Our Kazakhstan Adoption

Hello, We are Joe and Steph - a couple with a young biological son who have made the decision to adopt a child from Kazakhstan. Joe also has a teenage daughter from a previous marriage. Rather than infertility, we are adopting "by choice". We made this decision after much thought and research. There are so many children in the world that need a loving home. We hope this blog will keep our friends/family informed of our progress along the way!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Playing in the sandbox
Yummy fudgesicle!

Monday, May 05, 2008

One Year Ago Today

Today is exactly one year ago today that Brogan arrived home from Kazakhstan. I remember having dinner with Bryson and my parents at Ruby Tuesdays and sitting there thinking at that dinner about how our family was about to change.

I remember going to the airport afterwards with my dad to meet Joe, Kathy (AKA Grandma) and Brogan while mom stayed home with Bryson to get him in bed. In so many ways it seems like just yesterday, but on the other hand Brogan has changed so drastically over this past year that it seems almost impossible that it has ONLY been one year.

I cannot say enough how proud I am of him and how blessed I feel to have him in our lives!


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Brogan at the beach
Bryson and Brogan
Happy 2nd Birthday Brogan

Yummy cake!

One Year!

It is so hard to believe that Brogan has been here a year already. It has been challenging at times, but he is an amazing little boy.
He has caught up on all of his delays, except for his speech. He started speech therapy this past week and the therapist said he has about a 6 month delay.
Brogan is very smart though, it is so evident in his actions and his receptive language.
We took him to the beach last month for the weekend and he did so well. Loved the sand and the water - it mesmerized him! He also slept well in the hotel room and I think that made me realize that he really now does feel secure and knows that we aren't going to leave him.
He is so big and REALLY strong. He loves to tackle Bryson (who is 3 years older than him) to the ground and sit on him. One bad thing about that is if he has one of his "terrible twos" tantrums, it is really hard for me to hold on to him to remove him from the situation.
Our poor cats are constantly trying to get away from him as he loves to tackle them too!
He and Bryson get along pretty well. Bryson sometimes (rightfully so) gets upset when Brogan just crashes right into whatever he is doing - just your usual sibling rivalry stuff.
Brogan loves music and to dance. He also loves to be outside and some of his favorite things are the sandbox, swinging and water - and of course giving raspberry kisses. Lately he loves to play with matchbox cars and Thomas the Train toys.
We have still kept in touch with the Canadian family that were in Aktau with us - in fact Rayn will turn two on May 5th. They may come for a visit in the fall.
We have also kept in touch via email with our translator. She is no longer working for the agency, but for her sister in the market in Almaty and working more on her foreign languages.
I hope one day we can take Brogan back there once he is old enough to understand everything.
We have found a handful of local families who have adopted from Kazakhstan over the last few years and have had two get-togethers. One little girl is Brogan's age and that will be nice to see them periodically especially as the kids get older.
We are busy and tired, but happy! Also very proud of our two boys.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Brogan starts nursery school

Last week we started taking Brogan to the same preschool that Bryson attends. He will be going just 2 mornings a week, and so far we are going slow with just 2 hours each time. He has cried each time when I drop him off, but not too bad - more of a fussy cry rather than all out fit. They said he settles down and seems to enjoy playing with the other toddlers. I wanted to ease him into it. Mom needs a break and he seems to really love being around other children so hopefully this will work out fine. He will get his speech evaluation soon, but hopefully the therapist will think all is well since he now is trying to talk a bit.
I have started a new job that requires more of a commute, but should be MUCH less stressful than where I was. I really needed a change.
I will post some more pictures soon. In just 1 short month Brogan will be 2!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year!

I know I said that I was going to make the last post the end of the blog, but I couldn't resist adding some pictures from Christmas. And the more I think about it, I have decided to keep adding posts through Brogan's 1 year anniversary date of his arrival home. It's hard to believe but that will be in only 4 short months!

He is starting to talk a little now and it seems every day he blurts out a new word. We had a great Christmas and are looking forward to an exciting New Year with the kids!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Home 6 months - Brogan Joldas

I think maybe I will make this the last post to this blog. It has been 6 months now and it really seems like Brogan has been a part of our family for much longer than that. So, I think maybe this would be a good time to close out this blog. I plan to have it made into a book for us using a program I found on a website.

He is still doing well. The biting has stopped, the night terrors are better, and physically he is now in the 50-60 percentile for his age on the growth charts. I think he may still have some mild sensory issues, but it is all just slowly getting better. He is still not really talking yet, but has learned some baby signs and the EI program is probably going to go ahead and refer him to speech therapy in the next month or so. He is very determined and smart! He is also such a sweetie and it is so neat watching him blossom into an affectionate little guy!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Bryson and Brogan are getting along well. Bryson says the best part of being a big brother is
"being nice to Brogan, playing with Brogan and throwing the ball to Brogan."
We are going to a Central FL Kazakh family picnic next Saturday. We are looking forward to meeting some other local families with children from Kazakhstan!