Friday, February 29, 2008


Well, at least 2 of the 3 are coming home!!! Jeff's plane got cancelled due to a bird accident! oops, it flew into one of the engines of the plane. So, Jeff will fly in on Sunday night...we're still going to celebrate at the airport for Nyenna & Titus's home coming tomorrow!


MY HUBBY!! & Osobie and Fatu's PAPA!!
and... NYENNA & TITUS!!!!!!!!!



Monday, February 18, 2008

While Papa was gone....

Jeff will be home on March 1st!!!! You know I am counting down the days until we are reunited as a family! It also just so happens to be the day that Laurie Lorenzen is flying home (prayerfully)!! AND to top it off, it just so happens....HHHmmmm God......that when Jeff's company booked him a flight home 2 months ago, they routed him through Brussels because they found a good deal instead of the usual route through Amsterdam or London. So... guess who will be meeting Laurie and the kids in Brussels and flying home on the same flight to Denver? YUP! My sweet husband!!!! What a reunion that will be for us, and of course the Lorenzen family and for Osobie and Fatu to be able to see their friends Nyenna and Titus!! We are obviously praying hard that this will be the deal...but we also know Africa and how plans can change in an instant.

Anyway, I thought I would throw a few pics up of our last two months of life!!
Oh, and I guess I should comment on the kids, eh? Wow, I haven't really given any reports on their transition,our life together and how they are doing. I meant to do this a month ago but of course I find myself still exhausted by 9pm. I think I'll eventually get used to this right? Osobie and Fatu are doing great. Once again, I wonder if this is still because it's only been 3 1/2 months so far and they are still "on good behavior". Or if they really are easy going, happy kids that are super adaptable to whatever is going on around them. They are changing drastically in the sense of losing their Liberian accent and getting used to "American life". We talk about Liberia every day and I make a point to talk about their Liberian family, so we always have time to share their feelings about all the change they have gone through in the last couple months. When they first arrived home they were very shy and quiet when it came to talking about Liberia, but now I have found that when they want to tell me a story about Liberia, they just do it at their own pace and timing. It's been amazing to find out how much Osobie really remembers about his life before the AOH orphanage. I have been trying to journal what they tell me so I can write it in their life books. They have cried, pouted and grieved a bit but not as much as I had expected. They did have a season of difficulty a few weeks after they came home, usually right after they woke up from their naps but nothing too intense. We have spent most of our time just being in our home together, and I found that this helped all of us in our transition. There were days, and still are, where I have to spend a few hours working through problems, misunderstandings or explanations on how things work in our family and in our culture. It has been such a source of peace and relief to know that we have nothing we need to get to in a hurry, maybe except for church, and even's not a big deal if we come late. It's actually been really refreshing because Jeff and I have lived a life that has always been FULL! We were involved in ministry most of our single and married life and I think the Lord slowly started peeling away at our busy lives to prepare us for this time. I have learned to love the kids nap time. I sit with my coffee, my bible, Utmost for Highest and journal and just sit before the Lord. (Usually asking for patience, wisdom and energy...and confessing my sins and brokenness). Almost every day I feel like I totally screw up as a mama!! I'm so glad we can turn to the One who has all heavenly wisdom and gives it freely to us when we ask for it! Boy do I need it! So, aside from a few medical issues that we have faced, life in the Borchert home has been so incredibly sweet! I love my kids! They are hilarious! They are still a little stubborn when it comes to being silent but other than that, they really are great kids. I am also prepared for possible changes to come in the months ahead as they settle into our family. Or, maybe it won't happen. Either way, we are all digging each other and loving being a family!! So, while Papa was gone here is what we did! (Oh, this was inspired by Katy's video...I'm just not flowing with any creative energy right now, so pics will have to do. Thanks Katy!!)

We did a little cooking!!!

We hung out on mama's lap just playing...chilling....missing papa

because all that grease and lotion can sure add up!

We cleaned, cleaned and cleaned....does it ever end? And to think we live in a 980 square ft. house?!!! Yes,...I'm serious. It's tight but it's simple and it means less accumalation of "JUNK" that the world is constantly trying to sell us!

We played dress up...camoflauge with pink pumps!! WHY NOT!!!

We spent days in the hospital!!

Oh, yeah....I forgot to mention our crazy medical frenzy that came in like a tornado and wiped us all out, well, maybe just me. Fatu tested positive on her PPD skin test for TB. Well, not only that but also tested positive on her chest x-ray for supposedly active TB!!! Within 2 weeks of my husband leaving we were at Denver Children's Hospital for a 4 day stay for active TB!! The worst part of it all was that they didn't inform me that we would be quarantined
for the 4 days in one room! So, I left Osobie with the Lorenzens for 4 days while Fatu and I lived at DCH. They had to do 3 gastric aspirations where they pull the fluid out of her stomach very early in the morning for 3 mornings to collect it and see if they can grow a culture of the disease. If they can grow the TB disease they will test the 4 TB drugs against it to see which 2 are working the best at destroying it. Unfortunately, there is only a 30-60% chance that they can grow the TB culture from her fluids. (I wasn't told this until day 2 at the hospital). It was a horrible experience for us for various reasons. It was so hard to be there while they shoved the tube down her nose into her stomach. The whole time she's crying and screaming "mama please stop, please". I was quite the mess and exhausted. (you can see this in the photo of me below...I look a mess). So, by day 4 we were discharged and Fatu started the meds for a diagnosis of Active TB, even though we still do not know if she really did have it. The one indication that it may not have been active is that they did not find any live bacteria in any of her 3 gastric aspirations for the first microscopic smear. We are still waiting to hear if they were able to grow out a culture of the TB disease. I'll let ya all know!! Then 2 weeks after Fatu was officially no longer considered contagious, I took Osobie in for his 2nd TB skin test!! This time he tested positive! Go figure. The dr's did not believe he had contracted it from Fatu but that he had a false negative PPD skin test the first time. I had some dear friends come over and pray over him before our chest x-ray and days later the results came in as NO active TB!!!! Praise GOD!!! I was so scared, but somehow was able to release it to God with a real hope that it would be okay and it was. So, now Osobie is on the preventative meds for TB exposure. Then of course I had to get tested since I've been the closest one to her since November and I tested negative! Another reason I wonder if she ever did have "Active TB".

What a trooper!! That darn tube made her sneeze all day long!!
We made fun purses (Thanks Meeks!), watched videos and painted her nails for the first time!
Someone get this lady a latte!!!! HELP!!!
Isn't this the coolest? It's a photo holder that stands alone-accordion style. It comes with photo corners so you can replace the photos as often as you like. My mom gave it to me for a Christmas gift awhile back, and look ma, I finally found a use for it! I think this would be a great gift for any families that spend alot of time in the hospital for special needs kids or whatever.... it folds up into a compact book and brings some much needed love and a sense of home!
We dressed all our dollies many times, played Tinker toys for hours on end...
We met our new Uncles, Aunts and 2nd cousins!!!!

We rode our favorite Liebherr ride.... the Uncle Joe elephant!! Can you see Fatu? She is steering the elephant by the ear! Ouch!!

We hung out with our Aunt Lolo...enjoying our belated Christmas gifts!

We battled a couple of colds...notice the Rudolf Red nosed Osobie!! But, we also discovered our new favorite treat, Coconut.
We experimented with new hairstyles on Fatu...and decided we are going to do some extensions in the summer to give us all a break!!

We gathered with our friends for a Liberian reunion!!

Fatu and Kebeh...can you tell she's happy to have another girl around? ...I guess for Fatu and Kebeh both eh?

AND last but not least....enjoyed many a hug, wrestle; fall on the ground Liberian Lovin' session... Throw in there numerous trips to the store, reading books, going to church, making crafts, hanging with friends and family, home schooling, celebrating my 33rd birthday, and well, there you have it. The last 2 months of our lives without our beloved Papa.
We miss you!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

5 weird things about me!!

Fun with dough!!!
gotta love the Snapaholics snaps!!

Okay… so I’ve come to find out my friend Laurie…(but really Brandi)…has tagged me to share 5 weird things about me…

convenie just happens to be my birthday tomorrow...YES, I am a Valentines baby!! It's crazy to think I will be 33! How did that happen?
My sister bought me an hour of relaxtion at my favorite spa in town to get a facial and then I'll be hanging out with my sister, Mekay, her daughter Mackenna and the ki
ds for a day filled with fun and chocolate!!
Okay, so now on to the 5 weird things about me!!

1. This is probably the weirdest… but unfortunately it’s TRUE. You all can ask Jeff when he comes home from Africa. Okay…. enough stalling…I AM OBSESSED with picking my feet. To begin with, I mainly “pick” in the summer time because I walk around with bare feet right? I basically just sit and pick at the skin of my heels and begin to peel layers of skin off. It usually starts because my heels are rough and cracked from cruising around all summer in my favorite sandals (Chaco’s) or bare feet. The horrible thing is that I will just pick and pick until my feet are raw and bleeding and I can barely walk on them!! No joke!! Jeff gets so mad at me because he knows that at the end of a couple of picking sessions I will complain because I can barely walk!!

2. Okay, maybe I should have saved that one for last….So it looks like my next weirdness is not so weird because other ladies have shared the same thing. I am cheap! So cheap that my sister yelled at me because every time I am over her house I take my shoes off and reveal hole-y socks!! It’s bad when you are too cheap to buy new socks!! It usually takes me a few months to be able to decide on buying anything over $20!! For example, I wanted one thing for Christmas this year…well 2…first my kids home!!! Thank you GOD! Second, I wanted a “mom bag”. I have been using a purse my sister bought me in Paris and I’ve gotten a gazillion compliments on it, but it is no longer practical. I have to ‘tote’ around hand sanitizer, loads of Kleenex, snacks (because kids recently home from Liberia are hungry 24/7) and everything else. So, it’s now February and I have yet to buy my mom bag! I have been to REI three times, been online, and shopped in various stores keeping my eyes open for my perfect mom bag. The problem? They are all too expensive and I am also super indecisive. So, it will probably take me another 3 months before I convince myself to buy one.

3. Okay… so as I sit here, think and type… I’m beginning to realize I am really going to sound like a freak after this next one. Oh well, you’ll all still love me even after I share right? I can honk like a Canadian goose! Yup. It all started back in 7th grade when I tried out for track. I was great. I ran fast and managed to get the nickname Speedy Gonzales!! And can you believe I was the best at hurdles? For those of you who do not know…I am a short one, coming in under 5ft. 3inch today! Anyway, when I started running and training for the track season I discovered that when I breathed too heavy, I would make a noise like a honking goose!! I guess I’m not positive that my odd sound matches that of the Canadian goose… but it is a goose sound at any rate.

4. I must have bad circulation or something because I am cold almost all the time. I will sleep with a down comforter in the summer!! In winter I have to cocoon myself in our comforter and even then, if there is even an inch of an opening in my blanket cocoon, I can feel a chill down my back and I cannot sleep until I have rewrapped myself. Hmm…maybe I was made this way because God knew we’d be living in Africa someday!!!

5. Lastly, not so weird but every morning I get up and make coffee. I am a cream and sugar girl so I swirl my milk and Agave nectar in my coffee and leave the spoon in my cup. I will carry my cup of coffee around the house with the spoon in it all morning. I will even take my coffee cup with the spoon in it, in the car with me when the kids and I run errands. The good thing is whenever we’re doing breakfast with friends I can always find my cup. It’s the only one with a spoon in it!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Post Party-Fundraiser Friday night was awesome!! Unfortunately, I was so busy running around with the kids, listening to some great music and catching up with friends that I only took a few pics!! OOPS!!! Sorry... but I bet the Lorenzens will have more photos on their blog soon! It was a great turnout so I'm sure Dono and Laurie were blessed with donations!! It's always a good sign when there are a ton of $20 dollar bills in the jar!!!

Now we just need to keep praying for everything to come together so Laurie can bring Nyenna & Titus home!!

*Oh, and Brandi, next post will be 5 weird things about me.....uh out!!!

*notice Osobie's hands? ...he is always wearing gloves, whether we are inside or out. They are still adjusting to the cold weather!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

FRIDAY FUN-draiser!!!

Tomorrow night we will be headed downtown to our local coffee shop/church/music venue for an

adoption fundraiser for our dear friends

The Lorenzen's- (to bring home Nyenna & Titus)

It should be a great night of music, connecting with friends and probably a little dancing!!

Heck, you know the Liberian kiddos will be shakin' their booties!!!

Osobie and Fatu are going to be sporting their Liberian outfits and they couldn't be happier!! We even had an evening of "trying it on" just so they could see what they would look like tomorrow night!! I'll post again soon and give ya all a little update on our lives and post some photos from the fundraiser fun!!

Please continue to pray with us for these guys and
Praise GOD with us because our friends who had been fighting to bring home their kids are bringing them home this weekend!!!
I just checked out their blog!!! The McBride's

Friday, February 1, 2008

A story from Uganda

Okay, I wrote this blog and then I realized... hmmm...if people don't really know Jeff and I, whoever reads this could think I'm really bragging here about how we say YES to GOD, like we're some super-spiritual amazing Jesus followers....yes we are Jesus followers, but well, what I have to say is,... yes we do say yes to God but believe me there have been many times where we totally screw up and miss what God had planned for us because we didn't say yes to Him. So... I just wanted to clear that up... okay so now I'm just sounding nerdy...
Anyway, this is a great story of.....

What happens when we say YES to God!

So….as much as I want to share every cute and funny detail about our kids, I just have to share this story because it’s so flipping cool how God moves and works in the smallest decisions people make.

Two years ago, my husband had a work project in Northern Uganda, a small city called Arua. It was a 2 month gig, so we packed up our things and headed over to East Africa! This was going to be our second trip to East Africa and we couldn’t wait to get back.

Jeff and his team were out in the bush setting rat traps and collecting rats. (Jeff is an epidemiologist and specializes in plague research- fleas on rats carry plague-the reason for trapping rats, and it’s kind of fun!! I got to help out and come along with the team quite a bit). They worked in the same villages for the 2 month period which enabled them to get to know the people of the village. There was a young boy in one of the villages that would always run after Jeff and his team. Actually, he hobbled after them because he had a bum leg. It was swollen, oozing and in need of some serious medical attention. The boy's family lived miles away from town and would never be able to get him to a clinic or hospital because of lack of time (they were farmers), money and transportation. So, Jeff and his team decided to take the boy and his mom into town to the hospital and skip a half a days work in the field. They picked me up after he had been admitted to the hospital and we went to visit him. Now mind you, a small African hospital is NO place even the sick want to be, so I do not think the mom and boy were very happy about being taken there, even though they knew it was the only way they could get help.

Fred with his cane, bag of food and his new outfit Fred and his family, me and Jeff's coworkers

We found the boy’s (Fred Enchonee) mom, in the cooking area with the rest of the families. (oh, Enchonee means 'God with us' in their language). Family members have to cook and care for their sick loved ones the whole time they are in the hospital which also means they usually sleep on the floor underneath the hospital beds on mats. They have to bath them, care for them and feed them as there is no hospital care given by nurses or staff to anyone. After I met Fred and his mom, Jeff and his team went back into the field and I stayed with them in the hospital. I will never forget the stench of the hospital as I walked in, and never forget that each time I went to the hospital after that first time, I started to fall in love with the smell!!!!!!!!!! Yes, you read that right. I can’t explain it other than the Lord. I remember thinking, Wow GOD you can even do this? Cause me to LOVE the smell that would usually cause of person to want to vomit. It was a stench so strong but somehow it grew to be a stench of love. It was truly a God-thing… that allowed me to be where God wanted me to be to share His love with his hurting children. How is this possible? How could I look forward to spending all day in the most depressing, scary, lonely, and terrifying place in Arua? It was only the Lord. I spent the whole week with Fred, bringing them food from the market and drawing on paper and pencil together. I spent the day in Fred’s room where 2 other little kids were also staying. Florence and little girl named Tuesday had been in a car wreck. Florence, probably about 8 years old lost one of her eyes and Tuesday, 6yrs old, had broken too many bones to count. This wasn’t the worst of it. Tuesday had lost both her parents in the accident and Florence had lost family members as well. So here I sat, day in and day out, trying to bring some joy to these little lives who had experienced more loss and pain than I had in my entire life. I did get smiles from all the kids and a touch of laughter when the pain wasn’t too bad. It’s truly amazing what you can do with paper and pencil. Fred and I drew self portraits and in every picture he drew himself with one regular leg and one fat leg. After a couple trips out of town to another clinic to get x-rays, we finally spoke to the surgeon and the x-rays revealed that Fred had broken his leg probably over a year ago and the tibia was decaying inside his leg. If nothing was done, more than likely he would have lost his leg. He had a serious infection rocking but also had a sliver of new bone growing in the middle of his leg. Unfortunately, our time in Arua was coming to a close so we had to make a plan for Fred to be able to make his surgery within the month. We prepaid for the surgery, all medications, transportation, and food. Would you believe it all cost around $300!! Then we prayed that the men we left in charge would follow through with all the appointments and escorting Fred and his mom to and from the hospital.

Fred's x-ray,...broken bone and the small thin new bone
growing in the middle of the picture

Jeff (hubby), Me, Tim and Fred's family

This was 2 years ago! Well, Jeff made his trip back to Arua this last October. He worked in the same villages. On the first day back to Fred’s village, a not so little boy came running after the work truck. It was Fred!! Without a cane and without a limp!!!!!!!!!

He brought Jeff to his hut to see his family so they could all thank him for what they had done. Ugandan’s are the most hospitable Africans I have met. They danced, celebrated, cheered and cried together! They gave Jeff a chicken to take home. Of course both Jeff and I know that Fred’s family in no way can afford to give away a chicken, but we also learned that the best gift we can give to Ugandans is to accept theirs! Fred pulled on Jeff’s shirt asking, “Where is Katee?”, “Where is Katee?” Jeff realized he was asking for me!! Fred’s mother told Jeff that for several months after we had left for the states, Fred would run to the road waiting for us to come down the road in the work truck. What a special little boy, and what an amazing testimony of God’s love for him. One decision led to a life change for one little boy. If Jeff and his work crew had not taken Fred to the hospital, his life would have looked so different. Without surgery, Fred would have had a bleak future. He wouldn’t have been able to walk to school or work in the fields with his family. Unfortunately there are many young men in Uganda that live a life of laziness, causing trouble, and drinking. Part of the problem is the lack of employment opportunities and when you factor in physical limitations, it could have been a rough road for Fred. But GOD knew the plans he had for Fred, plans for a hope and a future. We are so blessed to have been able to see God’s hand working in the lives of one family in Arua. We feel so privileged that the Lord let us see what happens when we say YES to him and His kingdom!!

Fred- today...without a cane and without a limp!!!! (although his leg is still a little bigger than the other, but works just fine).

Jeff and Fred in all the photos!!

I know Fred looks sad in this photo but he's not...Ugandan's seem to think when you take photos one must always look very serious. I'm sure you can see this in the photos of the family up above.