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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…!

Introducing Our Daughters

In one of the most fast-track Russian adoptions of recent history, taking all of five months from start to finish, and before six months we will all be home….

We wish to introduce our new daughters, Mashenka and Sashenka. They are 11 years old and 8-1/2 years old, stunning blonde beauties, actually resembling… me!

Now that could be good or bad, depending on your perspective, but we’ll just say for now that we are all very happy. Proud Papa came back home, pockets bulging with his favorite photos of the four of us, developed in our remote Russian region where I am now waiting out the ten-day after-court appeals period.

The girls are ours, it’s been decreed and declared in a Russian court of law after two days of proceedings. However, they are still at their orphanage boarding school (internat) in a small, out-of-the-way village. After the ten-day wait is completed, I will finish all of the paperwork and official appointments, first in region, and then in Moscow, and bring them home.

Following our second day of court, when we received the favorable ruling, Benedetto had a great idea. He asks to visit the girls before he will fly out the next morning. He had only met them once before court and longed to spend time with them as I had, and let them know the outcome.

We drive through ripening wheat fields, swaying and green as the wind picks up. Wildflowers of the most brilliant shades scatter their colors sporadically across the landscape: bulbous purple thistles, sturdy red poppies, groupings of delicate white, pale blue, violet, and yellow flowers. Cresting a hill as we approach, two cows and a horse run toward us in their expansive green field, eager to hear any news. Neither one of us has ever seen a cow running for no good reason… much less two… plus a horse… coming in our direction. Everything is surreal on this day in the middle of nowhere, almost like we should expect the flowers to sing and the animals to talk. In the late afternoon, there on the petite ploschad off of the one road through the mah’linki village, we turn in to the orphanage. The girls see us from afar, jump from the steps of the nearby apteka, and hurry toward the car, clothed in their frilly, Russian-style, dressy dresses, their faces expectant and upturned. The younger slips me a rose.

My husband comes laden with chocolates and flower baskets for his little ladies, telling them in Russian, “We are now a family” and giving them hugs and kisses. The girls look so proud. The shadows slowly grow long as the sun prolongs its descent for hours yet to come. Many of the children are outside, hanging out, happy for their friends to have a home, and melancholy that they would not be going anywhere any time soon. They watch us interact, saying “Zdrast’vweetyeh” and offering shy smiles. The director graciously allows us to take photos of all of the children together, to keep as a memory. I make sure to make copies, both for those going, and for those staying.

I later visit our daughters over the weekend for an hour. We sit under the shade trees, blanket placed on a sidewalk bench, after the heavens let loose a downpour, and all is damp and fresh. Showers of blessing, that’s exactly how we feel. Not a soul stirs anywhere in the environs. We smell the flowers, and listen to the little p’teechkee sing, the girls talking of the future as they count the days.

“Soon, I will come for you… soon…” I murmur, stroking their hair as they lean their heads on my shoulders.


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