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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…!

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Current State of Ukrainian Adoptions

With all of the ruckus of Russia invading Crimea, we thought our friends would like an update. Ukrainian adoptions are still open, but Crimean adoptions, for all intents and purposes are closed with Crimea being illegally annexed by Russia. The American Embassy in Kyiv (Kiev) is trying to get it all straight, but just as…

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Pasha Finds His Voice

Pasha’s not playing with a full deck, some would say.  He reads slowly, understands concepts slowly, and finds it difficult to answer when put under pressure.  Thank you, birthmother. It’s not always easy for him to understand that he’s now in a family.  The old behaviors from the internat (orphanage boarding school) are not allowed…

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Travelling Blind?

Adoption travel and adoption referrrals are so unique and so individual, that I can’t even begin to give you advice.  But naturally, that won’t hold me back…. There are those families who have never been outside of the U.S. and want the full-service, handholding type of adoption travel experience:  tell me where to stay, what…

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Changing Hearts, Changing Minds

For those of us adopting older children, we often have rough roads ahead… with a scenic, pleasant view at the end-!  The good news is that anyone can change, at any age.  The challenging news is that even young kids can be incredibly set in their ways. There’s a long laundry list of items that…

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The Facts of Life… in Russian

When my girls arrived home at the ages of 8.5 and 11 years old, we had to make up for lost time.  There was a lot for them to understand about life, from needing to brush their teeth (little one had some rotten, black teeth, plus 21 cavities), to throwing the used toilet paper IN…

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The Monday Mug Club: #2

I vascillated over this little mug: “ Should I, or shouldn’t I?”  much like many adoptive parents question their decision to bring home a new child.  Sitting in the Moscow market all by its lonesome, the cup had a fragile quality to it, and I wondered if it could go the distance without being shattered…

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Homeschooling Against All Odds

Let me say from the outset that we are not what I picture to be “model homeschoolers”. We do not own a rocking chair, nor a front porch, we are not soft-spoken, crafty, nor patient people. The education of our children is surprisingly not our primary goal in life, but definitely ranks among the Top…

Tips for Family & Friends of Those Adopting

This blog is for you, the onlooker/observer, as your family or friend is undertaking an international adoption. We understand, you may feel that they are making a Big Mistake. This time, try to keep it to yourself. You know our story: busy, workaholics, traveling the world to help humankind, we never had the time for…

The Honeymoon Phase of International Adoption

“Ah, the honeymoon phase,” other adoptive parents would smile benignly when they heard we had nary a problem with our first son from Russia. “Just wait.” This common adoption legend persists to the present day: that children arrive after court, fresh-faced and angelic, and then a week later, or several months later, descend into the…

Still Learning English…

Have you ever wondered what your kids are saying? Like other parents of teens and pre-teens, I have my fair share of “Huh?” moments, but for me, it’s exacerbated by the fact that mine are still learning English. “I lost my noodle,” Pasha pokes here and there in the car. “Shtoh?” I ask in Russian….