Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Fountain of Youth

First Aaron, now Asher.  Drinking fountains are, admittedly, a modern miracle: press a button, and clean water emerges.  But it seems toddler boys find it particularly magical.  Asher insists on long sips from any drinking fountain he says, just like Aaron did when he was the same age.  We should just buy one for our house!

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Thoughts and Prayers for Kids

Our 24-hour news cycle is particularly anxiety-inducing for us parents, as we are constantly assailed by things that cause us to fret about the present and future well-being of our children.  When you read about school shootings, the opioid crisis, and cyber-bullying, you can easily end up in the fetal position, paralyzed by worry as we realize how vulnerable our kids are and how dangerous our world is. 

I believe in God and in prayer, which means that my prayers, however feeble or desperate, go to a real Supreme Being, and not only that but one who has held my kids in His heart since He first knit them together in their birthmothers' womb.  And, given the circuitous path each of them took to arrive into our family, the fact that God has had His hand on their lives since the beginning of their existence is truly a sacred and special thought.  

So prayers move the hand that moves the world.  And thus they are worth praying, all by themselves.

But they also move my own hands and heart and mind.  God is their God.  But He has made me and Amy their parents, and entrusted us with a great and grave responsibility.  So we need to pray in order for God to act.  But we also need to act too.  And, while we rely on the greater village beyond us - O how we rely on so many who are wonderful to us and to our children!- their involvement in our kids' lives is through and by us.  

I know there is some controversy about "thoughts and prayers."  I'm here to tell you that when it comes to my kids, they matter, on their own, and also for the action they produce.  So I will keep praying. Our kids need it.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Huang Family Newsletter, February 2018

 Busy month for us.  Lee had a business trip to Dallas and took Aaron to the Eagles championship parade.  Jada celebrated her 13th birthday.  Aaron had a swim meet.  Amy juggled working and teaching.  And Asher ate all month.

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?