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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…!

russian1

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…

volunter1

Teen Job Search – Plan B

Mashenka can’t find a summer job. She came to it late, starting to look almost at the end of June. Many schools and universities already had flooded the market with applicants. It’s not like she needs to work. But some summertime responsibility could be a good thing. Being around others might force her to enunciate,…

icecream1

Russians and Ice Cream

Russians love ice cream, that’s all there is to it. They will eat it in the summer and winter, and that’s really something when you consider a raging Russian winter…. They will consume the pre-packaged Eskimo variety, or the soft-serve in a cone. Today, I took my kids over to FunRussian.com online where Viktoria told…

triangle1

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…

birthday1

Sashenka Turns 14

Our youngest, daughter Sashenka, turned 14. It was a week fraught with giddy highs and skipping gait, along with sullen lows. Birthdays never used to do that to her, but as a Russian adoptee, I had heard of this behavior in so many others before. They rued the day they were born because apparently, it…

russia1

The State of Russian Adoptions

Dateline:  August 2013, Moscow.  Is anything happening in Russia that could give any hope to those wishing to adopt from abroad? Nyet.  In fact, it’s becoming worse. Between President Putin and the Russian parliament, the two are conspiring to ensure that not many Russian orphans ever end up in a decent family, native or otherwise. …

children1

Yo! Russia! You Want Our Kids or Not? (or Is This Just Some Scripted Reality Show?)

A cloud of confusion covers Mother Russia, fueled by public officials who are obviously existing in an altered state, enjoying their own form of “reality” that’s no TV show fit for any viewing audience.  Everyone from Pavel Astakhov, Children’s Rights Commissioner, to President Vladimir Putin, to Senator Nikolay Kondratenko from Krasnodarsky Krai, all seem to…

righttolife1

Adopted, Not Aborted

About half a million people marched in Washington on Thursday and basically, it went unreported, as though it never even happened.  The event?  The 40th Annual March for Life, the pro-life, anti-abortion rally uniting many different sub-groups from rather diverse backgrounds. And it seems to be gathering numbers every year. I’ve never attended, but the…

protest1

Russia’s Vox Populi

Some 20,000 protesters reacting to Russia’s anti-American adoption law marched through Moscow on Sunday, clearly spelling out that the “voice of the people” was not as unified as Putin’s pollsters would have some believe.  The rally was populated by urban, middle class types, the same profile as those participating in anti-Kremlin protests over the last…

russia1

Russian Ban on U.S. Adoptions

Russia’s lower house of parliament approved a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children today, in retaliation for U.S. human rights legislation which questions Russians’ treatment of its own citizens.  The law is in response to American legislation known as the Magnitsky Act, passed by the U.S. Congress to impose visa bans and asset freezes…