Hello from the Hansens! Because there have been many changes, we want to take moment to update you on all our goings-ons. It's gonna be quick, so hang on!
In August 2015, Matthew went on sabbatical and with a lot of uncertainty, we moved to Central Illinois, near the town where Sarah was born and raised. Our plan was to spend some time away from the city, and renew our vision for life. After 15 months, we've decided to stay. On Thanksgiving Eve, we closed on a 1950s gem in the small, Midwestern town of Knoxville, Illinois. In the near future, we hope to slowly reveal the new direction we are headed in. You can always visit this website for updates.
In December 2014, Sarah graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in Women and Gender Studies; this spring, Matthew wraps up his Masters of Divinity from Portland Seminary. Parents notwithstanding, it is the kids who have had the craziest adventures in education. With our Austin exit, we left behind two amazing school communities, City School and Acton Academy, and spent a year homeschooling. Once we committed to stay in Illinois, the oldest three enrolled part-time in the local public school (Go Blue Bullets!) and do a few subjects at home, while Elie is learning what a full school day is at Mable Woolsey Elementary. Serena Michal (15) is in 9th grade, Ashton Matthew (12) is in 6th, Eden Rebekah (10) is in 5th and Eliana Wynn (7) is in 2nd grade.
When we moved to Illinois, Sarah took a position as an admission counselor at Knox College in Galesburg, and is now in her second year in that role, but down-shifted to part-time hours this year. While Matthew is finishing his degree, we are pastoring at the United Presbyterian Church of Knoxville (www.knoxvillepres.com).
We embarked on our adoption journey on April 1, 2014 and still have no update from Nicaragua. For our part, we have done everything we can, but the situation remains unchanged. Moving forward, we have decided that if we don't hear anything by April 2017, we are going to re-evaluate the situation in Nicaragua, along with our current family path; we will make the decision to continue pursuit of a Nicaraguan adoption, redirect to a different country, or consider domestic adoption. We welcome your prayers and wisdom as we face these decisions.
Our move away from Austin kicked off with a 3-month road trip that spanned the Western US, including many of the National Parks. This summer saw another road trip through Canada, Niagara Falls, Acadia National Park and Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. We traveled to La Paz and El Alto, Bolivia to spend time with the organization Word Made Flesh. Matthew and Ashton traveled to Costa Rica for a guys trip that included Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, surfing, and serving inner-city kids. Between the big trips, we've enjoyed visits to Madison, St. Louis, Chicago, Tulsa, Kansas City and Arkansas. A fun new hobby we picked up on the first road trip - craft brewery tours! We love the craft brew community and appreciate seeing the pride and beauty it brings to local culture. Most recently, Matthew took the oldest three to observe and serve at the Standing Rock protests in North Dakota. Pretty sure adventure and travel is now in our family DNA!
We are thankful to know you, whether you're a new acquaintance, time-tested friend or consistently faithful family member. We pray that thew new year holds fullness, beauty, love, intentionality, and adventure for you!
Matthew, Sarah, Serena Michal, Ashton, Eden, and Elie
Our New Address: 4 Gilbert Park, Knoxville, Illinois 61448 - we love mail!