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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…!



SAT Score Increase

Looking ahead to early March and taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), which could be termed an American college entrance exam of sorts, we are attempting to help our oldest son test at the same level as he tests on his regular school exams.  As I’ve written before, the rub is in the fact that…


A House Divided Over Kids

Before we can leap into the joys of Valentine’s Day with a loved one, we must discuss the very possible reality that your mate may not be on your side when it comes to the kids.  Adopted children often have an uncanny way of dividing parents, in much the same way as some bio kids….


The Five-Year Focus Plan

This summer, our girls will have been home for five years, our second son for six years, and our oldest son will soon mark ten years home from Russia.  Only now am I beginning to breathe… and it’s not always easily. For some years, I was an outsider in my own home.  This one or…


Alternatives for Out-of-Control Kids-?

The United States needs help in the area of affordable healthcare, however, as many adoptive parents realize, there’s another huge problem lurking underneath the surface, threatening to blow-up as adoptive children reach their teen years.  International adoptions hit their peak about a decade ago.  Many of those kids were adopted as babies or toddlers.  A…


Instant (Selective) Memory Recall

“I can’t remember!” Sashenka insisted. “Well, all of your siblings know they need to write four or five sentences in their diary each night, and use at least three spelling words.  You’re the only one writing two sentences….” “It’s because I forget!” she claimed. “Alright, we all forget things, and that’s why we write them…


Sweet & Sour Children

In Chinese food, sweet and sour combos are fine, such as pineapple and vinegar added to a chicken and vegetable dish.  However, sweet and sour children are another matter.  If your kids experience mood swings monumental enough to make your head spin, it may be time for outside intervention. Particularly for those of us with…


Creative Back Doors into College

Those of us with older internationally-adopted children are often highly-educated.  We sort of expect our kids to follow in those footsteps.  Nothing wrong with working in a fast-food place or on a lawn-mowing crew, it’s just that we never imagined that to be their future. I receive tons of e-mails asking, “Is it possible to…


Hackers, Attackers, and Helpers

We’ve been doing some early spring cleaning at 3-D, getting rid of 59,000 “registered users”.  That’s a lot of comments to wade through on a daily basis-! These include everything from computer-generated spam, and shopping links, to malicious hack attacks, hits coming in to the tune of three per second on most days.  Many originate…


The Tricky Effects of FAS

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, yes, that disease that comes from birth mothers drinking and is passed on to the in utero baby.  It may cause a variety of symptoms and characteristics in the areas of physical, mental, or emotional damage, occasionally all three presenting, more often than not, it’s less than totally across-the-board. Physical symptoms are…


Letters To the Homeland

I started making inquiries in November, asking the children who wanted to write letters to Russia for the New Year. Everyone there celebrated “Novwee Gohd”, with Russian Christmas not happening until January 7th. “It’s that time of year again,” I explained carefully.  “You may wish to keep in contact with directori, vaspitateli, any kind of…

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