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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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Catching Up on Missed Developmental Stages

Not all internationally-adopted children have missed developmental phases.  But many do.  Our four teens from Russia occasionally exhibit behaviors that their home-grown peers would not struggle with to the same extent.  Is it simple adolescence? Yes and no. Turns out that I haven’t read enough.  Much of the adoption literature out there deals with babies…

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Eight Years Ago…

We met our first son, Petya, in Russia, eight years ago this week.  Silently falling snow wrapped Moscow like a blanket.  We sipped steaming borsch on a high hotel floor overlooking Red Square. St. Basil’s, jewel-like and picturesque, created the magical scenery outside our suite.  What a contrast when we arrived to our region, hours…

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English Language Learner Anxiety

There’s anxiety going on in this home and it has to do with being English Language Learners (ELL), also known as students of English as a Second Language (ESL).  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the kids who are learning who are anxiety-ridden, but moi. We are discussing the weightier matters of life around the…

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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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The Scarlet “A”: Adoption

To tell, or not to tell, that is the question.  And when you’re adopted at an older age, oftentimes, you are “outed”.  It happened to our kids at day camp. “Sashenka,” another girl gushed to our youngest.  “What a beautiful name!  Where are you from?” “Raaah’sha,” she responded proudly. “And where is your mother from?”…

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Grab Our 3-D Button-!

My, what a cute button you have! Why, thank you. And now, you can have this cute Destinations, Dreams and Dogs avatar button on your web site, too. Simply cut and paste the text below the button, and it will show up on your site or blog… minus the text. How great is that-? Readers…

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Post-Placement Preparations

Fortunate the family with children young enough to not understand when post-placement reports are upon them.  For Russian adoptions, your licensed social worker who performed the family’s original home study (with dozens of supporting documents declaring you suitably fit to parent, as though any bios have had to jump through such hoops) comes to visit…

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Encouragement for Rough Days with Adopted Kids

We all know that there can be rough days with bio kids, rough days with spouses, rough days at work, but there seems to be some special stab in the back that happens when you have a hard time with adopted children. You went into the adoption with such good intentions, you wanted to help…

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Regression: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Or, make that one step forward and five steps back…. For those who haven’t studied their prefixes recently, regression is the opposite of progression. It means going backwards. In the life of an adopted child, emotional or developmental regression often occures in response to a certain triggering event, or following a stressful situation. For instance,…