Monday, September 26, 2011

Grateful---the Lord is always faithful & i am always learning

Our family has had quite a roller coaster ride through the adoption of Ethan, especially the last two weeks for me. i went from wondering one week if we were really going to be able to make it through the whole process, to learning to finally be content with not going to see Ethan when we were planning & knowing that God knows what He is doing....more than that though---actually FEELING content,is HUGE. THEN to being blown away by the people that God has brought into our lives.

I felt that our family was falling apart...i can't do this...Sophina is going backward...i'm not having alone time with our life is already so 'in these four walls'...well, you get the picture! THEN, i took a step back & realized that i needed to change some things so i am now having alone time with each of the girls...Sophina is doing better again (still struggling but not overwhelming me) and having alone time with the Lord. I feel like our lives are getting back in order. I knew though that our not having a time of retreat for the past few years has been very hard & i could just feel like i had to do something! SO, i put a short paragraph out on FB...that if anyone had a cabin that we could use to get away that we would be very one responded & i wasn't going to ask again--i had only felt like i was suppose to ask once. The night that i said to myself that it didn't look like it was going to happen...LATE in the night an inside message came saying that that person had checked with all the other family members & we could use their is better than any cabin i have been to. still seems too good to be true! Overwhelmed!

THEN...there was our Sunday service where again the Lord reminded me that we CAN DO THIS... we can take care of each of our incredible, beautiful, precious children & add more to love & have JOY in the process & be blessed ALWAYS!!! The lady who is doing the embroidery on Ethan's quilt was at church & i asked her if she would be willing to embroider Ethan Scott Andrew Lindquist on our son's little blanket that we bought...just a fleece one that i had picked up for him because there MAY be a family that is going to the same orphanage as his & i wanted something special for him to have. She said that it was no problem! I was grateful again.

THEN...i was walking & i heard my name & turned toward a young couple & she said, "Connie, are you still adopting?" and i told her that we were & i asked how we knew each other & she told me that i had shook their hands before a service and that her mother's name was the same as mine. She also reminded me that they had talked about coming to our garage sale & that they lived very close to our home. I remembered all of that & remembered their faces. She asked questions & i was eager to answer. She said that she had wanted to give us something for quite awhile but that it had just never worked out. We talked for quite awhile & i didn't know if i should tell her about the quilt or if the $20 would be too much to tell her about so i didn't go into great detail. I told her thank you so much when she gave me the folded check & that our daughter & son-in-law were speaking in the other room & that i should run...hugged & left to the Ukrainian luncheon to learn about the group's mission trip.

I gathered our other girls & found that Sophina had had a HUGE meltdown for some odd reason in the fellowship hall...the girls didn't know if it was because there was food at the table or that it was a high chair that she had never sat in but it had been a VERY LOUD outburst from Sophina. They were still trying to calm her down. I was about to sit down when i opened the check before i was going to put it in my purse & i immediately sucked in air & my eyes immediately filled with tears!!! Everything went quiet...i didn't know if the girls were still talking to me or not as i walked out...showed Liz who was in the hallway, w/tears in my eyes as i walked quickly to go find the couple. I finally found them & thanked them & told them that they had made me cry! She had tears in her eyes too & they said that they were thankful to help.

The Lord encouraged me in some REALLY REALLY BIG ways this weekend! I was at my lowest point not long before that! What amazes me over and over again is that the Lord is still faithful with me when i am not faithful with Him. THAT. BLOWS. MY. MIND!!!

SO....the four girls and i are going to have some alone time together...some catching up time... some reacquaintance time & i cannot wait. We are still needing to raise over $3,000 before we leave for our first trip...which i am not even guessing as to when it will be...probably December but who knows-except God! I am fine with that...i may not be next week but i promise that i will be trying to be more content with the major ups & downs of this whole process!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ---will you...yes, YOU, pray on a DAILY basis for our Ethan...for our family...for all that is involved in the process...some of you know more how to pray than others because you have been there but some of you know how to pray more than others because you know us...please pray about what you DO know ...encouragement, peace, joy, wisdom, love, humility, fund raising, ideas, discernment, balance, contentment, gratefulness, & much more.

We are SO SO SO very grateful for the gifts from the $10 gift to the $1,000, from the $50 to the $500 gifts...each gift brings us closer and closer to bringing Ethan home... we cannot wait!
Lovingly and always blessed, Connie for the crew!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Meeting a stranger at a dentist office who is now a friend-God is amazing

Went to get Catherin'e braces off & come home w/ a new friend!
God is amazing!
There was only one other person in a chair at the office where we went & i couldn't see him but i knew he was a teenager by the fact that he was listening to music while he was waiting. He hadn't said much. Then a woman came in & sat down as if she were the mom. I looked at her & saw how put together she was. I felt so NOT put together! I had gotten ready in 5 minutes due to a sick teenager & our Sophina sleeping in & then taking awhile to eat HER breakfast. She had on an outfit that i would have worn when i worked at the Cafe & white & very sheek! She was beautifully adorable....with heels & purse to match!
The young man's phone went off & mom immediately said, "How about you tell them that you are at the dentist. The teenager just got a little younger in my mind. I didn't hear any sass from him.
I hadn't gotten a chance to eat before we went so i had a bar w/me & my mocha. There was no garbage so i had to get up & walk around looking for one & i saw the young man in the chair and knew right away that he had Down Syndrome!!! Then the worker came to work on him & she was just a sweetheart with him! You could tell that they knew him well.
I knew that we moms needed to talk...but HOW????? I thought of quite a few different scenarios but my best option i thought was to show her a picture of our Sophina! It worked!!! I asked from across the way, "Is that your son?" and she said that it was and i walked over with a picture of Sophina!
We exchanged stories about when they were each little...the struggles that were very similar and those that were different. She told me of what he was struggling with at the age of 21years & i told her about Reece's Rainbow. She wept as i told her just a few of the stories...about the orphanage in our son's country where little ones were very much treated horribly. I showed her pictures of Tony that was needing to be adopted from that orphanage and of Carrington & how just this morning that family announced that they were adopting again!!! I told her about the incredible new world of adoptive families that we are a part of.
She gave me her FB name & i told her that she would be asked to be my friend by the time she got home! SHE asked ME for a hug!!! What are the odds!!! I found a friend whose a hugger;}) Yes, God's ways are not our ways....our coverage changed for Catherine 23 days ago & i couldn't understand why Catherine's braces couldn't have come off last month. Now i know why....He planned that the only two families that were there in that back room were two that were suppose to meet and become friends!
Who knows what will happen....but one more person knows about hundreds of children over in Eastern Europe & has shed tears over their plight & will be caring about what happens to those kiddos & i have another friend that i didn't have earlier this morning! Nice meeting you Lori!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

OH my goodness!

Last night, Jill Kent, my praying FB friend said that she would go with me! HALLELUJAH!!! If i would not have had her with me this morning, i guarantee you, my friends, THIS would have been a VERY different kind of blogpost!!! There were quite a few times where i would touch her arm & tell her..."Oh my goodness, i don't know what i would have done right there if you wouldn't have been with!!!"

Let me back up...our biometric fingerprinting with the USCIS was suppose to be this morning. We would have never found out about it had it not been that my friend Jessica had told me that she had sent her paperwork in two days AFTER me & she already had had her biometric paperwork back & not only had it come but BOTH she & her husband (who was out of state) had already gotten their prints DONE!!!
After the wedding, Scott left & i called the USCIS office asking why we hadn't gotten an appointment. The man was rude & cold for ten minutes (acting as if i was just calling way too soon & i should just be patient) & THEN he asked me for my information-he changed his attitude. He said that i was right & we SHOULD have had our paperwork two weeks before! Of course, then Scott & i would've gone down to the office & sat there until they let us in since we knew he had to go back to work for another 5 1/2 weeks. (you CANNOT do anything unless you have the paperwork in your hands) THEN the man proceeded to tell me that we would be in trouble since the only way to change your appointment was through the mail & since we wouldn't be getting the paperwork until late that won't happen. He said that this was going to put us back aways with our adoption. I was completely one point this past weekend i was almost ready to just give up even (something i NEVER thought i would ever feel). The man said that they wouldn't be able to change the appointment once i got there & that i could have issues.

SO....i tried to do whatever i could to get Scott's fingerprints changed...even called the office of our congressperson. No response. The closer it got the more nervous i got-esp. since i had NO IDEA where this place was & it was down in ST Paul & i had to be there by 8am....rush hour was not something i was looking forward to nor was i looking forward to waking up at 4:30am. Scott had ALWAYS been the one to wake me up... you are up to date....last night Jill said that she would go with me to St Paul. She also said she had fresh muffins-bonus!!! Late last night on FB i was told that where we were going was NOT where we would want to be as it is under construction for the light rail! It could be really bad! It was way too late to call Jill so i left it that we were leaving at us 2 1/2 hours!

The only way that we made it down to our destination by 7am was because of Jill being with me! We were so excited that we were 2 minutes away from the spot & we'd made it with such great time! THEN we got down was one intersection-the one we had been warned about....Jill was saying turn left/turn left & it was complete with honking car behind me;) (Grace, yes, i thought of you MANY times!!!) When we made that left turn, both Jill & i were thinking something wasn't right. It was massive road construction for the light rail but it was also all shopping spots...OLD shopping spots. The GPS said that we were we passed a Cub Foods, WALMART & LA Fitness Center. We finally figured out how to get back to where it said we were suppose to be & we knew we were NOT at the right spot.

SO, we saw that it said WEST on our GPS so we tried to see if that was an issue & there WAS an EAST SO we knew we were on the wrong side of town. I put...yes,I- CONNIE put in the new address into our GPS on our phone & off we went. It was about ten minutes when we came to the middle of a four way intersection & it said that we had found our spot!!!! We went around the corner, saw the St Paul Police Dept. & went was dark but out of the dark came a woman who said that she'd never been asked this before;}) It was a long conversation with her making several phone calls, me leaving Jill there while i called the USCIS number but was only given the address...WEST!!! The policewoman was telling Jill the same exact thing. WE WENT BACK to where we had been...LA FITNESS CENTER, here we come!!! We went back & this time there was a man walking to the LeAnn Chin...yes, the USCIS is right around the corner! We might not have even seen it had it not been that the man told us that it was there-along with our GPS woman saying we'd found our destination! I STILL wasn't sure so put it on FB..."Is it really a dirty tiny hole in the wall in a strip mall?" NOT what i was expecting AT ALL!!! No big FBI facility. No huge office building! WOW!

We were third in line. I got up to the counter & told the young lady how my husband wasn't there & explained VERY little...she went two steps over to her supervisor & that supervisor looked at me & coldly said, "Your husband isn't here...why not!?" I explained-"We didn't get our paperwork in time & he is in ND" She literally SNAPPED, "Well, WHY didn't he just go to the ND office then? Oh, JUST DO HERS & put his to the side!!!" that was said complete with a whipping of her arm & rolling of eyes. The young lady was replaced with a woman who looked like she was able to take care of anyone...either physically or with anything else...VERY businesslike. Gave me my paperwork to fill out & instructions! I was able to be first in line -i filled out the paperwork quickly!

I went over to the rude woman when she called me up briskly & then she gave me back my paperwork & told me to go to the woman in the other 'room'. She took my paperwork, felt my VERY dry hands, sprayed my hands with water then very business-like told me to stand to her left. THEN she became a nice woman having a conversation with me. Then she told me how i had really bad hands for hands are very dry. There were a quite a few re-dos :}) She then told me to fill out the card saying how great they were & that i was done. I took two steps & there was the rude woman again now asking me where my husband was in ND. I bent down to her desk that was right there, almost kneeling & spoke sweetly. I could almost feel her melt! She spoke more and more with a sweet voice! She said that he could not be in a worse spot! He could go to Helena, MT or Rapid City, SD or Fargo, ND...the closest being FIVE HOURS away from Scott! She asked, "Well, could you get a hold of him?" as she walked into her office. There was hope! Seriously? "Actually, YES! He told me last night that he was off today & if i could get him into Bismarck he would be willing to drive!!!" OH MY GOODNESS!!! We weren't allowed to have our cell phones on ANYWHERE & she called me into her office & told me to call in there! She was on with the Fargo office & i called Scott!!! I could NOT believe what was happening! (That man at the office that i had called the week before had NO IDEA what he was talking about!) They were going to help us!!! Scott was just leaving his place to go do his laundry & get an oil change. A few minutes later, i was giving him the address & he was on a 10 hour round trip on his only day off in the past seven days! He said that if it helped to get Ethan home sooner than he was doing it! I LOVE MY MAN!!!

The lady warmed up throughout our conversations....hers with Fargo & mine with Scott. She was even telling her boss, who had come into the room, about the whole story! Laughing that Scott worked in the middle of nowhere out in ND! I had asked her name, her name was Bobbi. When it was over, i told Bobbi how grateful i was for all that she had done. She's sent his paperwork with their scanner & called & gotten it all taken care of so all Scott would have to do was walk in. I came around the desk & told her i was going to give her a hug! WOW! What a hug does! I don't know WHY we didn't get our paperwork in time & why we couldn't have gone down there as a couple but maybe it was to let a woman, Bobbi, know that her job was important...that what she was doing was a really big deal to a little boy in Bulgaria & his Mommy & Daddy!

Jill & i left the building expecting that the trip home would now be a breeze since it wasn't rush hour anymore but we had traffic within a 1 mile from the spot where we were, where we sat at an intersection for over twenty minutes!!! Let's just say that i have NEVER in my life seen anything like it in all my traveling! ONLY on TV....WOW! We just kept saying how grateful we were that we had NOT run into this in all of our traveling this morning!

I have never been SO GLAD to have something over as i was to have this be done!!! I came home & got met at the doorway by three VERY VERY happy children to see me...HUGS all around! LOVED THAT! When i put Sophina to bed, i KNEW i would sleep & i did...for THREE HOURS!!!! WOW! I may be up late tonight!

I have found that we are in desperate need of DAILY PRAYER & i am begging YOU to be a prayer warrior for us. THIS IS HARD STUFF to stay encouraged about...the light seems so far away. We thought that we may be seeing Ethan for the first time THIS WEEK & now it is aways off & i found that i struggled GREATLY with that. This morning at about midnight, i realized that i just have to rest...NOT EASY when there is so much at stake! BUT i can't do this & Scott can't do this & our family can't do this without support...especially PRAYER support! WE NEED ENCOURAGEMENT! We are so very grateful for the prayers last night & this morning & we KNOW that there were a bunch of you carrying us through!

Scott should be starting his laundry soon at the 24 hour place in Bismarck & then he'll have to drive home & start work tomorrow! PLEASE PRAY FOR HIM! He is an incredible man...i am blessed!
Connie for the crew
PS...this is for those of you who want it in one sentence......
Scott and i BOTH got our biometric fingerprinting done today!!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ethan's Cookies, Quilt & now what???

Well, the cookies were definitely a success! Blew my mind that you all wanted them from all over the country! WOW! Such fun! Kept me VERY busy! THANK YOU TO ALL WHO GAVE!

Ethan's quilt is going to need to get started next that i will need to find people to help cut up the clothes for the use for Ethan's quilt! SO....there is STILL time to add your name, if you haven't done so. PLEASE have this be the time that you donate...esp. if you are close to our family! I really want this to be a treasure for Ethan. You donate twenty dollars & your family's name will be embroidered onto a quilt for Ethan that will be made out of the clothes of our entire family (clothes that i have saved that are special & was wanting for a quilt for each of the girls but there is plenty for an extra quilt for their brother) PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU TELL ME THAT YOU DONATED as it is anonymous & doesn't let me know as to who has given!

The next fund raiser is HUGE!!! It is using the gifts of our daughter, Ally Mae (Alexandra Jessica Mae), our 16 1/2 yr old. Until my 45th birthday, on October 25th, she will be taking orders for a NINETY minute photography session. She is asking for a $75 OR MORE donation to Ethan's grant. You will get a CD of all of the photos that she takes. IF you have not been able to see her work...we are going to try to get some of her photos up from other sessions that she has done in the past. She has done graduation pictures, engagement pictures, wedding pictures and baby announcement pictures. It will be first come, first serve & we will try to work around your schedule.

We are needing to raise $5,500 in cash/checks that would not be tax deductible so that we can send in our dossier in a few weeks. THAT IS A LOT OF MONEY! This is NOT money that we can use from Reece's Rainbow. SO...we have $1,000 and we will need $4,500...seriously, i JUST NOW in writing this realized that the amount needed is 100x my birthday. IF we could get $4,500 by my birthday, it would be miraculous but i am praying for even bigger miracles as i believe we will be needing it before my birthday.

We will also be needing to do other fund raising SOON but we are starting with this! IF this is something that you cannot do PLEASE forward this on to others who may be able to do this! THIS is crunch time! We are blessed always! Connie for the crew

PS. PLEASE pray for me tomorrow as i go to the FBI biometric fingerprinting place with my FB praying friend, Jill. There was a mishap with our paperwork in that they didn't get us our paperwork until i called and asked where it was. By the time i got it, it was too late for Scott's fingerprints to be changed in the correct way to where he is. THAT MEANS that i will be going in to the FBI without Scott & i will not be going the way of protocol in getting his prints moved to his state where he is working. Pray for peace, protection, guidance and also PLEASE pray for our children as Sophina has been having very rough days with her eating lately.
PLEASE PRAY right now for this!

PSS. I would LOVE it if people would put our names on their daily prayer list...daily prayer is definitely needed for adoptive families! thank you so much for your support in getting the word out about this fund raiser!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Our daughter is married! Their wedding was absolutely beautiful and Christ-centered! It was a favorite wedding of many who came. We are praying for God's blessing on their new marriage! So grateful for their union!

I am very behind on pretty much everything! Which, it turns out, is good for all of you;}) I wanted to make sure that i let you all know that i will NOT be making the cookies until tomorrow morning or Wednesday morning. SO, if you haven't bought a dozen of Ethan's Dark Brown Sugar Cookies with Connie's Coffee Frosting then you have another chance to do so! I guess they did travel well..i wrapped them up with saran wrap and tin foil and then filled the box with bubble wrap. It will costs about $8 for shipping if you are out of town. These cookies are not really what you think of as cookies. They have an adult flavor...very elegant and coffee shop-ish;}) I also send the recipe in the box for both the cookies and the frosting. The frosting is going to be used at my house on way more than these cookies....NUMMY! I wish i would have made this way earlier in my life!

****The quilt****
WE really, REALLY want to have our friends and family on this quilt! IF money is an issue...please tell us! We don't want money to be the thing that keeps special people off of his quilt! His quilt will be his for as long as he lives! We would LOVE having it be a HUGE quilt FULL of our friends and family! SO, this week is when i will be trying to get help in cutting the pieces and then a dear lady from our church will be embroidering each of the pieces with the names of those of you that have given! WE are SERIOUSLY saying right now...Close friends & family,PLEASE let us know that you would like your name on there EVEN if you can't give OR if you are one of MANY who helped us through our 18 months without work and have given so much in the past!

I just do not want to put names on without people's permission.

SO! Cookies and quilt-this week!!! We have some other ideas for fund raising that we are very excited about BUT for our dear friends...the quilt is THE ONE that i care about!

blessed always, Connie for the crew

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A letter from our attorney answering some of your concerns

Our attorney wrote to me about our son, our adoption and adoptions in general.
She apologized for the struggles.....

"I am so sorry for everything you are going through, dear. I personally have never been in your shoes but I know of many adoptive families having the same experiences. Then everything changes and is so worth at the end when their little one(s) join their family and home. I've heard stories where from total opposition, friends and family turn into biggest fans of the adopted children."

She then let me know that she's been to Ethan's orphanage and answered questions that i have been asked by people who have had concerns in different areas....
"Yes, he DOES exist. The orphanage is real, the director is real, I know her. Many years ago I've been to that orphanage. Also, it is a Hague adoption for goodness sake! There's no such thing as baby-selling or any kind of illegality in a Hague convention."

I let her know that people are concerned about Ethan maybe having issues--(which Scott & i have talked about many different times and have WAY more knowledge about what those issues could be then we feel people are giving us credit for)

"Of course, Ethan will have issues. Every child does in the beginning. At the end, you sweep him/her out of the only "home" they have known all of their life. Everything they've known disappears and these strangers come and carry him away and take him to a foreign country, with funny languge that he doesn't understand, etc.,etc., etc.

But I think Ethan will do relatively well. The director herself told me Ethan has a lot of potential and could really become a high functioning adult."

Our attorney is in our Ethan's country and has been working there for many years for these precious children. She is a believer in Jesus Christ and understands what adoption is about in its bigger picture...

"I really don't know what else to say or how to help you but my heart goes out to you. Remember that the satan doesn't want it to happen. He wants to keep this little one in chains. He can't attack him for he is helpless anyway and nothing depends on him and that's why he is attacking you - for you are the one called to resque Ethan and you are the one to be discouraged and sidetracked. Keep up fighting! Don't give up! It WILL happen and the victory will be God's and yours and Ethan's!


and she signed her name....
This letter could have been written to almost every single one of my friends who are adopting. We are praying that there will be many of our friends who will see that we are following the call that God has given us and that we are obeying HIM and then...that they will rise up and support us through DAILY praying for our family AND for ETHAN! Pray for our future together and for his transition as well as ours...even though that seems way in the future!
As Scott and i know VERY well this week (as our eldest is getting married in less than two days) that time goes VERY VERY quickly! We are asking humbly for your prayer support!
We are always matter the day, Connie for the crew

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


SO, the cookies cost @$11 each to send out-a dozen!! He said that there may be a less expensive way & he told me it would be @$8 and would still take 2-3 days! He said that if i wanted to pay $32 i could have it promised to be there in two days! Cookies...these cookies MAY not do well with being that old SO we will see what we should do next week about WHICH kind of treat to bake and send out. There may be some of you who have been hearing about these cookies and REALLY wanted to have them...if that is the case...we will still do it..otherwise, i was going to ask the two that had it sent to them through the mail as to how they tasted.
I KNOW that there are still people that we would LOVE to have on Ethan's quilt and there are just a few days left! I will be putting this up now DAILY until the last day of this fund raiser. I really want this quilt to be a treasure to our son! I see us cuddling when he is 7/8yrs old (in about 4+-5+ years) and showing him all of the people who cared about him and loved him before they even saw his sweet face! I see us telling stories as we cuddle up together as a family..."remember the time we were with these people and...." or "Oh, Ethan, this family prayed for you every day" or "Ethan, this family hasn't even met our family but they have a little one just like you from Eastern Europe and they couldn't wait to see you come into our family..." I haven't really told you what i see this treasured quilt being...until now and that is just the tip of the iceberg!
Thank you to all who have already given...some even gave up things so they could give to Ethan and for that we are so very grateful! Thank YOU!!!! lovingly blessed always, Connie for the crew