Archive - January 2012

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Waking at 5am
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» Trip One: To Ethiopia and Back
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Goodbye Ethiopia
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Dear Liam
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Day 2 at orphanage
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Meeting Liam
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Airport Adventures
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Time to go!
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From Haiti to Ethiopia
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Haiti Bound

Waking at 5am

We’ve been back in Nashville for three days now. Three days. That almost seems impossible, I feel like I’ve been away from baby boy for a year. I’m waking at 4 or 5am each day and I’m starting to wonder how long I can actually handle being his mom from across the ocean. Obviously I can handle it, I have to, but I would much prefer to handle this season well. As I lay in bed this morning I created a list. A list that I am now going to document on the internet. (That makes me accountable you know.) Here it is:

Before Liam comes home we will accomplish the following:

1. Deep clean of entire house. Including closets!

2. Organizing craft supplies for the kids. Making a system that will actually work. I’m thinking shower caddies.

3. Sell all furniture in the master bedroom and re-furnish using only the $$ earned from selling the original furniture. (I hate our bedroom) It has never felt relaxing to me, time to fix that!

4. Get Liam and Elliott’s room ready for two boys. Find clothing in Liam’s size. Organize dressers accordingly.

5. Spend a ton of time doing fun stuff with E and C. I love them and they keep me sane.

6. Tackle new projects at work. Think way outside the box.

7. Give away anything unnecessary in the house. Sell things that are worth something and put it toward second trip Ethiopian plane tickets.

8. Do something with the wall over the leather couch. It’s really bothering me.

9. Express thanks more often and deeply.

10. Encourage others who are in this process.

» Trip One: To Ethiopia and Back

Wow. What a whirlwind. Our time in Ethiopia. Where do we start? This was a new kind of Africa for us. We’re used to the more rural, lush parts of Uganda. The huge city of Addis Ababa was a new experience. We heard a different population count from pretty much everyone in that city, from taxi drivers to orphanage employees. It seems that it falls somewhere between 3 and 5 million people. That’s quite a few folks. Addis is this crazy mix of nice coffee shops, big buildings, cows, lambs and extreme poverty. Addis is a mix of African middle class and starvation. It’s very unsettling to see a man selling off his little heard of sheep in front of a restaurant he could never afford. In a way, it’s nothing new for me. But at the same time I don’t ever want to get used to, or comfortable with, great need and desperation. Our experience with Addis was also heightened because our son is actually from that area. Many babies and children who are being adopted through our agency are from other parts of Ethiopia. But Liam is from Addis. This is his first home, the two orphanages he lived in were here in Addis. I keep saying this because I never want to forget it. I don’t ever want to forget how to teach him about his home. To teach him the good and the hard in a way that allows him to remember through my eyes. I don’t ever want him to lose his heritage. Speaking of heritage. We tried to experience as much about the culture as we could fit in. One evening we went to a traditional Ethiopian dinner and show. We got to see dances from all the regions and tribes in Ethiopia. Very fun and very delicious.

We also drank copious amounts of coffee. A friend in our travel group began suggesting that I hook myself up to an IV drip of coffee. Considering the jet lag I’m experiencing now that doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

Taking in the culture (and shopping!) was great but the highlight of the trip was, of course, being with our son. We got to spend about 3 hours a day at Hannah’s Hope. We fed him, played with him, rocked him and even helped with a bath. It was heavenly. We are just so in love and ready to have him home. We did pass court while we were there so that was just beyond words exciting. We are now looking at a time line of about 8 weeks until we can fly back and bring him home for good. We are legally his parents in the eyes of the Ethiopian court system but the US embassy has to clear us in order for him to come home. Would you like to pray with us as we wait for that day? That would be awesome. We felt each and every prayer while we were in country. And we continue to feel God’s peace and presence now that we are back home.


Goodbye Ethiopia

Hard day. Good day. We have to leave him while we wait for the U.S. embassy to approve our case. We are leaving knowing he is ours. Hard day. Good day.

Dear Liam

Liam, sweet Liam, how do I even begin to describe how perfectly you fit into my heart? I had no idea how our first encounter would go. Would I think you were cute and gradually start to attach? Would you cry and resist my embrace? So many questions were answered when I took you into my arms. I knew you. I know you. You are my son. You were meant for me. Created by God with purpose. You fit perfectly in my arms. So perfectly that it now feels empty when you aren’t filling that space. I felt this way with your brother and sister as well. When they were born I was fiercely attached to them, just as I am with you. I am overwhelmed with joy when I look at you and then overwhelmed with sorrow at the thought of leaving you for the next 8 weeks. I cannot wait to bring you home forever! Oh my sweet baby. If only you knew the way I love you. I can’t even fully understand it myself. I’m just thankful that God brought us together in this incredibly special way.

Love, Mommy

Day 2 at orphanage

Today we got to see baby Liam for another hour or so before his nap. We brought a small photo book for him that the other kids and the special mothers were excited to see. They called Elliott and Charlotte “good” which was their way to tell us they were cute children. Once Liam went down for his nap, we played with many of the other children. I love to play soccer with them and hear them sing songs of joy. We also visited more of Addis and experienced Timoca coffee, which was a nice treat.  -Calvin

Liam was not so keen on the bottle today. Stuffy nose!

Snuggling with Daddy

Meeting Liam

Such a good day! We are in love! I’ll write a longer post when I have access to something other than my iPhone!

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Airport Adventures

Nashville Airport

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Detroit

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Amsterdam

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And now on to Ethiopia!!!

Time to go!

Well the time has come. Our bags are packed, donations are ready and the tickets are purchased. We are on the way to see Liam and go to court. Please help us pray for smooth travel and that we will pass court while we are there! Our kiddos will be with family this week so they need prayer too! Watch for updates!!

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From Haiti to Ethiopia

We got a court date while I was in Haiti, headed home right now so we can go meet our son this week!!!!

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Haiti Bound

I’m heading to Haiti this Sunday. I can’t wait to see all my little friends at the orphanage. It’s been a few months since I’ve traveled to them so I’m pretty anxious to get on that plane! I’ll be back in about a week and hoping to maybe have some good news in the form of a court date when I return. We shall see!

All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal