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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…!

Post-Adoption Support: My Son’s Great Idea

If you’re like most a-parents, or most adoptees, there are times when you feel lost.  Or disappointed, discouraged, and defeated.  Sometimes all you need is a good friend to listen.  Other times, you need professional intervention.

Not all internationally-adopted children experience problems.  Yet, enough do, and enough parents are in the news having beaten their children, given them hot sauce to swallow, caged them up, locked them out, or starved them to death.  Often, this is a frustrated response to out-of-control kids who have tried to burn down the house, kill the parents or pets, abuse the siblings, and flunk out of school.


It was enough for a Tennessee mom to take her seven-year-old son, adopted from Russia only seven months before, and put him on a plane headed back to the homeland, note attached that this was not working out.  Return to sender.

Unless you’ve been through a few of the very bizarre coping behaviors that some internationally-adopted children resort to, you cannot imagine the stress that parents face.  You may have a school-aged child who goes to sleep every night, while rocking and moaning.  Or one who defecates in public.  Or who shuts down, or blows up, at anyone and everyone in the family, so that you feel you’re living in a war zone.

Don’t leave the matches out.  Lock away the knives and razor blades.  Keep your purse and wallet right by your side, and never out of sight.  Gather up all phones and computers and put them under wraps until you awaken again.  Install motion-detectors and alarms.

It’s tough and stress-inducing.  Many a-parents have nowhere to turn.  Post-adoption support services are basically nonexistent unless you have a fortune just waiting to be used-up by therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists.

Not a thing has changed since April 2010 when young Justin Hansen (Artyom Savelyev) was plunked down on a plane and returned to Moscow.  Not one of our adoption agencies used over the course of four adoptions of older children sent out a blanket e-mail notifying past clients that, should they ever experience challenges, there was help here, here, or here, pointing to an organization, website, or good books.  The silence was deafening.  We learned nothing from the Pavlis case, the Leschinsky case, and the Hansen case.  (I could name more, many more.)

Enter my son.  Petya, who is now 15, would like to help.  He came home eight years ago when he was 7-1/2, and although his own struggles have not been monumental, he knows of many who have had a rough time of it.  He wants to encourage them and be a friend.   Call it “Russian Rescue”.

This is his offer:  He will Skype your child (in Russian or in English) and encourage them for 10 minutes, once a week, for free.  Or just once.  If your son or daughter has no friends, he can be their cyber-friend.  If your child needs someone to explain how a family operates, he will explain whatever you need explained.  It’s peer support at its best.

It can be a one-time call to a young child who feels that no one else speaks Russian around him, or a weekly call to a pre-teen or teen having a tough go of it.  This is my son’s way of giving back.

This is not counselling, this is not therapy, this is a 15-year-old reaching out in friendship to those who may need reassurance or a role model.  Petya is a straight-A homeschooled student in 10th grade, who also is dually-enrolled in college.  He plays a mean game of tennis and competes at the tournament level.  He doesn’t have a lot of spare time, travelling with his family worldwide, but he does have time for you.

Ten minutes.  Free.  Just wants to help.

Visit his website at  to see how to set up your free, 10-minute session soon.  Give him a couple of days to respond.  God bless!

Update: http://www.destinationsdreamsanddogs.com/petya-prioritizes/




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17 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Linda says:

    Your son is wonderful!

  2. avatar NJmom says:

    What a wonderful idea! So nice to see a 15 year old wanting to help.

  3. avatar Steph B says:

    Your son is a sweetie! What a generous heart he has to think to do this for other kids and families who are struggling.

    We missed you on another chat. Take care. (Azermom)

    • avatar admin says:

      Thanks, Steph B, he actually has a friend from the old country, home same amount of time, etc, who is in prison. He’s seen up close the suffering of some great families and knows that there’s very little being offered other than the professionals and not everyone can afford that over a period of time…. Here’s hoping it will help!

  4. avatar Sybil says:

    Kids helping kids…..couldn’t be better. I hope they will reach out to Petya because it may be just the encouragement a child needs who doesn’t know how to be in a normal family or who has fears or carries too heavy a load from their past. Being there for someone else is a gift.

  5. avatar AP says:

    This is a GREAT idea! Kudos to Petya. I would have loved to have him available when my girls first came home and during those months of language acquisition. And what a great role model and inspiration for older kids. He might just be hearing from two “Russian resquees” soon :O)

    • avatar admin says:

      Thanks, AP, I’ll let him know that everyone’s cheering for him. I wonder how many current adoptees there are with Russia’s changing requirements (more and more trips) and with the world’s economic situation. But even if a young person is not a new arrival, these kids often have issues, or grief, or a sense of loneliness that doesn’t go away overnight, so maybe he can offer that bit of encouragement that would be like another sympathetic ear….

  6. avatar hoonew says:

    I am so impressed with Petya’s kindness and generosity. I hope he inspires others to help, and do keep us up to date!

    • avatar admin says:

      Thank you, hoonew, he’s a very sweet young man. He has an outgoing personality, pretty much loves to meet and greet anyone (unless he feels it’s a sibling’s activity, then he usually takes one polite step backward, lol). So it’s probably right up his alley. I’ll let everyone know as things develop. Hopefully, he won’t have to quit his day job (school). 🙂

  7. avatar Phyllis says:

    That is so wonderful!! As I was reading the post and the comments, I’m wondering if I can convince one of our sons to talk with him. Alex Krutov (www.theharborspb.org) has spent some time with our family, and the boys love knowing he lived in an orphanage in Russia, too. So having my son see another Russian adopted male working hard, and enjoying it, could be “priceless” for our family! I’ll tuck this into my memory (well, I’ll use a sticky note) and see if I can encourage our son to do this. But really, when does your son have any time???!!!

    • avatar admin says:

      Feel free, Phyllis, they can just chat. A parent can give any points they want to be covered, or it can be a simple talk about anything. The time? Good question, lol-! He figures a few minutes here and there will be fine.

      We read a lot around the table (you know, prevents food fights and things) and one was Alex Krutov’s book. The kids could not believe his honesty and how he was offered some college, or English, etc., and would then blow his opportunity. It was a very “real” book and excellent for anyone wanting to “help” any orphanages– will the help get through? what will the kids or directors do with the items? etc. and of course the plight of the ones who age out, or who are adopted by less than savory individuals.

  8. avatar Kathleen says:

    What a great idea! Is he going to limit this to adoptees from Russia?

    • avatar admin says:

      Thanks, Kathleen. Knowing him, he’s open to anything good! He says Russia and Ukraine because they speak Russian or English, but I’m sure any adoptee has some concerns in common with others. And kids don’t have to have “problems” to contact him either.

  9. avatar SLB says:

    I think this is absolutely wonderful! I can not imagine what it would be like for a child to be placed in a family of strangers. Moreover, moving to a new country not speaking the language. Oh my! What courage adoptive children must have to be able to face so many fears.
    What a caring heart your son has. Making himself available for others like this is amazing! I certainly hope like children take advantage of such a blessing! Wow! Sure beats the “facebook friends” their age group has going on nowadays! Way yo go, Petya! God bless you!

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