Bruckner Kids

Welcome! We are Eric and Misty Bruckner and are getting ready to adopt two beautiful children from Kazakhstan into our family. We were blessed almost six years ago with our son, Ty, and are anxious to add to our family. This site is designed for anyone interested in the international adoption process, our friends, our family and mostly to record our thoughts and feelings on this incredible journey.

Name:
Location: Wichita, Kansas

Monday, October 31, 2005

New Pictures


Our little monsters!





Bath time is much more fun with big brother.



Ty and Case the first night home.

WE ARE HOME!

Hello All,

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Well, here we are a week home and things are still in a state of chaos. By the progress we are making, by the time Jordan graduates, we might be able to dust by then. I know it’s been awhile since we’ve posted, so I will give you some cliff notes on last week in Almaty and the first week home.

<>The trip from Uralsk to Almaty was LOUD. Case was great. He snuggled in and slept most of the way. He has the blessed childhood phenomenon of motion sleeplyness and he was out for the entire trip. Jordan decided to play WAY past her nap time and then SCREAMED the last hour of the trip. People clapped when we landed…I’m pretty sure it was because they could escape us.

Tuesday morning we met with the agency people only to find out that there was an error in Jordan’s passport and we might not be able to leave on Saturday as planned. I was just getting to some state of emotional norm and this about pushed me over the edge. Due to a Kaz holiday and limited plan travel. It would have extended the trip another five days. Now, for those following along, this might not seem like a big deal, BUT when you have a six year old at home and a life you miss, it was really bothering. We held our breath all week as our adoption agency performed miracles, by literally flying to Astana (current capital), to Uralsk, back to Almaty, convincing the US Embassy to stay open well passed closing time, off to Astana again, and then met us at the airport with the new passport three hours before we left the country. I think everyone at the agency felt we were the couple of doom, because crisis seemed to follow us. We really appreciate the work they did to get us home!

While in Almaty, we got to know both the kids better. Jordan was a very happy, easy going little girl. She ate (and ate, and ate), slept well and loved to play. She also finally caught Case’s attention, which made her very happy. Her “Daddy’s girl” behavior only increased and she was truly a delightful little addition. We were very glad the universe brought her to our lives and that our hearts were open enough to accept the gift. Case also decided that she must be staying and decided he would pay attention to her…once in awhile. He liked to push her in her walker and snuck her goldfish when we weren’t looking. He also gave her kisses, way before he would willingly give us one. He would also find her bottle if she was crying…all very precious from the big brother.

We did see the other side of Case, too. For those in the adoption process, I won’t sugarcoat it, like I think sometimes happens in the blogs that are kept OR maybe everyone else has perfectly behaved children from the beginning…we did not. Case threw fits like neither of us had ever seen before and was more than a little scary. He would through himself on the floor, kick, scream and bang his head. This would occur sometimes when we would redirect him from putting his finger in the light socket or blocking the path to get behind the TV and sometime for putting on his coat, or taking off his coat, or from some imaginary wrong doing. These were some rough days.

However, the tantrums from Case were nothing compared to the plane ride home!

After getting the kids’ passports at the airport a few hours before we left, we were feeling very happy about the world. And then once more, the fates laughed at us. Jordan had projectile vomit at the ticket counter. We just got her changed and then explosions from the other end started. We went through two outfits before we ever got on the airplane. The next seven hours on the plane were filled with the same awful experience and this poor little girl was so sick and just SCREAMED the entire flight. I made friends with every flight attendant and I only have great things to say about KLM/Northwest and their employees who tried to help. On top of that, Eric and I were both feeling pretty lousy by this point. I honestly had the thoughts of who can I call to meet us in Amsterdam, because I didn’t know if we were going to make it. The only thing that saved us was that Case was a gem and slept almost the entire trip. Jordan finally got it all out of her system (and in all directions and two more outfits and into Case’s diaper supply) and was quiet the last 20 minutes. Just for the record, those airplane bathrooms will NEVER be the same after we finished with them!

We landed in Amsterdam exhausted and went directly to boarding the next flight…this time 9 hours. This time we all passed out and slept the first 3 hours. Jordan slept really the entire trip and Case only had few outbreaks and really dozed most of the trip. We got done with immigration and had five hours in Detroit. Case got to run around and flirted with all the new Americans who thought he was very cute. Jordan slept and Eric and I gave thanks!

We arrived home to wonderful friends and family and, of course, our beautiful son Ty. After hesitating a little, he hugged us almost as hard as we hugged him and then he took of with Case in the stroller, gladly playing the role of big brother. Jordan was still sleeping and still feeling lousy. The toll finally caught up with me, so poor Eric, his first night home, slept with Ty on the couch (Grandpa and Grandma came all the way from Omaha and were in Ty’s room) and poor Ty got up with Dad at midnight and 6 a.m. to take care of Jordan.

My mom’s tour of duty has not ended and she’s been here every morning helping us get Ty to the bus and being the extra hands to take care of the little guys. We’ve gone through a whole bunch of wine this first week, but things are starting to look a little better. I'd say life is chaotic right now, but it just makes me laugh at the understatement. The kids really are doing well, but we are just not quite ready to be parents of three and two being under two. Our standard of living, house readiness and every other level previously thought of as important before has quickly left reality for now.

Case is really adjusting well. He is accepting parenting much more now and is really a pretty easy going kid. Once he realizes he will have toys to play with and we will go back to the park again, I know life will be better, but really he is great. He still has tantrums, but not quite as violent and not as many. Jordan feels much better and is her happy self. Sleeping through the night was a problem that first week, but the last few nights have been better

We took both kids to the doctor and overall the pediatrician was very pleased with their development. Jordan is really low on weight, but I think that will quickly change, because she loves to eat and she should catch up. Case is so small that he is not even on the chart. Dr. Chavez said 90% of the time with good food and homelife these little ones catch up in a year or two. We felt much better after talking to him and they are running a battery of blood work and the lovely process of poop samples (NO…Eric is no help on this at all! I screwed up the first ones and then knocked over another set. I think the lab thinks I’m selling the specimen bottles on the black market). The kids and I will be glad when this process is over.

Ty is taking on the role of big brother like a champ. Case thinks he is the coolest thing ever and just follows him around and attempts to copy Ty's action...it's very precious. Jordan (a definite man’s baby) is absolutely in love with her biggest brother. We have our moments of jealousy, but overall very good.

We continue to be overwhelmed and more than a little questioning of our judgment to adopt two of these little creatures at once. Dinner time is so scary none of the regular networks would be allowed to broadcast it. But, when Ty was playing his imaginary football game tonight in the dining room with full commentary, Case was screaming in excitement from his high chair and Jordan was bouncing and laughing, for those few minutes all was right with the world.

I’ll try to give some updates every week or so, mostly for history of the kids, but we’d still love to hear from you. Thank you all so much for being with us on this journey. Your support was very much appreciated. All of our friends and family who have taken care of us with love and support and enough food until Christmas, we greatly appreciate all of that, too.

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We are so very glad to be home and, even in this complete state of chaos, very glad to have ALL of our kids home, too.

Misty

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sunday, Oct. 16

Today is our last day in Uralsk. The kids are napping and I'm at the hotel posting. It's been awhile since I've had any free time, so I'll try to catch up on the big stuff and then just some random thoughts. Eric calls my posting, the writing of the "Constant P.S." since nothing seems to really flow and all appears to be an after thought. Yeah, like I came half way around the world for a writing critique from a computer guy...oh well!

The kids are really adjusting well. Jordan is such a good little girl, it's hard to imagine a it going any better with her. I feel bad that we've not had the chance to write as much about her, so I'll try to fill you in on her personality. First, she is very easy to make smile. A few words of silly talk, a bounce or a tickle and she grins from ear to ear. She also has the cutest dimples ever. She crawls, cruise around furniture and can balance a few seconds on her own before falling. I think she will walk soon. She is also a noisy baby. She reminds me of Ty and that she jabbers all the time and if you don't respond she just gets louder and LOUDER. She also does the very serious voice with wrinkled forehead, where you might be getting scolded. She goes on and on at this. She is constant motion when she's awake. She HATES to have her clothes changed and she wiggles, squirms, rolls, screams and does everything possible to make you HATE changing her clothes, too. She is a great sleeper. She fusses a bit when you put her down, but not long and she is a good eater. She goest to bed at 8, takes a bottle around 10 or 11 and then is up around 6:30. I've been sick, so Eric has been doing the early morning routine. I refer to it as "his fan club is calling" because there is NO doubt who she likes best. Don't get me wrong, she likes me. She smiles when I come into the room and she crawls over to be picked up. BUT, if Eric is around, it's an entire production. She starts out talking and then grow louder until he picks her up and then she just laughs and giggles and beams...even modest Eric admits that she is totally taken with him. They have this whole "bouncing" game they play, where she thinks she is really jumping that high. She gets so excited with him. She would really like Case to pay attention to, but like most older brothers, that's not happening, we are glad he is just tolerating her now.

Case is doing well. Yesterday was a rough one for him. I'm sure the transition is catching up and that he misses the life he has always known, even thought he is happy with us. He was testing us as parents yesterday with full out fits, tantrums when he was told no, not holding hands at the park and running away from us. There were several terms we thought of after the day to describe him, but none are very politically correct, so we will just go with it was a LONG day for Case-man yesterday. We broke open the big bottle of Kaz beer last night....and I don't like beer and am taking antibiotics...it was worth the risk! Today is a much better day. Being told no, is still not good, but the screaming has been replaced today anway with just a few minutes of pouting and then running to be picked up. He is also learning the joy of mimicking. Today he learned to give hugs, kisses and do "sshhh" (Jordan was sleeping) all are very cute. He is picking up understanding the language quickly and with hand gestures and showing him, he really does a great job. We went with the park yesterday was Masha and you could see this look of relief come over his face when she spoke Russian to him. I really did not think that the language issue would be that big of a deal at 20 months, but it really is. He is really trying to talk now, which is great, since the first two weeks, he really said nothing. He now says Mama, Dada, Paka-Paka (bye-bye in Russian), quack, moo, cracker, and a few others. He does take his nap and sleeps at night a good 11-12 hours, so we cannot complain. He does roll all over. We have him on at mattress in our room and have him blocked in on three sides and pillow on the fourth. He rolls over the pillows. I get up at least once a night to put him back in and twice he's been under Jordan's crib and once under our bed...we will be so glad to be home with cribs for both, high chairs, walkers, etc. I might be a spoiled American, but I'm OK with that!

So, we leave Urlask with mixed emotions. We will be forever greatful of these two beautiful children, who we come to love more each day...yep even the LONG yesterday. Olga and Masha have been tremendous through this long struggle and we will think of them with only positive feelings. There will always be a little heartache with the loss of Jade, but there is a no doubt that we love Jordan very much and are very glad that we have been blessed with her as well. The others we have met here, have been kind, helpful people and we wish this country the best. One of the people we see almost everyday is very old woman (she's 150, if she's a day) that sells newspaper. She would always say her one English word "hello" to us. Now that we have the kids, she hugs us everyday and goes through this entire blessing and thanksgiving...it's very touching.

Well that's plenty from here. As I said, I don't know if or how we will post in Almaty. We fly out tomorrow for Almaty to take care of medicals for the kids and U.S. Embassy paperwork and then start the long flight home at 1:00 a.m. on Saturday ....28 hours of flights and layovers to reach home at 5:00 p.m.on Saturday. I will be so glad. Eric has held up much better than I. I plan to squeeze Ty for as long as he will let me and then collapse for as longs as all three Bruckner kids will allow. Sunday will be football, pizza and jammie pants....Oh, will it be good to be HOME!

Thank you all for following along. Your emails and posts have meant the world to us and not made us nearly as lonely.

Best to you all,
Lots of love,
Misty and Eric

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Saturday, Oct. 15

Hi All,

We seem to be in a constant time crunch...imagine that with two kids eating and nap schedule. I just wanted to tell you all is well. We leave here on Monday at 1:00 and we are ready. I've discovered a whole new level of homesickness these last few days. We will be in Almaty through Friday taking care of final paper work. I'm sure these will be tough days and since we crashed the computer, it may be a challenge to connect...we will try.

The kids are doing great. Jordan is SUCH a Daddy's girl and she is sooo noisy. Case is doing well and trying to be very good. He did through a GREAT big hissy fit this morning, so we do know he's a normal toddler. After 45 minutes, he came around, but it was a long 45 minutes! They seem to be taking this completely different world pretty well.

Hope all is well with you. I'll try to post tomorrow, if I can. If not, best to you all.

Love,
Misty

Friday, October 14, 2005

Back at the apartment


Misty will tell you about this one when she posts tomorrow...

Pictures from Baby House



Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A New Era

Well,this will be quick, because Eric's alone with the kids. All is going well. The first day went surprisingly smooth for everyone. Both kids took naps and everyone slept through the night. We made Case a little "nest" by our bed. He did manage to roll out of it and under Jordan's crib in the night....don't ask me how. He never woke up...we just heard the clunks.

Today is a little rougher. The kids are probably a little confused and both fighting colds. We are still a little unsure on their eating habits, but we are doing OK. Case has a real fear of taking his clothes off and diaper changes. I gave him a wipe down lask night and he screamed in terror. Jordan was good with everything. She was very happy yesterday. She is a real cutie.

I better get back...who knows what's happened! We'll try to get pix and a longer post up later.

Love to you all.

Misty

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Court Day

Hi All,

Court was as easy (THIS TIME) as everyone said it would be. Poor Eric was a wreck before Court. Everything is pretty much directed at him and he fretted over the statements he had to have memorized and making sure he practiced all of the possible questions. I worried he'd faint, but he came through with no problems. I handled the little speech at the end, because we all agreed that he would not make it through one more thing! The process took about 30 minutes. My favorite part of Court...besides the judgments of course...was when the Baby House director spoke. She is a sterotypical character out of a Russian novel.....large woman, booming voice and kind of puts the fear of God into you. She has taken us on as her personal project after all that's happened. Anyway, she went ON and ON and ON about how important it was for the kids to be placed NOW with us. The Judge finally looked up with this glazed looked in his eyes as if to say, "Anything you want, but PLEASE quit talking." A few hours after the decision, we got all the final papers and the new birth certificates with us as parents! YEAH!

We only visited the kids in the a.m. yesterday. Jordan was very happy and had a great time in the ball pit and bouncing on the spongy mats. She is REALLY easy to get to smile now. Her cold is still there and we are hoping it clears before she has to get on the plane. Masha has been sick a few days and could not believe the difference in Jordan's personality. We jokingly blamed Masha for all the screaming the first few days...she agreed it was her. HAHAA

Case is testing out this parent concept, by pouting and a half-hearted fit when we say "No, you can't play with the electrical plug, or the stick, etc." He folds his arms lays down and attempts to give dirty looks. We just leave him alone and he quickly comes back around. I think he was hoping we were rookies at this. Anyway, it's interesting to watch his personality unfold.

The caregivers said Case waited by the window all morning and would say "Mama - Papa" when a care drove up...how sweet is that. When we got there they had all the little kids lined up on their potty chairs...everything is done as a group. When Case saw us at the door, he got up...naked buns and all. All the other kids yelled at him to sit back down. He wondered a bit with his little buns showing, pants trailing and finally sat back down. Then he and the entire groups sat on their potties and waved....it was sooo funny.

The other funny moment was the mouse incident last night. We found a mouse under the sink last night. In true princess fashion, I screamed and ran and jumped on the bed. Eric went into warrior mode with a pot and skillet. I kept hearing all of this noise and Eric saying, "Oh No, Oh geeze....and a few other things." I kept thinking we'd been invaded...but no...just one mouse outwitting Eric. The highlight was when Eric thought it went in the washing machine....when I heard the washing machine going...even I had to find out what had happened. Needless to say, the mouse got away and is probably inviting all the mice in the neighborhood to come check out these really dumb Americans! It's one of those moment I will laugh at for the rest of my life. By the way, we are going mouse trap shopping today! Don't worry, the apartment really is fine. This is just your every day mouse trying to find a warm place.

That's all. We are off to get the kids.

Love to you all...
Eric and Misty

Pix on last visit before court



GREAT NEWS

We are in a rush, but wanted to send a quick note that the kids are ours! Court went well, except for Eric being soooooo nervous! He did great though! We will give more details later, but wanted you to know that the judge approved the adoption and the immediate execution, which means we get to pick up the kids tomorrow and leave here on Monday. We will have a few days in Almaty and should return home as planned on the 22nd.

Best to all. It's a great day here.

Love,
Eric and Misty

Monday, October 10, 2005

More Pix, finally



Monday, Oct. 10

Hi All,

We truly have lost track of days at this point and with our computer down at home, you'll have to bare with us on the posting process.

Jordan's cold today seemed a little better in the morning, but we still went to go get her some medicine. We had to go to this special pharmacist place, only to find out when we got there that we were basically getting her vitamins. Oh well, I'm sure it won't hurt. But, I think my cousin Kevin should be checking into Kaz for a new site for the pharmaceutical companies!

Case and Jordan met for the first time yesterday. Jordan was fascinated with him and Case did not hit her, so we took all of this as a very good sign. They spent more time together this morning and she never took her eyes off of him and actually lit up when she thought he might even be paying attention to her. Ty, she's gonna love you!

Jordan's personality continues to come out and she is a very sweet little girl. She is getting more brave about leaving our lap to crawl around, but we know the cold is holding her back, too. She also has very deep dimples. The caregivers think she looks like Eric, which just makes us laugh, since she is very Kazak in features. It's really funny because wherever we've traveled...Mexico, Italy, Germany, people think Eric is native....I must have American girl written all over me!

We have court tomorrow...we really have not taken a deep breath in days now. We will feel so much better when that is done and will try very hard to get a post up to let you know how everything went.

The other news is that Case is starting to make noise. For the most part his vocabulary has been "eh." We now have heard Mama and "Paka-Paka", which is bye-bye in Russian. The last few days he's been babbling a lot....this is good.

We've got to go, but miss you all!

Love,
Eric and Misty