Laura Dennis, adoption, bipolar, memoir
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Hi! Welcome to Expat Adoptee Mommy!

What’s this blog about? …

Creating clarity.

Specifically: emerging from foggy thinking, including-but-n0t-limited-to: “adoption fog,” hypocrisy, stereotypes and preconceived notions.

Adoption. Critical thinking about the institution of adoption.

Pop psychology. Analysis, interviews with the pros (i.e. therapists who are slightly less crazy than I am. I’m kidding.), personal stories.

The Meaning of Life. Kicking one’s day in the butt, as well as taking names. In a totally good, peaceful, open-minded way, of course.


… and what exactly is an expat adoptee mommy?

Just a little bit about where I live:

  • Serbia is a small, developing country in Eastern Europe, not to be confused with Siberia.
  • Serbia is a part of the former Yugoslavia, which broke apart in the 1990s. (Attn: various U.S. Post Offices – Serbia is now a country, and that country is not Serbia and Montenegro)
  • More on this later …

Here’s my “official” picture:

Here’s a little more about me from my official bio. (Whatever that means.)

Laura Dennis was born in New Jersey and raised in Maryland, but she learned how to be a (sane) person in California, where she lost her mind and found it again in 2001. A professionally trained dancer, Laura gave up aches and pains and bloody feet in 2004 to become a stylish, sales director for a biotech startup. Then with two children under the age of three, in 2010 she and her husband sought to simplify their lifestyle and escaped to his hometown, Belgrade. While the children learned Serbian in their cozy preschool, Laura recovered from sleep deprivation and wrote Adopted Reality. Now available on Amazon.


Here’s what I actually look like these days:

  1. Hi Laura! Found you on twitter :) Since you are a mommy I wanted to reach out to you and introduce PREMONITIONS, a novel about a Mom trapped inside her kids elementary school with masked gunmen.

    I would be so thrilled if you chose to check it out. Also, I am CEO of, a family-oriented matching clothing company. Thats all. Just introducing myself and I am so glad I found your blog!

    • admin permalink

      Thanks for connecting! What an interesting premise for your book, I'll check it out. … Good luck to you and your busy clothing company, very cool! — Laura

  2. Wow it's so interesting to see that you live in Serbia, I lived in Prizren Kosovo for about 5 months in 2011. I'm excited to read about your life in Serbia :)
    Jessica Holt recently posted..British words you should incorporate into your vocabularyMy Profile
    Jessica Holt recently posted..British words you should incorporate into your vocabularyMy Profile

  3. Know what's funny? When we first told people we were moving to Syria, know what they said? "Bring your coats — it's cold in Siberia!" Hehe.

    All S countries are the same ;-)
    Lori Lavender Luz recently posted..2012 Adoption Blogger Interview ProjectMy Profile
    Lori Lavender Luz recently posted..2012 Adoption Blogger Interview ProjectMy Profile

    • Laura permalink

      Yes, all S countries … I think in my time, they did away with geography (no memorization, we have to teach our kids to understand!) and so no one knows where anything is!

    • Mrs. Bo permalink

      I also had friends telling people that I was coming back for the holidays from Siberia. :)

      Many don't know where to locate Serbia on a map, or that it was part of Jugoslavia. Thankfully some friends (mostly of my parents generation) had not only heard of but travelled to Jugoslavia in its glory days.

  4. Hi Laura!

    I just wanted to drop you a quick word. I am one of your fans and I love your honesty. I was wondering whether you would like to join a group (of 20 bloggers) called PBAUs (Personal Blogger are Us). You can check us up on my page here:
    We try to read and comment on each other's blog and support each other. Let me know! We would love to have you onboard but I totally understand if you don't have enough time, etc!

    • Laura permalink

      I will totally check it out–this is very cool, is this the "definitive list"? I'd love to be a part–I think it's a great way to generate conversation and interest on our blogs!

      • We are circa 20 bloggers and we try to tweet/comment/support each other's blog. The list changes from time to time really. Keep me posted I will add you. I will need to find you on FB. Muriel x

      • It is great that you want to join. I have just sent you a friend request on FB. As soon as you accept it I will add you to the group. I look forward to seeing you there!

  5. I hope to share my story with you! (The last longer comment isn't showing) : (

  6. Shana permalink

    Hello Laura!

    I have to tell you, I am so glad I found your blog! We have recently opened our home to a young mother, whose husband abandoned her. My husband and I have now decided to adopt her, so we are going to be navigating through her divorce and the adult adoption process all at once! We love her, and her baby, so much. Since we have decided to adopt her, I have been searching the web for blogs and support groups, trying to connect with those who are in similar situations. I'm impressed by your no nonsense, easy style of writing. I look forward to sharing your adventures! It's going to be an interesting ride for sure-my husband has a demanding full time career, and I am the Marketing and Sales director for an online discount fragrance and skin care site- Please come check us out-I guarantee you will be satisfied with our service! All our products are guaranteed 100% authentic. Thanks for reading my post-I can't wait to read more of your life! Xoxo Shana

  7. attila permalink

    hi laura

    i found your blog by accident and love it

    im a canadian expat who moved to serbia 7 years ago when i met a girl herewho is now my wife. we have a 3 year old son and live near subotica

    i used to blog about sarcastic stuff and things that pissed me off about in serbia but deleted my blog because full of overly proud serbs who defend even the worst of it to the end.

    so i had a blog full of stuff you probably would find funny and true but its gona now..

    contact me if u want via email wed love to meet your family if u ever come to subotica :)

    • NoDiggity permalink

      Yeah I guess when everyone in the world is stomping on you, one "nobody" blogger like you is just too much – so don't blame the poor people for standing up for themselves when everyone, including their own politicians have betrayed them.

  8. Isabelle Riley permalink


    Great Blog!

    My name is Isabelle and I am currently working with
    I just came across your blog and enjoyed the read.
    We were hoping we could publish a similar blog on your site?

    I have some ideas that I am currently working on:
    - Energy efficient heating and cooling units
    - 5 tips on choosing the right air conditioner
    - Or another topic of your own.

    Looking forward hearing from you.

    Thanks for your time,


  9. Elisabeth permalink

    Hi Laura, we went to the same HS and through FB I learned of your site. I used to be an expat and miss those days a lot. I love your blog and look forward to more stories. Take care.

  10. Mary permalink

    Laura, What made you choose Serbia as a country to work with adoptions?

    • Laura Dennis permalink

      Thanks for writing! I don't work with adoptions in Serbia, it's just that I live in Serbia and I was adopted as an infant. By the fact of living in Serbia, I was curious about how adoption works here, that's all!

  11. apleasanthouse permalink

    Wow! You've got quite a story! I think I'll follow along on your journey!

  12. Jason Vignone permalink

    Hi Laura,

    I have posted on your entries before about living in a mixed (Serbian/American) household and was wondering if you could spare a moment for me? My wife is from Belgrade I am from Chicago, we have decided to move to Belgrade in the spring and try to get out of the rat race for a couple years before our children (2 months and three years) are are to protest leaving friends and such behind. I don't want to ask you about promoting anything on your blog or anything like that but the advice I seek is a bit self serving.

    I called the consulate and they make it sound like moving and getting residency there is the easiest process ever created. I'm just wondering how true that is? How are you being recieved there? I've been to Belgrade several times in the past seven years and always been treated well but going for a couple weeks and a couple years is very different. I appreciate any advice you might have.



  13. Jason Vignone permalink

    Sorry for being so long winded I also just wanted to say keep up the great work on this blog. I think you are doing so many people a world of good, and the humor is great. Sometimes I don't think people that aren't living with a Serb (and her mother) can fully appreciate it but it's often laugh out loud funny to me. It's like you took a snap shot of my home life. Have a great day and I hope to hear from you.


    • Laura Dennis permalink


      Hey! Yes, sure — feel free to email me at — any questions or anything. I've had no problems as an American, and Belgrade is actually a GREAT place to get out of the rat race. Plus, vrtic (Serbian version of daycare, but MUCH better) is very affordable, and your three year old will love it, I guarantee.

      Looking forward to hearing from you!

    • Jason, have you finally relocated to BG ?

  14. Joyce permalink

    Dear Laura,

    My name is Joyce and I work for is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Serbia, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,

  15. Julie Fukushima permalink

    Hi Laura! I was thinking about you recently and found you here!!! I would to catch up sometime…maybe SKYPE call? Let me know.

    ~Julie Fukushima

  16. LLouC permalink

    I really enjoyed your book, Adoption Reality. I also am a bipolar adoptee and your descriptions of both experiences were spot on. Your sense of humor about these traumatic experiences made me smile and laugh quite a bit while reading the book. Keeps things in perspective.

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    I'll definitely come again. Thanks Christina from

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