Since August last year, I have been writing a series called ‘The Adventures of Squish’ about our adopted baby. For legal reasons, my wife Angie and I were unable to make our baby’s real name public until the adoption was finalised.

Last week, her adoption was finalised!

Down at the local courthouse, Angie’s family, some friends from church, and our agency’s social worker joined us for a very short, 15-minute hearing at which our beloved Squish officially became a Mahlburg.

So, without any more ado, allow me to introduce you to…

Elsa Bri Mahlburg!

Elsa means “God’s promise”. My wife Angie and I prayed and waited for many years for a baby, and we received what we believe were many promises from God along the way. For us, Elsa is the fulfilment of those promises, and we are so thankful to God for her.

Elsa also happens to be the name of my late paternal grandmother, who would have turned 100 years old this year. My Grandma’s surname was also Mahlburg — so our baby is the second Elsa Mahlburg in the clan, to the delight of my extended family, and my Dad especially.

Elsa was one among several names on our shortlist — and the one that her birth mother liked most. It was a blessing to be able to name Elsa with the help of the one who carried her for nine months.

That leads us to Elsa’s middle name. Bri is the name of Elsa’s birth mother. We wanted to honour Bri for her incredibly selfless and brave decision. We are so thankful for Bri and the relationship we have with her. We couldn’t imagine it any other way.

The Light of Our Lives

There is so much we could say as we reflect on all that God has done in choosing us as parents for Elsa. The past seven months have been life-changing.

Elsa is an absolute joy. She is hilarious, unpredictable, loves laughing, and loves making others laugh, which seems kind of unusual for a seven-month-old! She’s both a homebody and a daredevil who loves adventure. Elsa always keeps us on our toes and is as sweet as a peach. She is the absolute light of our lives.

Many of her adventures have already been recorded here at the Daily Dad. Doubtless, you will be hearing plenty more about her in the months to come.

The photos below were taken on a vacation up in Door County last year (with me) and at the local zoo (with Angie).


A Shout Out to Our Adoption Agency

We also are beyond thankful to our adoption agency, ECFA (Evangelical Child and Family Agency). Comprised of just a small staff team, ECFA runs out of a quaint little converted chapel that Angie drove past countless times growing up: it was less than a mile from her childhood home, where her parents still reside. Who could have known?

ECFA has been amazing from the very first meeting, and we couldn’t have asked for a better social worker than Dorinne.

If you have any questions about our adoption process, please reach out.

In the meantime, enjoy another photo of Squish — I mean, Elsa — taken back in September on the shores of Lake Michigan.


About the Author: Kurt Mahlburg

Kurt Mahlburg is Canberra Declaration's Research and Features Editor. He hosts his own blog at Cross + Culture and is also a contributor at the Spectator Australia, MercatorNet, Caldron Pool and The Good Sauce. Kurt is also a published author. His book Cross and Culture: Can Jesus Save the West? provides a rigorous analysis of the modern malaise in Western society and how Jesus provides the answer to the challenges before us. Kurt has a particular interest in speaking the truths of Jesus into the public square in a way that makes sense to a secular culture and that gives Christians courage to do the same. Kurt has also studied architecture, has lived for two years in remote South-East Asia, and among his other interests are philosophy, history, surf, the outdoors, and travel. He is married to Angie.


  1. Nathaniel Marsh February 26, 2024 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Absolutely beautiful Kurt – Congratulations to you and Angie, and welcome Elsa Bri Mahlburg!

  2. Jeff Stacey March 4, 2024 at 12:12 am - Reply

    Lovely story, beautiful baby, happy parents (and birth mother too!). Wow, what a journey for you all – and a God-given outcome. May His blessings be prominent in all your ongoing lives together, Kurt and Angie and Elsa Bri!

Leave A Comment