Today is Baby Wee's first birthday. It is a joyous day for our baby boy as he has reached his first big milestone. In Korean culture the 1st birthday is marked with a big celebration called the Dol. You can read more about the history here.
Before the main part of the celebration, the baby is dressed in very colorful, ornate clothing called dol-bok. The dol-bok that the child wears differs according to the child’s sex. A boy would traditionally wear a pink or striped jogori (jacket) with purple or gray paji (pants), a striped durumagi (long jacket), a blue vest printed with a gold or silver pattern or a striped magoja (jacket), a jonbok (long blue vest) with a gold or silver pattern, a bokgun (black hat with long tail), and tarae-busun (traditional socks). In addition to their dol-bok, boys and girls would wear a long dol-ddi (belt that wraps around the body twice) for longevity and a dol-jumuni (pouch) for luck. The dol-jumuni would be made of fine silk, with a thread to open and close it
The ceremonious part is when the baby picks up various items on the table that attracts him or her. The items that the child picks up are said to predict the child’s future. If a child picks up the bow and arrow, it is said that the child will be strong and a warrior. If the child picks up the thread, the child will have a long life. A child who picks up the pencil, book or calligraphy set is forecast to be a good scholar. A child who picks the rice, rice cakes, or money will become rich. If the ruler, pair of scissors or needle is chosen, it is said that the child will be dexterous. If the child chooses the knife, they will become a good chef.
While it is a wonderful day for baby Wee, I find myself feeling quite sad. We have had few updates since being matched, and it is very difficult not knowing what his daily life is like. I am confident that he is happy and healthy and thriving. I do not have anxiety about that which is a huge relief. He is loved and being well taken care of.
I just want to see more pictures. I want to hear if he is walking and getting into mischief. Does he laugh, eat well, have favorite toys?
This adoption feels much different than Min's. The wait time for his arrival was much quicker so it felt more appropriate to plan the nursery, buy clothes, and toys in anticipation of "the call." That wonderful moment when we received the called to make plan reservations because Min was coming home. I find myself holding back on preparations because of the remaining seven months before his arrival.
We talk about him nearly every day with Min. He understands as much as a 4 year old can.
"Mom, baby Wee is going to play with my toys? Baby Wee is going to wear my clothes?"
"Yes, he will wear all the clothes that you have gotten to big to wear."
Min wore a 'I'm a Big Brother' t-shirt to school last week. I absolutely cannot wait until Wee is wearing is 'I'm a Little Brother' t-shirt right along side Min. That image makes me smile and gives me patience that the next seven months will pass quickly, and our family of 4 will be together.
When we were matched on February 14, we put together a photo album of our family so Wee's foster mother could show him our pictures. This is a common practice to help the child become familiar with his forever family. I hope she shows him our pictures today and tells him we love him and miss him on this very special day.
Today we will release some balloons for baby Wee. Sending a sign of love that we are thinking of him from so many thousands of miles away.
Happy birthday, baby boy. I know you will be smiling and celebrating in your home in Korea.