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Archive for the ‘Adoption’ Category

Life with 5 Boys

Posted by Cassie Borgman on August 2, 2013

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Life with 5 boys keeps you on your toes.  Especially when one of the 5 boys is a toddler.  It has been nice to have extra eyes to watch him but it hasn’t seemed to deter his curiosity about what is in every drawer, closet or countertop in the house.  However, Titus is not the only boy to keep out of trouble.  The second day we were home, Silas fell of his scooter (that he had learned how to ride the day before) and broke his wrist!  Not knowing his threshold of pain yet we had no idea if he was crying because he was tired or if something was truly wrong.  When he didn’t stop crying after about 1/2 hour we decided it must be serious and took him to the immediate care center.  They took x-rays and put it into a splint but it wasn’t until the next day that we found out it was broken.  Then we had to wait a few days to get into the orthopedic doctor.  Those days were the worst because all of the things that Silas had just discovered; the scooter, trampoline,and bicycle were off limits while he had the splint on.  However, he got a huge grin on his face after he got his cast and I told him he could go back to doing all of those things again!photo

While we were at the immediate care center I was asked a question that I’ve never been asked before but has come up in conversation since then.  The receptionist checking me in took one look at our family that filled 1/2 the waiting space and said, “How do you do it with all of those boys?”  I laughed and said that it was only my 2nd day so I wasn’t sure yet.  Since then I have come to realize 2 things that have made my time easier right now during this transition.  I try to go to bed early and get up early to spend time with God.  Without His encouragement everyday I would have had a nervous breakdown by now.

I think we are coming to the end of our honeymoon period.  The boys are starting to feel more comfortable around one another and therefore are beginning to bicker like brothers.  I know this is normal but it can sometimes be exhausting to always be “on your game” when trying to help them work things out in a polite way.  I can tell that Asher and Silas also feel more comfortable with Brian and I as well.  We have had a few times that we have had to go over rules and boundaries again.

Yesterday, Garrett asked me if I thought we would ever go back to Ethiopia again.  Of course I want to go back, I said but I then quickly added that right now was not the time to ask me if we were going to adopt again!  Things are actually going better than I would have ever dreamed but just like a mom with a newborn, the labor pains are still fresh in my mind.

It makes my heart soar to see all of these boys in my back yard playing together.  All different shades of color and from different backgrounds and experiences.  Thanks be to God who makes all things possible!  He puts the orphans in families and blends us together until we can’t see the differences only the most important similarity, that we are all God’s children.

Thanks for following us on our journey to adopt more children.  Being brutally honest with myself, I know that more blog posts will be few and far between.  Signing off for now to go enjoy life with my 5 boys!

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The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Posted by Cassie Borgman on June 29, 2013

There is a light shining bright at the end of the tunnel leading us to Ethiopia and Amente and Soresa!!  The U.S. Embassy cleared us on Tuesday and we have an appointment set for Wednesday, July 3rd.  We are so excited to be on our way tomorrow to DC and then on to Ethiopia.  Can’t wait to have those boys back in my arms again!

DSCN0613Trenton and Garrett are seeing the light at the end of their fundraising tunnel, too.  They have raised over $3,500 for their plane tickets to Ethiopia!  Who knew so much money was to be earned in chicken farming and necklace sales.  Seriously, a huge thank you to all our friends and family who gave donations well above what the eggs and necklaces are worth.  It is a priceless gift for Trenton and Garrett to be able to travel to Ethiopia to meet their new brothers.

On another note…we have been thinking about “American” names for Amente and Soresa ever since meeting them 3 months ago.  When we asked them if they wanted American names, Soresa answered “Yes” right away and Amente shrugged his shoulders like he didn’t care.  We were wanting to find strong, unique Biblical names like Titus.  However, it has been a struggle this time around to pinpoint what we wanted to name them.  Believe me, we have been through every genealogy in the Bible!  I think we have finally settled on names that just happen to be the same first initial of their Ethiopian names.  Amente will get to choose between his given name or Asher.  Asher means “happy” and is one of the twelve sons of Israel.   Soresa will be Silas.  He was a friend to Paul as was Titus.  I’m sure he will be our Titus’ friend, too.:)

Thanks for all of your prayers and words of encouragement while we travel this week.  We especially ask for prayers for safe travels and the beginning of a strong bond with Amente and Soresa (Asher and Silas).

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Still waiting…

Posted by Cassie Borgman on June 8, 2013

Yes, we are still waiting.  This has been a common theme throughout our adoption process and our blogs!  I really do believe that God puts this time of waiting in our journey in order to build up the desire to bring more children into our family.  I can tell you without a doubt that the desire is there…and it is overwhelming at times!

We have done some small projects on the room and bathroom that the boys will share.  It kept us busy the month of May but now I look at the empty spots where Amente and Soresa will sleep and brush their teeth and I can’t help but pray that this waiting will be over soon!

DSCN0056We were hoping our paperwork would be submitted to the US Embassy for Amente and Soresa 6 weeks from our court date, just as it was for Titus.  When 6 weeks came and went we were praying for 8 weeks.  At 8 weeks, we were told that we were still waiting for a doctor at the medical clinic to sign off on medical papers.  We were pretty confident that the medical report would be in at the 9 week mark but that day came and went without any wonderful e-mails from the Embassy in my Inbox!  So, now we have confirmation that all paperwork will be complete and submitted to embassy on June 12th!  Praise God!  We have been told that things should move along pretty quickly after our paperwork is submitted.  So, we are hopeful we are on target to go back sometime at the end of June.

During this waiting, I have come across one scripture over and over again…

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.”  – I Peter 5:7  

I think that I have seen this verse, read this verse, and heard this verse more over the past month than in my lifetime.  God is trying to tell me something!  I need to keep hearing it because I have such a stubborn spirit.  I can not be anxious about the timing of this adoption, I can not be anxious about how I am going to communicate with my new sons, I can not be anxious about how our family is going to mesh, or even what the house is going to look like with 5 boys!!  All I can do is cast it on Him because He is soooo much bigger than all of those things that keep me up at night.  He cares for me.  He loves me.  Why can’t I let Him do that for me?

As always, Brian and I appreciate all of your prayers and encouragement.  Countless times an e-mail or phone call from one of you has brightened up our day.  It is so reassuring to know that you are on this journey with us!

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Ethiopia Here We Come (Again)!

Posted by Cassie Borgman on March 30, 2013

We appreciate all of your prayers for a speedy trip to Ethiopia. God is good!  Brian and I are in our hotel room in Washington, DC getting ready to try to get some sleep before we jump on an airplane to Ethiopia tomorrow.  What a way to celebrate Easter!  We got the call Monday afternoon that we needed to be in Ethiopia in a week to meet our sweet boys for the first time and go to court to make them a part of our family forever.  It has been a crazy busy week of preparing but now we can breathe a sigh of relief that we are on our way to finally see our new sons.

We get asked all the time, “Why are you adopting…again?”  My Dad prayed a prayer for us at the airport today and reminded us of the “why” in our story.  He included what has become one of my favorite verses in this season of my life:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”  – James 1:27

We will be going to court on April 3rd.  Please pray for our safety and that all will go smoothly in Ethiopia as well as with our other boys back at home with grandparents at the helm.  We appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers as we go through this process.  We know that we are only getting our strength right now through Him who gives us strength.

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Waiting…

Posted by Cassie Borgman on March 23, 2013

I have been dragging my feet about writing an update because, unfortunately, there is no update.  At least not an update on what is going on with our paperwork. We are still waiting for our MOWA letter and then a court date.  We are hoping to hear about a court date any day now (end of March/beginning of April)…Of course, we are praying for the end of March!IMG_3706

Even though there is nothing new with the physical part of our adoption there is plenty going on in the emotional and spiritual side!  When we started this process in October and got our referral in November, we were totally blown away by how fast everything was moving.  I automatically defaulted to “practical mode”.  I kept on track with paperwork, fingerprints, etc. but at the same time I was thinking that it would be OK if the process slowed down a bit.  I even told friends that we had a lot to do before the boys came to live with us and I was totally fine with waiting.  CRAZY!  I can’t believe how differently I feel about the wait now!  God has put a deep desire on my heart to see my sweet sons’ faces for myself.  I want to hear them, I want to hug them, I want to re-assure them that God has placed them with our family forever.The desire came out of two instances where God has placed some wonderful people in our path who have helped us to grow closer to our boys while we are still 1/2 a world a way.

At the end of January, the boys’ birth mother appeared in court to relinquish her rights.  I’m not sure why this was stressful for us, but Brian and I both couldn’t plan to do anything to the house to get ready for them until we heard word about how the court appearance went. The same day we heard that all went as planned at court we also got pictures/video from a friend of ours that was visiting the transition house.  She was able to get a nanny to pronounce their names for us, and she got video of the boys playing together and asking questions about their family.  I felt like I had the day we got our referral for Titus!  It was as if it all seemed so much more real to me.  That is when I changed my tune about waiting.  I could not wait to see more of those two sweet boys.

The second instance was totally out of the blue!   Last Thursday, I received an e-mail from someone I had met through our blog a year ago when we were adopting Titus.  Her family had just recently gotten back from their first trip to Ethiopia and wanted to know if we were the parents of some sweet boys at the Transition House that their biological sons had tearfully left behind when they had to come home.  Yes, I said, please tell me more!  She did tell me more, so much more that I could not even read the e-mail out loud to Trenton and Garrett because I was crying too hard.  Our soon to be sons had made a lasting impression on their family (and we’ve since learned many other families that have come to the Transition House over the past few months).  They are friendly, kind, and polite boys.  I was reassured that even though we can’t be there right now to love on them, others are taking our place.  I had written in my prayer journal the day of this couple’s court date, unknowing to me but known to God, that I wanted Him to show our love to our Ethiopian boys even though we couldn’t do it ourselves.  I pretty much said that He could work it out…And He did!

Thanks for your continued prayers that we will see our boys soon!  For now, we continue to wait but not without hope.  I am so thankful that God has provided us with glimpses into our boys’ lives.  He is so good!

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”   – Isaiah 55: 8-9

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Here We Go Again!

Posted by Brian Borgman on December 9, 2012

Boys' 1st Day of School - 2012WE HAVE A REFERRAL!!!

Yes, you read that correctly.  No, there isn’t a blog post that you have missed!  We are adopting again!  Let me start from the beginning….

When we got home from adopting Titus we knew that we wanted to adopt more children but weren’t sure what the timing would look like for our family.  We started praying about it this summer but didn’t feel the time was right to start the process again.  In October, Brian saw a post from our adoption agency, West Sands, about two brothers from Ethiopia that were 5 and 7 years old that were available for adoption.  Brian e-mailed me and asked me what I thought about inquiring about them.  I told him it made my stomach hurt since we had only had Titus home for 6 months…but we decided it wouldn’t hurt to inquire about them.  We found out that our agency was having trouble placing them because of their age (most people want younger children).

We took the weekend to pray about these boys and whether God was prodding us to open our hearts and home to them.  On Saturday afternoon, we really felt a peace about moving forward with them.  We talked it over with our boys and got a resounding “yes” from them to add more boys to our family.  Our balloon was quickly burst, however, when we e-mailed our agency and found out that the brothers were much older than they originally thought, that there was another family interested in them as well, and that the boys wouldn’t be “paperwork ready” for a few months.

We were certainly disappointed but decided that God had a larger plan and had maybe just used this “push” to encourage us to start the adoption process again.  So, we contacted our social worker (who “coincidentally” was already  scheduled to come to our home the following week for a post-placement appointment for Titus) to let her know that we wanted to update our home study in order to be able to start the adoption process again.  Additionally, we contacted our agency and started our dossier work and were told that it would be about a 9 – 12 month wait for a referral after all of our paperwork was turned in.  Realistically, we were looking at the end of 2013 before we would even get a referral.

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago… 1) We found out that our dossier we did for Titus’ adoption is still good in Ethiopia through July 2013; 2) We have completed our new home study (since portions just needed to be updated from our adoption of Titus); and 3) I stopped by Lifeline Children Services’ (our local partnering adoption agency) office here in Louisville to drop off some paperwork and our first payment.  I was talking with our adoption coordinator when she told me that the brothers that we had asked about a few months ago were complete and ready for adoption, the other family was no longer interested in the boys, and their ages were actually only 6 and 8 years old!  I asked if I could see a picture of them and she told me that they were our referral if we were still interested!!  I was speechless.  The boys were with me in the office and couldn’t wait to see the pictures of their new brothers!  Soon we were looking at the sweet faces of two boys who were to be our sons!  We took the pictures to lunch to surprise Brian.  I think he was even more in shock than we were!  Only God could have worked all of this out…so, of course, we accepted the referral for our two new boys!

Now we wait.  Our home study is complete, and we hope to send out our I-600A to the U.S. Homeland Security this week.  As soon we can get our fingerprints done, we will be waiting for our court date in Ethiopia.  We are optimistically anticipating our first court date will be sometime in late Spring of 2013.

This is all happening so incredibly fast; but we are so incredibly excited!  There are times I get overwhelmed thinking about 5 boys in my house making a mess and eating us out of house and home; but there are just as many times that I think about what a blessing they will be to our family.

As we embark on this journey again, we ask for your prayers for our process to bring these two brothers home.  We feel that God keeps reminding us that…

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:  To look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”  – James 1:27

Thank you for being such an encouragement to our family and coming along (again) on this journey with us!  We wish the best to you and your family during this Christmas season!

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Titus Laughing at Trenton & Garrett

Posted by Brian Borgman on July 5, 2012


Thought we’d share this video. Titus has settled in extremely well! He gets pretty tickled in this video as he’s watching Trenton and Garrett wrestle. We’ve only heard him laugh like this a couple of times…but it’s pretty contagious when he does it!

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Finally Home…and Finally an Update!

Posted by Brian Borgman on June 24, 2012

It’s hard to believe that we have been home with Titus for nearly two months now.  I have been wanting to write for some time to share my thoughts on how things are going since we’ve been home.  I guess you can see (by how long it has taken me to write) that life with an infant back in the house is busy!  I’ll try to tell you as much as I can without being too long-winded.

We arrived home on April 27th to an awesome welcome home party at the Louisville Airport.  It blew us away to see all the people there who wanted to show their love and support to our family and meet Titus for the first time. Titus had slept so well on the plane ride to DC and after our 11 hour lay over in DC he slept the whole way to Louisville.  I think he was still partially asleep when we got to the airport in Louisville.  He looked very stunned to see the crowd there to say the least!

ImageAfter all the crying and hugging at the airport we were off for the first night with Titus in his new home.  The boys couldn’t wait to show him around – although, I’m not sure he was paying attention to anything but his crib at 11pm.  We soon learned that Titus liked to be up every 3 hours and needed a bottle to go back to sleep.  I felt like we had brought a newborn home from the hospital.  We didn’t know how to hold, rock, or comfort him, and he made it very clear from his cries that he didn’t care for our efforts.

After a few nights, we got better at the comforting but the bottle was the only thing that would put him back to sleep for good.  When we went to the pediatrician for his check-up, she assured us that at 20 lb., 8 month old baby doesn’t need two 8 oz. bottles in the middle of the night.  We came up with a plan to wean him down from 2 to 0 bottles at night.  In one week, we had achieved success.  Unfortunately, he was still waking up quite a bit in the middle of the night and during his naps with dirty diapers.  I didn’t remember this with my boys, but chalked it up to not remembering much about their baby days 9 years later.  We found out in the next few days, however, that there was a reason for the dirty diapers – Titus had Salmonella!  Thankfully, the doctor prescribed some medicine and in short time he was feeling much better, and we were all sleeping much better!

After getting Titus’ tummy taken care of, life has gotten a little more predictable and a lot more fun!  I am not a homebody so being able to get out an about with Titus has done wonders for my mood.  The boys and I have enjoyed getting out between Titus’ naps for  runs to the park, zoo, library, errands, etc.  Titus seems to enjoy the trips.  He actually loves his car seat.  I was expecting him to have a hard time with being confined, but he hasn’t had any trouble adjusting to it at all.

Speaking of adjusting…I know that we are only a few months into our new family dynamics but the adjustment to having a baby in the house seems to be going great.  I said great…not perfect!  We are all still trying to get used to the naps, feedings, and constant busyness that a baby brings.  However, the smiles that we get from Titus in return for our love and care of him make it all worth while!

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Thanks for your continued prayers for Titus and our family.  God put it on our hearts nearly 1 1/2 years ago to love an orphan and take him in as a part of our family.  We know that only through God’s miraculous love for us can we love each other.  He gave us the ultimate example of what that love looks like through his son, Jesus Christ.  I feel like we have just grazed the tip of the iceberg of what this love looks like in our daily lives.  Let us know how we can pray for the journey that God has put you on to love others as well.  We would love to be a part of your journey as you have been a part of ours.

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U.S. Embassy Clearance

Posted by Brian Borgman on April 13, 2012

Just a quick post to share the awesome news that we received yesterday.  We received an email yesterday morning that our adoption case has been cleared by the U.S. Embassy.  That means we will be leaving in the next few weeks to go pick up Titus and bring him home!  Thanks again for all of your prayers, encouragement, and support!  We’re in the home stretch!

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It All Started With A Produce Stand…

Posted by Brian Borgman on April 3, 2012

This time last year we were in the throes of our adoption home study and dossier completion.  As we looked forward to summer we also dreamed about having another child in our family within the next year.  We had been discussing for a few weeks how we would like to take the boys with us to Ethiopia. However, after reviewing the price of tickets, we decided they would need to raise the money to help out with their plane tickets if they wanted to join us.  We quickly learned that round-trip tickets can cost between $1,500 and $2,000.  So, Brian naturally thought they should raise a combined $3, 500…a nice, happy medium.  I, on the other hand, thought that was way too much money for an 11 and an 8 year old to raise!  I tried to talk Brian down to $500 but he wouldn’t budge.  I am so glad that he didn’t because I would have missed out on the miracle that God wanted to work in our lives!

We put up a fundraising thermometer on our refrigerator with a goal of $3,500.  Wow!  That looked impossible!  The boys looked at it and commented, “How are we ever going to make it there?”  I simply pointed to the verse that we had put at the bottom of the chart…

“Now to him is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”   – Ephesians 3:20-21

They couldn’t argue with that.

At the same time we were finishing up our dossier paperwork, we were putting out our first garden.  One day when the boys and I were up to our elbows in dirt, they came up with the idea to have a produce stand to raise money for their trip.  They worked hard planting, weeding, and harvesting…and by the end of the summer we had some fruits of our labor.  We put on a card table in our driveway with a sign that stated all proceeds from our sales would go towards our Ethiopian adoption.  Bless those people who stopped by on our little, old country road.  I think we made a total somewhere around $20 and that was just for a few tomatoes!  The boys then took their produce stand complete with zucchini bread and chocolate chip cookies to my sister’s yard sale.  They had some help by their cousins’ lemonade and cake pops and their nana’s flowers and produce to make the stand the highlight of the yard sale.  Before they knew it they had around $300 on their chart!

We heard in November that we had a referral for our 3 month old baby boy, Titus!  Wow, now it seemed really real!  The boys kept looking at their chart.  How were they ever going to get there?   Then came Christmas… they received numerous gifts from family to put towards their trip and the number on their chart continued to grow.  The biggest surprise for all of us came when Brian’s company, Unified Technologies, gave the boys $1,000 towards their trip at the company’s annual Christmas party!  I couldn’t wait to tell the boys the news!  Now they were 1/2 way to their goal!  God was doing immeasurably more than we could ever ask.

January was an exciting month.  We were only given a 5 day notice to travel to Ethiopia to see Titus and attend court to make him legally our son.  What a wonderful experience…I’m not going to go there right now or I may start down a whole different path!  When we got back home, I immediately went online to try to find something the boys could do to raise money for their tickets.  It had to be something that was easy, fun, and not too expensive to make.  I found directions for making coasters from tiles and it was exactly what we were looking for.  So, to the basement we went to test our new product.  Not bad, time consuming, but not hard to make at all.  We posted it on our blog and Facebook and were blown away when we got 5 orders the next day!  A “small production plant” started in our basement and grew beyond our wildest dreams.  Believe it or not, we have raised around $1,000 from the sales of our coasters!   The boys were almost to their goal!  God was doing more than we could have ever imagined!

Additionally, soon after we got back from Ethiopia, a friend of mine from Milligan College, Cindy Newland, contacted me to say that she was a representative for Thirty-One and she would like to throw us a party to help raise funds for the boys’ trip.  She said that she has a heart for adoption and would like to help us out.  I love Thirty-One products and was very excited about this opportunity.  I was again blown away by family and friends who ordered to support our adoption.  With the Thirty-One fundraiser, we raised $300 for the boys’ tickets.  The goal was getting closer to being realized.

As word continued to spread that the boys were raising money, we began to get checks in the mail from friends and family who wanted to show their support of our adoption and help the boys reach their goal. The boys were getting more and more excited as their total got closer and closer to the top!  No longer did they question if they were going to get there.  They knew God was working it out!

We are happy to announce that the top was blown off a few weeks ago when our good friends, Jeff and Kerrin Omer, offered their timeshare condo in Myrtle Beach for us to auction off in order to  raise money for the boys’ trip.  After a slow start, we had a bidding war on the last day.  The winning bid was $700 and was won by Brigitee Stapleton, a friend of a friend from Milligan College, who heard about the condo fundraiser on Facebook.

The boys celebrated by making fireworks go off on their chart as the top was blown completely off!  (I think they are excited to be out of the coaster making business, too!)

As I write all of this down for the first time, I am reminded of how many people have been a part of this journey that God put us on more than a year ago to give a child in Ethiopia a home. He has taught each one in our family the power He has to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine.  And he has used many of you to do it!

THANK YOU!  This is the deepest, most sincere thank you we could ever give!  The boys are looking so forward to seeing the country where there brother was born.  THANK YOU for helping to make it possible!  We hope to be able to repay the favor when it is your turn to take whatever journey God has planned for you!

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