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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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Group Activities for Adopted Children

When newly-adopted, often children long for friends. That’s normal and to be expected. Unfortunately, those arriving from domestic or international situations generally do not know how to read local social situations. The kids can easily be preyed-upon by unsavory elements. In my opinion, this is why placing adopted children into school immediately remains less than…

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The Realities of FAS in Kids… and Adults

The epic snow and winds of Winter Storm Jonas are heading toward the East Coast of the United States, meanwhile the Russian Ruble’s freefall continues past 80 Rubles to the Dollar and oil prices are tanking. Thinking of blizzards and rubles already, as a Russian adoptive parent, the recent Washington Post article on Fetal Alcohol…

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Happy New Year: Making Teachable Moments

Whether you’re a bio-parent or an adoptive-parent, holidays can prove to be rough. Different schedules leading to children’s dysregulation (if not parents’ dysregulation!) result. How to keep from going over the edge? I like to schedule down-time for the kids to unwind over the winter break, while not allowing them to totally veg-out. That’s when…

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Writing Holiday Cards to Russia

Moi: “Who wants to write?” Eyes shift in my direction, suspicious, uneasy, vaguely compliant and amenable. The kids: “I will,” says one. “Okay…” says another, semi-reluctantly. They’re not necessarily against it. It just that they will probably hear nothing back, plus, it takes time and effort and thought to write in Russian. I know. I’m…

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Home-Baked Adoptees

Everyone knows that our children are not “home-grown”. They weren’t born here. But that’s not the end of the story. They’re “home-baked” and that’s probably more important in this day when many families are “half-baked” or “take-out”. My husband spoke before an audience of mostly parents. He talked about our family in particular, as well…

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Counterintuitive Parenting

When a child is behaviorally struggling and acting-out, whether passively or aggressively, parents often pursue one of two tracks. Either they crack down and become more strict, or else they give up any thought of trying to control the situation. A third possible response exists. It’s counterintuitive. It doesn’t always make sense. Yet, often, it…

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Monday Mottoes – #113

My e-mails are flooded with adoptive parents needing help. Not that everyone has a rough time when new kids come into the family, but many do. Our oldest son was so smooth a transition, coming home at almost age 8, that other a-parents thought we were not telling the truth about our situation. Is a…

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Jewelry-Making Therapy

For some reason, our two daughters from Russia tend to act helpless and hopeless. I don’t know why. I try to model for them a capable, strong woman. But whenever it comes to them… they can’t, they won’t, they don’t know how…. On our few-day getaway, we brought some individual cereal boxes. I thought it…

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Allowing for a Child’s (or Adult’s) Turnaround

  Sashenka is a changed young woman. Night and day. One-eighty. U-turn to the fast-track of congeniality. Is it an act? I don’t think so, but hey, peacefulness is preferable. I’m not asking anyone to quash their emotions and smack a smile on their face. Instead, I think it’s okay to ask that we deal…

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Adoptees & The Shame of the Past

Sashenka will be turning 15 later this week. Fifteen going on three. She seems arrested, retarded in her emotional development, constantly depressed. Is it a type of survivor’s guilt, that she now has a great life, while orphanage playmates were left behind? Or, could it be angst over her birth-day itself, that she was born…