Borg Man's World

A few of our favorite things…

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!

Posted in Adoption, Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Myrtle Beach Condo Auction Fundraiser Winner

Posted by Brian Borgman on March 24, 2012

Congratulations to Brigette Stapleton of Newport News, VA for winning our Myrtle Beach Condo Auction Fundraiser!  Brigette’s winning bid was $700.  We want to not only congratulate Brigette but also thank her for her generous donation to our adoption of Titus.

A huge thank you also goes out to our friends, Jeff & Karen Omer, for offering up their Myrtle Beach Condominium for this fundraiser.  Obviously, this would not have been possible were it not for their generous offer.

Last but not least, thanks to all of you that help spread the word throughout Facebook.  The fact that a friend of a friend that we have never met is now supporting us in our adoption process, is truly amazing and humbling! We sincerely appreciate all the support and prayers of all of our friends past and present that are joining us on this adoption journey!  THANK YOU!!

Posted in Adoption | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Myrtle Beach Condo Fundraiser Auction Bids

Posted by Brian Borgman on March 23, 2012

Below are the most recent bids received on the Myrtle Beach Condo Auction Fundraiser.  For more information on the auction or condo, please click here.

–  $700:  3/24/12 at 4:06pm

–  $650:  3/24/12 at 8:29am

–  $600:  3/23/12 at 10:54pm

–  $500:  3/23/12 at 8:00pm

–  $250:  3/23/12 at 11:20am

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Spring Fever? Myrtle Beach Condo Fundraiser Email Auction

Posted by Brian Borgman on March 17, 2012

We continue to be blown away by the generosity of our friends and family during the fundraising portion of our adoption!  We feel so connected to all of you who have helped us through prayer, coaster sales, the Thirty-One party, and general donations.  This has been a humbling experience to say the least.  When we started this journey, we knew we would have financial obligations but didn’t begin to realize how blessed we would be to have friends walk this road with us by contributing to those obligations!  It means more than we can ever express in words to know that we have such a strong support group right now!

With that said, we have some very generous friends, the Omers, that have offered to put their condo in Myrtle Beach up for auction to help us with our fundraising!

The condo is available May 13 – 18, 2012 and is located in the Shore Crest Vacation Villa 1 located on the Atlantic Ocean in Myrtle Beach, SC.  The villa has a partial ocean view.  It can sleep up to 6 people with 2 bedrooms and a living room with a sleeper sofa. The villa also includes 2 baths, kitchen, and laundry.  Additionally, the resort includes a winding lazy river, outdoor heated pool, indoor pool, hot tub, fitness room, game room, and internet access. Anyone have Spring Fever?  To see more information on the resort, please click here.

We will hold an email auction for this property.  See instructions/information below on how it will work…

  • Bidding starts Saturday, March 17th
  • Bidding ends Saturday, March 24th at 6:00pm (based on email time stamp)
  • All bids should be emailed to cassieborgman@att.net
  • We will update our blog daily with the leading bid.  On Saturday, should we have several bids throughout the day, we will try to update the blog as often as possible.
  • The winner will be contacted, at the latest, on Sunday, March 25th.  At that time, we will share the Omers’ contact information in order for the winner to finish the the final details with them.
  • If anyone has any questions/concerns, please contact Cassie at cassieborgman@att.net.

Posted in Adoption | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Southern IN Tornadoes – Food & Shelter

Posted by Brian Borgman on March 3, 2012

Eddie Johnson Southeast Christian Church – Indiana Campus… We need your help in getting the word out. Southeast Christian Church’s Country Lake Christian Retreat in Henryville, IN is FULLY equipped and ready to take on ANY and ALL guests affected by the tornado – NO COST. Country Lake’s Ross Knecht is telling us – “We have tons of food, blankets and supplies. We are equipped to sleep 300 and feed more than 1000. We currently only have about 15 people here so we need to get the word out.” If you could, please spread that news wherever and however you can.  Thank you!!

Country Lake Christian Retreat:  815 Country Lake Road  Underwood, IN 47177 – (812) 294-4789

Southeast Christian Church – Indiana Campus:  (812) 704-1952

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Coasting to Ethiopia…Coaster Fundraiser

Posted by Brian Borgman on February 26, 2012

The boys are trying to shore up the last of their money to fund their airline tickets to Ethiopia to help Cassie and me pick up Titus.  Their newest creation (with the help and research of their mother) are 3 different coaster sets available for sale.

The coasters were created using white tiles with black and white pictures sealed onto the tops of the tiles with white felt backing.  The coaster sets currently available are pictured below.  To see  a more detailed view of the tiles, please click on the picture set below.

African Landscape (Coaster Set #1)

African Adult Animals (Coaster Set #2)

African Mother & Baby Animals (Coaster Set #3)

All proceeds from the sale of these coasters will go directly towards the boys’ trip to Ethiopia.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the above coaster sets, please email Cassie at cassieborgman@att.net.  Please be sure to provide the following information in your email:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Set(s) you would like
  • Donation Amount

If you are interested in keeping up with the boys’ progress, be sure to visit the Adoption Fundraiser tab on this blog.

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Thirty-One Adoption Fundraiser

Posted by Brian Borgman on February 5, 2012

Brian and I have a friend from college that is a Thirty-One rep. For those of you that don’t know, Thirty-One is a faith-based company with a mission to help others. Our friend, Cindy Newland, has a heart for adoption and has offered to have a special catalog/online sale of Thirty-One products to help raise money for our adoption. 100% of the profits from this sale will go towards our adoption of Titus!!

Thank you for considering purchasing something from Thirty-One in order to help fund our adoption. Below is some additional information that Cindy asked us to share with you…

– To shop and order directly online, go to www.mythirtyone.com/CindyNewland. Click on “Place an Order” in the top menu; then choose “Shop Now” next to the Cassie and Brian Borgman Adoption Event.

– For questions or to order by email, contact Cindy at newlandcindy@hotmail.com.

– If you would like your order shipped directly to you, there is an additional $4 charge per order.

The new Thirty-One Spring catalog is now out! You’ll find lots of organizational helps and items you can personalize for yourself and for gifts. All personalization is a $7 flat fee per item.

February’s special is great…for every $31 you spend, you can choose any one item at 31% off; it can even be the most expensive item in the catalog! When selecting the item to receive the 31% discount, add an “S” to the end of the item number and the price will be reflected once the minimum $31 is reached.

P.S. Feel free to share this with any of your friends that may have an interest in ordering something from Thirty-One as well.

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Ethiopian Court Trip – Post 2

Posted by Brian Borgman on January 29, 2012

 

As we posted on Facebook this past week, we passed court which means Titus is officially ours.  It was a bit nerve-wracking; as our group was the last group called to see the judge.  She asked us 5 or 6 questions about our current family, our understanding of what we were getting ourselves into, and also wanted to be sure that we would help Titus to understand his Ethiopian heritage as he grows up.  Once we answered all of those questions, she said they had all of our paperwork and we were approved as Titus’ parents.  It was quite an emotional 5 minutes!

The next step is to wait for the U.S. to do their research on Titus’ background and their approval for us to bring him into the country and home with us. So, while he is legally our son, we had to leave him at the West Sands Transition House (where he is getting great care) in Ethiopia until we get the U.S.’ final approval.

While we were very anxious to get home to see our other two boys, it was very difficult leaving Titus and heading home…much more difficult than I anticipated.  We simply pray that the U.S. will be quick in their process and give us the clearance we need quickly to bring Titus home.

Thank you all for your prayers during our adoption process and specifically last week while we were in Ethiopia…please keep them coming!  While we cleared a big hurdle in the process last week, we still have some more time before everything is finalized and we can bring Titus home.

God is so good!  It is amazing to see Him at work in our lives and others’ lives through this process.  To think that approximately 1 year ago we were still “undecided” as to whether or not this “adoption thing” was something we wanted to do.  Wow!!  What a difference a year makes….and to think what we would have missed out on if we would have chosen a different path and decided not to follow God’s calling!  While this has been quite an emotional roller coaster for us, it has been a very humbling experience to step out in faith and see the joy that God can bring when we choose to follow His will for our lives.

I would encourage each of you, wherever you are in your faith, to challenge God to show Himself in a mighty way in your life.  However, you have to listen for His reply and then be willing to step out in faith and obedience to His calling.  Most of the time, it is easier to “hear” than to actually “act” .  What tug are you feeling in your heart right now?  Pray that God will give you the strength and the courage to step out and follow His leading in your life.

P.S.  This trip certainly impacted me in many ways.  Part of that was from the people we met and the things we were able to see and be a part of.  I was amazed at the extremes in the country…both positive and negative.  I hope in my next post to share my thoughts and feelings regarding Ethiopia and it’s people.

Posted in Adoption, Christianity, Family | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Ethiopian Court Trip – Post 1

Posted by Brian Borgman on January 25, 2012

WOW!! Our trip so far has been like an out of body experience!  Lots to share but not enough time to share it…our power and internet connection has been sporadic.

Our journey started Monday morning as we waited for our flight to leave DC.  We met a couple at our departure gate from Utah who were making the same trip to the West Sands Transition House to see their two children for the first time.  We survived the 13+ hour flight from DC to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Unfortunately, we slept very little (due to the anticipation of the excitement to come I’m sure!).  Unfortunately, we paid for it last night!

Upon landing in Ethiopia on Tuesday AM and worrying about whether or not our luggage made it with us to Addis (our luggage was one of the last ones off the plane), we connected with our host/translator.  During our drive from the airport to the Transition House, our host asked  us many questions about our family, our adoption process to date, and shared with us what we could expect the remainder of the week…specifically, our court date tomorrow.

Once we arrived at the Transition House, our host gave us an overview of the compound, our daily meals, and of course the rooms we would be staying in.  Then, we were finally taken to see our children for the first time.  Our new friends from Utah got to see their children first, and we were then introduced to Titus for the first time.

It’s hard to explain what it was like seeing Titus for the first time…exciting, yet very surreal!!  The nanny that takes care of him (along with approximately 5 other infants) was holding him, and we had to ask her if we could hold him.  As he has been in several of the pictures we have of him, he was all smiles.  He’s such a cute little boy!!  He has the biggest brown eyes; his hair is loosely curled; and he has a little dimple on his left cheek when he smiles…which he does a lot!  In fact, several of the nannies of come up to us and talked about how “Yosie” (his given name is Yosef) is always happy and smiling.  We hope that continues for our long flight home with him in (hopefully) a few months!  We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out and loving on Titus.

Late in the afternoon, we were able to catch about an hour long nap before we headed out to an authentic Ethiopian restaurant…complete with live Ethiopian music and tribal dancing.  Audience members are encouraged to participate in the dances…and to answer your question, yes, Cassie and I did participate.  Unfortunately, none of you will ever be able to lay eyes on those videos!

In closing, Cassie and I would ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers.  Specifically, please pray for everything to go smoothly in court tomorrow so that this precious, little boy will legally be ours!!

P.S.  For those of you that don’t know, we are unable to share pictures online of Titus until he officially becomes ours following our court date.  Assuming all goes well in court tomorrow, I hope to be able to post a picture or two tomorrow or Friday before we head home.

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