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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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Of Triads, Triangulation and Targets

When it comes to adoption, many are the terms that new parents need to learn. Alphabet soup diagnoses from FAS to RAD and back again exist, along with the three big T’s: triads, targets and triangulation. Thought to be an equilateral triangle, the adoption triad consists of birth mother, adoptee and adoptive parents. Nothing equal…

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A Heart, A Brain, and Courage: No Place Like Home

I’ve often thought about our three youngest children stepping out of a scene from The Wizard of Oz. It’s because we have three distinct self-image deficits that seem to fit a pattern. In many ways, our youngest, Sashenka, is like the Tin Man. She lacks a heart. But she’s getting there. She has flashes of…

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Monday Mottoes – #69

We experienced a major breakdown recently. Not in the car, in the family. It could be at your work, in your health, along the lines of your education. Ours happened in the home. Not ideal. Not my cup of tea. Not what I expected.  Somehow the holidays didn’t help. So I called a family council…

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Holiday Performance Panic

I have no problem with my kids being in holiday choirs, singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” or “My Dreidl, Dreidl, Dreidl”. For our family, the festival of Hanukkah and the celebration of Christmas are what this season is all about. Decorating the home, giving gifts, enjoying special foods—it’s all icing on the cake—and a…

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Our Second Son Turns 18

We now have two 18-year-old boys and two younger teen girls. Makes for an interesting household. Our second son from Russia expresses his joy over turning 18 and we’re here to celebrate with him. However, at times, our hearts are heavy. What will his future be like? He has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. In everyday English,…

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Committed First to Kids or Mate?

A lot of parents struggle with a very basic understanding of loyalty and commitment. Who comes first: the kids or the mate? I tend to revert to a very mature understanding of life, using a complex equation to solve the situation. I say: it all depends. As in: who came first, the chicken or the…

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Sashenka Turns 14

Our youngest, daughter Sashenka, turned 14. It was a week fraught with giddy highs and skipping gait, along with sullen lows. Birthdays never used to do that to her, but as a Russian adoptee, I had heard of this behavior in so many others before. They rued the day they were born because apparently, it…

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An Adoptive Child with Brain Damage

Big brain damage we can spot a mile away, but slight brain damage… it’s a tricky thing. You might think that your adopted child is being difficult. And she is. But it might not be her fault entirely. Such is life with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Unless a child is severely affected and you’ve made the…

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The Adopted Child Behaviors

This, too, shall pass. Or, will it? Whole lotta adoptive parents asking the same questions. Is this normal toddler, adolescent, or teen behavior… or is it deep-seated and deep-rooted? Will it hinder or hold back the child… for life? Could be the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) from a birth mother who drank. Might…

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Positive Peer Pressure

How do we keep our kids on the straight and narrow in this day and age, you ask? Carefully, very carefully. In a nutshell, we limit their access to everything. The goal is to keep them safe until they can make wise decisions for themselves. Do we ever let them mess-up? Only every day. However,…

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