Detour Deux!

This blog is actually an article I wrote that was recently published on a national adoption blog called “Portrait of an Adoption.” This blog has hundreds of thousands of followers and a very pure readership. It is also available on the Facebook page “Portrait of an Adoption”. The content is below.


“What do you do when you are offered the dream of a lifetime? And what do you do when that dream is offered to you by the brother you never knew you had, your full biological brother? Continue reading



Dear All:

This is meant for my followers and the “likers” on my blog:

As many of you know I have authored a book that is available on Amazon. Today, through Sunday, November 30 I am running a promotion to get the word out about my book and I need your help! My book will be free for Kindle through the 30th and it is going to be featured on Freebooksy, a blog that reaches over 100,000 Kindle readers! The more downloads I get, the better my Amazon rankings will be. I would really appreciate it if you could take 5 minutes out of your day today and help me by:

1) Going to  and downloading a copy of the book (it’s free so this will not cost you anything). You can download a free copy even if you don’t own a Kindle, simply choose “Deliver to Cloud Reader”.

2) Forwarding this email to your friends.

3) Even if you’ve purchased a hard copy, grab an ebook because every download I get counts. If this is your first time with the book, I would covet a review on and GoodReads.

Thanks for your support!!

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“There’s so much to be thankful for”–thank you, Josh Groban


I am thankful that I get to live out my dream in Italy.

I am thankful that my mother gave me up for adoption to an incredible family.

I am thankful that I was able to meet my birth family.

I am thankful I have both families.

I am thankful that I was able to travel all the way to Italy to meet my extended biological family.

I am thankful my extended biological family accepted me immediately and unconditionally.

I am thankful I got to meet my grandfather, the patriarch of our family.

I am thankful that he was so happy to meet me that he automatically considered me his grandson.

I am thankful for all the friends (their name is Legion) that I have back home, mostly in Oregon, but also scattered all over the States—Washington, California, Georgia, Missouri, Massachusetts, Florida, Arizona, Texas, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, D.C., Illinois, etc.

I am thankful my friends have supported me so unconditionally and are so excited for me on this journey.

I am thankful for a number of friends in particular (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!).

I am thankful for my education.

I am thankful I was raised by God-fearing parents who made mistakes but gave me the greatest gift—awareness of and a desire for God.

I am thankful I am an American.

I am thankful for everything America has given me.

I am thankful I am Italian.

I am thankful I am Polish.

I am thankful I am Ukrainian.

I am thankful for the talents and abilities God has given me.

I am thankful that my life is taking a turn that is allowing me to understand and become closer to Him in ways I never dreamed imaginable.

I am thankful for understanding what, for me, is true freedom in Christ.

I am thankful for my health.

I am thankful for my health care.

I am thankful that I can see, walk, speak, hear, eat, sleep, smell and a host of other things without assistance because I know many who can’t do some of these things.

I am thankful for my former churches and the people I met there, many of whom I still keep in contact with.

I am thankful for enough to eat.

I am thankful that I am free.

I am thankful that I’m learning how much I truly need.

I am thankful that I’m learning how much I truly don’t need.

I am thankful for technology (even though some days I want to drop kick it into the Adriatic Sea) because it allows me such close contact with those I love even though I’m so far away.

There is so much to be thankful for and I think it’s important to realize each and every day what we all have, rather than what we don’t have. I think it’s important to not only be thankful for what we have, but maybe be thankful for what we don’t have. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned or a blessing to be given (or received).

On this day, where we give thanks to God for the bounty that we have, I’m thankful for YOU. YOU are part of my bounty.

May you have the Thanksgiving of your dreams with those you hold dearest to your heart. May it be filled with your favorite trimmings and festooned with adored memories that thrill your soul forever.

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“Day after day”–thank you, Badfinger

Well, I think I screwed up on the phone/internet thing. I have been unable to figure out how I can go through two gigabytes of data every two days. Even with the video streaming, I never used up data that rapidly at home.

I eventually found out from my cousin, that I need to get a different type of internet. He pays $30/month for what is apparently excellent broadband coverage in Turin. His cell phone is company-owned so he’s unaware of what is best for mobile phone internet. All I know is that I have to do something if I’m going to avoid bankruptcy. Today I was sitting in MY cafe, Cafe Duca, and using their internet. They don’t mind. Indeed, one of the things I love about Italy is how proprietors welcome people to sit and stay–and they don’t badger you to keep spending money. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“Git’er done”–thank you, Larry the Cable Guy

I feel like I lived three months in one day today.

I started out with a bit of depression. Loneliness was creeping in and I started feeling sorry for myself. I wasn’t expecting loneliness to hit so quickly. I’ve only been here for a few days. I think it might have had something to do with the back pain that I’m experiencing. I’m tired of popping these damn pain meds but I have no choice. I guess I was feeling a bit sorry for myself so I allowed my mind to go places it shouldn’t. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy—“We’re movin’ on up”—thank you, Jeffersons

I can report that my back is much better. The physical therapist that I’ve been seeing has done wonders for me in only three sessions. Nevertheless, I still plan to visit a chiropractor that I found in San Benedetto del Tronto. I just happened to find this office online as I was cruising around. Don’t know how I found it, but I’m glad I did. It is a 22 mile trip via bus ($2 ticket) so if I get on the wrong bus, my budget will survive.

I’m so thankful that my back is feeling so much better. I have to admit that I was sinking deep into a depression from the chronic pain. It’s difficult to motivate oneself when the pain is constant and intense and when a sneeze results in body convulsions. I was having difficulty even writing. I would go every night to my favorite bistro for a glass of wine to enhance the effects of the pain meds. Not a good habit to pursue. But still kinda fun… Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“Movin’ on”–thank you, Bad Company

It’s been a long day. I suppose this back pain makes these days seem longer than they are. Last night I found myself returning from my little bistro, walking like Frankenstein. It took me awhile to figure out that two glasses of white wine don’t go well with Vicodin. Even without this realization, I am going to try to wean myself away from the meds. I just don’t like what they are doing to me. I’m a zombie all day long, but it’s about the only way I can function.

Last night my cousin and his wife arrived with bedding and linens. I can now bed down somewhat normally. For the previous three nights I could only find a curtain to cover me when I slept. I had no sheets or blankets. I had pillows, fortunately. But that was it. Does that make me a pioneer man? The weather has been quite warm and sunny with temperatures in the sixties so at least I wasn’t freezing at night. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“It’s been such a long time”–thank you, Boston

I don’t know if I remember the last time I wrote on this blog. I suppose I could just look at my calendar. Too much effort right now.

So, where to start? Hmm, it appears I haven’t even written about Dublin. OK, here goes.

I arrived in Dublin after sleeping most of the flight from the pain meds. Dublin lived up to its reputation–cold and rainy, practically a typhoon. Of course, I had no umbrella. Nevertheless, I was determined to get into town since I had a six hour layover. Got downtown and was unable to really enjoy it. From what I did see, though, I was impressed. The cabbie told me that the South Side is the upscale area and the North Side is more blue collar. The way he described it, you start out on the North Side and when you “make it” you move to the South Side. Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“Whoa, big ol’ jet airliner, don’t carry me too far away”—thank you, Steve Miller Band

Okay, so my big ol’ jet airliner is carrying me too far away. Not too far, though. Just to Italy, to be exact. Is Italy too far? I don’t think so. But it’s far enough. Yet those lyrics seem apropos at this very moment as I sit on an Aer Lingus flight winging me from Chicago to Dublin. I still have about three hours to go before we land and I really can’t sleep. It’s currently 11:00 p.m.

So far, the trip seems to be moving quite quickly. The Chicago flight was over before I knew it and O’Hare Airport wasn’t nearly as intimidating as I expected it to be. I had flown through O’Hare on a return flight from Italy back in ’06 and it wasn’t too intimidating then, either. This time around I was just concerned that I would have enough time to get from one terminal to another. I was chagrined when I realized I had left my newly purchased book somewhere in the terminal. Now I don’t have anything to read unless I want to look back over old blog postings. How self-obsessed would that be? (The first sixty put me to sleep.) Continue reading

Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night”–thank you, Von Trapp children

Short post tonight. Everything is packed. All errands and responsibilities finished. Got my euros. Attorney has my car. Saw the chiropractor three times and spoke to my insurance carrier. Put the last three boxes into storage. Ate myself silly at breakfasts after lunches after dinners as friends said goodbye. Got some meds for my severe back pain. I figure a Valium with a Scotch will help me sleep on the plane. Continue reading