The first birthday in Korea is very important. And even though Edric’s is still a little while (April 30th) I didn’t know how long shipping would take and wanted to make sure he had his package in plenty of time.
The first birthday celebration in Korea is called a Dol, and there are some very set traditions that surround the celebration. One of the first is that the child is dressed in traditional clothing known as a “dol-bok”. We will likely get photos of Edric dressed in his dolbok and I am really excited to see them. There is usually an elaborate feast with very traditional foods, especially rice cakes. There is often fruit also served. As part of the celebration the child will be set in front of the table with various items (spool of thread, brush, calligraphy set, pencil, book, money, etc). The child is then allowed to chose an item and that is suppose to be indicative of his life.
For birthdays and Christmas I learned I don’t have to stick to the gallon size ziplock baggie, and so I found a box and went to town. I started with a little blanket, while it is getting to be warmer in Seoul, blankets are always good for setting on the ground to play on, or cover up with at night, or whatever. We got him a fire truck that has different shaped blocks that go on the inside and a little fire man. Both Caedmon and Leighton love fire trucks. We got him a wooden truck with a car-carrier trailer on the back with four brightly colored cars. I found another summer hat as well as some little booties that have good grip on the bottom but go on like socks. . I found two shirts, one with construction trucks on it, and one with space ships. I got Leighton and Caedmon the same shirts as well, so we’ll send Edric photos of the boys playing in the shirts and all three can match across the ocean. We found little summer jump suits that were too cute, one with ship and one that said “Captain Adorable”. I threw in some lotion for foster mom as well.
I managed to get everything to fit and used the blanket as my wrapping paper and wrote on a couple little cards that it was birthday presents.
It’s one of those bittersweet moments. I love putting together little packages (and I keep getting ideas of things to include in the next one) but it also means that with each package he’s not with us. I am praying that this will be the only birthday package I send, and next year I’ll be planning a birthday party instead with his little feet running through my house. I’m also stepping out on a limb and even praying that for Christmas too.