Archive - May 2013

When you already know
Fundraising Update!
That Post: The one where we ask for money one last time
To-Do-Ta-Da list
Up and Away 5K!
Becoming Mommy
Getting Ready for Saturday!

When you already know

We are in the home stretch. We will be on a plane to China in 15 days. 15 DAYS. The longing, aching desire to meet our daughter will be wiped away. We will finally hold her hand, wipe away tears and begin a very long journey with her. We are going to fold her into our family.

This short period of waiting is full of high anticipation and joy. This time is also filled sorrow. I remember, very well, leaving Ethiopia with our son. So thrilled to bring him home but absolutely broken by the circumstances that brought us to that point. There is no joy in a forever family without brokenness. The loss of a first family is tragedy. It is something that will forever affect my children and our family. There WILL be healing, there WILL be amazing glimpses of God at work but the loss has to be acknowledged in order to bring healing.

Oh my sweet girl. We love you so much. It breaks our hearts that we were not with you sooner. It breaks our hearts that you have experienced loss at such a young age. We are committed to your little life. We are committed to patiently waiting until you can tell us about the 5 years we missed. We love you for everything you are and we are ready for the not so easy nights and the not so easy days. You are amazing, you are special and you are so loved. We pray that your little heart is ready for us. We pray that your orphanage has somehow explained this process to you. And if you aren’t ready… that’s okay too. We will be there with our terrible Mandarin, loving arms and open hearts.


Good News insert! We are now at $2,500 raised!$5,500 to go!




Fundraising Update!

Two days ago I posted what could be summed up as a cry for help as we prepare for Lola to come home. We are scheduled to leave June 13th! Here is the post in case you missed my awkward attempt to fund raise. I am pleased to report that after two days $1,900 has been given! I’m writing thank you notes like crazy, and the big kids have helped by adding artwork as well. That means we are now lacking $6,100 which is way less scary than $8,000!! God is being so gracious and we are aching to meet our new daughter. Thank you to all those who have given and all those who plan to give. You are impacting her story in a huge way! I’ll keep updating as we get closer to our goal and to our travel day! If you do feel compelled to give any amount, $5, $10, $25…. here is the link to our donation page.

That Post: The one where we ask for money one last time

Sorry guys. It has to be done. You have all been amazing and supportive through this process. I almost titled this post “the F word” You know. Fundraising? But I decided that probably wouldn’t be a good idea considering I am asking everyone to share this. So here’s the deal:

We have $14,000 in adoption expenses left. We leave in 3 and 1/2 weeks. We need to come up with around $8,000 to make this happen! We are asking everyone to share and donate $5, $10, $25… whatever to help us reach this goal. We have two ways to donate, straight through our agency or through paypal. Both links are included below. We are putting this info out there humbly, and with a little bit of weirdness. We know we cannot get Lola home by ourselves and we are immensely thankful to anyone who would care to take part in her story. God has been faithful and He will see us through this journey!

Lola, 5 years old, coming home in June!

Lola, 5 years old, coming home in June!

Donate through paypal here.

Donate directly through our agency here. Select Eternal Family Fund under designation and put Erica and Calvin Ho in the notes section. All funds given will go directly toward Lola’s adoption expenses.

To-Do-Ta-Da list

There are just under four weeks to go. Four weeks until Calvin and I settle into uncomfortable seats and fly across the ocean. It’s almost Lola time. In honor of nesting I have made a to-do list. I’ve stopped sleeping, so I’m just going to start doing.

1. Paint and Distress Kitchen Cabinets using ASCP Old Ochre

2. Finish detailing Lola and Charlotte’s room

3. Order more sensory toys and activities for the plane ride home

4. Change up the dining room light fixture (probably with paint)

5. Finish the Kitchen light fixture


7. Run at least 4 times per week

8. Love on my kids a LOT. We are going to be in China for 17 days. I’m going to miss them!

9. Learn Mandarin

10. Find a cheap old table for the kids to use in the craft/play room. Oh. And paint that too.



Up and Away 5K!

Had a great time raising $$ to bring Lola home!

Becoming Mommy

I celebrated my first Mother’s day in 2007, 20 months(ish) pregnant and incredibly nervous. I sat carefully, I walked carefully and I did life carefully. I was afraid.

Calvin and I got married in June of 2006. Six months later I wasn’t feeling well and decided it was one of two things. The flu or (gasp) pregnancy. I discovered the later and informed Calvin of this news during our 6 month anniversary night away. Before you have kids you get to do things like stay in a hotel on made up anniversaries.

I went to my doctor and he confirmed that I was indeed with child, about 8 weeks along. We were nervous, excited and a little bit in shock. None of our friends had children yet. We would be the first and that was pretty fun. And weird.

A week later I began to feel like things were not right. I feared the worst and a doctor’s appointment confirmed that I was indeed losing our precious baby at 9 weeks. We had already heard the heartbeat, but now there was none. I grieved incredibly hard. I prayed and journaled to pass the seemingly endless hours of sadness. I felt so empty. It didn’t help that it was Christmas time, and we had planned a big Christmas reveal. I began to find hope as I looked forward to having the opportunity to be pregnant again. Although we weren’t exactly prepared the first time I found myself very ready after our loss.

One month later. I’m not feeling good. Like NOT GOOD AT ALL. Could it be? A visit to the doctor confirmed that there was another miracle going on. Not one, but two miracles. We were stunned. Maybe even freaked out a little. But in a good way. Fast forward to that first Mother’s Day I mentioned at the beginning. Why was I being so careful? I went to the doctor at 19 weeks for an ultra sound. When you are pregnant with twins you go to the doctor a bit more. I was prepared for a routine peek at my cuties. Calvin wasn’t with me. The doctor was very quiet as he began the U/S. He eventually looked at me and said softly “there is no heartbeat for one of your babies.” I can’t tell you what else he said. I only remember ending up back in the parking garage walking around trying to find my car. Totally in shock. It took me 45 minutes to find my car. I didn’t even cry at that moment. I didn’t know how to.

God was gracious in my healing. He gave me peace and I was incredibly thankful for the baby boy still growing strong in my belly. I can’t take credit for how I handled this loss, there was a divine peace that permeated me and helped me look to the future.

Elliott was born in September. He was perfect. Absolute Joy, I am one of those moms who didn’t skip a beat. I was made to mother. That’s a gift that I do not take for granted.

DSC00169When Elliott turned one I found myself on the bathroom floor, violently ill. Yup, you guessed it. Preggo again. I went to the doctor for my first visit. During the ultra sound my doctor was oddly quiet. She had that look. I waited, wondering why she hadn’t said anything yet. Finally she put her hand on my arm and told me matter of factly that my pregnancy was not viable. She said there was no heartbeat. With finality. She told me to go home and wait for things to happen naturally. I would need to come back in a week if things did not progress on their own and have a D&C.

This time I didn’t walk out stunned. I walked out not totally believing her. It wasn’t denial. It was something else. I called my friend Candace to tell her the news. She apparently had the same feeling I did because she arranged a group to come over to our apartment that night. They came to pray. My dear friends literally laid their hands on my belly and prayed that this life would not be lost. It was one of the most intimate spiritual moments in my life.

I went back to the doctor a week later. Charlotte had a heartbeat. Charlotte WAS a viable pregnancy. God still works miracles today friends.

Charlotte was born in June 2009. She was very sick. We found out that I have a blood incompatibility issue. My children both carried Calvin’s blood type, one that my blood type didn’t jive with. Even though I received the Ro-gam shot my blood (or whatever) still went after Charlotte. She was severely jaundiced with levels of 20-26 that would not come down. This is brain damage level. After a lengthy stay at Vanderbilt we were able to come home with our own glowing light and Charlotte had to go to the pediatrician daily to have blood drawn. But she was our miracle and we were completely smitten.



-Charlotte and her glow blanket. We had to keep her plugged in to keep her levels down.


naturally we bought her a glo worm


When Charlotte was 6 months old we said yes to adoption. We were both called to adoption, it had been my dream since childhood. We could think of a thousand reasons why this was not the right time. Just bought our first house, just had a baby, one income family. But those excuses had no hold on us. We said yes and began the process to adopt from Ethiopia. The process ended up being much longer than we were initially told. But through tears, long waits and lots of prayer we endured. After 20 months of waiting we saw our son’s face for the first time. Alula Kiebetsahay. He was named after the first orphanage he lived in. He was 3 and 1/2 months old and life had already been very difficult. A few weeks after referral we flew to Ethiopia to meet him for the first time. We spent a week adoring him and soaking in Ethiopian culture. Then we had to leave him for an unknown amount of time while the process was completed. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done. Hands down. So many tears were shed. 8 weeks later my mom and I returned to Ethiopia to bring Liam home. He was very sick and the flight home was scary but fast forward to today and he is doing amazing.

Liam came home forever in March of 2012.

Court day in Ethiopia


Our "Gotcha" moment. I was back to bring him home!

Four months after bringing Liam home we knew it was time to start the process again. We began a 6-month long paperwork journey to submit our dossier. There was a daughter waiting in China for us. In January of this year we saw our daughter’s face on an advocacy site and within days we sent in our letter of intent and were approved to proceed with her adoption. It wasn’t until several weeks later that I realized that Lola and Elliott were only 3 months apart. They are essentially twins. Stunned silence from me. The baby I carried with Elliott was a girl. I was expecting to have twins, a girl and a boy. Five years later I am expecting twins. God restores.

Lola is coming home in June of 2013.


Lola, 5 years old, coming home in June!

It’s been an interesting path to motherhood. One that I wouldn’t trade. The hardships in life bring growth. We see how the Lord has carried us. I have been given an amazing life and an amazing job as Mommy. I look forward to watching these precious people grow. I won’t take a second for granted.

Getting Ready for Saturday!

The Up and Away 5k is almost here! It’s been so much fun planning this event with our friends Chad and Mary. There is nothing better than planning for TWO precious ones to come home!

We are so thankful to all who have registered and will take part in the SUPER fun day we have planned. I can’t wait to see the costumes and spend the morning celebrating! We are now approximately 5 weeks away from traveling to meet our daughter and bring her home. I might just explode with joy. I am so very ready to have all of my children under one roof. I am so very ready to know my daughter.

If you have not registered for the race there is still time! Click here to register. Walk ups will also have a chance to register the morning of the race! Hope to see you there!

Streets of Indian Lake Shopping Center: Run/walk/bike begins at 8am!


All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal