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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…!

Who’s Who at 3-D

I received an excellent suggestion from one of our reader-friends a while back, that I explain who’s who.  Now, most adults have questions like this about themselves from time to time, so it’s a pleasure to be able to label my children so quickly and efficiently, before they’re old enough to argue about it, lol.

During my own adolescence, my mother worked at a major university and she encountered a number of college-aged youth who were having identity crises.  Mom was a no-nonsense type of person who told me, should I ever question “who I was”, just to let her know and she would show me my birth certificate.  Case closed.

In our family, Benedetto and I had been married about a hundred years, give or take seventy-five, and we finally began thinking of children.  Prior to that we had been Busy.  Very Busy.  Too Busy to take nine months off, we thought.

So it came to our attention about all of the orphaned children in the world.  Our hearts were touched.  My family background is Russian, and the rest is history.

Since it’s coming up to Thanksgiving and we’re very thankful for these dear children, maybe a once-a-year update around this time of year will help our readers know who’s who.

Our first child was Petya, jewel in the crown that he is.  His brown hair color and hazel eyes resemble my husband’s.  They are two peas in a pod, so connected, so in love with each other and fiercely protective.  It’s a joy to see.  Petya came home at age 7-1/2 and was a sweetie from day one.  He’s now a strapping 15 year old, athletic, fun, intelligent, speaking several languages, strong character, and a good friend to all.

Pasha was his orphanage comrade.  For four years we petitioned Russia to allow us to adopt him.  By the time he arrived, at the age of almost 12, his body and mind were shot by the system, by abuse, by the neglect of institutionalism, if not by prenatal alcohol.  His kindness and shyness that we had observed long ago had turned to obnoxiousness, but like an onion, the layers are being peeled away.  The “real” Pasha is emerging, day by day.  He has been home three years and is turning 15, two months younger than Petya.  Currently, Pasha is taller and thinner than the other children, and his fair coloring favors moi.

Mashenka is 13, and home now for two years.  Before reaching the double digits, she was the mother figure of her fragile family, often taking care of several younger siblings, trying to feed a baby with nothing, feeling the sting of abandonment and alcoholism, the terror of dangerous people who surrounded their hovel, and parents who were perpetually missing-in-action.  She did not know anything about basic hygiene, or nutrition, or life, and yet, much had fallen on her shoulders.  She had a seething anger that would erupt out of nowhere and found it difficult to just let go and be a carefree or happy child.  Step by step, she is trusting us and taking her life to the next level, a smart girl who loves to help and find her place.

We adopted the two sisters together, all that they had of their family of sorts was each other.  Sashenka came home at 8-1/2, a usually sullen soul with 21 cavities.  The black holes and other trauma generally prevented her from smiling, but all of that is turning around.  She now skips with a happiness that cannot be created, except from the heart.  Her joy is stuffed animals and silliness and her winsome grin at age 11 says it all.  Most onlookers cannot imagine that the girls are not my biological kids, so close is their resemblance to me.

They’ll survive, despite that last fact.

These are our children, complemented by Misha (5) and Grisha (3.5), the adorable Scotties.  (They resemble Benedetto.)

That’s our family, thanks for asking!



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6 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Ivanka says:

    It is a joy to know you all.

  2. avatar Kathleen says:

    Thanks for the update. Great picture too!

    • avatar admin says:

      Thanks, Kathleen, I have a fabulous close-up of all of them, but Benedetto nixed the idea. *Sigh*. He said something about internet weirdos… but I’m sure he didn’t mean any of my reader-friends!

  3. avatar Sybil says:

    What a good looking family. It is a pleasure to know you all and see the children mature.

    • avatar admin says:

      For the most part, we are all enjoying each other-! 🙂 Thanks for being a part of our lives through the internet. I want to respect the children’s privacy, but still offer hope and encouragement to other families that this is our real life.

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