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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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Stretching for More in Home and Business

Are you ready to snap? Welcome to the rubber band life, where stretching is the only way to take new territory. Your average parent doesn’t like the idea of stretch marks, whether in the physical body through birth, in your wallet and sense of privacy through invasive adoption costs and questions, or the later psychic…

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AmeriMama Lures Pregnant Russians

With headlines blazing, I thought for a moment this was a program for pregnant Russian women to give birth in America… in order for Americans to adopt Russian babies-! Now there’s an idea to skirt Russian anti-American adoption laws. But instead, it’s a scheme whereby Russian women come to a New Jersey hospital to receive…

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A Fishy Business

So Petya, who is in university year-round, enjoys a month off every three months. Finishing up a couple of very big research papers, he’s ready for a break. And he wants to go fishing. This is a pull deep in the Russian soul, the desire to fish and to eat fish. It might be on…

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Teaching Adoptees & Rescue Dogs How to Share

It’s often an uphill battle when a newly-adopted child or rescue dog comes home. But stick with it and new attitudes and behaviors may be taught. The point is, when a child or a new family pet understands that there are more than enough resources such as food or toys to go around, much of…

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Research Paper Checklist

On the younger side of the spectrum, we have three high schoolers from tenth to twelfth grade. They need to improve on their basic research and response papers. The fact that they came from Russia at later ages and that we continue to retain their Russian can work against them at times. But we work…

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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…

career1

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…