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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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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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Joining the Russian Army

Well, comrade, your day has come. President Putin issued a decree inviting foreigners to serve in the Russian army. Provided you’re willing to do so for at least five years. And provided you speak Russian. The promised monthly wage of $500 approximates the Russian average. For the rest of the world, certainly nothing to write…

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Holiday Performance Panic

I have no problem with my kids being in holiday choirs, singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” or “My Dreidl, Dreidl, Dreidl”. For our family, the festival of Hanukkah and the celebration of Christmas are what this season is all about. Decorating the home, giving gifts, enjoying special foods—it’s all icing on the cake—and a…

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The Russian Embassy: The Final Frontier

We may be nearing the end of the line. With 10-year Russian Passports in our reach, it could be that we will no longer be “living” at the Russian Embassy for our four adopted kids. Back at the end of summer, we had completed the complex paperwork to update our daughters’ passports. Now it was…

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Our Second Son Turns 18

We now have two 18-year-old boys and two younger teen girls. Makes for an interesting household. Our second son from Russia expresses his joy over turning 18 and we’re here to celebrate with him. However, at times, our hearts are heavy. What will his future be like? He has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. In everyday English,…

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Petya’s First College Research Paper

Not so much a research paper as a response paper, Petya had been asked to give his opinion on a certain archaeological matter. The university gave first-time college students the opportunity to submit such a paper in order to firm-up their academic writing. The exercise did not count toward their final grade, but was more…

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