Dolesh Family

Dolesh Family

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


i don't have anything pressing or urgent to write right now.  except that i am so thankful for my kids and my husband and our health and our house and rain and food and naps and parks and grills and bikes and the community food co-op.  i could also make a brief list of things i am NOT thankful for (child tantrums, weeds, runny noses, weeds, potty accidents, weeds), but i won't do that now.  feeling very grateful.

but snacks.  snacks are one of those things that quickly jump from my thankful category to the frustrating (with much overlap) category.   i have often witnessed how a simple and seemingly innocent afternoon snack destroys any remote possibility that a food from the elusive and problematic vegetable category could make it into a child's mouth stomach at dinnertime.  i was not going to be one of those moms that let snacks ruin my child's appetite for cauliflower.  from the beginning, i had been determined to keep snacks limited to major holidays and odd-numbered years.  alas, i have failed. compromised. reconsidered.  it started out small.  it began with some carrots for merritt after her nap because she was too picky to eat the lunch that i had given her earlier.  then she wanted something else and was increasingly "agitated" (picture rolling around on the floor or dirt) until she got more.  so fruit followed carrots.  but then stimson was jealous and felt "slighted".  so then it was two snack cups- one for merritt with leftover lunch that wasn't good enough at lunchtime, and the other with fruit or vegetables for stimson who had eaten too much at lunch already.

this is such a slippery slope though.  and as anyone with a five-year old can testify to, if you do something once, that is the way it needs to be done from now on or for eternity, whatever is longest.  our snacks got bigger and more regular and absolutely necessary.  i used to give merritt snacks on the way to pick stimson up from school.  then stimson would want his after i got him, but then merritt would see his and want more.  so then i had to wait until we got to school to give it to both of them, but stimson didn't want merritt's leftover avocado-bean mushdish so i had to disguise and separate the snacks.  but then merritt caught on that stimson ate his snack with his hands and it was crunchy.  you can't eat avocado-bean mush with your hands and it is definitely not crunchy.  so she was less than happy (picture more rolling). i had to figure out something they could both eat.  so now they eat the same things at the same time from the same size cup.  we started out eating it on the bus on our way home from school. then it was on the way to the bus. then it was in the parking lot at school before we even started our trip home.  but now it has become such a necessary part of life that I can't even make it out of the school before we start eating our snacks.  i wish i could say stimson is excited to see me after school and that merritt is excited to see stimson, but really all the anticipation and excitement is to see what is in the two little cups that accompany me everywhere i go.

all of this is frustrating and endearing.  both.  (that wonderful satisfaction that comes with giving your kids what they want).  now that snacks have become a life or death situation, i still have a problem with my own eating habits.  i get hungry during the day.  and i try to throw a quick fistful of something into my mouth before anyone under the age of six notices.  but it doesn't always work. i can quietly and stealthily sneak into the pantry without even turning the light on and somehow they know i am in there.  one second later, there they are, using their best manners to beg for a bit of whatever i am chewing.  whatever.  they know if i am eating it in the corner, in the dark, by myself, it must be good.  you would think i am describing a secret drinking problem but no, this is really all about pistachios and dried mangoes.  what would they do if they knew what i really eat after they go to bed each night.  those beautiful and holy 18-and-over "snacks": ice cream, cookies, and chocolate.  and those beauties i eat out in the open with the lights on.  no brown bag required.  and for that, i am thankful.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


i'm not entirely sure why i/we are writing a blog.  oh yes, it is to update everyone on our adoption progress and status. but... real life is still going on, and not much adoption news to report.  busy, fun, hectic, exciting life.  so i am guessing we will keep writing about everyday life for now and we will be able to look back and see what was going on before and after we went through the process.  (an online diary?) (a record of events?) (a status report?) but i don't want anyone that does read this (and people have told us they do!) (why??) to think we want everyone to know all about us or that we are prideful or arrogant or desperate or crazy or perfect.  i hope, hope, hope it doesn't come across that way.  i'm writing for me because i have always wanted to write more stuff down. and i want to remember the little things and big things.  and because my parents live 1000 miles away.  and because i want to write a book someday.  and because i never remember the funny and cute things that my kids did last week.  and because i am so thankful for our friends that want to stay in touch with us (that is a serious one).  and i am writing to see what my husband says.  and a warning: i have long-wanted to write a cooking blog so i may back-door my way to a cooking blog yet.  i love feeding my family and friends good food and i like sharing food with anyone and everyone that will eat it. (and everyone needs to eat, including kids- whether they are young or old, picky or not picky, merritt or stimson, obedient or disobedient, adopted or biological, girl or boy, good sleepers or bad sleepers, public-schooled or private-schooled, well-dressed or just dressed, active or sedentary, standing or rolling around on the floor, listening or not listening) (can you tell what we have been thinking about lately???) (and how about the use of parentheses in this blog post!!)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Who is that?

We sit and we wait...and wait...we forget that we completed our home study a few months ago....we forget that we are adopting.  Friends and family ask for updates on our adoption.  Adoption.....oh yeah.  I forgot.  Umm, well things were moving fast until now.  We received a letter a few weeks ago indicating everything was approved by Immigration.  All that means is our forms were sent on to our agency to begin the process to find a match.  We wonder if our child has even been born....if it will still be a year or longer before we will hear anything.  Or maybe our child is born...and they will be 3 years old by the time we can bring them home.  Meanwhile, we have biological children at home that are growing up.  They are entertaining and interactive.  I'm just getting used to balancing Stimson's questions and his stories, biking, and analytic mind with Merritt's independent, daring, 'supervision-required' lifestyle.  I am a guy....and it is hard for me to multi-task....listening to Stimson's complex and detailed questions while rescuing our daughter who has managed to climb up anything she can find.  Now adding a third?  And what age will that child be when that time comes? Will they also ask the same questions or will they be daring or what will their personality be??

As we await the adoption process to run its course, I often think back to various points in this journey where we have been nudged forward towards adoption.  In this moment, I think back to when Stimson was celebrating his 2 1/2 year old birthday.  We do celebrate and make a bigger deal out of his 1/2 birthday since his birthday is on Christmas Eve.  (Maybe that is because my birthday is around that same time and I still think back to the combo gifts I got at that time of the year when I was younger and the parties that were difficult to have with friends since they were home on Christmas break.) It is also much nicer to celebrate in the summer with his friends, as the kids can play outside.  We invited several of his friends....and some of mom and dad's friends, including a family that had recently adopted from Ethiopia.  At that point in our life, we had seriously considered adoption but were not at a place where we were ready to take the financial and emotional plunge.  Back to the birthday....those friends of mom and dad showed up with their white biological child and their adopted Ethiopian child.  Living in a very white community, Stimson had very little exposure to other races.  This Ethiopian child (very cute) walked in and Stimson's 2 1/2 year old mouth dropped.  He said "Who is that?  I'm not playing with him.".  At that point, Katy and I both looked at each other and said "We are adopting.".

Adoption for us is more than doing something that sounds cool or noble.  It is not something that we are doing so we can unload some cash....after all we are still picking up pennies to get closer to our goal.  Adoption is about rescuing a child, loving a child without love, feeding a child that doesn't have food, teaching ourselves and our kids that life is not just about us...doing for one what we wish we could do for a world of less fortunate children.  It is about having a multi-cultural family and having that be ok and normal.  We have a lot of unknowns related to our multi-cultural family and we expect to be answering that question ourselves - "Who is that?"

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

to be honest...

i'm really scared.  of snakes. and of adopting.  i am scared of all the unknowns, all the risk, all the money, all the time, and all kinds of inconsequential and silly things.  i'm so scared it will be different, it will feel different, i will parent different, i will be different.  i'm scared of getting too old while we are waiting for this to happen and that i won't be able to keep up with all the juggling and activity that is required for being a mom.  i'm really scared i won't naturally love a new child in the same way i love my biological children.  i'm scared it will take a lot of work and effort to make myself love a new and mysterious strange little child.  i'm scared to travel.  i'm scared i am annoying whoever is reading this because i keep repeating the word scared.  i am scared of the congo.  i am scared they won't have lettuce there and i really like lettuce.  i'm scared my lettuce won't make it through customs and i will have to smuggle it into the country when we go.  i'm scared they will have snakes there.

and what if i can't do the baby thing again?  i would not be sad to be done potty training anyone for the rest of my life  or to be done feeding them mysterious, mushy things with one hand and feeding myself with the other.  i kind of like being able to dump a bunch of food on a plate- deconstructed (stimson) or dissected (merritt) or wrapped in a tortilla (brad) or dumped on some lettuce (me) and knowing we are all eating relatively the same thing at the same time, put into our own mouths by our own hands.  i'm not sure i want to go back to the helplessly fed mystery puree.  i am ok with high chairs though, at least the ones with buckles and straps and belts and padlocks.  i kind of wish we could use those until age 10.

we are in a waiting and wondering and hoping stage.  and looking for high chairs with better straps.  and avoiding snakes.  and stocking up on lettuce.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

we're back!

sometimes you feel recharged after a vacation (or so i have been told), and other times you feel like discharging yourself from all there is to do when you get home.  it is nice to be home but we all have vacation hangovers- the kids are in entitled and spoiled mode (might be the fault of certain relatives); the parents are in tired mode (might be the fault of certain relatives).  but we did it.  we made it across the border to canada and back into the usa thanks to our magic documents.  we even ran a marathon while we were there.  vancouver was really beautiful, but it felt like a foreign country. or at least a very big city.  there were very high heels and very big purses.  i had flip flops and a backpack.  i couldn't compete with the style standards but i don't think my toes would have fit in any other shoes except flip-flops anyway after running 26 miles.  and somehow a purse doesn't seem appropriate for maps, water bottle, extra kid clothes, another water bottle, snacks, another water bottle, shovels, buckets, and one more water bottle.  there were parks, mountains, an ocean, river, island, beaches, and lots of great weather.

we are home and back to running in four different directions.  school, day care, work and the home office.  we stopped at the grocery store on the way home from school as we do pretty much every day of the week.  merritt was in crazy chaos mode, stimson was in loud mode, so merritt went deeper into crazy chaos mode and stimson got even louder.  i contemplated going back on vacation (alone).  it is really hard to get merritt to go any appropriate direction lately.  she is really into rocks and between our house and school there are millions of rocks.  i think she picked up every one of them today.  it was an exhausting and challenging afternoon just getting from school back to home.  i had to make sure the teachers could see how i was a patient mom, i had to let merritt look at every single rock, i had to answer all of stimson's questions, i had to have dinner ready to eat when we walked in the door because i had a work meeting scheduled that got cancelled approximately one minute before it was supposed to happen.  urg.  but i am so glad to be home wearing my flip-flops and toting my backpack.  i am so glad i got to make dinner in my own house, i got to pick up my kids and answer questions and look at rocks and sleep in my own bed.  the kids are both sleeping now and the crazy loud chaos earlier today is just a happy memory.