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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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And Then There Were Four… Wisdom Tooth Diary

Our kids from Russia have been through it. They arrived as preteens with all sorts of dental issues. Our youngest, Sashenka, had 21 cavities. Since that time, around turning 18 years of age, each required the extraction of all four wisdom teeth. We’re down to the last one. Sashenka just turned 17 and has been…

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The Joyful Pressures of a Holiday Family Gathering

It’s a shame that so many families live far from one another. These days, it often takes a funeral or a family gathering to get folks together, up close and personal. Often, too close, kind of “in your face”. I mean, where else would you learn whether or not your cousin eats like a truck…

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Cannibalism in Krasnodarsky Krai

People, I can’t make up this stuff. I don’t want to invent stories like these because I understand that every country has its fair share of “crazies”. However. As an adoptive parent of older children from Russia, I have monitored with interest the idea that life for a Russian child is better in Russia. I…

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Love and the Coffee Break

In our family, loving acts often revolve around coffee. Most every morning, Benedetto makes me coffee. Sometimes, we take a mini-date and go out for coffee because our evenings are so packed with events that it’s difficult to embark on a full-fledged date on a regular basis. Small acts of kindness add up. The other…

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Monday Mottoes – #209

Today our eldest son turns 21. For all intents and purposes, he should be 13, not because of any immaturity on his part, but because we adopted him when he was almost 8 and I would have loved to have been his mother for all 21 years. We’ve made up for lost time with adventures…

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High School Homeschool Graduation

The end of an era. Pasha, 20, and Mashenka, 19, were graduating from high school. Nine years and eight years prior, both had arrived from Russia, woefully behind in their studies. Attending Russian internats, the orphanage boarding schools, most adults acknowledged that a quality education was not a top priority for kids who would most…

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Teen Summer Job Interviews

Our kids are finishing up their school year a bit late. That’s what happens when you travel the world and also when you don’t pay attention to your calendar. Personally, I like to see an end date and then work backwards from there, but hey, not everyone listens to me. Consequently, it’s mid-July and they…

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Semi-Adult Children Who Desperately Need Guidance

Two young men in their twenties have recently hit international news headlines and it’s not for helping little old ladies across the street. Though vastly different, their stories are similar in their tragic nature. Two men on the cusp of adulthood, their futures cut short through the poor choices executed. Now, as a parent of…

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When We Can’t, God Can

It’s a marvelous situation: our oldest son (21 in September) actually listens to us. Parental words of wisdom and encouragement are soaked up by him. He is growing and going because he believes that with God, all things are possible. All of our kids come from trauma and abuse backgrounds, leading to Russian orphanages before…

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The Opposite of Yo

“Mashenka!” Benedetto called our 18-year-old daughter. “Yo!” she replied. I raised my eyebrows.  Personally, I prefer a more refined form of communication, not borderline ghetto talk. “Papa doesn’t care if I say Yo,” she said. “I do. Just because your English isn’t very good doesn’t mean you can’t figure out why Yo is not so…