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This fundraiser ended on 11/08/10

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I am asking our family & friends to sponsor Kevin & I as we run the Columbus 1/2 Marathon on Sunday, October 17, 2010. All funds raised will either assist Kevin and I or two other families in covering adoption expenses.

Dearest Family & Friends,

To those of you who do not already know, Kevin and I have submitted our application to become adoptive parents. Below, you will find my personal testimony as to what called me to adopt. In addition, I have explained exactly what Kevin and I are setting out to do to earn your sponsorship.

The Lord began preparing my heart for this adoption during the January of 2003. At that time, I was selected, along with five other classmates, to spend two weeks of my Christmas vacation working in an orphanage located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Nothing in my life could have possibly prepared my for those two weeks. To say the least, the experience changed my life.

While there, I fell in love with the children living in the orphanage. Despite the physical and mental handicaps many of the children faced, as well as the unsanitary conditions in which they lived, these children were full of life. Every morning that I was greeted by their smiling faces, I was reminded of how much I had to be grateful for in my life. I also began to feel the Lord tugging at my heart. I knew He wanted me to one day open my heart to a child through adoption.

Fast forward to the spring of 2006, I was in the midst of graduate studies at Ohio State. One evening after another long day of classes, some of my classmates conviced me to go out with them. While sharing appetizers and desserts, the evening passed quickly as I spent the entire time talking with one classmate in particular. His name is Kevin. Shortly thereafter, Kevin and I were inseparable. It took Kevin just three months to propose to me. We were married on March 16, 2007.

Not too long after we were married, Kevin and I faced our first struggle as a married couple. While a general lack of energy and fatigue had been a part of my life throughout both my high school and college years, I began to feel as though my life was being sucked right out of me. It took everything in my being to get out of bed in the morning. Even though I had just accepted a job that I was passionate about, I found that I had to take either a vacation or sick day every other week because I was too tired to work. When my carpool buddy went on maternity leave, my fatigue became a life-threatening situation. On several mornings, during my hour-long commute, I found that I could not keep my eyes open. After several near accidents while driving into the office, Kevin convinced me it was time to see a doctor.

Last June, after nearly a year of tests, I was formally diagnosed with nocturnal seizures and narcolepsy. While I was scared as to what this diagnosis would mean for me, I was relieved to know the cause of the debilitating fatigue that I had experienced over the past several years of my life. With the help of medicine, I have been given a new lease on life.

However, I cannot say that my story has a happy ending just yet. Instead, the medicine that has given me a great part of my life back prevents me from being able to carry a child. Since the side effects of the medicine are relatively unknown, I would have to stop my use before conceiving. Unfortunately, if I were to stop taking my medication, my fatigue would return. More than likely, it would be very difficult for me to continue working and even worse, it would be deadly for me to be behind the wheel.

Isn't it funny how God works? While He was whispering in my ear during those days I spent in a Haitian orphanage, He knew that I had these medical conditions that would make it very difficult for me to give birth to a child of my own. He then crossed my path with a wonderful man named Kevin who was also willing to open his heart to adoption.

Last week, Kevin and I submitted our application to become adoptive parents. We have decided that it is irrelevant whether or not we conceived this child. The Lord had plans for this child a long time ago and He began preparing our hearts accordingly.

However, we need your help. This adoption will cost us approximately $15,000. While we have plans to sell some items of value online, like my wedding dress, and to hold a garage sale, we will still have a need for more funding.

As a result, Kevin and I have decided that we will train for and run the Columbus 1/2 Marathon, which takes place on Sunday, October 17, 2010. Even though, once upon a time, I represented my college in the marathon held at the NAIA National Track & Field Championships, I want you to know that this is no small feat for me. I have not run, on a regular basis, since I graduated from college nearly five years ago. The thought of training for and completing this 1/2 marathon is terrifying. There are days where I still struggle with fatigue and I question whether I can make it through the day at work, let alone run a 1/2 marathon. Furthermore, Kevin has not run this far of a distance in his entire life! This will take a great deal of persistence and commitment from us both. However, our commitment is strong because we are now running for our baby and we are asking you to sponsor us for each mile of our combined 26.2 mile journey. 

Kevin and I have been blessed with wonderful jobs that provide us with excellent benefits and quality of life. We have always tried to be good stewards of our money by regularly giving to our church and to others in need. In addition, we understand the importance of saving. Although we have saved some of our own funds and we plan to buckle down and save as much as possible in the coming months, any help that we receive will go a long way. We also want you to know that you are not only assisting us in bringing this baby home, but we plan to adopt at least one more time in the future. With a federal income tax credit that will help us get much of the money we spend on this adoption back, we plan to re-use this money to adopt again.

In addition, I have two very dear friends pursuing adoptions right now as well. If Kevin and I are successful in pulling the money together that we need, we will share the funds we raise with these two other families.

We realize that the economy has affected many of our loved ones. If you do not have the means to help us financially, we completely understand. However, we do ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Specifically, Kevin and I have ask that you pray for the following:

  • Comfort and peace for the birth mother. Quite possibly, our child's birth mother may be struggling with the concept of adoption. Pray that she chooses life and give her peace with her decision.
  • To prepare our hearts for an open adoption. Not only are we receiving the blessing of a son or daughter, but we hope to be a source of encouragement and support for our child's birth parents. Although Kevin and I realize the challenges that an open adoption brings, both of us believe that it is important for our child to know where they came from. We ask that you pray that we are able to bond with our child's birth parents and that our hearts are open to them being a part of our child's life.
  • To provide us the wisdom to raise a child that does not look like us. Kevin and I have decided that our child's race and ethnicity is not a barrier to our love. However, we also know that we will face unique challenges as we incorporate our child's racial and ethnic background into his or her upbringing. We also know that we and our child may face prejudice and discrimination. Please pray that we are given the wisdom to provide our child with the support they will need during difficult times.

We thank each one of you for your support. We are so grateful to have you in our lives and we cannot wait until we receive the news that we have been matched with a birth mother. In addition, we plan to track our training progress on our respective facebook pages. We appreciate any words of encouragement. We love you!

Erin & Kevin

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