Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dark Brown Sugar Cookies with Coffee frosting

OK....i am taking orders now until September 10th at 11:59pm for my Dark Brown Sugar Cookies with Coffee Frosting.
We will say that One Dozen Cookies will be $10 for local and with the recipe...$15.
I would say to add $3 for shipping if you would like it shipped!
Unless Liz needs me to do something for her wedding in ELEVEN days then i will try to do the baking on Labor Day;}) Then if there are more orders i will bake again that week after the wedding.
Also, PLEASE, i am PLEADING and BEGGING...if you are a friend of ours and you have not donated $20 to have your name embroidered onto Ethan's blanket...i am asking that if that is the ONLY time that you can give...PLEASE have it be for this. It will be a treasure that will last a long time and will have many wonderful memories from the people who have helped to bring him home. We will be closing that also, at the same time as the cookie fund raiser...September 10th, 11:59pm
Thanks so much to those who have given! Lovingly blessed, Connie for the crew
PS. You may either use our paypal-Ethan's grant through Reece's Rainbow or make out a check and send it to Reece's Rainbow so either way would be tax deductible or if that doesn't matter you can just pay me.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Morning of selling cookies/brownies

Today was the day that our family got to stand at our Orphan Ministry Table to try to have people sign up to donate their time on November 13th AND they let me know a few weeks ago that i could sell my Dark Brown Sugar Coffee Frosting Cookies/Chocolate Chip-Butterscotch Cookies/Chocolate Chip Coffee Orange Brownies....plus the recipes to be sold too! It is a day of that has the feel of the fair...many tables with all of the ministries that are in our church!
At about forty-five minutes in (i set up early)....i have to let you know that i was just trying to hold myself together. I was ready to break down into tears. Two people had come over and asked questions and we had three sales. I just was so exhausted from all of the work with just our 12 yr old and 10 yr old at the house that i couldn't believe that for all that work, there would be three sales!
Then after the lights were turned out for people to go into the service...three more people! AND one person had a check all ready and put it in our lovely container with Ethan's picture on it;})
Afterward, it was so fun. People were buying....AND wanting my recipes;}) People asked questions and i got to talk real quickly with a few. THEN i got more bold and started asking people;})
I am off to our daughter's Bridal Shower....but i thought that i would let you know that we raised $206 for our cookie baking day......more details later

Friday, August 19, 2011

My husband writes his thoughts...WOW!

My husband has surprised me more times, since we started this process of whether we should adopt or not.....THIS was a HUGE surprise! I got onto FB later than normal & 11:30pm SCOTT came on to tell me that he had lost track of time because he was working on something for me but he didn't tell me what nor did he tell me what it was when he said goodnight fifteen minutes later. I got to bed very late/early depending on your view;} I checked my phone for what was going on in our country & the first thing i saw was this.....i think my jaw dropped...i love my husband and i have been so proud of him...another reason...his protection. He says that he isn't a writer but i think that you will join me in thinking otherwise. He never even talked to me about these things that were musing in his brain. I LOVE that he wants to share them with you!
OK...you think i am long....well, let's just say that you better go get your coffee now because it is going to be awhile....it will be well worth it though!!! At least, i think so!

I am not sure what direction this post will go and there will be, undoubtedly, things I wished I had included that will come to mind later and thoughts that maybe I should have left out. My hope is that you will read all of this and not quit at a certain point as it ties together at the end. But I feel it important enough to write about our adoption experience thus far. I know Connie has written extensively but I wanted to add my 2 cents as well and as I don’t write as well as her please forgive my disjointedness or rabbit trails.
At times one has to make a choice between pleasing God and pleasing the people around us (Isaiah 55:8-9). As important as it is to work toward peaceful relations with others, it is even more important to be obedient to the Lord. That can really become a flash point with those you are close to whether that be family, friends or acquaintances (we see that so evident in today’s culture politically, philosophically, morally and especially religiously). They’ll spout something to the effect: “I believe, but I don’t want anyone preaching to me” or “I don’t think it should be talked about as it’s a private matter”. I guess they truly don’t believe or understand.
Sometimes God will lead you to do things that others will not understand let alone you not fully understanding until after you have done them and sometimes may be not even then. We aren’t to wait until we have it all figured out and have our ducks in a row before we are to act. It doesn’t always work that way and certainly God doesn’t work that way. That is why it is called faith and obedience. Satan will try to convince you that obedience carries much too high a price, but he will never tell you the cost of not obeying God. If we are to be used in God’s service we must expect to make adjustments in our lives; adjustments that we may not understand or that make sense logically. As we all know man’s ways are not God’s ways. The adjustment God is asking us to make is the rest of the story.
We were warned right from the get go what we should expect as reactions from people when they find out what we were about to do. At the time, when I heard those words, I thought to myself “Seriously”? “That couldn’t really be true could it”? From families that are, were in the middle of or had gone through the adoption process we were told that we should expect rebuke, criticism, avoidance, etc. from family, friends and acquaintances. I kept wondering “Why”? “Why would someone be so immature do such a thing”? You know what? They were correct!
We have had family members, friends and acquaintances question our sanity to say it politely. Their comments usually come around but not limited to “But you are already so busy with Sophina” and her issues”. Yes, that is true that Sophina has issues that have taken longer than expected to overcome and some that are still being worked on. So what? As if, because, she has DS and a feeding tube and feeding issues that we didn’t expect to take as long as it has, that we are excluded from doing more? Who said that we are exempt from further responsibilities? Are we called to have a simple life? Not that I’m aware of and not that we’ve had one but we have had it a lot easier than most.
Another person commented to Connie with an honest but very supportive attitude saying, “Lady, if there’s anything I know, it’s that I know very little. I don’t understand why you’re being called. I don’t understand how you’ll do it. I don’t understand whether or not it’s truly a God thing (I feel distant from Him right now). What I do know is that you are pursuing Him and that you are doing so with courage. Whether or not anyone “thinks” you should do x, y, or z means nothing at the end of the day. Your pursuit of Him means everything.  And your pursuit of protecting His orphans is an awesome thing. You have my support. Protect your heart from resenting those that are more worried about the tactics of your undertaking.  In earthly terms, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense (and most of us hang out in earthly terms about 99.8% of the time).  Just 2 cents…”
We both appreciate this person and their family and thought that even though this person didn’t understand they came forward with that in a loving way expressing their concern yet pledging their support even if they are unsure at this point. I guess this is my attempt to answer those who may feel even more strongly that we are nuts in hopes that they will understand better the reason and yet may come along side.
There have been some who have never broached the subject with us at all to even try to understand and have jumped to their own judgmental conclusions thinking that they know what is best. One person said “Connie, you can’t do it all. Even Moses had to delegate.” I know that Connie is amazing so I actually take that as a compliment in that she was being equated with Moses! Excuse my feeble attempt of trying to add humor. Two problems I see with this comment though, as true as it is, that yes, Moses couldn’t do it all are 1) it was directed to Connie and not both of us. Yes, I am away at work and she bears the brunt of it all but this adventure wasn’t just her wanting to do this it was an entire family decision, 2) She, actually, we are not trying to do it all but rather trying to do all that we can. Moses was trying to do it all for millions. We’re doing it for one more child. We are just one family desiring to follow God’s leading and command to take care of an orphan of this world and 3) if God calls who are we to differ that mandate.
We are not, as much as we’d like to, trying to save the world but rather be faithful to the call to make a difference in the life of one helpless child that would otherwise be utterly destroyed by the system of being permanently institutionalized for the rest of his life by age 5 with no hope for adoption. Nada…Zilch…None...Permanent…End of story. But we don’t want the story to end there and nor does God. He has moved in the hearts and lives of so many that the organization Reece’s Rainbow has developed into helping families desiring to adopt children with disabilities from other countries. Included below are links to pictures and video’s that have been posted before but so that you can check these out to see again or more of the plight of these helpless beautiful children. Maybe you are just curious wanting to know more then these will show you the plight of these children. Maybe you will sense the Lord’s moving in your heart to act on their behalf in some supportive role whether that is in adopting a child or children to become part of your family, support prayerfully or financially a family who is. I was surprised to learn about how many families are adopting children with disabilities from Eastern Europe.
Once you have looked at or seen video of these children how can one not be moved to more than “Yes, that is bad” to “Yes, that is bad what can I do”? We have been supporting a child in another country for a few years but that is so American. Send money off to help others. I am in no way saying that is wrong as that does a tremendous amount of good and is so desperately needed to have a better life and hopefully survive. But if you were to allow yourself to really see and feel what is going on you may be led to change your position to do more of an active role. For me it took Sophina to make me understand it in a way I would never have had if she were not part of our family. She opened my eyes as to how fragile a child is with disabilities. I knew there were issues and concerns but until I became intimately involved with the goings on I could not really appreciate the situation these children are in and the love, affection and commitment that is needed. It in turns changed me from a bystander to a player of the game of life. It is no longer “Oh, those poor children. How are they going to make it”? To “This is my child and I know what it takes and these children deserve that same love, affection and commitment.
These days we are bombarded with opportunities that entice us to invest our time and energy. There are so many worthwhile causes how can we recognize God’s voice among so many competing voices? Prayer is really the only option. Stepping out in faith allowing God to show you how, where, etc. to align your life with His will and then doing it. This is what we are doing. We are stepping out in faith trusting the Lord that even though in human terms this may not make perfect sense that we are in His perfect will. That doesn’t mean it is a bed of roses, but rather as nearly if not all others before us have experienced setbacks or delays or worse that don’t make sense, we will continue trusting we are doing the right thing.
We believe the Lord has put you in our lives for a reason. Will you prayerfully consider where the Lord may be directing you to be involved in joining us in our adventure of saving a little one? We all know that there are different ways of supporting. They range from financially, purposefully praying for, physically supporting by helping “doing” in some way, emotionally supporting when road blocks become apparent, etc. Whether you agree or not, and would welcome the opportunity to talk with you regarding this decision, we would covet your prayers as we transition from the paperwork stages into upcoming traveling stages and eventually bringing home our son Ethan.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Quite a few of you have asked the obvious question...which Scott and i have asked since he moved... "Are you guys moving out there?" or "Is Scott finding a job here?" The answer is a rather long one....

Scott was without work for EIGHTEEN MONTHS...from an industry that not only got hit by a recession but also got hit because it is a dying industry....PRINTING. Scott had a fantastic job at Merrill where he was paid a nice paycheck but then was laid off when the recession started. He was laid off at that time for six months THEN he got hired and loved his job but then the recession got way worse and the industry nose dived...last one hired, first one laid off.

Leaders in the industry that would come into MY work at the restaurant would tell me that he needed to get out of that industry (when i would hound them for work for Scott;}). SO, we looked outside of the box and we felt like God kept leading him to do the semi driving school so he could find work...then someone paid for his schooling and then he got a job, got hurt a few weeks into it, then got found out in the office that he is an incredible worker and got into a whole new field of work!!!

Scott has loved a lot of jobs but NOTHING like this one!!! He is treated with such respect and dignity and they love him! He absolutely LOVES his job right back! He loves it out there where there is NOTHING to look at! SO, one would think that we would just hop into our moving van and move out there!....WRONG! But NOT for the reasons that you may be thinking at this moment!

I had always thought that we would move out there after we knew that he loved it and they loved him. I will never forget Scott telling me otherwise! It was like i was hit in the gutt! It was in the first three months or so....Scott told me that there was no way that we could move out there! "WHAT?" For one, there is not a place to live! Scott just told me a couple of hours ago that there are TWENTY-FOUR trailers out his window of men living in them in the parking lot, the men are having to live in motels, and apartments in town because there is no place for the MEN to even live! THERE IS NOTHING TO LIVE IN!

Another reason is our own home now....the roof is a HUGE issue. Another issue that Scott told me is that Sophina would not have the medical care like she has here. We have therapists in our home right now four times a week....one PT, one OT, two times for Speech PLUS we have the school district comes out once a week! We have all of our medical care right here in town where the Cities' Dr's come up to St Cloud and we don't even have to go down there. Scott said that the medical items would be a HUGE issue.

Scott looked and looked for work here but what he is qualified for is NOT in St Cloud...at least not something that we could live on! When he was searching here....he was either overqualified (unbelievable) OR he was under-qualified! It was very draining on him and our family to see him come back to the house over and over with another rejection.

We have talked in depth of moving closer to Scott but what Scott has heard from others who have done that is that no one is happy. The family moves to a place where they know no one but Dad has to work the long hours and then drive one to one and one-half hours to get back and forth so dad is tired and just wants to go to bed and the kids just see dad eat and go to sleep! Mom has no support and no husband most of the time and it is draining on the husband to drive such distances after working so many hours...esp. in the winter months....dangerous.

We have talked extensively of moving to Bismarck but it is not really looking that different than what we have now...except that six hours would be knocked off of Scott's travel time for coming home every five weeks. We didn't feel that it was worth losing over 23 years of being in a place that we have lived at for our children.

We want you to know that we know that this is NOT an ideal situation but that we are waiting on the Lord to lead us as to what we are suppose to do and as of now...we are in the waiting stage! We have likened it to being a military family except that in our case...we get to see our husband/daddy more often! We are praying that this won't last a super long time but we aren't seeing any changes happening with housing or with work or with medical stuff so we have learned how to live like this while we wait.

We thank God for computers!!! Sophina remembers Daddy from that and from a book that he recorded his voice and reads to her. We have Skype and our phones that we are able to talk. No, this is definitely NOT ideal nor will it be forever but for now, we don't see anything changing for quite awhile.

We really didn't understand the timing of bringing Ethan into this but may i remind you that this little boy doesn't have a Mommy or a Daddy who live anywhere near him at all....so for now, when he gets home...he will see his Daddy every five weeks but it won't be forever that way but at least he will have a Daddy and a Mommy and sisters and a brother-in-law who will love him to pieces!

We are praying that the Lord will have something that will be obvious as to what we are suppose to be doing so we can once again be all back together but until then we will not stop obeying what God has asked us to do! We WILL once again be together but we are waiting for His timing...and a house would help;})

We just thought that we would let you know that we are concerned about the same things that you are more than likely concerned about BUT we beg of you....PLEASE do not hold back from Ethan because of it. Ethan needs a family and God chose us and we are honored to obey even if it doesn't make sense to us right now! We are asking for your support and loving encouragement. thanks so much, always blessed, Connie for the crew

Our next fund raiser for Ethan! EDIBLES FOR ETHAN!

IF there is a recipe that you know that i have made in the past....any recipe (that i don't really follow so i will TRY to write the recipe the way that i would make it) that you have wanted then this is a blessed day for you! I will message you or email you or even send it in the mail FOR A DONATION for Ethan's adoption! $10 or more will get you the recipe....

IF you go to our church or live in the area....i will even make the recipe for you and bring it to church THIS Sunday or we can get it to you asap! SO then you will get the recipe and the item...the donation will depend on what it is you want;}) Obviously, my lasagna would be a lot more than my chocolate chip cookies;})

I was only thinking of one or two recipes but my dear Sister in law reminded me that i have quite a few recipes that people have asked me for over the years....SO now is the time......PLEASE give a donation to Ethan's grant and THEN message me on FB...my name is Connie Clark Lindquist or you may email me at lquist6@charter.com. SO DONATE FIRST....THEN ask away!!!

This is gonna be fun!!! lovingly blessed always, Connie for the crew!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A little known background story

Our family has had quite the incredible few days! First, we had the amazing garage sale which far exceeded our dreams or imaginations! It also was pretty miraculous. We are/were in awe of what God did!
Then our paperwork....it has been such a long process. We got started WAY before we even knew we were thinking of a boy...let alone of Ethan. We wanted to be ready! It has seemed like a VERY VERY long time but our three weeks late has been nothing compared to a friend of mine's....three MONTHS late!
I want to tell you a story about a LITTLE part of the process that Scott & i and the girls went through. To tell you the truth, i never dreamed that we would be adopting a little boy. In my mind, i felt we were suppose to be adopting a little girl. THEN.....there was a little boy who changed my mind. In fact, this little boy kept coming up over and over again at our house. I even told my father about him. My dad even looked him up on RR. We talked about him. In fact, we thought that we were going to adopt him. One problem....we were still struggling with what God was asking of us. You KNOW, all of the things that you are thinking of us....HOW IN THE WORLD...with Scott in ND, with a wedding, with how much is already going on in our lives .... etc... but this little boy tugged at my heart....at each of our hearts. His brown eyes and dark hair...he is so precious! I begged the Lord to let me know without a doubt if we were to adopt him. I kept on going back and forth,Scott did as well. Finally, after WEEKS of this....we decided that we needed to decide once and for all. Were we going to adopt or not? Scott said yes and i went to the little boy on Reece's Rainbow who had changed my heart into allowing the thought of bringing a boy into my very very girly life.....but Danny had been put onto the My Family Found Me page the night before! I smiled....with moisture in my eyes....i was a HUGE mix of emotions....God knew....and He let me know....Danny was NOT suppose to be our son. We called the Home Study Agency that day to set up an appt. for a Home Study with no child in mind. The week of our home study is around the time that we decided on Ethan!

Do you remember Constance.....the little girl who captured my heart and brought our family into saying yes to adoption? Well, Danny is the little boy who captured my heart and brought me into allowing the thought that we could adopt a boy!!!

I am telling you all of this because God is amazing! I have two friends who are adopting from Bulgaria whom i talk to almost every day! The two ladies are ahead of me...one by a couple months and the other.....she is so smart....she is Danny's mother! She will be a wonderful mother who will love Danny like no one else on earth will. I am going to ask you each something though...today, has been a mixed emotion kind of day. You see, Danny's mom and dad have been going through this process for a long time too. Instead of their process being delayed by three weeks though....they have been delayed by three MONTHS!!! I cannot fathom....it has been such a struggle for me knowing that every delay keeps Ethan in that orphanage that much longer...it has been heart wrenching for me! To have this happen for three MONTHS though....oh my!

SO on this day when i should be only rejoicing ....i pause....a long pause and ask that you will pray for my friend Jess....a brainy, real woman that has helped me a LOT....pray that the paperwork that they are sending out in TWO DAYS will be met by a person who cares about their job and who wants to do things right and efficiently! PLEASE pray that their paperwork will fly through the Dept.! I wish that Jess and i could go to Bulgaria at the same time but one of us will go before the other....hard and wonderful for both of us. Will you pray for Danny? Pray for his protection, his health, his emotional well being, his care, and his family who is waiting SO patiently for him!

Lord, i pray that You will move the paperwork quickly for Danny's behalf. I pray that You will hold Jessica tightly in Your arms and bring her peace. I pray that You will guard Wes and Jessica and bring them closer together through all of these trials and hardships. I pray that as their paperwork goes out on Thursday that all will be right with it and that it will go into the best hands at the Mailing Service and then the best hands at the Dept. of Homeland Security! I pray that the time will go quickly and that their dossier will also move along so all will be ready. In Jesus' name, Amen

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Just for those of you who do not have FB...i thought that i would post my FB posts for this morning.... FIRST though....i want you to remember that i did NOT in ANY way want to do this garage sale THIS WEEK....i can't begin to tell you how many times i said, "this couldn't be a worse week to have this sale" GOD KNEW about what i had COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN!!! In these seven days...we will be putting out $200 to finish the Home Study and $890 for our USCIS to be sent. YOU will see what happened.....

"Have i mentioned that God is AMAZING? I wasn't even planning it this way BUT we have to write out a check for $890 for our USCIS form/FBI checks & we just wrote out the last ($200) check for our home study this week!!! Ummm....do you remember that we had a garage sale the last two days?....it more than covers that next expense!!! WOW! It was DEFINITELY NOT MY timing!!! BUT God...."

"OH MY GOODNESS!!!! DID YOU SEE THE TOTAL????? The garage sale was $1,190 and our expenses are $1,090!!!!! WOW!"

"I seriously did not put it together until i read my post out loud to the girls!!! I am blown away by God's provision, His guidance and His sovereignty!"

‎"~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​~~~PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE READ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am shaking from the AMAZING MIRACLE!!!!"

"Ummmm.....God has shaken me to the very core!!!! I just was going to put the money into the bank when i also went to look for the $100 for the Marshmallow Shooters when it hit me!!! THAT $100 is in the total of the garage sale!!!!! THAT MEANS THAT OUR GARAGE SALE WAS......$1,090!!!!!!!!!! Our expenses for this week is $1,090 for the adoption!!!!!!!!!!!!"

SO....thought that you may all want to praise the Lord with me...His sovereignty, His provision, His amazingness!!! Blessed always....Connie for the crew

Friday, August 5, 2011

The dreaded garage sale....WOW!

I went into this garage sale with not too high of hopes. I had heard way too many horror stories & couldn't believe that what i had would get very much. PLUS, it was REALLY quiet for MOST hours on both days. BOTH days were busy when they were busy & dead when they were dead with WAY MORE dead time than busy.
A poor young couple that came to help BOTH days...well, let's just say that they NEVER got to see it busy. They were amazing though in that they helped by organizing at the end of last night & went to the store to get diapers & goats milk this morning...(let's just say that we even had to use the diapers in the diaper bag;} It has been a VERY BUSY WEEK!)
Then i had another lady who was absolutely amazing in that she was here THREE days helping for hours all three days! PLUS, she let us use her tables & she gave a donation above what she bought (enough to put her name on the quilt;})
Then there were two ladies who came to help the night before too and one of them brought us a meal....which to be honest...was the reason we ate at home the two times we ate it and the other one brought us enough tables and signage to make our garage sale do well! BOTH of those ladies also bought stuff and both gave enough extra to have THEIR names on Ethan's quilt.
Then there was a sweetheart of a lady whom i love dearly who came & priced things & donated things to sell & then brought us donuts to sell the first morning. There were college students who came on Thursday night LAST WEEK & helped price things & cut our grass! OH and there was a family who donated items for our sale & the wife posted like crazy on FB (along with several lovely others)and another family who donated items for our sale & came after a REALLY long day & helped organize for a couple of hours on Wed. night. Then there was a great friend of Liz's that came today & made sure that i kept up my fluids, sat down as often as possible & she wore my money belt that was stopping circulation of my dress;}) Can't forget my family who put up with Mom...saying..."i am so sorry but not until after this garage sale"...."Mommy doesn't have time today-next week". Our PCA worked Thurs. morn/night & Fri. morn/night so i could get all of this done! THEN of course, all of you prayer warriors!!! Then there were two college students who came again to help me pre garage sale...riding their bikes in the extreme heat last week! Another college student who is like a daughter came and helped tag & helped at the garage sale too! Our neighbor put it all over the place about our garage sales & another neighbor let us use her tables! Another woman came & told us how her daughter had given up something that was VERY precious to her because she knew it would go for a good cause and she donated a bunch of videos that sold like HOT CAKES as well as other items that she priced!
THEN there were two different ladies who gave...enough for both of their families to have FOUR quilt pieces (that is not WHY they were doing it though...but they will get that). Another family friend came back to give us enough for TWO quilt pieces (again, not why she gave).
There was someone who gave us a computer to sell and two used porch doors to sell...neither sold SO if you know of someone who needs either of these items, let me know! MANY MANY MANY were interested so i would LOVE it if you will pray that they will still sell!
If i forgot someone....i apologize profusely....my brain is like...well, it is FRIED! I haven't worked this hard for a long time...ok...well, it was tough! We had to keep saying that it was for Ethan & that would get us through!
SO we were open yesterday and today from 7:30-5ish.....are you ready for the total???? It blows my mind....i just cannot believe it.....and i REALLY don't think that the ladies thought it would be this good......OH....btw, i was able to tell our story to SO MANY MANY people! I cannot begin to tell you what i heard in return...amazingly wonderful, such encouragement! I even got to meet another Reece's Rainbow mother who just adopted NINE MONTHS ago!!! SO COOL!
OH......are you still waiting;})? Our TWO DAY TOTAL is.......
$1,190 yes....$1,190.00.....that includes the $24.16 at Catherine's rock stand/coffee/donut/ kool-aid shop!!!
PRAISE THE LORD FOR ALL HE HAS DONE.....we are so very blessed!!!!