl. Then something grabs her attention and she turns around. As she glances past me her face breaks into …Read More

Mixed emotions

October 11, 2010 Kristi, port wine stain, Sturge Weber Syndrome 0 Comments

A week from today my beautiful girl will have her first appointment with the laser surgeon.  The procedure itself will last less than fifteen minutes from the time anesthesia starts until I’m called back to recovery.  Much less complicated and involved than the two eye surgeries she’s had so far. And yet I find myself …Read More

US 35 North ~ revisited

June 11, 2010 Kristi, port wine stain, Sturge Weber Syndrome 3 Comments

I bet that I’ve ridden the stretch of US 35 North between Charleston, WV and Dayton, OH at least 100 times in my life.  It’s familiar.  I know where to expect the power plants, glimpses of the river, the convenience stores, and the grand farm houses as we make our way “home” to western Ohio. …Read More

Reflections from my first time in "the waiting chair"

April 11, 2010 congenital glaucoma, Kristi, port wine stain, surgery, vision issues 7 Comments

Welcome to Kristi, our newest contributing blogger. Kristi has three children adopted from China and her newest daughter, Darcy, joined their family in February. Kristi blogs about their family at Fireworks and Fireflies. Wednesday of this past week I joined a club. A club I never would have imagined myself in just a few short …Read More

Carli Mei

November 26, 2008 birthmark, Family Stories, hemangioma, port wine stain 0 Comments

By Brandy, mother to Carli Mei from China, with port wine stain birthmark Chosen We’re matched! We’re matched! I just remember that feeling of elation like it was yesterday. After a round of “matching” 3 months earlier and our family not being “chosen”. It was a day I tried to remain guarded…tried. My heart was …Read More

Reese

October 20, 2008 birthmark, Family Stories, GWCA, Skin Conditions, Sturge Weber Syndrome, Vascular System 0 Comments

by Monica, big sister to Reese, from China, who has Sturge-Weber Syndrome We originally were aiming to go to China for a NSN girl, as young as possible. As we were gathering paperwork, some friends called us and said, “you have to look at these kids on your agency’s waiting list”. We did, and found …Read More

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