Right about now, a new day is dawning in Korea. And not just any day... it's the first birthday of someone very special... In a few hours, our son will be waking up officially a one year old.
Half a world away.
This feels... very surreal to me. (There are days that even knowing we have one son here, and one son there, feels ... well, odd. This day just compounds all those feelings.) I've talked to several friends who have gone through this process before me, and I guess I was expecting to feel a little more sad than I do. Going into the process this time, we knew our child wouldn't be home by the first birthday. I never expected to celebrate this day with them. So in a way, I don't really feel as though I'm missing a milestone... even though I clearly am! I don't feel sadness, but I also don't feel joy. How could I?!
It's hard to celebrate a person you know only on paper and in photos. Add in that all the information we have was compiled months ago and... well, like I said, it's surreal. But just because I am struggling to find the right emotions, it doesn't mean that I don't have a plethora of hopes and wishes...
I hope you are getting extra love and birthday cuddles today. I wish you joy... not only today, but every day. I hope you are happy and healthy. I wish you lots of special treats... maybe a little extra fruit or perhaps even your first bite of cake? I hope you have a day of new discoveries. I wish you lots of music and "bum shaking." I hope you chose something good off the doljabi table. I wish that we knew what it was! I hope you don't lose that baby chub or that cute little smirk you have before I get to meet you. I wish we already met. I hope you know how many people already love you.
There, you will be celebrated. By this point, there should have been a big Dol party held for all the June birthday babies by the adoption agency. You will wear a hanbok that your foster mother has bought, and partake in the doljabi. How special is that?! Obviously, we would prefer you to be here... but really, deep down, there is a part of me that is so happy that you will get this piece of your culture, your heritage. I hope that your foster family also highlights the day for you. While you won't know it's your special day, I hope that they sing you a birthday song, or give you lots of extra hugs. Acknowledge that yes, this day is a little more special than all the others.
Here, we will also celebrate you little one. We will have some Korean food and cupcakes too. Over dinner, we will probably wonder aloud what you are up to these days. Are you walking yet? How many words do you say? Do you still love music and TV commercials? Have you gotten more teeth in? Are you enjoying the warm weather and bright days? Big brother will blow out the candle on your behalf, and we will most likely wish for new photos and an update on you. But mostly, we will wish that you come home soon.
Happy birthday little one.