Adopting from Russia - Bookstore

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Each book, tape or CD described here was suggested or recommended by someone contributing to the website. Where an item is available from, the title will be bold and underlined, the price before shipping will be on the title line and if available, a description or review from will be included.

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Russian Adoption

John Maclean's Russian Adoption Handbookis in a category by itself. If you want something printed that has everything on this website and more, buy this book [$23.06].

From American parents are now adopting over 5000 children a year from Russia and Eastern Europe. The Russian Adoption Handbook is a comprehensive guide to adopting a child from overseas. From the pitfalls to the practical, the rewards to the risks, the Russian Adoption Handbook leads parents through the maze of: How the international adoption process works. How to start the process. What you need to know before traveling to Russia and Eastern Europe. Making the most out of your trip - the inside scoop on customs, hotels, and food. The children's homes, the courts, and the questions that need to be asked. Medical issues, special adoption doctors, and travel requirements. Post adoption procedures, and much, much more. Practical, accurate, and written with a father's sense of humor, the Russian Adoption Handbook is the most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to adoption yet.

Adopting In Russia: Your Rights and the Law $22.95. By Russian attorney Irina O'Rear.
Clear and comprehensive information about adopting in Russia and the laws that apply. These important laws have been translated from Russian into English to provide the reader with true and accurate content in order to understand their legal rights as they apply to adoption in Russia. It is also intended to answer many of the common questions that will guide adopters through their adoption and decision-making process.

From the author: Because of the complexity that surrounds each and every Russian adoption, and because the laws are quite specific as they apply to the adoption process, it is important for anyone that is considering a Russian adoption or going through the adoption process in Russia to have access to these important laws. review: A must have for anyone adopting in Russia. This book offers helpful information pertaining to the Russian adoption process and the translated laws that apply; thus allowing each adopting family to understand fully their legal rights in the adoption process.

Travel & Culture

Fodor's Moscow & St. Petersburg $9.00

There are lots of other travel guides available but none that have been recommended to this website. Please email your recommendation.

Euro-City Map - Moscow $9.95
Much finer resolution than Baedeker's map. Included Metro map.

Lets Go Budget Guide to Eastern Europe $22.99
We used this to get information about cities not large enough to rate their own Baedeker's. Included Moscow Metro map inside back cover.

From Nyet to Da $19.75
"I wrote this book for Americans and others going to Russia for the first time -- to work, study, advise and consult, or merely travel -- but who know little about Russia and its people, why they behave like Russians, and how to get from nyet to da with them."

Russian Life ($33 for 6 issues/year with moneyback guarantee).
Russian Life is a 41-year-old monthly magazine covering Russian culture, history, travel, and life. Each issue includes colorful photo-features on current issues, historical events, and cities and towns near and far. Regular departments cover language, culture, cuisine, travel tips, and more.


Pimsleur Basic Russian $33.97 for 4 Audio cassettes 8 1/2 hour lessons. review: "Pimsleur immerses you in the language from the very first lesson. By taking just 30 minutes a day, you can learn Russian at your convenience and in the comfort of your own home, car, or office. No books are required."

"The Russian Pimsleur Language Program is a very excellent way to begin learning the language. It gives you a good introduction to the language and introduces you to Russian sounds. ... Pimsleur is an absolute must for anyone wanting to learn Russian ..."

Pimsleur Russian - Travelers Edition $41.96. 8 audio cassettes. 16 1/2 hour lessons. review: "A Set of Tapes You Can Actually Complete During Your Commute
Definitely a different approach than other language tapes. I have used other tapes and found them hard and tough to plow through. These tapes used a repetitive format with a lot of review to instill enough basic Russian to get by. At the same time, there is enough variety to keep it interesting. ... In a month and a half I was able to finish the tapes during my drive to work, and prepare for a trip to Russia. ... While you may not get a ton of vocabulary in 8 tapes, you will get a good foundation that you can easily recall. And its in building block format so you can put it together in different ways - not just canned phrases. All without ever referring to a book or printed words. Obviously, audio tapes will not help you read Russian. And with a different alphabet like Russian, it is also helpful if you learn to phonetically pronounce the letters and words before you go. So if you are planning a visit, these tapes, plus some basics on cyrillic phonetics, will be all you need to do move about, ask basic questions, ride the subway, ask prices, and be a nice all around friendly polite foreigner."

Adopting from Russia Language and Parenting Guide $44.95. Booklet & CD.
NB: This item is not from Amazon and doesn't qualify for free shipping.

When adopting any child who can talk, this tape is a necessity. I am not aware of other language programs like it. In contrast to Pimsleur, the vocabulary here is much better tailored to communicating with a child - Pimsleur is more business oriented. The accuracy of pronunciation is less than Pimsleur and real concentration and repetition is required. On the other hand, some happy customers have said that its easier to learn pronounciation from a non-native speaker.

Reviews supplied by TLC: "I got your set in the mail. It is so much more than what I was expecting. It is worth every penny of the [$50.00]. ..." ... "The tone is casual, matter of fact, and confident. The parenting tips section is really, really great. You have a powerful amount of information in a small space. I've already taken several of your pointers to heart, and see myself picking up the parenting guide every now and again for a refresher." ... "You offer an absolutely wonderful and much-needed product."

"Russia was the best and your tape was the best. I could order food, get directions, and best of all, say words to my sure helped us bond with her. It was also fun to hear your CD and then have the Russians say, 'Yes that is correct.' "

Click here for order form.

Teach Me Russian $11.16
Teach Me More Russian $11.16 review: "Learn songs in Russian and English, including "Jack and Jill," "Oh! Susanna," and "Are You Sleeping?" ...
I thought this was a very cute introduction to Russian. The tape is a great idea because you can tell if you are pronouncing words and phrases correctly. It could have been improved by using traditional Russian songs instead of translated American songs. Also--I could live without the guy oversinging the songs in English. All in all, a very good way to support your child's interest in Russian language. "

I found the words difficult to understand.

International Adoption stories

Seeds of Love $11.17
A story about becoming a big sister when Mommy and Daddy bring home a new baby. review: "Adding a new baby to the family is an exciting time for young children. It can also be a stressful time, especially for a young child whose parents will be traveling abroad without him or her to complete an international [adoption]. Seeds Of Love is a story about just such a girl. Seeds Of Love is a beautifully illustrated book that will help brothers and sisters of international adoption work through their feelings about being separated from their parents during this important time. Seeds Of Love also gives parents fun and practical ideas for easing their children's anxiety prior to adoption travel. Seeds Of Love is highly recommended for any parent with a young child and who is considering expanding their family through adoption. "

The Day We Met You $5.99 synopsis: "A special picture book for ages 2-5, The Day We Met You explores a couple lovingly preparing their home for an adopted baby. "Adopted children love to hear their homecoming stories over and over, and this is a perfect book to encourage such retellings." -- School Library Journal. Full-color illustrations."

A Mother for Choco $5.99
Choco needs a Mommy - this is where my 3 1/2 year old got "I need a mommy." review: "I loved the book because I'm developing a library for my son who is three and is adopted. Choco looks all over for his mother thinking she probably looks just like him. He finds an animal that may have a beak or a wing but doesn't look like him and becomes hopeless. He is heard weeping in the forest by a Mother Bear. She asks him what is wrong and he proceeds to tell her his tale. She listens sympathically and asks him what his mother would do in a case like this and he describes all the comforting things a mother would do. Then without hesitation, Mother Bear does exactly what he needs. She takes him home where he is introduced to her "children" which are all different animals (not one bear child). Lovely, book that can be used as discussion later on when child is older. Thumbs up!"

Completely Yours $6.36
Audio cassette, featuring a reading of A Mother For Choco. Also available on
CD. description: "For preschoolers and families, this is a complete mini-album of story, songs, and rhymes. The cassette includes a story, "A Mother for Choco" by Keiko Kasza, twenty-nine Mother Goose rhymes, and two terrific songs. Performers include Paula Poundstone, Kathy Najimy, Lily Tomlin, Bea Arthur, Mary Tyler Moore, and Ed Asner. Running time is 18 minutes."

"More More More," Said the Baby $7.99
3 stories of a child and a parent, where the children are somewhat different from their parents. review: "From beneath the tickles, kisses, and unfettered affection showered on them by grownups, the children in Vera B. Williams' Caldecott Honor Book cry out for "more more more!" The stars of three little love stories--toddlers with nicknames like "Little Pumpkin"--run giggling until they are scooped up by adoring adults to be swung around, kissed, and finally tucked into bed. Quirky watercolor drawings and colorful text feature multiethnic families, and young readers will rejoice in seeing the center of all the attention: the wiggly, chubby, irresistible toddlers. (Baby to preschooler) "

Over the Moon $11.87 review: "A couple travels to faraway place to adopt their newborn daughter. The text and collage, gouache, and colored pencil illustrations relate the story of the parents' excitement about and love for their child. Images swirl around the pages in brilliant colors and patterns, which is engaging but, like the cheeriness of the text, also distracting. -- Copyright © 1998 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved. "

Children's stories, Russian /fairy tales

The Tale of the Firebird $11.89 review: "This sumptuously illustrated book showcases Spirin's (The Sea King's Daughter; Philipok) near-magical artistry. Here he adapts three Russian fairy tales to coin his own version of the story of the tsar's son and his quest for the dazzling firebird."

Baba Yaga $11.16 review: "Baba Yaga is a poetic retelling of young Katrina's journey, capture, and escape from the evil Baba Yaga, a traditional character in Russian folklore. Margaret Phinney draws on her father's version of the stories about Baba Yaga to thrill young readers with this lovingly told and beautifully illustrated tale of the triumph of good over evil."

Baby Angels $5.99
Despite the age range given below, this is our 18 month old's favorite book. review: "Ages 2-4. From the moment baby opens her eyes, baby angels, clad in diapers, act as her guardians. They are her safety net as she climbs out of her crib, and they follow her as she toddles silently, unseen, past her unsuspecting parents and out the door. Both text and art are sweet and gentle, yet they exude the boundless energy of a curious toddler. Rendered in soft pastel chalks, the nursery and backyard scenes have lots of charming details, and the multicultural characteristics of the baby angels serve as a reminder of our diverse society. A good example of quality literature for the very young, this book will find ready acceptance in libraries offering story times for babies and toddlers. Lauren Peterson Copyright© 1996, American Library Association. All rights reserved"

Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Russia $8.00 review: "A rich and varied selection of old Russian tales that introduces many magical, memorable characters."

Oom Razoom $6.25 review: "A greedy king wants Olga, the beautiful wife of Alexis, the royal archer, and sends him on a seemingly impossible mission. Aware of the trickery, Olga empowers Alexis with magic and awaits his return. An overlong, complex, though well-told Russian genie-in-the-bottle tale, with enchanting but confusing illustrations - the characters don't change appearance after an eighteen-year time lapse. -- Copyright © 1992 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved. "

The Little Snowgirl $21.00 review: "Caterina and Pavel, who want a child more than anything in the world, are delighted when the snowgirl they build comes to life. But is she real? "Croll's retelling of this beloved Russian tale is full of the simplicity and charm that make folk tales eternally appealing."--Publishers Weekly. Full color."

Russian Music

Songs of Old Russia $6.98 CD
Amazon customer comment: "I am 20 years old Russian .... It is not the kind of music I would regularly listen to, however, I am glad I did get to listen to this album. It gave me shivers and tears of nostalgia. This album is a definite retrospect into the enigma of Russian romance, courtship and chivalry. Treasurers of Russian pride and history will have it in their collections. "

Sacred Treasures - Choral Masterworks from Russia $14.99 CD

The Best of the Red Army Choir $20.99 CD

Russian Cossack Music From The Urals $5.49 CD

All The Best From Russia: 20 Great Favorites $7.98 Cassette

(Adopted) Child Development

Educational toys from Leapfrog:

What To Expect The First Year $11.17 description: "From the authors of the bestselling What to Expect When You're Expecting comes the most comprehensive guide available on the next phase of parenting-newborn care. The authors have made the first year easier for parents by advocating a common-sense, you-can-do-it approach to parenthood. The volume is encyclopedic in its coverage, leading parents from month to month, check-up to check-up, even feeding to feeding. Sections cover sleeping habits, infant illnesses, safety, postpartum depression (for mom and dad), traveling with baby, seasonal care, first food recipes, common home remedies and a chart of common childhood illnesses. Through consultation with top specialists and scrupulous attention to detail, the team succeeds in providing the most up-to-date information on every area of post-pregnancy and infant care. Winner of the 1994 Parenting "Hall of Fame" Award from Child Magazine's Child's Best Parenting Book Award. 4,500,000 in print."

What To Expect The Toddler Years $11.87 description: "With more than thirteen million copies in print, the What to Expect books have become America's pregnancy and childcare bibles. The fourth book in the series provides comprehensive, lively, and reassuring coverage of the toddler ages of two and three. Graduates of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and "What to Expect the First Year" will appreciate this guide to the difficult toddler years, presented in the same format as the other "What to Expect" books. "The Toddler Years" is organized month by month for the second year (months 12-24) and quarterly through the third, covering each and every growth and development phase that parents are likely to encounter. In addition it offers the answers to hundreds of questions, a section devoted entirely to safety and health care, a section on toddler-sibling relations, and general advice to make these early ventures down the stream of life a little bit easier on both parents and child."

Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft $10.50 review: "This book is a practical, upbeat guide for parents who have adopted a child who is old enough to carry with them the weight of past experiences and the loss of former attachments (or the hurt of lack of attachments) yet are not old enough to express their emotions or memories in a way that can help their new parents help them. Hopkins-Best has helped unravel some of the mysteries that come with toddlers with a "past". I found her approach extremely helpful with our Romanian son adopted recently at the age of 34 months. I learned that some of the eating problems were actually rooted in attachment problems and that I had been handling the outbursts at the table in exactly the wrong way. Within days of changing my reaction his behavior improved dramatically. I wish I had read the book before I adopted a toddler, but I'm glad I read it soon after or we may have had a much longer struggle with attachment. I would consider this "required reading" for anybody looking to adopted a child over the age of one year."

The Portable Pediatrician for Parents $18.40 description: "Some parents in the post-Spock generation may think that when it comes to basic childcare instruction, Heidi Murkoff's What to Expect series is the only game in town. But there are alternatives, and this one has a considerable advantage--especially from the viewpoint of parents with more than one small child--in that it covers birth-to-5 in a single, manageable volume. Laura Walther Nathanson, M.D., FAAP, also serves up loads of useful information--everything from breastfeeding to the impact of divorce on a child--in a writing style that's authoritative without being pompous. She sounds less like a medical expert who happens to deal with children, and more like a fellow-parent who happens to be a medical expert. She refers to 3 and 4 year olds simply as Threes and Fours, pee is pee, and poo is poo. There are a couple of drawbacks, however. A minor complaint is the shockingly poor quality of the line illustrations, which manage to make smiling toddlers look deranged at best and demonic at worst. A more major issue is the book's bland layout--there is lots and lots of plain gray text and very little has been done to make the most important information leap to the eye. Nonetheless, this is such an excellent source of information that it is a must for every parent's shelf. "

Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children $35.00 review: "This book was so helpful to me as an adoptive parent that I have recommended it to several families with whom I have come into contact at the adoption agency where I work. We keep a copy in the agency library to lend to those people thinking of adopting special needs children. It spells out some of the trials foster and adoptive parents may find themselves up against with some concrete ideas to use to remedy negative situations."

Raising Adopted Children: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent $11.16 description: "Adoption practices have evolved considerably since this book's first publication in 1986, and the new version of the "Dr. Spock for adoptive parents" reflects the latest theories. Drawing on the findings and practices of pediatricians, social workers, scientists, and adoptive parents, Raising Adopted Children is carefully and thoroughly researched. Chapters on open adoption, international adoption, and transracial adoption are combined with advice on bonding and attachment, breast-feeding an adoptive infant (possible but complicated), dealing with schools, privacy issues, adopting a child with disabilities, adopting as a single parent, and the challenges of adolescence. While Melina's many years of professional and personal experience shape her advice, she remains very evenhanded. For example, she's a strong proponent of the "early telling" theory of adoption (being open about the adoption with the child from the beginning), but she also clearly presents other points of view, and, throughout the book, encourages parents to make decisions that feel right for them.

The text includes specific suggestions for explaining a child's birth circumstances, including common misconceptions, and a valuable discussion about whether adoptees are at greater risk for behavior problems or learning disabilities. She also provides suggestions for setting rules for contact with biological parents, easing grief, and acknowledging a child's history. A completely annotated list of selected references and resources rounds out this superior guide."

Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother $10.36 review: "As a soon-to-be adoptive mother, I was really glad to find a book that describes, with sometimes painful honesty, the mixed emotions and feelings that go into the decision to adopt and the adoption process. It truly is difficult and very much a rollercoaster ride. I have to say, though, that I felt angry at times at the author's occasional use of foul language and her strongly negative attitudes toward adoption. If I were the social worker doing her homestudy, I probably would not have approved her for adoption and would have strongly recommended she seek counseling. Yes, we all have feelings of anger and resentment that we cannot produce biological children, but in my darkest days I haven't been as bitter as her book showed her to be. I hope her son doesn't ever read this book.

"I am glad I read it, though. Even with my negative feelings about her attitudes, the book made me see that I'd better evaluate my own attitudes about adoption, especially in regard to birthfamilies. I think it's a book that needed to be written, although I felt it was pretty negative much of the time."

Adoption and Parenting magazines

Adoptive Families ($29.95 for 6 issues/year with moneyback guarantee)
"The nation's leading adoption magazine, provides independent, reliable, practical information on both how to adopt and raise healthy, happy children. A Parent's Choice award winner, each bimonthly issue of Adoptive Families is a critical resource for all who celebrate the joys of adoption."

Parents ($9.97 for 10 issues/year)
"Parents is written and edited for women from 18 to 34, who have growing children. It focuses on family formation and growth including the daily needs and concerns of modern mothers. It also regularly features information about beauty, food, fashion, home, age specific child development and more."

Ladybug ($35.97 for 12 issues/year)
"Ladybug opens the door to reading for children ages 2 to 6. Every page of Ladybug is beautiful, colorful, and a delight to read. Each issue is filled with charming characters, activities, songs, poems, and stories."

Spider  ($35.97 for 12 issues/year)
"Spider weaves a web of wonder for kids ages 6 to 9. Spider is a fun magazine for independent young learners. It's especially written and edited for children who have reached that amazing age when they first get excited about reading on their own."

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