Nonsense That Makes Sense

October 5, 2018 epidermolysis bullosa, September 2018 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions, Whitney 1 Comments

Epidermolysis bullosa. It’s a bit of a mouthful, and that’s just the start. Beyond the general diagnosis lie various types and subtypes that add multi-syllabic words to an already difficult to pronounce condition. Epidermolysis bullosa is the condition our daughter was born with. It causes her skin to be extremely fragile – shearing off and …Read More

A Grand Canyon Kind Of Beauty

August 11, 2018 attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, first year home, indiscriminate affection, Newly Home, Whitney 0 Comments

My family road-tripped last summer and one of the places we stopped off at was the Grand Canyon. Visiting this place has been on my bucket list for basically my whole life, and to finally see it in person was stunning. Words fail to describe the depth, the colors, the beauty or the sheer big-ness …Read More

Saying Yes to Giving Grace

April 5, 2018 adoption community, April 2018 Feature - Giving Grace, cocooning, first year home, local adoption support, local church, Newly Home, supporting adoptive families, Whitney 8 Comments

I knew when we stepped into life as a family who had experienced the gift of adoption relationships with other people would be different. I knew that some people understood the “why” behind our choice and some people didn’t. I knew that some people would understand the difficulties associated with living life with our child …Read More

EB… You Lose.

January 5, 2018 epidermolysis bullosa, Skin Conditions, Whitney 2 Comments

Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a group of inherited genetic skin disorders. There are five major types of EB and within each type there are subtypes. People affected by EB are often called Butterfly Children when they are younger as their skin is as fragile as a butterfly’s wings. Though it is a debilitating, painful, and …Read More

De-stressing Out Over Christmas

December 5, 2017 Attachment, attachment challenges, holidays, hypervigilance, siblings, Whitney 0 Comments

The first Christmas we had our daughter home with us, we went into the season with high anticipation of the joy she would experience. Family time, cookie decorating, church, gifts, hot chocolate… just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Christmas season fun. Just kidding! It was terrible. Stressful. High anxiety. Lots of …Read More

Round is the Moon, and the Chocolate Chip Cookie

October 5, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese Holidays, Whitney 2 Comments

If you’re the parent to a child born in a different country, you may have some of the same thoughts I have regarding keeping your child in touch with their birth culture. My daughter was born in China, and though she did not experience much of her own birth culture as a small child, I …Read More

Attachment Q & A: Freefall

August 5, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2017 Feature - Attachment Q & A, Contributor Q and A, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting, Whitney 0 Comments

Attachment. Not much more could not be packed into one single word, especially in the adoption world. We spent all of July focusing on this most-important topic and decided to continue into August – but with a bit of a twist. This month, we’re answering your attachment questions. Because we all have them – we …Read More

Reflections: Attachment After Two Years Home

July 5, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, first weeks home, first year home, holidays, July 2017 Feature - All About Attachment, parent-to-child attachment, TBRI-based therapy, therapy, Trust Based Parenting, Whitney 1 Comments

We have been home with our daughter for almost two and a half years. My oh my… how that time has seemed to fly. If I’m being completely honest, there are many days when time creeps by at a pace much more snail-like that I’d prefer. Attachment and bonding to a newly adopted child for …Read More

Beyond “Surviving” Summer

June 7, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, TBRI-based therapy, therapy, Whitney 0 Comments

Because sometimes (often times) kids who have come from hard places require more structure than the typical kid, I thought I’d share the schedule our family is using to help bring in structure where structure might not previously exist. I cannot take full credit for this; to be honest, I’d probably be floundering, knowing we …Read More

Family Therapy: The Beginning

April 5, 2017 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Kelly, TBRI-based therapy, therapy, Trust Based Parenting, Whitney 9 Comments

Everyone said the first year was the hardest. They said that attachment takes time; relationships would grow; I needed to be patient. I listened. Year One passed, and I exhaled, a deep sigh, knowing that the worst was behind us. Except it wasn’t. Year Two progressed, and I became puzzled. Why wasn’t it getting better? …Read More

This Is What I Know

March 3, 2017 adoption realities, Whitney 0 Comments

This is what I know… I know that time doesn’t heal all wounds. I know that, sometimes, intentionally seeking out help is necessary. I know looking different isn’t a bad thing. I know that hearing a word of encouragement has more impact than I dreamed it could. I know adoption can be hard. I know …Read More

The Anniversary Blues and Saying Yes All Over Again

February 3, 2017 adoption realities, Whitney 1 Comments

For those of us on Facebook, the Facebook Memories pop-up might just be one of the favorite parts of having an account. It’s fun to see what happened on “this day, X number of years ago.” Sometimes the memories make me giggle, like the picture of my third child sitting in the dishwasher. Sometimes that …Read More

Waiting for Our Story to be Written

January 4, 2017 2017 Features, January 2017 Feature - Reluctant Spouses, pre-adoption, reluctant husband, should we adopt?, Whitney 0 Comments

My journal contains the overspill of my heart, my prayers, my questions, fears, and joys. If you could read my journal entries from four or more years ago, you would probably come away believing that adoption was just never going to happen for our family. You would have read about the times we helped other …Read More

Beautiful Unknowns

December 5, 2016 epidermolysis bullosa, Skin Conditions, undiagnosed SN, Whitney 0 Comments

Medical needs adoption is one you have to walk into with your eyes wide open. Though prospective parents may have a medical history presented to them before saying the biggest “yes” of their lives, you have to know this: there are unknowns. There will always be unknowns. We knew about the unknowns before saying our …Read More

Adoptive Mama Overthinking

November 5, 2016 adoption realities, Attachment, epidermolysis bullosa, Whitney 4 Comments

Raise your hand if you tend to overthink things. Now, raise both hands, jump up and down, throw your head back and yell, “Yes, this is me!”, if you’re an adoptive mama and you tend to overthink things. Overthinking is a habit that can be dangerous in the best of situations. Overthinking when you’re processing …Read More

Choosing Private School {A Place Among the Stars}

October 3, 2016 Education, epidermolysis bullosa, private school, September 2016 Feature - Back to School, Skin Conditions, Whitney 0 Comments

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” ……… There was once a mama desperate to make it to the other side of the world to see her daughter face-to-face… and though the thrill of the moment could never be eclipsed, she eventually stopped looking at the moon, and forgot …Read More

Adoption Changes Everything

September 5, 2016 adoption realities, Whitney 2 Comments

Now, you know. Not just know with your eyes when you see pictures online. Not just know with your heart as you pray. Not just know with your mind, “Yes, there are orphans”. You. Know. You’ve stood in the rooms full of cribs full of babies. You’ve strained your ears to hear cries that have …Read More

Dear Younger Me, Don’t Look Back

July 27, 2016 July 2016 Feature - Dear Younger Me, Whitney 2 Comments

Recently, one of my little ones was walking backwards while also conducting a conversation with a sibling. After nearly tripping and tumbling, I warned him, “Turn around… you need to face the direction you are headed.” And, as so often happens, the gentle voice of the Lord whispered the same thing to me… “Keep walking …Read More

Our Butterfly is a Beach Bum

July 5, 2016 epidermolysis bullosa, Skin Conditions, Whitney 5 Comments

(Alternately titled: Taking a Child with EB to the Beach) Our family loves the beach. The sun, the sand, the salt-water burning in our eyes. The souvenir shopping, the jellyfish spotting, the ritual of going to eat ice cream on our last night of vacation. Taking that first glimpse of the ocean at the end …Read More

We Love the Llama

June 5, 2016 attachment activities, June 2016 Feature - Books, older child adoption, Whitney 0 Comments

Our June featured focus is books. Books that teach us about our children’s homeland. Books that help us understand our children’s past. Books that resonate with our kids once home. This month we’ll be featuring all kinds of books. It’s sure to be fun. And if you have some recommendations for our readers, please be …Read More

One Day

May 5, 2016 adoption realities, Attachment, first weeks home, first year home, Newly Home, Whitney 1 Comments

Dear little boy of mine, We knew before we brought your sister home you might struggle a bit. We prepared you for this transition as best we could, using all of the information we could obtain. We talked using big words you couldn’t yet fully understand, words your heart wanted to understand. We prayed for …Read More

Not the Same

April 5, 2016 adoption realities, Whitney 24 Comments

I feel like there are many people in the lives of adoptive families who want to try to downplay the differences our adopted children have from those who have grown up in a more stable, loving, safe, home environment. The downplaying? It’s not malicious; in fact I wholeheartedly believe that many of these friends want to …Read More

Rupture and Repair

March 27, 2016 Attachment, parent-to-child attachment, Whitney 0 Comments

Rupture and repair is how, in the adoption world, we describe relationships when they experience a breaking and need to be mended. In some cases, it’s the child who is trying to understand the boundaries that are set, and whether or not we as the parents will still use the words, “I love you” if those …Read More

A Control Freak and Her Bucket List

March 5, 2016 Whitney 0 Comments

I learned during the adoption process to let go of many of my control freak tendencies. There was, after all, very little I could actually control! During our first year home, the concept of control became somewhat comical – survival was the name of the game, and the messy mom-bun became the look my hair …Read More

Kaleidoscope: One Year Home

February 5, 2016 first weeks home, first year home, Newly Home, Whitney 0 Comments

Today our family celebrates our One Year Home anniversary! I’ve often imagined what it would be like if I could travel back in time to those early days; what would I say to myself? What words of encouragement would One-Year-Home-Me have to say to Me-From-A-Year-Ago? This is how I imagine it would go… //// Hi …Read More

Meet the Contributors: Whitney

January 23, 2016 Contributor Q and A, Meet the Contributors, Whitney 0 Comments

Continuing today with our series in which we share a short Q and A with one of our contributors to give y’all, our faithful readers, a little more behind-the-scenes insight into the amazing group of writers assembled here. And it will also give each of our contributors a chance to share their heart in a …Read More

The Middle of the Road

December 5, 2015 first weeks home, first year home, Whitney 0 Comments

I survived a half marathon a few weeks ago. That’s right. SURVIVED. I trained for it for MONTHS. Really! Since July, a friend and I had been diligently setting our alarm clocks and waking long before the sun rose to hit the pavement. The morning of the race dawned warm and sticky. November in South …Read More

A Prescription for Holiday Success

November 5, 2015 Attachment, cocooning, first weeks home, first year home, holidays, Whitney 0 Comments

This is our first round of fall/winter holidays with our daughter. If Halloween was any indicator at all, I know that the next two months are going to be filled with wondering… • what should we do? • how should we celebrate? • how do I explain to others why we do or don’t do …Read More

Good Father

October 23, 2015 China trip, disruption, Gotcha Day, Whitney 1 Comments

…………… Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like but I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night You tell me that you’re pleased and that I’m never alone …………… In the months preceding our travel to China for our daughter, I had a lot of fears …Read More

To My Non-Adoptive Mama Friends

October 5, 2015 October 2015 Feature - It Takes a Village, supporting adoptive families, Whitney 4 Comments

You, dear non-adoptive friend, spent months watching us wait for this child that we desperately wanted to travel for and bring home. You cheered when we got new pictures to proudly display, and you faithfully followed the blog posts that detailed all of my thoughts and emotions leading up to the BIG DAY. You were …Read More

What Does Life with EB Look Like?

September 3, 2015 epidermolysis bullosa, September 2015 Feature - Skin Conditions, Skin Conditions, Whitney 2 Comments

What does life with EB look like? It looks like swinging on swings at the park. Epidermolysis Bullosa is a genetic connective tissue disorder. There are many types and sub-types, each affecting the individual in different ways. Regardless of type or sub-type, one thing that I have noticed about kids with EB, and their families, …Read More

How Going to China Changed My Life

August 24, 2015 China trip, July/August 2015 Feature - Going to China!, Whitney 0 Comments

We have been home for six months and this is the first time that I’m actually sitting down and processing our trip to China. For a while, it was just too fresh, you know? The thought of any attempt in organizing my thoughts made my brain hurt, and so I just didn’t. But now, I …Read More

Hoarding, Humility and Hope

August 5, 2015 first year home, hoarding, orphanage behaviors, Whitney 0 Comments

“If the child is older, he or she may hide toys or hoard food, because that is what they’d do in the orphanage if given the chance” – Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage “Hey, Mom?  I can’t find the container that has the hair clips in it.” My oldest daughter …Read More

Prayer Mama

July 5, 2015 epidermolysis bullosa, orphan ministry, other ways to care for the orphan, Whitney 2 Comments

There are adoptive families of all sorts. Families who adopt and have biological children. Families who have only adopted children. Families who adopt more than one over several years. Families who adopt two at the same time. Families who adopt only one. Families who knew from the start that they would adopt one day, and …Read More

In the Trenches

June 5, 2015 first year home, Whitney 2 Comments

How many of us on the finally-at-home side of adoption have thought this thought, uttered this phrase, typed it out on social media, or desperately scribbled it in a journal: “in the trenches today”? I’m guessing more than a few! Before we adopted our daughter, I hadn’t much heard this phrase related to child-rearing, but …Read More

5 + 1 = so much more than 6

May 5, 2015 Attachment, first year home, Whitney 0 Comments

Is it okay to confess here that I’m not that great at math? Is this a safe place to let you know that my brain has just never fully comprehended the mysteries of equations and theorems? It’s too true. I have always felt more of an affinity for words because they can be changed and …Read More

Attachment: the first few months

April 3, 2015 April/May 2015 Feature Attachment, Attachment, first year home, Whitney 10 Comments

April is here and with it’s arrival we usher in a new series on No Hands But Ours. This month we will feature posts on attachment. Because bringing a new little person into an already established family isn’t easy. This month we will share real-life stories from mamas going through the attachment struggle at all stages of …Read More

Binding Her Wounds: Adopting a Child with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB)

March 12, 2015 epidermolysis bullosa, Family Stories, Skin Conditions, Whitney 9 Comments

Our journey as a family into EB adoption started with eczema. True story. Out of the three biological children we already had, two of them had big time problems with eczema. So, when one day I was scrolling down the waiting child list on our agency’s website and saw “dermatitis”, my heart leapt. Dermatitis? I …Read More

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