Monday, December 7, 2020

State of the Family 2021

2020 has been a weird year. We feel like we're frozen in time. We'd just as soon forget it ever happened. We're in roughly the same place as we anxiously await permission to travel to China to pick up Jesslyn and bring her home. It's maddening to think about how we've missed out on a year of her life due to the global pandemic.

But in a way, an otherwise uneventful year is a blessing in itself. We know that so many have been impacted by the pandemic and ensuing economic downturn. We've had to endure only a modest loss in income, which has been largely offset by decreased vacation travel costs. Nonetheless, we've been able to travel domestically with minimal risk. We stayed in a mountain house in Aspen, a beach house at the Gulf Coast, flew over to Everglades National Park, and drove to Big Bend National Park.

Jaedyn is attending 2nd grade in person. The schools is taking reasonable precautions, and while there have been several positive COVID cases this year, they've been able to contain them and carry on. Many of her friends have opted for virtual instruction, and we know that it's hard on her to not be able to do many of the fun things she's used to, including dance and soccer. She attends Chinese class virtually.

Kaleb is getting bigger so fast. He's starting to learn the alphabet and knows how to spell his name. He still goes to daycare on days that both Kyla and I are working. Sometimes we wonder whether it's worth it to have him struggle through virtual Chinese classes, but then he'll unexpectedly know some random Chinese word and what it means — like 海豚 (dolphin) — and we're reminded that he must be absorbing some of it.

Kyla volunteered to work at her company's COVID clinic where she's a pediatric nurse practitioner on the frontlines of testing and diagnosing potential COVID patients. She was just recently able to get the vaccine well ahead of the rest of us, which we're hoping may enable her to travel to China to get Jesslyn sooner than she otherwise would be allowed.

Jake is still working as a product manager for Administrate, a training management platform. In all the additional spare time that the pandemic has afforded him, he's finally made good on a side project that's been on his list for over a decade: an online event sequencing game called Chrologony. It's also available as an app for iOS and Android.