Thursday, September 9, 2010

happy birthday, son!

today we celebrate a milestone that is both happy and sad.
today marks a year of God's faithfulness in our son's life.
today is the day our son can count his age in months or years.
today choi boy celebrates his first birthday.
today our son turns one.

when we first got choi boy's referral, we prayed and prayed that he would be home by his first birthday. as each month passed by, we felt like we were missing so many milestones, and the possibility of choi boy coming home before he turned one seemed slimmer and slimmer. and here we are on his first birthday, our arms empty and aching for him. though we are sad that we are missing yet another milestone, we rejoice in knowing that he is well cared for and that he will hopefully be home and in our arms soon.

one of the reasons we wanted choi boy home before his first birthday is because in korean culture, the first birthday, or "dol," is a HUGE celebration. like, so huge that my friends who have had first birthday parties for their children often referred to them as "mini-weddings." in other words, it's an excuse to PAR-TAY, which we will absolutely do once choi boy comes home. hello? it's called a belated birthday party! that's a thing, right? so, tonight, even though he is not here to celebrate with us, we will go out, put his picture on our table and eat some korean food goodness in choi boy's honor. :) yum!

last month, we sent a package to korea that choi boy is hopefully opening today. want to see the goods?

i knew you would!

we thought choi boy's wardrobe in korea could use a little manning up, so we sent over some boy-ish shirts. can you guess which one peter picked?

now, you all know how neurotic and worried i am about piper and choi boy getting along. so, i found a stuffed animal that resembled piper and sent it over in hopes of choi boy falling madly in love with it, thereby making the transition to real-life piper seamless. delusional? perhaps a little.

because mini-piper was not so mini, and we are restricted to fitting everything in a gallon-sized ziploc bag, there wasn't much else we could add. but we did include a card:
are you impressed by my korean skills? um, don't be. my mom told me what to write. translated, it says something like, "we sincerely wish you a happy first birthday! be healthy and strong until we meet!" really, it sounds less weird in korean.

we also included some pictures:
clearly, piper is beyond thrilled about celebrating choi boy's birthday. p.s. jojo, that was some of my fancy handwriting! ;)

this says, "congratulations on your first birthday!"

though we are sad we won't get to wish choi boy happy birthday in person, we are so, so happy for him...happy birthday, dear son! we can't wait to celebrate WITH you!


  1. sweet. I hope you get to celebrate a belated birthday with him soon!

  2. Happy Birthday sweet boy! My wish for you is that you are home soon with your parents.

    Oh and after I saw that sign, I literally said 'ooohhh, look at her fancy teacher-handwriting.' Then I read your comment later and had to laugh!
    We were tot-ally meant to be friends :)

  3. Sniff, almost made me cry. I am so sorry you can't celebrate with him, but it sounds like you will make up for it!

    Happy Birthday Choi-boy!

  4. happy birthday, sweet cb! come home soon so we can make good on your momma's offer for a smashing party in your honor! ;)

  5. Happy Birthday to a very special boy! I hope you find out soon when he will be coming home! Loved the idea of the stuffed pup! I will need to send two of those to our little one. We have a mixed bred a black lab too! :) Your handwriting is so the sign!

  6. Happy Birthday Choi Boy! I hope you are home soon... I hear there is a fabulous par-tay awaiting your arrival!

    (I adore your fancy handwriting Grace!)

  7. Happy Birthday Choi Boy! I know it's hard to miss that first milestone...we were so sad on Joel's 1st bday too. But it was nice to see the photos of how his foster family celebrated his Dol with him AND we are in the process of planning his Dol.5 in Dec. when he turns 18 months...kinda cheesy! So, start planning your belated Dol now b/c I'm stressing out trying to plan it in the midst of chasing around 3 kids!

  8. I'm so sorry you can't celebrate without him!

    I agree with sending mini-Piper...that's foolproof for sure. Um hello? Those shirts!!! I mean it doesn't get much cuter, until choi boy puts them on of course!


  9. Happy Birthday Choi Boy! Like Grace above, I remember very vividly feeling so sad as Max's first birthday approached and we knew we'd be spending it apart from him. I really did end up coming to terms with it and even decided that it was pretty neat that Max got to experience a traditional Tol in Korea. He'll always have that as part of his story. Plus we also got some adorable photos of him in his hanbok celebrating his Tol with his lovely foster family :) But today will be hard for you, no doubt. Have fun celebrating over some yummy Korean food. I love what you sent to Choi Boy! The sign with Piper in the background is hilarious! He does look thrilled. Also, I am quite jealous of that beautiful hand-writing!!

  10. How wonderful that you were at least able to send him some great gifts for his 1st birthday. And I think it was a great idea to send a toy that looks like piper.

    Happy first birthday Choi Boy!

  11. Happy Birthday Choi Boy!

    I'm so sorry you can't be w/your son to celebrate this milestone with him.

    Hoping he is home soon and you can celebrate is first bday and all the other exciting "firsts" that you will share together.

  12. Happy Birthday Choi Boy - can't wait to see pictures of your belated birthday party - that's going to be one great celebration! :)

  13. Happy Birthday Choi Boy!
    I love the little piper and pipers birthday message.

  14. Happy Birthday! Peace to you on this day knowing before long he will be with you. Man is Piper cute!!

  15. Happy birthday, buddy! I hope you're home soon.

  16. My hangul writing skills are completely non-existant, but there were some words that I remember growing up:
    Saeng-il chuka hamnida, Choi boy!!!!

  17. I just found your blog through Seoul Searching. Happy Birthday to your son! I know it is so hard to not be together on such a special day, and am just amazed by the strength that this waiting process takes. But, as you have written, he is undoubtedly being well cared for and celebrated on his birthday.

  18. I LOVE the package you're sending, esp. the motorcycle shirt!
    And I'm def. down with a belated Dol! Can't wait to see the big bash you throw for your sweet boy.
    I know it's hard missing this big milestone, but it won't matter once he's home b/c you'll have so many more to enjoy :)

  19. Happy birthday Choi Boy! I can totally understand your sadness about not celebrating his birthday with him home. But I bet you will still have fun celebrating today, and belated birthday parties are never a bad idea! I love everything you sent, and am totally impressed by your fancy handwriting.

  20. Happy Birthday Choi Boy! I'm sorry he's not home for his birthday but hopefully he will be home very soon. I can't wait to see that PARTY!!

  21. Happy 1st Birthday to your baby boy!
    I remember the feelings all too well of missing Noah's first. Glenn and I also went out to eat to celebrate him and then hopped on over to ToysRUs to buy him some gifts. I just adore the package you sent. Totally love the photos!! ( and um, yeah...your fancy handwriting is pretty amazing! :)

  22. Happy Birthday Choi Boy!!! Hoping you get your travel call lickety split, Grace.

  23. Happy Birthday to your precious son! And looking forward to seeing you all celebrating it together sometime SOON!

  24. Oh, I love the gifts you chose. The doggie double(very smart) and the motorcycle shirt are my favorite. You guys are being so mature about this wait. I hope good news isn't far away. And yeah, you have to celebrate once this kid gets home.

  25. happy first birthday little guy! come home soon!

    love the shirts you sent over!

  26. I am so sorry that you are missing Choi boy's first birthday, but I am thrilled that you will have a belated dol for him! Love the care package!

  27. ooh, Happy Birthday Choi Boy!! You have a little virgo (My b-day is the 10th).. I remember this day in our journey like it was yesterday. We celebrated Maddyx's birthday (without him) in July. :-( He will be home with you before you know it. P.S. LOVE the picture with the sign and the dog. Sooo cute!

  28. Happy Birthday Choi boy! Hoping the foster family sends you LOTS of pictures!

  29. much I like in this post:
    1. That motorcycle shirt totally ROCKS!
    2. Your fancy handwriting...simply georgeous!
    3. A belated Tol...yes, yes, YES! You must.
    4. The Korean writing in the card & sign...nice touch...I'm impressed...even if your mom did tell you what to write. Do you know how touched the foster mother and social worker will be?! Mucho.
    5. The Piper cute!

    Happpy Birthday, Choi Boy! Your Omma and Appa are ready for your is everyone! Hope to see you soon.

  30. You are HILARIOUS...
    I love you and CANNOT WAIT until he comes home!!!
    Piper looks so pissed in that photo...I love it.


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