Things returned to some semblance of normal in 2022. Pandemic fatigue was in full-swing, and we threw caution (and our masks) to the wind as we socialized freely, went to movie theaters, and traveled internationally.
Our appeal to continue to matched to Jesslyn
went unanswered, and unfortunately we are now faced with the prospect of starting the entire adoption process over again. We are wary to do so for obvious reasons, until China re-opens fully and we have some confidence that the process won't get stalled again.
Jaedyn has been enjoying 4th grade and playing soccer on a team with her friends. Kaleb is growing up quickly as he navigates 1st grade. He was in soccer this past fall, but his interests lie elsewhere. We will likely put him in some kind of martial arts class in the spring. Both kids continue to attend Chinese class in-person and remote (when necessary).
We held off on travel for the first half of the year as Jake was ramping up at his new job, and we were still in limbo with our adoption. But it wasn't too long before the travel bug got the better of us.
The whole family visited Ontario and Quebec in Canada on the 4th of July weekend with a group of friends. We saw Niagara Falls, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City.
Jake and Kyla did a quick trip to Panama over the long Columbus Day weekend. We saw the Panama Canal and lots of ruins. We rented a car like we did in Costa Rica, but driving there was much more difficult than anywhere else Jake had driven. But we drove all over the country unscathed!
Finally, the whole family took a 2-week trip to the Hawaiian islands over the Thanksgiving break. We visited the Big Island and saw Kilauea volcano near the end of its eruption. We were at the summit of Mauna Loa 6 days before it started erupting. Next we went to Maui, where we drove the Road to Hana and saw lots of waterfalls. Oahu was next, where we snorkeled and saw Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center. We ended our trip on Kauai, where we did a helicopter ride around the island and into the crater of the dormant volcano that created the island. Overall, it was an absolutely incredible trip!
Lila (cat), Dahlia (dog), and Frosty (cat) are happy and healthy.
We had been looking to get a 2nd black lab in mid-December right when we returned from Hawaii to maximize our time with the puppy w/o travel. We picked our favorite breeders and contacted them in October, but it seemed that none of them were keen on being of much help until there were confirmed litters. We were about to give up when out of the blue, one of our backup breeders told us that a colleague of hers had a black lab unexpectedly become available.
It turned out that the unexpectedly available puppy was from our top pick breeder that had originally not been great at getting back to us. So we all piled into the car to go get her the following weekend after we returned from Hawaii. The timing could not have been more perfect. The kids were ecstatic. "Jasmine" or "Jas" (pronounced "Jazz") is a gorgeous and fun puppy. She plays well with Dahlia and enjoys chasing Frosty around the house.
Jake is doing very well as Head of Product as the startup he works for in Austin. He has a hybrid arrangement where he goes into the office about twice a week. Kyla still works part-time for a pediatric clinic, where she also gets to utilize her lactation consultant certification.