Monday, August 13, 2018

Home from Camp

And we are five again.  Jada and Aaron are both home from camp, after being away for two weeks each (and, over the course of the summer, five weeks total).  It was super nice for them to be home, to hear about their experiences away, and just to have us all together.  I love that they love being away, but I love that they love coming home too.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Three the Hard Way

When you have a big break between kids, you forget how hard different life stages are.  But Amy and I are getting rudely reacquainted with how difficult a three-year-old can be, especially one as strong-willed and active as Asher.

Of course, we adore the little guy.  And three has its high points too.  It is super cute to interact with this mini-person, who is much smaller than a grown-up but in another sense larger than life.  And, thankfully for our sanity, he is healthy and he sleeps well.

But oh the life of a three year old.  Prone to raging fits in which he screams bloody murder, he can be impossible to satisfy or pacify, whether we have also lost our temper or are able to keep our cool.  He is above-average in size and strength, and behind on words, which only amps up the degree of difficulty in communicating with and at times literally wrangling him.  Amy is now no longer able to carry him if he is being obstinate, and I fear he will grow bigger (and I frailer) before he has grown old enough to not need to be corralled like we have to do to him now.

Very often I will look at Amy at the end of a long and tiring day and offer the weakest of encouragements: "when he turns 4, all will be well with the world again."  Every day we are that much closer, even if it doesn't feel like it.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Phoenix, Baby

Just got back from a four-day weekend in Phoenix with Amy.  It was over 110 degrees, the first night we were there there was a massive dust storm, and because our desired hotel was booked up we ended up at another place that was further away from the places we wanted to be able to walk to.  No matter, we still had fun.  Heard Museum and Desert Botanical Garden are must-sees, the light rail took us everywhere we needed to go (yeah, we spent four days in Phoenix and didn't rent a car), and even being able to eat hotel breakfast uninterrupted was a glorious luxury.  And now back to the grind of work.  But we'll always have the memories. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Huang Family Newsletter, July 2018

Asher is still living his best life.  He is getting closer on potty training and will start preschool next month.

Aaron enjoyed 3 weeks in a row at sleepaway camp, out in nature and drawing closer to God.

Jada went to Europe for the first time, with Philadelphia Girls Choir, and also did a week away at soccer camp.

Lee survived his first School Board meeting and is hard at work getting up to speed there plus his day job.

Amy continues to hold down the fort at a very difficult job plus everything at home.  Thank goodness for a kid-free trip to Miami!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

"Surviving Asher: The First Four Years," A (Kind of) Poem

0 to 1 was about getting through the sleepless nights and endless feedings.

1 to 2 was about figuring out what he needs since he can’t yet tell you.

2 to 3 was about surviving the fact that he can tell you what he (thinks he) needs but he can’t understand why you don’t always accommodate.

3 to 4 will (hopefully!) be about him learning to live with not getting what he wants, learning to go potty all the time, and learning how to sleep in a legit big boy bed.

Friday, July 20, 2018

A Trip Down Memory Lane

For keepsakes, biological parents have pregnancy tests, maternity clothes, and grainy images of ultrasounds.  Us adoptive parents have...paperwork, just lots of paperwork.  Agency brochures, home study applications, criminal checks, profile questionnaires, court documents, and receipts, oh so many receipts.

One tangible implication of giving up on a fourth adoption and calling it a day in terms of adding children to our family is that I finally got around to going through all the stacks of adoption paperwork that had accumulated over the years.  Aaron's, Jada's, and Asher's all got sorted into neatly labeled sets of folders, as did papers from various failed adoptions (several in the past two years, but you may not know that we actually were in line for a second China adoption right after Jada that never happened).

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sleepaway Camp

Jada is off to soccer camp today, her first week of sleepaway camp for the summer since she missed her usual early July stint on account of touring Europe with Philadelphia Girls Choir.  Aaron is going straight to soccer camp from his own two weeks of sleepaway camp, so by the time they return home in a week we won't have seen Aaron in three weeks.

As these camps are run by Christians who Amy has known since she was a kid, we absolutely love that Aaron and Jada adore being at these places.  Out of a ten-week summer, they're at one of the two locations for five of those weeks, and if it could be more they'd sign up for it in a heartbeat, and we'd probably let them.

Still, we do miss them.  (As well as their help around the house!)  Pray for them, that God would meet them in these special places and at a special time in their lives.