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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

twentyone1

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…

tailoring

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…

wrongdecisions1

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…

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…

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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…

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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…

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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……