One Day to Tol

July 17, 2007 at 8:32 am | Posted in Henry Stuff | 1 Comment

We had Henry’s party over the weekend and thankfully Mother Nature cooperated nicely.  We had a chance of rain but the day was dry and even quite mild compared to a “normal” July weekend.  Lots of family came out to help us celebrate and despite the long day and lots of chaos, Henry was a trooper.

A Korean tradition at a child’s Tol is to present them with a tray of items that symbolize different aspects of the child’s future.  We presented him with his Tol tray with the following items: a book (a scholar), a knife (a good cook), rice (wealth), jujube (which is a date to symbolize many descendants), needle and thread (long life) and a ruler (talented with his hands).  The only thing we left off was a weapon to symbolize becoming a good warrior.   We didn’t have any play weapons to offer so I guess he won’t be a fighter but a lover.


After checking out the tray, his first pick was:

THE RULER!!!!!  Good with his hands…ok….now the second pick:

THE RICE!!!!   Wealth.  So I decided on the spot that he’ll be playing for the Red Sox and most likely be a Golden Glove winner.  (When in reality he probably picked the ruler because it was long, red and looked like it could be used to hit anything.  The rice was the most likely second pick because it was a perfect aid in making noise either by shaking or beating repeatedly with the ruler).

He had no problem diving into cake although he wasn’t so fond of having so much frosting on his hands.  He kept trying to shake it off much to the dismay of those standing close by.  He got me with a good glob of frosting as I was snapping pictures.

We got an extra special surprise gift for Henry.  Turns out a family not too far from us was traveling in Korea when they made an inpromptu visit to Eastern.  They have two adopted children from Korea and on a whim decided to connect with their son’s foster mother (with the help of the guide that was showing them through Seoul).  They were fortunate enough to meet her for the first time and she was happy to see the little boy she cared for grown, happy and well loved.  While the family was visiting they were asked if they wouldn’t mind carring back a package to their agency in Illinois as a favor to a foster mother in Korea.  They said yes and it turns out it was a gift for Henry from his foster mother.  It was a set of porcelean figures dressed in traditional folk clothing.  As well as a note indicating she was happy to receive the letters and pictures we’ve sent to her and so very happy to see Henry doing well.  Honestly, that was the highlight of the day and we can’t wait to send along these pictures as well. 

Tomorrow (the 18th) is his actual birthday and we’ll be putting him in his Hanbok for pictures so be sure to check back tomorrow or Thursday for more pictures.


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  1. He is delicious and has the most amazing eyelashes. Congratulations to you all.

    thinking of you.

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