Claiming my status as an honorary Korean

In Korea one of the first things that people ask a new acquaintance is their age. In Korea, you see, even the way you address someone is dependent on whether they are older or younger than you. I’ve been thinking about that custom today. It seems that I am turning 41. I’m not sure I’m so comfy with that. After all, 40 is just on the edge of 39. But 41? That puts me solidly into my 40’s, right?

That got me wondering about y’all. My perception is that most of my readers are younger than me…some 20’s and mostly 30’s, with a few 40’s and up here and there. But for my birthday I’m going to be a Korean mom (I’ve got 2 Korean boys, after all) and ask you how old you are.

If you want, you can just tell me if you’re older or younger than me. Or you can comment anonymously and tell me your actual age. If you are into full disclosure like mw, you can boldly shout your age attached to your real name. Or if you’re not into talking about birth certificate info, which I totally understand, just give me a birthday shout out. I’d especially love to hear from you if you’ve never commented here before. Let’s make it a party, OK?


  1. I’m 34. Remember people all over the world are thinking of you and hoping you have a great day!

  2. Mary – Happy Birthday!!

    I’m 31.

  3. 31 🙂

    Happy Birthday Mary!!!

  4. Happy Birthday, Mary!!!

    I turn 40 in August, and I’m thrilled about it!

  5. Happy Birthday, Mary! Have a wonderful day.

    I just turned 37 about two weeks ago.

  6. Happy Birthday, Mary! I’m 36. (Wait. Let me double-check my math. Yep. 36.)

    Interesting tidbit about Korea. My husband is half-Korean, but he grew up as an orphan on the streets, so he doesn’t know his real age. Guess that’s one more thing that would have made his daily life in Korea hard.

  7. Happy Birthday!
    I am 38.

  8. Happy Birthday!! I turned 35 in March.

  9. Hi, *waves* first time commenter here! 🙂 I am 24, I will be 25 in about a month. Love your site, I found you recently 😉 HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 🙂

  10. happy birthday! I’m 26 on Sunday 🙂 found you on twitter through rocks in my dryer (i think). I enjoy your blog!

    frazzled mom of 2 on east coast, wondering how you do it 🙂

  11. Heather from SC says:

    Hey Mary! I do not know you but I read your blog. I find it very interesting and intriguing. You are a strong woman and I don’t know how you do it with 10 kids!!!! Happy Birthday to you!!! I think I may be your youngest reader! 21 going on 22 in August!


  12. I’m 27. Love your blog. Delurking. The littlest one is especially cute.

  13. Oh, Happy Budday!

  14. What a great way to get everyone to comment!!

    I will be 40 in about 3 weeks. Believe me, by blog readers will hear about it!

    Maybe we should have a birthday drink at BlogHer? 🙂

  15. Wow, lots of comments on this one. Never did I think women would be so eager to share their age 😉

    I’m 25, although sometimes I lie about my age to strangers.

  16. Happy Birthday Mary!!! I love reading your blog. I have posted a couple times. I am 33. Not sure what to think of that age. 🙂 I did get told the other day that I looked to YOUNG to have my three kids. We were out shopping for size 9 womans boots for my 10 year old daughter. My 11 year old was off looking for a mineral block for the deer at the time. Guess I would have really suprised that woman if he would have been in the same part of the store. We have 3 children, but have looked into adopting sometime in the future. That is what brought me to your blog. And I enjoy reading all the things you talk about on here. 🙂

  17. Happy birthday, Mary!

    I’m 38, although I only feel like I’m about 17. How can I be the mom of all these kids?? =)

  18. Happy Birthday! I’m 36… almost 37. Gulp. I read your blog almost every day. I am so intriqued by you family. We have 5 young kids and are thinking that we will foster and or adopt once our kids are old enough to remain in their birth order… with “new” children being younger than our current youngest.

  19. Welcome to the club and Happy Birthday! I just turned 41 in March,. I said the same thing you did – I am really in my 40’s now and not just 40. It has not been so bad!
    Frugal Carol

  20. I’m 44 – thanks for sharing your wonderful blog with all of us!

  21. Happy Hoppy Hippy Birthday!
    I’m 39-and-a-half.
    Just recently came across your blog nad have been enjoying it much.

  22. Laura Burke says:

    The day this was written I started the countdown to my 50th…yikes…birthday. 60 days until ? How much will my life change after that birthday? I imagine not a whole lot. But oh the possiblities!!

    Mary, I started reading your blog after the article on CNN. I was raised in a family of 13 and I so understand living the life amongst many!! I am now the MOM (upside down that’s WOW) of four daughters: one in high school, one in college, one just starting a life of her own and my eldest daughter who is mentally disabled and will always be my forever child.
    I have so enjoyed reading about your family.
    Take care!!

  23. Lovin’ 35!!

  24. Happy Birthday! Maybe I’m part Korean because I don’t mind telling my age. I’ll be 44 in 11 days.

  25. Happy, Happy Birthday!
    “It takes a long time to grow young.” – Pablo Picasso

    Just celebrated 35-


  26. Happy Birthday and Many Years.

    I’ll be 36 at the end of the summer.

  27. Michelle says:

    Happy Birthday! I have never commented here before, but stumbled across here from other parenting blogs. I loove your blog since I will likely adopt one day! For now I am 23 and will continue to read about the antics of your family while I wait for the phone to ring at my boring desk jockey job(I am a receptionist for a company that gets maybe 1-2 calls an HOUR on the main line).

  28. mazal tov! rachel, 31.

  29. I’m 23, and dream everyday of having a big family with a mix of bio and adopted kids… We’re to young to adopt at the moment, but the savings fund is started 🙂 I can hardly wait! Thanks for you’re inspiration!

  30. Birthday Blessings!!!
    I am 30.

    Check out your comments just rolling in…it’s almost as fun as the 1000 comments day. Almost. It is fun seeing the different dynamics of your readers. You transcend age, Mary.

  31. Joyce Hamack says:

    I am 55 years old, one of the oldest here. I love your blog, read it everyday at work. I am single and have 3 kids. My 2 daughters are adopted. My 19 year old from India and my 17 year old from Ethiopia.

  32. Oh I will be 38 in Sept but I always forget and give myself another year (which I did here but changed it). Nicely I was born in a 0 year so it makes it easy to subtract.

  33. Mary ajumma,

    Happy birthday from your elder.

    Love ya,


  34. I turned 30 in January and blogged about it…

    Happy Birthday!

  35. Have a wonderful birthday! -Michele, 24

  36. Happy Birthday, Mary! May God Bless you even more abundantly!

    I am 32, going on 33 in a few months. Yipes, I remember when my parents were the age I am now (and younger). It’s so weird.

    Hope you have a beautiful day!

  37. kimberly says:

    I am turning the big 40 next month… however, this past month I have been very sick and was not sure I would make it at times. Was even told I may have incurable cancer–but I do believe in miracles:) SO now I am rejoicing with this added year to my life wrinkles, spider veins, and all:) Each day is a gift!!! This really changed my perspective and I am the mom to five.

  38. happy birthday. wish you the best

  39. Happy Birthday!!! (33)

  40. Happy Birthday!!

    I’m 31… already. How did that happen?

  41. Hi Mary, have commented before, read you everyday, & HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thank you for sharing your life. You have exposed me to ways and ideas of living, some I had not heard of before and it excites me. We have a garden for the first time this year and it has done so well: tomatoes, green beans, squash, cucumbers, corn. It was my idea, but now my husband is more excited about it than me because it tastes so much better than store bought and we have saved money by growing and not buying, and it is so much fun to watch a garden go from dirt to so green and full of food. Even our neighbors come to check out our garden! With such a negative media, it is so good to have blogland where we can be exposed to real people sharing their ways of living that leave us feeling hopeful and happy. Oh, and by the way, I am 45 and have 4 children ranging in age from 4 to 17.

  42. I’ll be 31 next week. That doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that my oldest will be 13 a couple of weeks later – where did the time go? Can I go back to 16 for just a few months? Maybe someone can just do my laundry for me and that will suffice….

  43. Heather Reu says:

    I am a newly minted 41 year old mom to 4 adopted kiddos, the oldest is 6, the youngest is 2.5! I love your blog

  44. Happy Birthday. 🙂 I’m 54 (I find that hard to believe) and the mom of five, the youngest is ten. The others are grown and gone from home. No, she doesn’t keep me young. She makes me feel tired! But what a joy she is. Maybe she keeps me young at heart because, on the inside, I feel about 34… 🙂

  45. I am a 36 year old mom to 3 adopted kids. (ages 16 to 6) and wife to an army chaplain

  46. good heavens there are a lot of comments here mary! you have certainly gotten popular!


    happy birthday mary 🙂 hope it’s a great one. 🙂

  47. long time lurker here. Happy Birthday! I really enjoy your blog. I am the big 3 0.

  48. Happy Birthday!! I’m 29.

  49. Long time lurker — I’m 33!

  50. 23 I will be 24 next week. We are adopting through the same agency as you, but foster to adopt. I LOVE your blog, its wonderful!