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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…!

Russian Adoption

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My Son, the Model

I refer to my second son, long and lean, attractive and not-so-bright. Possibly perfect model material. Friends have mentioned in passing that he would have what it takes. Question is: what does it take? It’s either this, or back to the hot dog stand idea…. Good looks are not enough. Fitting into a 40R might…

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Why Do Families Homeschool?

On a bad day, I wonder that myself. It would be so much easier to plunk them down on the school’s doorstep and entreat, “Do something with them.” Unfortunately, I think that my kids may be lost forever—educationally, emotionally, spiritually, or socially if that were to occur. Don’t get me wrong. These are not hothouse…

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Shooting the Opposition Messenger, Russian-Style

Yet another of Russian President Putin’s opponents was gunned-down over the weekend. Boris Nemtsov, 55, walking across a bridge over the Moskva River with his Ukrainian model-girlfriend, 23, near Moscow’s Kremlin. He was shot to death from a speeding car and his companion remained unharmed. She is being held as a witness. The opposition leader…

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Sick and Sweet or Sickly Sweet

We’ve all heard the phrase “sickly sweet”, referring to something or someone who is excessively sweet to the point making someone else ill, if that’s possible, lol. Well, I’m developing a theory of my own, based on current events. You see, in general, our family doesn’t get sick. I make everyone wash their hands once…

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Is Putin Autistic or Antisocial?

It’s hitting all of the news sources (outside of Russia, that is) that Pres. Vladimir Putin has Asperger’s Syndrome. A friend in the know sent me the news, which we both corroborated based on our professional amateurs’ psychological understanding that Putin is plain nuts. (Being an equal opportunity diagnoser, I would say the same could…

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Snow: Love It or Hate It?

What’s not to love about snow?  (Boston, don’t answer that.)  Nothing, if you’re about 10 years old. Everything is wonderful—from snowmen, snowballs, and snow angels to forts, icicles, and sledding. There’s skiing, whether downhill or cross-country. There’s snowboarding and snowmobiling. Not to mention hot chocolate, hot soup, and hot anything else whether pizza, wings, or…

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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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Stray Cat Saves Freezing Abandoned Baby in Russia

In the faraway town of Obninsk in Kaluga, Russia, the neighborhood stray cat rescued… an abandoned baby… left in an apartment stairwell… in freezing weather. The fact that the cat’s name was reported to be Marsha told me that something was not quite right. Marsha? What was this, the Brady Bunch? Sure enough, it was…

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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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Vocabulary for Wintertime in Russia

Ah, I recall the winter in Russia, actually, my favorite time of year there. So today, we’ll share a few Russian words about this most special season full of limited daylight, blizzard-like snow, and hot chai. When the sun rises after 9:00 in the morning, or sets around 3:00 in the afternoon, it can shock…

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