Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Update, Lunar New Year Event & 20 Months

So, I feel like a broken record as I’m typing that it's been WAY too long since I've posted. I can't believe how quickly the time has flown by. We went from having quite a few months of sickness to deciding to put our house on the market and then back to sickness. Combine it with work craziness and a toddler that is hitting his "Terrible 2's" a wee-bit early and WHAMMY! It's February 16th. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, it's just overwhelming at times and it's kicked my butt. I'm a control freak and I'm not used to anything really kicking my butt. THIS has. However, I've learned a lot. I've learned to let a lot go. I've learned to accept help. I've learned to get my priorities in check - especially when it comes to work - family comes first. So, in all of this - my beloved blog has suffered as well as my blogger friends' blogs. So, once again I apologize. I know that there are friends and family that check in to get updates on our little peanut and to see photos. I will do my best to make more time to keep it current. When I set out to do this initially I also wanted it to be something that Wesley could look at/read when he was older - and that is equally important to me.

Now, on to the updates. Two weekends ago (February 5), Wesley and I attended a Lunar New Year event put on by a group called "Friends of Korea." The group is comprised of local families with children adopted from Korea and Korean adoptees. I was invited to join the group from a fellow adoptive mom friend (Candace) who worked with the same adoption agency as us. Wesley and I arrived at the event to find a room buzzing with positive energy and joy. The smell of Tteokguk soup cooking filled the air. I introduced myself to the first smiling face I saw and immediately Candace came over and introduced herself. It was a very friendly, welcoming group. The children in attendance were all older than Wesley by quite a few years, but he didn't seem to mind.

The first order of business was to get Wesley into his hanbok (traditional Korean outfit warn on birthdays and other Korean holidays). His hanbok from his first birthday actually still fit – it was a bit big the first time he wore it in Seoul. The top portion was a little snug, but it would do the trick. Then, we made our way over to a special area they had set up for the children to pay their respects to the visiting elders. We took a few minutes to learn how to bow or saebae to the elders and to say “Happy New Year” in Korean.
Getting instructions on how to bow or saebae and say "Happy New Year"

The elders arrived and it was time for the children to show what they have learned. Each family went one by one until it was our turn. I had to help Wesley since he was so young, and it was a challenge but adorable. Once the child successfully performs the bow; the elders reward them with an envelope that is filled with money as a New Year's gift (parents were told ahead of time to provide envelopes for their children).
The visiting elders anxiously await the next group of children.

The beginning of the bow.

And we're still doing the bow. Oops! Wesley's hanbok hat is in his face.

With Wesley being the youngest child by at least 3 years, he was a sight - but a big hit. We did our best to get the bow done without offending anyone. Thank goodness he’s cute is all I have to say! After we “performed” the bow, Wesley accepted the envelopes from the elders and then as if on cue, Wesley knelt down on the pillows in front of us and did his own version of a bow. Priceless. . .

Showing Wesley that the elders have something special for him.

The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting with the other adoptive families, enjoying the Tteokguk soup (which was really good by the way) and watching the kids play outside; it was a beautiful day. I look forward to the next FOK event. Thank you Candace for including us.

Wesley turned 20 months January 28th and we celebrated 6 months being home on February 4th. We are still waiting our adoption finalization. California does things a bit different than other states in that they require 6 months post placement. All of our forms and our court report were sent in to the court in a timely manner, however in true Fuller fashion, we had a "delay" of sorts (not our fault), so we most likely won't be able to have Wesley's adoption finalized until the end of March or beginning of April.

We can't believe that our little peanut is growing into the "big" little boy that he has. He's literally "in" to everything in the house. We don't know whether to call him a whirling dervish or a bull in a china shop, but he's non-stop, constant motion, energy-driven little man on a mission. It's like someone wound him up and let him go. But on the flip side, he's so cuddly and sweet and gives the BEST hugs! His personality is really shining through. He loves to imitate. He is so smart and observes everything. Although he's still taking his time with some of his speech, he comprehends all of what we're saying. And then comes the disobedience. And, the temper tantrums. We think that we're hitting the "terrible 2's" a little early. And, let me tell you that when these "tantrums" hit LOOK OUT! They're awful. Like, hand me a HUGE glass of wine awful. NEWS FLASH!!! Wesley said "Mama" tonight (and it was for me, not "food" as it is in Korea) for the first time EVER since we've been home. My heart melted. With that, I'll leave you with some photos from our "20 Month" photo shoot in our backyard. Cheers!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

새해 복 많이 받으세요 - Happy Lunar New Year!

Today marks the first day of the Korean Lunar New Year or the Seolnal, which lasts for three days. Like many aspects of Korean life, the holiday centers around family. Many pay their respect to their elders, travel great lengths to see family and honor those that have left this life. Food always seems to be a big part of any holiday or celebration and Seolnal is no exception. The traditional meal is a soup called tteokguk -a beef broth with thinly sliced rice cakes.

Children typically wear traditional hanboks and adults purchase new clothes to signify the start of a new year. The children bow (saebae) to their elders to show their respect and then are rewarded by an envelope with money as a New Year's gift. There are also traditional Korean games played to add to the festivities of the day.

Wesley and I will be going to a New Year's event put on by a group called "Friends of Korea" (or FOK) on Saturday to celebrate. The group is comprised of families around the Sacramento area (and surrounding areas) that have adopted or are adoptees from Korea. They get together throughout the year to share their adoption experiences, celebrate Korean culture and to simply be social. This will be our first FOK event so we're really looking forward to it!

I'll post afterward with photos and tidbits on the event. In the meantime. . .
새해 복 많이 받으세요(saehae bok man-hi ba-deu saeyo) - Happy New Year!