The Hansel Family

The Hansel Family

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013 race season

Happy New Year runners, swimmers, bikers, and triathletes!!!

I'm writing to ask you to consider doing a fundraiser surrounding one of your races in the upcoming season.  It could be your first 5k, or your 10th Ironman.  You could be a beginner or a seasoned pro.  We need your help!

Here's how it would work:

1.  Pick your race.
2.  Tell me the date and your goal amount to raise.  (I'd like to showcase you on the blog and Facebook and cheer you on!)
3.  Email, call, write, post on FB to all your friends asking them to sponsor your specific race.  Maybe you ask for a dollar a mile or a flat rate?  Up to you!
4.  The money can come to you or us, but it helps us get one step closer to our goal amount to bring this little guy home!

That's it!  Not hard!

Here's to a happy, healthy, and safe 2013!!!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

4 stockings

Merry Christmas buddy. Wherever you are, we'll find you and bring you home.

There's a stocking waiting for you.


Friday, December 21, 2012

it's simple really.

Do you know the story of the blind man?  The one Jesus healed by placing mud on his eyes... or what about the one that he simply touched with his hand?  You see, the story is not about how, but who.  Each time in the bible that Jesus heals someone is different.  He does not want us to focus on the healing but rather the healer.

Many people ask why we are doing this, I get the question almost daily.


It is not about us.  It is not about our family dynamics.  It is not about the money or the how.

It is about HIM.

We have people tell us they don't agree with our decision, the financial strain or relationship strain it could put us under.

Pretty sure he said this road of following him wouldn't be easy.

We weren't put on this earth to walk a wide path, but a narrow one.  And we'll keep RUNNING down it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Just Love Coffee!

Do you love coffee?

Would you consider checking out our fundraising option below:

With about 40% of the proceeds going directly towards our adoption, it's a win!

Here's the breakdown:

13oz. Coffees (non-small lot): $5
Taste of Africa (4) 6oz. Sampler: $7
Tour of The World (4) 6oz. Sampler: $7
Coffee Cupper's Sampler: $19
Jamaica Blue Mountain (small lot): 4oz. ($3)  13oz. ($9)
5oz. Tin Colombian Cup of Excellence Lot #1: $5
6oz. Kenya AA (small lot): $3
Special Blend–I Love Mom: $5
Special Blend–Pinky Beans (Available in October only): $0
T-Shirts: $5
Sale T-Shirts: $3
Sale Hoodie: $4
Beanie: $3
Hat: $3
Travel Mug: $3
Stoneware Mug: $2
16oz. Steel Tumbler: $2
Aeropress: $5
Aeropress Microfilters: $.25
Coffee Scoop: $1
Chemex Brewer: $3
Chemex Filters: $0
LaMarzocco Espresso Machine: $0

Thank you so much for continuing to check in with us, praying for us, and supporting us through this awesome adventure!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

not to us, but to His name be the glory


THANK YOU for partnering with us. We can't wait to have this little guy in our arms.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Small Business Saturday!

November 24, 2012

Support Bob Hansel woodworking and buy an 8x10 barnwood frame for $50.

All profits go towards our adoption!

Place your order, pay with check, cash, or paypal. 

Frames will be done by December 10th and can be shipped for $10 for one frame, $2 each additional frame.  These make GREAT gifts and your support builds a business and a family!!!

** frames look similar to the one in the picture, however, each will have characteristics all its own **

hope that doesn't ever end

I wish I could tell you the depths to which Bob and I have been, that God has brought us back from.  The brokeness we've experienced personally and as a couple that have brought us to this point in our lives.  We've lived a lot of life in the 7 years we've been married, and plan to celebrate that next week on our anniversary.

We drove out to Colorado over Thanksgiving week in 2005, 2 months after we started dating, to get married.  We told no one.  Come one, after all, it can be a bit of a shock to one's system to elope.  But we knew exactly the adventure we wanted to start together.  The following year, Jett was born, then came Mags, and finally Faye.  We moved to Colorado in 2007, after Jett and before Maggie.  We wanted to start fresh and create a life for ourselves.  I can hardly describe how hard it has been, in a good, faith building, challenging, encompassing way.  And I wouldn't trade it for the world.

We have a firm foundation from which we stand on.  Sometimes we slip and slide, but we don't fall off.  We've lived a lot of life in these 7 years, and I can wait to wait to see what else is in store.  Perhaps this adoption is our 7 year itch in marriage? :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Momentum defined in the dictionary is a force or speed of movement.

Momentum is F running as fast as her little legs will move down the driveway.

Momentum is not taking the day off to spend time with the kids and get some necessary adoption paperwork done, only to spend the day in bed and by the toilet with the flu.

Momentum is the amount of money raised a little over a month into announcing our plans: $3400.

Momentum is not painting the kitchen cabinets (with some great friends), but not yet rehanging the doors 5 days later.

Momentum is keeping this adoption's goal at the forefront of our hearts and minds.

We need your help to keep this going.

Our next big momentum event is the PARTY WITH A PURPOSE.  Would you consider one this month or next?  We'll provide the flyer and a donation bowl at a simple party with you and your friends.  This could be HUGE for us, this could help reach our goal in one night, this could mean we bring our little guy home debt free, lessening the financial burden of raising 4 kids.  We know we can do it, we know God can do it, can you help?

Please help us ride this momentum!!!

Ideas to come:

- Do you know anyone who owns a restaurant?  Ice cream shop?  Coffee shop?  Would they be willing to donate 20% of the sales one day to our adoption?
- Do you know how to plan a 5k race?  Would you be willing to help event plan?
- Do you have closets or basements full of old gear, name brand clothing, or electronics you would donate to us to sell with the profit going toward our adoption?

Friday, November 2, 2012


Host a party! Any kind of party…..BBQ, Luncheon, Wine and Cheese, Playdate, Cookie Trade, Football, ….whatever sounds fun to you.
Invite guests to your party. Our goal is to help the Hansel’s cast their fundraising network far and wide. Each host accesses a group of friends that is not common to other hosts.
Ask your guests to make a con-tribution to the Hansel Adoption Project.
Time: Chosen by Each Host
Date: November/December
Let your guests know on the invitation that the party has a fundraising goal.
Spending time with friends is important. Invitees should know, there will be no pressure to write a check.
You know your friends best. Suggest a donation amount you feel would be appropriate.
GOAL: 20 Parties
Hosting Tips
Party With a Purpose!
Hansel Adoption Project
Let Erin and Bob know if this type of support speaks to you!
Email Erin,, to help you get started planning!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

one month of fundraising...


We are so humbled and so grateful for our friends, and their friends, who are standing with our efforts.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

holy paperwork batman!!

We had our first home visit with a representative from our home study agency last night.  She was great and a mother of 5, so our brood running around with a million questions didn't distract her at all.  She has two biological children, then two adopted from Guatemala, not twins, 6 weeks apart, then one adopted domestically.  You could tell she was born to be a mother.  It was interesting to talk with her about the comments people make: why don't you just get pregnant?  Or, aren't there plenty of kids here in our country that need help?  This isn't about just having another kid, we all know I look at Bob and get pregnant.  And this isn't about borders.  These are God's children and he has placed the desires of our hearts.

She came to go over the loads and loads of documents we'll need to complete during this process.  Our social worker will do 4 visits, starting as soon as we complete some of those said documents!  I could see Bob's eyes growing and feelings of being overwhelmed wash over me as she went through the list. She left, we got the kids to bed, hung out, then got in bed... then we talked.  Wow, we have to get a psych evaluation and finger prints and background checks and blood work and name guardianship should we pass, and ... and ... and ... Whew!  As I laid there this feeling of "Erin, you would do this 10,000 times over for one of the children you already have."  Yep, you're right, I'd figure out how to fly to the moon and back for them if I had to.  So we will do this for the child that grew in our hearts and someone else's belly too.  I still cry just thinking about him, knowing God ordained his life to be part of our family.  Good thing I like check lists :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Virtual Garage Sale Items!

Bose subwoofer and Bose 5 speaker home theater system.  The system is about 5 years old and in great condition.  

Yamaha 5 channel surround sound receiver.  The receiver is older, probably about 10 years, but in very good condition.  $75

Pottery Barn ledge shelves.  Set of matching wood ledge style shelves one longer, one shorter with metal wall mounts that you slide the shelves onto. $25

Pottery Barn Kids ledge shelves.  Set of matching ivory ledge styles shelves equal in length.  $25

Phil & Teds gray stroller, one seater, 4-5 years old, barely used in good condition $100

Umbrella Stroller $10

Big Duplo Legos - two big bags $10 each or $15 for both

Kids Rocking Horse $25

Wooden Puzzles with Rack $10

Lots more being added daily!!!

Check out our adoption and sales here:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Virtual Garage Sale Fundraiser!

Most of you know I love Craigs List and eBay shopping, and at the risk of sounding prideful, I get really, really great deals.  I often buy things for cheap that I know will sell, and resell them at make a little extra money.  These past six months, I've been doing just that, to add to the jar.  From bikes to strollers and some electronics. 

This evening I was thinking... do you have those items in your garage that you've been meaning to sell but haven't quite gotten around to it yet?  Would you love for someone to sell it for you, take the pictures, list it, mail it, do the meet and buy?  I'd be happy to help!  You can donate a percentage of the sale to our adoption jar in return!

Here are a few ideas of things that sell well:

- bikes
- sporting goods (skis)
- brands: Patagonia, Obermeyer, North Face, Keens, Bogs
- electronics (old iphones or ipods or computers)
- unused gift cards
- furniture

Let me know if you're ready to clear out that space and help us bring our little guy home!

I dream about him...

I dream about him, mostly during the day, but occasionally at night.  And it's sweet.  I woke up the other night with tears in my eyes at just the thought of holding him, while also contemplating the life of his mother.  What does she do?  What happened to her that led her up to this moment? In Sub-Saharan Africa, a woman has a lifetime risk of 1 in 39 of dying from pregnancy related complications.  In Uganda in 2010, 4,700 mothers died in childbirth. That's heart breaking.  Maybe she didn't even get to meet him.  Maybe she got to meet him, but only for a prayerful moment, asking God to take care of her precious baby boy.

Not only do I dream about him and the joy he'll bring to our life, I dream about the difference we will attempt to make in his country of birth.  I already have a pull to contribute, to grow in my knowledge of what happens there, and to make sure he knows where he comes from, while giving him a firm foundation of where he is.

“I don’t believe that we will make the progress on HIV/Aids 
without addressing maternal mortality. We will not make the progress we want on malaria without addressing maternal mortality. We will not make progress on getting more children to school without reducing maternal mortality. When a mother survives, a lot survives with her.”

~Sarah Brown, safe motherhood advocate, Wife of former Prime Minister of the U.K. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How much does it cost?

That's the biggest question we get.  I don't think some people want to ask, but I know everyone is wondering...

About $20-25k.

That's a lot of money.

A car.

A down payment on a house.

A child.

"Adoption is the highest privilege that the Gospel offers-higher even than justification.  To be right with God the judge is a great thing, but to be loved and care for by God the Father is greater." J.I. Packer

It says in James 1:27 that "Religion that God accepts as pure and faultless is this, to look upon oprhans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Bob and I know we've been called for an extraordinary purpose.  We are aware of the challenge we've been presented with and will do everything we can to do our part, while trusting in Him for the rest.  It can overwhelm us at times, how will we get to that number, we are only about 5% there.  But, that's 5%, and growing each day. 

So we keep moving forward, getting creative, and say no to eating out :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

And then I get emails like this:

Hi Peeps,

I don’t usually write letters like this but I felt compelled to reach out to people I know this one time.  Here’s the scoop…

You probably know that I’ve had back problems.  Whether you’ve seen me in dorky back shoes, or schlepping around my back cushion, it’s just part of the routine to keep me from breaking in half.  In the spirit of avoiding back surgery, five years ago I took to loping along the trail by my house for a half hour each morning, kind of trot walking.  I did it in the dark so people wouldn’t have to gawk at the hideousness.  Somehow, inexplicably, five years later I am a long distance runner.  I blame the shoes. 

So my dorky back shoes are MBT’s which stands for Masai Based Technology.  They rock back and forth and don’t really have a heel.  When I was started running more, I called their marketing department up and left a message trying to convince them that I should be to them what Jared is to Subway sandwiches.  The marketing department didn’t bite, but they had legal call me back to advise me not to run in the shoes. 

My fantasy of sponsorship and free MBT’s faded, but as the months wore on, and my mileage increased, I started wondering more about people’s experiences running in MBT’s.  Thus I turned to the Internet.

It turns out that MBT’s are widely criticized on the Internet as running shoes.  Nobody runs in them.  With the barefoot running craze, minimalistic shoes are the rage.  An MBT looks like somebody turned a Hummer into a shoe.  It’s too heavy and rounded to run in.  I couldn’t find anyone that was running any kind of distance in them, until I heard about Bernie Hollywood. 

Bernie, as it turned out ran 900 miles in 21 days.  And he ran it in MBT’s.  He’s in the Guiness Book of World Records. 

Bernie also motivates himself to do ridiculous endurance challenges by getting a bunch of sponsors and raising money for a worthy cause.  This is why I’m writing you.  I’m trying to run the Boulder Marathon on October 21st.

But I’m also writing for another reason.  As you may also know, we live on a cul de sac and are very fortunate that there are three other families each with three children that are our own kids’ ages.  If you’ve spent time over here, you’ve seen how they are like family.  One of these families, the Hansels, are embarking on a truly amazing journey.  They’re raising money to adopt a boy from Uganda.  You can read about their story in Erin Hansel's email below.

Being the dad of a multiracial family, with some adopted kiddos (a la the 80’s Sitcom Different Strokes) is the greatest joy in my life.  But our kids don’t know any family like ours.  Soon they will.  Soon the Hansels, a family that we spend parts of most days with, go camping with, whose kids wander into our house without thinking they need to knock, soon they will be a family with adopted, multiracial kids too.  And Maya, Eli, Sadie, and Jonah will know a family on a journey like ours.

They need some help and I need some too.  I am hoping that I have 100 friends who are willing to sponsor me at $1 a mile for a total of $26.20.  Together, we can raise $2620 to help sponsor this adoption. Will you help me now?  Please send a check to:




Memo: Hansel Adoption

I’m not sure if I know 100 people well enough to pester them about this so please don’t hesitate to pass it along to someone who might help too, or to sponsor me at more than $1 per mile.  Also, Erin Hansel's email below lists other ways of donating, including a Paypal account if that's preferred. 

And I’m hoping that if enough checks start to come in between now and October 21st that I’ll be sufficiently inspired to get through the marathon.  I managed to run 19 miles for the first time three days ago, and I’m really not sure if I can make it.

Thanks for your consideration and for being in my life regardless of whether or not this fits for you.

All the best,


a jar

We have a jar, that is empty right now.  Its been on our counter for quite a few months, and we've worked hard to fill it with coins, dollar bills, and the like.  We've sold stuff, and gone without, to fill this  jar.  We have since moved what was in the jar to a bank account with the intention of it being "the adoption bank account".  And now this jar sits on our counter, waiting to be filled.  I think about it and how we're going to fill it a lot.  Our family still has needs that we must attend to while we wait for this adoption to progress.  We have to be strategic about where the money comes from, and this is my biggest hurdle in my faith.  God has never left us hungry or in need, even in our darkest moments.  He has ALWAYS come through - so you'd think I'd trust him for this massive need in proceeding with what he has called us to do.  I lack the faith to see how he's going to do it, I mean really, He's going to have to get pretty stinkin creative.  What I don't lack is the fact that He will do it.  Interesting concept huh?  Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

the response - WE bless the rains down in Africa!

Wow.  You all amaze me.  A friend texted yesterday and asked how the response to yesterdays announcement was... OVERWHELMINGLY awesome, with a lot of tears.  It was a blessing in so many ways.  We know this will be a tough road, but to have the support of friends and family is the road to be on.  Thank you, from the depths of my heart, for your encouraging words, sign ups for the photography shoot, and prayers!  I can't wait to bring this little boy home and I'm ready to take the long road, after all, "it's going to take awhile to do the things we never have... it's going to take a lot to drag me away from you, there's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do."

Our Announcement Letter to Friends and Family

October 2012
Dear Friends & Family,

It is with great excitement, severe humility, and joy that we announce what’s next for the Hansel family.  We are beginning the process of adoption! 

Our hearts have been drawn to Uganda, though we are also talking with representatives in our adoption agency, Lifeline Children’s services, about the Congo and Ethiopia.  We will be pursuing a little boy to add to our family, hopefully under the age of two.  We believe that the birth order of Jett, Maggie, and Faye is very important and want to disrupt their lives as little as possible through this process.  We have begun to explain it to them. However, the length of the adoption process is very unknown, so we seek to not get their hopes up just yet.  Jett, with his tender heart, believes this little guy should sleep right next to him, and we should let Jett give him his bottle at night.  Our prayer is that God will begin to prepare their hearts just as he’s been doing in ours since April.  We don’t go into this lightly, we can only imagine the toll it may take, and are asking that you join us in prayer as well, for discernment, safety, and health, and for the little guy that God chooses to add to our family.

Our goal is to bring this little boy home.  Our hearts dream about him at night and we talk about him during the day, but we’ll need your help to make this a reality in our life.  We all know that adoption can be financially draining. And while we are saving, scrimping, working hard, and exploring options we are planning on doing this debt free. We would sincerely appreciate any help you can offer:

  • A photo shoot in our benefit!  Page Kuepper will be donating the proceeds to two photo shoots on the weekend of October 27th & 28th.  Please see the attached flyer!
  • A December Party With a Purpose!  Please see attached flyer!
  • A FB status campaign day: I’ll post on my page, asking 100 of you to give $1, and I’ll ask you to repost, asking 100 of your friends to give $1.
  • A spring 5k!  This is still in the works… if you are involved with running, know someone who has race planned before, have ideas, or would be a great spokesperson for this kind of thing, again, we would appreciate your help!
  • Donations.  If you feel led to contribute to our adoption, in any amount, you can do so with cash or check, or through our Paypal account:

Thank you so much for your prayers and support in this process.  To keep up with us in this journey, we’ll be updating a blog:  We are so grateful for you and can’t wait to bring this little boy home!

The Hansels

Party With A Purpose!

Party With a Purpose!
Hansel Adoption Project
Date: TBD
Time: Chosen by Each Host
Host a party! Any kind of party.....BBQ, Luncheon, Wine and Cheese, Playdate, Cookie Trade, Football, ....whatever sounds fun to you.
Invite guests to your party. Our goal is to help the Hansel’s cast their fundraising network far and wide. Each host accesses a group of friends that is not common to other hosts.
Ask your guests to make a con- tribution to the Hansel Adoption Project.
Hosting Tips
Let your guests know on the invitation that the party has a fundraising goal.
Spending time with friends is important. Invitees should know, there will be no pressure to write a check.
You know your friends best. Suggest a donation amount you feel would be appropriate.
GOAL: 20 Parties
Let Erin and Bob know if this type of support speaks to you! More information to come.

Clicks For Love!

Click Here to Reserve Your Spot!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012


And it makes anxious.  You all may read this, tomorrow.  It's big news for us.  It's a huge commitment.  Its a scary process.  It's a LONG process.  It's a complete surrender to His will for our life.  Do you all realize I can get pregnant by looking at my husband?  It's true.  This process has been stirred in my heart since a child and was really brought to fruition back in April.  We sat in church and the video I shared below was live in front of us... with tears streaming down my face I turned to Bob and said, "thats what we should be spending our money on" and he said, "yes, that's #4."  I've always wanted a big family, and a suburban.  Silly I know, but it's been a symbolism in my head for a long time.  We bought a suburban this summer, for a few reasons: yes, Bob builds furniture and we need a lot of room to haul wood and pieces he builds, but more importantly, this makes room for our family that will grow, a year from now, or 3 years from now.  I told you it was a long process.  Most of the hesitation comes from what other people think.  I'm a people pleaser, its a dangerous problem.  I care way too much about what the world thinks of me, instead of banking on what God calls me to do.  I think most people's worry comes from how the hell we'll pay for this?  It's no secret our financial life has been hard, we've struggled, more than some, not as much most.  And this will be hard.  We are prayerfully going into this with the hope to do it debt free.  We have fundraising ideas, we've been saving like crazy since April in a very visible jar in the kitchen, it has pennies in it, and it has 100s in it, we've adjusted our budget, and we have creative plans to add to that jar.  We trust that God is bigger than this seemingly daunting amount of money and are moving forward.  And we are like minded in hearts and minds as husband and wife, more so than we've been on anything.  It's a welcoming assurance and a leap of faith.  Here goes everything!!