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Posts Tagged ‘West Sands’

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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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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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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IT’S A BOY!!!

Posted by Brian Borgman on December 4, 2011

Please forgive us for the length of this post as it has been quite some time since we last updated you on our adoption journey. I hope you have a few minutes for us to bring you up to speed; as we have a lot of exciting news to share!

First and foremost, we’re excited to announce that we received a referral for a 3-month old baby boy on Monday, November 30th!!! I’ll give you all the details further down in this blog but first let me bring you up to date on what has occurred up to this point. It is amazing to see God in control and at work throughout this process!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..” – Jeremiah 29:11

In all honesty, up until the last few weeks, very little had happened in regards to our adoption process. The only two things that come to mind between our last post and a few weeks ago was 1) a decision by Cassie and I to allow our boys to join us on our 2nd visit to Ethiopia and 2) being asked several times by our adoption agency, Lifeline Children’s Services, if we would consider anything less than 2 children.

For those of you who are unaware, Ethiopia requires two visits to the country prior to bringing home your child/children. The first trip is to take care of all the legalities on the Ethiopian side in regards to the child/children you are adopting. While the 2nd trip is the actual trip to pick up your child/children.

After much discussion and prayer (and urging by Trenton and Garrett); we have decided to allow them to join us on our 2nd trip to Ethiopia to pick up their new brother…assuming they help raise their portion of travel expenses to join us. Their enthusiasm and commitment to this adoption has been unwavering and luckily we’ve seen the same commitment from them in their fundraising efforts. The opportunity for us to travel together as a family to Ethiopia to meet the newest addition to our family is an opportunity of a lifetime for both them and us.

It has been wonderful to see the boys setting aside their desire to purchase “things” in order to save money for their trip. Both Cassie and I feel that the things they will learn through this process will be beneficial for them for years to come. It has been enjoyable to see their creative juices flowing on ways to raise the needed funds.

This past summer, with a lot of help from the boys, we put out our 1st garden. The boys set up a roadside stand to sell the produce along with signs on what the money will go towards. We had a yard sale earlier this year (where the boys baked cookies to sell and their cousins and Nana made cake pops and flower arrangements to sell for the boys), Cassie’s sister has offered to host a bake sale sometime after the 1st of the year, both boys have decided to make and sell walking sticks, as well as many other ideas have been tossed around. Stay tuned as I’m sure we’ll be sharing more details on these ideas in the weeks and months to come.

Another occurrence over the last few months has been some questioning from our Lifeline represenative on whether or not we would consider less than two children. To give you a quick background, when Cassie and I first started this process we set up our parameters on what we wanted for our family…two boys anywhere from birth to 5/6 years old. After all, we’ve already raised boys, we know what to expect, etc. However, after continual prayer and discussion, we changed that a bit and said we would be open to two kids as long as they were the same gender. However, by the time we had completed our initial paperwork, we had even given this up to God and settled on whatever two kids He felt was best for our family; no matter the gender…boy/boy, girl/girl, or boy/girl.

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago and we sensed yet another urging from God. Lifeline had a picnic (on Saturday, November 20th) for anyone that had worked with them in the past or was currently in the adoption process with them. Shortly after we arrived, we stopped to talk with our Lifeline represenative [that we have been working with]. The question was asked again if we were still only considering two children. Again, our answer was, “yes”. However, after many conversations throughout the day with other families, Cassie and I both felt we needed to discuss and pray about this more. Additionally, some close friends of ours that recently adopted three children from Ethiopia, asked if they could stop by our house and pray and share some things they went through during their process.

After our time with them, more conversations between Cassie and I, and more prayer on the subject; Cassie and I both felt that this was an area that we were trying to control and that we felt we knew what was best for our family. If we truly believed that this adoption was a path that God put us on, and He knew what was best for our family; then why weren’t we also letting Him have complete control of our adoption? Cassie and I agreed that if we were truly letting God take this over; not only should we be open to less than two children…but we also had to be open to more than two children. So, the next morning (Monday, November 21st), Cassie called our agency and informed them that not only were we open to only 1 child, but we were open to as many sibling groups that needed a home…be it 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” – Isaiah 55:8

Nine days after our decision to release our control in this area to God, Lifeline notified us with our referral. Cassie received a call from Lifeline on the morning of Wednesday, November 30th, informing us that we had a referral for a 3 month old boy named, Yosef. Shortly after that call, Cassie received an email from our agency with a picture and some details on our new son. While we cannot share a picture at this time, let me just say he is the cutest thing we have ever seen!! He has loose curly hair, big brown eyes, the cutest little nose, lightly colored skin, and what looks to be a little dimple on his right cheek. Per the paperwork, he’s as healthy as he can be; and based on his picture, he’s quite an alert little boy. We plan to use his name, Yosef, as either his first name or at a minimum as a middle name. Ironically enough, his name means, “God will add.” Isn’t that just like God’s sense of humor?!

I cannot tell you how much of a blessing this experience has been for our family so far…especially the past 2 weeks! It is both amazing and humbling to see the generosity and interest that people have taken in our story.

Just to share a quick story in that regards…the people I work with at Unified Technologies are awesome! Last night was our company Christmas party. Following our “dirty Santa” gift exchange we do every year, our CEO, Scott Diamond, talked about the amount of money our employees raised for some local families through the More Than A Gift program at Southeast Christian Church. As is our usual custom, the company matches what the employees give. However, this year, the employees gave enough of their own money that there was really no reason for the company to match. So, unbeknownst to Cassie and me, the company decided to take it’s portion of the money and give it to us to help with our adoption…specifically, to help the boys with their fundraising to join us on our trip to Ethiopia!!

What an emotional an unbelievable evening it was; not only for Cassie and me, but I think for a lot of people that I work with as well. It continues to amaze me how much this journey of ours has impacted not only me and my family but other people that we know and come into contact with. Again, it is both humbling and amazing how God chooses to use and reach His people! I simply hope and pray that through this journey those that we come in contact with see the love of Christ and how He has chosen to adopt anyone that wants to be part of His family!

The other thing I hope people see is the fact that this is such a faith ride for my family and me. We cannot do this on our own. Between having the money to pull this off, the emotional roller coaster this has been and is yet to be, and making it through all the things that can go wrong through the adoption process; it is unbelievable to see God’s hand at work! A verse that we have on the boys’ fundraising chart and that has become our family’s mantra; nails this point…

“Now to Him who 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

So, what’s next? We are hopeful within the next 3 months we will be making our first trip to Ethiopia. Prior to that time, Yosef will be transported from his orphanage some 7 hours away to a transition home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During our first visit to Ethiopia, we will get to see Yosef for the first time, spend time with him and the other children in the orphanage, and finally go to court to legally adopt him. Unfortunately, at the end of that week, we will return to the states but will have to leave Yosef in Ethiopia. During our time back home, final processing of our adoption will take place before we will be allowed to return for our 2nd trip. Again, we are hopeful within about 3 months after our return home we will be allowed to return back to Ethiopia (along with Trenton and Garrett) to bring our new son back home with us.

Thanks to each of you for your thoughts and prayers over the last 10 months of our journey. I would ask that you continue to keep us on your list and specifically pray for the following for us in the coming months:

  1. Yosef’s health and safety
  2. Health and safety for the caregivers in Ethiopia currently taking care of Yosef
  3. Quick processing of paperwork in Ethiopia so we can make our 1st trip
  4. Patience for our family as we wait for our 1st trip
  5. Low stress for our family as we prepare our home for a new baby
  6. That we clearly see the many things God is teaching us through this process and we don’t get in the way of what He is trying to teach/show others

Posted in Adoption, Christianity, Family, Unified Technologies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Ethiopian Adoption Update

Posted by Brian Borgman on July 2, 2011

Our apologies for the lack of upkeep on information regarding our Ethiopian adoption. Unfortunately, there has not been much to share up to this point. However, we are happy to announce that our dossier (a collection of documents about Cassie and me for the Ethiopian government) has officially made it to Ethiopia!

The following is a quick rundown of what has taken place with our adoption up to this point and what the next several months hold for us.

  • Our Dossier and Home Study were completed and delivered to Arise for Children (our adoption agency) at the end of May
  • Since the end of May through the end of June, our Dossier and Home Study has been reviewed and approved by Arise for Children; shipped to Utah to West Sands (Arise’s Ethiopian adoption program partner) where it was also reviewed and approved; then shipped to Washington, D.C. for authentication; and finally shipped back to West Sands who sent it on to Ethiopia.
  • Last week, Cassie and I had to get our fingerprints taken at Homeland Security.  We’ve already received those back and confirmed we are not wanted, hardened criminals.  The Homeland Security information will be on its way to Ethiopia next week.
  • At this point moving forward, we will simply be waiting for the referral for our children.  Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women’s Children’s and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA) will review our Dossier and Home Study and then (hopefully) approve our adoption request.
  • We have been told that we will receive our referral in 3 – 6 months.
  • Upon receiving our referral, we will then await final clearance from Ethiopia for our court date.
  • We will make 2 trips to Ethiopia.  The 1st trip will be a lot of legal stuff where we go through the Ethiopian court system to become the legal parents of our new children.  We will return to the U.S. (without our children) and then a month or two later will return to Ethiopia to finalize everything to actually take custody of our children and bring them back home.

We would appreciate it if you would keep the following in your prayers for us…

  1. The Ethiopian children that God has picked out for us.
  2. The Ethiopian caregivers that are or will be taking care of our children.
  3. The Ethiopian officials reviewing our paperwork.
  4. Continued patience, trust, and growth for our family through this process.
  5. Peace for me regarding the financial obligations involved with this process.
  6. Peace for Cassie regarding the unknown family and social dynamics and changes that will occur.
Thanks to all of you who are keeping our family in your thoughts and prayers while we go through this process.  It means so much to us when you ask for an update.  Hopefully this has helped to bring you up to speed!

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

Our 1st Ride on the Adoption Roller Coaster

Posted by Brian Borgman on March 5, 2011

We’ve been on “a high” for the last week…making our adoption announcement to friends and family.  Thank you for all of the well wishes, encouragement, and continued prayers.  Unfortunately, today it seems we are on our 1st ride on the Adoption Roller Coaster.  According to an article we just read on Voice of America,  Ethiopia is Cutting their Foreign Adoptions by 90%.

Per the article,

“Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs has issued a directive saying it will process a maximum of five inter-country adoptions a day, effective March 10. Currently, the ministry is processing up to 50 cases a day, about half of them to the United States…the reduction of up to 90% in cases will allow closer scrutiny of documents used to verify a child’s orphan status.”

Obviously, this is very disappointing news to us.  After Cassie had a discussion with a friend who is in the last stage of their adoption journey (they are leaving next week to pick up their 3 kids from Ethiopia!), she shared a blog post with us from West Sands Adoptions (the adoption agency we will be partnering with), titled Rumors About (Ethiopian) Courts Slowing Down.

The blog post states that the Ethiopian Courts have not posted such a statement; rather Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs (MOWA) is the government department that stated the reduction.  While, MOWA is part of the Ethiopian government, apparently they have made statements like this in the past in an attempt to get more staff for their department.

Our hope and prayer is that this is simply a political move by the MOWA in an attempt to get what they want.  Whatever it is and whatever the outcome, we know that God is in this with us and His ways are better than ours.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers as I’m sure this will be one of many “bumps in the road” we will see along the way.

– Brian

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