Archive - December 2011

We Love Liam: A Photo Blog
A Glimpse of the cutest baby ever
Well… we do have ONE picture
The Call: December 16th
And then there were five…
Life and all her trappings
Peachy Winner and Happenings at the Ho house
On the 12th (and final) Day of A Road Home Christmas
Day 11 Winner
On the Eleventh Day of Christmas

We Love Liam: A Photo Blog

Post-referral is an interesting place to dwell. I spend most of my time being extremely happy that we are finally in this camp. I spend some of my time watching the message boards for the latest news on the flow of Ethiopian adoptions. I spend even another part of my time worrying about what’s to come in the wait. Fortunately, sprinkled through all those moments, I spend time in prayer. I am constantly prompted to pray for our son. I am reminded continually that at this distance it is the best and only thing I can do to impact our son’s life. And that’s where we are right now. I’m going to blog a bit of a timeline and answer some questions but today we want to be silly and show you how we pass the time and delight in what’s to come. Fortunately I have a camera and two cute kids.

Had to save the best for last. Just call her J-"C"

(Special Thanks to Bekka for the Tiny Toms. They are so much fun!)

A Glimpse of the cutest baby ever

We can’t post a picture of our baby until we pass court. Until then we will just have to tease you with a snapshot of the cutest little hands ever.

We have chosen the name Liam for our little sweetie. He has a beautiful Ethiopian name that we will use as his middle name. It’s funny, he was introduced to me as “A” (first initial of his ET name, we just can’t use it publicly) and now I call him that. I can’t help it, I’ve been practicing Liam though so hopefully it will catch on soon.

Baby Liam

Well… we do have ONE picture

Bye Bye paperwork!

Kinda feel like I got robbed by FedEx, but hey, it’s worth it.

The Call: December 16th

Okay. I’m going to go ahead and admit that we have no pictures of this amazing and very special day. We were not on the ball. But in some ways it’s perfectly okay, surprises are good.

So let’s start from the beginning. It was a super rainy yucky day. I am fortunate to have time at home with my kids on Fridays, I work at a church so we are allowed some time on Friday to rejuvenate. I declared this particular day a pajama day. Charlotte, Elliott and I were looking our best in bedhead and jammie pants. I had an errand to run, picking up Calvin’s invisline tray, but we were feeling particularly comfortable in our bedroom ware and went to the orthodontist just as we were. Upon our return we retired to the playroom where the kids were occupied with simultaneous magna-doodle doodling and I was venturing into chapter three of The Hunger Games.  Yup, it was that kind of day.

At approximately 9:30am Central time my phone began to ring. I casually picked it up and realized it was our agency calling. In a way I knew this was it but I quickly talked myself down and even waited until the last ring to answer. “K” started by saying she had received my email (at that point I congratulated myself on not thinking this was “the call”) but quickly followed with “but that’s not what I want to talk to you about.” Once those words escaped her lips my heart just about stopped. I inhaled and help my breath as she said the words I have longed for “I have a little boy to talk to you about.” Cue the hallelujah chorus. I sucked in another deep breath and suppressed the sobbing that so wanted to come out. I quickly asked “K” to conference Calvin in. She did and soon I heard his voice on the other end. I rushed to my computer and received her email. The sweetest little guy was waiting for me. Big smiles and even what looked like a little wave. Oh my. As she went through medical documents, history, etc. I found my mind and eyes constantly wandering back to his face, his little fingers, his beautiful big eyes and it was almost torture to wait out the whole thing. I wanted to yell, yes! yes! he is ours, I don’t need to know another single thing about him! But we patiently went through everything and let “K” know we wished to proceed.

Once the call was over the whirlwind began. Our two kiddos had completely wrecked the house while I was on the phone. I tried giving them t.v. and gummy bears while I was on the phone (they were organic to my credit) but they went nuts on the house any way. This is a key factor in why I don’t have pics. It just wasn’t possible, AND my hair was really scary.

After we ended the phone conversation I quickly made arrangements with our pediatrician to review the files. Calvin came home from work and we tackled the referral paperwork. Pure joy.

We showed the kids the adorable pictures of our son, their brother, and their reply was funny, but somehow so true. “We already know him” they said. “That’s our baby brother Liam.” Yes indeed. We already know him.

God has been so gracious. I have pleaded with him, begged even to see my son’s face by Christmas time. I knew He could say  no, it’s not time to see your son. I was ready to accept that. But for some reason he showed us Grace this Christmas season and gave us a gift that has astounded and humbled us deeply. We have seen our son’s face. And oh, how beautiful he is. Thank you Lord for this gift. It is so clear that he is the one we have waited for. It all seems to make sense. We know we still have the wait ahead of us. A new kind of wait, harder and easier in some ways. But Lord you will carry us the whole way, just as you have thus far.

I am amazed. I am in awe. God has brought us together. There are parts of this story that I grieve. Parts that won’t be shared on this blog. But I also rejoice that God saw it fit to join our lives. This precious boy in Ethiopia, this regular family in Nashville. I can’t believe that we get to be part of this story, and I am so thankful.

And then there were five…

After a long wait we have a referral for a baby boy. Incredible. SO much more to share. It’s coming I promise! I have absolutely zero time at the moment but I can’t wait to share!

We have a son!!!

Life and all her trappings

I am truly a melancholy individual masquerading as a fun-loving extrovert. I spend approximately 30% of my time in another place. My mind wanders like a lost dog and those who are closest to me find frustration in this particular part of my personality. I admit it’s selfish to allow 30% of my time devote itself to wandering. I’m working on it.

There is just a lot going on. Not with adoption. This isn’t really an adoption post. Although that wandering combined with God’s prompting brought us to this place. This is, rather, a life post. Hence the title. Trappings are defined as the outward features or objects of a particular role or situation. This week, and many weeks before, I have pondered what my trappings say about my role in life. Specifically the place I love and occupy: home.

This is the first thing you’ll lay eyes on if you come to my house. An outward expression of me. Bright color, photos displayed in a semi-artistic attempt. A salvage find turned beautiful. It looks so good. And it should. We are a happy family, we make decent money, we love Jesus, we give, we love others. Our lifestyle should reflect well. We are a good family. Our outward features represent our place in life well. But what if we get a little too used to these things… to this home we’ve so carefully crafted. From paint colors to vintage furnishing sought out from flea markets and trash bins. So much effort for such a fleeting object.

At times I wonder if I would be more devastated or relieved if it was all gone tomorrow. And what if it were? Would we cling to our Father God and listen for his next direction or become consumed by the grief of loss. I really want the later to be our, my, story. We have never been a family that sought out the next and newest things for our lifestyle but something pretty nice has been cultivated for us while we slept. It’s odd when you wake up and realize you’re living the American Dream. It’s not necessary. I’m not sure anyone was ever meant to live this way. It causes us to rely on outside sources for happiness and contentment when we know good and well that we can never be content until we’ve left this world. Weird. We try too hard.

I don’t know what else to say. And friends; don’t think I’m judging you for your really nice house or cool SUV. My convictions are not for you to share. God calls us all in different directions. God makes us all sensitive to different issues. I have always had a hard time existing around here, and I’m hopeful that our family will experience a different kind of story.

Life and all her trappings, or, being trapped by what we are convinced life should look like.

Peachy Winner and Happenings at the Ho house

Congrats to Emily Routh and Mindy A. You will both be receiving one of our Peachy flower clips!

And with that, our 12 days meets her conclusion. What fun we had. Recap coming tomorrow.

So, on to the Happenings at the Ho House. The alliteration there is simply stunning.

Wednesday was Calvin’s 30th birthday! In true Ho fashion we had a simple celebration. Calvin ate wings with friends the night before and for his birthday dinner the next day? His free birthday sub from Jersey Mikes. I made a Pear tarte for his birthday cake. Frozen from Trader’s Joes, I cannot tell a lie. Our darling Charlotte serenaded him and we gifted him with a Patagonia rain coat. A much needed item for African travel. And now; he is 30. This may sound funny… but… I really like my husband. He’s just an all-around great, steady guy who just loves us so much. He’s a great dad, a good provider and my complete opposite. (Not opposite on parenting skills I must add, I think I’m a pretty good mom!) He’s just good for me, he always has been and I’m really glad I get to love him for life.

He also took me to see Ben Rector (love!) and Matt Wertz Christmas. Also a perk of being married to Calvin Ho, he likes good music.

The kids got to experience Monkey Joes (Jump Castle Heaven) last week. We were the only people there. Fun. But how in the world do they stay in business?

My birthday just happens to be on Monday. And no. I’m not going to be 30. The ever-so-young 29 is next on my radar. In true Erica fashion I started the celebration early by sewing with my Jonah’s Journey gals. Our hostess Stacey, isn’t her kitchen gorgeous?, cooked us some delicious potato soup and I showed the girls how to make aprons. Good times.

And that’s the Ho Happenings.

On the 12th (and final) Day of A Road Home Christmas

Wow. We have been so privileged to feature some amazing organizations over the past couple of weeks. I plan to do a recap in a couple of days just in case you are still trying to nail down that Holiday Shopping.

Today, well tonight, I am excited to share Peachy Peachy with you.

Peachy Peachy is a little thing Calvin and I have been working on. Our very tiny, very little website and online store is finally ready for shoppers.

How it started: In May 2011, I met a group of girls in an orphanage in Kitabazzi, Uganda. They were incredibly talented! Many of the girls wrote me little letters with tiny little flowers crocheted into them. The wheels began to turn in my head. How could the girls use their talent to take them beyond the orphanage walls? How could the girls use their talent to make the orphanage an even better place? My sweet little friend Rachel had crocheted a tiny little bag for her teacher Ms. Sandy. Her pure heart simply wanted to give a gift but it became clear to us that these girls could do even more if given the right opportunity.

Peachy Peachy equips orphan girls in Uganda to fund their own education. The girls use their 1 hour class time to make fashion accessories for girls and women of all ages. These items are sold here in the U.S. and all profits are sent back to the girls. Their Life Skills Development class teaches them how to save, invest, and give. Each girl will start a savings account from her time at the orphanage with the knowledge to maintain it wisely. Through this process, they feel self-worth, learn to provide for themselves, and gain confidence for their future.

Hope Today: They learn valuable craft and business skills.

Hope Tomorrow: As the girls grow and eventually leave the orphanage, they will have savings to fund their university educations.

What’s in a name? Peachy Peachy comes from Piki Piki (pronounced peachy peachy in Uganda): Piki Pikis are little motorbikes that wiz around Uganda, carrying passengers to their next destination. To me Piki Piki represents the girls, they are on their way to the next destination. These girls are going somewhere.

Today we are giving away a Flower Clip from our line to TWO winners. Yup two separate winners. Pretty fun.

Here’s how to Enter. An entry for every action.

1. Leave a Comment, tell us what you like about Peachy Peachy.

2. Share this on your Facebook profile (suggestion below)
12 days of Christmas! Day 12 giveaway from Peachy Peachy

3. Like Peachy on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @PEACHYmatters (if you don’t already)

4.  Tweet this! (copy and paste below)
12 days of Christmas! Day 12 giveaway from @PEACHYmatters —  #aroadhome

The winners will be announced on Friday morning! Help us spread the word!

And yes… just in case you wondered, I am doing a bit of modeling on the Peachy site. Oh my. Probably not going to venture there again!

Day 11 Winner

Congrats Morgan Finn!

You are the Proud new owner of Start Something that Matters!

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas

It’s no secret that our family loves TOMS shoes. Our entry way is filled with Classics, Botas, and Wedges.

For our generation, TOMS seem to be a household brand and their One for One model is no longer a new concept. However, the newest TOMS development is fresh and exciting. Their addition of sunglasses with a unique color design is fun and meaningful. And of course, for every pair someone buys, they provide sight for someone in need. This can be through prescription glasses, medical treatment, or surgery.

But we’re not here to talk about shoes or sunglasses. We’re actually here to feature Blake Mycoskie’s (founder of TOMS) new book, Start Something that Matters. I read this book when it first came out because I wanted to read stories about when TOMS first started and also to be inspired by such a great story. The book doesn’t stop with the TOMS story. Blake gives advice to readers on why and how to do something that has purpose and meaning, using examples from many other companies. The tips are for any existing company, startup business, non-profit, etc.

Funny stories such as how his roommates bedrooms served as the “office” and “warehouse” and how retail partners would ask when/how they could finally meet “Tom” make the book very entertaining. At the same time, Blake gives expertise on topics such as facing your fears, the importance of telling your story, and how to be resourceful without resources.

So with that, we definitely recommend this book to any entrepreneur, leader, manager, or college student trying to implement generosity into their business model. TOMS is a proven model showing that you can make money (a living) and help people at the same time. And in true TOMS fashion, with every book purchase, a new book will be provided to a child in need.

Today we are excited to be giving away a brand new copy of the book, START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS, by Blake Mycoskie.

Here’s how to Enter. An entry for every action.

1. Leave a Comment, tell us what your favorite TOMS product is.

2. Share this on your Facebook profile (suggestion below)
12 days of Christmas! Day 11 giveaway from TOMS

3. Like TOMS on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@TOMS (if you don’t already)

4.  Tweet this! (copy and paste below)
12 days of Christmas! Day 11 giveaway from @TOMS —  #aroadhome

 Can’t wait to announce the winner tomorrow morning!

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