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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…!

Adoption

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Committed First to Kids or Mate?

A lot of parents struggle with a very basic understanding of loyalty and commitment. Who comes first: the kids or the mate? I tend to revert to a very mature understanding of life, using a complex equation to solve the situation. I say: it all depends. As in: who came first, the chicken or the…

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Sashenka Turns 14

Our youngest, daughter Sashenka, turned 14. It was a week fraught with giddy highs and skipping gait, along with sullen lows. Birthdays never used to do that to her, but as a Russian adoptee, I had heard of this behavior in so many others before. They rued the day they were born because apparently, it…

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An Adoptive Child with Brain Damage

Big brain damage we can spot a mile away, but slight brain damage… it’s a tricky thing. You might think that your adopted child is being difficult. And she is. But it might not be her fault entirely. Such is life with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Unless a child is severely affected and you’ve made the…

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The Adopted Child Behaviors

This, too, shall pass. Or, will it? Whole lotta adoptive parents asking the same questions. Is this normal toddler, adolescent, or teen behavior… or is it deep-seated and deep-rooted? Will it hinder or hold back the child… for life? Could be the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) from a birth mother who drank. Might…

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Positive Peer Pressure

How do we keep our kids on the straight and narrow in this day and age, you ask? Carefully, very carefully. In a nutshell, we limit their access to everything. The goal is to keep them safe until they can make wise decisions for themselves. Do we ever let them mess-up? Only every day. However,…

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Rough Times in Russia

Russia’s day of retribution is coming. You mistreat orphans, you invade other countries, and it’s going to come back to haunt you. According to my worldview, whatever you sow, you’re going to reap. It may be sooner, it may be later, but life doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Many of Russia’s actions in recent years…

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Me and My Matryoshkas

The image has followed me in my dreams since childhood. My grandmother sent me a matryoshka when I was a small girl and it was an incredible gift. I knew of no one else who possessed such a wooden-crafted, handpainted, Russian nesting doll. Crafted since the late 19th century, these mysterious images had not been…

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School for the FAS Student

You may be dreading it. School is starting and you have a son or daughter with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Getting them the services they need often involves an uphill battle and and Individualized Education Plan (IEP – Special Ed). Hopefully, a regular high school diploma and not an IEP diploma will be earned, since…

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When Adoption Doesn’t Work

Some adoptions don’t work. Just like some marriages don’t work. And often, you get a package, two-for-one deal. My inbox is full of those who have no one who believes them. The toddler/ teen/ young adult is a terror on wheels, and often one spouse never sees it. The smirks, the backtalk, the violence… always…

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Choose Your Battles-?

I have four teens in the home. I guess we could stop right there. For most moms, that’s shorthand for: I’m aging faster than the speed of light. Generally, our kids are good, so we’re blessed. Really. Of course, I’d have to acknowledge that I run a very tight ship, which probably is shorthand for:…

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