The Hansel Family

The Hansel Family

Saturday, May 3, 2014

the deep end.

I am most comfortable in the deep end.  I read a great analogy this week about the deep end versus the shallow end of our faith.  And by choice, I have always done things the hard way, found myself uncomfortable, and grown incredibly.  From day one, I liked the high dive, I choose the long run home, and I always went to morning swim practice.  In college I attended two schools, changed majors three times, then went a totally different direction upon finishing.  When Bob and I married, and my brother-in-law met him for the first time, he simply said "good luck, she does things her own way."  Bob's never forgotten that comment.  We spent little time getting to know each other before our wedding, and we've spent countless hours in counseling because of that.  We had babies right away, we moved two states away from family, have struggled with finances, jobs, depression, God, and each other.  And in the deep end of struggling to stay afloat, trusting God to come through, and leaning into one another we've found it to be much more appealing than the pool floats and umbrella drinks of life.  

We still struggle, and we always will in one way or another, because we want a more fulfilling life.  The year and a half journey of adoption paperwork, being turned away by an agency, raising funds for something we didn't know how and when would come to fruition, only to be put on hold with a pregnancy, and trusting it's God's timing and not our own reminds us constantly we are not in control.  The sure footing of 3 feet of water has always eluded us.  And that's ok.  We'd rather swim.

My heart  is still in Africa, and I've never had the desire to be out of this country.  I like home.  I'm content on the couch.  Bob's heart is for helping, in any form.  He'd expend himself to the point of exhaustion for others, and does on a regular basis for his family. And to keep that God given desire lit, it needs to be watered and you need to work.  And so we've found ways to do it, to keep treading in the waters where our heart leads.  For Bob, it's here, for me, it's Africa.  

Nehemiah 4:6 “So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” Have a mind to work, be linked with those that help you stay afloat, focus on the One that keeps you afloat, and the deep end will be more fun, even the moments you feel like you're drowning :)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

#4 and #5

We are due with a baby this August, which will be kiddo #4. The most common question we get is, "are you still adopting?" Or, "what does this change about the adoption?" Honestly, we don't know. We hope, wish, and pray that this adoption journey has prepared us for adding to our family in that way, but we'll leave that in Gods hands and trust if it is in our story, He'll lead us there. While I often feel the tug of Africa on my heart, we are open to a domestic adoption as well... Foster care, private, open or closed, older or younger. While the story of our adoption, has so many depths to it, I know it has made us stronger in our faith, with our marriage, in our finances, with our kids, and in every day life. Our three talk daily still about the little boy they want to add to our family, I can only imagine how often they think about him without voicing it. Today Jett asked if his skin would be light or dark. His heart longs for him, as does ours. Faye would like for us to adopt a little girl, assuming the baby coming in August is a boy, so they can be in love. That 3 year old is a daily adventure waiting to happen. Each child that God has blessed us with, and will bless us with in the future, is the greatest gift we could ask for. And we can't wait to receive it, with a child like faith, knowing He knows best.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

If I look at the one, I will.

If I look at the mass, I will never help. If I look at the one, I will. - Mother Teresa

Bob and I attended a foster parent orientation last night.  Some days we have no idea which direction this journey is headed, and so we explore the areas we feel called to help.  The need is so great, it's hard to know some times where to put our energy, and still care for our family unit now.

When we started this journey a year and a half ago, we really thought we were going one way: an international adoption from Uganda.  We thought we knew how it would go, had an idea of a time frame, and pictured our ideal family when it got to that point.

We've since learned that we have no idea how this will look.  And we are ok with that.

Our destination only involves stepping out in faith and being available.  The rest, is up to God.

The outpouring of support of our friends, and strangers to raise money has been humbling.  And keeps us moving forward and clinging to the idea that a domestic adoption could financially happen for us.  Without that help, we won't get there, which could lead us to other ways of caring for those less fortunate, and that's ok too.

The idea of being a home, readily available for children in our community on a temporary or permanent basis also intrigues us.

Our heart is for family, our own biological kids, adopted ones, or simply those that need to be loved on by our family for a short period of time.  We trust that God has the perfect picture of our family, and are encouraged by how he's revealing it to us, in His perfect time.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

keeping our eyes above the waves...

You call me out upon the water
The great unknown, where my feet may fail
And there I find you in the mystery
In oceans deep, my faith will stand

The opening verses of the song "Ocean" by Hillsong United played this morning as I was driving into work.  So many people, when they see us, ask how the adoption is going.  Most of my answers consist of shallow responses.  The typical: paperwork, home study, fund raising responses.

What I should say is...

I thought I knew how to swim.  I thought I knew what faith was.

He has called us to something that is bigger than us.  And it's taking a long time.  In my book.  Most days I feel like we are out in the middle of the ocean, we've left sight of the shore, the next step in our adoption process could be just over the horizon, but it could also be an illlusion once we paddle over.  There could be another storm tomorrow, we could have a few days of calm, we may be unaware that sharks are swimming underneath, some days we see their fins. 

But we trust him.

And we keep swimming.  And we're getting stronger.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed, and You won't start now

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Did you know they were adopted?

Steve Jobs.

Faith Hill.

Marilyn Monroe.

Babe Ruth.

Sarah McLachlan.

Dede Griesbauer.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

We still need your help!

This process is long and... Worth it.

We still need your help!  We are no one special, just a simple family, knowing we have love to give another family member.

Our next step is working our way through the fee schedule for the adoption of our little guy.

You can make a donation though PayPal, our account is:

Do you have a fundraising idea? Email me,

Read more about our journey through this blog!

Most importantly, thank you for sharing our story. The more people we reach, the more likely we are to fill this spot in our heart!

Thank you!

Bob, Erin, Jett, Maggie, and Faye

Thursday, September 12, 2013

the last bits... of our home study.

This has been a week of the "lasts" of our home study completion.  On Monday, we visited with the social worker, to show her our new house and fill her in on our summer.  And what a summer it's been.  When we put things on hold, we didn't know what the future would hold.  We knew we needed to give some undivided attention to our marriage, our family, and some other circumstances that were beyond our control.  We wonder if the attention needed would have come about without having been in this process, we're thankful for the tough times, and for the new mercies each morning.  To have a home study done on your family is to be an open book, vulnerability is not my strong suite.  To open up about the hard, ugly parts, and to be judged for them, with no control over what is written about your family, is breath taking.  But necessary.  We have nothing to hide, we are who we are, we are a complete work in progress, with moments of hard, moments of joy, moments of triumph, and moments of defeat.  And we wouldn't change a moment of it.  When this little guy joins our family, the little guy that our three dream about about daily, talk about, and ask many questions about (his size, the color of his skin, his name, when we'll get him), we'll be ready.  We know its in His perfect time, and not our own.

This Saturday we have our final training, and then it's written, the home study will be complete and submitted to the placement agency.  And then we do some more waiting.  I've never, ever been a patient person, ever.  Ever.  And this process is shaping my whole being.  Again, no doubt He brought us here to make us who He wanted us to be.  There's no stones unturned when we submitted to His will for our lives, there's no part He hasn't touched.  He is giving us a life full of joy and victory, far beyond what we deserve or ever imagined, in the form of our children, the restoration of our marriage (that we know will always be a work in progress), the care of our health, finances, safety, and beyond.  And even if it was all stripped away, which in times of our life it felt like it had been, we trust Him.  What is written about us, is in His hands, our little guy, is in His hands, our three, are in His hands, and our marriage, is in His hands.