Saturday, February 24, 2018

Teenager in the House

Today we celebrate Jada turning 13.  It’s crazy to think there is a teenage girl living under our roof.  We love our Jerds so, and cherish the young lady she has become.

Birthdays are often a time to reflect back and not just look forward.  As adoptive parents, we do not have in our memory bank such things as going into labor, rushing to the hospital, and holding a newborn for the first time.  In Jada’s case, we don’t even know if February 24 is the day she came into this world; she was found, abandoned, on February 27, and those who found her simply guessed she was 3 days old at the time. 

So, intertwined with the joy of celebrating her life is a little sorrow and wonder.  Not everyone gets to come into the world with the same privileges and advantages.  But we are all equal in the eyes of God, and in a just world we should all have access to the resources and opportunities we need to become the best version of ourselves.  We are honored to watch Jada become that right before our eyes.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Breaking You Down, Building You Up

Aaron's had a rough go of 5th grade so far.  Just like Jada struggled in 5th and 6th grade, Aaron's hit a bit of wall too.  It happens, and Amy and I are trying to hold the right level of worry (not too much, not too little) and support at the right amount (be available but not over-bearing).

Thankfully, he appears to be trending in the right direction.  His grades, behavior, and mood, while still spotty at times, are better.  I'm thankful for teachers who are supportive and encouraging, but who are not afraid to state their high expectations for Aaron and push him to achieve them. 

In other words, we're all rooting for him, and we're all pushing him. Sigh, 11 year old boys.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Feeding Aaron

Since the start of the school year, Aaron has gone to swim practice three times a week, up from twice a week last year.  That, plus weekend swim meets about once a month, puts him in the water a lot.  Which means a ravenous appetite right at the point in his life when his metabolism is really starting to churn. 

Translation: very long meal times and the need for us to recalibrate how much food we need to prep to make it through the week.  Hoo boy.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

The Curse of Aaron Huang is Over

10 years ago, this fair city celebrated its first major sports championship parade in 25 years.  I pulled Jada out of day care and brought us into the teeth of the celebration, as documented here.  I somewhat flippantly called my blog post, "The Curse of Aaron Huang," joking that by casually opting to not bring Aaron, was I inviting future guilt over the missed opportunity should a second chance not materialize.  Aaron was 1 1/2 at the time, so between four major sports teams in the city, I figured I had 60+ seasons' worth of opportunities to bring him to a party like that.

Fast forward to last year, and it did not look promising.  Aaron was now 10, and just like that the number of chances for a parade during his childhood had been cut in half.  All four sports teams looked nowhere near elite status.  Would Aaron's childhood years come and go without a championship?

Today, the curse ends.  Schools are closed, so I'm bringing Aaron to work with me, and we're breaking midday to take it all in.  (My office, at 15th and Walnut, is less than a block from the parade route, so we don't have to go far.)  He's not m
uch of a football fan, let alone an Eagles fan, but I think he's pumped to do this with me and to take in the spectacle of it all. 

And Asher?  Gulp.  He turns 3 in April.  I'm leaving him at home.  Can I count on another championship parade here in Philly at some point in the next 60 seasons? 

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Jada Huang, International Traveler

Jada was pumped to hear earlier this school year that Girls Choir is letting participants from her age bracket go on the annual international tour this coming summer.  We have secured her a passport and she is counting down the days to her trip to Belgium and Netherlands.

Of course, she originated from China.  But since then, her only time outside the US was a family trip to Toronto 10 years ago.  She is a geography fanatic and fancies herself a future world traveler, so I guess it was only a matter of time before she started getting stamps in her passport.  Off she goes in just a few short months!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Huang Family Newsletter, January 2018

We came back from California and jumped right back into the whirlwind that is our family life.  Aaron had a swim meet and a birthday party.  Jada dyed her hair and got her passport.  Amy started teaching at Penn again.  Lee had business trips to Notre Dame, Baltimore, and Trenton.  And Asher continues to be King Baby.




Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Getting Around in the City

Given the complexity of our family - three kids, two in school and with three extra-curricular activities between them - every week is a minor logistical miracle.  It helps that school is within close walking distance, as are two of the three extra-curricular activities.  That urban form also works in our favor when it comes to other things like doctor/dental/orthodontic appointments, haircuts, and play dates, since all of those things are either a short walk or an easy transit ride away.  Importantly, that proximity and ease means that the two older kids do many of these trips on their own, since they don't need a car or an adult to get there.  

There are things that are hard about being a parent living in a city.  But there are other things that are, in my opinion, way easier.  This is one of them.