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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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And We Try Again… Mashenka’s Future

Take Two. Or Three. Or Four or whatever we’re up to at this point. Mashenka came back for more help from me. Her father’s urging proved beneficial. Of course, I could just go up to the 18-year-old and tell her, “Look, you’re bright, you’re personable, you could have a lot going for you in your…

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The Paralysis of Analysis: Mashenka’s Future

Our daughter’s “custom-made future” that I wrote about less than two weeks ago has bitten the dust. We had a good talk, I gave her a simple gameplan, what else she might research and possible next steps to take. No pressure, nothing forced upon her, I imagined I was following her expressed interests. And then…

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New Russian Law on Religion

And so the hands on the clock move backward. The Yarovaya Package was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, despite the appeals of religious leaders. These laws attack the religious freedoms of evangelicals and push the Russian Federation back in time to 1929. It was then that Yosef Stalin’s law on religion ushered in…

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Free Land in Russia

A couple of weeks ago, a friend sent a news article announcing free land in Russia. Could it be true? Yes, if you were a Russian citizen and felt the pioneering spirit, you could sign up for the latest in Russian-good-ideas-gone-bad. The Russian president approved the scheme whereby one hectare (2.5 acres) would be given…

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Is Summer Camp Good for Adoptees?

In a nutshell: not. so. sure. Leaning toward not. And mind you, my son is not the nine-year-old, gone away for his first time to sleep-away camp. No, he’s the 19-year-old camp counselor. Here’s the rub: very little has changed since my days at camp, you know, back in the Stone Age. We were not…

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What’s Changed in Moscow?

I’ve been asked by many to report more in-depth concerning Moscow. Many adoptive parents have not been there in the past decade when international adoptions began to close. No matter what region you stayed in, most of us had to end up our trip with several days in the capital. Is it the same? Yes…

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Mixup in Moscow

I am enroute with my oldest son on our way to the Mid-East. It was to be a simple layover in Moscow. As a Russian-American, he required no visa and I obtained the new, three-year multi-entry visa so we could leave the airport. We made reservations for a nearby Russian hotel and would take the…

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Our Girls & the Transgender Restroom

The one time we turn our back. Occasionally, occasionally, I as a mother have stuff to do. Like run empires on several continents, etc. This time, my husband was multi-tasking while our whole family was out and about. I stepped into one establishment, while he went to get gas and snacks with the kids and…

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Mashenka’s 18th Birthday

This is not how I wanted it to go down. Let me say that. Let me repeat that. Unfortunate things happened and I could not be there, despite my best efforts. It was Mashenka’s 18th birthday and I was going to be MIA. Not good. Like it or not, everything revolved around me: I would…

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Making a Russian Embassy Appointment

No matter what you do, or how you do it, you will soon come to the conclusion that you cannot make an appointment at your local Russian Embassy or Consulate. You might try phoning, e-mailing, even sending smoke signals, but you’re not going to get through. Ever. So, after completing my online form (in Russian…