This is a great thread for me, from several angles.
First, as an ex-Calvinist, I'd like to offer the encouragement that change is possible, and I'm now a lot closer to the historic Church. It's been a long, slow journey, but not one I regret in the slightest. An author who did help me was CSLewis, and one thing that helped overcome my anti-Catholic prejudices (back then I didn't know about Orthodoxy) was meeting Catholics who were (a) nice and friendly, and (b) had a living faith. Examples can be much more powerful than arguments.
Secondly, the "penal substitution" theory of atonement has been so deeply ingrained into me that I find it hard to understand the cross any other way - so I'm very interested in the Orthodox views on this thread.
And finally, if I do get to the point where I feel the need to formally convert to Orthodoxy, then reading others' experience of family matters will be helpful for me. And may the Lord bless those of you who are facing those difficult decisions.