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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

A New Sibling or Two

Boys will be boys. Sometimes they get along with their sisters and sometimes they don’t. Usually there’s a getting-to-know-you period when siblings first arrive and are babies. In our case, the girls will come fairly fully cooked. As we approach our next Russian adoptions, everyone wants to know, what do Petya and Pasha, two 12.5 year olds, think about new sisters joining the family?

Delighted. Elated. Thrilled. Anticipatory. Happy that the girls are younger than they are!



Petya and Pasha are trying to figure it out and by their comments it’s obvious that between Point A and Point B, it’s not always a straight line.

They ask Benedetto, “Papa, if they are our little sisters, can we boss them around?” His response: “You can only boss girls around until you marry one of them.”

“Mama, will the girls play, or will they just cook and clean?” Alexandra’s knee-jerk response: “WHAAAAAT!!??” So much for my enlightened, progressive sons.

On being told that as big brothers, they are to help us protect the girls, Petya replies: “Papa, If anyone comes near our sisters, I’ll pound them down!”

When asking Pasha, who is still struggling to learn English, how he will introduce the girls: “This…etta…my woman.”

Great. Here we go.

I show them pictures and videos of these sweet girls and reassure the boys that they will fit in. The two boys and two girls are united in the deep knowledge that there is no future for them as orphans in Russia: drugs, crime, prostitution, and suicide would be their probable lot.

Once I chatted with a driver in Moscow who was taking our family of four to Domodyedovo Airport.

“Maybe they’ll study in university here,” I nod optimistically to the boys, “or buy a dacha in the countryside….”

The well-spoken, pony-tailed driver in cashmere sweater and leather pants shakes his head.

“Keep them in U.S. No future here.”

For now, the girls’ future stretches as far as getting them outside the dyetsky dom’s front door. I can live with that. The future will happen… in the future.

“So are you boys going to be nice to the girls when they arrive?” I query on one of our road trips at close quarters with two dogs, two boys, and two adults forced to interact. Either that, or count license plates. If Pasha reads a book, or watches a DVD in the car, he throws up. “You’ll be nice? You’ll set a good example?”

“Yes, Mama,” Petya sighs, “we went over this, alright?”

“Just checking, just checking,” I laugh.

“She wants to be sure,” Benedetto adds from the driver’s seat, knowing full well that there is no such thing as “sure”, but with prayer and faith, we’re as close as we can come.


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