Dolesh Family

Dolesh Family

Sunday, April 21, 2013

hold tight

it feels like there has been so much death and destruction this week.  sometimes i am so scared of what might happen in the future.  if i just sit here and hold you tight, nothing will happen, right?  or if i make you wear a helmet twenty four hours a day we will be safe, right?  oh how i love my children.  everything.  i love the way you both have no idea that we know three people that died this week from stroke complications. and then the whole boston marathon drama.  (not to mention that we are planning on running a marathon in two weeks.)  (it is in canada though and fortunately canada has no enemies)  i love the way they grab my legs every evening at 5p and ask for apples; the way they make each other laugh; the way they love feeding the ducks in our pond; the way they love being chased; the way they laugh; the way they always try to delay bedtime; the way Stimson loves ketchup; they way Merritt hates ketchup; the way Stimson tries to stick his toothbrush to his forehead; and the way Merritt makes a mess and Stimson cleans it up.  Can we fit one more in the middle of these?  it is so hard to imagine, but i think it can happen.
(i think we need a bigger car though...)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

plus one decision

I have been meaning to write this for a long time.  My season...and yet I'm not the one that has been doing taxes.  That would be my wife who nearly four days removed is still working through the tax hangover.

Many have asked how we arrived at the decision to adopt.  To answer that question, we would have to go back to the pre-kid days....those days when sleep was easy to come by, eating meals slow was a common occurrence, road trips in the car involved naps and deep conversations with my wife, and sleeping-in was not  6:30a.  Like all couples, we had the conversation about kids - when, how many, what characteristics we hoped they would inherit from our genes, how perfect and obedient they would be, and how we would easily be better parents than those around us.  At that time, we tossed around the idea that we would like to adopt someday.  Honestly, I think it sounded like a noble idea that we would realistically never pursue.

Fast forward a few years....we were ready to have kids and be the best parents we could.  We assumed having kids was a matter of waiting 9 months.  After many months of trying to have kids, having doctors help us try to have kids, trying to smile when people would ask us when we were going to have kids, and reading an article in the paper everyday of another child being killed, abused, or left to fend for themselves....we were ready to give up.  In fact, we did give up only to find out the month we gave up, Katy was pregnant with Stimson.  It took us a couple of months to find out that we were pregnant.  I was out of town and Katy had that feeling that a woman only gets - a feeling that something is not normal.  About 5 pregnancy tests later and a doctor's appointment to validate the craziness, we were humbled to find out that we were going to have a biological child. Stimson came along and has blessed us ever since.

Two to three years later, we were ready to have a second child.  After experiencing the frustration of not being able to get pregnant again, Katy and I discussed how much longer we would continue to try.  We were not willing to go through everything we did with our first attempt to get pregnant.  We were also at a crossroads in our life...what should we do to give back to the world?  were we doing what we wanted to do?  was life about working, making money, and having stuff?  or was there something we could do to make sure we didn't continue on the treadmill of the American dream?  Around that same time, we heard a message from a speaker challenging us to do our part to make a difference in the world.  Living in America, it is easy to get lost and comfortable in the security and wealth of our country.  We like our comforts and frankly, we like us.  Coming home from hearing that speaker, Katy and I were already on the same page without talking.  We were ready to one.  That challenge was enough to push us over the edge to do for one what we wish we could do for a whole world.

We went all in, pursuing an adoption from Ethiopia.  In fact, we applied to an adoption agency and dropped a bunch of money to start the process.  Only one problem a week into this new process....Katy had one question for me.  What would we do if we found out she was pregnant.  "Well, I think we would figure it out and we would probably have another child", I said matter of factly.  Katy's response - "I'm pregnant."  We processed many emotions - humbled, happy, frustrated that we were having our own child while another child was stuck in an orphanage somewhere without parents.  Along came Merritt and a minimum of 6 months of waiting to re-start the adoption process.  We challenged the process, begging adoption agencies to grant us an exception....that we could continue to adopt without waiting 6 months.

After many sleepless nights the first 10 months of Merritt's life, we thought about nothing except trying to make it through that day.  We had many days of wondering if it was possible to function on an average of 4-5 hours of sleep a day for 10 months...whether it was even healthy for Merritt to sleep 30 minutes a day at the age of 6 months?  Adoption....became the furthest thing in our mind

This past year, we were ready to start the process again.  Now, we are continuing on our path of adoption.  We are excited to have a multi-cultural family.  We are anxious to rescue a child that will likely have no parents.  We are ready to share our love with another one.

Monday, April 8, 2013


first haircut! clearly she is quite thrilled.
hair stylist: "do you want to keep part of the hair"
no thanks. second child. not necessary.

do you have those weird milestones that help mark out your progress?  i.e. we will be leaving on our trip before the milk expires.  i'll be there in two sleeps. i just have one more mile. ten more miles. fifteen more miles. (training for a marathon right now) one more bite and then you can have some apple.  one more week and tax season will be over! one more book and then it is time for bed. one more hour and then i can go to bed!!

i wonder about which milestones or memories will come and go before we go to the congo.  maybe merritt will be sleeping through the night by then (unlikely).  maybe stimson will be in school.  maybe i will be working at a different job.  maybe i won't be working.  maybe merritt will eat ketchup.  maybe merritt will eat vegetables.  maybe ketchup will help merritt eat vegetables.  maybe stimson will be driving.  maybe we will won't eat sugar.  maybe we will won't eat wheat.  maybe we will won't eat dairy.  maybe merritt will be able to reason, just a little bit (hopefully).  maybe our neighbors will get a hot tub.  maybe we will get a new car.  maybe our neighbors will get a new car.  maybe our house will be cleaner. maybe our house will be worth more than it is now.  maybe we'll be richer.  maybe we'll be poorer.  maybe it's all relative.  and most importantly, maybe, just maybe, skinny jeans will finally be out of style!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


so i honestly wonder what it is going to be like to have a kid that we did not make and carry and birth and feed every second of the kid's life.  i know that is natural to question but i do wonder how that will feel once we have all "adjusted" to being our family of four plus one.  (hopefully it will feel like a family of 5)  of course it will but still...  we (the two kids and i) walked down the block the other day to meet a new neighbor and say hi.  we did that and then we were going to go to the park down the street.  but, as it so often happens, we (thing 1 and thing 2 and i) got distracted by rocks. (fortunately they were both distracted by these rocks)  there was nothing special about the location or the type of these rocks.  it was just a pile of rocks near some new construction.  i started to tell them we should get going to the park.  but then i stopped myself.  i wanted to get them to the park so they could play but they were doing just fine playing with rocks.  so i sat down to watch and be the recipient of rock rain and rock soup and rock treasures.  i have been working so much lately and it was so nice to just sit there and watch and participate instead of rushing to go on to the next thing.  most likely i was just tired and i tend to be more emotional (we all do i'm sure) when i am tired, but i also tend to be more reflective when we have these little breaks from busyness.  it was so welcome and nice to just watch them.  but then i started to wonder if i will feel exactly the same watching an adopted kid play with plain old boring rocks as i do with my biological kids.  they were dumping rocks into my hands and my heart was exploding. will my heart explode when our adopted kid wants to be chased by us, when they want to hold our hand, when they dump rocks into a pile?  logically i know it will feel the same, or at least it will eventually feel the same and i will get the same heart strings tugged on by crooked smiles and silly questions.  but how long before it will feel like that?  and will i have to force it?  tell myself that it is the same?  i'm sure i won't, but i still know that my biological children are wonderful and beautiful and frustrating and discouraging.  they can break my heart and make my heart in the span of two seconds.  when our neighbor kids plays with rocks it doesn't seem quite as adorable or endearing- my kids are perfect to me (well, you know what i mean).  i guess i know deep down that my heart is just going to get bigger and i will love watching all three equally marvelous children make rock soup and rock rain.