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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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Monday Mottoes – #209

Today our eldest son turns 21. For all intents and purposes, he should be 13, not because of any immaturity on his part, but because we adopted him when he was almost 8 and I would have loved to have been his mother for all 21 years. We’ve made up for lost time with adventures…

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And We Try Again… Mashenka’s Future

Take Two. Or Three. Or Four or whatever we’re up to at this point. Mashenka came back for more help from me. Her father’s urging proved beneficial. Of course, I could just go up to the 18-year-old and tell her, “Look, you’re bright, you’re personable, you could have a lot going for you in your…

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Jewelry-Making Therapy

For some reason, our two daughters from Russia tend to act helpless and hopeless. I don’t know why. I try to model for them a capable, strong woman. But whenever it comes to them… they can’t, they won’t, they don’t know how…. On our few-day getaway, we brought some individual cereal boxes. I thought it…

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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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Holidays & The Adopted Child

Stimulation, sweets, and disrupted schedules can combine to make holidays go haywire for adoptive families.  Trying to limit any of the above helps. Particularly for the adoptive child whose previous life experiences may have been vastly limited, the holidays can spell overload.  And tantrums, meltdowns, and ugliness.  Just what you don’t want around your meant-to-be…

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Time to Adopt Again?

How do you know when it’s time to adopt again?  Is it a feeling in your heart?  Perhaps a balance sheet that “works”?  Do you have extra space in your house, or time on your hands?  Did you see a child who “touched” you in some way? For most of us, it’s not all black…

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Sashenka-isms: Words & Phrases That Make No Sense

Sashenka is our youngest, a cute blond girl turning twelve soon.  She has a mind of her own, that is generally unlike any other mind I have had the privilege of meeting.  Plus, she talks a lot.  This particular combination may prove dangerous to the mental health of any unsuspecting  bystander. “They’re Germans,” she whispers…

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Our Kids’ Identity & My Russian Nightmares

My teens are off on their Russian adventures this week, mixing and mingling with others from Russian-American backgrounds.  Emphasis on Russian. So what can I do but obsess about the whole thing? I’m nervous in some ways that they will be absorbed, swallowed up in Russian culture and never emerge again.  It happens.  I know…

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Taking Your Children on Adoption Travel

The question is often posed to me, wise sage on all adoption matters:  should I take my current child/children with me when I travel to country X, Y, or Z to adopt? Well, that all depends. What are the adoption procedures in that country, first of all?  Is there the possibility that you may “lose”…

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Five Ways to Encourage Your Newly-Adopted Children

Whether they’re two or twelve, your newly-adopted children need tons of encouragement.  And that’s a tall order to fill… particularly if they’re constantly messing up.  Which they will.  Because they don’t know all of the things that you would normally teach them from the age of birth on up. Here are a few ways to…