Christmas Adventures

I’m happy to report that we received some encouraging information regarding our adoption.  (yes! finally some news to share!)  AGCI announced that the wait time for Ethiopia has decreased.  Exponentially at that!  This is especially encouraging to us because we are nearing the home stretch in our wait for a referral.  Do we know when we will get a referral call?  No.  But this means we are much closer than we thought!  What a lovely Christmas present.

Christmas season has been a little weird for me this year.  Knowing that you have a child on the other side of the world kind of dampens the cheer.  I was thinking about this today and consequently getting a bit irritated with myself.  Seriously.  Apparently I need some homely looking kids to pop up out of nowhere and do a quick skit on the “true meaning of Christmas.”  My Savior was born on Christmas day and I’m whining about not being with a baby who doesn’t even know I exist.

Of course it’s a little more than that… this whole season has gotten kind of weird in general.  Priorities are mixed up, people are incredibly stressed out… it can become so yucky. Sorry for the four-year-old word there, but yucky seems pretty accurate.  We over-think everything from how to handle Santa to how many presents the grandparents are going to dump on our kids.  Our poor Elliott is so full of the original story of St. Nicholas and the theology of Christmas that he has come to the following conclusion: baby Jesus was born on a star and consequently rode a reindeer to Heaven. Fantastic.

Here’s the funny thing:  we are pretty bare minimum parents when it comes to Christmas. We have a tiny tree and a wreath. We don’t amp up Santa and we focus on the story of Jesus’ birth. I’m guessing the fact that his preschool door is decorated with the kids’ pictures reincarnated into flying reindeer (with a nativity in the background) has fueled his weirdo stories about Christmas. (see pic. from camera phone below) So back to over-thinking Christmas. I’m not going to freak out that he came to this conclusion as I drove him to school this morning; he’s 3 years old. But I am going to make sure we continue to read the story of Jesus and teach him the truth about Christmas. I’m already anticipating what he will teach Charlotte. She is only 1 this Christmas, so her understanding of Christmas consists of taking ornaments off the tree and enjoying the lights on our neighbors house. She also loves to point to the nativity and say “Jesus.” She is far less tainted than Elliott at this moment. (=

Elliott the Red-nosed reindeer.

We aren’t total scrooges by the way.  We visited the ever-so-crowded Gaylord Opryland Hotel to take in the scenery.  Here’s some pictures that are bound to make you smile.

Looking cute in their Christmas duds

Yes. He loves Reindeer.

Trying to make Char. smile after the reindeer scared her.

With a pizza and a kiss!

Daddy Calvin freezing while we check out the GIANT nativity.

About the author


Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.


Leave a comment
  • I literally laughed out loud at Elliott’s conclusion…you poor things. Mike and I were just discussing all of these things this past weekend…it’s hard to put all the Santa thing into the REAL story of Christmas. You want the kids to have the fun, magical part of it but at the same not to have all the falsehoods that make it “all about the presents”. I like to think of “Santa” as the spirit of Christmas…that what “he” represents is what we all should feel all year really…that wonderful, magical, loving, giving feeling people seem to get only during Christmas. Kind of the feeling that Jesus would have us to hold for one another all the time, not just once a year.

    Love reading your blog!! And, so happy to hear the news that things are going to speed up for yall!! Saw that myself in an email I got recently and was happy to see that as well as costs may be reduced for China! Woo Hoo!

  • Congrats on your good news. The pictures are beautiful. I’m glad to know that Nashville is back to normal (at least at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel) after the flood.

    Reading your post about your baby being half a world away at Christmas makes me think of a Third Day song you must hear if you haven’t already. It’s on their “Christmas Offerings” album and it’s actually just called “Merry Christmas”.

    I hope y’all have a Merry Christmas and hope we can see y’all soon!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal