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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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Group Activities for Adopted Children

When newly-adopted, often children long for friends. That’s normal and to be expected. Unfortunately, those arriving from domestic or international situations generally do not know how to read local social situations. The kids can easily be preyed-upon by unsavory elements. In my opinion, this is why placing adopted children into school immediately remains less than…

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The Realities of FAS in Kids… and Adults

The epic snow and winds of Winter Storm Jonas are heading toward the East Coast of the United States, meanwhile the Russian Ruble’s freefall continues past 80 Rubles to the Dollar and oil prices are tanking. Thinking of blizzards and rubles already, as a Russian adoptive parent, the recent Washington Post article on Fetal Alcohol…

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S’Rozhdyestvom Khristovim!

Walking through the forest, the trees appear bluish-silver-grey, punctuated by peeling birch bark white-with-flecks-of-black in the dark of a cloudy, snowy night. Lights from the dacha at last can be glimpsed as we arrive back from caroling at our neighbors’. The snow crunches beneath our feet. We are dressed in traditional clothes, kokoshniks and all,…

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Happy New Year: Making Teachable Moments

Whether you’re a bio-parent or an adoptive-parent, holidays can prove to be rough. Different schedules leading to children’s dysregulation (if not parents’ dysregulation!) result. How to keep from going over the edge? I like to schedule down-time for the kids to unwind over the winter break, while not allowing them to totally veg-out. That’s when…

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What Did You Receive for the Holidays?

First off, I hope you got some family time, or alone time, or whatever it was that you needed! Huge deadlines of my own loom for mid-January, making Hanukkah and Christmas problematic in terms of celebrations. So I delegated, lol. Boys: you will be wrapping the girls’ gifts. Girls: can you help me with the…

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Writing Holiday Cards to Russia

Moi: “Who wants to write?” Eyes shift in my direction, suspicious, uneasy, vaguely compliant and amenable. The kids: “I will,” says one. “Okay…” says another, semi-reluctantly. They’re not necessarily against it. It just that they will probably hear nothing back, plus, it takes time and effort and thought to write in Russian. I know. I’m…

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Home-Baked Adoptees

Everyone knows that our children are not “home-grown”. They weren’t born here. But that’s not the end of the story. They’re “home-baked” and that’s probably more important in this day when many families are “half-baked” or “take-out”. My husband spoke before an audience of mostly parents. He talked about our family in particular, as well…

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Counterintuitive Parenting

When a child is behaviorally struggling and acting-out, whether passively or aggressively, parents often pursue one of two tracks. Either they crack down and become more strict, or else they give up any thought of trying to control the situation. A third possible response exists. It’s counterintuitive. It doesn’t always make sense. Yet, often, it…

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The Babushkas’ Pop Band

Who knew? Apparently, there’s a pop band from Udmurtia made up of grandmas, several of whom were born in the 1930s and 1940s, called the “Buranovskiye Babushki”. Yes, it’s an ethno-pop group of eight elderly women, lol. It doesn’t get much better than this. At the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Buranovskiye…

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Monday Mottoes – #113

My e-mails are flooded with adoptive parents needing help. Not that everyone has a rough time when new kids come into the family, but many do. Our oldest son was so smooth a transition, coming home at almost age 8, that other a-parents thought we were not telling the truth about our situation. Is a…