I am so. excited.
This project has been in the *dream* stage for a long time. But with a website overhaul pending, and realizing our need for more organizational and informational supports to make No Hands But Ours all it can be, the time to turn this dream into reality is now.
Joining me on this adventure are Rebecca, Liberty, Becky, Amy and Sheryl. All moms of precious kiddos from China, who just happen to have special needs. All passionate advocates for the orphan. And all just as excited as I am to be working together to launch this crazy big idea.
And we want you, adoptive mama, to be in on this, too.
So just what is it we are doing? Well, I’m so glad you asked.
Our dream is to establish a network of Mentoring Moms (or Dads, as the case may be) to represent most, if not all, of the special needs that are seen in children coming home from China. Each need would be represented by two or more moms, depending on the amount of support a specific need might require and how many children are represented by that specific need. Each team would be lead by one mom who checks in regularly with the larger NHBO team.
Collectively, each team of Mentoring Moms would work together to 1) improve the resources available on NHBO and keep it updated with the most current and most accurate information available for that specific need 2) publish occasional posts on the NHBO blog and help raise awareness through social media 3) work together to help educate and inform those who are considering parenting a child with special needs 4) work together to support parents who are already home with a child and wondering what the best next steps in parenting a child with that specific need.
Individually, a Mentoring Mom would be someone who is parenting a child with a specific special need that they have become so familiar with, so knowledgeable about, that they’ve become something of a non-trained-but-eat-sleep-and-dream-about-it expert.
I know that parenting two children who came home from China with unrepaired bilateral clubfoot has pushed me to learn way more about clubfoot than I ever wanted to. I also know how much I love being able to share with other soon-to-be clubfoot moms about our experience. From the first traumatic look at Jude’s bruised and twisted feet in China, through 7 sets of casts, and then finally to tendon transfer surgery, we’ve been through a lot together. And I learned so much on the way.
So here is what we’d want from you, expert mama:
— Mom to a child from China adopted through the SN program
— Commit to volunteering approximately one to two hours per week
— Be willing to work on a two to three person team for each individual need, as well as the larger Mentoring Mom team
— Be available to discuss via email or FB the project as well as ongoing needs for NHBO
— Organize/collect information for the NHBO site (resources and special needs pages) as well as links, blogs and available support
— Write up one post, at least quarterly, about real-life parenting of a child with that special need
— Seek out additional resources, blog links, and other moms with wisdom to share with NHBO readers
— Be willing to help spread the word about the NHBO Mentoring Mom program through social media
— Share with other moms who are considering a child with this special need and/or are already are parenting a child with this special need
Sounds fun, doesn’t it? We would love to have you on board.
Below is a Special Needs Checklist we’ve created to help organized the more common special needs seen in children adopted from China. But by no means is it exhaustive. Please review it to find the specific special need you are interested in being a Mentor for and select that need when you complete the form below. If you would like to be a Mentoring Mom and are parenting a child with a special need not listed, let us know by completing the form – you’ll have an opportunity to share more about your child’s specific need there.
So, are you ready? All that’s left is this short questionnaire, designed to help us get to know you a little better. If you have questions, feel free to comment on this post or on the form below.