Thursday, January 22, 2009

Photo Tag--Yea! I'm It!

Lovely and wise Julianne at Potpourripromenade has tagged me with a game. Here's how you play: Show the fourth photo in the fourth folder in your photo files. Then tag four more.

Here is mine:

In this photo, Esme is celebrating her first birthday, and she's busy choosing a toothbrush from the Tol table. The Tol ceremony is a Korean tradition for babies on their first birthday. In Korea, babies are dressed in the hanbok, and there are tables groaning with amazing ceremonial foods for celebrating. The Tol table is laid out with items that symbolize different professions or blessings for a person's life. A few items on the traditional table are:
  • bow and arrow: the child will become a warrior
  • needle and thread: the child will live long
  • jujube: the child will have many descendants
  • book, pencil, or related items: the child will become a successful scholar
  • rice or rice cake: the child will become rich (some resources say choosing a rice cake means the child is not smart)
  • ruler, needle, scissors: the child will be talented with his/her hands
  • knife: the child will be a good cook
The child is seated on a cushion in front of all of these items, and the first two things he or she chooses are supposed to predict the direction of his or her career or life. 

We are not Korean by culture or birth, but when we adopted Ada from Korea, we decided to incorporate many Korean traditions into our family celebrations.    Not being raised with these traditions makes it difficult to to it entirely authentically, obviously.  But it also affords us some flexibility.  For instance, at Ada's tol party, we added a few extras to the tol table, including a thermometer (for a doctor).   Ada, being herself, first chose the thermometer and then the needle and thread.   On the video of this event, you can hear me lapse into a throaty cheer, not unlike a good Yiddish mama, "She's a doctor!  And she has long life!  Yea baby!"  I guess I channeled Barbra Streisand for a minute or something.

For Esme's tol table, we added yet another few choices:  a small plane (pilot) and a toothbrush (dentist).  She chose the toothbrush first, and then a measuring cup (a chef, perhaps?).   Ada likes to remind Esme that she's "going to be a dentist who likes to cook."   Time will tell.   She does like to brush her teeth and floss an awful lot, come to think of it....

Now to tag four more:

and I know she's been tagged already, but I second it:

Tag, you're all it!

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Irene Latham said...

Kirie, you are amazing. I LOVE that you work so hard to incorporate a bit of Ada's Korean heritage into your family life. I was a social worker in a former life, and a member of a foster family (my parents always had foster babies to add to the 5 of us), and I'm thinking this is simply WONDERFUL. Thanks for the tag... might take me a day or two to get there, but I will. :)

Kirie said...

Irene, I'm glad you appreciate it. We really like our hybrid traditions. I think fostering sounds so wonderful, too. How great to grow up in a big, loving family as you did.

Ada was in foster care for 7 months before she came home to us, and her foster parents were loving, generous, exceptional people. It's my hope that someday we will return the favor of fostering by taking in an infant during the 30-day adoption transition time in this state (during which the birth mom can reverse her decision). It's often too hard for the adopting family to deal with the uncertainty, and we could be caregivers in that space of decision time.
We've discussed it a bit with Ada already, and she's very eager to help with an infant. I've had to remind her that we need to wait until Esme is a bit older and can help, too.
So glad you're going to do the tag, too.

Julianne said...

Thank you for playing. Your girls are beautiful. I really wanted to adopt a girl from China, but the rest of my family nixed it. Everytime I see a little Asian girl I am overcome with tenderness. I love the tradition you described. How neat. Looking forward to reading more!

angela said...

Hi Kirie

Love this post! Esme is sooo cute and I am happy she will be a dentist who cooks. Actually, that really describes Ralph pretty well - he did very well in his practice and loved food. Ada, of course will follow the family tradition of her great, great, great grandma, Annie Adelia Annette, if she becomes a doctor and she should have a much better opportunity in her career than Dr. Annie did. I am so proud of all of you as you know.

Love, Mom

La Belette Rouge said...

I have to say that I am not at all surprised that you work so hard to bring in Ada's culture. You are a wonderful mother!!!!

Thank you for the tag. I will double my efforts and include two photographs.

Anonymous said...

So sweet! A friend of mine's little girl just turned one and they had the traditional Korean celebration. Wonderful. Thanks for the tag! I'll get to it soon ;)

Hilary said...

Love the Tol Table concept! It's so smart of you to adopt Korean traditions into your family's way of life. And as a good Jewish Mama, I heard your inner Streisand loud and clear ;-)

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