Proverbs 24:12

"Once our eyes have been opened, we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows we know and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

Thursday, December 19, 2013


"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior....for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name." Luke 1:46b-47, 49

We are doing a lot of rejoicing today as we remember God's complete faithfulness to us as a family two short years ago. We mark the 2nd Gotcha Day of Elsa today and praise the God who "settles the solitary in a home" (Psalm 68:6). We look at this precious four year old and cannot imagine our lives without her. The words of David in Psalm 139 are so amazingly applicable to her life. "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them." (Psalm 139:16) God saw to it that this Lindquist, born in China, was united with her family far, far away. That blows my mind! What a privilege and an honor for us to live out His plan each and every day. 

Elsa continues to amaze us with her wit and her daring. Her smile truly lights up a room. She gives out "I wuv you" freely, which is so precious to these mama's ears. Her speech continues to improve and now it is actually hard to get a word in edgewise! This past year she has tried many new things like horseback riding, alpine sledding, and wake surfing. She has seen new sights like the Rocky Mountains and the Badlands of South Dakota. She has played soccer on a team, taken swimming lessons and started preschool. There continue to be so many firsts for our youngest. As we look forward to celebrating our third Christmas next week with Elsa, I think of all the wonderful gifts we have been given from the Giver of all good gifts. Adoption shows us in earthly pictures many of the amazing truths of Scripture. Many people have written about this and said it much better than I ever could, but I just want to testify that adoption has changed my life an adopted child of my Heavenly Father and as an adoptive mother. 

Pursued: We went after Elsa and the Father pursues His children. (Romans 8:29)
Loved unconditionally: Before even meeting her, we loved her deeply and permanently. So God loves us and sent His Son in order that we may have a restored relationship with Him. (1 John 3:1)
Name changed: Just as Xia Jian Yi became Elsa Mei Yue, so believers have the right to be called children of God. (Romans 9:26)
Part of a forever family: Elsa is a Lindquist now and forever, just as everyone who is in Christ is a part of God's family forever. (John 10:28-29)
Knows our voices: Elsa knows when Mom or Dad call to her, even in a crowd. She knows our voices. Children of God know the voice of their Dad and follow Him. (John 10:27)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Love my fam!"

We started this kind of corny tradition when our older kids were in grade school. It began on a ski trip to Breckenridge. As we rode the chairlifts, Todd would shout, "Love my family!" to the two or three surrounding chairs containing all of us Lindquist skiers. It then became a contest to see who could repeat the phrase the fastest. So, from other chairs on the lift people could hear the "Love my family" echo in response. Now, whenever there is competition involved, Lindquists will find a way to be first. So over the years the game has been reduced. Now someone will shout "Fam!" and everyone who hears it will echo it loudly. It's a little harder to understand for anyone who may overhear this chatter, but we know what we mean. The other day I just couldn't help but smile right down to my toes when I heard Elsa yell "Fam!" in the car on the way to church. Of course, we all responded loudly and in unison, "FAM!" For that is what we are!

One year ago today, the seven of us became a family. It was a shaky start, as most international, toddler adoptions can be. There were tears, sleepless nights, sad looks, and lots of silent gesturing in order to make ourselves known over the language barrier. By God's grace, the sad little girl in the picture above has blossomed into this:

We are so grateful that we serve a God who is sovereign over all things and working in our lives that which brings us closer to Him and brings Him glory. "For I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.'"(Isaiah 46:9b-10)

He has done great things! We are amazed at how far Elsa has come in one year. She is a joyful, fun-loving, chattering 3 year old who captures everyone's hearts. Her English is coming along well and despite a few puzzled looks from those she is trying to communicate with, she presses on. She has ventured off on her own to Sunday School, Wednesday morning Bible study, and Wednesday night connection classes. Many days she asks if today is the day for "Elsa's class." While learning the memory verse can be difficult since she doesn't speak in complete sentences yet, I am amazed at all that she is learning. She informed me the other day that Jesus cares for her and her bedtime routine now includes singing "Holy, Holy, Holy" and "This Little Light of Mine."

As a family, we cannot imagine life without Elsa Mei Yue! We praise God for this gift to us. He has shown us more of Himself and His heart through this process. We continue to learn from Him more about the amazing grace He bestows on His children when He calls them to Himself and adopts them for His own. We have His name. "But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13) Hallelujah!

Last Christmas we celebrated the birth of our Savior in China with a new little girl in tow. This year Elsa will celebrate her first Christmas at home and we will bring to a close her year of firsts. That's not to say there won't be more new discoveries and adventures for our spunky little peanut! Of course there will!  I'll end with a few pictures from our fall. Thanks for reading and praising God with us.

Visiting Wheaton College for Dad & Mom's 25th reunion.

The sisters at Fall Break.

Picking just the right "gum-kin" (aka pumpkin)

Celebrating Daddy's birthday.

Dressing up for Halloween.

Loved getting all that candy!!

Loved time with family from far away for Thanksgiving! Aunt Ingrid is pretty fun! 

Supported Annika at her school Christmas program. Elsa can't wait to do this for herself next year!

Enjoyed the first big snowfall....

......a lot!!!!!

With hot chocolate and whipped cream to warm up. Yum!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Seven Months and Counting.......

"Come and see what God has done: He is awesome in His deeds toward the children of man." Psalm 66:5

Awesome. That word is so overused in today's verbage, but it should really pack a punch. God's works are awesome and do inspire awe in us as defined by Webster as wondering reverence tinged with fear. He has done great things for us these last seven months.

I am really awed when I think about it. The God of the universe, the One who holds it all together, Who fixes the galaxies into place, this God, by His Spirit, worked in all seven of our hearts to make us a family! He HAS done awesome deeds. His love and concern for us, for me, is overwhelming and humbling.

The Elsa update: She continues to make us all laugh with her antics. We loved celebrating her 3rd birthday (and first one at home!) in July. Her English is coming along well. Friends and family who don't see her on a regular basis are amazed at how well she speaks. I am grateful for those words of encouragement. She still has her hold over words that come out more naturally for her like: "bow"me instead of hold me, "joe-joe" for sit down,  and "gua-gua" for any type of fruit. She strings words together for simple sentences as well. Elsa loves playing with Annika and will follow her around all day! She wants to wear what Annika wears, eat what Annika eats and play what Annika is playing. All a part of learning......Annika is very gracious about it all! We had our second post placement home study in June. The information our social worker takes from us is sent to China and to Elsa's orphanage. We pray that her foster family knows just how much she is loved through the pages of the report! She has definitely bonded with us and is working on attachment. Some days she seems to have it and not others.

Attachment is a tricky thing. She remembers a time when she didn't have a family, a time before she had a dad and a mom. I was just talking about this with a friend at church today who is also an adoptive mom. She related to me that her husband, one of our pastors, drew a wonderful spiritual parallel to this process recently. As believers, we also have a memory of a time we did not have a spiritual Father. Just as Elsa needs to be reminded that we are her FOREVER family, that she is ours and we are hers, so it is with us. Many days I need the Spirit to remind me who I am in Christ; that I am loved (John 3:16), chosen (Ephesians 1:4-6), bought (1 Corinthians 6:20) and royal ( 1 Peter 2:9-10).  Elsa will have days where she doubts her place as a Lindquist. We will patiently reassure of who she is and point her to the One who cares for her so deeply and completely that He died for her. What a privilege we as parents have. Parenting really does drive us to our knees!

On a lighter note, God has blessed us with some wonderful family time this summer. With Mari home, we have spent time on the water, at the cabin, with friends and with family. I will add a few photos here to let you in on the fun.

 Watch out!
 Tubing with Mom and Mari
 Enjoying freeze pops with cousin Stephen
 Learning to fish with Andrew
 Celebrating turning 3!
 She loved opening the cards as much as the gifts!
 Brother love!
 More brother "love"
 Oh, that look! She's up to something!
 She loves sparklers.
 An example of wanting to be just like Annika!
 Sweet sisters
 She loved the motorcycle rides....
 and the SeaDoo rides.
 Slurping noodles with Gus!
 Playing mini golf
 Making treats with Jake
 Watching all the surfing action behind the boat
Loving her big girl scooter

With big sister, Mari