The Hansel Family

The Hansel Family

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.

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