web analytics

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

worship1

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…

yo1

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…

travel1

Monday Mottoes – #180

Online learning and working and shopping makes life so smooth and streamlined. There’s really no need then to deal with traffic jams or nasty folks in the cubicle next to you. Yet, for all those gains comes isolation and learning to mix with others has its benefits. As the European Union considers requiring travel visas…

mooch1

Money Talks with Minnie the Moocher

Minnie the Moocher was a 1931 jazz song about a woman who begged for a living. In our family, it reminds us of Sashenka, 16-going-on-3. All she talks about is money and I wonder if it may be our fault. We don’t talk about finances non-stop. And we are not poor. So we try to…

family1

Kicking Chaos to the Curb

I have lowered the boom. We are quashing chaos. My children come from backgrounds where their lives were out of control. That’s putting it mildly. Ending up in the Russian orphanage system signaled a definite upturn in events for them, which only proves how chaotic things had become. It was desperate. Sad as that may…

prepare1

What’s the Worst That Could Happen in Our Kids’ Future?

Don’t answer that question.  We’re not talking about a life of crime, just everyday laissez-faire and ennui. The worst that could happen? I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal, so it’s not hard to imagine when it comes to our kids in their late teens and early twenties. All but one seem determined to head nowhere……

tradition1

Adoptive Families and the Holidays

It’s that time of year again. The time when we believe all will be merry and bright and instead, it often turns to miserable and broken. This is not just among adoptive families, any family might have an overload of stressful emotions during the go-go-go holidays, but adopted kids often bring their own issues to…

holiday1

Holiday Tug-of-War

In the US, there’s a lot of pushing and pulling that takes place during the winter holidays.  It happens in other countries, too, but here, there’s enough space to truly separate loved ones at special times.  Most of it is centered around the triad of Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah and New Years. If you’re married or engaged,…

dating1

Dating as a Believer

The Bible, in essence, says very little about dating. In ancient times, young people tended to be married off by their parents, usually a teen girl in her mid-to-late teens to a man who had already established himself, in his twenties or thirties. And that was that. Be fruitful and multiply. Be fruitful and multiply?…

banner

Free Russian Language Lessons

Our four high school and college-age kids were taken by us to visit a kind Russian head-of-department at a prestigious university. He gave 30 minutes of his time to discuss with them the fact that Russian has just come up as #2 on the Strategic Languages List and how the US State Department cannot get…