Archive - 2012

It’s almost tax season… and we can help!
The House that Consumes me
New Fundraiser!
Happy 5th Birthday to Elliott!
Photography Fundraiser
Why are we Adopting Again?
Liam’s Birthday: The Celebration
We all have a choice to make
Happy First Birthday, Liam!


Today, December 16th is the anniversary of “the call.” The first time we heard the name Alula, and saw Liam Alula’s face for the first time. We were shocked because to our knowledge there were no new children in his transitional orphanage in Ethiopia AND he was 3 1/2 months old. We had already sold and given away all the baby stuff as our parameters allowed us to adopt a child a bit older than an itty-bitty like Mr. Liam Alula. Here’s a little recap of that day if you are interested.  I still remember picking up the phone, seeing the Oregon area code, and thinking no-way, I’m not even going to get excited, this can’t be it, I mean I know I prayed for a referral before Christmas… but God are you really going to answer a prayer the way I want it answered? Well, He did. And we have our amazing, now 15-month-old little Liam Alula. Liam has now been home almost 9 months and things have been all over the place as far as adjustment, bonding and attachment goes. I mean… he’s attached, but doesn’t really want momma out of his site. Which is normal for him in two categories, both the adoption category and the I’m a 15-month-old category. We don’t look at EVERYTHING through the adoption lens, but we’ve found if we put that down entirely we find ourselves becoming perplexed with his actions at times. Oh yeah… he’s experienced early trauma… that might explain XYZ. Yes, I realize he was 7 1/2 months old when he came home to us forever, but I know with all my heart that while he may not remember his life before us it does and will always impact him on a deeper level than we will ever know. However, he is one happy dude and I’m happy about that. So happy Refferalversary to us!

Referral Liam

Referral Photo




It’s almost tax season… and we can help!

Okay. So maybe we can’t help, but if you are looking for a place to donate your money before the year’s end we would be honored to have you join our adoption fundraising efforts. Our agency is fantastic and they allow people and organizations to donate straight to the agency on our behalf. This donation is tax-deductible. As January approaches we will literally have thousands of dollars in adoption costs, so we would again, be honored to have you partner with us as we work to bring our daughter home. Check out our donation page for information on how to donate. Basically, fill out a form in our name, write a check, put it in the mail… and presto… you have contributed to life change for one sweet little girl, and one very excited family.


The House that Consumes me

As you know we finally made the move to our new home. Within days of living there I realized that this was truly the one. The house that made all of the exhausting and emotional days worth it. Lots of things to work on, seems everyday we stumble upon something new… but there is just something good about our home. Something that just fits who we are, and who we want to share our home with. The title of this post is “the house that consumes me.” Why? Because it does. I’m completely obsessed with making her the best she can be. The best reflection of myself. When you walk in my house I want you to know it’s mine. I’m nuts. I know. But the Holidays are coming and so are the visitors. Over the next few days I’m going to diligently post pictures of what I’ve been working on. Starting with our stairway and main entrance.






So as you can see we had a bit of dry wall repair in the stairway and entry-way, and we went from a dark beige to Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray…. which I love and think may be the most soothing paint color ever. More to come!


New Fundraiser!

We have a great new fundraiser just in time for Christmas!

I was recently in Uganda on a mission trip and I purchased many items from local female artisans. We are now using these items to help bring our daughter home from China. It may seem a little odd to use items from Uganda to bring home an orphan from China… but the way I see it, we gave back to the economy in Uganda and are now utilizing their beautiful work to accomplish another beautiful work.

We have limited quantities of the following items:

Santa Christmas ornament made from banana leaves. Super cute!

$12+ shipping

Angel Christmas Ornament made from banana leaves

$7 + shipping

Multi-colored Long Paper Bead Necklaces

$15 dollars +shipping

Happy 5th Birthday to Elliott!

We were fortunate enough to get away for Elliott’s birthday. We were in the middle of the big moved that stalled (more on that later) and just needed to get out! We have friends that have a Cabin in Gatlinburg that we were able to use for the weekend and it was just what we all needed.

Elliott’s actual birthday is September 25th, but we celebrated a few days early and let the celebration go on over a few days. Those are the best birthdays if you ask me! He took full advantage of his four day birthday by claiming his seat in the car, asking for ice cream and a host of other funny little requests. The 5th birthday is fun! It’s like a little person realizes they are getting kinda big, and they enjoy it!

We had a great time drinking hot chocolate, opening presents, visiting the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg and just being together.

I love my first born Mr. Elliott so much. He is such a momma’s boy and I’m prepared for him to be that for awhile. Gotta soak up that time while I can! These years go by fast. Here are some pictures from the birthday weekend.

Photography Fundraiser

Check out our new fundraiser!

Everybody needs pictures right?

Now you can support our adoption and get reasonably priced family sessions all at the same time. Win/Win!

Why are we Adopting Again?

Didn’t you just complete an adoption? Why are you starting again so soon?

We seem to be getting this question a lot lately. Or hearing that people are asking our friends/family this question. I guess I find it a little odd that anyone would question someone’s motives when they are adding to their family. Especially when the addition to that family currently has no family.

BUT, I know my brain is hard-wired a little differently than other folks so I will explain a few things to help you (them) out a little bit. So here is our list of whys and motivations:

1. We have room.

2. We will love her unconditionally and fully for all she is and will be.

3. God loves us and has given us the capacity to build our family in a non-traditional way.

4. We desire for our children to be close in age. We feel that this will provide them with a strong support system as they go through school, life etc.

5. Our daughter is waiting and we will not leave her as an orphan.

Number five is pretty important, but f I can sum up everything in one small statement, the answer to the “why” question is Why not? Why not fund raise again, why not expand our family, why not live out the gospel in our home? When you can’t come up with any good answers for why not then you are simply compelled to stop asking why and start doing what God has asked of you.

I can’t sit here and tell you this is easy. Raising kids is hard if you are really trying to do a good job. Our youngest son doesn’t sleep at night, our older two are stubborn as mules and we are often exhausted. We are adopting a preschool aged child who will have multiple special needs and I can’t even imagine what that will add to daily routine. But I do know that there will be joy. Just as there is joy to be found in the everyday madness of the three we have now. Joy is all over raising children. When I sit and reflect on the day it’s easy to focus on the one tantrum or the one battle, but there are so many good things in a day as well. Goodbye kisses in the morning, brushing my daughter’s hair, reading in the evenings and hearing my kids say “mommy I want YOU, I want you, sit with me, guess what I did today.” When Liam cries in the night it’s because he wants US, his parents. What greater joy can be found that being wanted? My son has claimed us as his parents in every way and he cries out because he knows we will answer.

In the same way our daughter cries out for us, across the sea. She does not know it yet, but we are answering and someday after much work she too will claim us as her parents.

And we have already said yes to her.

Liam’s Birthday: The Celebration

We are in the midst of moving so we did not have a decent place to do the whole family cake and ice cream thing. However, we DO have friends that work for Gaylord Opryland. And those friends were kind enough to help us get a beautiful room for the night. We told the kids we were going on “vacation” and they were totally pumped. My mom and sister and niece had also come to visit and came along for the ride. We had such a good time playing, swimming and celebrating Liam in the beautiful Gaylord Opryland hotel.

We all have a choice to make

Let me be honest. At about 9pm last night I had a very different blog post in mind. It wasn’t going to be about choices, or grace or anything good really. It was going to be a venting, ranting, angry momma of 3 who has been trying to move her family for some time now. Oh. And I was also going to cast blame and think about how I could stealthily let our buyers know how much I dislike what they have put us through. Mind you, these were just late night thoughts after being told that we would have to do an addendum and extend our closing date for the fourth time. But that doesn’t change the fact that I was hard core thinking them. Seriously, I actually thought about leaving a note on the counter that said “Welcome to your new home, thanks for making our last month in our home suck, hope you make many happy memories here.” Wow. Like really Wow.

Friends I am a s-i-n-n-e-r. To the bone. One saved by grace, but a sinner nonetheless. And man that sin nature can be a beast. She almost had me convinced that being a total jerk and wallowing in self pity, oh the horror, I’ve packed up my house and I have three kids, and now we can’t move and now we will all surely die from this catastrophic life changing event, was the way to go. I mean how else would one react when life seems upside down?

How about with that all encompassing, wonderful word GRACE.  It’s a choice. You choose to let your bitter flag fly or you pull yourself up pray for peace and realize that there are way bigger things going on in this world that need your attention. I admit, my bitter flag got to half mast before I yanked that sucker down. But late is better than never when you choose Joy.

There is a phrase that says “What spills over when you are bumped is what you are filled with.” And Proverbs 15:13 says “A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.”

This long crazy move is not yet complete and there are lots of things I could share that would probably make you feel sorry for our family right now, but there is nothing good that would be accomplished in that. I’m going to work on filling my heart with good stuff, so don’t be afraid to ask me how it’s going, I won’t take 20 minutes of your life telling you how miserable we are, rather I’ll tell you how this is all part of the refining process, and for that I am joyful.

How are you today?

Happy First Birthday, Liam!

Wow. The first birthday is here already. It came so fast! But that’s what happens with adoption. You miss some of your sweet ones life and you just have to make it count with the time you are given! Sometimes I try to imagine a little newborn Liam Alula. What he may have looked like, sounded like, smelled like.

I don’t know. Can’t even guess. We truly know nothing about his little past.

What I do know, is that even though I didn’t hold him and protect him from birth I loved him from birth. While Liam was coming into this world, across the ocean, we were having a yard sale to raise money to bring home our yet to be known son. I was crying because I had not yet seen his face and I was loving him fiercely. He has been loved and sought after for every second of his little existence.

Four months later we received the call we were waiting for. This little face confirmed everything.

Several, several months later our 7 1/2 month old came home forever and life has been filled with good stuff. Here is a little taste of what we have been up to recently!

All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal