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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


Money Talks with Minnie the Moocher

Minnie the Moocher was a 1931 jazz song about a woman who begged for a living. In our family, it reminds us of Sashenka, 16-going-on-3. All she talks about is money and I wonder if it may be our fault. We don’t talk about finances non-stop. And we are not poor. So we try to…


The Girlfriend Cometh

Petya, age 20, has a girlfriend. She lives far away, but is coming to visit next week during her university break. Our son, in his own inimitable style, is preparing. We need to work on the guest room. Lots of cleaning has taken place in the room that became a catch-all, as well as an…


A Girl’s Ambition… in a Boy’s Pants

That doesn’t sound right, does it??? Our kids are preparing to work a volunteer job at a Washington advocacy firm. Excitement levels are running high, not knowing whether they might be trusted with an actual task of significance, or if they might only file, make coffee and answer the phone. No, I take that back….


Kicking Chaos to the Curb

I have lowered the boom. We are quashing chaos. My children come from backgrounds where their lives were out of control. That’s putting it mildly. Ending up in the Russian orphanage system signaled a definite upturn in events for them, which only proves how chaotic things had become. It was desperate. Sad as that may…


Monday Mottoes – #173

Right now, I’m living with some half-hatched, larvae-like kids and I’m sure they’d say the same about me. Happily, things started turning around on Friday when they decided to get with the program and have a nice holiday dinner on the eve of Russian Christmas. Girls helped with the mushroom and onion piroshki, slicing, dicing,…


What’s the Worst That Could Happen in Our Kids’ Future?

Don’t answer that question.  We’re not talking about a life of crime, just everyday laissez-faire and ennui. The worst that could happen? I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal, so it’s not hard to imagine when it comes to our kids in their late teens and early twenties. All but one seem determined to head nowhere……


Adoptive Families and the Holidays

It’s that time of year again. The time when we believe all will be merry and bright and instead, it often turns to miserable and broken. This is not just among adoptive families, any family might have an overload of stressful emotions during the go-go-go holidays, but adopted kids often bring their own issues to…


Holiday Tug-of-War

In the US, there’s a lot of pushing and pulling that takes place during the winter holidays.  It happens in other countries, too, but here, there’s enough space to truly separate loved ones at special times.  Most of it is centered around the triad of Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah and New Years. If you’re married or engaged,…


Free Russian Language Lessons

Our four high school and college-age kids were taken by us to visit a kind Russian head-of-department at a prestigious university. He gave 30 minutes of his time to discuss with them the fact that Russian has just come up as #2 on the Strategic Languages List and how the US State Department cannot get…


Basic Types of Adoptees & Their Issues

It may go without saying, yet we must state the obvious: becoming available for adoption means that something bad has happened. A parent died, a caregiver proved unsuitable for meeting basic needs, the child was found by the authorities to have been starved/abused/neglected/living in squalor, or any of a host of other horrific issues. There…