Saturday, December 20, 2014

Asher Thomas Johnson

Introducing our newest addition, Asher Thomas Johnson
9lbs 1oz  &  21 1/4 inches long
Born, December 15th, 2014 @ 2:45am

I wanted to share a little bit about Asher, his birth mom & our hospital stay. Obviously there are things I will share about his birth mom, her son, his birth story, our hospital stay & our adoption in general but there are also things I won't share. His birth mom's story is not our story to share. It's personal and intimate and we will protect her to the end. She, and her 3 year old son are 100% apart of our family now! Anyways, I will refer to Asher's birth mom was "D" from now on. Birth mom is just too long to type!

Sunday afternoon when I got a text from D that she was at the hospital getting checked out I was instantly excited, but also knew that false labor is common and didn't want to get too excited. So what did I do, I turned on the hallmark channel! After a little while we got another texted that said she was being ADMITTED! It was officially "GO TIME!" 
The time between getting the text that we could come and getting the car loaded up was a little bit hectic and frantic. I'm glad my husband is still married to me. ;)

D was so gracious to allow me to be in the room during her labor and delivery. It was so amazing to be able to be there, to know Asher's birth story and be able to share that with him later on (if he ever wants to know !) We arrived at the hospital around 6pm, Austin picked a spot in the waiting room & watched tv! I won't share the rest of the details of her labor but sweet Asher was born at 2:45 am! ** side note, D & her first son were both born at 2:45, crazy huh!?**
I was the first person to hold Asher. It was surreal. I am so not a crier, I didn't cry when Ryder was born, I was thrilled but no tears, I didn't cry when i got engaged or at our wedding. When Asher was born, I was bawling. He was perfect and it was truly love at first sight.

and can I tell you how proud I am of D. She delivered Asher with NO medicine. She didn't have as much as a Tylenol. She was a rock star! It was such a special time, being there for the first minutes of my sons life, I seriously can't thank D enough. Being at the hospital was not a right for us as adoptive parents, it was a privilege and we feel so blessed she allowed us to be there.

The next few days were spent loving on our sweet boy. We got to stay in the hospital with Asher all three nights, the first time we had our own room with him, the second night it was a slumber party in D's room and the last night it was just Austin, Asher & I. I will forever cherish the moments where D was loving on Asher. The way she looked at him is only the way a mother can, her and I will forever have a bond. The hospital experience was awesome and God was there the entire time. He was working in all of our hearts and it was evident.

Because Asher was born in Washington we were told that the interstate travel paperwork could take up to 2 weeks to be approved. Our interstate paperwork was submitted on a Wednesday and approved the next day! What a blessing that was! Anyways, I have a very hungry baby on my chest that needs a bottle! More later.. promise :)

But first, here are some pictures!!!

 Paps's first time holding Asher! 

 First picture as a family of FOUR! craziness :)

  Ryder has been calling him, Asher Bear.

 Mimi & Asher! 

 This little man likes to eat, and if you make his wait he is NOT happy! 

 Meeting big brother for the first time.

 Grandma Debbie & Asher

 Our Casework Karen, SUCH an important person in our adoption story. She was the first person we met with when considering adoption and because of her we chose Bethany (our agency) and we able to adopt this sweet boy so quickly. She is a rock star!

 In my Called to Love shirt :) (check it out, its an amazing ministry I was blessed to be able to attend last month!)
 Tiny yet so big! 

D's brother took this picture of us!! We were exhausted! 

 meeting GG & Grampie! There second great grandson!

As Ryder would say, "Snug as a bug in a rug!"

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Did you read that title up there? YES, WE ARE MATCHED! An expecting mom has chosen to place her baby with US. WE get to be this baby's parents and love them forever! I am in utter disbelief. God is truly in control and has been from the start. He is present and we feel it. It is very important to us that we guard our future birth mom, future child and her story. It is not our story to share, nor is that fair to our future child to share all information!

But don't fret, there are some things we will share...

What I CAN tell you that baby is due in DECEMBER! yes, next month. and I also can tell you all that our future birth mom is more than amazing. I have so much admiration and respect for her. She is selfless, kind, loving, beautiful, understanding, thoughtful and STRONG. The list goes on.  The way God brought us together is simply amazing and I am so grateful for this story. The relationship her and I will share will be unlike any other relationship in my life and I am so excited to see it grow. We already consider her & her son part of our family and we want to make sure that everyone knows how much love we have for them.

Now the big question. PINK or BLUE. The answer: BLUE!! We.are.ECSTATIC! We are going to have another son! My heart might explode. Austin is over the moon excited to have two boys! and baby boy has a name. (that's a super cool story for a different day!) We are nervous, anxious, happy, stressed, THANKFUL & blessed. We feel so blessed by this potential situation and PRAY that God will be glorified to the highest through this adoption.

 but we need your help. This has all happened pretty quickly, all in God's perfect timing but quick. Upon placement (birth of baby) our last chunk of money will be due $13,500! We need your help. First, We want to say THANK YOU to everyone that has donated and helped us reach our first goal. We couldn't have done it without you.  We ask that you pray about it and if you feel inclined to help us reach our next goal we would be forever grateful. Some ways to donate are:

You can still adopt a puzzle piece! We have roughly 150 pieces left!! Each piece is $10 and your name/ or family's name goes on the back! The puzzle will be hung in the nursery in a double sided frame. (Austin is painting the nursery as I type. yay!)

Paypal: To the right of the screen you will see a paypal "donate" button! Click there and it will bring you to the secure paypal website.


visit: for a tax deductible donation that gets paid directly to our agency!!


Send a check! Make checks PAYABLE to Austin & Erika Johnson and send to:
Johnson Adoption
PO Box 262
Gladstone, OR 97027

** upcoming adoption fundraisers: Austin parent's have graciously offered to have a table at TWO upcoming craft fairs to raise funds! Awesome right. The first craft fair is the Dancing Reindeer Bazaar on November 21st & 22nd at the Armory in McMinnville! (Ryder and I will be there the 22nd!)

the second fair in Rickreall craft festival at the fairgrounds November 28th & 29th. Address: Polk County Fairgrounds
520 S Pacific Hwy W
Rickreall, OR 97371

*** There will be lots of great crafts, come check it out or stop by and say "hi!" Look for the banner with The Johnson picture on it ;) 

We not only are needing financial assistance but most importantly continued PRAYER. We are so blessed to have so many people praying for us and our journey, thank you! Please keep praying, we still have a road ahead of us! Our agency & lawyers are still working through some legal stuff that needs to happen and we ask for prayer for not only our situation but for the professionals to be able to accomplish what they need to accomplish!  Also, would you be praying for our expectant mom & her son. She has the biggest decision of her life ahead of her. We want her to know how much we admire her and that we will do anything we can to support her. Pray for our relationship together to continue to grow and always be God honoring. Would you also pray for us as we wait and prepare? We love you all and thank you all for taking this journey with us and  allowing us to share our hearts with you all!

 The night we first heard about a potential situation! Ryder looks thrilled doesn't he!? ha

Monday, October 13, 2014

PHOTO BOOK preview & some questions answered:

It's been awhile. I know. 
We are still here and in the middle of all things adoption! I thought id take some time to answer some of the questions some people have been asking & share some snippets of our photo book!

1. Where are we at?
* We are WAITING... and waiting and waiting. Our home study interviews are complete and our caseworker is finishing up writing our home study. We have our next big chunk $12,000 due very very soon. As you can see from the side bar fundraising thermometer we are still a ways from that number. But I have faith in our Lord that he will provide and we will be able to make that big payment (I may be borderline crazy)

2. "Why did you choose domestic adoption?" & "There are kids all around the world that are already born that need to be adopted, why do you have to have a baby?" 

*We have gotten these questions A LOT. These questions are hard for me because my guard immediately goes up and my first reaction is to be defensive. I have the answers to these questions and I know that people only ask out of love and mean no disrespect (at least I hope). Also, when we started this journey we knew we wanted to help educate people along the way because so many were unaware. But to answer these questions, we spent a LOT of time researching, discussing & praying about which path of adoption was BEST for us. The key phrase is "BEST for US." There were many factors that played into our decision. As most of you know we are young-er. So many of the countries that we looked into we didn't qualify for. Also, the amount of travel time for some of the countries we were looking at was not something that we could commit to. Our initial thought when considering adoption was international. However, once I researched domestic we really felt called to pursue that. I was inspired by these women that were in a difficult situations that were choosing LIFE for their unborn child. In today's society abortions are the norm, accepted & encouraged however, we want them to know that they can choose life and there are people who will love their baby as their own & support them along the way. 

3. What is this whole photo book thing you keep talking about?
* ohhh boy. Our photo book has been my baby for the last few months. We had to create a photo book (I chose that give birth moms wanting to place their baby, a glimpse into who we are and our everyday lives. STRESSFUL. Do you know how hard it is to pour your heart out in a book that you are creating for someone a. you've never met & b. that's supposed to "convince" them to choose you? The perfectionist in me wanted this thing to be perfect but the fact of the matter is that no one is perfect and why would a birth mom want to pick a family that portrays them in that sense? Our book is real, honest & hopefully shows the love & respect we have for each other. I reviewed, had people edit and PRAYED over this book so much. I know when it comes there will be things I wish to change, small spelling errors and some blurry pictures. I have told myself that it is OKAY if its not 100% perfect and that I will be happy with it exactly the way it is (because I am not going to dish out another $350 to order new ones!)

 Here is some snippets of our book. Not all pages are included here but here are some. Please keep all comment positive ;) I'm really working on being 100% satisfied with this thing. Also, it is taking a lot for me to share this.. super vulnerable over here!! okay, enough already.. enjoy! 

 Our cover (above)

Welcome letter...
I prayed and prayed about this part. First page= first impression!

(missing our "couples" page.. not ready to share that just yet!)

Now below the pages go in twos, a spread.. try and picture it 



 Our book is a total of 24 pages, obviously some pages are missing. Hope you enjoyed this post. Please continue to be praying your hearts out for us! We love you all! 


Monday, September 22, 2014

Seattle Trip

Hey all! 
We spent the weekend in Seattle for our adoption training class. We chose the cheapest places possible to stay (and it showed!) but it was really a GREAT weekend. We left Thursday night after our home study interview and went to my mom's house. We all spent the night there Thursday night, then Austin and I took off for Seattle on Friday afternoon. Ryder had a BLAST staying at "mimi's an grandpa marks!" My grandparents also went up there for a night to spend time with him. He had a house full of attention I am sure. My mom took a TON of pictures and I'm so grateful seeing all the fun he had with them. 

Seattle was an experience. I am NOT a big city, lots of people, crowds type of person and WOW there was a lot of people and a LOT going on up there! We spent the entire day Saturday in our class and it was good. Went by quickly and was very interesting and informative.

This week we really don't have a whole lot going on in regards to the adoption. I am working on finishing up our profile book ( it is coming together and i'm loving it!) We took some pictures at my moms for our photo book which was good. We have two hours of training left that we can do whatever we want for, so we have a movie we are going to watch and write a summary on. Austin asked our caseworker if we could watch Juno ! ha that guy. (laughing she actually said we could) 

PUZZLE UPDATE: I finally sat down and added up how many puzzle pieces have been adopted and 297 pieces have been adopted! I am in SHOCK! It is so amazing. There still are piece left (205 to be exact!) Here is the puzzle blog post HERE!

I didn't take too many pictures in Seattle, but here are a few: 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014



We are in the "home study" phase of our adoption process. We have had 1 of 3 interviews so far. The first interview went GREAT. Our case worker is the BEST. She is laid back, funny, easy going.. if for some reason she can see this, well, know that you "K" are more than we could ever have asked for! 

Anyways, our first interview was full of questions about the time we were born until now. One good thing about being young and going through this process is there isn't as much "history" as someone who is in their 40's. Our next home study interview is TOMORROW at our HOUSE.. ahhhh! Can you say nervous. I'm borderline going crazy wanting my house to be as clean as a museum. My house is clean, very very very clean, for that matter and I am happy. Tomorrow the plan is to stay OUT of the house haha Our appointment is at 2pm wish us luck ;)


Since before we ever made our first payment to our agency I started working on our profile book. I have spent HOURS on this book. Do you know how hard it is to express who you are as a family to someone you've never met? hard. and you know what is even harder? our birth parents letters. Having to write a letter to the woman that will be trusting us with her child, to raise as our own and love unconditionally is no easy task. Especially since we haven't met her yet! I'm hoping to have our book completed and ordered by the end of next week. I will be so happy when it's in my hands :)

Puzzle pieces are being adopted like crazy and I'm loving it. If you want to adopt a piece or pieces its not too late! Click the "donate" button to the right! OR check out our puzzle fundraiser post HERE! I will post a picture of the puzzle soon, promise. We feel so blessed and overwhelmed by all the love and support from everyone. We can't thank you all enough!

love, Erika

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Oh my gosh you guys! At our garage sale this weekend we were able to raise $2,593.00!!!!! I am in SHOCK, utter disbelief that we sold SO much stuff and raised some much money. I about cried when Austin told me the final number. A few nights ago I was starting to doubt if we would be able to come up with the money we needed for the next step of our adoption. But God provides and he provides in a BIG way.

We have to give a HUGE thank you to EVERYONE that donated stuff to our garage sale. I was blown away at how many people reached out to us with donations. With that being said, we are planning another garage sale in October with our neighborhood and will be continuing to collect items.. I know there are a few people we weren't able to get donations from in time for this sale! 

Now to be honest I am not a garage sale queen. Austin and I have never had enough to have our own sale so have always just donated our old and unneeded items. Pricing was a nightmare! I had no clue what I was doing. Luckily my good friend Tara was a big help and I was texting her quite a bit with questions.. and every time we picked up donations I was asking their opinions on pricing. I needed some guidance. 

Austin and I were up till 2:30am friday night.. well I guess technically that would be Saturday morning then up at 6am to open by 8am. (I think next time we will open at 9!!) But we did it. We were all set up and ready and I was nervous. I was nervous about people not showing up, nervous about not selling anything, and nervous about the whole thing! But we prayed the night before that God would bless our sale. And let me tell you, he blessed us. Not only with people coming and buying things but by bring people to us that said they would be praying for us and our journey, people that donated money on top of stuff they were buying to support our journey, people that shared their journey's of adoption with us and people that were so curious as to our future plans and wished us luck! We met some wonderful people and had some great conversations. 

We couldn't have done it without all the help from our family and friends. This journey so far has been simply amazing, we have been so blessed and God has really provided. Please bare with me as I haven't been very quick to get as many "thank" you's out as I would have liked, please know how grateful and THANKFUL we are for each and every one of you!  I have been so busy but they are a comin! ;) Below are just a few of the sale!

Monday, September 1, 2014

UPDATE: Our Adoption Journey

FIRST OFF: WOW! We are blown away at all the love and support we have received since announcing that we are adopting! In less than 24 hours 30 puzzle pieces were "adopted!" and we have had tons of people tell us they are planning too. We are so blessed, and so very thankful for you all! If you haven't "adopted" your piece yet don't be shy ;)

*as of right now around 150 pieces have been adopted!*

This journey is exactly that.. a journey. If you know me you know I have little patience when it comes to waiting around and I like things done like yesterday. But as I already knew and expected this process is greatly dependent on other people. That my friends is HARD for me. The day we got our humungous home study packet it was a Friday. Ain't nothin getting done on a Friday (seriously my grammar isn't that bad). So I knew I couldn't get anything accomplished until Monday. Don't be fooled though, I created an official adoption binder and got all of our paperwork organized!

Naturally I didn't sleep well Sunday night!  I was just so anxious. First thing first was to make Bruce (the dog) a vet appointment (they opened first). Yep. He needs a physical, updated shots, vaccination report and a LETTER from his Vet stating he is acceptable to be around children. Luckily his vet had an opening the next day. So to the vet we went :)

Next up was to schedule mine and Austins physicals. Now, I am not a fan of the doctors. The pure fact that I have been pregnant four times and have had to have 3 surgeries in less than a year and half and am not in a looney bin is simply amazing. I was seriously sweating making the dreaded phone call. Ridiculous I know. Of course neither Austin or I have primary care physicians so I had to go through the entire new patient stuff before I could even schedule an appointment. Then it came down to choosing a DR. I told the lady to pick someone who would have the quickest openings (later I realized that probably would be the worst dr in the entire office that nobody wants haha) We also have to get a TB test.. THAT is not something I'm looking forward to. But since talking to a nurse friend I feel a tiny bit better. gah. When this stuff is all over maybe then I can breath ;)

Are you still with me? Next on the list of "to dos"-which is a mile long- was fingerprinting. So Ryder and I picked up Austin at work and headed down to the Oregon State Police ID center and got our prints taken. EASIEST thing ever.

It's been a whirlwind the last week! We have already finished a two night Pediatric CPR and first aid class. Completed mounds of paper work, sat on the phone with our insurances finding out what is exactly covered, signed my name a million times and Austin has had an open line of communication with his HR department I swear.

 Of course I am remembering to breath and relax (do I have you fooled?) during this process. I know there will be a ton of waiting time and right now I have "stuff" to do to keep me busy.  Friday I got an email from our case worker that our first home study interview will be next week. AHHH can you say nervous?!? It's about to get real personal with a lady we've only ever met once. I will keep you all posted.

Will you pray for us to remember to keep a good balance of adoption work and keeping up with our normal life/routine? Its easy to get lost in the paperwork, literally, but we need to remember to embrace everyday and enjoy this journey! Tomorrow I am mailing in most of our paperwork and it's going to feel SOOOO good!

Monday, August 25, 2014

"ADOPT" a Puzzle Piece Fundraiser

Hi family and friends! 
We are so excited that you are joining us as we embark on this journey of adoption. We already feel so blessed by all the love and support since announcing our adoption! We have just started our FIRST fundraiser. I am so excited about this, and I hope you all are too! 

We have created a custom 500-piece puzzle, you can “adopt” a piece of the puzzle for $10 per piece and your name and/or family's name will be written on the back of the piece(s)! You can "adopt" however many pieces you’d like! 1..3..5..50..or..100! Once all the pieces are “adopted” it will be assembled and hung in a double sided frame in the nursery! We want our future child to be able to see all the people that donated in love to support our journey!

This is the puzzle we created:
There are a few ways to "adopt" you piece(s):

1. Click the "Donate" button on the right of this page. It will take you to a secure paypal page! 

2. For a tax deductible donation visit: and make a donation there. Remember all money donated there is distributed directly to our adoption agency! 

3. Mail a check to: (payable to Austin & Erika Johnson)
 Johnson Adoption
PO Box 262 
Gladstone, OR 97027

4. "Adopt" a piece(s) in person when you see us. Adoption is always on our brains (like 24/7) so don't feel like you can't bring it up!

We are so excited about this fundraiser and so excited to see it hung on the nursery wall one day! Please feel free to share this fundraiser with everyone you know! God is good and we never know who's heart God is working in! So come on, "ADOPT" a piece.. you know you wanna ;)

Love you all, Erika & Austin 

***I will post an adoption update soon... so much to share. This process is a little crazy!***

Monday, July 28, 2014

Blessing number 4

I've spent the last few weeks writing this post. This post is raw, real, and so uncomfortable to write. Yet so important at the same time. I pray for acceptance and acknowledgment, yet again, as I share a little piece of our story.

It was early May of 2014 and our world was rocked, in a good way, when I found out that we were pregnant... again!

 I know some of you are thinking, "how could you be that shocked? You have been pregnant three other times.. you know how it happens!" but seriously I was SHOCKED. That was not our plan.. 

When I saw those two lines on the test I was instantly nervous, excited, HAPPY and so thankful that God blessed us with a fourth child. I had fear. I was scared of the possibility that this baby too may never make it to our arms alive. However, I had faith in His plan and was going to trust in His plan no matter what the outcome.

The reality that hit me first before all other was that at that moment I was a mother to FOUR. I have one living child here on earth with me, and three other precious children that I dream about and think about daily. And one day will get to meet face to face in heaven!

It had only been 3 months since we lost our second daughter at 13 weeks. After our second loss we weren't even sure what our next step was going to be. We knew we wanted to grow our family, however we weren't entirely sure what that was going to look like. We were praying diligently about which path to take but really had no clue.

 We were trying to keep our hearts and minds open to what God had planned for us. Sometimes being present to listen to what God has to say is the hardest, especially when your hearts desire is so strong. When I found out I was pregnant a part of me thought that it was God making that difficult decision of "trying again or not" a simple one. My heart's desire was for another child and I felt like this could be it. But I also knew that there is nothing mathematical to our lives, just because we have lost our last two babies didn't mean this one was going to make it. I also knew I didn't deserve anything and that God didn't owe me anything because of our past losses.  Isaiah 66:9 says, "I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, say the Lord." Now that right there gives me hope. When lately my hope has been hanging by a thread.

It was July 1st and We made it to almost 13 weeks again, so we thought, and again received the life altering news that there was NO heartbeat. My heart sank, I know this pain, yet the pain in my heart isn't any less this time. The pain is the same the third time as it was the first yet different all at the same time. Something you just can't explain.

Our precious baby number 4 lived a short 12 weeks. Do you know what a baby at 12 weeks looks likes? Arms, legs, fingers, nails.. like a baby. Seeing that lifeless imagine on the screen, though my hand covered eyes, is heartbreaking. To be honest, this is the first time I have opened my eyes during the "confirmation scan." The last two times I have been constant in prayer and read my bible app. I couldn't bring myself to look, I just wanted out of there. The second loss I felt like I couldn't look because I didn't look the first time.  But this last time I wanted to. Going through the process of "confirming" a loss is probably my least favorite, reoccurring, event I have gone through that I wish upon no one. ever. 

I debated on posting anything about what was currently happening in our lives, because the fear of another "poor me" post I know might attract some negative comments from others. But how can I honor the children that I have an leave one out? I can't. This baby is apart of us, our story, our testimony, our family, and apart of who we are and what our family is. When people think of our family I want them to think of all that has happened and I don't want one child to be hidden. I am so blessed to have a husband that is so loving, supportive and that continues to stand by my side. The way we grieve is different yet the feelings are all the same and thankfully these trials have only brought us closer and stronger. I thank God that he has used the last few years to grow us closer together in our marriage and our relationship with Him. I love my husband more today than the day I married him and I know he feels the same way and that is amazing. 

I woke up this morning, feeling so blessed that my heart felt full. There has been some fear in my heart that I will fall into a depressive stage of being angry with God. Do I understand this wonderful plan of his? Heck no. Did I cry in the bathroom at the hospital and ask why? Yes. But do I believe in my heart that the "why" doesn't matter and do I have hope in  my heart for the future. YES. I don't know what the future holds for my family. But anything worth having I know is worth fighting for and I know I have a wicked awesome support system, a husband that is by my side 100%, a son who is the the best blessing in my life, and above all a God that loves me unconditionally and is always by my side. Tonight I'm holding onto John 13:7,

Thanks for letting me share a little piece of my heart with you. We love you all and thank you all for all your continued support.