Wednesday, June 6, 2012


“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” -Marilyn Monroe

As of June 1, I am no longer working in my position as special needs adoption coordinator for Adoption Advocates. I had been in the position for six years and pretty much started and built the HIV+ adoption program in Ethiopia for the agency. I helped advocate for and find families for over 150 children with special needs. It was a demanding, rewarding, stressful, time-consuming, heart-wrenching, and wonderful experience that I gave much of my heart and soul to (gladly).

But things changed in the agency's staffing recently and the process changed in Ethiopia, and my position was eliminated. I was given a position doing something I had no experience with, and that combined with some other elements led to me resigning after a lot of discussion and prayer with Josh.

We are not really in a position to give up any income and so it was a difficult decision to make, however we both feel at peace about it and believe it was the right choice. I am hopeful and confident that I will find new opportunities, and with the way things have been going, I don't think it will take long.

First, I am volunteering to work with Project HOPEFUL, whose mission is "Educating, Encouraging and Enabling Families Adopting Children with HIV/AIDS". This is an organization that I helped start years ago and served on the original board, but then when I took my job with AAI, I stepped down. Carolyn Twietmeyer, the Founder and Executive Director, became a tireless advocate for HIV+ and special needs children after she adopted a sibling group from Ethiopia (that included an HIV+ child) that I had advocated for.  She and her husband were one of the very first families to pursue adopting an HIV+ child after I started educating and advocating for these kids, so it is great fun to be working with her again. And as she said, things have come full circle! I am excited to still be able to help advocate for and make a difference in the lives of orphans with special needs.

Project HOPEFUL has a team raising money and running the Chicago Half-Marathon in September! I can't be there in person but I will be there in spirit and will be cheering them on from WY. :)

And the other news is that I am now a USATF certified coach! I plan on continuing my training and education to become a higher level coach, and I am really really excited about this. As I was taking the courses I kept saying, "I love this stuff!"

I am hoping to find some beginner/intermediate runners that are looking for a coach to help them -
- get started as a runner, or progress from where they are at
- with advice, help, support, and encouragement in their running/training
- train for a race (5k-marathon distance)
- stay motivated and accountable
- improve their times in races of various distances

I am extremely well educated when it comes to running and I know what it's like to -
- be in the position of knowing I am unhealthy and need to make a change, but am not sure how to get started
- be a brand new runner and not be able to run 2 miles without feeling like I am going to die
- be the slowest runner in a group and wonder if I will ever be able to keep up with everyone else
- train for and finish my first race
- train for and finish races from 5k-marathon distances
- deal with injuries
- change to a healthy diet/lifestyle
- run high mileage
- make huge improvements in speed/pace
- run competitively
- find ways to make it work and find time for yourself while being a busy mom

I personally have benefited GREATLY from having a coach. I love having someone to learn from, to give me my training plan, to give me advice, to give me feedback on my running, to encourage and support me, to watch over my training, to push me, to help me reach my goals, and to be a mentor and friend.

If you or anyone you know are interested in having me coach you, you can contact me at fullhousemom at g mail dot com

Tomorrow is the last day of school for my kids (and it is just a half day) and we head to Utah on Friday morning. Only THREE days until race day. Woo hoo!!!  My post on goals/hopes/dreams/plans for the Utah Valley Marathon is coming soon. Happy National Running Day!


susette said...

I will be running the UVU Half marathon and my daughter is walking it and so when I finish I am going back to finish with her. In that process I am hoping to see some of the speedy marathoners coming by and will watch for you.

Majda (Czech Rep.) said...

You're going to be a fantastic coach Erin!
And beside that, you should write a book about your running and your life, just the way you share it here on your blog. Seriously. Please! :)

Anonymous said...

Erin- thanks for your honesty. What we do as adoption advocates is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had! I work with kids who have been in foster care for a long time and need adoptive families. I think a career change is a must at some point! I am so excited as you are making this change but you will still be an advocate!! Things will work Out - I am a true believer of this!! I agree you should write a book!! Running- weight - faith- adoption- family - it would be a top seller for sure!! Congrats! Best of luck! One thing- please don't give up your blog!! Carol - WV

Terzah said...

Congrats on the coaching certification, Erin! You will be a wonderful coach. I'm sorry to hear about your job--I know you were good at it--but you're going into the change with your usual good attitude.

Liz said...

I'm way excited that you are certified! I plan on training for my first half marathon for next year and am so scared to do it alone. I'll have to email you when I can start. I just have to get a baby here first :)

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

Congrats on coaching certification! I think you will be a great coach.

I agree, you should write a book!

Natalie R. said...

You will be an awesome coach!!! It is fun to read, lean, and do what you love and know. I am glad you still will be involved with HIV+ special needs adpotions & advocacy. Woo Hoo for you.

Jen@runfortheboys said...

You are going to be an awesome coach...I am so excited for and proud of you! I'm glad too that you get to continue to work in the area of adoption because I know how much of a passion you have for children that need a forever family. You throw your all into everything you will always succeed as long as you do something you love!

Mark Matthews said...

I'd certainly reccommend you in a second to be a coach, but dang, even more important is, all the lifes of those children you are affecting. Can you imagine when you have your "It's A Wonderful Life Moment" and an angel comes down and shows you what would have happend if you had never lived. Big stuff.

Caroline said...

Erin...changes can be hard but also good...usually us humans do not like changes...but sometimes they bring great surprises. I am sorry about your work situation. Congratulations on being a coach! I am sure you will be wonderful! I would hire you if I could have a coach :))
wishing you all the best!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Best of luck to you Erin. From what I have been reading you have so much heart, drive and faith. I know this is just one stumbling block that will probably be a windfall of good fortune in the future even though it may not be obvious yet. I will keep you in my prayers that things will turn around for the best.

Sincerely, Jennifer

Mallory said...

You will be an awesome coach! Best of luck this weekend. I'm thinking about the Utah Valley half next year! Can't wait to read about your thoughts on the race!

christa said...

Yay! I know you'll be awesome as a coach!! Good luck in Utah. Whenever I see you write UVM, I think is she coming to VT? The University of Vermont (UVM). Good luck, I know you'll be fast!!

fancy nancy said...

Congrats on the coaching cert!! I will keep that in mind as I plan coming back from baby land this Fall!! I will be praying that things will fall into place for you! I'm sorry to hear about your job! God is always faithful and I'm certain He has something amazing waiting for you!!

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

That quote is so true and just want I need to hear today. Although I have doubts in the chaos in my world, I have faith you will do great things and congrats on being a certified coach! You will rock at it!

Julia said...

so glad that i saw this post yesterday and decided to contact you. ummm and a little bit BEYOND excited to be able to call you COACH:) woo hoooooooo!!! cant wait for you to dominate UVM! thanks for being an inspiration to me!!

Shannon said...

Congratulations on your coaching certification! I think you'll make a great coach! :)

Jill said...

When one door closes another one opens...I'm confident your sparkling personality will find you the perfect job here soon! I quit my job last fall, too, and will be looking here soon, too (more seriously anyway ;)),

That's great that you are now a coach! Coaching has given me so much, I am truly blessed to be out there helping the high schoolers in cross country and doing a little marathon training for others on the side. LOVE it! I know you'll be a fantastic coach!

Suz and Allan said...

Congratulations on your certification! You are going to be a wonderful running coach.

Laura @ Mommy run fast said...

What a blessing that your passions have become jobs for you! I have been inspired by your example and think of you when we have our 'do-we-want-to-adopt-some-day' discussions. I'm sure you're impacting many people through your blog in more ways than running. Yay for getting your cert to coach! I'll keep that in mind if anyone asks for a coach recommendation. :)