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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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Abducted or Missing Teens

Every year in the US, there are about 800,000 missing children reported. Many of these are nabbed by family and friends. (With family and friends like this…!) It could be a custody issue or a disturbed neighbor and that’s bad. But in my opinion, the truly scary ones are the 115 “stranger abduction” cases each…

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New Jobs for our Immigrant Kids

Our four teens don’t exactly fit the profile of other adopted teens. In some ways they do, in other ways, they don’t. It can lead to some hysterical outcomes, at times. So Mashenka, age 17, wanted a summer job. She scooped ice cream and helped at a mini-golf establishment for a month or two at…

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Monday Mottoes – #100

Our oldest son is home and I can breathe a sigh of relief. He journeyed solo to and from New York City, had many wonderful experiences, and all is well. Petya got to spread his wings and be independent, while enjoying a great group of older teens. I got to thinking about how kids express…

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Monday Mottoes – #98

It’s unreal. It’s absolutely unreal. I just dropped our first-born, or make that first-adopted, off at the airport and I’m sobbing. When it came time to say goodbye, my lip started trembling and I could barely whisper my parting words. He did the intelligent thing: smiled, hugged me and walked away toward security. I love…

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Parents Who Snoop for Safety’s Sake

Are you a snoopy parent? Some are, and some aren’t. That doesn’t interest me as much as why some do, and why some don’t. My husband and I have assisted a wide variety of parents who come to us in some form of tears or anger. I understand. Been there myself. This is the no…

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Help for Troubled Teens

Summer is almost upon us. Multiplied families struggle with teens who have issues. And they dread the summer when schedules become less structured and problems grow more serious. If the young people are not in school—where are they? Did they show up for the summer job, or did they go to a friend’s house? Who’s…

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FAS and Career Possibilities

Our second son, Pasha, is stuck. At 18 years old, he plays catch-up in school, making up for lost time in the Russian orphanage. He still has a couple of years in high school, yet the young man lacks all ambition and aim. Most likely it’s due to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, meaning, a birthmother who…

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My Daughter’s Parisian Birthday

Our oldest daughter, Mashenka, turned 17 last week. We’re still just now recovering, lol. Since she and another of the kids are studying French in addition to their other languages, I thought it might be fun to have a Parisian theme. Basically, we went with every cliché in the book. I baked her a marble…

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Monday Mottoes – #89

Mother’s Day has come and gone. The fact that I spent much of it in a tropical storm, for a few hours with my loving family and then whoosh! they were off! made it interesting to say the least. You can’t argue with peace and quiet. I couldn’t argue with a dozen dark pink roses,…

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Mouth-Watering English

A tantalizing fragrance filled the house. Something delightful for dinner was in the oven.  Our youngest, Sashenka, aged 14.5, tried to guess what it might be. The kids’ English still lacked in 101 ways, speaking like my grandmother, straight off the boat from Russia. Often, I refused to help them, making them work for words…